UBC Faculty Research and Publications

A Comprehensive Review on Construction Applications and Life Cycle Sustainability of Natural Fiber Biocomposites Ahmad, Hammad; Chhipi-Shrestha, Gyan; Hewage, Kasun; Sadiq, Rehan


The construction industry is continuously searching for sustainable materials to combat the rapid depletion of global resources and ongoing ecological crises. Biocomposites have recently received global attention in various industries due to their renewability, low cost, and biodegradability. Biocomposites’ potential as a sustainable substitute in construction can be understood by identifying their diverse applications. Moreover, examining their life cycle environmental and economic impacts is important. Therefore, this study is a novel attempt to encompass biocomposites’ construction applications and their environmental life cycle performance. Statistical analysis is done related to the temporal distribution of papers, publishers, literature type and regions of studies. First, this paper reviews the latest research on the applications of natural fiber biocomposites in construction with their key findings. The applications include fiber reinforcements in concrete, external strengthening elements, internally filled hollow tubes, wood replacement boards, insulation, and non-structural members. The second part covers the life cycle assessment (LCA) and cost studies on biocomposites. The life cycle studies are currently rare and require more case-specific assessments; however, they highlight the benefits of biocomposites in cost savings and environmental protection. Finally, this study provides key suggestions for increasing the applicability of biocomposites as sustainable construction materials.

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