Advanced Technologies for Successful and Sustainable Construction and Maintenance Projects

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309). This special issue belongs to the section "Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2024) | Viewed by 12224

Special Issue Editor


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Engineering, International Hellenic University, 57 400 Sindos, Greece
Interests: public works contract procurement; contract management and claims management; multi-criteria decision making; project planning; construction cost estimation; project procurement systems; construction supply chain management; safety and risk management in construction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

What constitutes a successful project? The recent debate on this question refutes the well-known “iron triangle” to include more factors other than cost, time and quality, such as safety, environmental impact, and client and user satisfaction. Similarly, the environmental concerns of recent decades have posed the question what is a sustainable project? It is well known that factors gravely contributing to climate change and global warming during construction are increased levels of carbon emissions and other atmospheric pollutants, waste generation and natural resource consumption. Therefore, construction projects that cause the least detrimental effect on the environment can be considered sustainable. These can be projects that encompass environmentally friendly construction materials and techniques during their initial construction as well as ecological retrofitting methods and materials during operation. Environmental protection issues augment the complexity of construction and maintenance projects, thus resulting in a greater need for new advanced management and decision-making tools and techniques.

This Special Issue aims at showcasing recent academic and industrial developments for successful and sustainable project management through the whole life cycle of construction projects. Specific topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Project success prediction and project failure analysis;
  • Green construction methods and materials;
  • Circular economy in construction;
  • Lean construction techniques;
  • Application of robotics and automation in construction;
  • New approaches to project planning, budget estimating, cost control, quality control and construction safety assurance;
  • Risk management;
  • Multicriteria decision-making in construction and maintenance projects;
  • Sustainable procurement and contract management;
  • Supply chain management in construction and maintenance;
  • Successful claim management;
  • New skills and leadership qualities for successful construction projects;
  • Digital transformation of construction processes and organizations.

Dr. Fani Antoniou
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (10 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

18 pages, 1526 KiB  
Article
A Final Cost Estimating Model for Building Renovation Projects
by Vasso E. Papadimitriou and Georgios N. Aretoulis
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1072; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041072 - 12 Apr 2024
Viewed by 195
Abstract
The construction sector in Greece has been developing radically in the field of building renovations. The foremost problem for projects in the building construction industry is producing an accurate and reliable cost estimate at the onset of construction. The artificial neural network (AΝΝ) [...] Read more.
The construction sector in Greece has been developing radically in the field of building renovations. The foremost problem for projects in the building construction industry is producing an accurate and reliable cost estimate at the onset of construction. The artificial neural network (AΝΝ) approach, using data available at the early stages of the project, can help resolve or prevent any kind of difficulty that could make the successful completion of a building less likely. ANNs have been highly efficient in gaining results which could prevent the failure of building constructions projects. The ultimate goal is to highlight the usefulness of the adoption of ANNs models to predict the final cost of a building renovation project. Thus, construction companies could avoid financial failure, provided that the gap between cost prediction and final cost for renovation projects is minimized. This paper presents an artificial neural network (ANN) approach for predicting renovation costs in Greek construction projects. The study, based on a comprehensive literature review and real renovation data from construction companies, employs IBM SPSS Statistics software to build, train, and test the ANN model. The model, which uses initial cost, estimated time, and initial demolition cost as inputs, is based on the radial basis function procedure. The model presents high performance with up to 2% sum of squares error and near zero relative error, demonstrating the ANN’s effectiveness in estimating total renovation costs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 2670 KiB  
Article
Integrating Combination Weighting of Game Theory and Fuzzy Comprehensive Evaluation for Selecting Deep Foundation Pit Support Scheme
by Tianlu Jin, Peixing Zhang, Yuanda Niu and Xiaofeng Lv
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030619 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 448
Abstract
Deep foundation pit support systems are important for reducing construction risks, to ensure the effectiveness and safety of support engineering, so the selection of a suitable support program is the inevitable requirement for the smooth construction of a foundation pit project. In order [...] Read more.
Deep foundation pit support systems are important for reducing construction risks, to ensure the effectiveness and safety of support engineering, so the selection of a suitable support program is the inevitable requirement for the smooth construction of a foundation pit project. In order to improve the rationality of the support scheme, the analytic hierarchy process and the improved Entropy method are comprehensively used to determine the subjective and objective weights of the indexes, and the comprehensive weights are corrected based on the idea of game theory. Subsequently, fuzzy comprehensive evaluation is used for scheme selection, thereby constructing a model for optimizing deep foundation pit support schemes. The model is applied to a municipal pipe gallery project in Area A and the optimal support scheme is determined to be the soil nail wall and supporting piles and anchor ropes. The safety of the support scheme and the effectiveness of the selection model are verified through simulation and construction monitoring. Practice has proved the applicability and superiority of the model in dealing with construction projects characterized by ambiguity and insufficient data. In addition, the advantages and disadvantages of the mainstream evaluation methods of the current deep foundation pit support selection, applicable situations, and the influence mechanism of the geological environment are discussed in this paper, which helps to establish a more comprehensive framework for the selection of the support schemes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 2585 KiB  
Article
Synergies and Challenges: Exploring Organizational Perspectives on Digital Transformation and Sustainable Development in the Context of Skills and Education
by Georgios Tsaples, Jason Papathanasiou and Dimitra Manou
Buildings 2024, 14(2), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14020395 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 508
Abstract
The discourse surrounding digital transformation (DT) and sustainable development (SD) is pervasive in contemporary business and organizational operations, with both processes considered indispensable for sustainability. The success or failure of these endeavors hinges significantly on factors such as the behavior and skill sets [...] Read more.
The discourse surrounding digital transformation (DT) and sustainable development (SD) is pervasive in contemporary business and organizational operations, with both processes considered indispensable for sustainability. The success or failure of these endeavors hinges significantly on factors such as the behavior and skill sets of individuals within organizations. Thus, the purpose of the paper is twofold: to investigate the perceptions of organizations on digital transformation and sustainable development with regards to skills and education, and, secondly, to use the insights from these perceptions as a starting point for the use of systems thinking as a tool that could assist in achieving these states. To achieve the objective, a research effort was conducted that included desktop research, interviews with experts, and the development of a survey that was disseminated across Europe with questions on digital transformation and sustainable development. Finally, a general causal loop diagram was designed, illustrating the processes of digital transformation and sustainable development within organizations from a top-down view. The study reveals commonalities between DT and SD, recognizing both processes as advantageous with shared deficiencies in specific skill sets. It highlights a synergistic relationship between initiating DT and fostering SD activities. Furthermore, the research underscores the temporal aspects of these processes, acknowledging delayed positive effects and immediate implementation costs that challenge decision-makers to balance long-term benefits with short-term viability. In conclusion, the exploration emphasizes the dynamic nature of DT and SD, urging continual attention to the evolving landscape and the imperative for a shared understanding within organizational contexts. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 790 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Delay, Cost, and Quality Risks of Claims on Construction Contract Performance
by Fani Antoniou and Alexandra Vassiliki Tsioulpa
Buildings 2024, 14(2), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14020333 - 25 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 904
Abstract
Conflicts are frequent within the complex professional environment of the construction industry. If claims cannot be overcome amicably, they result in disputes that lead to litigation. Identification of the causes of these claims and their impact on the duration, cost, and quality of [...] Read more.
Conflicts are frequent within the complex professional environment of the construction industry. If claims cannot be overcome amicably, they result in disputes that lead to litigation. Identification of the causes of these claims and their impact on the duration, cost, and quality of the final project is expected to facilitate the prevention of unsuccessful performance of construction contracts. The novelty of this study is that after codifying the most common causes of construction contract claims derived from the extant literature, they are further investigated in terms of their probability of occurrence and the perceived impact they have on the project completion time, its total cost, and quality. Based on calculated relative importance indices from expert opinion, this paper proposes probability and severity of impact values for 39 common causes of claims in the construction industry. These can be applied to calculate their risk values for stakeholders in public construction contracts to plan mitigation measures for contractual claims. The findings show that the top five highest risk causes of contractual claims in the Greek construction industry are changes in quantities, work, or scope, design quality deficiencies or errors, payment delays, delays in work progress, and the financial failure of the contractor. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

24 pages, 1107 KiB  
Article
Definition of Compliance Criterion Weights for Bridge Construction Method Selection and Their Application in Real Projects
by Nikolaos Tegos, Ilias Papadopoulos and Georgios Aretoulis
Buildings 2023, 13(11), 2891; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13112891 - 19 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1444
Abstract
The main research purpose of the present paper is the establishment of certain compliance criteria, applied for the selection of the most appropriate, per case, bridge construction method, as well as the definition of the weights of these criteria. The five basic concrete [...] Read more.
The main research purpose of the present paper is the establishment of certain compliance criteria, applied for the selection of the most appropriate, per case, bridge construction method, as well as the definition of the weights of these criteria. The five basic concrete bridge construction methods considered in this study are: Cast-in-place, Precast I-Girder, Incremental Launching, Advanced Shoring, and Balanced Cantilever. In this context, the choice of construction method in a concrete road bridge project is proposed based on seven compliance criteria which are: safety, economy, durability, construction speed, serviceability, aesthetics, and environmental harmonization. The inclusion of all these criteria is achieved via the decision-making tool of multi-criteria analysis. A notable innovation of the current study is that road bridges are divided into three categories (bridges for highways, national roads, and provincial roads), in accordance with the importance of the road that contains them. Thus, three different sets of weights of criteria are calculated, corresponding to each bridge category. The research method used for this purpose was a structured questionnaire that was distributed to a large number of selected experts in the field of bridges, who come either from academia or the construction industry. The research results showed that the criteria of safety and economy are the most significant according to the experts, while aspects such as the correlations between experts’ profile and their weights were also considered. Finally, the derived criterion weights were applied to two case studies of real bridge projects in Greece. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

29 pages, 14144 KiB  
Article
Machine-Learning-Based Consumption Estimation of Prestressed Steel for Prestressed Concrete Bridge Construction
by Miljan Kovačević and Fani Antoniou
Buildings 2023, 13(5), 1187; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13051187 - 29 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1336
Abstract
Accurate prediction of the prestressed steel amount is essential for a concrete-road bridge’s successful design, construction, and long-term performance. Predicting the amount of steel required can help optimize the design and construction process, and also help project managers and engineers estimate the overall [...] Read more.
Accurate prediction of the prestressed steel amount is essential for a concrete-road bridge’s successful design, construction, and long-term performance. Predicting the amount of steel required can help optimize the design and construction process, and also help project managers and engineers estimate the overall cost of the project more accurately. The prediction model was developed using data from 74 constructed bridges along Serbia’s Corridor X. The study examined operationally applicable models that do not require indepth modeling expertise to be used in practice. Neural networks (NN) models based on regression trees (RT) and genetic programming (GP) models were analyzed. In this work, for the first time, the method of multicriteria compromise ranking was applied to find the optimal model for the prediction of prestressed steel in prestressed concrete bridges. The optival model based on GP was determined using the VIKOR method of multicriteria optimization; the accuracy of which is expressed through the MAPE criterion is 9.16%. A significant average share of 46.11% of the costs related to steelworks, in relation to the total costs, indicates that the model developed in the paper can also be used for the implicit estimation of construction costs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 4824 KiB  
Article
Productivity Analysis and Associated Risks in Steel Structures
by Kleopatra Petroutsatou and Dimitrios Kantilierakis
Buildings 2023, 13(4), 905; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13040905 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1817
Abstract
Construction can be analyzed at industry, firm, project, and activity/task levels. Given that there are differences between the concepts of productivity and uses of productivity data, depending on the level of analysis, there is no single meaning of construction productivity, except of an [...] Read more.
Construction can be analyzed at industry, firm, project, and activity/task levels. Given that there are differences between the concepts of productivity and uses of productivity data, depending on the level of analysis, there is no single meaning of construction productivity, except of an output/input ratio. Furthermore, there is little knowledge in the extant literature about steel structure productivity, sustainability, and risks. Moreover, through the investigation of the grey literature, i.e., the national or European reports on construction productivity, the indexes given are at aggregate levels. This paper aims to fill this gap and provide a holistic approach to the levels of productivity, sustainability, and the risks involved in the construction process in several steel structure types from similar projects constructed by a company that has operated within the field of steel structures for several decades. From a homogeneous database of 71 steel structure projects constructed in the last decade, several curves are derived concerning productivity per work phase. For this research, productivity is construed as a ratio of output/(cycle time). Through a literature review and interviews with experienced site engineers, a risk registry was compiled by the authors concerning sixteen (16) risks encountered in the construction process. The TOPSIS multi-criteria analysis program is used for the prioritization of risks and the @RISK program for the probabilistic cost analysis of the identified risks. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 5031 KiB  
Article
High Indoor Rn Concentration Mitigation in a Heritage Building: Case Study Analysis of the Applied Constructive Measures
by Leonel J. R. Nunes and António Curado
Buildings 2023, 13(1), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13010136 - 04 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1053
Abstract
Indoor radon (Rn) concentration is pointed out by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the second leading cause of lung cancer. Adopting mitigation measures based on ventilation procedures is an effective solution for most cases. However, the occurrence of abnormal concentrations of indoor [...] Read more.
Indoor radon (Rn) concentration is pointed out by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the second leading cause of lung cancer. Adopting mitigation measures based on ventilation procedures is an effective solution for most cases. However, the occurrence of abnormal concentrations of indoor Rn in heritage buildings, where most interventions are restricted, may lead to alternative remediation techniques. In these cases, constructive mitigation measures, such as the use of barrier membranes on the floor or specific coating mortars on the walls, can be adequate solutions. In the current investigation, two constructive measures were applied and analyzed sequentially. The preliminary long-term monitoring campaign registered extremely high indoor Rn concentration measurements. The application of a barrier membrane covering the floor of the test compartment allowed a 90% reduction in the average Rn concentration, but it nevertheless remained substantially above the recommended value of 300 Bq·m−3. Subsequently, a coating mortar was applied on the walls. The combined measures contributed to a total reduction of 94% in the average indoor Rn concentration, which remains slightly above the recommended exposure limit. Despite the verified reduction and the apparent effectiveness of the measures, it is still necessary to carry out more monitoring campaigns to test their general applicability. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 10620 KiB  
Article
Confined Spaces in Buildings with High Indoor Radon Concentration: A Case Study Analysis with the Application of Constructive Remediation Measures
by Leonel J. R. Nunes and António Curado
Buildings 2023, 13(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13010049 - 25 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1553
Abstract
Radon is an increasingly common concern, mainly when it is found indoors exposing the users of the space to radiation. As a gas, radon is an element produced due to uranium decay; it emanates naturally from soil and is considered by the World [...] Read more.
Radon is an increasingly common concern, mainly when it is found indoors exposing the users of the space to radiation. As a gas, radon is an element produced due to uranium decay; it emanates naturally from soil and is considered by the World Health Organization as the second most common cause of lung cancer. Several methodologies are available for mitigating the indoor radon concentration, with distinct improvements and efficiencies that need to be proved with on-site testing. The case study here presented analyzes the effect of applying a barrier membrane, covering the pavement of a ground floor room located in a historic building with a high occupancy rate, on an abnormal radon concentration evidenced by experimental data. After the barrier membrane installation, a new long-term monitoring campaign (3 months) was carried out to assess indoor radon concentration. The obtained results showed that the barrier membrane lowered the indoor radon concentration by 90%. However, the radon exposure level remained higher than the recommended level to enable safe occupation and the regular use of space. Nevertheless, as the reduction in the radon concentration was very significant by the adoption of a barrier membrane, the combination of this technical solution with other mitigation methodologies, namely including the adoption of mechanical ventilation procedures, can become a very efficient solution for radon remediation, reducing the number of air changes per hour (ACH) from 30–60 to 4–6. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 329 KiB  
Article
Human–Robot Collaboration and Lean Waste Elimination: Conceptual Analogies and Practical Synergies in Industrialized Construction
by Marina Marinelli
Buildings 2022, 12(12), 2057; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12122057 - 23 Nov 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1948
Abstract
The presence of robots in industrial environments is a well-established reality in Industry 4.0 and an absolute necessity in Industry 5.0, with human–robot collaboration (HRC) at the paradigm’s core. Concurrently, lean production remains one of the most influential production paradigms, which strives to [...] Read more.
The presence of robots in industrial environments is a well-established reality in Industry 4.0 and an absolute necessity in Industry 5.0, with human–robot collaboration (HRC) at the paradigm’s core. Concurrently, lean production remains one of the most influential production paradigms, which strives to eliminate Muda (non-value adding activities), Mura (unevenness), and Muri (people overburdening). However, what conceptual analogies and practical synergies are there between the lean production paradigm and HRC, and how do other Industry 4.0 technologies support this interaction? This research aims to answer this question in the context of industrialized construction, an ideal implementation field for both those approaches. The constructive research methodology is used to showcase, through evidence from the literature, that HRC aimed at the improvement of ergonomics, safety and efficiency has a positive contribution towards the elimination of all the lean wastes, while technologies like AR, VR, wearables, sensors, cloud computing, machine-learning techniques and simulation are crucially important for the intuitiveness of the collaboration between the human and the robotic partner. This is, to the author’s best knowledge, the first attempt to systematically record the commonalities between Lean and HRC, thus enhancing the very limited construction literature related to HRC. Full article
Back to TopTop