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Sustainability and Engineering Design

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (9 March 2024) | Viewed by 21128

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering, University of East London, London E16 2RD, UK
Interests: engineering design; machine learning applications; smart digital interventions

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering, University of East London, London E16 2RD, UK
Interests: modern hazards; detection and preventive measures
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is our pleasure to announce a new Special Issue on “Sustainability and Engineering Design” of the journal Sustainability, which we believe will make great contributions to this research area.

Designing future cities, the infrastructure that underpins them, and their components requires a foresight-based, holistic, truly crossdisciplinarity approach. Systems thinking sits at the heart of design and brings together insights from a spectrum of disciplines, including urban planning, big data analysis and AI, materials (responsive, bio-inspired, and bio-mediated), social sciences and psychology, environmental sciences, geography, hydrogeology, and geo-environmental engineering, mechatronics, computer systems, and renewable energies disciplines. Cities are designed to be adaptable to the changing environment, population and demography, and cultural and socioeconomic trends; they are designed to be citizen-centric and to minimize cascading system failure in the times of natural and anthropogenic hazards. 

We look forward to receiving your submissions to this Special Issue on, but not limited to, the above topics.

Prof. Dr. Hassan Abdalla
Dr. Arya Assadi Langroudi
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

  • resilience
  • biomimetics
  • responsive materials
  • adaptive systems
  • smart digital interventions

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 6310 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on the Mechanical Strength, Deformation Behavior and Infiltration Characteristics of Coral Sand
by Chenwei Lv, Haoliang Wu, Minglei Shi and Dingwen Zhang
Sustainability 2024, 16(8), 3479; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16083479 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 310
Abstract
In this investigation, coral sand is presented as a sustainable substitute for conventional river and machine-manufactured sand. This study comprehensively investigated the macro-scale strength, deformation, and permeability characteristics of coral sand, alongside analyzing the mechanical behavior, deformation, and permeability under various conditions and [...] Read more.
In this investigation, coral sand is presented as a sustainable substitute for conventional river and machine-manufactured sand. This study comprehensively investigated the macro-scale strength, deformation, and permeability characteristics of coral sand, alongside analyzing the mechanical behavior, deformation, and permeability under various conditions and in relation to distinct particle characteristics. It revealed that coral sand primarily consists of biotite and high-Mg calcite, featuring abundant internal pore space. Its compressive properties resemble clayey soils, displaying minimal unloading rebound and predominant plastic deformation during compression. In direct shear tests, the stress–strain relationship follows an approximate hyperbola, with no pronounced strain softening. Describing particle fragmentation in the process proves challenging, making indicators like internal friction angle less applicable in engineering. Triaxial tests indicate a rapid initial bias stress increase, followed by a gradual decrease post-stress peak, suggesting a strain softening phenomenon. As surrounding pressure rises, the axial strain needed to reach peak strength also increases. The permeability coefficient of coral sand correlates linearly with pore ratio increase, represented by 10e. The complex interaction of multiple factors influences the strength, deformation, and permeability of coral sand blown fill mixes, with specimen porosity having the greatest impact. The design and construction of high-weight foundation elements in coral sand blown fill projects should consider porosity effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Engineering Design)
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29 pages, 55814 KiB  
Article
Gridded Precipitation Datasets and Gauge Precipitation Products for Driving Hydrological Models in the Dead Sea Region, Jordan
by Youssef Kassem, Hüseyin Gökçekuş and Nour Alijl
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 11965; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511965 - 03 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1088
Abstract
The consistency of hydrological process modeling depends on reliable parameters and available long-term gauge data, which are frequently restricted within the Dead Sea/Jordan regions. This paper proposes a novel method of utilizing six satellite-based and reanalysis precipitation datasets, which are assessed, evaluated, and [...] Read more.
The consistency of hydrological process modeling depends on reliable parameters and available long-term gauge data, which are frequently restricted within the Dead Sea/Jordan regions. This paper proposes a novel method of utilizing six satellite-based and reanalysis precipitation datasets, which are assessed, evaluated, and corrected, particularly for the cases of ungauged basins and poorly monitored regions, for the first time. Due to natural processes, catchments fluctuate dramatically annually and seasonally, making this a challenge. This variability, which is significantly impacted by topo-geomorphological and climatic variables within the basins themselves, leads to increased uncertainty in models and significant restrictions in terms of runoff forecasting. However, quality evaluations and bias corrections should be conducted before the application of satellite data. Moreover, the hydrological HEC-HMS model was utilized to predict the runoff under different loss methods. Furthermore, this loss method was used with an integrated model that might be efficiently employed when designing hydraulic structures requiring high reliability in predicting peak flows. The models’ performance was evaluated using R-squared (R2), the root mean square error (RMSE), the mean absolute error (MAE), and Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE). In addition, these statistical metrics were implemented to quantitatively evaluate the data quality based on the observed data collected between 2015 and 2020. The results show that AgERA5 exhibited better agreement with the gauge precipitation data than other reanalysis precipitation and satellite-based datasets. The results demonstrate that the data quality of these products could be affected by observational bias, the spatial scale, and the retrieval method. Moreover, the SC loss method demonstrated satisfactory values for the R2, RMSE, NSE, and bias compared to the IC and GA loss, indicating its effectiveness in predicting peak flows and designing hydraulic structures that require high reliability. Overall, the study suggests that AgERA5 can provide better precipitation estimates for hydrological modeling in the Dead Sea region in Jordan. Moreover, integrating the SC, IC, and GA loss methods in hydraulic structure design can enhance prediction accuracy and reliability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Engineering Design)
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23 pages, 22120 KiB  
Article
Testing and Analysis on the Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Light Intensity and CO2 Concentration in Solar Greenhouse
by Chunhui Zhang, Haiyang Liu, Chunguang Wang, Zheying Zong, Haichao Wang, Xiaodong Zhao, Shuai Wang and Yanan Li
Sustainability 2023, 15(8), 7001; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15087001 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 952
Abstract
Greenhouses, as important parts of facility agriculture, can reduce the restrictions on agricultural production imposed by the natural environment and make rational and efficient use of production resources. We conducted long-term, continuous testing of temperature, humidity, light intensity, and CO2 concentration parameters [...] Read more.
Greenhouses, as important parts of facility agriculture, can reduce the restrictions on agricultural production imposed by the natural environment and make rational and efficient use of production resources. We conducted long-term, continuous testing of temperature, humidity, light intensity, and CO2 concentration parameters in a heliostat greenhouse in the central and western parts of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, a cold and arid region of northern China. A large amount of data was processed by statistical observation, simulation analysis, and 3D reconstruction to obtain the overall distribution, variation pattern, and mathematical model of the regional greenhouse environment in time and space. The results show that the temperature, humidity, light intensity, and CO2 concentration in the greenhouse have significant daily variation patterns, that there are strong coupling relationships between light intensity–CO2 concentration–time and indoor temperature–light intensity–CO2 concentration, that the coefficients of determination (R2) of the mathematical models are 0.88 and 0.89, and that the standard errors (RMSE) are 49.67 ppm and 45.30 ppm, respectively. The environmental parameters were fitted with high accuracy in order to provide scientific data for the cultivation of heliostats in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Engineering Design)
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12 pages, 1317 KiB  
Article
Transboundary Waters and Their Status in Today’s Water-Scarce World
by Hüseyin Gökçekuş and Farhad Bolouri
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4234; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054234 - 27 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2108
Abstract
Approximately 40% of the world’s population lives in transboundary river and lake basins, accounting for an estimated 60% of global freshwater flow. These shared water resources support the livelihoods of more than 3 billion people. Today, with the decrease in the amount of [...] Read more.
Approximately 40% of the world’s population lives in transboundary river and lake basins, accounting for an estimated 60% of global freshwater flow. These shared water resources support the livelihoods of more than 3 billion people. Today, with the decrease in the amount of water in the world, the dispute over transboundary waters has increased. In this research, using library studies (including articles, books, reliable reports from the United Nations and other relevant organizations, etc.), problems of the most important transboundary waters have been investigated. Because transboundary water problems are widespread all over the world, solutions by researchers, relevant organizations such as UN sub-organizations, and politicians have been suggested. In this research, emphasizing the cases of diplomacy and hydro-hegemony, risk, water–energy–food nexus, and 5P, this issue is investigated. Finally, by examining the most important problems of transboundary waters all over the world, as well as the most critical cases and using successful experiences in the world in solving transboundary water crises, peaceful proposals to solve such problems and reach sustainable solutions in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been proposed depending on the regional and country conditions of each of these basins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Engineering Design)
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15 pages, 5489 KiB  
Article
An Investigation on the Potential of Cellulose for Soil Stabilization
by Evangelin Ramani Sujatha and Govindarajan Kannan
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 16277; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142316277 - 06 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1679
Abstract
The construction industry remains a significant contributor to global carbon emissions. Several sustainable alternatives have emerged to overcome this issue in geotechnical engineering. In this study, cellulose, an abundant biopolymer, is investigated for its potential to modify geotechnical properties favourably. Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose [...] Read more.
The construction industry remains a significant contributor to global carbon emissions. Several sustainable alternatives have emerged to overcome this issue in geotechnical engineering. In this study, cellulose, an abundant biopolymer, is investigated for its potential to modify geotechnical properties favourably. Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (NaCMC) is an anionic ether derivative of natural cellulose with good binding and moisture-retaining capacity. Experimental investigations were conducted on organic silt stabilized with 0.25% to 1.00% NaCMC, and the results indicate that unconfined compression strength (UCS) increased by 76.7% with 0.5% NaCMC treated soil after 28 days. Hydraulic conductivity (HC) of the 0.5% NaCMC treated soil decreased by 91.7% after 28 days, and the additives suppressed the compression index of the soil by 50%. The California bearing ratio (CBR) test indicated that the additive improved the subgrade strength by 33.2%, improving it from very poor to a fair sub-grade material. Microstructural analysis using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and chemical investigation using x-ray diffraction (XRD) indicates that NaCMC’s interaction with soil did not form any new chemical compounds. However, the viscous nature of the material formed fibrous threads that bind the soil to enhance the geotechnical properties, establishing itself as a prominent stabilizer for ground improvement applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Engineering Design)
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29 pages, 7145 KiB  
Article
Potential of Connected Fully Autonomous Vehicles in Reducing Congestion and Associated Carbon Emissions
by Roxanne Neufville, Hassan Abdalla and Ali Abbas
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6910; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116910 - 06 Jun 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3097
Abstract
Congestion is an ongoing problem for many urban centres worldwide (such as London), leading to excessive delays, noise and air pollution, frustrated drivers, and high energy consumption. The carbon footprint of conventional transport systems can be high as a result and transport is [...] Read more.
Congestion is an ongoing problem for many urban centres worldwide (such as London), leading to excessive delays, noise and air pollution, frustrated drivers, and high energy consumption. The carbon footprint of conventional transport systems can be high as a result and transport is among the highest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, with the growing interest in developing connected fully autonomous vehicles (ConFAVs), there is a pressing need to consider their effects within the congested urban setting. To address this, the current research study was designed to investigate the potential for ConFAVs in providing a sustainable transport solution. During this research, a simulation model was developed, calibrated, and validated using field data collected from several sites in East London, using the graphical user interface (GUI) simulation software PTV VISSIM to simulate the proposed driving and car following behaviour, which included the platooning of these ConFAVs, to assess how they could improve the level of service of the roads. Using the new model, this research addresses the shortcomings of two other adaptations of the Wiedemann 99 car-following models by changing the ConFAV’s behaviour to be more cautious when travelling behind a human driven vehicle, and less cautious when behind another ConFAV. As little is known about the transitional period from zero autonomy to full autonomy on the already congested road network, due to the fact that these vehicles are typically tested in small numbers (often one at a time in a controlled environment), the present research study introduced ConFAVs to the simulated network gradually and in large numbers at 20% intervals (namely 0% where there are no ConFAVs, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and finally 100% where all vehicles within the network were ConFAVs). The average delays and subsequent level of service for the roads within the networks were then assessed against each ConFAV penetration level. This helped understand how the network’s efficiency changes when the number of ConFAVs increases, and the potential benefits for these self-driving vehicles on congestion and the ensuing greenhouse gas emissions. The model showed that a reduction in delay of up to 100% can be achieved by introducing ConFAVs, which translates to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This, coupled with the fact that ConFAVs are predominantly electric, points to a future sustainable road transport system. The primary purpose of this research would be to investigate the potential of ConFAVs in reducing traffic congestion and, as a result, greenhouse gas emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Engineering Design)
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22 pages, 5573 KiB  
Article
Quantifying Fenestration Effect on Thermal Comfort in Naturally Ventilated Classrooms
by Ibrahim Reda, Raouf N. AbdelMessih, Mohamed Steit and Ehab M. Mina
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7385; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137385 - 01 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2348
Abstract
This study seeks to evaluate thermal comfort in naturally ventilated classrooms to draw sustainable solutions that reduce the dramatic energy consumed in mechanically ventilated spaces. Passive ventilation scenarios are generated using alternations of openings on the windward and leeward sides to evaluate their [...] Read more.
This study seeks to evaluate thermal comfort in naturally ventilated classrooms to draw sustainable solutions that reduce the dramatic energy consumed in mechanically ventilated spaces. Passive ventilation scenarios are generated using alternations of openings on the windward and leeward sides to evaluate their effects on thermal comfort. Twenty-eight experiments were carried in Bahrain during winter inside an exposed classroom, the experiments were grouped into five scenarios namely: “single-inlet single-outlet” SISO, “single-inlet double-outlet” SIDO, “double-inlet single-outlet” DISO, “double-inlet double-outlet” DIDO and “single-side ventilation” SSV. The findings indicate that single-side ventilation did not offer comfort except at high airspeed, while comfort is attained by using cross-ventilation at ambient temperature between 21.8–26.8 °C. The temperature difference between monitored locations and the inlet is inversely proportional to the number of air changes per hour. The DISO scenario accomplishes the lowest temperature difference. Using cross-ventilation instead of single-side ventilation reduces the temperature differences between 0.5–2.5 °C and increases airspeed up to three folds. According to the measured findings, the DISO cross-ventilation scenario is a valid sustainable solution adaptable to climatic variation locally and beyond with zero-energy consumption and zero emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Engineering Design)
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Review

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26 pages, 529 KiB  
Review
Trends and Future Research Direction of Lean Product Development
by Ivana Cukor Kirinić and Miro Hegedić
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16721; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416721 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 783
Abstract
The field of product development (PD) has an excellent opportunity to achieve the benefits of lean principles. The literature on lean product development (LPD) is growing and is extensive, but it needs to be more systematic. A distinct, comprehensive, and up-to-date review of [...] Read more.
The field of product development (PD) has an excellent opportunity to achieve the benefits of lean principles. The literature on lean product development (LPD) is growing and is extensive, but it needs to be more systematic. A distinct, comprehensive, and up-to-date review of LPD literature is necessary. Motivated by studying and understanding contemporary themes and the current trends in the LPD research area, this article reviewed 85 previously published papers across three scientific databases from 2011 to 2022. Using literature review methodology, we determined for every article: research motivation or gap filled, key findings and significant contributions, and suggestions for future research. That helps structure the field of research into nine domains according to the gaps the authors wish to fill. The results indicate that over the past decade, the LPD literature has shown trends towards synergy of LPD with green, sustainability, circular economy, industry 4.0, and digitalisation. Finally, the article proposes six future research directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Engineering Design)
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22 pages, 2255 KiB  
Review
A Review of Recycling Methods for Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites
by Jawed Qureshi
Sustainability 2022, 14(24), 16855; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142416855 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 5102
Abstract
This paper presents a review of waste disposal methods for fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) materials. The methods range from waste minimisation, repurposing, reusing, recycling, incineration, and co-processing in a cement plant to dumping in a landfill. Their strength, limitations, and key points of [...] Read more.
This paper presents a review of waste disposal methods for fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) materials. The methods range from waste minimisation, repurposing, reusing, recycling, incineration, and co-processing in a cement plant to dumping in a landfill. Their strength, limitations, and key points of attention are discussed. Both glass and carbon fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP and CFRP) waste management strategies are critically reviewed. The energy demand and cost of FRP waste disposal routes are also discussed. Landfill and co-incineration are the most common and cheapest techniques to discard FRP scrap. Three main recycling pathways, including mechanical, thermal, and chemical recycling, are reviewed. Chemical recycling is the most energy-intensive and costly route. Mechanical recycling is only suitable for GFRP waste, and it has actually been used at an industrial scale by GFRP manufacturers. Chemical and thermal recycling routes are more appropriate for reclaiming carbon fibres from CFRP, where the value of reclaimed fibres is more than the cost of the recycling process. Discarding FRP waste in a sustainable manner presents a major challenge in a circular economy. With strict legislation on landfill and other environmental limits, recycling, reusing, and repurposing FRP composites will be at the forefront of sustainable waste-management strategies in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Engineering Design)
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15 pages, 3213 KiB  
Review
Fractals for the Sustainable Design of Engineered Particulate Systems
by Arya Assadi-Langroudi, Hassan Abdalla and Soheil Ghadr
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7287; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127287 - 14 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1297
Abstract
The engineering properties of particulate materials are the collective manifestation of interactions among their constituent particles and are structures within which particles adopt their spatial arrangement. For the first time in the literature, this paper employs an extended concept of ‘fractals’ to show [...] Read more.
The engineering properties of particulate materials are the collective manifestation of interactions among their constituent particles and are structures within which particles adopt their spatial arrangement. For the first time in the literature, this paper employs an extended concept of ‘fractals’ to show that materials constituting particles of a certain size can be rationalized in three universal fractals. Within each fractal, materials build repeatable, reproducible, and predictable traits, and exhibit the stress-strain behaviors of nondifferentiable, self-similar trajectories. We present experimental evidence for such repeatable traits by subjecting six different particulate materials to static undrained isotropic, static undrained anisotropic, and cyclic undrained isotropic stresses. This paper shows that universal fractals are associated with fractal structures; herein, we explore the matters that influence their spatial arrangement. Within the context of sustainable design, ways of engineering natural particulate systems to improve a product’s physical and hydromechanical properties are already well established. In this review, a novel extended concept of fractals is introduced to inform the biomimetic design of particulate systems, to show how biomimicry can benefit in preserving general behavioral traits, and how biomimicry can offer predicated forms, thereby enhancing the design efficiency. To pursue such an ideal, processes that lead to the engineering of natural materials should not compromise their loyalty to the parent universal fractal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Engineering Design)
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