Building materials selection is critical for the sustainability of any project. The choice of building materials has a huge impact on the built environment and cost of projects. Building materials emit huge amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) due to the use of cement as a basic component in the manufacturing process and as a binder, which harms our environment. Energy consumption from buildings has increased in the last few years; a huge amount of energy is being wasted from using unsustainable building and finishing materials, as well as from the process of heating and cooling of buildings. In addition, the construction sector in Egypt is taking a good portion of the economy; however, there is a lack of awareness of buildings environmental impacts on the built environment. Using advanced building materials and different wall systems can help in reducing heat consumption, the project’s initial and long-term costs, and minimizing the environmental impacts. Red Bricks is one of the materials that are being used widely in Egypt. There are many other types of bricks such as Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC); however, the use of Red Bricks is dominating the construction industry due to its affordability and availability. This research focuses on the New Egyptian Administrative Capital as a case study to investigate the potential of the influence of using different wall systems such as AAC on the project’s cost and the environment. The aim of this research is to conduct a comparative analysis between the traditional and most commonly used bricks in Egypt, which is Red Bricks, and AAC wall systems. Through an economic and environmental study, the difference between the two wall systems will be justified to encourage the utilization of uncommon techniques in the construction industry to build more affordable, energy efficient and sustainable buildings. The significance of this research is to show the potential of using AAC in the construction industry and its positive influences. The study analyzes the factors associated with choosing suitable building materials for different projects according to the need and criteria of each project and its nature without harming the environment and wasting materials that could be saved or recycled. The New Egyptian Administrative Capital is considered as the country’s new heart, where ideas regarding energy savings and environmental benefits are taken into consideration. Meaning that, Egypt is taking good steps to move towards more sustainable construction. According to the analysis and site visits, there is a potential in reducing the initial costs of buildings by 12.1% and saving energy by using different techniques up to 25%. Interviews with the mega structures project engineers and managers reveal that they are more open to introducing sustainable building materials that will help in saving the environment and moving towards green construction as well as to studying more effective techniques for energy conservation.
This paper presents a multi-objective framework for sustainable urban development. The proposed framework aims to address different aspects of sustainability in urban development planning. These aspects include, but are not limited to education, health, job opportunities, architecture, culture, environment, mobility, energy, water, waste, and so on. Then, the proposed framework is applied to the Brackenridge Tract (an area in downtown Austin, Texas), to redevelop that area in a sustainable way. The detail of the implementation process is presented in this paper. The ultimate goal of this paper is to develop a sustainable area in downtown Austin with ensuring that it locally meets the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social, environmental, health as well as cultural aspects. Moreover, it helps the city with the population growth problem by accommodating more people in that area.
Improving the performance of Winter Road Maintenance (WRM) can increase the traffic safety and reduce the cost as well as environmental impacts. This study evaluates the efficiency of WRM technique, named salting, in the Arctic area by using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), which is a non-parametric linear method to measure the efficiencies of decision-making units (DMUs) based on handling multiple inputs and multiple outputs at the same time that their associated weights are not known. Here, roads are considered as DMUs for which the efficiency must be determined. The three input variables considered are traffic flow, road area and WRM cost. In addition, the two output variables included are level of safety in the roads and environment impacts resulted from WRM, which is also considered as an uncontrollable factor in the second scenario. The results show the performance of DMUs from the most efficient WRM to the inefficient/least efficient one and this information provides decision makers with technical support and the required suggested improvements for inefficient WRM, in order to achieve a cost-effective WRM and a safe road transportation during wintertime in the Arctic areas.
Environmental impacts are the changes in the physical, chemical or biological properties of natural areas that are most often caused by human actions on the environment and which have consequences for human health, society and the elements of nature. The identification of the environmental impacts is important so that they are mitigated, and above all that the mitigating measures are applied in the area. This work aims to identify the environmental impacts generated in the Praia do Caju area in the city of Palmas/Brazil and show that the lack of structure on the beach intensifies the environmental impacts. The present work was carried out having as parameter, the typologies of exploratory and descriptive and quantitative research through a matrix of environmental impacts through direct observation and registration. The study took place during the holidays from August to December 2016 and photographic record of impacts. From the collected data it was possible to verify that Caju beach suffers constant degradation due to irregular deposition.
As a pillar of sustainable development, ecology has become an important milestone in research community, especially due to global challenges like climate change. The ecological performance of products can be scientifically conducted with life cycle assessments. In the construction sector, significant amounts of CO2 emissions are assigned to the energy used for building heating purposes. Therefore, sustainable construction materials for insulating purposes are substantial, whereby aerogels have been explored intensively in the last years due to their low thermal conductivity. Therefore, the WALL-ACE project aims to develop an aerogel-based thermal insulating plaster that would achieve minor thermal conductivities. But as in the early stage of development phases, a lot of information is still missing or not yet accessible, the ecological performance of innovative products bases increasingly on uncertain data that can lead to significant deviations in the results. To be able to predict realistically how meaningful the results are and how viable the developed products may be with regard to their corresponding respective market, these deviations however have to be considered. Therefore, a classification method is presented in this study, which may allow comparing the ecological performance of modern products with already established and competitive materials. In order to achieve this, an alternative calculation method was used that allows computing with lower and upper bounds to consider all possible values without precise data. The life cycle analysis of the considered products was conducted with an interval arithmetic based calculation method. The results lead to the conclusion that the interval solutions describing the possible environmental impacts are so wide that the result usability is limited. Nevertheless, a further optimization in reducing environmental impacts of aerogels seems to be needed to become more competitive in the future.
Renewable energy-based micro-grids are presently attracting significant consideration. The smart grid system is presently considered a reliable solution for the expected deficiency in the power required from future power systems. The purpose of this study is to determine the optimal components sizes of a micro-grid, investigating technical and economic performance with the environmental impacts. The micro grid load is divided into two small factories with electricity, both on-grid and off-grid modes are considered. The micro-grid includes photovoltaic cells, back-up diesel generator wind turbines, and battery bank. The estimated load pattern is 76 kW peak. The system is modeled and simulated by MATLAB/Simulink tool to identify the technical issues based on renewable power generation units. To evaluate system economy, two criteria are used: the net present cost and the cost of generated electricity. The most feasible system components for the selected application are obtained, based on required parameters, using HOMER simulation package. The results showed that a Wind/Photovoltaic (W/PV) on-grid system is more economical than a Wind/Photovoltaic/Diesel/Battery (W/PV/D/B) off-grid system as the cost of generated electricity (COE) is 0.266 $/kWh and 0.316 $/kWh, respectively. Considering the cost of carbon dioxide emissions, the off-grid will be competitive to the on-grid system as COE is found to be (0.256 $/kWh, 0.266 $/kWh), for on and off grid systems.
After natural disasters, displaced people (DP) require important numbers of housing units, which have to be erected quickly due to emergency pressures. These tight timeframes can cause the multiplication of the environmental construction impacts. These negative impacts worsen the already high energy consumption and pollution caused by the building sector. Indeed, post-disaster housing, which is often carried out without pre-planning, usually causes high negative environmental impacts, besides other economic and social impacts. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a suitable strategy to deal with this problem which also takes into account the instability of its causes, like changing ratio between rural and urban population. To this end, this study aims to present a model that assists decision-makers to choose the most suitable building technology for post-disaster housing units. This model focuses on the alternatives sustainability and fulfillment of the stakeholders’ satisfactions. Four building technologies have been analyzed to determine the most sustainability technology and to validate the presented model. In 2003, Bam earthquake DP had their temporary housing units (THUs) built using these four technologies: autoclaved aerated concrete blocks (AAC), concrete masonry unit (CMU), pressed reeds panel (PR), and 3D sandwich panel (3D). The results of this analysis confirm that PR and CMU obtain the highest sustainability indexes. However, the second life scenario of THUs could have considerable impacts on the results.
Nowadays, the progressive decrease of primary natural resources and ongoing upward trend in terms of energy demand, have resulted in development of new generation technological processes which are focused on step-wise production and residues utilization. Thus, microalgae-based 3rd generation bioeconomy is considered one of the most promising approaches that allow production of value-added products and sophisticated utilization of residues biomass. In comparison to conventional biomass, microalgae can be cultivated in wide range of conditions without compromising food and feed production, and thus, addressing issues associated with negative social and environmental impacts. However, one of the most challenging tasks is to undergo seasonal variations and to achieve optimal growing conditions for indoor closed systems that can cover further demand for material and energetic utilization of microalgae. For instance, outdoor cultivation in St. Petersburg (Russia) is only suitable within rather narrow time frame (from mid-May to mid-September). At earlier and later periods, insufficient sunlight and heat for the growth of microalgae were detected. On the other hand, without additional physical effects, the biomass increment in summer is 3-5 times per week, depending on the solar radiation and the ambient temperature. In order to increase biomass production, scientists from all over the world have proposed various technical solutions for cultivators and have been studying the influence of various physical factors affecting biomass growth namely: magnetic field, radiation impact, and electric field, etc. In this paper, the influence of infrared radiation (IR) and fluorescent light on the growth rate of microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana has been studied. The cultivation of Chlorella sorokiniana was carried out in 500 ml cylindrical glass vessels, which were constantly aerated. To accelerate the cultivation process, the mixture was stirred for 15 minutes at 500 rpm following 120 minutes of rest time. At the same time, the metabolic needs in nutrients were provided by the addition of micro- and macro-nutrients in the microalgae growing medium. Lighting was provided by fluorescent lamps with the intensity of 2500 ± 300 lx. The influence of IR was determined using IR lamps with a voltage of 220 V, power of 250 W, in order to achieve the intensity of 13 600 ± 500 lx. The obtained results show that under the influence of fluorescent lamps along with the combined effect of active aeration and variable mixing, the biomass increment on the 2nd day was three times, and on the 7th day, it was eight-fold. The growth rate of microalgae under the influence of IR radiation was lower and has reached 22.6·106 cells·mL-1. However, application of IR lamps for the biomass growth allows maintaining the optimal temperature of microalgae suspension at approximately 25-28°C, which might especially be beneficial during the cold season in extreme climate zones.
Coal mining is well known to cause considerable environmental impacts, including trace element contamination of soil. This study aimed to assess the trace element (As, Cd, Co, Cu, Ni, Pb, Sb, and Zn) contamination of soil in the vicinity of coal mining activities, using the case study of Asam-asam River basin, South Kalimantan, Indonesia, and to assess the human health risk, incorporating total and bioavailable (water-leachable and acid-leachable) concentrations. The results show the enrichment of As and Co in soil, surpassing the background soil value. Contamination was evaluated based on the index of geo-accumulation, Igeo and the pollution index, PI. Igeo values showed that the soil was generally uncontaminated (Igeo ≤ 0), except for elevated As and Co. Mean PI for Ni and Cu indicated slight contamination. Regarding the assessment of health risks, the Hazard Index, HI showed adverse risks (HI > 1) for Ni, Co, and As. Further, Ni and As were found to pose unacceptable carcinogenic risk (risk > 1.10-5). Farming, settlement, and plantation were found to present greater risk than coal mines. These results show that coal mining activity in the study area contaminates the soils by particular elements and may pose potential human health risk in its surrounding area. This study is important for setting appropriate countermeasure actions and improving basic coal mining management in Indonesia.
This paper aims to determine the best environmental and economic scenario for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management of the Maku city by using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach. The functional elements of this study are collection, transportation, and disposal of MSW in Maku city. Waste composition and density, as two key parameters of MSW, have been determined by field sampling, and then, the other important specifications of MSW like chemical formula, thermal energy and water content were calculated. These data beside other information related to collection and disposal facilities are used as a reliable source of data to assess the environmental impacts of different waste management options, including landfills, composting, recycling and energy recovery. The environmental impact of MSW management options has been investigated in 15 different scenarios by Integrated Waste Management (IWM) software. The photochemical smog, greenhouse gases, acid gases, toxic emissions, and energy consumption of each scenario are measured. Then, the environmental indices of each scenario are specified by weighting these parameters. Economic costs of scenarios have been also compared with each other based on literature. As final result, since the organic materials make more than 80% of the waste, compost can be a suitable method. Although the major part of the remaining 20% of waste can be recycled, due to the high cost of necessary equipment, the landfill option has been suggested. Therefore, the scenario with 80% composting and 20% landfilling is selected as superior environmental and economic scenario. This study shows that, to select a scenario with practical applications, simultaneously environmental and economic aspects of different scenarios must be considered.
Nowadays, the European Ecodesign Directive has emerged as a new approach to integrate environmental concerns into the product design and related processes. Ecodesign aims to minimize environmental impacts throughout the product life cycle, without compromising performances and costs. In addition, the recent Ecodesign Directives require products which are increasingly eco-friendly and eco-efficient, preserving high-performances. It is very important for producers measuring performances, for electric cooking ranges, hobs, ovens, and grills for household use, and a low power consumption of appliances represents a powerful selling point, also in terms of ecodesign requirements. The Ecodesign Directive provides a clear framework about the sustainable design of products and it has been extended in 2009 to all energy-related products, or products with an impact on energy consumption during the use. The European Regulation establishes measures of ecodesign of ovens, hobs, and kitchen hoods, and domestic use and energy efficiency of a product has a significant environmental aspect in the use phase which is the most impactful in the life cycle. It is important that the product parameters and performances are not affected by ecodesign requirements from a user’s point of view, and the benefits of reducing energy consumption in the use phase should offset the possible environmental impact in the production stage. Accurate measurements of cooking appliance performance are essential to help the industry to produce more energy efficient appliances. The development of ecodriven products requires ecoinnovation and ecodesign tools to support the sustainability improvement. The ecodesign tools should be practical and focused on specific ecoobjectives in order to be largely diffused. The main scope of this paper is the development, implementation, and testing of an innovative tool, which could be an improvement for the sustainable design of induction hobs. In particular, a prototypical software tool is developed in order to simulate the energy performances of the induction hobs. The tool is focused on a multiphysics model which is able to simulate the energy performances and the efficiency of induction hobs starting from the design data. The multiphysics model is composed by an electromagnetic simulation and a thermal simulation. The electromagnetic simulation is able to calculate the eddy current induced in the pot, which leads to the Joule heating of material. The thermal simulation is able to measure the energy consumption during the operational phase. The Joule heating caused from the eddy currents is the output of electromagnetic simulation and the input of thermal ones. The aims of the paper are the development of integrated tools and methodologies of virtual prototyping in the context of the ecodesign. This tool could be a revolutionary instrument in the field of industrial engineering and it gives consideration to the environmental aspects of product design and focus on the ecodesign of energy-related products, in order to achieve a reduced environmental impact.
The mineral and mining industry is necessary for countries to have an adequate and reliable supply of materials to meet their socio-economic development. Despite its importance, the environmental impacts from mineral exploration are hugely significant. This study aimed to investigate and quantify the amount of GHGs emissions emitted from both electricity and diesel vehicle fuel consumption in basalt mining in Thailand. Plant A, located in the northeastern region of Thailand, was selected as a case study. Results indicated that total GHGs emissions from basalt mining and operation (Plant A) were approximately 2,501,086 kgCO2e and 1,997,412 kgCO2e in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The estimated carbon intensity ranged between 1.824 kgCO2e to 2.284 kgCO2e per ton of rock product. Scope 1 (direct emissions) was the dominant driver of its total GHGs compared to scope 2 (indirect emissions). As such, transport related combustion of diesel fuels generated the highest GHGs emission (65%) compared to emissions from purchased electricity (35%). Some of the potential implications for mining entities were also presented.
Since the 1980s, global tourism activity has consolidated worldwide to become an important economic contributor, and consequently, the sociocultural and environmental impacts are starting to become evidenced. This raises the need of discussing about actions for sustainable tourism that should be linked not only to the economy, but also to the environment and social aspects. The work that is going to be presented is part of a doctoral research project in Sciences undertaken at the Sao Paulo University, Brazil. It aims to analyze whether the monitoring of the tourism sector with a focus on sustainability is applicable or not, through those indicators, put in a case study in the Jalapão State Park (JSP) conservation unit, in the state of Tocantins, Brazil. This is a study of an interdisciplinary nature that had the deductive method as its guide. We concluded that the key points of the sustainable tourism, when analyzed with the focal point in environmental indicators, are an important evaluation and quantification tool of that activity in the study locus. It displayed itself as an adequate tool for monitoring, thus decoding, the main environmental impacts that occur in tourism regions and their intensity, which is made possible through analysis, and has the objective to trace ways to prevent and correct the presented impacts.
The assessment variables of the accessibility and the sustainability of access infrastructure for remote regions may vary significant by location and a wide range of factors may affect the decision process. In this paper, the environmental disturbance implications of transportation system to key demand and supply variables impact the economic system in remote destination are descripted. According to a systemic approach, the key sustainability variables deals with decision making process that have to be included in strategic plan for the critical transport infrastructure development and their relationship to regional socioeconomic system are presented. The application deals with the development of railway in remote destinations, where the traditional CBA not include the external cost generated by the environmental impacts that may have a range of diverse impacts on transport infrastructure and services. The analysis output provides key messages to decision and policy makers towards sustainable development of transport infrastructure, especially for remote destinations where accessibility is a key factor of regional economic development and social stability. The key conclusion could be essential useful for relevant applications in remote regions in the same latitude.
Air Quality Index (AQI) is used as a tool to indicate the level of severity and disseminate the information on air pollution to enable the public to understand the health and environmental impacts of air pollutant concentration levels. The annual and seasonal variation of criteria air pollutants concentration based on the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme has been conducted for a period of nine years (2006-2014) using the AQI system. AQI was calculated using IND-AQI methodology and Maximum Operator Concept is applied. An attempt has been made to quantify the variations in AQI on an annual and seasonal basis over a period of nine years. Further, year-wise frequency of occurrence of AQI in each category for all the five stations is analysed, which presents in depth analysis of trends over the period of study. The best air quality was observed in the Noida residential area, followed by Noida industrial area during the study period; whereas, Bulandshahar industrial area and Faridabad residential area were observed to have the worst air quality. A shift in the worst air quality from winter to summer season has also been observed during the study period. Further, the level of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter was found to be above permissible limit at all the stations. The present study helps in enhancing public awareness and calls for the need of immediate measures to be taken to counter-effect the cause of the increasing level of air pollution.
In France, in the main media, the concern about nuclear safety and security has not really appeared before the beginning of the 1970s. The gradual changes in its perception are studied here through the arguments given in the main French news magazines, linked with several parameters. As this represents a considerable amount of copies and thus of information, are selected here the main articles as well as the main “mental images” aiming to persuade the readers and which have led the public awareness to evolve. Indeed, in the 1970s, in France, these evolutions were not made in one day. Indeed, over the period, many articles were still in favor of nuclear power plants and promoted the technological advances that were made in this field. They had to be taken into account. But, gradually, grew up arguments and mental images discrediting the perception of nuclear technology. Among these were the environmental impacts of this industry, as the question of pollution progressively appeared. So, between 1970 and 1979, the language has changed, as the perceptible objectives of the communication, allowing to discern the deepest intentions of the editorial staffs of the French news magazines. This is all these changes that are emphasized here, over a period when the safety and security concern linked to the nuclear technology, to there a field for specialists, has become progressively a social issue seemingly open to all.
Reservoirs are being contaminated all around the world with point source and Non-Point Source (NPS) pollution. The most common NPS pollutants are sediments and nutrients. Krishnagiri Reservoir (KR) has been chosen for the present case study, which is located in the tropical semi-arid climatic zone of Tamil Nadu, South India. It is the main source of surface water in Krishnagiri district to meet the freshwater demands. The reservoir has lost about 40% of its water holding capacity due to sedimentation over the period of 50 years. Hence, from the research and management perspective, there is a need for a sound knowledge on the spatial and seasonal variations of KR water quality. The present study encompasses the specific objectives as (i) to investigate the longitudinal heterogeneity and seasonal variations of physicochemical parameters, nutrients and biological characteristics of KR water and (ii) to examine the extent of degradation of water quality in KR. 15 sampling points were identified by uniform stratified method and a systematic monthly sampling strategy was selected due to high dynamic nature in its hydrological characteristics. The physicochemical parameters, major ions, nutrients and Chlorophyll a (Chl a) were analysed. Trophic status of KR was classified by using Carlson's Trophic State Index (TSI). All statistical analyses were performed by using Statistical Package for Social Sciences programme, version-16.0. Spatial maps were prepared for Chl a using Arc GIS. Observations in KR pointed out that electrical conductivity and major ions are highly variable factors as it receives inflow from the catchment with different land use activities. The study of major ions in KR exhibited different trends in their values and it could be concluded that as the monsoon progresses the major ions in the water decreases or water quality stabilizes. The inflow point of KR showed comparatively higher concentration of nutrients including nitrate, soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), total phosphors (TP), total suspended phosphorus (TSP) and total dissolved phosphorus (TDP) during monsoon seasons. This evidently showed the input of significant amount of nutrients from the catchment side through agricultural runoff. High concentration of TDP and TSP at the lacustrine zone of the reservoir during summer season evidently revealed that there was a significant release of phosphorus from the bottom sediments. Carlson’s TSI of KR ranged between 81 and 92 during northeast monsoon and summer seasons. High and permanent Cyanobacterial bloom in KR could be mainly due to the internal loading of phosphorus from the bottom sediments. According to Carlson’s TSI classification Krishnagiri reservoir was ranked in the hyper-eutrophic category. This study provides necessary basic data on the spatio-temporal variations of water quality in KR and also proves the impact of point and NPS pollution from the catchment area. High TSI warrants a greater threat for the recovery of internal P loading and hyper-eutrophic condition of KR. Several expensive internal measures for the reduction of internal loading of P were introduced by many scientists. However, the outcome of the present research suggests for the innovative algae harvesting technique for the removal of sediment nutrients.
Large volumes of river sediments are dredged each year in Europe in order to maintain harbour activities and prevent floods. The management of this sediment has become increasingly complex. Several European projects were implemented to find environmentally sound solutions for these materials. The main objective of this study is to show the ability of river sediment to be used in road. Since sediments contain a high amount of water, then a dehydrating treatment by addition of the flocculation aid has been used. Firstly, a lot of physical characteristics are measured and discussed for a better identification of the raw sediment and this dehydrated sediment by addition the flocculation aid. The identified parameters are, for example, the initial water content, the density, the organic matter content, the grain size distribution, the liquid limit and plastic limit and geotechnical parameters. The environmental impacts of the used material were evaluated. The results obtained show that there is a slight change on the physical-chemical and geotechnical characteristics of sediment after dehydration by the addition of polymer. However, these sediments cannot be used in road construction.