Topic Editors

Prof. Dr. Víctor Yepes
Institute of Concrete Science and Technology (ICITECH), Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 València, Spain
Dr. Ignacio J. Navarro Martínez
Department of Construction Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain
Dr. Antonio J. Sánchez-Garrido
Department of Construction Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain

Advances in the Sustainability Assessment of Building and Infrastructure Projects

Abstract submission deadline
closed (31 December 2021)
Manuscript submission deadline
30 June 2022
Viewed by
11266

Topic Information

The goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development clearly point to a need for modernization and diversification in the upcoming urban models.  Climate change, social implications and economic viability, as well as cross-sectoral building and energy relationships in buildings and cities, are part of the challenges that the construction sector must rethink in the coming years.

This Special Topic aims to increase knowledge of sustainable design practices, exploring new construction solutions with techniques and materials that contribute to overcoming the challenges facing architecture and civil engineering. As designers, we must assume the responsibility to build and rehabilitate by optimizing resources and materials in all life-cycle phases, to ensure a balance between economic growth, environmental protection and social welfare. These objectives include, among others, the following:

  • Life cycle-oriented building and infrastructure design;
  • Inclusion of social impacts in the design of buildings and infrastructures;
  • Modern methods of construction;
  • Sustainable design and management of structures;
  • Safe, then circular: cradle to cradle;
  • Sustainable cities and society;
  • Design optimization based on sustainable indicators;
  • Building rehabilitation and service life extension of infrastructure;
  • The use of sustainable construction materials;
  • Decision-making processes that effectively integrate economic, environmental, and social aspects;
  • Design optimization based on sustainable criteria.

Papers selected for this Special Topic will be subject to a rigorous peer review procedure, with the aim of the rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments, and applications.

Keywords

  • Sustainable design and construction
  • Innovative construction
  • Construction technologies
  • Sustainable construction materials
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Social life cycle assessment (S-LCA)
  • Sustainability in decision making
  • Green buildings
  • Circular economy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Construction and demolition waste
  • Resilient structures
  • Multiobjective optimization for sustainable development

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Sustainability
sustainability
3.251 3.9 2009 17.6 Days 2000 CHF Submit
Buildings
buildings
2.648 4.2 2011 18.3 Days 1800 CHF Submit
Infrastructures
infrastructures
- 2.5 2016 12.9 Days 1600 CHF Submit
Technologies
technologies
- - 2013 14.5 Days 1400 CHF Submit
Urban Science
urbansci
- - 2017 22.3 Days 1200 CHF Submit

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Article
Application of Multi-Channel Convolutional Neural Network to Improve DEM Data in Urban Cities
Technologies 2022, 10(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies10030061 - 13 May 2022
Abstract
A digital elevation model (DEM) represents the topographic surface of the Earth and is an indispensable source of data in many applications, such as flood modeling, infrastructure design and land management. DEM data at high spatial resolution and high accuracy of elevation data [...] Read more.
A digital elevation model (DEM) represents the topographic surface of the Earth and is an indispensable source of data in many applications, such as flood modeling, infrastructure design and land management. DEM data at high spatial resolution and high accuracy of elevation data are not only costly and time-consuming to acquire but also often confidential. In this paper, we explore a cost-effective approach to derive good quality DEM data by applying a multi-channel convolutional neural network (CNN) to enhance free resources of available DEM data. Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data, multi-spectral imaging Sentinel-2, as well as Google satellite imagery were used as inputs to the CNN model. The CNN model was first trained using high-quality reference DEM data in a dense urban city—Nice, France—then validated on another site in Nice and finally tested in the Orchard Road area (Singapore), which is also an equally dense urban area in Singapore. The CNN model not only shows an impressive reduction in the root mean square error (RMSE) of 50% at validation site in Nice and 30% at the test site in Singapore, but also results in much clearer profiles of the land surface than input SRTM data. A comparison between CNN performance and that of an earlier conducted study using artificial neural networks (ANN) was conducted as well. The comparison within this limited study shows that CNN yields a more accurate DEM. Full article
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Article
Evaluating the Performance of Lateritic Soil Stabilized with Cement and Biomass Bottom Ash for Use as Pavement Materials
Infrastructures 2022, 7(5), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures7050066 - 29 Apr 2022
Abstract
From the perspective of sustainable waste management and its environmental impact, waste biomass bottom ash (BA) remains problematic and challenging to use as a recycling material for civil engineering infrastructures. This study evaluated the performance of lateritic soil (LS), stabilized with cement and [...] Read more.
From the perspective of sustainable waste management and its environmental impact, waste biomass bottom ash (BA) remains problematic and challenging to use as a recycling material for civil engineering infrastructures. This study evaluated the performance of lateritic soil (LS), stabilized with cement and biomass BA, as a subbase material. BA has been considered a replacement material in LS prior to the introduction of hydraulic cement stabilization means. The geotechnical engineering tests comprised the modified Proctor test, the California Bearing Ratio (CBR) test, and the unconfined compression test. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) tests were conducted to investigate the mineralogical properties of the stabilized soil samples. The leachate test was performed with a permeability mold to measure the release of heavy metals. Finally, the benefits of using the stabilized subbase material were assessed using the mechanistic–empirical (M–E) pavement design approach. Based on the results obtained, the strength and stiffness characteristics of the stabilized soils indicate that the efficiency of the mix satisfied the Thailand highway specification. The admixture of 80% BA and 5% cement is suggested for use as a soil–cement subbase material for flexible pavements, due to its good engineering and environmental properties. The results of the M–E design demonstrate the effectiveness of the stabilized soil presented herein. The study’s outcomes are predicted to promote the utilization of waste BA as a promising pavement material. Full article
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Article
Retrofitting Strategies Based on Orthogonal Array Testing to Develop Nearly Zero Energy Buildings
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4451; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084451 - 08 Apr 2022
Abstract
Retrofitting existing buildings to be a nearly zero energy building (nZEB) is an effective solution for greenhouse gas emissions and primary energy consumption reduction. A hybrid approach that integrates the building energy simulation method and orthogonal array testing (OAT) to renovate buildings to [...] Read more.
Retrofitting existing buildings to be a nearly zero energy building (nZEB) is an effective solution for greenhouse gas emissions and primary energy consumption reduction. A hybrid approach that integrates the building energy simulation method and orthogonal array testing (OAT) to renovate buildings to nZEB is proposed in this paper. Within a residential building in Changchun, Jilin of China, the total energy consumption index (TECI) and CO2 emission factor for heating are used as evaluation criteria. The reliability of the building energy model is validated and adopted to forecast the energy performance of different building renovation strategies. According to OAT, four passive measures can be ranked by their influence on TECI in descending order as follows: external wall heat transfer coefficient, airtightness, window heat transfer coefficient, and roof heat transfer coefficient. The optimal renovation solution of the studied building can reduce the TECI by 43.18% by only reducing the external wall heat transfer coefficient from 0.5 to 0.2 W/m2·K and the infiltration N50 from 3.6 to 0.4 ac/h. Besides, combined heat and power (CHP) utilities emit less CO2 than heat pumps in providing heating under the current CO2 emission factor of the power grid in China, making it impossible to give up district heating systems until carbon emissions of electricity generation have declined significantly. The results can provide a reference for the application of the nZEB standard in actual retrofitting projects. Full article
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Article
Impact of Hydrological Infrastructure Projects on Land Use/Cover and Socioeconomic Development in Arid Regions—Evidence from the Upper Atbara and Setit Dam Complex, Kassala, Eastern Sudan
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3422; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063422 - 15 Mar 2022
Abstract
In recent years, Africa has seen much construction of large-scale hydrological infrastructures in the arid and semi-arid regions of numerous countries. This paper aims to quantify the effects of this form of hydrological infrastructure, especially the Upper Atbara and Setit Dam Complex (UASDC) [...] Read more.
In recent years, Africa has seen much construction of large-scale hydrological infrastructures in the arid and semi-arid regions of numerous countries. This paper aims to quantify the effects of this form of hydrological infrastructure, especially the Upper Atbara and Setit Dam Complex (UASDC) in Eastern Sudan, on the land use/cover (LUC) and socioeconomic domains. This paper attempts to advance our understanding of this phenomenon by using multiple approaches. A framework using the integration of 3S technologies and a logical approach for quantifying the significance of the results to society has been developed. The method used Landsat5 TM in 2002, Sentinel2A in 2018, and statistical data to create the LUC map. The final map included seven classes; the overall accuracy of changes in LUC patterns was 94.9% in 2002 and 93% in the results reveal that significant changes occurred in terms of LUC, having a considerable effect on socio-economic development. The results were analyzed with the logical approach for overall objectives, where 85% represents S1, 3.3% represents S2, and 11.7% represents S3, respectively. This study provides an insight into further investigations of the dam’s effect on climate and groundwater, and offers a new perspective on land use prediction, simulation, and environmental sustainability. Full article
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Technical Note
To Expedite Roadway Identification and Damage Assessment in LiDAR 3D Imagery for Disaster Relief Public Assistance
Infrastructures 2022, 7(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures7030039 - 11 Mar 2022
Abstract
Aerial surveys using LiDAR systems can play a vital role in the quantitative assessment of infrastructure damage caused by hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters. GmAPD LiDAR provides high-resolution 3D point-cloud data which enables the surveyor to take accurate measurements of damages to [...] Read more.
Aerial surveys using LiDAR systems can play a vital role in the quantitative assessment of infrastructure damage caused by hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters. GmAPD LiDAR provides high-resolution 3D point-cloud data which enables the surveyor to take accurate measurements of damages to roads, buildings, communication towers, power lines, etc. Due to the high point cloud density, a very large volume of data is generated during an aerial survey. The data collected during the airborne imaging is post-processed with calibration, geo-registration, and segmentation. Albeit very accurate, extracting useful information from this data is a slow and laborious process. For disaster response, methods of automating this process have spurred the development of simple, fast algorithms that can be used to recognize physical structures from the point-cloud data that can later be assessed for structural damage. In this paper, we describe an efficient algorithm to extract roadways from a massive Lidar data-set to assist the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in assessing road conditions as a step toward helping surveyors expedite a quantitative assessment of road damages for providing and distributing public assistance for disaster relief. Full article
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Case Report
Monitoring and Calculation Study in Mediterranean Residential Spaces: Thermal Performance Comparison for the Winter Season
Buildings 2022, 12(3), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12030325 - 09 Mar 2022
Abstract
In cold regions, the reduction in envelope thermal transmittance is often the dominant parameter in ensuring thermal comfort in buildings. However, countries in warmer climates have also adopted this same strategy, often neglecting other parameters that are more influential in their respective climate [...] Read more.
In cold regions, the reduction in envelope thermal transmittance is often the dominant parameter in ensuring thermal comfort in buildings. However, countries in warmer climates have also adopted this same strategy, often neglecting other parameters that are more influential in their respective climate regions that can achieve thermal comfort. This study focuses on passive building strategies to ensure a building’s thermal comfort conditions in Mediterranean climates in the winter. This monitoring study compares two dwellings during the winter in Barcelona, Spain, in order to analyze the impact of not only the envelope’s thermal properties on indoor temperature, but also the role of other factors such as outdoor temperature and solar gains. The dwellings were built in different decades, each following distinct building technical codes, diverse construction techniques, and building materials. The methodology used in this study is based on thermal measurements, meteorological data, and spreadsheet calculations. Comparing these results with the recent updates in Spain’s technical code and other studies, the investigation demonstrates that to achieve a suitable indoor thermal temperature in a passive way, especially in Mediterranean climates, incorporating other factors such as the combination of thermal inertia and solar gains can be more effective than a strategy mainly focused on reducing thermal transmittance. This analysis demonstrates that a building’s thermal performance does not mainly depend on envelope thermal transmittance, but rather a complex system involving a set of variables such as thermal inertia as well as solar gains, based on parameters such as building orientation and urban context. Full article
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Article
BIM-Based Green Hospital Building Performance Pre-Evaluation: A Case Study
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2066; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042066 - 11 Feb 2022
Abstract
With ecological problems and energy crises intensifying today, greening is essential to sustainable development. Compared with other types of buildings, hospital buildings account for a relatively larger proportion of building energy consumption. In order to realize the rapid cycle optimization of a green [...] Read more.
With ecological problems and energy crises intensifying today, greening is essential to sustainable development. Compared with other types of buildings, hospital buildings account for a relatively larger proportion of building energy consumption. In order to realize the rapid cycle optimization of a green hospital project in the design stage and improve the green grade of the building, a pre-evaluation Building Information Model (BIM) of green hospital building performance was established in this study. Firstly, the literature review and expert consultation established the building performance pre-evaluation index system for green hospitals. Then, BIM technology is taken to extract data needed for building a performance pre-evaluation system, and the Cloud Model and the Matter–Element Extension Theory are used to build models. The final green grade calculation is realized in MATLAB. Finally, the Maluan Bay Hospital is taken as an example to test the applicability and effectiveness of the proposed model. The results show that the green hospital building performance pre-evaluation model has advantages of simulation, cyclic optimization and fuzzy quantification, which can effectively guide the design and construction of a green hospital. Full article
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Article
Numerical Analysis of Different Influencing Factors on the In-Plane Failure Mode of Unreinforced Masonry (URM) Structures
Buildings 2022, 12(2), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12020183 - 05 Feb 2022
Abstract
The research work herein presented is aimed at investigating the effects of different influencing factors on the in-plane failure mode of unreinforced masonry (URM) structures. Firstly, the in-plane stress failure criterion cited in this paper was introduced, and the corresponding judgment procedure was [...] Read more.
The research work herein presented is aimed at investigating the effects of different influencing factors on the in-plane failure mode of unreinforced masonry (URM) structures. Firstly, the in-plane stress failure criterion cited in this paper was introduced, and the corresponding judgment procedure was demonstrated. Then, various finite element models considering different influencing factors were established, which included the aspect ratio of pier (η), stiffness ratio of pier to spandrel (ρ) and vertical load (σ). Furthermore, the in-plane stress failure criterion that we introduced was used to evaluate the failure modes of each model. The main findings of the simulations were as follows: under the condition of (η ≤ 1.0), three failure modes emerged in all models, which included pier, mixed and spandrel failure modes, with the gradual increase in ρ. Once the value of η exceeded 1.0, all models exhibited the pier failure mode regardless of whether the value of ρ increased or decreased. Moreover, under the identical aspect ratio (η = 1.0), the failure modes of the models altered regularly with the increase in the value of σ (from 0.3 MPa to 0.6 MPa), which transferred from pier failure to mixed failure, and from mixed failure to spandrel failure. The research results not only provide theoretical reference for the design of new masonry buildings, but also provide technical guidance for the judgement and prediction of failure modes of existing masonry buildings. Full article
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Review
Global Prospects, Advance Technologies and Policies of Energy-Saving and Sustainable Building Systems: A Review
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1316; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031316 - 24 Jan 2022
Cited by 1
Abstract
Automation, modernization, economic development and global progress depends on efficient extraction and utilization of energy. Power generation by burning fossil fuels makes various adverse impacts on the environment. Additionally, the worldwide fossil fuel reserve is limited and depleting very fast. Hence, efficient energy [...] Read more.
Automation, modernization, economic development and global progress depends on efficient extraction and utilization of energy. Power generation by burning fossil fuels makes various adverse impacts on the environment. Additionally, the worldwide fossil fuel reserve is limited and depleting very fast. Hence, efficient energy usage and savings are crucial to address the environmental issues to ensure sustainable development. Buildings, both commercial and residential, represent a major energy consumption sector. Approximately 40% of the total energy is reportedly consumed in the building sector. Worldwide building energy consumption, performance measuring systems and best practices, energy-saving techniques and policies are reviewed and summarized in this article. Underfloor air distribution, double-glazed windows, use of highly efficient electric motors and variable speed drives may play a great role in reducing building energy consumption. In the UK, the application of double-glazed windows in commercial buildings can save 39–53% energy. The proper maintenance of a building’s central heating system can save up to 11% energy. The automatic HVAC control system can reduce up to 20% of the building’s total heating load. Proper utilization of a VSD system in motor and building performance optimization by an ANOVA tool also proved instrumental in saving energy. Apart from this, the building codes of different countries also help to improve building performance by reducing energy consumption. This study will help building researchers and policymakers to make a framework for sustainable, green building. Full article
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Article
The Impact of Design Interventions on Occupant Satisfaction: A Workplace Pre-and Post-Occupancy Evaluation Analysis
Sustainability 2021, 13(24), 13571; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132413571 - 08 Dec 2021
Abstract
Understanding how occupants perceive the built environment is a growing interest in sustainability research. This article looks into how design interventions in a workplace renovation project impact occupants’ satisfaction through a pre-and post-occupancy survey. In two years (from 2016 to 2018), an interdisciplinary [...] Read more.
Understanding how occupants perceive the built environment is a growing interest in sustainability research. This article looks into how design interventions in a workplace renovation project impact occupants’ satisfaction through a pre-and post-occupancy survey. In two years (from 2016 to 2018), an interdisciplinary research team from the University of Minnesota administered online occupancy surveys at the headquarters of the Cuningham Group, a national renowned design firm in Minnesota. The surveys included 12 indoor environmental quality categories (with 26 criteria on a 7-point Likert scale) that measured how occupants perceived their existing workplace and the renovated environment. Mann–Whitney U tests and Chi-square tests were conducted for 12 indoor environmental quality categories between the pre-and post-surveys. Results showed that occupants’ satisfaction significantly increased with the design interventions in the renovated workplace. Perceived work performance and health also improved in the post-survey. Among 12 indoor environmental quality categories, occupants perceived the biggest improvements in lighting such as adjustability and quality of task lighting. Design interventions in electric lighting, especially improved ease of control, effectiveness of automatic systems, plus visual and acoustic comfort, contributed to occupants’ satisfaction. Overall, the pre-and post-occupancy evaluation survey analysis confirmed the positive impact of the renovated Cuningham Group facility. The article presents a comprehensive measure of the impact of the data-driven design interventions derived from pre-and post-occupancy evaluation surveys on occupant satisfaction. Full article
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Article
Thermal Performance Optimization of Double and Triple Glazing Systems for Slovenian Climate Conditions
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11857; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111857 - 27 Oct 2021
Abstract
Glazing elements are an important part of the thermal envelope of a building. Therefore, good thermal performance of glazing elements can improve indoor comfort and reduce annual maintenance costs and CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions by reducing heat loss. Reducing heat loss through [...] Read more.
Glazing elements are an important part of the thermal envelope of a building. Therefore, good thermal performance of glazing elements can improve indoor comfort and reduce annual maintenance costs and CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions by reducing heat loss. Reducing heat loss through glazing elements during the heating season can be achieved by combining low thermal transmittance with high solar heat gain. Using standardized calculation methods and measured climate data for three Slovenian locations representing typical continental, mountainous and Mediterranean climates, this study predicts the best combination of optical properties (emissivity, transmittance and reflectance) of glass panes in double and triple glazing systems that contribute to minimal heat loss. It was found that for the double glazing system, the minimum heating and cooling demand for buildings with low solar gains or high solar gains and applied shading is achieved by an inner pane with high transmittance without low-emissivity coating, and an outer pane with low-emissivity coating with minimum possible emissivity. In Maribor and Portorož climatic zones, the panes with low emissivity coating should be used as inner panes in buildings with high solar gains. For triple glazing, the minimum heating and cooling requirements are achieved with two or three panes with low emissivity. For buildings with low solar gains, an emissivity of the coating of 0.03 is preferable, but for buildings with high solar gains, lower emissivity values should be used. Full article
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Article
Technological Innovation, Production Efficiency, and Sustainable Development: A Case Study from Shenzhen in China
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10827; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910827 - 29 Sep 2021
Abstract
Shenzhen is a national sustainable development innovation demonstration zone, with the theme of innovation leading the sustainable development of megacities. This manuscript studies technological innovation, production efficiency, and sustainable development and explores the impact of their relationship on Shenzhen. The benchmark test shows [...] Read more.
Shenzhen is a national sustainable development innovation demonstration zone, with the theme of innovation leading the sustainable development of megacities. This manuscript studies technological innovation, production efficiency, and sustainable development and explores the impact of their relationship on Shenzhen. The benchmark test shows a significant negative correlation between the inefficiency of production, labor levels, investment levels, technical levels, and socioeconomic status. From 2001 to 2019, the production efficiencies of 21 prefecture-level cities in Guangdong Province were used as the research object. The Cobb–Douglas production function conducted panel stochastic frontier analysis and TOBIT regression, and the conclusion was robust. The mechanism test found that the economic growth of Guangdong Province, including Shenzhen, is still dominated by labor and investment. Its production efficiency has been dramatically impacted after 2008, and the increase in production inefficiency may be affected by the crowding-out effect of a four-trillion investment. Finally, based on the Tobit regression, we found that the rise in the labor force, capital input, technological level, and socioeconomic development level could reduce Shenzhen’s production inefficiencies by 3.6%, 20.2%, 2.5%, and 4%, respectively. There is still a long way to achieve sustainable development; however, Shenzhen’s technological innovation and mega-city reform process will provide valuable insights for other regions. Full article
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Article
Earthquake Damage Repair Loss Estimation in New Zealand: What Other Variables Are Essential Based on Experts’ Opinions?
Buildings 2021, 11(9), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11090385 - 28 Aug 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Major earthquakes can cause extensive damage to buildings and alter both the natural and built environments. Accurately estimating the financial impact from these events is complex, and the damage is not always visible to the naked eye. PACT, SLAT, and HAZUS are some [...] Read more.
Major earthquakes can cause extensive damage to buildings and alter both the natural and built environments. Accurately estimating the financial impact from these events is complex, and the damage is not always visible to the naked eye. PACT, SLAT, and HAZUS are some of the computer-based tools designed to predict probable damage before an earthquake. However, there are no identifiable models built for post-earthquake use. This paper focuses on verifying the significance and usage of variables that specifically need to be considered for the post-earthquake cost estimation of earthquake damage repair work (CEEDRW). The research was conducted using a questionnaire survey involving 92 participants who have experience in cost estimating earthquake damage repair work in New Zealand. The Weighted Average, Relative Importance Index (RII), and Exploratory Factor Analysis were used to analyse the data. The research verified that eleven major variables that are significant to the CEEDRW and should be incorporated to cost estimation models. Verified variables can be used to develop a post-earthquake repair cost estimation tool and can be used to improve the pre-earthquake loss prediction tools. Full article
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Article
The Impact of Decommissioning Cemeteries on the Urban Ecosystem
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9303; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169303 - 19 Aug 2021
Abstract
The decommissioning of cemeteries noticeably transforms the urban fabric. The purpose of this article was to determine what impact the decommissioning of cemeteries has on the urban ecosystem. For this purpose, it was necessary to assess the value of cemeteries within the urban [...] Read more.
The decommissioning of cemeteries noticeably transforms the urban fabric. The purpose of this article was to determine what impact the decommissioning of cemeteries has on the urban ecosystem. For this purpose, it was necessary to assess the value of cemeteries within the urban ecosystem. Cemeteries are classified as urban green spaces, and their value as preservers of flora and fauna in local ecosystems has been proven. However, numerous decaying bodies in one place could have adverse effects on the environment. In order to assess the impact of transforming cemetery areas for other uses in the context of sustainable city development, it is necessary to define what these other functions might be. This article presents the main reasons for decommissioning cemeteries and links them with subsequent land use. The history of cemetery locations in five major Polish cities was analyzed to determine the extent to which cemeteries were decommissioned. In the two cities with the highest number of decommissioned cemeteries, further research was carried out in order to establish the typical land use of these former cemeteries, whether this usage is related to the size or type of the former cemetery, and whether change in land use is an advantage or a disadvantage for the urban ecosystem. Full article
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Article
Federated Digital Platforms: Value Chain Integration for Sustainable Infrastructure Planning and Delivery
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8996; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13168996 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Twenty-first century infrastructure needs to respond to changing demographics, becoming climate neutral, resilient, and economically affordable, while remaining a driver for development and shared prosperity. However, the infrastructure sector remains one of the least innovative and digitalized, plagued by delays, cost overruns, and [...] Read more.
Twenty-first century infrastructure needs to respond to changing demographics, becoming climate neutral, resilient, and economically affordable, while remaining a driver for development and shared prosperity. However, the infrastructure sector remains one of the least innovative and digitalized, plagued by delays, cost overruns, and benefit shortfalls. The authors assessed trends and barriers in the planning and delivery of infrastructure based on secondary research, qualitative interviews with internationally leading experts, and expert workshops. The analysis concludes that the root-cause of the industry’s problems is the prevailing fragmentation of the infrastructure value chain and a lacking long-term vision for infrastructure. To help overcome these challenges, an integration of the value chain is needed. The authors propose that this could be achieved through a use-case-based, as well as vision and governance-driven creation of federated digital platforms applied to infrastructure projects and outline a concept. Digital platforms enable full-lifecycle participation and responsible governance guided by a shared infrastructure vision. This paper has contributed as policy recommendation to the Group of Twenty (G20) in 2021. Full article
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Case Report
Case Study of an Automated Mower to Support Airport Sustainability
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8867; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13168867 - 08 Aug 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper documents a case study of an automated mower to support sustainability at an airport. Mowing is an essential component of an airport’s Wildlife Hazard Management Plan (WHMP), which reduces the risk of birds and other wildlife to aircraft operations. Many airports [...] Read more.
This paper documents a case study of an automated mower to support sustainability at an airport. Mowing is an essential component of an airport’s Wildlife Hazard Management Plan (WHMP), which reduces the risk of birds and other wildlife to aircraft operations. Many airports have large areas of land (hundreds or even thousands of acres), which requires significant resources to manage and mow; experience at the Purdue Airport (KLAF) suggests that automated mowing may support economic and environmental aspects of sustainability. Automated mowing supports economic efficiency by reducing personnel requirements, although personnel are still needed for inspections, maintenance, and “mower rescue” if there is a malfunction (technical or field issue). Automated mowing supports environmental impacts by reducing local emissions since the mower is powered by electricity rather than gasoline; this benefit would be increased with the use of solar-powered mowers. Automated mowing may not be viable everywhere, and factors such as terrain, access to available power, acreage, and location on the airfield (including proximity to protected areas) must be carefully considered. Although automated mowing will not completely replace traditional mowing in the near future, autonomous mowers in remote areas may be an appropriate practice to support airport sustainability. Full article
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