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Sustainable Construction Materials and Technologies

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2024) | Viewed by 6511

Special Issue Editors

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Hafr Al Batin, Hafr Al Batin, Saudi Arabia
Interests: concrete technology–geopolymer binder synthesis; characterization; sustainable solid waste materials in concrete production
Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza, Gaza P.O. Box 108, Palestine
Interests: sustainable construction materials; sustainable and green buildings; structural engineering; concrete technology; construction management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Hafr Al Batin, Hafar Al-Batin, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia
Interests: carbon sequestration in construction materials; structural engineering; concrete materials; sustainable materials; non-metallic materials
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Hafr Al Batin, Hafar Al-Batin, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia
Interests: advanced concrete materials; corrosion of reinforced concrete and alkali-activated materials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Construction materials and technologies play a crucial role in the sustainability of the built environment. As the global population continues to urbanize and the demand for new infrastructure increases, it is essential that we consider the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the materials and technologies we use in construction.

Supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs), such as fly ash, slag, and silica fume, are traditionally used in concrete to improve its properties and reduce its environmental impacts. The use of SCMs can help reduce the amount of cement required in a given mix, leading to lower greenhouse gas emissions and embodied energy. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the use of SCMs derived from earth minerals, such as clay, and plant and agricultural wastes as a means to reduce waste and promote sustainability. Low-carbon and carbon-free alternative binders have also gained significant momentum. These materials have a number of beneficial properties, including reduced embodied energy, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and the potential to extend the life of infrastructure. Other material properties that are often considered in the context of sustainability include durability, recyclability, and embodied carbon.

This Special Issue aims to highlight the latest research and developments in sustainable construction materials and technologies. We welcome submissions that address the challenges and opportunities related to the design, production, use, and end-of-life management of sustainable construction materials and technologies.

Possible topics for this Special Issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Development and use of SCMs in concrete and other construction materials;
  • Development and application of low-carbon and carbon-free alternative binders;
  • Life-cycle assessment of SCMs and sustainable construction technologies;
  • Recycling and reuse of construction materials;
  • Sustainable technologies for the construction process;
  • Case studies of the use of SCMs and sustainable construction technologies in real-world projects.

We encourage authors to consider the full life-cycle of construction materials and technologies in their submissions, including extraction and processing, transportation, use, and disposal. We also encourage interdisciplinary approaches that consider the social, economic, and environmental impacts of sustainable construction materials and technologies.

We look forward to receiving your contributions to this important and timely Special Issue.

Dr. Moruf Olalekan Yusuf
Dr. Bassam A. Tayeh
Dr. Saheed Kolawole Adekunle
Dr. Adeshina A. Adewumi
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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2400 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

  • sustainable, agro-based materials
  • supplementary cementitious materials
  • solid wastes
  • microstructure
  • mortar
  • concrete
  • building
  • strength
  • durability performance

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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30 pages, 13863 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on the Durability Performance of Sustainable Mortar with Partial Replacement of Natural Aggregates by Fiber-Reinforced Agricultural Waste Walnut Shells
Sustainability 2024, 16(2), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16020824 - 18 Jan 2024
Viewed by 460
Abstract
Through the recovery and reuse of agricultural waste, the extraction and consumption of natural aggregates can be reduced to realize the sustainable development of the construction industry. Therefore, this paper utilizes the inexpensive, surplus, clean, and environmentally friendly waste agricultural material walnut shell [...] Read more.
Through the recovery and reuse of agricultural waste, the extraction and consumption of natural aggregates can be reduced to realize the sustainable development of the construction industry. Therefore, this paper utilizes the inexpensive, surplus, clean, and environmentally friendly waste agricultural material walnut shell to partially replace the fine aggregates in mortar to prepare environmentally friendly mortar. Considering the decrease in mortar performance after mixing walnut shells, basalt fibers of different lengths (3 mm, 6 mm, and 9 mm) and different dosages (0.1%, 0.2%, and 0.3%) were mixed in the mortar. The reinforcing effect of basalt fibers on walnut shell mortar was investigated by mechanical property tests, impact resistance tests, and freeze–thaw cycle tests. The damage prediction model was established based on the Weibull model and gray model (GM (1,1) model), and the model accuracy was analyzed. The experimental results showed that after adding basalt fibers, the compressive strength, split tensile strength, and flexural strength of the specimens with a length of 6 mm and a doping amount of 0.2% increased by 13.98%, 48.15%, and 43.75%, respectively, and the fibers effectively improved the defects inside the walnut shell mortar. The R²s in the Weibull model were greater than 87.38%, and the average relative error between the predicted life of the impacts and the measured values was greater than 87.38%. The average relative errors in the GM (1,1) model ranged from 0.81% to 2.19%, and the accuracy analyses were all of the first order. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction Materials and Technologies)
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15 pages, 3964 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of Silica Fume Nano Alumina Ternary Blended Mortar
Sustainability 2023, 15(19), 14615; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151914615 - 09 Oct 2023
Viewed by 624
Abstract
This study investigates the contribution of nano-alumina (nA: 1–3 wt.% binder) to the performance of silica fume (SF-10%) and ordinary Portland cement (OPC) binary blended mortar. Microstructural analysis and qualitative characterizations examined the fresh (workability, setting time) and hardened (compressive strength and thermal [...] Read more.
This study investigates the contribution of nano-alumina (nA: 1–3 wt.% binder) to the performance of silica fume (SF-10%) and ordinary Portland cement (OPC) binary blended mortar. Microstructural analysis and qualitative characterizations examined the fresh (workability, setting time) and hardened (compressive strength and thermal resistance; 300 degrees C for 1 h) properties. Nano alumina (nA) contributed positively to the consistency of SF blended mortar but negatively to that of OPC mortar. The presence of nA retarded the reactivity of calcium and the fluid absorption capacity of SF in the fresh mortar. The initial (180 min) and final (220 min) setting times in SF blended mortar were reduced by 18.4 and 21.8%, respectively, upon adding up to 3% nA. The optimum nA was 2% in the SF–nA ternary blended mortar with 3-d and 28-d compressive strengths of 28 and 43.2 MPa, respectively. These values were reduced by 14.3% and 29.4% in SF-OPC (binary) and 25.2% and 16.7% in OPC mortar, respectively. The nepheline and tobermorite in the SF–nA ternary blended binder provided a denser microstructural density than in SF-OPC and OPC mortars. Finally, SF–nA ternary mortar was more susceptible to carbonation due to the presence of aluminum and calcium carbonates, despite its superior performance in thermal resistance and strength compared to SF blended and OPC mortars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction Materials and Technologies)
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16 pages, 3605 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Thermal Performance of Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) Incorporating Sugar Sediment Waste and Recycled AAC with Phase Change Material-Coated Applications for Sustainable Energy Conservation in Building
Sustainability 2023, 15(19), 14226; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151914226 - 26 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1038
Abstract
This research focuses on the integration of waste materials derived from sugar sediment and recycled AAC into the manufacturing process of autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) to enhance its physical, mechanical, and thermal characteristics. Furthermore, the investigation explores the prospect of augmenting the thermal [...] Read more.
This research focuses on the integration of waste materials derived from sugar sediment and recycled AAC into the manufacturing process of autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) to enhance its physical, mechanical, and thermal characteristics. Furthermore, the investigation explores the prospect of augmenting the thermal efficiency of the AAC composite by applying different quantities of paraffin phase change material (PCM) coatings to its external surface. Throughout the thermal testing phase, temperature control was consistently maintained at three distinct levels: 40 °C, 50 °C, and 60 °C, facilitated by a heater serving as the thermal source. The investigation unveiled that the optimal composition encompassed a 10% by weight replacement of sand with recycled AAC content. This formulation resulted in a peak compressive strength of around 5.85 N/mm2, along with a maximum tobermorite phase ratio of 25.5%. The elevated strength is directly associated with the heightened crystalline nature of the tobermorite phase. The most favorable configuration incorporated a 20 g PCM-coated material, demonstrating remarkable outcomes, including an extension of the time lag by about 55%, a reduction in the decrement factor by around 56.4%, as well as a substantial reduction in room temperature of roughly 15.8% compared to standard AAC without PCM coating, all at a stable temperature of 60 °C. The integration of sustainable waste materials and PCM technology, as illustrated in this study, notably contributes to resource conservation and the advancement of energy-efficient architectural practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction Materials and Technologies)
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22 pages, 5467 KiB  
Article
Modeling and Optimization of Date Palm Fiber Reinforced Concrete Modified with Powdered Activated Carbon under Elevated Temperature
Sustainability 2023, 15(8), 6369; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15086369 - 07 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1060
Abstract
Date palm fiber (DPF) is one of the abundant solid waste materials in the agriculture sector in Saudi Arabia, and it is gaining great attraction due to its advantages compared to synthetic and other natural fibers. For proper utilization of DPF in cementitious [...] Read more.
Date palm fiber (DPF) is one of the abundant solid waste materials in the agriculture sector in Saudi Arabia, and it is gaining great attraction due to its advantages compared to synthetic and other natural fibers. For proper utilization of DPF in cementitious composites, its performance under high temperatures needs to be understood. This is because DPF is a cellulose-based agricultural fiber material and is expected to degrade when subjected to high temperatures. This will cause a significant loss in strength and structural integrity of the composites. The use of Pozzolanic materials has been reported to reduce the loss in mechanical properties of cementitious composites under high temperatures. With powdered activated carbon (PAC) being a low-cost material compared to other Pozzolanic materials, this study utilized PAC as an additive to the DPF-reinforced concrete to mitigate its loss in mechanical strength when exposed to elevated temperature. The experiment was designed using response surface methodology (RSM), which was used to construct mathematical models for estimating the strengths of the concrete exposed to high temperatures. The DPF was added at proportions of 1%, 2%, and 3% by weight of cement. Similarly, the PAC was added at 1%, 2%, and 3% by weight of cement to the concrete. The concrete was subjected to elevated temperatures of 300 °C, 600 °C, and 900 °C for a 2 h exposure period. The degradation of the concrete in terms of mass loss and the compressive strength of the concrete after heating were measured. DPF in the concrete led to an escalation in weight loss and reduction in strength, which was more pronounced at a temperature of 600 °C and above. The addition of PAC resulted in an enhancement in the strengths of the concrete containing up to 2% DPF at 300 °C, while at 600 °C the improvement was minimal. The models developed for predicting the mass loss and strengths of the DPF-reinforced concrete under high temperatures were statistically significant with a high correlation degree. Based on the optimization results, DPF-reinforced concrete produced with 1% DPF, and 2.27% PAC as additives and subjected to a temperature of 300 °C for 2 h yielded the lowest mass loss of 2.05%, highest residual compressive strength and relative strength of 45.85 MPa and 106.7% respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction Materials and Technologies)
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Review

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32 pages, 10108 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Review of Biochar Utilization for Low-Carbon Flexible Asphalt Pavements
Sustainability 2023, 15(8), 6729; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15086729 - 16 Apr 2023
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2303
Abstract
A large amount of biomass waste is produced globally, and its production and improper management are major environmental issues. Pavement industries consume large amounts of natural resources and adversely impact the environment. Thus, the utilization of waste materials, such as biochar from biomass, [...] Read more.
A large amount of biomass waste is produced globally, and its production and improper management are major environmental issues. Pavement industries consume large amounts of natural resources and adversely impact the environment. Thus, the utilization of waste materials, such as biochar from biomass, has been prioritized as an innovative and sustainable strategy. However, there is currently a paucity of knowledge regarding the utilization and performance of biochar in flexible asphalt pavements. Thus, the purpose of this study was to provide a comprehensive literature review of studies conducted between 2010 and 2022 on the advancement and application of biochar in flexible asphalt pavement production. This review also highlights biochar production materials (feedstocks) and processes. This review further evaluates the viability of biochar as a carbon-neutral material utilized in producing asphalt pavements. Owing to its exceptional and variable physicochemical properties, biochar has demonstrated improved performance for a variety of applications in flexible asphalt pavements. According to the review, for optimum performance, a particle size < 75 µm is recommended as a modifier for asphalt binders and mixtures with a content range of 5–10 wt.% of the binder, while a particle size of 1–5 mm is recommended as a filter layer. In addition, the review concluded that as a carbon-neutral material, biochar has many possibilities that can aid in reducing CO2 emissions. The challenges and future perspectives, underlying study niches, and future research suggestions for biochar application in the flexible asphalt pavement industry are also highlighted. As a result, this review will contribute to the increased sustainability and eco-friendliness of flexible asphalt pavements by encouraging the transition to carbon-negative and emission-reducing pavements. The current review will assist researchers in identifying research gaps that will encourage the high-potential, sustainable, and multifaceted application of biochar in the pavement industry for greater environmental benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction Materials and Technologies)
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