Application of Green Materials and Technology in the Construction Industry

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309). This special issue belongs to the section "Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2023) | Viewed by 15260

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
College of Civil Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
Interests: geotechnical engineering; granular materials; solid waste; geomechanics;sponge city technology
College of Civil Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
Interests: foundation engineering; numerical simulation; digital twin
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
College of Civil Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
Interests: road materials; polymer; nano materials; concrete; admixture

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

An increasing number of countries are committed to becoming “carbon-neutral”. In the context of the current times, the civil engineering industry is facing a series of severe challenges to meet the global goal of carbon neutrality, including tremendous resource consumption, waste disposal, and environmental pollution. Additionally, there is an urgent need to facilitate the application of green materials and technology in the construction industry. For example, industrial solid wastes have significant potential for utilization in various projects of civil engineering, which are attractive from a social and environmental perspective. Additionally, the innovation and economic building technologies for reducing carbon emissions also need to be advocated. The Special Issue is aimed at promoting the development and application of green materials and technology in the construction industry, establishing communication channels between civil engineers, researchers, and practitioners.

This Special Issue, " Application of Green Materials and Technology in the Construction Industry " in Buildings welcomes high-quality original research papers, which describe the most significant research in solid waste recycling, the application of green building materials, and the economic construction industry. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Sustainable or green materials for construction;
  • Energy-saving, economic, and carbon reduction of construction technology;
  • Integrated technique for construction materials, repair, and renovation in sustainable construction;
  • Recycling raw materials (construction and demolition waste, industrial waste) in building materials production;
  • Case studies in sustainable or green construction materials and technology.

Professor Liu warmly invites authors to submit their original papers for potential inclusion in this Special Issue on Application of Green Materials and Technology in the Construction Industry.

Prof. Dr. Xiaoming Liu
Dr. Xin Tan
Dr. Min Wang
Guest Editors

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.

Keywords

  • green material
  • construction technology
  • carbon reduction
  • solid waste
  • recycled material

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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21 pages, 10270 KiB  
Article
Interfacial Behavior of Slag, Fly Ash, and Red Mud-Based Geopolymer Mortar with Concrete Substrate: Mechanical Properties and Microstructure
by Qinghui Long, Yufei Zhao, Benben Zhang, Huichen Yang, Zhengdong Luo, Zhengyang Li, Genbao Zhang and Kun Liu
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030652 - 01 Mar 2024
Viewed by 648
Abstract
Geopolymer, as a new type of solid waste-based inorganic cementitious material, exhibits outstanding behavior in terms of physical and chemical performance, macromechanical properties, long-lasting stability, and features potential application development tendency in the field of repair and reinforcement of existing concrete structures. This [...] Read more.
Geopolymer, as a new type of solid waste-based inorganic cementitious material, exhibits outstanding behavior in terms of physical and chemical performance, macromechanical properties, long-lasting stability, and features potential application development tendency in the field of repair and reinforcement of existing concrete structures. This paper investigated the interfacial behavior of geopolymer mortar with OPC concrete substrate under different slag, fly ash and red mud mixing proportions, while cement mortar was used as a control group for the research. The interfacial bonding properties of the geopolymer mortar to the OPC concrete substrate were elaborated by carrying out split tensile test, double-sided shear test, and three-point bending test. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were employed to further analyze the microstructural characteristics and physical phase components of the interfacial transition zone between the geopolymer mortar and the OPC concrete substrate. The results indicated that the compressive strength of slag-fly ash-red mud-based geopolymer mortar under different mixing ratio conditions was consistently superior to that of cement mortar, where the optimum mixing ratio for the geopolymer mortar was S33F33R33. Overall, the interfacial bonding properties of the geopolymer mortar to the OPC concrete substrate gradually increased with the increment of the slag content, however, an evolutionary trend of minor enhancement followed by a gradual reduction was observed with the growth of the fly ash and red mud content. Full article
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16 pages, 7771 KiB  
Article
Effects of Particle Shape and Packing Density on the Mechanical Performance of Recycled Aggregates for Construction Purposes
by Xin Tan, Zhaohui Qiu, Xin Yin, Yuegang Hu, Xiaoming Liu and Lei Zeng
Buildings 2023, 13(9), 2153; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13092153 - 24 Aug 2023
Viewed by 722
Abstract
This paper employs the discrete element method (DEM) to study the mechanical properties of artificial crushed stone. Different grain shapes and gradations are considered, and three types of 3D artificial stone models are generated based on the statistical conclusions in the relevant literature [...] Read more.
This paper employs the discrete element method (DEM) to study the mechanical properties of artificial crushed stone. Different grain shapes and gradations are considered, and three types of 3D artificial stone models are generated based on the statistical conclusions in the relevant literature and the observed data. Concurrently, the 3D models of the artificial stones are divided into three groups by their shape parameters (elongation index and flatness index). Furthermore, three types of gradation with different Cu (coefficient of uniformity) and Cc (coefficient of curvature) are also considered. Then, several 3D triaxial compression tests are conducted with the numerical methods to determine the relationship between the grain shapes and their mechanical characteristics. The test results showed that there was a positive correlation between a particles’ angularities and the maximum deviatoric stress in the triaxial compression tests when there were obvious distinctions between the particles. In addition, gradations had a conspicuous impact on the stiffness of the sample. The stress–strain curve possessed a larger slope when the coefficient of curvature was bigger. In terms of shear strength, the results in this paper align well with the traditional shear strength envelope which are convincing for the dependability of the methods used in this paper. The radial deformation capacity and volume strain of the specimen during the triaxial compression tests are also examined. It is believed that there were great differences in deformability between different samples. At the mesoscopic level, the change in coordination number is identified as the fundamental reason for the change in volume strain trend. Full article
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19 pages, 4574 KiB  
Article
Chemical Treatments for Coffee Husks: Application in Mortar for Coating and Laying Blocks
by Marina Souza Pinto, Markssuel Teixeira Marvila and Afonso Rangel Garcez de Azevedo
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1678; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071678 - 30 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 933
Abstract
(1) The use of agro-industrial wastes, such as coffee husks, in cementitious materials is a viable way to achieve the sustainable development of new construction materials. Traditionally, these wastes are applied after calcination, spending energy and financial resources. Furthermore, the calcination of these [...] Read more.
(1) The use of agro-industrial wastes, such as coffee husks, in cementitious materials is a viable way to achieve the sustainable development of new construction materials. Traditionally, these wastes are applied after calcination, spending energy and financial resources. Furthermore, the calcination of these wastes contributes to a more sustainable environment. This is interesting because calcination treatments are usually more expensive than those using chemical treatments. Thus, the objective of this research is to evaluate the possibility of using coffee husks with the use of chemical treatments with sodium and potassium hydroxide in mortars for coating and laying blocks. (2) The methodology of this article consists of producing test specimens of mortar for coating and laying blocks in the composition 1:1:6:1.55 (cement: hydrated lime: sand: water), using coffee husks that will be incorporated in quantities of 2.5% in relation to the mass of the cement in its natural state and after treatment with sodium and potassium hydroxide. Compositions containing calcined coffee husks are evaluated for comparison purposes. The evaluated parameters were the mass density in the hardened state, water absorption by immersion and compressive strength. To complement these analyses, XRD, SEM and calorimetry tests were executed to compare the proposed treatments. (3) The results indicate that the use of treatments with NaOH and KOH allows for the use of coffee husks in mortars, since the parameters obtained were compatible with this type of application. The use of natural coffee husks is not possible due to their low compressive strength and high water absorption, caused by porosity. The use of alkaline treatments, especially with KOH, does not affect the hydration of the cement, allowing for the obtention of values statistically equivalent to the reference composition. The results with calcined coffee husks are even more promising due to the high content of amorphous potassium, which promotes the conversion of ettringite into hydrous calcium aluminate monosulfate. (4) It is concluded that, for the application of coffee husks in mortars for coating and laying blocks, the chemical treatment with KOH meets the necessary parameters—for example, a compressive strength greater than 2 MPa, making sustainable building materials and promoting the use of agro-industrial waste in building materials. Full article
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17 pages, 4555 KiB  
Article
Flexural Behavior of Precast UHPC Segmental Beams with Unbonded Tendons and Epoxy Resin Joints
by Hui Zheng, Daixing Chen, Mingfu Ou, Xuejiao Liang and Yuan Luo
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1643; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071643 - 28 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 817
Abstract
Precast concrete segmental bridges (PCSBs) with hybrid tendons may be the most competitive solution for achieving the advantages of rapid construction and favorable structural performance. Therefore, the flexural behavior of precast concrete segmental bridges (PCSBs) with unbonded tendons and epoxy joints was experimentally [...] Read more.
Precast concrete segmental bridges (PCSBs) with hybrid tendons may be the most competitive solution for achieving the advantages of rapid construction and favorable structural performance. Therefore, the flexural behavior of precast concrete segmental bridges (PCSBs) with unbonded tendons and epoxy joints was experimentally investigated in this study, and the effects of the joint types were recorded. Investigations were carried out on the ultimate loads, prestressed strand stresses, deflections, as well as failure modes, while an unbonded monolithic beam was tested for comparison. In addition, the strain measurement proved that the average strains agree with the assumption of plane section, regardless of whether the joints were set. The flexural strengths of prefabricated components were 9~15% lower than those of the monolithic beams with unbonded tendons. Meanwhile, the shape of the joints also influenced the flexural bearing capacity; the bearing capacity of the dual-tooth joint beam was 4.5% lower than that of the single-tooth one, and the bearing capacity of the flat butt joint member was 5.7% lower than that of the dual-tooth joint beam. Moreover, the experimental deflection curve and ultimate bearing capacity of the models with different shear keys showed a good correlation with the FE results. These research outcomes will aid in comprehending the roles of joints in the flexural behaviors of precast UHPC segmental bridges. Full article
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14 pages, 3219 KiB  
Article
Numerical Analysis on the Behavior of Floating Geogrid-Encased Stone Column Improved Foundation
by Ye Cheng, Xiaocong Cai, Haizhao Mo and Meixiang Gu
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1609; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071609 - 25 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 986
Abstract
The ordinary (OSC) and geosynthetic-encased stone column (ESC) with different bearing strata significantly influenced its behavior. The paper established seven models for studying the behavior of floating stone columns using the finite difference method (FDM). The effect of geogrid and column length on [...] Read more.
The ordinary (OSC) and geosynthetic-encased stone column (ESC) with different bearing strata significantly influenced its behavior. The paper established seven models for studying the behavior of floating stone columns using the finite difference method (FDM). The effect of geogrid and column length on the load-settlement behavior, bulging deformation, failure mode, and load transfer coefficient were also analyzed based on proposal models. The results showed that the bearing capacity of F-OSCs and F-ESCs increased with the increase in column and encasement length, respectively, and a critical length (i.e., 4D, where D was the column diameter) was found in settlement improvement. The bulging deformation was significant in F-OSCs and was observed at the top of a long column and the full length of a short column. The geogrid encasement could constrain the OSC to decrease the bulging deformation. The failure mode in F-OSCs was mainly a punching failure with bulging deformation for a short column (e.g., less than 4D), and was relative to the vertical pressure for a long column. The failure mode in F-ESCs was a punching failure, and the punching degree increased with an increase in encasement length. The load transfer coefficient of F-OSCs or F-ESCs was relatively stable as the column length increased to a critical value (e.g., 4D) or the encasement length increased to a critical value (e.g., 4D). Full article
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14 pages, 4687 KiB  
Article
Preparation Method of Similar Materials for the Progressive Disintegration of Red-Bedded Soft Rock Based on Diagenesis Simulation
by Xiaoming Liu, Dongcheng Jiang, Qinji Jia, Haifeng Xu and Tong Wang
Buildings 2023, 13(4), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13040875 - 27 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1422
Abstract
Solid waste formed during the excavation of soft red stratum rock is often encountered in engineering practice. However, its reuse has been limited because it often shows a gradual degradation mechanism during water–rock interactions. Similarity simulation experiments of geotechnical materials have been developed [...] Read more.
Solid waste formed during the excavation of soft red stratum rock is often encountered in engineering practice. However, its reuse has been limited because it often shows a gradual degradation mechanism during water–rock interactions. Similarity simulation experiments of geotechnical materials have been developed to be environmentally friendly; however, their application in soft rock mechanics is still limited. Based on these limitations, this study aims to prepare red-bedded soft rock-like materials by referring to the diagenetic process of sedimentary rocks using low-melting-point glass powder (STGP) and high-temperature and vertical stress to accurately simulate the progressive disintegration properties of red-bedded soft rock. For this purpose, a series of laboratory tests were conducted to verify the function of STGP in the embedment of skeleton particles of soft rock as a cement material for resisting the dry–wet cycle. Micro-scanning electron microscopy, disintegration experiments with dry–wet cycles, and basic physical and mechanical property tests were conducted for the synthetic red soft rock-like material. Finally, the synthetic and natural materials were compared based on their density, microstructure, disintegration breakage, and uniaxial compression mechanical properties. The results showed that adding STGP promoted embedded solidification between aggregate particles. The simulated material exhibited the same characteristics of gradual disintegration breakage as natural red-bedded soft rock. Meanwhile, the basic physical and mechanical properties were in substantial agreement when the STGP content was 0.5~2%. Full article
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17 pages, 6180 KiB  
Article
A New Technique of Lattice Beam Construction with Pre-Anchoring for Strengthening Cut Slope: A Numerical Analysis of Temporary Stability during Excavation
by Junwei Fan, Shijiao Yang, Bo Deng, Bing Sun and Taoying Liu
Buildings 2022, 12(11), 1930; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12111930 - 09 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2635
Abstract
In consideration of the temporary stability of the cutting slope during construction and its permanent stability under long-term service, a new technique of lattice beam construction with anchors pre-set in the slope from the original ground surface before cutting was proposed, and its [...] Read more.
In consideration of the temporary stability of the cutting slope during construction and its permanent stability under long-term service, a new technique of lattice beam construction with anchors pre-set in the slope from the original ground surface before cutting was proposed, and its construction process was briefly introduced. Compared with the model without pre-set anchors, the effectiveness of pre-setting anchors to strengthen the cutting slope during multi-excavation was verified in the numerical software FLAC3D. Various factors such as the factor of safety (FOS) and the maximum shear strain increment (MSSI) as well as the displacement for different stages were discussed. The results show that the anchors pre-set in the slope provide reinforcement step-by-step with excavations which changes the mechanical responses of the cutting slope and increases the factor of safety with a variation of 15.9–44.1% compared to the case without setting anchors. In addition, with excavations, the axial forces of the anchors pre-set in the stratum increase gradually, and the positions of the maximum axial forces gradually transfer from the vicinity of the cutting surface to the depth of the design slope. Numerical simulations prove that this new technique is beneficial for ensuring the temporary stability of the slope during excavations and is especially suitable for the advance anchorage of the cutting slope, in which the inclined original ground surface is cut at an angle steeper than it can stand safely and is close to the design slope surface after cutting. After the completion of slope excavation, the cast-in-place concrete lattice beam is immediately set on the design slope surface and connected with the anchor heads exposed on the cut slope surface to ensure the permanent stability of the slope. Therefore, this new technology has important guiding significance for both the temporary stability of slopes during construction and the permanent stability of slopes in service. Full article
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14 pages, 4222 KiB  
Article
Experimental and Numerical Study on the Flexural Behavior of Cold-Formed Steel Multi-Limb Built-Up Section Beams
by Feiyun Deng, Yulong He, Lu Deng and Wenjie Zhong
Buildings 2022, 12(10), 1639; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12101639 - 09 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1609
Abstract
Cold-formed steel (CFS) is a typical green building material with the merits of being low-cost, lightweight, high-strength, and recyclable. CFS built-up section beams are widely used in CFS frames owing to their outstanding mechanical properties. However, a simplified and accurate method for calculating [...] Read more.
Cold-formed steel (CFS) is a typical green building material with the merits of being low-cost, lightweight, high-strength, and recyclable. CFS built-up section beams are widely used in CFS frames owing to their outstanding mechanical properties. However, a simplified and accurate method for calculating the flexural moment capacity of multi-limb built-up beams is missing in specifications. In this study, the flexural behaviors of CFS four-limb built-up beams with closed and open sections are investigated via experiments and finite element (FE) modeling. Firstly, the flexural moment capacities and failure modes of the beams are obtained by four-point bending experiments. The ultimate load capacity of the new open section beam is found to be higher than that of the closed section beam, and the failure mode is local buckling of the web and upper flange. Then, the FE models validated by the tests are developed to conduct an extensive parametric study. Numerical results show that the flexural moment capacity increases with the thickness and web depth. Finally, a simplified calculation method for the flexural moment capacities of the closed and open section beams is proposed by considering the reduction factor of gross section modulus of the built-up section. Full article
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Review

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15 pages, 963 KiB  
Review
Methods to Account for Design for Disassembly: Status of the Building Sector
by Carine Lausselet, Oddbjørn Andvik Dahlstrøm, Marit Thyholt, Aida Eghbali and Patricia Schneider-Marin
Buildings 2023, 13(4), 1012; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13041012 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2593
Abstract
Embracing the design for disassembly (DfD) mindset when constructing new and renovating existing buildings is a promising means of achieving our climate targets and putting the circular economy principles in practice, as promoted in the European Green Deal. Current greenhouse gas emissions’ accounting [...] Read more.
Embracing the design for disassembly (DfD) mindset when constructing new and renovating existing buildings is a promising means of achieving our climate targets and putting the circular economy principles in practice, as promoted in the European Green Deal. Current greenhouse gas emissions’ accounting frameworks only deal with DfD to a certain extent. A better and more common understanding of how this can be carried out will not only help promote DfD but also shed light on how DfD should be seen in the context of other emission reduction measures. This could help to achieve balanced and credible scenarios that can be used in policy-making processes. When building components or materials are used over several cycles (buildings), the allocation of environmental impacts across the different buildings must be discussed. In an attempt to address this issue, this study examined whether and how current LCA standards for construction products and buildings consider such allocation issues. Full article
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Other

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15 pages, 4688 KiB  
Essay
Experimental Study on the Effects of Freeze–Thaw Cycles on Strength and Microstructure of Xining Region Loess in China
by Banglong Xie, Wuyu Zhang, Xianglong Sun, Yuling Huang and Leqing Liu
Buildings 2022, 12(6), 795; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12060795 - 09 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1616
Abstract
Loess, a collapsible soil, is widely distributed in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau in China. In the meantime, loess is a sustainable and green building material that is widely used in traditional residential buildings. However, previous studies have focused on the properties of loess itself, [...] Read more.
Loess, a collapsible soil, is widely distributed in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau in China. In the meantime, loess is a sustainable and green building material that is widely used in traditional residential buildings. However, previous studies have focused on the properties of loess itself, ignoring the influence of climatic conditions on loess buildings, as well as a series of engineering problems such as soil spalling caused by freezing and thawing, cold cracks in walls, and settlement deformation of foundation. This research presents a series of laboratory tests on both undisturbed and remolded loess. The tests investigated changes in the unconfined compressive strength (UCS) of both types of loess after different freeze–thaw cycles. The freeze–thaw-induced changes to the internal structures of the loess were also investigated using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and X-ray diffraction test (XRD). The test results showed that: (1) with increasing freeze–thaw cycles, the UCS of both the undisturbed and remolded loess appeared to first increase and then decrease, and the stress–strain curves showed a stronger strain-softening tendency. (2) The compressive strength of undisturbed loess is higher than remolded loess. (3) SEM analysis showed that the large particles inside the loess sample were gradually broken down into small particles, which led to an accumulative increase in fine particles and a decrease in the porosity. With the increase in the number of freeze–thaw cycles, the particles inside the soil become denser, and the strength increases. (4) Freezing and thawing have less effect on loess minerals. (5) The conclusion can provide a reference value for the protection of loess buildings in Qinghai and the management of freeze–thaw disasters. Full article
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