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Special Issue "Green Infrastructure and Recycled Materials Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Green Building".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2023 | Viewed by 3454

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Dimitrios G. Goulias
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland147A G.L. Martin Hall, College Park, MD 20866, USA
Interests: recycled materials and infrastructure sustainability; infrastructure materials characterization and performance assessment; condition assessment of infrastructure and materials through NDT; QA/QC; specifications; risk analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is estimated that by 2050 nearly 70 percent of the world’s population (about six billion people) will be living in urban areas. With such widespread migration to urban settlements and an emerging need to address the environmental impacts of building and/or expanding urban areas, sustainability requirements for developing “green infrastructure” must be addressed. Currently, most efforts towards developing green infrastructure recognize the important role of recycled materials in reducing the use of natural resources and raw materials and reducing energy and water consumption, as well as emissions.

Thus, the focus of this Special Issue, “Green Infrastructure & Recycled Materials Sustainability”, is presenting a collection of up-to-date research articles that explore the use and assess the impact of developing green civil infrastructure, such as green buildings and sustainable roadways, green roofs, permeable surfaces in parking lots and other civil infrastructure components promoting filtration while addressing structural requirements. This Special Issue also welcomes studies that consider the impact on properties and the sustainability of using alternative recycled and reclaimed construction materials, including those used in road and building construction (such as recycled asphalt pavement, RAP, recycled concrete aggregate, RCA, construction and demolition wastes, CDW), material processing byproducts (such as rock dusts, aggregate fines, returned concrete aggregate, CCA), industrial byproducts, and wastes such as fly ash, FA, foundry sand, FS, glass culets, crumb rubber and tire chips, and recycled plastics, among others. Studies that specifically assess and quantify the influence of such recycling materials in the development of green infrastructure through life cycle analysis, LCA, economic and environmental impact assessments, and sustainability metrics to compare sustainable alternates are especially welcome.

Dr. Dimitrios G. Goulias
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • recycled and reclaimed materials
  • infrastructure materials
  • green infrastructure
  • sustainability assessment and ratings
  • life cycle analysis
  • economic and environmental impact analysis

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Investigation of Using Crushed Glass Waste as Filler Replacement in Hot Asphalt Mixtures
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2241; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032241 - 25 Jan 2023
Viewed by 242
Abstract
Due to the depletion of natural aggregates and high maintenance cost of highway systems, developing sustainable asphalt concrete (AC) mixes that use waste materials instead of virgin raw materials is necessary. A large amount of waste glass material is globally generated per year [...] Read more.
Due to the depletion of natural aggregates and high maintenance cost of highway systems, developing sustainable asphalt concrete (AC) mixes that use waste materials instead of virgin raw materials is necessary. A large amount of waste glass material is globally generated per year that could be beneficial to sustain the asphalt industry. In this context, the present paper evaluates the properties and performance of AC mixtures that utilize crushed waste glass as a replacement material of filler aggregates. Three AC mixes with percentages of filler replacement in the range from 0%, 25%, to 50% were fabricated. Complex modulus testing was performed to evaluate the dynamic modulus |E*| and phase angle δ over a range of temperatures and loading frequencies. In addition, the flow number (FN) test was conducted to assess the rutting potential of the mixtures. The results showed that the mix containing 25% of crushed glass is likely to better resist fatigue cracking; however, the inclusion of glass in the AC reduced the rutting resistance compared to conventional hot mix asphalt (HMA). Finally, the results of the flow number test and the simple performance indicators were compared and used to rank the mechanical performance of the various mixtures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Infrastructure and Recycled Materials Sustainability)
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Article
Characterization of a Thermal Insulating Material Based on a Wheat Straw and Recycled Paper Cellulose to Be Applied in Buildings by Blowing Method
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010058 - 21 Dec 2022
Viewed by 436
Abstract
The thermal envelope is a key component of a building’s energy efficiency. Therefore, considerable efforts have been made to develop thermal insulating materials with a better performance than the existing products. However, in the current climate change scenario, these materials must be sustainable, [...] Read more.
The thermal envelope is a key component of a building’s energy efficiency. Therefore, considerable efforts have been made to develop thermal insulating materials with a better performance than the existing products. However, in the current climate change scenario, these materials must be sustainable, principally during their production stage. In this context, the use of recycled raw materials and agro-industrial waste can be the basis of a material with a low environmental impact and a good thermal performance. In this study, cellulose and wheat straw were characterized. Then, they were mixed in different proportions and densities and the best thermal behavior was selected. The materials were chemically analyzed by TAPPI 2007, thermogravimetric and infrared spectroscopy, together with the measurement of their thermal conductivity with a thermal property analyzer based on the transient line heat source method. The results show that both raw materials are chemically similar to each other. When mixed, they have a thermal conductivity ranging from 0.031 to 0.036 (W/mK), being comparable with several conventional thermal insulators. On the other hand, to achieve the commercial use of this material, an installation through a blowing process has been proposed and proves to be highly promising, achieving a proper density and efficiency in its application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Infrastructure and Recycled Materials Sustainability)
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Article
Life-Cycle Sustainability Assessment of Using Rock Dust as a Partial Replacement of Fine Aggregate and Cement in Concrete Pavements
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12449; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912449 - 30 Sep 2022
Viewed by 899
Abstract
The use of recycled materials and industrial by-products in pavement construction and rehabilitation can achieve substantial benefits in saving nature resources and reducing energy consumption as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Alternative geological origin rock dust for the partial replacement of fine [...] Read more.
The use of recycled materials and industrial by-products in pavement construction and rehabilitation can achieve substantial benefits in saving nature resources and reducing energy consumption as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Alternative geological origin rock dust for the partial replacement of fine aggregate and/or cement in Portland cement concrete (PCC) pavements may provide positive environmental and economic benefits. The objective of this study was to quantitatively assess the life-cycle economic and environmental impacts when rock dust is used in PCC pavement roadway construction. Previous studies have primarily focused on the economics and/or environmental impacts during the material production process. Thus, a methodological framework considering all stages (such as material production, transportation, construction, maintenance, rehabilitation and end of life), involved in the life-cycle assessment of concrete pavements is proposed when using recycled materials/by-products. The life-cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted on a pavement project representative of typical construction practices in Poland to quantify such benefits. The alternative sustainable construction strategies considered partially replacing fine aggregate and/or cement with rock dust of basalt origin in PCC pavements. The LCA results indicate that using rock dust to replace 20% FA and 10% cement provided a reduction of 6.5% in cost, 10% in CO2 emissions and 11% in energy consumption. This study also provides significant insights on the specific contribution of material production, construction processes and the transportation of materials to the overall environmental benefits and cost savings. The suggested approach for LCA analysis in pavement construction can be adopted elsewhere for quantifying the sustainability benefits of using alternative recycled materials in roadways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Infrastructure and Recycled Materials Sustainability)
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Article
Survival Analysis for Asphalt Pavement Performance and Assessment of Various Factors Affecting Fatigue Cracking Based on LTPP Data
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12408; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912408 - 29 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 503
Abstract
Pavement performance is the ability of pavement to remain in an acceptable condition to serve the intended users over a period of time. There are several principal, combined factors that affect flexible pavement performance such as environmental conditions, pavement materials, and traffic loads. [...] Read more.
Pavement performance is the ability of pavement to remain in an acceptable condition to serve the intended users over a period of time. There are several principal, combined factors that affect flexible pavement performance such as environmental conditions, pavement materials, and traffic loads. Vehicle overloading is considered one of the most significant causes of accelerating flexible pavement deterioration, reducing the pavement’s design life, and affecting the overall sustainability of the pavement system. Therefore, researchers are continuously examining pavement systems with a view to finding the most suitable solutions for sustainable development in road construction systems in order to reduce both costs and pollution. In this study, we present a framework to conduct nonparametric and parametric survival analysis for asphalt pavement test sections, to assess the influence of using reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) on fatigue service life, to indicate the most significant subset of risk factors (covariates), and to study the effect of overweight axles on flexible pavement performance. All the data concerned were extracted from the long-term pavement performance (LTPP) program. The Kaplan–Meier (KM) survival probability curves of multiple pavement distresses were developed to compare the failure probability for various distresses and to determine the median survival time for each distress. The fatigue survival curves for the test sections using RAP and virgin materials were developed separately and the equality of the two survival curves was tested and affirmed. Several parametric survival analyses were conducted to select the most significant subset of covariates. For fatigue cracking and, after dropping the insignificant predictors, a model was developed to show the quantitative relationship between fatigue failure time and potentially influential factors. The analysis indicated that the increase in the percentage of overloaded axles from 0% to 20% can reduce the fatigue survival life of flexible pavement by up to 55%. In the absence of overweight axles, a one-inch increase in asphalt layer thickness can extend the fatigue service life by about half a year. However, in the presence of 20% of overweight axles, a one-inch increase in thickness can extend the fatigue service life by only 0.22 years. Therefore, additional virgin materials and resources are needed to maintain traffic conditions in the road network and to compensate for the reduction in fatigue service life. Moreover, the effect of the increase in overweight axles from 0% to 15% on reducing the fatigue survival life is found to be similar to the effect of increasing the AADTT tenfold. Therefore, the sustainability of pavement is directly affected by the fatigue survival life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Infrastructure and Recycled Materials Sustainability)
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Article
Preparation and Characterization of Insulating Panels from Recycled Polylaminate (Tetra Pak) Materials
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6858; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116858 - 03 Jun 2022
Viewed by 934
Abstract
Eco-sustainability and the reuse of materials are highly topical issues. In fact, in recent years, much study and research has been developed on this aspect, making the eco-sustainability of materials a real need. Polylaminate containers, more commonly called Tetra Pak containers, represent the [...] Read more.
Eco-sustainability and the reuse of materials are highly topical issues. In fact, in recent years, much study and research has been developed on this aspect, making the eco-sustainability of materials a real need. Polylaminate containers, more commonly called Tetra Pak containers, represent the most used packaging in the world. This work proposes a new strategy for the reuse of discarded polylaminate containers in order to create panels that can be used in construction and in particular as insulating panels. The proposed thermal method has been optimized in terms of operating variables such as time, temperature, pressure, number of polylaminate sheets. The results obtained show that the proposed thermal method is suitable for obtaining panels with characteristics suitable for use in green building. The advantage of the thermal method is that it does not use chemical or other binders and moreover uses only and exclusively sheets of recycled polylaminate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Infrastructure and Recycled Materials Sustainability)
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