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Buildings, Volume 4, Issue 3 (September 2014), Pages 266-604

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Material Efficiency of Building Construction
Buildings 2014, 4(3), 266-294; doi:10.3390/buildings4030266
Received: 21 March 2014 / Revised: 4 May 2014 / Accepted: 16 June 2014 / Published: 1 July 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (346 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Better construction and use of buildings in the European Union would influence 42% of final energy consumption, about 35% of our greenhouse gas emissions and more than 50% of all extracted materials. It could also help to save up to 30% of [...] Read more.
Better construction and use of buildings in the European Union would influence 42% of final energy consumption, about 35% of our greenhouse gas emissions and more than 50% of all extracted materials. It could also help to save up to 30% of water consumption. This paper outlines and draws conclusions about different aspects of the material efficiency of buildings and assesses the significance of different building materials on the material efficiency. The research uses an extensive literature study and a case-study in order to assess: should the depletion of materials be ignored in the environmental or sustainability assessment of buildings, are the related effects on land use, energy use and/or harmful emissions significant, should related indicators (such as GHGs) be used to indicate the material efficiency of buildings, and what is the significance of scarce materials, compared to the use of other building materials. This research suggests that the material efficiency should focus on the significant global impacts of material efficiency; not on the individual factors of it. At present global warming and greenhouse gas emissions are among the biggest global problems on which material efficiency has a direct impact on. Therefore, this paper suggests that greenhouse gas emissions could be used as an indicator for material efficiency in building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Performance Analysis and Simulation)
Open AccessArticle Integration of Building Information Modeling and Critical Path Method Schedules to Simulate the Impact of Temperature and Humidity at the Project Level
Buildings 2014, 4(3), 295-319; doi:10.3390/buildings4030295
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 8 May 2014 / Accepted: 16 June 2014 / Published: 1 July 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1227 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Steel construction activities are often undertaken in an environment with limited climate control. Both hot and cold temperatures can physically and psychologically affect construction workers, thus decreasing their productivity. Temperature and humidity are two factors that constantly exert forces on workers and [...] Read more.
Steel construction activities are often undertaken in an environment with limited climate control. Both hot and cold temperatures can physically and psychologically affect construction workers, thus decreasing their productivity. Temperature and humidity are two factors that constantly exert forces on workers and influence their performance and efficiency. Previous studies have established a relationship between labor productivity and temperature and humidity. This research is built on the existing body of knowledge and develops a framework of integrating building information modeling (BIM) with a lower level critical path method (CPM) schedule to simulate the overall impact of temperature and humidity on a healthcare facility’s structural steel installation project in terms of total man hours required to build the project. This research effort utilized historical weather data of four cities across the U.S., with each city having workable seasons year-round and conducted a baseline assessment to test if various project starting dates and locations could significantly impact the project’s schedule performance. It was found that both varied project start dates and locations can significantly contribute to the difference in the man hours required to build the model project and that the project start date and location can have an interaction effect. This study contributes to the overall body of knowledge by providing a framework that can help practitioners better understand the overall impact of a productivity influencing factor at a project level, in order to facilitate better decision making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Directions in Building Information Modeling)
Open AccessArticle A Software Architecture for Simulation Support in Building Automation
Buildings 2014, 4(3), 320-335; doi:10.3390/buildings4030320
Received: 19 May 2014 / Revised: 20 June 2014 / Accepted: 26 June 2014 / Published: 4 July 2014
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Abstract
Building automation integrates the active components in a building and, thus, has to connect components of different industries. The goal is to provide reliable and efficient operation. This paper describes how simulation can support building automation and how the deployment process of [...] Read more.
Building automation integrates the active components in a building and, thus, has to connect components of different industries. The goal is to provide reliable and efficient operation. This paper describes how simulation can support building automation and how the deployment process of simulation assisted building control systems can be structured. We look at the process as a whole and map it to a set of formally described workflows that can partly be automated. A workbench environment supports the process execution by means of improved planning, collaboration and deployment. This framework allows integration of existing tools, as well as manual tasks, and is, therefore, many more intricate than regular software deployment tools. The complex environment of building commissioning requires expertise in different domains, especially lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, measurement and control technology, as well as energy efficiency; therefore, we present a framework for building commissioning and describe a deployment process that is capable of supporting the various phases of this approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Automation Systems)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Building Aspect Ratio on Energy Efficiency: A Case Study for Multi-Unit Residential Buildings in Canada
Buildings 2014, 4(3), 336-354; doi:10.3390/buildings4030336
Received: 17 April 2014 / Revised: 24 June 2014 / Accepted: 25 June 2014 / Published: 9 July 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1702 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines the energy consumption of varying aspect ratio in multi-unit residential buildings in Canadian cities. The aspect ratio of a building is one of the most important determinants of energy efficiency. It defines the building surface area by which heat [...] Read more.
This paper examines the energy consumption of varying aspect ratio in multi-unit residential buildings in Canadian cities. The aspect ratio of a building is one of the most important determinants of energy efficiency. It defines the building surface area by which heat is transferred between the interior and exterior environment. It also defines the amount of building area that is subject to solar gain. The extent to which this can be beneficial or detrimental depends on the aspect ratio and climate. This paper evaluates the relationship between the geometry of buildings and location to identify a design vernacular for energy-efficient designs across Canada. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Performance Analysis and Simulation)
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Open AccessArticle Experimental and Numerical Analyses of New Massive Wooden Shear-Wall Systems
Buildings 2014, 4(3), 355-374; doi:10.3390/buildings4030355
Received: 5 March 2014 / Revised: 24 June 2014 / Accepted: 25 June 2014 / Published: 14 July 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (4556 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Three innovative massive wooden shear-wall systems (Cross-Laminated-Glued Wall, Cross-Laminated-Stapled Wall, Layered Wall with dovetail inserts) were tested and their structural behaviour under seismic action was assessed with numerical simulations. The wall specimens differ mainly in the method used to assemble the layers [...] Read more.
Three innovative massive wooden shear-wall systems (Cross-Laminated-Glued Wall, Cross-Laminated-Stapled Wall, Layered Wall with dovetail inserts) were tested and their structural behaviour under seismic action was assessed with numerical simulations. The wall specimens differ mainly in the method used to assemble the layers of timber boards composing them. Quasi-static cyclic loading tests were carried out and then reproduced with a non-linear numerical model calibrated on the test results to estimate the most appropriate behaviour factor for each system. Non-linear dynamic simulations of 15 artificially generated seismic shocks showed that these systems have good dissipative capacity when correctly designed and that they can be assigned to the medium ductility class of Eurocode 8. This work also shows the influence of deformations in wooden panels and base connectors on the behaviour factor and dissipative capacity of the system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Performance Analysis and Simulation)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Parameters Influencing the Moisture Buffering Potential of Hygroscopic Materials with BSim Simulations
Buildings 2014, 4(3), 375-393; doi:10.3390/buildings4030375
Received: 17 June 2014 / Revised: 15 July 2014 / Accepted: 16 July 2014 / Published: 23 July 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (532 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Validated by a large-scale experimental investigation on moisture buffering (MB) effect, a whole building Heat, Air and Moisture (HAM) simulation tool, BSim, is applied to evaluate the impact of a number of parameters on the moisture buffering potential of a full-scale test [...] Read more.
Validated by a large-scale experimental investigation on moisture buffering (MB) effect, a whole building Heat, Air and Moisture (HAM) simulation tool, BSim, is applied to evaluate the impact of a number of parameters on the moisture buffering potential of a full-scale test room finished with hygroscopic materials. The Maximum Accumulated Moisture Buffering Value (MAMBV), developed from the moisture balance analyses in the experimental study, is used in the BSim simulation result analyses to evaluate the impact of various parameters. The parameters investigated include ventilation rates (0.5–5 ACH), types of materials (uncoated gypsum board, wood paneling, orientated strand board, aerated cellular concrete, and telephone book paper), humidity conditions of supply air, volume rates, and steady-state outdoor conditions. It is found that all these parameters have a significant impact on the moisture buffering potential except for the steady-state outdoor conditions. Two material properties, the moisture capacity and vapor permeability, determine the moisture buffering capacities of materials under different moisture generation regimes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Performance Analysis and Simulation)
Open AccessArticle Seismic Evaluation of Structural Insulated Panels in Comparison with Wood-Frame Panels
Buildings 2014, 4(3), 394-417; doi:10.3390/buildings4030394
Received: 29 May 2014 / Accepted: 4 July 2014 / Published: 31 July 2014
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Abstract
Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) wall systems have been used in residential and light commercial buildings for the past sixty years. Lack of sufficient published research on racking load performance and limited understanding of the influence of fastener types on seismic response has [...] Read more.
Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) wall systems have been used in residential and light commercial buildings for the past sixty years. Lack of sufficient published research on racking load performance and limited understanding of the influence of fastener types on seismic response has been a deterrent in widespread use of the wall system in seismically active areas. This paper presents the results of a study involving a total of twenty one 2.4 m × 2.4 m shear walls tested under monotonic and cyclic loading. Four different 114 mm thick SIP panel configurations and one traditional wood frame wall were tested under monotonic loading according to ASTM E 564-06; and thirteen 114 mm thick SIP panels and three wood frame walls were tested under the CUREE loading protocol according to ASTM E 2126-11. Parameters such as fastener type; spline design; hold-down anchor location; and sheathing bearing were adjusted throughout the testing in order to determine their effects on the SIP’s performance. Performance parameters such as peak load and displacement; energy dissipation; allowable drift load capacity and seismic compatibility were determined for all of the specimens. Such parameters were then used to demonstrate the SIP walls’ compatibility with the wood frame walls and to determine the efficiency of the different SIP wall configuration and spline systems employed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic-Resistant Building Design)
Open AccessArticle Introduction of an Innovative Cladding Panel System for Multi-Story Buildings
Buildings 2014, 4(3), 418-436; doi:10.3390/buildings4030418
Received: 22 June 2014 / Revised: 29 July 2014 / Accepted: 5 August 2014 / Published: 14 August 2014
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Abstract
An Energy Dissipating Cladding System has been developed for use in buildings designed based on the concept of damage-controlled structure in seismic design. This innovative cladding panel system is capable of functioning both as a structural brace, as well as a source [...] Read more.
An Energy Dissipating Cladding System has been developed for use in buildings designed based on the concept of damage-controlled structure in seismic design. This innovative cladding panel system is capable of functioning both as a structural brace, as well as a source of energy dissipation, without demanding inelastic action and ductility from the basic lateral force resisting system. The structural systems of many modern buildings typically have large openings to accommodate glazing systems, and a popular type of construction uses spandrel precast cladding panels at each floor level that supports strip window systems. The present study focuses on developing spandrel type precast concrete cladding panels as supplementary energy dissipating devices that are added to the basic structural system. Through a series of analytical studies, the result of evaluating the ability of the proposed Energy Dissipating Cladding system to improve the earthquake resistance of the buildings is presented here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic-Resistant Building Design)
Open AccessArticle Investigation of Comfort Temperature and Occupant Behavior in Japanese Houses during the Hot and Humid Season
Buildings 2014, 4(3), 437-452; doi:10.3390/buildings4030437
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 26 June 2014 / Accepted: 19 August 2014 / Published: 26 August 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (670 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to clarify the comfort temperature and to investigate the behavioral adaptation in Japanese houses, we have conducted a thermal comfort survey and occupant behavior survey in 30 living rooms during the hot and humid season in the Kanto region of [...] Read more.
In order to clarify the comfort temperature and to investigate the behavioral adaptation in Japanese houses, we have conducted a thermal comfort survey and occupant behavior survey in 30 living rooms during the hot and humid season in the Kanto region of Japan. We collected 3991 votes from 52 subjects. The comfort temperature was predicted by Griffiths’ method. They are analyzed according to humidity levels and compared with the adaptive model. The logistic regression analysis was conducted in order to understand occupant behavior. The mean comfort temperature in naturally ventilated mode is 27.6 °C which is within the acceptable zone of the adaptive model. The comfort temperature is related with skin moisture sensation. The results showed that the residents adapt to the hot and humid environments by increasing the air movement using behavioral adaptation such as window opening and fan use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Housing Design: Selected Papers from 2013 PLEA Conference)
Open AccessArticle Digital Modeling, Integrated Project Delivery and Industry Transformation: An Australian Case Study
Buildings 2014, 4(3), 453-466; doi:10.3390/buildings4030453
Received: 8 April 2014 / Revised: 27 June 2014 / Accepted: 25 August 2014 / Published: 2 September 2014
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Abstract
This research is focused on realizing productivity benefits for the delivery of transport infrastructure in the Australian construction industry through the use of building information modeling (BIM), virtual design and construction (VDC) and integrated project delivery (IPD). Specific objectives include: (I) building [...] Read more.
This research is focused on realizing productivity benefits for the delivery of transport infrastructure in the Australian construction industry through the use of building information modeling (BIM), virtual design and construction (VDC) and integrated project delivery (IPD). Specific objectives include: (I) building an understanding of the institutional environment, business systems and support mechanisms (e.g., training and skilling) which impact on the uptake of BIM/VDC; (II) gathering data to undertake a cross-country analysis of these environments; and (III) providing strategic and practical outcomes to guide the uptake of such processes in Australia. Activities which will inform this research include a review of academic literature and industry documentation, semi-formal interviews in Australia and Sweden, and a cross-country comparative analysis to determine factors affecting uptake and associated productivity improvements. These activities will seek to highlight the gaps between current-practice and best-practice which are impacting on widespread adoption of BIM/VDC and IPD. Early findings will be discussed with intended outcomes of this research being used to: inform a national public procurement strategy; provide guidelines for new contractual frameworks; and contribute to closing skill gaps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Directions in Building Information Modeling)
Open AccessArticle Essential BIM Input Data Study for Housing Refurbishment: Homeowners’ Preferences in the UK
Buildings 2014, 4(3), 467-487; doi:10.3390/buildings4030467
Received: 13 March 2014 / Revised: 25 July 2014 / Accepted: 4 September 2014 / Published: 11 September 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (742 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Construction customers are persistently seeking to achieve sustainability and maximize value as sustainability has become a major consideration in the construction industry. In particular, it is essential to refurbish a whole house to achieve the sustainability agenda of 80% CO2 reduction [...] Read more.
Construction customers are persistently seeking to achieve sustainability and maximize value as sustainability has become a major consideration in the construction industry. In particular, it is essential to refurbish a whole house to achieve the sustainability agenda of 80% CO2 reduction by 2050 as the housing sector accounts for 28% of the total UK CO2 emission. However, whole house refurbishment seems to be challenging due to the highly fragmented nature of construction practice, which makes the integration of diverse information throughout the project lifecycle difficult. Consequently, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore in order to manage construction projects in a collaborative manner, although the current uptake of the housing sector is low at 25%. This research aims to investigate homeowners’ decision making factors for housing refurbishment projects and to provide a valuable dataset as an essential input to BIM for such projects. One-hundred and twelve homeowners and 39 construction professionals involved in UK housing refurbishment were surveyed. It was revealed that homeowners value initial cost more while construction professionals value thermal performance. The results supported that homeowners and professionals both considered the first priority to be roof refurbishment. This research revealed that BIM requires a proper BIM dataset and objects for housing refurbishment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Directions in Building Information Modeling)
Open AccessArticle Future-Proofed Energy Design Approaches for Achieving Low-Energy Homes: Enhancing the Code for Sustainable Homes
Buildings 2014, 4(3), 488-519; doi:10.3390/buildings4030488
Received: 8 July 2014 / Revised: 19 August 2014 / Accepted: 21 August 2014 / Published: 16 September 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (550 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Under the label “future-proofing”, this paper examines the temporal component of sustainable construction as an unexplored, yet fundamental ingredient in the delivery of low-energy domestic buildings. The overarching aim is to explore the integration of future-proofed design approaches into current mainstream construction [...] Read more.
Under the label “future-proofing”, this paper examines the temporal component of sustainable construction as an unexplored, yet fundamental ingredient in the delivery of low-energy domestic buildings. The overarching aim is to explore the integration of future-proofed design approaches into current mainstream construction practice in the UK, focusing on the example of the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) tool. Regulation has been the most significant driver for achieving the 2016 zero-carbon target; however, there is a gap between the appeal for future-proofing and the lack of effective implementation by building professionals. Even though the CSH was introduced as the leading tool to drive the “step-change” required for achieving zero-carbon new homes by 2016 and the single national standard to encourage energy performance beyond current statutory minima, it lacks assessment criteria that explicitly promote a futures perspective. Based on an established conceptual model of future-proofing, 14 interviews with building practitioners in the UK were conducted to identify the “feasible” and “reasonably feasible” future-proofed design approaches with the potential to enhance the “Energy and CO2 Emissions” category of the CSH. The findings are categorised under three key aspects; namely: coverage of sustainability issues; adopting lifecycle thinking; and accommodating risks and uncertainties and seek to inform industry practice and policy-making in relation to building energy performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Building Design)
Open AccessArticle Supporting Decision-Making in the Building Life-Cycle Using Linked Building Data
Buildings 2014, 4(3), 549-579; doi:10.3390/buildings4030549
Received: 8 April 2014 / Revised: 12 August 2014 / Accepted: 4 September 2014 / Published: 18 September 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (580 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The interoperability challenge is a long-standing challenge in the domain of architecture, engineering and construction (AEC). Diverse approaches have already been presented for addressing this challenge. This article will look into the possibility of addressing the interoperability challenge in the building life-cycle [...] Read more.
The interoperability challenge is a long-standing challenge in the domain of architecture, engineering and construction (AEC). Diverse approaches have already been presented for addressing this challenge. This article will look into the possibility of addressing the interoperability challenge in the building life-cycle with a linked data approach. An outline is given of how linked data technologies tend to be deployed, thereby working towards a “more holistic” perspective on the building, or towards a large-scale web of “linked building data”. From this overview, and the associated use case scenarios, we conclude that the interoperability challenge cannot be “solved” using linked data technologies, but that it can be addressed. In other words, information exchange and management can be improved, but a pragmatic usage of technologies is still required in practice. Finally, we give an initial outline of some anticipated use cases in the building life-cycle in which the usage of linked data technologies may generate advantages over existing technologies and methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Directions in Building Information Modeling)
Open AccessArticle Scenario Testing of the Energy and Environmental Performance of “The Glasgow House”
Buildings 2014, 4(3), 580-604; doi:10.3390/buildings4030580
Received: 25 April 2014 / Revised: 15 August 2014 / Accepted: 3 September 2014 / Published: 22 September 2014
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Abstract
This paper describes the results from a 12-month study of two prototype low energy dwellings built for Glasgow Housing Association (GHA). The houses are intended for mainstream and social tenure within Glasgow and contain a range of energy reducing features including one [...] Read more.
This paper describes the results from a 12-month study of two prototype low energy dwellings built for Glasgow Housing Association (GHA). The houses are intended for mainstream and social tenure within Glasgow and contain a range of energy reducing features including one house with a thermally heavy clay block wall and one house using a conventional timber frame and both houses have sunspaces, Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR), solar thermal system and low energy lighting. The dwellings have been subject to an innovative monitoring strategy by MEARU, whereby test occupants (students recruited from the School of Architecture) have been asked to inhabit the buildings for six two-week periods using occupancy ‘scripts’ that determine their internal behaviour. The scenarios thus simulate varying patterns of occupancy in both houses simultaneously and the performance of the houses can then been compared. Indications are that although the clay block house had a poorer thermal performance, it did have other qualitative advantages, and consumption differences could be eliminated by exploiting the thermal mass. The performance of the active systems, including the MVHR system, was found to be problematic, and specific scenarios were undertaken to explore the implications of this. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Housing Design: Selected Papers from 2013 PLEA Conference)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Self-Centering Seismic Lateral Force Resisting Systems: High Performance Structures for the City of Tomorrow
Buildings 2014, 4(3), 520-548; doi:10.3390/buildings4030520
Received: 12 June 2014 / Revised: 3 September 2014 / Accepted: 4 September 2014 / Published: 18 September 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (918 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Structures designed in accordance with even the most modern buildings codes are expected to sustain damage during a severe earthquake; however; these structures are expected to protect the lives of the occupants. Damage to the structure can require expensive repairs; significant business [...] Read more.
Structures designed in accordance with even the most modern buildings codes are expected to sustain damage during a severe earthquake; however; these structures are expected to protect the lives of the occupants. Damage to the structure can require expensive repairs; significant business downtime; and in some cases building demolition. If damage occurs to many structures within a city or region; the regional and national economy may be severely disrupted. To address these shortcomings with current seismic lateral force resisting systems and to work towards more resilient; sustainable cities; a new class of seismic lateral force resisting systems that sustains little or no damage under severe earthquakes has been developed. These new seismic lateral force resisting systems reduce or prevent structural damage to nonreplaceable structural elements by softening the structural response elastically through gap opening mechanisms. To dissipate seismic energy; friction elements or replaceable yielding energy dissipation elements are also included. Post-tensioning is often used as a part of these systems to return the structure to a plumb; upright position (self-center) after the earthquake has passed. This paper summarizes the state-of-the art for self-centering seismic lateral force resisting systems and outlines current research challenges for these systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic-Resistant Building Design)

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