Sustainable Construction by Means of Improved Material Selection Process

Koorosh Gharehbaghi, Maged Georgy
Whilst sustainable construction relates to both a building’s structure and the use of proper life cycle processes, the selection of the most appropriate material/s is deemed a considerable undertaking. Throughout a building’s lifecycle that extends from design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, until demolition, the selection of sustainable material/s is a particularly crucial task for the development and establishment of such structures. Traditionally, there are three main materials for general construction: (1) Steel, (2) Concrete and (3) Timber. These materials not only influence the function within the structure, but also affect the operation cost and energy usage. Operation cost reduction and energy savings are typically elements of the sustainable construction sphere. However, in developing countries, there is a variety of highly critical factors, which can impact material selection as well as the long-term sustainability of the structure, including: Fire Performance, Environmental Impact, Structural Performance (strength and durability), and Functioning Capabilities. Accordingly, this paper will first compare the sustainability of these three key materials and then converse with appropriate processes for material selection. Attention will be given to the sustainable construction recompense associated with the different material selection factors. Doing so ensures a more sustainable built environment by means of an improved material selection process.
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