Towards the decarbonisation of the construction industry

Submission deadline date: 28 February 2024


Globally, the construction industry is the biggest consumer natural resources through large shares of global material use, including more than 50% of concrete and bricks, and 40% of steel, and is also responsible for around 1/3 of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. Further, the continuous growth in human population necessitates the need for more construction projects and rehabilitation of existing structures and infrastructures. This leads to more consumption of construction materials which would have an impact on environment, economy, and the society. The extraction of virgin materials needed for construction together with the processing and transportation of these materials will increase the carbon dioxide emitted into the environment in addition to the impact on the landscape. Therefore, taking active steps towards the decarbonisation of the construction industry is essential. In addition, the economy is largely affected by the cost of the construction materials, their processing and transportation. While the society might benefit from the construction activities through the creation of employment, the effect on landscape and noise may be unpopular in the society.  Therefore, proper management of the finite resources necessary for construction and efficient design through the proper use of materials are crucial towards a sustainable future. Moreover, the rehabilitation of existing infrastructure can contribute towards sustainability and decarbonisation.

This special issue aims to address the various aspects related to decarbonisation of the construction industry and sustainable construction, due to its role in excessive consumption of natural resources, and negative environmental impact (i.e., carbon emissions, water, and air pollution). Furthermore, the construction sector accounts for approximately one quarter of global CO2 emissions. Therefore, potential solutions to the emission problems can be achieved using waste and recycled materials in construction and innovative materials that do not require intensive energy to produce. Efficient utilisation of materials to minimise the amount used is paramount to decarbonise the construction industry. This requires proper planning and management, engagement of stakeholders and application of risk management techniques. Therefore,  relative to what new contribution the Special Issue will make, this issue is concerned with decarbonisation of the construction industry and sustainable construction. It covers the sustainable use of construction materials, design, and management. This should lead to the reduction of CO2, efficient use of resources and sustainable construction projects.

List of topic areas

Papers are sought from different perspectives focusing on conceptual issues, empirical studies, and case studies, which could revolve around (but are not limited to) the following themes:

  • Innovative construction and building materials: Sustainable construction, waste materials in construction, recycled material, novel design and materials, green concrete, innovative construction products, lightweight construction and building materials, innovative materials with high thermal efficiency and low embodied energy (i.e., reduced CO2 emission).
  • Government, stakeholder engagement and risk management: Identifying the risks that could impact a low-carbon transition is a prerequisite to assessing and managing these risks, construction planning and management, government's role in decarbonisation, stakeholder's roles in fostering industry decarbonisation.
  • Circular construction supply chains and procurement: Construction circular economy, reverse logistics, sustainable procurement, planning, practices towards attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that lead to decarbonisation, exploration of novel processes and circuits for recycling construction.
  • Calculating and reducing carbon emission - Methodologies, models, and frameworks: Frameworks for facilitating decarbonisation, quantitative assessment of barriers, enablers, and drivers towards decarbonisation implementation, mapping of energy and material flows, repair methods and innovation, life cycle assessments (LCA), impact of modular construction, development of guidelines for decarbonisation, quantification of recycling of waste and energy.
  • Digital and smart technologies: Building information modelling, decision support systems, role of Artificial Intelligence techniques and approaches, application of sensors, drones, data analytics in decarbonisation.
  • Repair, refurbishment, and design: Rehabilitation of existing construction projects, efficient design, building energy refurbishment, and productivity, innovative treatment for repairing building and structures.

Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available here.

Author guidelines must be strictly followed.

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to “Please select the issue you are submitting to.”

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key deadlines

Please email abstract submissions to Professor Jamal Khatib and Associate Professor Nicholas Chileshe.

  • Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 01/08/2023
  • Closing date for manuscripts submission: 28/02/2024