The Sustainable Construction Group will strengthen its activity within the main area of Sustainable Development, with a increasingly strong interaction among its different research areas, as well as with the reinforcement of its network activity with both national and international research units of excellence. This dynamics of internal and external research integration will lead the unit to increasing its outputs by publishing in international journals, by participating in international research projects as well as by disseminating its knowledge through the organization of national and international conferences. Bearing this future vision in mind, the group will be able to play a relevant role both at a national and at an international level through the excellence of its activity. The main objectives are to continue the research work that was initiated concerning the development of sustainable, innovative and more suitable construction materials and practices to be used in new constructions as well as in rehabilitation and repair works of existing buildings and concrete structures.
The Sustainable Construction Research Group will develop his research activity in the following three clusters:
1 - Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Built Environment;
2 - Construction Management;
3 - Sustainable Construction Materials.
The main objectives in terms of research of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Built Environment cluster are as follows: (1) develop sustainable, innovative and more suitable construction products and solutions, (2) develop science-based methods to support and evaluate the sustainability of buildings throughout their life-cycle, (3) emphasise and measure life cycle costs in terms of environment and technology, competitiveness factors of existing projects, (4) promote renovation, re-use and rehabilitation of existing buildings towards new European Union targets, (5) development of strategies and technologies towards the EU 20-20-20 targets including the development of technologies towards the nearly-zero emissions buildings and the integration of renewables in buildings, (6) Systems to support the assessment and recognition of sustainable building, including life-cycle analysis (LCA) of building performance, LCA of construction products and environmental product declaration (EPD), (7) Design for Climate Change and for future demounting and reuse of elements and materials, (8) Assessment and prediction of the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) of buildings, including assessment methods for monitoring IEQ and models to predict and optimize IEQ, (9) promote environmental expertise and technology, enlightened as competitive factors.
The Construction Management cluster aims at developing research on the main topics of management of construction projects. The research will be conducted in developing research lines defined for the cluster: (1) construction quality, safety and environmental issues, (2) construction planning and control, (3) environmental management of construction sites, (4) economics and management of building projects, (5) management of rehabilitation projects, (6) management of construction process, (7) benefits and operators management; (8) performance evaluation and investment analysis.
The achievement of the Sustainable Construction Materials Cluster objectives will be followed by the members into research areas like: (1) concretes and mortars modified by polymers, (2) polymers for concrete rehabilitation, (3) incorporation of mineral additions into concretes and mortars, (4) new eco-efficient composite materials resulting from the use of residues and industrial wastes, (5) evaluation and service life design of RC structures, (6) mechanisms of degradation and defects evaluation into structures, (7) concretes and mortars with alkaline activated binders, (8) concretes and mortars with photocatalytics properties.