Special Issue "Sustainability in Civil Engineering: from Sustainable Materials to Sustainable Structures"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Quoc-Bao BUI
Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Civil Engineering, Ton Duc Thang University, Vietnam
Interests: sustainable construction materials; soil-based materials; sustainable buildings; dynamics of structures; earthquake performance
Prof. Olivier PLE
Website
Guest Editor
LOCIE, University Savoie Mont Blanc, France
Interests: soil mechanics; geotechnique; reinforced concrete structures

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Civil engineering is one of the domains having the most impacts on the environment, which mainly relates to energy consumption, CO2 emission, and the depletion of natural resources. Different solutions have been explored to reduce the environmental impacts of the civil engineering sector, from the material scale such as using low-embodied energy materials (“eco-materials”) to the component scale such as developing high thermal insulations, positive hygro-thermal behavior components, all the way to the structure scale (e.g., energy-efficient buildings with zero or negative energy consumption thanks to the integration of renewable energies and/or the creation of new concepts in structural designs to optimize the energy consumption and living comfort). This Special Issue is the second on this topic, after the first Special Issue published in 2018 by Sustainability with remarkable success. The Issue is a collection of different approaches contributing to the sustainability of the civil engineering sector: from sustainable materials to intelligent solutions in structural design; and the development of new technologies (3D printing, BIM, etc.) to create, analyze, and assess sustainable materials and structures.

Dr. Quoc-Bao BUI
Prof. Olivier PLE
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • sustainable materials
  • low embodied energy materials
  • bio-based materials
  • soil-based material
  • energy-efficient materials
  • energy-efficient buildings
  • energy-efficient solutions
  • life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • tools for sustainability assessment
  • eco-architecture
  • sustainable principles in architecture
  • multi-criteria in sustainable design
  • 3D printing
  • BIM
  • case studies

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
A Methodology for Buildings Access to Solar Radiation in Sustainable Cities
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6596; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236596 - 22 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The growing need to improve the environmental and energy sustainability of buildings involves the use of solar radiation incident on their surfaces. However, in cities, this task is complicated due to the constructive geometry that leads to shading between buildings. In this context, [...] Read more.
The growing need to improve the environmental and energy sustainability of buildings involves the use of solar radiation incident on their surfaces. However, in cities, this task is complicated due to the constructive geometry that leads to shading between buildings. In this context, this work presents a study of solar access to the façades of buildings in cities. The methodology is based on the determination of the incident annual solar radiation in 121 significant points of each façade considering the twelve representative days of the year. To characterize the influence of the different city typologies on solar access, the urban solar coefficient is proposed. A study of two neighborhoods in Cordoba (Spain) with different urban settings have been analyzed. Specifically, two typologies of neighborhoods have been compared: one with “L-shaped” and “U-shaped blocks” and another with “Grouped blocks”. For both of them, the Urban Solar Coefficient has been calculated, obtaining a higher mean value for the neighborhood with “L-shaped” and “U-shaped blocks” (0.317) than for the one with “Grouped blocks” (0.260). Accordingly, the results show that urban morphology can influence the Urban Solar Coefficient and solar access. Finally, a regression model for each neighborhood has been obtained in order to determine the dependence of the Urban Solar Coefficient on neighborhood geometry factors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Maintenance Cost Estimation in PSCI Girder Bridges Using Updating Probabilistic Deterioration Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6593; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236593 - 22 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
A deterioration model plays an important role to predict the valid total maintenance cost for sustainable maintenance of bridges. In the current state-of-the-art, the deterioration model has regression parameters as a probabilistic process by an initially determined mean and standard deviation, called an [...] Read more.
A deterioration model plays an important role to predict the valid total maintenance cost for sustainable maintenance of bridges. In the current state-of-the-art, the deterioration model has regression parameters as a probabilistic process by an initially determined mean and standard deviation, called an existing model. However, the existing model has difficulty to predict maintenance costs accurately, because it cannot reflect an information based on structural damage at an operational stage. In this research, updating the probabilistic deterioration model is presented for the prediction of pre-stressed concrete I-type (PSCI) girder bridges using a particle filtering technique which is an advanced Bayesian updating method based on big data analysis. The method enables predicting maintenance cost fitted in the current structural status, which includes the recent information by inspection with bridge-monitoring. The method is adapted in the Mokdo Bridge which is currently being used for evaluating the efficiency of maintenance cost by effects on updated probabilistic values with two different scenarios. As the result, it is shown that the proposed method is effective in predicting maintenance costs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Assessment of Two Use Cycles of Recycled Aggregate Concrete
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6185; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216185 - 05 Nov 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
The main goal of this study was to compare two use cycles of natural aggregate concrete and recycled aggregate concrete, which is another way to compare the environmental impacts of recycled materials. A series of concrete mixtures with various replacement ratios of primary [...] Read more.
The main goal of this study was to compare two use cycles of natural aggregate concrete and recycled aggregate concrete, which is another way to compare the environmental impacts of recycled materials. A series of concrete mixtures with various replacement ratios of primary resources with recycled ones were prepared for this study. The mechanical properties of concrete mixtures were examined and were used for the design of structural elements in the same utilized properties. The two use cycles of a structural element were compared using life cycle assessment (LCA). In the first use cycle, the LCA of the structural element containing only primary raw materials was assessed. In the second use cycle, the LCA of a structural element in which primary materials were partially replaced by recycled ones was assessed. The obtained results confirm the potential use of high-quality recycled aggregate originating from local sources in some applications in building structures. Furthermore, the environmental assessment indicates the benefits of using recycled materials, such as environmental savings, especially the reduction of primary resource use, embodied energy, and embodied emissions, as well as reduction of the pressure on landfill sites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A New Eco-Friendly Porous Asphalt Mixture Modified by Crumb Rubber and Basalt Fiber
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5754; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205754 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
In this paper, the performance of environmentally friendly porous asphalt mixture was optimized by the response surface method. Taking the asphalt-aggregate ratio, crumb-rubber content, and basalt fiber content as the independent variables, the air void, Marshall stability, flow value, Marshall quotient, and Cantabro [...] Read more.
In this paper, the performance of environmentally friendly porous asphalt mixture was optimized by the response surface method. Taking the asphalt-aggregate ratio, crumb-rubber content, and basalt fiber content as the independent variables, the air void, Marshall stability, flow value, Marshall quotient, and Cantabro particle loss are the response values. The best model was determined by fitting the experimental data. After the influence of the independent variables on the response values was clarified, the models were used to optimize the dosage of the asphalt, crumb rubber, and basalt fiber through comprehensive analysis. The results showed that the application of the response surface method can complete the establishment of the models and the optimization of the performance of the porous asphalt mixture with sufficient accuracy. The optimum dosage of the asphalt to aggregate ratio, crumb rubber, and basalt fiber is 4.51%, 11.21%, and 0.42%, respectively. The high-temperature stability, low-temperature crack resistance, water stability, and Cantabro particle loss resistance of the optimized porous asphalt mixture were effectively improved, which provides a reference for the construction of eco-friendly pavement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a Refined Analysis Method for Earthquake-Induced Pounding between Adjacent RC Frame Structures
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 4928; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11184928 - 09 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Pounding of two adjacent structures is one of the factors that cause damage and hinder sustainable use of reinforced concrete (RC) frame structures under strong ground motion excitations. This study developed a pounding analysis method with a refined beam-column element in order to [...] Read more.
Pounding of two adjacent structures is one of the factors that cause damage and hinder sustainable use of reinforced concrete (RC) frame structures under strong ground motion excitations. This study developed a pounding analysis method with a refined beam-column element in order to solve the pounding problem between two RC frame structures. The analysis method combines the fiber beam-column element model with the element sections discretized into concrete and longitudinal rebar fibers, the Hertz-damp contact element model to describe the pounding between beam-column elements, and the method to integrate the pounding force into the system dynamic equilibrium equation. The pounding can be considered either at the level between the story slab to slab or at the level between story slab to mid-column. The application of the proposed method in pounding analyses to provide a rational seismic separation gap between two adjacent RC frame structures is finally conducted to increase their safety and sustainability under strong earthquakes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Different Concrete Designs on the Life-Cycle Assessment of the Environmental Impacts of Concretes Containing Furnace Bottom-Ash Instead of Sand
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4083; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154083 - 29 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The results of life-cycle assessments (LCAs) of concrete are highly dependent on the concrete design method. In this study, LCAs were conducted to evaluate the environmental impacts of the replacement of sand with furnace bottom-ash (FBA) in concrete. In the FBA-based concretes, sand [...] Read more.
The results of life-cycle assessments (LCAs) of concrete are highly dependent on the concrete design method. In this study, LCAs were conducted to evaluate the environmental impacts of the replacement of sand with furnace bottom-ash (FBA) in concrete. In the FBA-based concretes, sand was replaced with FBA at proportions of 0, 30, 50, 70, and 100 wt%. Two design methods were studied: (i) concrete with fixed slump ranges of 0–10 mm (CON-fix-SLUMP-0-10) and 30–60 mm (CON-fix-SLUMP-30-60); and (ii) concrete with fixed water/cement (W/C) ratios of 0.45 (CON-fix-W/C-0.45) and 0.55 (CON-fix-W/C-0.55). The ReCiPe2016 midpoint and single-score (six methodological options) methods were used to compare the environmental damage caused by the FBA-based concretes. A two-stage nested (hierarchical) analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to simultaneously evaluate the results of six ReCiPe2016 methodologies. The ReCiPe2016 results indicate that replacing sand with FBA decreased the environmental impact of the concretes with fixed slump ranges and increased the environmental impact of the concretes with fixed W/C ratios. Therefore, using FBA as a partial sand replacement in concrete production is of debatable utility, as its impact highly depends on the concrete design method used. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Applying Kano Two-Dimensional Quality Model to Build the Performance Evaluation Indicators of Long-Life High-Quality Condominiums
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4046; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154046 - 26 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Extending the life span of buildings and improving residential quality has been an important goal for creating residential environments with sustainable development over recent years. This study aims to establish the performance evaluation indicators of long-life high-quality condominiums in Taiwan areas. To identify [...] Read more.
Extending the life span of buildings and improving residential quality has been an important goal for creating residential environments with sustainable development over recent years. This study aims to establish the performance evaluation indicators of long-life high-quality condominiums in Taiwan areas. To identify the evaluation indicators, this study first identified the users’ basic needs, and referred to comparative analysis of the house performance evaluation indicators in other countries. A questionnaire survey based on the Kano model was conducted to explore respondents’ satisfaction with evaluation indicators. Finally, three indicators, including “equipment pipeline maintenance available on each floor”, “maintenance plan”, and “site transportation routes”, were identified as the items of first selection priority from the indicators. Four indicators, including “exposed equipment pipeline”, “site open space”, “water resource recycling”, and “expandability of interior space” are listed as obsolete items for the time being. The results of this study can be used as reference for the establishment of the performance evaluation indicators of long-life high-quality condominiums in Taiwan, as well as for the establishment of performance evaluation indicators for new residential buildings within the scope of the redevelopment plans of dangerous and old buildings in urban areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental and Numerical Research on Utilizing Modified Silty Clay and Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Board as the Subgrade Thermal Insulation Layer in a Seasonally Frozen Region, Northeast China
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3495; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133495 - 26 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
For strengthening sustainability of subgrade life-cycle service performance and storing industry solid wastes in seasonally frozen regions, compared to previous research of modified silty clay (MC) which consisted of oil shale ash (OSA), fly ash (FA), and silty clay (SC), we identified for [...] Read more.
For strengthening sustainability of subgrade life-cycle service performance and storing industry solid wastes in seasonally frozen regions, compared to previous research of modified silty clay (MC) which consisted of oil shale ash (OSA), fly ash (FA), and silty clay (SC), we identified for the first time, the variations in the thermal insulation capability of MC with different levels of dry density and moisture content. Taking into consideration the effects of 0–20 freeze-thaw (F-T) cycles by a laboratory test, and by the numerical simulation of coupling moisture-temperature, while considering the effects of F-T cycles, the thermal insulation capability of the MC board and the XPS board were studied quantitatively. The testing results show that the thermal conductivity of MC and SC gradually decreases as the number of F-T cycles increases, and that of the XPS board increases with the increased number of F-T cycles, and tend to be of a constant value of 0.061 W/m/K after 17 F-T cycles. The specific heat capacity of the solid particles of the MC, SC, and XPS board does not change regularly as their moisture content, and the number of F-T cycles change, and their variations are in the range of the test error (2%). Simulation results show that MC has the advantage of the thermal insulation property to reduce the frost-depth of 0.21 m, and the thermal insulation property of the composite layer consisting of the MC and XPS board is greater to reduce the frost-depth of 0.55 m, so that it can protect both the SC and sand gravel of the experimental road from the frost heave damage. The research methods and results are very significant in accurately evaluating the thermal insulation capacity and the sustainability of MC and the composite layer consisting of the MC and XPS board, strengthening the stability of the subgrade and increasing the availability of industrial waste. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Method for the Improvement of the Elasticity Module of Concrete Specimens by Active Confinement
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3289; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123289 - 14 Jun 2019
Abstract
The purpose of this work is to improve the modulus of elasticity of reinforced concrete pillars in the area where it is known with certainty that the concrete is elastic. To achieve this, an innovative method was devised to introduce an initial tension [...] Read more.
The purpose of this work is to improve the modulus of elasticity of reinforced concrete pillars in the area where it is known with certainty that the concrete is elastic. To achieve this, an innovative method was devised to introduce an initial tension ( σ i ) resulting in an 11% increase in the working compression. Three concrete batches of five specimens each were prepared for this study. The first batch was used as a control without applying any reinforcement, the second was reinforced with a carbon fiber fabric (CF) layer in the usual way, and in the third batch, an initial tension was introduced to the CF fabric by a technique devised for this purpose. After measuring the modulus of elasticity of each of the specimens that made up each batch, it was observed that the modulus of elasticity obtained for the specimens in the third batch was 8% higher than the specimens in the first and second batches. The compression–deformation behaviour of the specimens observed throughout the study allows us to propose a stress–strain model with three different behaviours: linear elastic, parabolic elasto-plastic and linear elastic. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Research on Developers’ Green Procurement Behavior Based on the Theory of Planned Behavior
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2949; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102949 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
In recent years, environmental problems in the construction industry have become increasingly prominent and need to be improved. The production and use of building materials remain one of the main causes of various eco-environmental problems in the construction industry. Compared with traditional building [...] Read more.
In recent years, environmental problems in the construction industry have become increasingly prominent and need to be improved. The production and use of building materials remain one of the main causes of various eco-environmental problems in the construction industry. Compared with traditional building materials, green building materials are environmentally friendly and safer to the human body. Therefore, the promotion of green building materials in the construction industry can handle the eco-environmental problems of the industry to a great extent, and promote the green and low-carbon development of the industry. As the main buyer of building materials products, developers shoulder the responsibility of promoting the development of green building materials. The research on the green purchasing behavior of developers is conductive to winning a good reputation for developers and promoting the sustainable development of the construction industry. However, few scholars have focused on the in-depth research on the impact of developers’ green procurement behavior. Based on the theory of planned behavior, this study analyzes the problem of the developers’ green procurement using the structural equation model in the way of the questionnaire. The results showed that subjective norms and perceived behavior control factors exerted a significant influence on developers’ green procurement (GP) behavior attitude. The subjective norm, perceived behavior control, and other factors indirectly affected developers’ GP behavior through behavior intention. The influence mechanism of perceptual behavior control on developers’ GP behavior is more complicated, and the degree of influence is the greatest among the three kinds of factors. According to the research results, this paper puts forward some suggestions to promote developers to actively implement GP behavior. The results help to promote the GP behavior of developers and promote the planning development of green buildings. In addition, on the basis of a quantitative theoretical model, this paper finds out the key factors that influence the behavior of GP from the point of view of developers, enriches the theory and method of GP research, as well as complements the related literature of GP research. Future research will explore GP behavior from the perspective of other stakeholders and from the developers’ internal level. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Asphalt Pavement Acoustic Performance Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2938; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102938 - 23 May 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Low-noise pavements are used as an effective method of traffic noise mitigation. Low-noise pavements reduce the noise that arises due to interactions between tires and road surfaces (tire/road) via the implementation of three main components: low pavement roughness, negative pavement texture, and a [...] Read more.
Low-noise pavements are used as an effective method of traffic noise mitigation. Low-noise pavements reduce the noise that arises due to interactions between tires and road surfaces (tire/road) via the implementation of three main components: low pavement roughness, negative pavement texture, and a high pavement air-void content. The tire/road noise reduction capabilities of the wearing layer vary depending on the aggregate type, gradation, bitumen and air-void content, and density. Consequently, the demand for an accurate tire/road noise prediction model has arisen from the design of asphalt mixtures. This paper deals with how asphalt mixture components of the wearing layer influence tire/pavement noise reduction and presents a model for tire/road noise level prediction based on the asphalt mixture composition. The paper demonstrates that the noise reduction level of low-noise asphalt pavements is dependent on the composition of the asphalt mixture. Asphalt wearing layer mixture composition parameters were tested in the laboratory from cores taken from 18 road sections, where acoustic properties were measured using a close-proximity (CPX) method. The proposed linear model is based on the bitumen amount, the air-void content of the mixture and aggregate shape and involves materials that comply with the general requirements for high-quality asphalt mixtures. The model allows for the prediction of the tire/road noise level at the asphalt mixture design stage using asphalt mixture components and volumetric properties. The proposed model is the first stage in the building of a complex model with a much wider range of low-noise asphalts components, pavement profile depth and CPX-value relationships. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mechanical-Damage Behavior of Mortars Reinforced with Recycled Polypropylene Fibers
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2200; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082200 - 12 Apr 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Commercial polypropylene fibers are incorporated as reinforcement of cement-based materials to improve their mechanical and damage performances related to properties such as tensile and flexural strength, toughness, spalling and impact resistance, delay formation of cracks and reducing crack widths. Yet, the production of [...] Read more.
Commercial polypropylene fibers are incorporated as reinforcement of cement-based materials to improve their mechanical and damage performances related to properties such as tensile and flexural strength, toughness, spalling and impact resistance, delay formation of cracks and reducing crack widths. Yet, the production of these polypropylene fibers generates economic costs and environmental impacts and, therefore, the use of alternative and more sustainable fibers has become more popular in the research materials community. This paper addresses the characterization of recycled polypropylene fibers (RPFs) obtained from discarded domestic plastic sweeps, whose morphological, physical and mechanical properties are provided in order to assess their implementation as fiber-reinforcement in cement-based mortars. An experimental program addressing the incorporation of RPFs on the mechanical-damage performance of mortars, including a sensitivity analysis on the volumes and lengths of fiber, is developed. Using analysis of variance, this paper shows that RPFs statistically enhance flexural toughness and impact strength for high dosages and long fiber lengths. On the contrary, the latter properties are not statistically modified by the incorporation of low dosages and short lengths of RPFs, but still in these cases the incorporation of RPFs in mortars have the positive environmental impact of waste encapsulation. In the case of average compressive and flexural strength of mortars, these properties are not statistically modified when adding RPFs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Field Evaluation of the Dust Impacts from Construction Sites on Surrounding Areas: A City Case Study in China
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1906; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071906 - 30 Mar 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Construction activities generate a large amount of dust and cause significant impacts on air quality of surrounding areas. Thus, revealing the characteristics of construction dust is crucial for finding the way of reducing its effects. To fully uncover the characteristics of construction dust [...] Read more.
Construction activities generate a large amount of dust and cause significant impacts on air quality of surrounding areas. Thus, revealing the characteristics of construction dust is crucial for finding the way of reducing its effects. To fully uncover the characteristics of construction dust affecting surrounding areas, this study selected seven representative construction sites in Qingyuan city, China as empirical cases for field evaluation. In the experiment, the up-downwind method was adopted to monitor and collect TSP (total suspended particulate), PM10 and PM2.5 (particulate matter ≤10 µm and 2.5 µm in aerodynamic diameter, respectively) concentrations, meteorological data and construction activities of each site for 2 to 3 days and 18 h in a day. The results show that the average daily construction site makes the surrounding areas’ concentration of TSP, PM10 and PM2.5 increase by 42.24%, 19.76% and 16.27%, respectively. The proportion of TSP, PM10 and PM2.5 in building construction dust is 1, 0.239 and 0.116, respectively. The large diameter particulate matter was the major constituent and the distance of its influence was limited. In addition, construction vehicles were one of the main influencing factors for building construction dust. However, building construction dust was not significantly correlated with any single meteorological factor when it did not change too much. Findings of this research can provide a valuable basis for reducing the impact of building construction dust on surrounding areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improving the Impact of Green Construction Management on the Quality of Highway Engineering Projects
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1895; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071895 - 29 Mar 2019
Abstract
The implementation of green projects continues to encounter several challenges with regards to the project management techniques applied in different construction projects. This study aims to find out the relationship between green construction management and the quality of highway engineering projects, and to [...] Read more.
The implementation of green projects continues to encounter several challenges with regards to the project management techniques applied in different construction projects. This study aims to find out the relationship between green construction management and the quality of highway engineering projects, and to try to help innovators identify the best place to focus. This study adopted mixed research method where both quantitative and qualitative research approaches were used. The analysis techniques adopted included Pearson’s correlation, regression analysis, and Student’s t-test. The study found that the effect of financial issues, design codes and standards, and various risks will be the most effective green performance constructing strategies. It is revealed that there are eight determinants explained 77.5% of the variations in the quality of the highway engineering projects. The quality of highway engineering projects was expected to improve by 0.246 units for a unit change in the adoption of the green construction management. The research result will help stakeholders in improving the quality standards for highway engineering projects and help practitioners and experts in the construction project industry to better understand the relationship between green construction management and quality of highway engineering projects, and help them improve green construction management in an effort to promote sustainable development of project management. This research can be further studied in the future to expand the scope of data analysis to explain the differences in the level of social development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Recycled Plastic and Cork Waste for Structural Lightweight Concrete Production
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1876; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071876 - 28 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The use of waste materials as lightweight aggregates in concrete is highly recommended in seismic risk areas and environmentally recommended. However, reaching the strength needed for the concrete to be used structurally may be challenging. In this study four dosages were assayed: the [...] Read more.
The use of waste materials as lightweight aggregates in concrete is highly recommended in seismic risk areas and environmentally recommended. However, reaching the strength needed for the concrete to be used structurally may be challenging. In this study four dosages were assayed: the first two-specimen had high cement content (550 and 700 kg/m3 respectively), Nanosilica, fly ash and superplasticizer. These samples were high performance, reaching a strength of 100 MPa at 90 days. The other two mixtures were identical but replaced 48% of the aggregates with recycled lightweight aggregates (30% polypropylene, 18.5% cork). To estimate its strength and durability the mixtures were subjected to several tests. Compression strength, elasticity modulus, mercury intrusion porosimetry, carbonation, attack by chlorides, and penetration of water under pressure were analyzed. The compression strength and density of the lightweight mixtures were reduced 68% and 19% respectively; nonetheless, both retained valid levels for structural use (over 30 MPa at 90 days). Results, such as the total porosity between 9.83% and 17.75% or the chloride ion penetration between 8.6 and 5.9 mm, suggest that the durability of these concretes, including the lightweight ones, is bound to be very high thanks to a very low porosity and high resistance to chemical attacks. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multiobjective Mathematical Programming Model for the Optimization of End-of-Life Buildings’ Deconstruction and Demolition Processes
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1426; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051426 - 07 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Nowadays, construction and demolition waste management has become a critical process for the construction industry, as the specific waste stream poses important environmental issues and challenges. In the case of dismantling end-of-life buildings, the selection of the appropriate technique between deconstruction and conventional [...] Read more.
Nowadays, construction and demolition waste management has become a critical process for the construction industry, as the specific waste stream poses important environmental issues and challenges. In the case of dismantling end-of-life buildings, the selection of the appropriate technique between deconstruction and conventional demolition is a critical decision affecting the total volume and type of produced waste. Toward this effect, in this paper, a novel decision-making model for the optimization of end-of-life buildings’ deconstruction and demolition processes is proposed. The objective of the proposed model is the simultaneous and weighted optimization of the total cost and time for the completion of the deconstruction and demolition processes, taking into consideration economic, legislative, and environmental criteria. Finally, a demonstration of the application of the proposed model is presented via two specific case studies and by discussing a few interesting managerial insights. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Compressive Behavior of Sustainable Steel-FRP Composite Bars with Different Slenderness Ratios
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1118; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041118 - 20 Feb 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
This paper presents experimental studies on the compressive behavior of a sustainable steel-fiber reinforced composite bar (SFCB) under uniaxial compressive loading. The SFCB, combined with steel and fiber reinforced polymer (FRP), is expected to significantly enhance structural safety and sustainability. A new test [...] Read more.
This paper presents experimental studies on the compressive behavior of a sustainable steel-fiber reinforced composite bar (SFCB) under uniaxial compressive loading. The SFCB, combined with steel and fiber reinforced polymer (FRP), is expected to significantly enhance structural safety and sustainability. A new test method with LVDT and extensometer sensors was developed and verified through experiments to test the tensile and compressive behavior of the SFCB. Fifty-four specimens including SFCB and inner steel bar (ISB) with different slenderness ratios were tested. The test results indicated that the initial compressive elastic modulus of the SFCB was essentially the same as its initial tensile elastic modulus. The compressive yield load of the SFCB was essentially irrelevant to the slenderness ratio, and the ultimate compressive stress of the SFCBs varied inversely with the slenderness ratios. The squash load of the SFCB tended to be conservative for predicting the compressive yield load of the SFCB, while the equivalent critical global buckling load of the SFCB was much higher than its corresponding compressive yield load and ultimate load due to the inelastic buckling mechanism of the SFCB within the range of the equivalent slenderness ratios studied in this paper. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Feasibility of Using Modified Silty Clay and Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Board as the Subgrade Thermal Insulation Layer in a Seasonally Frozen Region, Northeast China
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 804; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030804 - 03 Feb 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
To achieve the purposes of storing industry solid wastes and enhancing subgrade stability in seasonally frozen regions, Structure III, which utilized the modified silty clay (SC) and extruded polystyrene (XPS) board as a novel subgrade thermal insulation layer (NSTIL), was presented. The above [...] Read more.
To achieve the purposes of storing industry solid wastes and enhancing subgrade stability in seasonally frozen regions, Structure III, which utilized the modified silty clay (SC) and extruded polystyrene (XPS) board as a novel subgrade thermal insulation layer (NSTIL), was presented. The above modified SC consisted of oil shale industry solid waste, fly ash and SC. In terms of environmental impact, the average single pollution index, the Nemerow integrated pollution index and national standards were carried out to estimate whether the modified SC could be used as a subgrade filler. These results show that, although the modified SC will produce pollution to the environmental background, the concentration of each hydrochemical constituent from the modified SC meets the corresponding national standards in China. In terms of the thermal insulation capability, the numerical simulation of coupling moisture and temperature was applied to analyze that of Structures I, II and III. The research results show that the numerical results of the Structure I are approximated to the official website information of Jilin province, indicating that the above numerical simulation is effective for coupling moisture and temperature of frozen soil. Both modified SC and NSTIL have the advantage of good thermal insulation property, but the thermal insulation property of the NSTIL is greater. Furthermore, the NSTIL at the top of the Structure III can protect the SC of the experimental road from the damage of frost heave. The research results are of great significance for reducing environmental pollution caused by oil shale industry solid waste and fly ash, increasing the utilization rate of industrial waste and enhancing the subgrade stability in seasonally frozen regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Particle Deposition Characteristics and Efficiency in Duct Air Flow over a Backward-Facing Step: Analysis of Influencing Factors
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 751; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030751 - 31 Jan 2019
Abstract
Dry deposition of airborne particles in duct air flow over a backward-facing step (BFS) is commonly encountered in built environments and energy engineering. However, the understanding of particle deposition characteristics in BFS flow remains insufficient. Thus, this study investigated particle deposition behaviors and [...] Read more.
Dry deposition of airborne particles in duct air flow over a backward-facing step (BFS) is commonly encountered in built environments and energy engineering. However, the understanding of particle deposition characteristics in BFS flow remains insufficient. Thus, this study investigated particle deposition behaviors and efficiency in BFS flow by using the Reynolds stress model and the discrete particle model. The influences of flow velocities, particle diameters, and duct expansion ratios on particle deposition characteristics were examined and analyzed. After numerical validation, particle deposition velocities, deposition efficiency, and deposition mechanisms in BFS duct flow were investigated in detail. The results showed that deposition velocity in BFS duct flow monotonically increases when particle diameter increases. Moreover, deposition velocity falls with increasing expansion ratio but rises with increasing air velocity. Deposition efficiency, the ratio of deposition velocity, and flow drag in a BFS duct is higher for small particles but lower for large particles as compared with a uniform duct. A higher particle deposition efficiency can be achieved by BFS with a smaller expansion ratio. The peak deposition efficiency can reach 33.6 times higher for 1-μm particles when the BFS expansion ratio is 4:3. Moreover, the “particle free zone” occurs for 50-μm particles in the BFS duct and is enlarged when the duct expansion ratio increases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Secondary Development and Application of Bio-Inspired Isolation System
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010278 - 08 Jan 2019
Abstract
Near-fault pulse motions will cause excessive and much larger base displacement in traditional isolated structures than common earthquake motions. The new isolation system inspired by the “sacrificial bonds and hidden length” biomechanics of an abalone shell can control the base displacement efficiently and [...] Read more.
Near-fault pulse motions will cause excessive and much larger base displacement in traditional isolated structures than common earthquake motions. The new isolation system inspired by the “sacrificial bonds and hidden length” biomechanics of an abalone shell can control the base displacement efficiently and reach almost the same vibration isolation efficiency as a semi-active control system. The current research is confined to the lumped mass model and cannot uncover the exact performance of isolators and structures in practical applications. A user subroutine is developed based on the interface of UEL in Abaqus. Subsequent verification has been done in both the lumped mass model and 3D complex model with Abaqus, Matlab/Simulink, and SAP2000. It can be revealed from the comparative results that the calculation accuracy of the secondary developed user subroutine can meet the demand of design and research. Full article
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