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Buildings, Volume 8, Issue 7 (July 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Energy consumption related to heating and cooling is a significant portion of the overall energy [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Durability of ETICS with Rendering in Norway—Experimental and Field Investigations
Received: 12 June 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
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Abstract
External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems (ETICS) with Rendering are widely used in both rehabilitation and new building projects, even in areas with harsh climates such as the western regions of Norway. However, we have seen extensive cases of defects involving such systems. This
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External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems (ETICS) with Rendering are widely used in both rehabilitation and new building projects, even in areas with harsh climates such as the western regions of Norway. However, we have seen extensive cases of defects involving such systems. This paper presents a comprehensive review of Norwegian experiences regarding the durability of ETICS on walls. The presented results are based on building research conducted by SINTEF 61 as well as 30 accelerated climatic laboratory experiments over the last 25 years on similar façade systems. These systems generally perform satisfactorily if thoroughly designed and carefully erected. However, according to the survey, the systems are not very robust. Even minor errors in design techniques and/or craftsmanship can lead to rendering defects. The investigations clearly show that ETICS is particularly vulnerable when exposed to severe driving rain conditions. ETICS provides only a single-stage protection against wind and precipitation and do not dry effectively after being wetted. Hence, the resultant cracks and other rendering weaknesses could be disastrous, enabling moisture to penetrate into the thermal insulation and the wall behind. In areas with heavy driving rain, we recommend façade solutions erected in accordance with the principle of two-stage tightening rather than ETICS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Whole Life-Cycle Ecological Footprint of Rural Existing Houses in Northern China
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 24 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
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Abstract
To solve the increasing contradiction between the living environment and residential energy consumption in rural areas, it is urgent to alter the traditional living mode and create a new living pattern with a pleasant environment. Based on the theory of ecological footprint, in
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To solve the increasing contradiction between the living environment and residential energy consumption in rural areas, it is urgent to alter the traditional living mode and create a new living pattern with a pleasant environment. Based on the theory of ecological footprint, in this article we compare the whole life-cycle ecological footprint between the northern rural house with various energy-saving measures and the urban multi-layer residence with only external wall thermal-insulation as the energy-saving measure. The results show that the sustainability of the multi-layer residence is obviously superior to the rural house. Therefore, rural house designers should learn the multi-layer residential design strategies, construction methods, and operation modes to reduce the unnecessary waste of the energy and resources. Through centralized planning, construction, and heating systems, the multi-level residence is conducive to sustainable human development. The study provides relevant theoretical support for low-carbon house construction in village areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Model-Based Comparative Evaluation of Building and District Control-Oriented Energy Retrofit Scenarios
Received: 13 May 2018 / Revised: 30 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 9 July 2018
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Abstract
This paper presents work undertaken as part of the European H2020 project OptEEmAL (Optimized Energy Efficient Design Platform for Refurbishment at District Level), toward development of a decision-support platform for building and district refurbishment interventions. We describe a methodology for generation and evaluation
[...] Read more.
This paper presents work undertaken as part of the European H2020 project OptEEmAL (Optimized Energy Efficient Design Platform for Refurbishment at District Level), toward development of a decision-support platform for building and district refurbishment interventions. We describe a methodology for generation and evaluation of refurbishment scenarios for building and districts with particular emphasis on “active” energy conservation measures (i.e., installation or replacement of heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) systems) and related controls. The impact of HVAC and controls on energy and economic key performance indicators are usually neglected or very simplified in existing energy simulation tools. We apply a model-based approach to evaluate key-performance indicators related to energy consumption and energy costs in buildings and districts, such that possible refurbishment alternatives can be easily evaluated, thereby showing how a smart decision support tool will allow stakeholders to compare multiple alternatives quickly. By considering relevant case studies at building and district level, including refurbishment of heating and cooling plants, we highlight, in a simulation-based study, how the deployment of efficiency-based controls enable significant energy savings thanks to the exploitation of the model-based approach. This way, additional motivations for energy savings and ultimately for new investments in energy-related technologies are provided. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Indoor Environmental Quality of Urban Residential Buildings in Cuenca—Ecuador: Comfort Standard
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 2 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 6 July 2018
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Abstract
A key factor for achieving healthy environments in residential buildings is the provision of high indoor environmental quality (IEQ) with respect to the acceptance by its occupants, based on levels of the physical parameters which contribute to IEQ. This research focuses on defining
[...] Read more.
A key factor for achieving healthy environments in residential buildings is the provision of high indoor environmental quality (IEQ) with respect to the acceptance by its occupants, based on levels of the physical parameters which contribute to IEQ. This research focuses on defining the comfort standards of indoor environments of urban dwellings in the city of Cuenca—Ecuador. It takes into account factors such as temperature, air quality, and natural lightning through a mixed method of quantitative and qualitative measurements. Results determined the following values: a comfort temperature (Tn) of 20.12 °C (with ranges from 16.62 °C to 23.62 °C for an acceptance of 80% and from 17.62 °C to 22.62 °C for an acceptance of 90%), a relative humidity between 40–65%, a maximum CO2 concentration of 614.25 ppm, a day light factor of ≥5 for the social area and ≥4 for the bedroom, and a minimum illumination level of 300 lux. With these results, it was observed that the comfort levels of temperature, CO2 concentration, and lighting accepted by local users differ from the standards established in local and international regulations. The determined data constitutes a methodological basis for carrying out similar processes in other localities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupant Comfort and Well-Being)
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Open AccessCase Report Re-Inventing Existing Real Estate of Social Housing for Older People: Building a New De Benring in Voorst, The Netherlands
Received: 20 June 2018 / Revised: 2 July 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
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Abstract
Population ageing has become a domain of international discussions and research throughout the spectrum of disciplines including housing, urban planning, and real estate. Older people are encouraged to continue living in their homes in their familiar environment, and this is referred to as
[...] Read more.
Population ageing has become a domain of international discussions and research throughout the spectrum of disciplines including housing, urban planning, and real estate. Older people are encouraged to continue living in their homes in their familiar environment, and this is referred to as “ageing-in-place”. Enabling one to age-in-place requires new housing arrangements that facilitate and enable older adults to live comfortably into old age, preferably with others. Innovative examples are provided from a Dutch social housing association, illustrating a new approach to environmental design that focuses more on building new communities in conjunction with the building itself, as opposed to the occupational therapeutic approaches and environmental support. Transformation projects, referred to as “Second Youth Experiments”, are conducted using the Røring method, which is based on the principles of co-creation. De Benring in Voorst, The Netherlands, is provided as a case study of an innovative transformation project. This project shows how social and technological innovations can be integrated in the retrofitting of existing real estate for older people. It leads to a flexible use of the real estate, which makes the building system- and customer preference proof. Full article
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Open AccessReview Plug n Play: Future Prefab for Smart Green Schools
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
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Abstract
While relocatable, prefabricated learning environments have formed an important component of school infrastructure in Australia, prefabrication for permanent school buildings is a new and emerging field. This review of prefabrication for schools is timely. In 2017, Australia’s two largest state education departments committed
[...] Read more.
While relocatable, prefabricated learning environments have formed an important component of school infrastructure in Australia, prefabrication for permanent school buildings is a new and emerging field. This review of prefabrication for schools is timely. In 2017, Australia’s two largest state education departments committed to prefabrication programs for permanent school infrastructure. In this paper we examine the recent history of prefabrication for Australian school buildings in the context of prefabrication internationally. We explore the range of prefabrication methods used locally and internationally and introduce evaluation indicators for school infrastructure. Traditional post-occupancy evaluation (POE) tools measure indicators such as indoor environment quality (IEQ), cost benefit, life cycle performance, and speed of delivery. In response to a shift towards more student-centred learning in a digitally rich environment, recently developed POE tools now investigate the ability of new generation learning environments (NGLEs) to support optimum pedagogical encounters. We conclude with an argument for departments of education to consider how prefabrication provides opportunities for step changes in the delivery, life-cycle management and occupation of smart green schools rather than a program of simply building new schools quicker, better, and cheaper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Prefabricated Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle Optimized Operation of an Existing Public Building Chilled Station Using TRNSYS
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 3 July 2018
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Abstract
Taking an existing public building as an example, the mathematical model of each equipment module of the chilled station and the TRNSYS custom module are established on the basis of the measured data. The mathematical model of “chilled station cooling capacity—equipment power” is
[...] Read more.
Taking an existing public building as an example, the mathematical model of each equipment module of the chilled station and the TRNSYS custom module are established on the basis of the measured data. The mathematical model of “chilled station cooling capacity—equipment power” is proposed and established. The full-frequency control strategy based on device contribution rate is proposed. The TRNSYS simulation platform is used to simulate a public building chilled station in the cooling season. The result shows that the seasonal energy efficiency rate of the public building air-conditioning system is 2.15 times as high as the original after applying the new control strategy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Building Energy Management Using Increased Thermal Capacitance and Thermal Storage Management
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
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Abstract
This study simulates an increased thermal capacitance (ITC) and thermal storage management (TSM) system to reduce the energy consumed by air conditioning and heating systems. The ITC/TSM is coupled with phase change materials (PCM), which enable tank volume reduction. The transient energy modeling
[...] Read more.
This study simulates an increased thermal capacitance (ITC) and thermal storage management (TSM) system to reduce the energy consumed by air conditioning and heating systems. The ITC/TSM is coupled with phase change materials (PCM), which enable tank volume reduction. The transient energy modeling software, the Transient System Simulation Tool (TRNSYS), is used to simulate the buildings’ thermal response and energy consumption, as well as the ITC/TSM system and controls. Four temperature-controlled operating regimes are used for the tank: building shell circulation, heat exchanger circulation, solar panel circulation, and storage. This study also explores possible energy-saving benefits from tank volume reduction such as losses associated with the environment temperature due to tank location. Three different tank locations are considered in this paper: outdoor, buried, and indoor. The smallest tank size (five gallons) is used for indoor placement, while the large tank (50 gallons) is used either for outdoor placement or buried at a depth of 1 m. Results for Atlanta, Georgia show an average 48% required energy decrease for cold months (October–April) and a 3% decrease for warm months (May–September) for the ITC/TSM system with PCM when compared with the reference case. A system with PCM reduces the tank size by 90% while maintaining similar energy savings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Improving the Energy Efficiency of the Residential Buildings in Jordan
Received: 15 May 2018 / Revised: 6 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 25 June 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of energy retrofit programs for the existing residential buildings under the typical Jordanian climate. The Jordanian climate has mild heating season and a hot (and usually dry) cooling season. Several building types located
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of energy retrofit programs for the existing residential buildings under the typical Jordanian climate. The Jordanian climate has mild heating season and a hot (and usually dry) cooling season. Several building types located in Jordan were considered as case study. The household sector in Jordan accounts for almost 43% of the total electricity consumption. Three levels of energy retrofit programs have been proposed. The economic, environmental and social benefits of the programs have been analyzed. Parametric analyses have been performed to determine the impact of each energy efficiency measure on the energy performance of residential buildings. The payback period for each level have been determined for several regions located in Jordan. The results proved the feasibility of the program except for implementing the third level on a traditional house. The results show that implementing level 3 energy efficiency measures can save up to 43% of the annual electricity consumption, save up to 842 MW on peak demand energy, and 2190 kilo-ton/year reduction of CO2 emission. That is equivalent to 3.37 TWH of electricity consumption compared to the base case. The total jobs created will be 80,769 job/year when performing the retrofit program. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mathematical Explanation and Fault Diagnosis of Low Delta-T Syndrome in Building Chilled Water Systems
Received: 29 April 2018 / Revised: 14 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
Low delta-T syndrome often occurs in building chilled water systems, which makes systems fail to operate as efficiently as originally anticipated. Extensive studies have been conducted on the subject of low delta-T syndrome with the aims of investigating the potential causes behind and
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Low delta-T syndrome often occurs in building chilled water systems, which makes systems fail to operate as efficiently as originally anticipated. Extensive studies have been conducted on the subject of low delta-T syndrome with the aims of investigating the potential causes behind and the ways to keep delta-T high. This paper addresses to explain the causes of degrading delta-T from a mathematic perspective and to analyze the impacts of important operational parameters on the delta-T quantitatively. A simplified global cooling coil model representing the relationship between the total cooling load and the total water flow rate of chilled water systems is developed, which can be used to predict the system delta-T under different load distribution and system operation conditions. It is proved mathematically that the load distribution characteristic is an important factor in influencing the system delta-T of a chilled water system. This finding explains why the system delta-T is always lower than the delta-T of individual coils, particularly under low partial load conditions. A system-level fault detection and diagnosis (FDD) method is proposed for identifying the possible causes of the low delta-T problem. A case study is conducted to validate the proposed global model and FDD method in a real building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Approaches to Achieving Building Energy Efficiency)
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Open AccessArticle Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Buildings for Sustainable Agri-Food Production—A Method Applied to an Olive Oil Mill
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 19 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
The sustainability of agri-food products is an increasingly pressing need. It is fundamental to consider the various needs related to the factors of production and to workers, which are different from those of products and plants, as well as new requirements, such as
[...] Read more.
The sustainability of agri-food products is an increasingly pressing need. It is fundamental to consider the various needs related to the factors of production and to workers, which are different from those of products and plants, as well as new requirements, such as environmental hygiene, protection from pests, and perishability control. To that purpose, this work proposes a method for in-use performance assessment (Post-Occupancy Evaluation) in food processing buildings. The method was applied to a traditional olive oil mill in Calabria. The building was thoroughly checked, and a questionnaire was given to the employees. An overall negative judgement value was recorded only for the oil storage area. The indoor thermal conditions of this area were monitored by a sensor network. The results obtained showed that the temperature in the oil storage area sometimes reached and exceeded 30 °C, while the optimal maximum temperature for the storage of extra-virgin olive oil should not go beyond 20 °C to preserve its organoleptic characteristics. To solve the problems detected, modelling and analyses were carried out with a dynamic thermal software program. A few minor building interventions were proposed and the indoor thermal values, obtained from the dynamic thermal simulation, showed a clear improvement in the building behavior in terms of protection from high temperatures, and lower energy consumption to diminish the environmental indoor temperature. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Translating across Disciplines: On Coding Interior Architecture Theory to Advance Complex Indoor Environment Quality
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
While indoor environment quality (IEQ) measurement is an established process, it omits the pleasure of interior environments, possibly due to its perceived subjectivity in the context of objective productivity and profitability. Given the significant commercial interior design industry, which engages with the complexity
[...] Read more.
While indoor environment quality (IEQ) measurement is an established process, it omits the pleasure of interior environments, possibly due to its perceived subjectivity in the context of objective productivity and profitability. Given the significant commercial interior design industry, which engages with the complexity of indoor habitation, there exists an opportunity to expand the scope of IEQ appraisal through inclusion of the interior architecture discipline as an IEQ stakeholder. This theoretical paper reframes existing building appraisal as convergent methods that are contingent on the discipline and audience, and proposes a sequential mixed methods research process that allows subjective and objective research methods integration. Drawing on the interior architecture discipline, and its holistic ‘interiority’, a content analysis of selected theoretical texts identifies candidate quality components for future development and use in environment quality measurement. The intention of this process is to translate across the interior architecture and architectural science disciplines by coding interior architecture perspectives into possible measurable variables. These broader candidate variables would likely be more inclusive of the lived experience and agency of occupants of interior spaces. Furthermore, they offer the possibility for extended complex indoor environment quality data for future use in advanced statistics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Factors in Green Building)
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