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Buildings, Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2012), Pages 384-553

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat of the 21st Century: A Global Perspective
Buildings 2012, 2(4), 384-423; doi:10.3390/buildings2040384
Received: 26 July 2012 / Revised: 5 September 2012 / Accepted: 10 September 2012 / Published: 28 September 2012
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Abstract
The tall building is the most dominating symbol of the cities and a human-made marvel that defies gravity by reaching to the clouds. It embodies unrelenting human aspirations to build even higher. It conjures a number of valid questions in our minds. The
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The tall building is the most dominating symbol of the cities and a human-made marvel that defies gravity by reaching to the clouds. It embodies unrelenting human aspirations to build even higher. It conjures a number of valid questions in our minds. The foremost and fundamental question that is often asked: Why tall buildings? This review paper seeks to answer the question by laying out arguments against and for tall buildings. Then, it provides a brief account of the historic and recent developments of tall buildings including their status during the current economic recession. The paper argues that as cities continue to expand horizontally, to safeguard against their reaching an eventual breaking point, the tall building as a building type is a possible solution by way of conquering vertical space through agglomeration and densification. Case studies of some recently built tall buildings are discussed to illustrate the nature of tall building development in their respective cities. The paper attempts to dispel any discernment about tall buildings as mere pieces of art and architecture by emphasizing their truly speculative, technological, sustainable, and evolving nature. It concludes by projecting a vision of tall buildings and their integration into the cities of the 21st century. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tall Buildings)
Open AccessArticle Methods for Creating Curved Shell Structures From Sheet Materials
Buildings 2012, 2(4), 424-455; doi:10.3390/buildings2040424
Received: 12 July 2012 / Revised: 5 September 2012 / Accepted: 11 October 2012 / Published: 19 October 2012
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Abstract
This paper describes some methods for producing developable surfaces with practical applications for creating useful lightweight, rigid, jig-less and elegant structural forms from sheet materials. Multiple related techniques based on the same fundamental principle can be used to generate a variety of interesting
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This paper describes some methods for producing developable surfaces with practical applications for creating useful lightweight, rigid, jig-less and elegant structural forms from sheet materials. Multiple related techniques based on the same fundamental principle can be used to generate a variety of interesting singly curved and doubly curved shapes. The system requires a minimum of specialist software, and is described in simple steps that can be followed by the reader with access to basic 3D CAD tools. Full article
Open AccessArticle Fatigue-Prone Details in Steel Bridges
Buildings 2012, 2(4), 456-476; doi:10.3390/buildings2040456
Received: 31 August 2012 / Revised: 1 November 2012 / Accepted: 2 November 2012 / Published: 12 November 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3816 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reviews the results of a comprehensive investigation including more than 100 fatigue damage cases, reported for steel and composite bridges. The damage cases are categorized according to types of detail. The mechanisms behind fatigue damage in each category are identified and
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This paper reviews the results of a comprehensive investigation including more than 100 fatigue damage cases, reported for steel and composite bridges. The damage cases are categorized according to types of detail. The mechanisms behind fatigue damage in each category are identified and studied. It was found that more than 90% of all reported damage cases are of deformation-induced type and generated by some kind of unintentional or otherwise overlooked interaction between different load-carrying members or systems in the bridge. Poor detailing, with unstiffened gaps and abrupt changes in stiffness at the connections between different members were also found to contribute to fatigue cracking in many details. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Failures)
Open AccessArticle Historical Consumption of Heating Natural Gas and Thermal Monitoring of a Multifamily High-Rise Building in a Temperate/Cold Climate in Argentina
Buildings 2012, 2(4), 477-496; doi:10.3390/buildings2040477
Received: 7 October 2012 / Revised: 9 November 2012 / Accepted: 22 November 2012 / Published: 4 December 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (586 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper analyzes the historical consumption of natural gas in a multifamily high-rise building and the monitored winter thermal behavior of an apartment sample. The building is located in the center of Argentina (latitude: 36º27’S; longitude: 64º27’W), where the climate is a cold
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This paper analyzes the historical consumption of natural gas in a multifamily high-rise building and the monitored winter thermal behavior of an apartment sample. The building is located in the center of Argentina (latitude: 36º27’S; longitude: 64º27’W), where the climate is a cold temperate with an absolute minimum temperature that may reach −10 °C. The building has two blocks, North and South. The building’s annual gas consumption and its variability between 1996 and 2008 are shown. The South block consumed 78% more gas, a situation expected due to lower solar resource availability and greater vulnerability regarding strong and cold SW winds. Indoor temperatures monitored during 2009 in four apartments are described. The outdoor minimum temperature reached −5 °C, with solar irradiance around 500 W/m2 at midday. Results showed that the average indoor temperatures were 20.1, 20.6, 24.0 and 22.1 °C. The highest consumption value corresponded to the apartment exposed to SW cold winds. Compared to the rest of the building, the apartment on the top floor consumes 59% more energy than the average for the gas consumed throughout the year. The authors assume that the energy potentials of intervention are different, and not necessarily all the apartments should have the same technological response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Design and Construction)
Open AccessArticle Robustness Assessment of Building Structures under Explosion
Buildings 2012, 2(4), 497-518; doi:10.3390/buildings2040497
Received: 7 October 2012 / Revised: 20 November 2012 / Accepted: 3 December 2012 / Published: 11 December 2012
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (3853 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over the past decade, much research has focused on the behaviour of structures following the failure of a key structural component. Particular attention has been given to sudden column loss, though questions remain as to whether this event-independent scenario is relevant to actual
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Over the past decade, much research has focused on the behaviour of structures following the failure of a key structural component. Particular attention has been given to sudden column loss, though questions remain as to whether this event-independent scenario is relevant to actual extreme events such as explosion. Few studies have been conducted to assess the performance of floor slabs above a failed column, and the computational tools used have not been validated against experimental results. The research program presented in this paper investigates the adequacy of sudden column loss as an idealisation of local damage caused by realistic explosion events, and extends prior work by combining the development of accurate computational models with large-scale testing of a typical floor system in a prototypical steel-framed structure. The floor system consists of corrugated decking topped by a lightly reinforced concrete slab that is connected to the floor beams through shear studs. The design is consistent with typical building practices in the US. The first test has been completed, and subsequent tests are currently being planned. This paper addresses the importance of robustness design for localized damage and includes a detailed description regarding how the research program advances the current state of knowledge for assessing robustness of compositely constructed steel-framed buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Failures)
Open AccessArticle Systematic Study of the Failure of a Light-Frame Wood Roof in a Tornado
Buildings 2012, 2(4), 519-533; doi:10.3390/buildings2040519
Received: 28 August 2012 / Revised: 21 November 2012 / Accepted: 3 December 2012 / Published: 11 December 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6949 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tornadoes are a particularly devastating natural hazard that affect communities across the United States, particularly the Midwest and South. They are unique from an engineering point-of-view due to their very low probability of occurrence but often highly destructive consequences. The 2011 season was
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Tornadoes are a particularly devastating natural hazard that affect communities across the United States, particularly the Midwest and South. They are unique from an engineering point-of-view due to their very low probability of occurrence but often highly destructive consequences. The 2011 season was particularly devastating to the Southeastern portion of the U.S. This paper presents a single case study of a 2012 tornado that struck a single large rural light-frame wood house with an unconventional roof system. A fragility methodology was used as a tool to probabilistically study the loss of the roof system, and bound an Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale rating of the tornado. The tornado was initially rated as an EF3 tornado by the U.S. National Weather Service. However, following a detailed site inspection verified with numerical structural models, the tornado was downgraded to an EF2 tornado. As expected, the use of nail connections in a roof-to-wall connection resulted in a weaker link compared to a hurricane clip. The approach presented in this paper can be used as a supplement to the EF rating provided by U.S. National Weather Service meteorologists when unusual conditions in either the structure or surroundings exists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Failures)
Open AccessArticle Carbon Footprint versus Performance of Aluminum, Plastic, and Wood Window Frames from Cradle to Gate
Buildings 2012, 2(4), 542-553; doi:10.3390/buildings2040542
Received: 15 October 2012 / Revised: 22 November 2012 / Accepted: 5 December 2012 / Published: 12 December 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (216 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Window frame material has significant impact on the thermal performance of the window. Moreover, with sustainable design becoming a necessity, window frame materials need to have higher levels of environmental performance to be considered sustainable. As a result, a holistic performance metric is
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Window frame material has significant impact on the thermal performance of the window. Moreover, with sustainable design becoming a necessity, window frame materials need to have higher levels of environmental performance to be considered sustainable. As a result, a holistic performance metric is needed to assess window frame material. Three similar frames were considered, manufactured from aluminum, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and wood. First their thermal performance was evaluated and compared using a heat transfer model. Then, carbon footprints of the three materials were considered for 1m2 of window area with a similar thermal performance. It was found that the thermal, as well as the environmental, performance of the wooden window frame was superior to those of aluminum and PVC. On the other hand aluminum frames had high environmental impacts and comparatively lower thermal performance. This study provides a holistic viewpoint on window frames by considering both environmental and thermal performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Design and Construction)

Other

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Open AccessCase Report Natatorium Building Enclosure Deterioration Due to Moisture Migration
Buildings 2012, 2(4), 534-541; doi:10.3390/buildings2040534
Received: 7 September 2012 / Revised: 28 November 2012 / Accepted: 4 December 2012 / Published: 12 December 2012
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Abstract
The natatorium enclosure at the Avon Recreation Center in Avon, Colorado experienced significant deterioration of the CMU façade due to moisture carried by humid air from the interior of the space into the wall assembly. This situation was caused by a combination of
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The natatorium enclosure at the Avon Recreation Center in Avon, Colorado experienced significant deterioration of the CMU façade due to moisture carried by humid air from the interior of the space into the wall assembly. This situation was caused by a combination of an insufficient interior air and vapor barrier along with an HVAC system that failed to provide negative pressurization to the space. This case study describes the investigation carried out to determine the causes of wall and roof deterioration at the building, and details the repair efforts undertaken. Lessons learned are presented to help designers, building owners, and maintenance personnel prevent similar problems from occurring in their buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Failures)

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