Research Output
Machine Learning for Sustainable Structures: A Call for Data
  Buildings are the world's largest contributors to energy demand, greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, resource consumption and waste generation. An unmissable opportunity exists to tackle climate change, global warming, and resource scarcity by rethinking how we approach building design. Structural materials often dominate the total mass of a building; therefore, a significant potential for material ef ciency and GHG emissions mitigation is to be found in ef cient structural design and use of structural materials.
To this end, environmental impact assessment methods, such as life cycle assessment (LCA), are increasingly used. However, they risk failing to deliver the expected bene ts due to the high number of parameters and uncer- tainty factors that characterise impacts of buildings along their lifespans. Additionally, effort and cost required for a reliable assessment seem to be major barriers to a more widespread adoption of LCA. More rapid progress towards reducing building impacts seems therefore possible by combining established environmental impact as- sessment methods with arti cial intelligence approaches such as machine learning and neural networks.
This short communication will brie y present previous attempts to employ such techniques in civil and struc- tural engineering. It will present likely outcomes of machine learning and neural network applications in the eld of structural engineering and – most importantly – it calls for data from professionals across the globe to form a fundamental basis which will enable quicker transition to a more sustainable built environment.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    19 November 2018

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    624 Civil engineering


D'Amico, B., Myers, R., Sykes, J., Voss, E., Cousins-Jenvey, B., Fawcett, W., …Pomponi, F. (2019). Machine Learning for Sustainable Structures: A Call for Data. Structures, 19, 1-4.


sustainable; structural; materials; embodied carbon; life cycle assessment LCA; machine learning; neural networks

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