Topic Editors

School of Civil Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, China
School of Civil Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, China
Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology, Xi'an, China

Pathways to Sustainable Construction: Innovations in New Materials, Construction Techniques, and Management Practices

Abstract submission deadline
31 October 2024
Manuscript submission deadline
31 December 2024
Viewed by
20934

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce our upcoming topic on "Pathways to Sustainable Construction: Innovations in New Materials, Construction Techniques, and Management Practices." Given the significant environmental and social impact of the construction industry, it is imperative to develop more sustainable approaches to building and infrastructure development. This topic aims to highlight the latest innovations in materials, construction techniques, and management practices that can help achieve sustainable construction. We invite original research articles, reviews, and perspectives that investigate one or more of the following areas:

  • Innovations in new and sustainable materials for construction;
  • Efficient and environmentally friendly construction techniques and processes;
  • Sustainable management practices for construction projects;
  • Renewable energy and energy-efficient systems for buildings and infrastructure;
  • Sustainable design and planning strategies for buildings and infrastructure;
  • Life cycle assessment and environmental impact assessment of construction projects.

We encourage submissions from scholars, practitioners, and policymakers from diverse geographical and disciplinary backgrounds. All submissions will undergo rigorous peer review to ensure we collate high-quality and original research. We eagerly anticipate receiving your submissions and contributing to the advancement of the field of sustainable construction.

Dr. Yange Li
Dr. Huihua Chen
Dr. Lei Li
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • sustainable construction
  • new materials
  • construction techniques
  • management practices
  • green infrastructure
  • sustainable design

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Buildings
buildings
3.8 3.4 2011 14.6 Days CHF 2600 Submit
CivilEng
civileng
- 2.8 2020 37.7 Days CHF 1200 Submit
Construction Materials
constrmater
- - 2021 25.9 Days CHF 1000 Submit
Materials
materials
3.4 5.8 2008 13.9 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Sustainability
sustainability
3.9 6.8 2009 18.8 Days CHF 2400 Submit

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Published Papers (17 papers)

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14 pages, 1926 KiB  
Article
Study on Dynamic Characteristics of Long-Span Highway-Rail Double-Tower Cable-Stayed Bridge
by Shijie Guo, Yuhang Jiang, Wenli Zhang and Yong Zeng
Buildings 2024, 14(6), 1733; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14061733 - 9 Jun 2024
Viewed by 281
Abstract
The long-span dual-purpose highway-rail double-tower cable-stayed bridge has the characteristics of a large span and large load-bearing capacity. Compared with the traditional cable-stayed bridge, its wind resistance and seismic resistance are weaker, and the dynamic characteristics of the bridge are closely related to [...] Read more.
The long-span dual-purpose highway-rail double-tower cable-stayed bridge has the characteristics of a large span and large load-bearing capacity. Compared with the traditional cable-stayed bridge, its wind resistance and seismic resistance are weaker, and the dynamic characteristics of the bridge are closely related to the wind resistance and seismic bearing capacity of the bridge. This study investigated the influence of the variations of bridge member parameters on the dynamic characteristics of the bridge and then improved the dynamic characteristics of the bridge. To provide the necessary experimental theory for the research work of the long-span dual-purpose highway-rail double-tower cable-stayed bridges, this paper takes the world’s longest span of the dual-purpose highway-rail double-tower cable-stayed bridge as the background, using the finite element analysis software Midas Civil 2022 v1.2 to establish a three-dimensional model of the whole bridge by changing the steel truss beam stiffness, cable stiffness, pylon stiffness, and auxiliary pier position, as well as study the influence of parameter changes on the dynamic characteristics of the bridge. The results show that the dynamic characteristics of the bridge can be enhanced by increasing the stiffness of the steel truss beam, the cable, and the tower. The stiffness of the steel truss beam mainly affects the transverse bending stiffness and flexural coupling stiffness of the bridge. The influence of cable stiffness is weak. The tower stiffness can comprehensively affect the flexural stiffness and torsional stiffness of the bridge. The position of auxiliary piers should be determined comprehensively according to the site conditions. In practical engineering, the stiffness of components can be enhanced according to the weak links of bridges to improve the dynamic characteristics of bridges and save costs. Full article
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26 pages, 4287 KiB  
Systematic Review
Strength and Durability Properties of High-Volume Fly Ash (HVFA) Binders: A Systematic Review
by Desire Runganga, Felix Okonta and Innocent Musonda
CivilEng 2024, 5(2), 435-460; https://doi.org/10.3390/civileng5020022 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 617
Abstract
South Africa is endowed with a wealth of coal-fired power stations that can produce extremely high volumes of fly ash per year exceeding 34 million tonnes. The use of high-volume fly ash (HVFA) binders in the construction sector has the capacity to significantly [...] Read more.
South Africa is endowed with a wealth of coal-fired power stations that can produce extremely high volumes of fly ash per year exceeding 34 million tonnes. The use of high-volume fly ash (HVFA) binders in the construction sector has the capacity to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with traditional cement production and offset the carbon footprint of Eskom. The excessive production of fly ash by Eskom warrants the need for developing ultra-high-volume fly ash binders (UHVFA, fly ash/binder > 60 wt%). Nonetheless, fly ash (FA) replacement of cement is still largely limited to 35% regardless of more ambitious research indicating the potential to surpass 60%. In view of the urgent need for South Africa to offset and reduce its carbon footprint, this work reviews and summarises the literature on the performance of HVFA binders with a focus on two specific areas: (i) strength and (ii) durability. On HVFA binder strength, the focus is drawn on work that analysed the compressive strength, flexural strength, and split tensile strength. This review focuses on the extant literature analysing the durability of HVFA binders using various tests, including sorptivity, resistivity, permeability, tortuosity, rapid chloride penetration tests, resistance to sulphate attack, and microstructural analysis. As the FA content increases towards optima, i.e., 50–80%, the most indicative composite characteristics of the strength and durability properties are UCS (30–90 MPa) and permeability (low). This review reveals the leading methodologies, instrumentation, findings, challenges, and contradictions. Full article
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24 pages, 4454 KiB  
Article
A Review and Thermal Conductivity Experimental Program of Mattress Waste Material as Insulation in Building and Construction Systems
by Robert Haigh
Constr. Mater. 2024, 4(2), 401-424; https://doi.org/10.3390/constrmater4020022 - 29 Apr 2024
Viewed by 561
Abstract
The building and construction industry consumes a significant amount of natural resources alongside contributing to the generation of waste materials. Addressing the dual challenge of waste management and recycling in this sector is imperative. This study begins with a bibliometric assessment to identify [...] Read more.
The building and construction industry consumes a significant amount of natural resources alongside contributing to the generation of waste materials. Addressing the dual challenge of waste management and recycling in this sector is imperative. This study begins with a bibliometric assessment to identify waste materials used as insulation in building and construction systems. The assessment of 2627 publications revealed mattress waste materials were seldom considered. The aim of this research focuses on exploring alternative methods for repurposing mattress materials in construction, aiming to mitigate waste generation. While various materials are being recycled for building applications, this research emphasises the potential of incorporating recycled polyurethane foam (PUF) from mattresses as insulation products. A transient plane source (TPS) was employed to determine the thermal conductivity of waste mattress PUF obtained from a recycling plant in Victoria, Australia. The results exhibited promising thermal resistance, with a mean value of 0.053 Wm/K. However, optimal thermal performance was observed with increased thickness, suggesting that a thickness of 215mm aligns with industry standards for building fabric systems. Further research is required to comprehensively analyse moisture resistance and fire retardation of waste mattress materials. This paper presents key findings of current trends, limitations, and future research directions to the use of waste mattress PUF as an insulation material. Full article
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22 pages, 4060 KiB  
Article
Full-Scale Implementation of an Automated Connecting Device for Modular Construction
by Laurence Picard, Pierre Blanchet and André Bégin-Drolet
Buildings 2024, 14(2), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14020496 - 10 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1015
Abstract
Modular construction is characterized by assembling volumetric units on site. Once assembled on site, the structural integrity of modular buildings highly relies on connections that provide essential performance against critical loading conditions. Connections significantly impact field assembly activities, and previous research has highlighted [...] Read more.
Modular construction is characterized by assembling volumetric units on site. Once assembled on site, the structural integrity of modular buildings highly relies on connections that provide essential performance against critical loading conditions. Connections significantly impact field assembly activities, and previous research has highlighted the importance of their functional performance. In this study, the researchers focus on implementing automated connecting devices in a full-scale experimental project. It presents the implementation of a self-locking inter-modular connector and an investigation of the benefits and limitations of its application in modular building systems. This study also investigates the use of connectors as attachment points for modular handling and lifting. It evaluates the pros and cons of combining a single device’s connecting and lifting functions. The implementation of an automated connecting device in the building design process is covered as well as the evaluation of its impacts on architectural, structural, and functional considerations. Finally, the potential of automated connecting devices to improve modular building systems’ overall performance and efficiency is assessed, and guidelines are identified to facilitate their adoption. Full article
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17 pages, 2616 KiB  
Article
Establishment of an Environmental Impact Factor Database for Building Materials to Support Building Life Cycle Assessments in China
by Hyeong-Jae Jang, Seong-Jo Wang, Sung-Ho Tae and Peng-Fei Zheng
Buildings 2024, 14(1), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14010228 - 15 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 898
Abstract
The construction industry increasingly poses significant threats on the environment, highlighting the importance of developing life cycle assessments (LCAs). Research on building LCA databases has been carried out in many countries. However, in China, the absence of public data for environmental impact assessments [...] Read more.
The construction industry increasingly poses significant threats on the environment, highlighting the importance of developing life cycle assessments (LCAs). Research on building LCA databases has been carried out in many countries. However, in China, the absence of public data for environmental impact assessments poses significant challenges for building life cycle assessments (LCA). Therefore, this study aims to facilitate the life cycle assessment of buildings in China by comparing and analyzing databases from South Korea and the European Union. The goal is to establish a unit-based environmental impact database for Chinese building materials. Three environmental impact factors of ten major building materials in these three databases were compared and a basis for the inter-application of the databases was established. Based on the combination of the analysis results, the supplementation of the environmental impact factor database of building materials in China was proposed. In addition, a case study using a quantity take-off (QTO) for an actual building in China was performed to review the plan’s applicability. Full article
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12 pages, 2738 KiB  
Article
Optimizing Sustainability of Concrete Structures Using Tire-Derived Aggregates: A Performance Improvement Study
by Zeinab A. Younis and Maryam Nazari
CivilEng 2024, 5(1), 30-40; https://doi.org/10.3390/civileng5010002 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 960
Abstract
Tire-derived aggregate concrete (TDAC), or rubberized concrete, is gaining ground as an eco-friendly option in civil engineering. By substituting traditional coarse aggregates with recycled rubber tires, TDAC offers a greener choice with excellent energy absorption capabilities. This leads to robust structures and reduced [...] Read more.
Tire-derived aggregate concrete (TDAC), or rubberized concrete, is gaining ground as an eco-friendly option in civil engineering. By substituting traditional coarse aggregates with recycled rubber tires, TDAC offers a greener choice with excellent energy absorption capabilities. This leads to robust structures and reduced upkeep expenses. Nonetheless, TDAC’s lower strength than regular concrete requires a delicate balance between energy absorption and strength. This study investigates two enhancements to TDAC performance: (a) the impact of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution pretreatment and SikaLatex bonding agent addition on TDAC’s compressive strength, and (b) the use of varying water–cement ratios and superplasticizer to enhance TDAC’s mechanical properties. This study involves concrete cylinder compression tests and the creation of strength estimation equations. Results show that NaOH-treated tire-derived aggregate (TDA) boosts workability, increasing slump by 4.45 cm (1.75 in), yet does not significantly enhance compressive strength, causing a 34% reduction. Conversely, combining NaOH pretreatment with Sikalatex bonding agent enhances workability by 28% and boosts compressive strength by 21% at the same water-cement ratio. To optimize performance, it is advised to employ modified TDA concrete with a water–cement ratio under 0.34 and superplasticizer. These findings highlight the potential of modified TDA concrete in sustainable and seismic-resistant designs. Full article
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21 pages, 2382 KiB  
Article
Impact of Crushed Natural and Recycled Fine Aggregates on Fresh and Hardened Mortar Properties
by Sophie Burgmann and Wolfgang Breit
Constr. Mater. 2024, 4(1), 37-57; https://doi.org/10.3390/constrmater4010003 - 23 Dec 2023
Viewed by 628
Abstract
Increasing the amount of crushed natural and recycled fine aggregates in mortar and concrete can help to reduce depletion of resources and increase the recycling rate of construction and demolition waste. Differences in particle morphology influence fresh and hardened mortar and concrete properties. [...] Read more.
Increasing the amount of crushed natural and recycled fine aggregates in mortar and concrete can help to reduce depletion of resources and increase the recycling rate of construction and demolition waste. Differences in particle morphology influence fresh and hardened mortar and concrete properties. The quantitative assignment of this impact to specific characteristics, such as shape or angularity in differentiation to other mix design parameters, is currently scarcely known. Therefore, a multiple linear regression analysis was performed to investigate the impact of crushed natural and recycled fine particles on rheological and strength properties of mortar. The emphasis lies on the impact of differences in shape and angularity, which were quantified by the three-dimensional particle representation obtained from micro-computed tomography. A total of 160 mortar mixtures containing 5 sands of different origins and varying water-to-cement ratios, binder-to-aggregate ratios, and shapes of grading curves were produced. The results indicate that the particle shape and angularity of the crushed natural and recycled fine aggregates had a complex impact on fresh and hardened mortar properties and interacted with other mix design parameters. Careful composition of the aggregate fraction with respect to shape and angularity and their interaction with mix design parameters is necessary to maintain sufficient mortar properties. Full article
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21 pages, 2846 KiB  
Article
A New Method for Proportioning Sustainable, Economic, and Resilient Concrete
by Gokul Dev Vasudevan, Naga Pavan Vaddey and David Trejo
Constr. Mater. 2024, 4(1), 16-36; https://doi.org/10.3390/constrmater4010002 - 21 Dec 2023
Viewed by 620
Abstract
The ordinary Portland cement (OPC) component of concrete is the highest contributor to concrete’s cost and carbon footprint. Historically, code-writing organizations have required a high volume of paste in concrete mixtures by imposing minimum limits on the OPC content for a given application. [...] Read more.
The ordinary Portland cement (OPC) component of concrete is the highest contributor to concrete’s cost and carbon footprint. Historically, code-writing organizations have required a high volume of paste in concrete mixtures by imposing minimum limits on the OPC content for a given application. However, high paste contents can result in dimensional instability, higher costs, higher carbon footprints, and lower durability. Minimizing the OPC content in concrete can provide economic, durability, and sustainability benefits. This study hypothesizes that the amount of OPC required to achieve some required fresh and hardened characteristics is highly dependent on the aggregate characteristics, supplementary cementing material (SCM) characteristics, and proportions of these. Given this, this research proposes using the amount of voids in the aggregate system (AV), or more specifically the paste volume-to-aggregate void ratio (PV/AV); SCM reactivity; and the SCM replacement level as key parameters to proportion concrete mixtures with minimum OPC contents to meet sustainability, economic, and resilience (SER) requirements. A new mixture proportioning procedure, referred to here as the SER proportioning method, is developed in this study based on assessing AV and identifying an optimal PV/AV that satisfies the required concrete characteristics. The results show that implementing the SER mixture proportioning method and including SCMs, or more specifically off-spec fly ashes (OFAs), can lead to significant reductions in the paste content and associated reductions in the cost and embodied carbon footprint of concrete. Full article
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15 pages, 1964 KiB  
Article
Environmental Impacts of Reinforced Concrete Buildings: Comparing Common and Sustainable Materials: A Case Study
by Niyousha Fallah Chamasemani, Massih Kelishadi, Hasan Mostafaei, Mohammad Amin Dehghani Najvani and Mohammadreza Mashayekhi
Constr. Mater. 2024, 4(1), 1-15; https://doi.org/10.3390/constrmater4010001 - 19 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2272
Abstract
The world is currently grappling with the two critical issues of global warming and climate change, which are primarily caused by the emission of greenhouse gases. The construction industry and buildings significantly contribute to these emissions, accounting for roughly 40% of the total [...] Read more.
The world is currently grappling with the two critical issues of global warming and climate change, which are primarily caused by the emission of greenhouse gases. The construction industry and buildings significantly contribute to these emissions, accounting for roughly 40% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. In response to this pressing issue, environmental organizations and governments have pushed the construction industry to adopt environmentally friendly practices to reduce their carbon footprint. This has led to a greater emphasis on designing and planning sustainable buildings that are in line with the principles of sustainable development. Hence, it is imperative to evaluate buildings in terms of their greenhouse gas emissions and explore ways to reduce them. This research examines the impact of material selection on the carbon footprint of reinforced concrete buildings, aiming to reduce embodied carbon. For this purpose, two reinforced concrete buildings are designed for their embodied carbon to quantify their environmental impact. The first building employs commonly used materials such as ceramics, clay bricks, stone, and plaster. In contrast, the second building incorporates sustainable materials such as cork, plywood, and rockwool. According to the findings, using sustainable materials in the second building leads to a 41.0% reduction in the carbon footprint of the construction process. Additionally, using sustainable materials can mitigate pollution levels in the three categories of endangerment to human health, ecosystem pollution, and resource consumption by 31.4%, 23.7%, and 33.3%, respectively. Full article
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20 pages, 1357 KiB  
Review
TiO2-Based Mortars for Rendering Building Envelopes: A Review of the Surface Finishing for Sustainability
by Jéssica Deise Bersch, Roberta Picanço Casarin, Joana Maia, Angela Borges Masuero and Denise Carpena Coitinho Dal Molin
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16920; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416920 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 935
Abstract
Building envelopes coated with TiO2-based mortars benefit from depolluting, antibiological and self-cleaning effects. Therefore, photocatalytic renders are allies in the quest for sustainability in the built environment, potentially combatting atmospheric pollution, enhancing durability and reducing maintenance needs. Surface finishing characteristics of [...] Read more.
Building envelopes coated with TiO2-based mortars benefit from depolluting, antibiological and self-cleaning effects. Therefore, photocatalytic renders are allies in the quest for sustainability in the built environment, potentially combatting atmospheric pollution, enhancing durability and reducing maintenance needs. Surface finishing characteristics of the renders influence their photocatalytic efficiency and esthetic and functional properties. In this context, this study reviews the existing literature, focusing on proven surface-affecting parameters, the surface and color of TiO2-based mortars, to explore their impacts on photoactive behavior. The incorporation of TiO2 within an additional surface layer and its mixture into the mortar in bulk were observed for surface roughness. Mainly the addition of TiO2 during casting was identified in colored mortars. Generally, a moderate surface roughness led to better photoactivity; microroughness affected self-cleaning by facilitating dirt deposition. The interaction between the surface roughness and the photocatalytic layer affected the water contact angle, regarding superhydrophilicity or superhydrophobicity. The photoactivity of colored mortars with TiO2 depended on the color and amount of the added pigments, which influenced electron–hole recombination, physically occupied active sites or, on the other hand, led to a higher formation of reactive radicals. Surface finishing can thus be designed to enhance the photoactivity of TiO2-based mortars, which is fundamental for current climate concerns and emphasizes the need for life cycle assessments and environmental protection. Full article
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19 pages, 874 KiB  
Article
Seeking the Optimisation of Public Infrastructure Procurement with NEC4 ECC: A Peruvian Case Study
by Oscar Yabar-Ardiles, Carlos Sanchez-Carigga, Alain Jorge Espinoza Vigil, Milagros Socorro Guillén Málaga and Andreé Alexis Milón Zevallos
Buildings 2023, 13(11), 2828; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13112828 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 2564
Abstract
The modern civil engineering and construction sector requires collaborative work environments, learning and trust among all parties involved, qualities that are absent in the Peruvian reality. This study, which is based on an extensive literature review, investigates this challenge. The study reflects upon [...] Read more.
The modern civil engineering and construction sector requires collaborative work environments, learning and trust among all parties involved, qualities that are absent in the Peruvian reality. This study, which is based on an extensive literature review, investigates this challenge. The study reflects upon (i) the current situation of public works procurement in Peru and (ii) the New Engineering Contract (NEC), which has recently been implemented in Peruvian Special Public Infrastructure Projects. Comparisons are presented between the characteristics, documentation and roles of these two systems, with the purpose of understanding and representing the advantages, disadvantages and possibilities of integrating the good contractual management practices of the NEC4 Engineering and Construction Contract into the traditional Peruvian State Contracting Law (Ley de Contrataciones del Estado: LCE). The research is validated through the case study of a high-impact road infrastructure project in the city of Arequipa, Peru, which revealed five main deficiencies from Peruvian procurement processes which hinder good contractual management and, also, facilitated an initial assessment of the challenges and improvement opportunities in public infrastructure procurement. Thus, a contribution is made to closing the knowledge gap regarding the implementation of the NEC4 ECC in public sector works. Full article
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16 pages, 3054 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Properties and Hydration Degree of Magnesium Potassium Phosphate Cement Modified by Sintered Silt Ash
by Hongguang Zhang, Wenya Yang, Qiling Luo and Wu-Jian Long
Materials 2023, 16(21), 7010; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16217010 - 2 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1011
Abstract
The effective utilization rate of river-dredged silt was extremely low, and common disposal methods such as dumping it into the ocean have already threatened the ecological environment. To demonstrate that dredged silt can be used as a mineral admixture to modify magnesium potassium [...] Read more.
The effective utilization rate of river-dredged silt was extremely low, and common disposal methods such as dumping it into the ocean have already threatened the ecological environment. To demonstrate that dredged silt can be used as a mineral admixture to modify magnesium potassium phosphate cement (MKPC), the mechanical properties and hydration degree of sintered silt ash (SSA)-blended MKPC in the early stage of hydration were studied systematically in this paper, with MKPC as the reference group. The mechanical experiment results showed that in the process of increasing the SSA content to 25%, the compressive strength first increased and then decreased. Among the samples, the compressive strength of cement aged by 1d and 3d with 15% content was the highest, which increased by 11.5% and 17.2%, respectively, compared with the reference group. The setting time experiment found that with the increase in SSA content, the hydration reaction rate of MKPC slowed down significantly. Its effect of delaying hydration was most obvious when the SSA content was 10–15%. The X-ray diffraction pattern showed that there was no large amount of new crystalline substances formed in the hydration product. The results obtained by scanning electron microscopy show that the microstructure tended to be denser and the hydration products tended to be plump when the SSA content was in the range of 0–15%. The non-contact electrical resistivity experiment showed that the addition of SSA delayed the early hydration of MKPC. Combined with the above experiment results, it was found that when the content of SSA was less than 15%, it not only delayed the early hydration of MKPC, but also deepened its hydration degree. Full article
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16 pages, 520 KiB  
Article
Overcoming Barriers to the Adoption of Recycled Construction Materials: A Comprehensive PEST Analysis and Tailored Strategies
by Jun Geng, Yi Huang, Xiang Li and Yun Zhang
Sustainability 2023, 15(19), 14635; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151914635 - 9 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2158
Abstract
In the face of rampant urbanization, industrialization, and continuous advancements in construction technology, sustainable development in the construction industry becomes increasingly imperative. A promising avenue toward this sustainability is through the adoption of Recycled Construction Materials (RCMs), yet their widespread use remains complex [...] Read more.
In the face of rampant urbanization, industrialization, and continuous advancements in construction technology, sustainable development in the construction industry becomes increasingly imperative. A promising avenue toward this sustainability is through the adoption of Recycled Construction Materials (RCMs), yet their widespread use remains complex and filled with numerous barriers, signifying an urgent need for the systematic investigation of these obstacles. This study uniquely employs a qualitative PEST (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological) analysis to illuminate the intricate impediments to the adoption and promotion of RCMs. Data for this study were collected through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with a variety of experts in the field. The research identifies substantial barriers within each PEST category. Political factors include regulatory biases and limited funding for RCM research, while economic factors involve the higher costs and limited availability of RCMs. Social aspects revolve around public awareness, safety concerns, and resistance to change within the industry. Technological issues focus on the development, performance, and compatibility of RCMs, the slow innovation pace, and the absence of standardized guidelines. Additionally, this study stands out by suggesting strategic, context-specific recommendations aimed at surmounting these obstacles and further fostering the adoption of RCMs. The solutions proposed are intimately linked to the challenges identified, highlighting the practical value and relevance of this study for guiding future research and policy development in the face of ongoing advancements in construction technology. Full article
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24 pages, 5861 KiB  
Article
Reducing Rebar Cutting Waste and Rebar Usage of Beams: A Two-Stage Optimization Algorithm
by Daniel Darma Widjaja and Sunkuk Kim
Buildings 2023, 13(9), 2279; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13092279 - 7 Sep 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2215
Abstract
While various approaches have been developed to minimize rebar cutting waste, such as optimizing cutting patterns and the lap splice position, reducing rebar usage by minimizing the number of splices remains uninvestigated. In response to these issues, a two-stage optimization algorithm was developed [...] Read more.
While various approaches have been developed to minimize rebar cutting waste, such as optimizing cutting patterns and the lap splice position, reducing rebar usage by minimizing the number of splices remains uninvestigated. In response to these issues, a two-stage optimization algorithm was developed that prioritizes the use of special-length rebar to achieve a near-zero rebar cutting waste (N0RCW) of less than 1%, while also reducing overall rebar usage. The two-stage algorithm first optimizes the lap splice position for continuous rebar considering the use of a special-length rebar, which reduces the number of splices required. It then integrates a special-length minimization algorithm to combine the additional rebar. The algorithm was applied to beam structures in a small-sized factory building project, and it resulted in a notable reduction of 29.624 tons of rebar, equivalent to 12.31% of the total purchased quantity. Greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by 102.68 tons, and associated costs decreased by USD 30,256. A rebar cutting waste of 0.93%, which is near zero, was achieved. These findings highlight the significant potential of the proposed algorithm for reducing rebar waste and facilitating sustainable construction practices. The algorithm is also applicable to other reinforced concrete projects, where the associated advantages will be amplified accordingly. Full article
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17 pages, 2091 KiB  
Article
Effect of Chemical Admixtures on the Working Performance and Mechanical Properties of Cement-Based Self-Leveling Mortar
by Yemin Wang, Jiaming Wu, Lei Su, Zizhuo Zhang, Zhenxing Wang, Tianyu Lei, Xiaolei Lu and Zhengmao Ye
Buildings 2023, 13(9), 2248; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13092248 - 5 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1102
Abstract
In this work, the effect of cellulose ether (CE), tartaric acid (TA), and polycarboxylate superplasticizer (PCE) on the working performance and mechanical properties of cement-based self-leveling mortar is investigated. According to the orthogonal experiment analysis, TA is identified as the most influential factor [...] Read more.
In this work, the effect of cellulose ether (CE), tartaric acid (TA), and polycarboxylate superplasticizer (PCE) on the working performance and mechanical properties of cement-based self-leveling mortar is investigated. According to the orthogonal experiment analysis, TA is identified as the most influential factor affecting the working performance, as indicated by factors such as fluidity, fluidity loss, and viscosity. Upon conducting a comprehensive assessment of the working performance and mechanical properties, the optimal parameters are found to be CE = 0.6 wt.‰, TA = 0.5 wt.‰, and PCE = 2.0 wt.‰. A univariate test highlights that that the working performance improves with the higher TA dosages. Specifically, the exponential reduction of fluidity loss corresponds with an increased TA content. Regarding the mechanical properties of cement-based self-leveling mortar, the compressive and flexural strength exhibit enhancement when the TA dosage remains below 0.4 wt.‰ at the early stage, implying that TA has some influence on the hydration process. Impressively, the 1 d compressive and flexural strengths surpass 7 MPa and 2 MPa, respectively, ensuring the viability of subsequent construction activities. Through an analysis of hydration heat, the effect mechanism of TA on the cement-based self-leveling mortar is derived. The result shows that the addition of TA decelerates the hydration process within the initial 10 h, followed by acceleration in the subsequent 20 h to 30 h. Consequently, this delayed formation of the early hydration product, ettringite, contributes to a more porous structure in the slurry, with low friction leading to a better working performance. A large number of hydration products, such as alumina gel and calcium–silicon–hydrate gel, presented in the hardened paste results in the good mechanical properties at 1 d. This study may lay a foundation for the optimization of the dosage of chemical admixtures in the self-leveling mortar and high-performance cement-based materials, and also impart valuable insights for practical applications extending to the realm of building construction and decoration. Full article
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15 pages, 2190 KiB  
Article
Unraveling the U-Shaped Linkage: Population Aging and Carbon Efficiency in the Construction Industry
by Su Yang, Jie Shen, Hongyang Li, Beibei Zhang, Jinchao Ma and Baoquan Cheng
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13212; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713212 - 3 Sep 2023
Viewed by 828
Abstract
In pursuing low-carbon solutions in the construction sector, it is critically essential to unravel the intricate nexus between population aging and carbon emission efficiency (CEE). This research investigates this complex association utilizing provincial panel data from 2004 to 2020. Through the application of [...] Read more.
In pursuing low-carbon solutions in the construction sector, it is critically essential to unravel the intricate nexus between population aging and carbon emission efficiency (CEE). This research investigates this complex association utilizing provincial panel data from 2004 to 2020. Through the application of the super-efficient Slack-Based Measure and Malmquist–Luenberger (SBM-ML) model, the study quantifies the construction industry’s CEE, followed by using a fixed-effect model to assess population aging’s impact on CEE in the construction industry. Our study reveals a distinct “U”-shaped pattern, illustrating that population aging initially depresses but eventually amplifies CEE in the construction industry. We also observe marked regional disparities. For instance, the construction sectors in the eastern and northern regions show a rising trend, counteracting the initial decline in CEE due to aging. However, the central western and southern regions need more pronounced aging progression to experience comparable CEE improvement. These findings underscore the critical role of regional contexts and demographic transitions in shaping the CEE in the construction industry, providing valuable insights for crafting sustainable policies aiming at balanced population mobility and carbon neutrality. Full article
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19 pages, 7404 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Properties of Full-Scale UHPC-Filled Steel Tube Composite Columns under Axial Load
by Baoquan Cheng, Weichen Wang, Junhua Li, Jianling Huang and Huihua Chen
Materials 2023, 16(13), 4860; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16134860 - 6 Jul 2023
Viewed by 865
Abstract
In the realm of civil engineering, ultra-high-performance concrete-filled steel tube composite columns (UCFSTCs) constitute a new type of building material and structure, exhibiting high compressive strength and commendable durability. Given their promising characteristics, the prospects of their application are highly promising and are [...] Read more.
In the realm of civil engineering, ultra-high-performance concrete-filled steel tube composite columns (UCFSTCs) constitute a new type of building material and structure, exhibiting high compressive strength and commendable durability. Given their promising characteristics, the prospects of their application are highly promising and are worthy of further exploration. However, current research has primarily focused on scaled-down specimens, thereby limiting a broader understanding of UCFSTCs’ full-scale mechanical properties in real-world scenarios. This study aimed to investigate the mechanical properties of full-scale UHPC-filled steel tube composite columns (FUCFSTCs) in practical engineering applications. With the steel tube strength, steel tube thickness, concrete strength, aspect ratio, and steel tube diameter used as design parameters and the finite element software ABAQUS as the analytical tool, a total of 21 FUCFSTCs were designed and analyzed. Through a comparison with experimental curves, the rationality of both the material constitutive model and finite element model was verified, and the maximum error was 6.54%. Furthermore, this study analyzed the influence of different design parameters on FUCFSTCs’ ultimate bearing capacity, ductility coefficient, and the stress–strain relationship of their concrete. The ductility coefficient remained around 1.3, and the cross-sectional size had the greatest impact on the bearing capacity of the composite column, with a maximum increase of 145.90%. Additionally, this paper provides an in-depth analysis of FUCFSTCs’ mechanical behavior, failure mode, and stress process under an axial load. In conclusion, this research proposes an axial compression limit bearing capacity formula for FUCFSTCs via statistical regression, with a maximum error of 3.04%, meeting engineering accuracy requirements. Consequently, this study lays a strong foundation for the future application of FUCFSTCs in practical engineering. Full article
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