Open AccessArticle
Predicting Dynamic Response of Structures under Earthquake Loads Using Logical Analysis of Data
Buildings 2018, 8(4), 61; doi:10.3390/buildings8040061 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this paper, logical analysis of data (LAD) is used to predict the seismic response of building structures employing the captured dynamic responses. In order to prepare the data, computational simulations using a single degree of freedom (SDOF) building model under different ground
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In this paper, logical analysis of data (LAD) is used to predict the seismic response of building structures employing the captured dynamic responses. In order to prepare the data, computational simulations using a single degree of freedom (SDOF) building model under different ground motion records are carried out. The selected excitation records are real and of different peak ground accelerations (PGA). The sensitivity of the seismic response in terms of displacements of floors to the variation in earthquake characteristics, such as soil class, characteristic period, and time step of records, peak ground displacement, and peak ground velocity, have also been considered. The dynamic equation of motion describing the building model and the applied earthquake load are presented and solved incrementally using the Runge-Kutta method. LAD then finds the characteristic patterns which lead to forecast the seismic response of building structures. The accuracy of LAD is compared to that of an artificial neural network (ANN), since the latter is the most known machine learning technique. Based on the conducted study, the proposed LAD model has been proven to be an efficient technique to learn, simulate, and blindly predict the dynamic response behaviour of building structures subjected to earthquake loads. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Presence of Social Client Relationship Management within the Nigerian Construction Industry
Buildings 2018, 8(4), 60; doi:10.3390/buildings8040060 -
Abstract
Client relationship management (CRM) has become a subject matter of interest to both academics and business practitioners. This is because it reflects the need to manage successful and profitable client relationships for organizations. Construction organizations, as well as the construction industry, are vital
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Client relationship management (CRM) has become a subject matter of interest to both academics and business practitioners. This is because it reflects the need to manage successful and profitable client relationships for organizations. Construction organizations, as well as the construction industry, are vital components of economic development in Nigeria, but many organizations struggle to perform the client relationships expected of them. The use of social media in the present era has given power to the relevant stakeholders to express their perceptions to a very large audience on the social media platforms of construction organizations. The application of social media to marketing is essential to managing client relationships. This research has been carried out to examine the level of awareness and use of social client relationship management (CRM 2.0) in Nigerian contracting and consulting construction organizations. In other words, the purpose of the study is to examine the level of adoption of social media platforms in client relationship management in the construction industry in Nigeria. The study also assessed the barriers to the adoption of the use of social media platforms in client relationship management. Using a questionnaire survey, a purposive quota sampling technique was utilized for the collection of data from contracting and consulting firms. The findings reveal that contracting and consulting firms have little to no awareness of CRM 2.0. This study suggests that Nigerian construction organizations are still hesitant to implement social media in a business environment and fully adopt CRM 2.0 in the construction industry. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Gender Differences in Environmental Perspectives among Urban Design Professionals
Buildings 2018, 8(4), 59; doi:10.3390/buildings8040059 -
Abstract
Urban design professionals are key actors in early design phases and have the possibility to influence urban development and direct it in a more sustainable direction. Therefore, gender differences in environmental perspectives among urban design professionals may have a marked effect on urban
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Urban design professionals are key actors in early design phases and have the possibility to influence urban development and direct it in a more sustainable direction. Therefore, gender differences in environmental perspectives among urban design professionals may have a marked effect on urban development and the environment. This study identified gender differences in environment-related attitudes among urban design professionals involved in the international architectural competition ‘A New City Centre for Kiruna’ in northern Sweden. Participants’ self-rated possibility to influence environmental aspects was higher for males than for females. Conversely, the importance placed on environmental aspects had higher ratings among females, although the differences regarding the rating of personal responsibility were small. The gap between the participants’ self-rated belief in their ability to influence and rated importance of environmental aspects was larger among female participants. Females placed great importance on environmental aspects even though they felt that their possibility to influence these was rather low. Conversely, male participants felt that they had the greatest possibility to influence, although some males rated the importance of environmental aspects thelowest. The gender differences identified are important from an equality and environmental perspective as they may influence pro-environmental behavior among urban design professionals and ultimately influence the environmental performance of the built environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
From ‘Rigid’ to ‘Resilient’: A Proposed Self-Build Relocatable SIP Construction Mechanism for Sustainable Social Housing Models in UAE
Buildings 2018, 8(4), 58; doi:10.3390/buildings8040058 -
Abstract
The current ‘rigid’ construction systems and material of Emirati social housing leave little room for residents to undertake their desired adaptations and extensions of their turn-key houses, which have been designed, built and submitted to them by federal and local social housing institutions.
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The current ‘rigid’ construction systems and material of Emirati social housing leave little room for residents to undertake their desired adaptations and extensions of their turn-key houses, which have been designed, built and submitted to them by federal and local social housing institutions. This lack of adaptability and responsiveness to the residents’ changing needs has caused undeniable problems with regard to social sustainability. In response, residents have reacted spontaneously by changing and extending their houses, but, unfortunately in many cases, these actions have resulted in structural, environmental and health hazards. On the other hand, the recently emerging Structured Insulated Panels (SIPs) systems have been investigated in this research as sustainable, resilient and relocatable external/internal wall-floor-roof construction systems replacing the current ‘rigid’ masonry-and-reinforced-concrete one used in the construction of UAE social housing. This would help achieve the resilience of social housing and, thus, allow residents to have the lead in adapting and extending/contracting their houses without compromising environmental, structural and safety considerations. This research indicates that the use of SIP systems is promising and thus proposes a self-build construction mechanism that would give the residents the upper hand in the decisions relevant to their houses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Barriers to Adoption of Sustainable Technologies for Energy-Efficient Building Upgrade—Semi-Structured Interviews
Buildings 2018, 8(4), 57; doi:10.3390/buildings8040057 -
Abstract
Globally, only 2% of existing building stock is built yearly; the remaining 98% already exist. Energy consumption and indoor thermal comfort of the existing building stock are not encouraging. This is due to many challenges associated with existing buildings; the challenges range from
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Globally, only 2% of existing building stock is built yearly; the remaining 98% already exist. Energy consumption and indoor thermal comfort of the existing building stock are not encouraging. This is due to many challenges associated with existing buildings; the challenges range from cracks, leakages, poor insulation, heat losses and high rate of unsustainable technologies. This paper investigates possible barriers facing the adoption and application of sustainable technologies (STs) for sustainable or energy-efficient upgrade of existing buildings. New STs are manufactured on a regular basis to meet improved energy efficiency standards, yet there are minimal actions/attempts to adopt and apply improved technologies in existing buildings for energy efficiency. Indeed, there are limited studies focused on the use of qualitative approaches to identify barriers to adoption and use of STs. Thus, a semi-structured interview approach was adopted and applied using sustainability/energy efficiency professionals, building services engineers, project managers, architects, and facility managers in Australia. The results indicate that barriers to the adoption and application of sustainable technologies are perceived benefits in demolish-and-build, age of building, cost of STs, perceived poor payback time, unreliable energy-savings projections, existing design, hidden and overall cost of renovation, and cost of STs. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Thermal Comfort Analyses of Secondary School Students in the Tropics
Buildings 2018, 8(4), 56; doi:10.3390/buildings8040056 -
Abstract
This study aims to analyze the thermal comfort level of students in secondary schools in the tropical city of Makassar. The analysis is carried out based on data surveyed from eight selected high schools. The study involved 1594 students in 48 classrooms. The
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This study aims to analyze the thermal comfort level of students in secondary schools in the tropical city of Makassar. The analysis is carried out based on data surveyed from eight selected high schools. The study involved 1594 students in 48 classrooms. The recorded data includes personal data and measured environmental parameters. At the same time, students were asked to fill out questionnaires related to their thermal comfort levels. The surveyed classrooms showed high air temperatures. The air temperatures ranged from 28.2 °C in the morning to 33.6 °C in the midday. The radiant temperatures were similar to the air temperature, which indicated that the airflow speed was low. The only parameter that could meet the Indonesian national standard was relative humidity. However, many students still feel comfortable (−1 to +1) based on TSV (thermal sensation vote) and TCV (thermal comfort vote). Even though about 80% of respondents accepted this hot temperature, most of them preferred to have a decrease in the air temperature. Regarding the PMV (predicted mean vote), only about 23% respondents were predicted to feel slightly warm (+1). The regression analyses show that the neutral temperatures were 29.0 °C and 28.5 °C for TSV and TCV, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Performance of Blue-Green Roofs in Cold Climates: A Scoping Review
Buildings 2018, 8(4), 55; doi:10.3390/buildings8040055 -
Abstract
Green and blue-green roofs are emerging as an increasingly popular feature of rooftops, particularly in urban areas. Particular problematic conditions render their usage complex in the Nordic countries. In order to ensure that green roofs are built durable and with the service life
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Green and blue-green roofs are emerging as an increasingly popular feature of rooftops, particularly in urban areas. Particular problematic conditions render their usage complex in the Nordic countries. In order to ensure that green roofs are built durable and with the service life expected of them, it is important to know all the relevant factors surrounding their construction and operation. A scoping study was conducted in order to gain an overview on green roof research and available scientific literature. One hundred articles of particular interest for Nordic climates were retrieved and their findings summarized. It is found that the vast majority of green roof research has been conducted on a theoretical basis, or with practical measurements on green roof test beds or isolated components. There is scarcely any literature on the operation of full-scale, building-implemented green roofs, and no articles were found on the building technical performance of aged green roofs. These knowledge gaps indicate a major risk factor in green roof operation, as their performance and integrity over time has not been documented. This despite the fact that green roofs have been implemented and in operation worldwide for decades. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Choosing the Energy Sources Needed for Utilities in the Design and Refurbishment of Buildings
Buildings 2018, 8(4), 54; doi:10.3390/buildings8040054 -
Abstract
This paper presents a method for choosing the energy sources that are needed for the following building utilities following building: lighting, domestic hot water, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The novelty of this paper consists of applying the concept of the energy hub
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This paper presents a method for choosing the energy sources that are needed for the following building utilities following building: lighting, domestic hot water, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The novelty of this paper consists of applying the concept of the energy hub and considering the cost of carbon dioxide emissions when selecting the available energy sources in the building’s location. The criterion for selecting the energy sources is the minimum overall cost of all forms of energy that are consumed in the building over its estimated lifetime. In order to estimate the overall costs, it is necessary to know the power that is installed and provided by the energy production technologies that are inside the building, as well as the capacity of energy that is required from outside energy sources. An office building that was proposed for refurbishment has been investigated as a case study. In the paper, we have analysed four scenarios. The results indicate that more favourable alternative solutions can be obtained compared to the traditional scenario (Scenario 4—heat and electricity by public utility networks). The overall costs are 46.17% (212,671 EUR) lower in Scenario 1, 25.35% (116,770 EUR) lower in Scenario 2, and 10.89% (50,150 EUR) lower in Scenario 3. Additionally, the carbon dioxide emissions are 22.98% (49 tonnes CO2/year) lower in Scenario 1 and 8.91% (19 tonnes CO2/year) lower in Scenario 2. Thus, renewable energy sources can occupy a growing share of the total energy consumption of the building. The proposed algorithm can be used for both the refurbishment of existing buildings and the design of new buildings. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Practices of Built Heritage Post-Disaster Reconstruction for Resilient Cities
Buildings 2018, 8(4), 53; doi:10.3390/buildings8040053 -
Abstract
The concept of resilience has become increasingly important to our understanding of sustainable planning. Post-disaster urban and architectural reconstruction might be treated as a strategy for resilient cities, helping them to reinvent themselves after possible destruction. The purpose of this study is to
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The concept of resilience has become increasingly important to our understanding of sustainable planning. Post-disaster urban and architectural reconstruction might be treated as a strategy for resilient cities, helping them to reinvent themselves after possible destruction. The purpose of this study is to analyse several cases of nearly total reconstruction of historical urban complexes. Specifically, it explores how urban heritage conservation and recreation could contribute to the resilience agenda, giving traumatised societies a sense of continuity and localness. It analyses the changes in the conservation doctrine, highlighting the growing acceptance of architectural reconstructions. Drawing on historical examples, mainly derived from the Polish School of Conservation practice, this paper argues that the methods and processes attempted to regain identity for the thoroughly rebuilt structures proved effective in recreating the identity of such cities as Kalisz, Warsaw, Gdańsk, and Wrocław. The article argues that while processes at the governmental level emphasised the strengthening of national identity, the experiences of the reconstructed townscapes eventually involved forms of more diverse municipal identities. The article highlights that the strategy of recreating traditional images of cities after their mutilation in disastrous events might be a key to becoming a more resilient city and the formation of the post-disaster citizenry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Balanced Evaluation of Structural and Environmental Performances in Building Design
Buildings 2018, 8(4), 52; doi:10.3390/buildings8040052 -
Abstract
The design of new buildings, and even more the rehabilitation of existing ones, needs to satisfy modern criteria in terms of energy efficiency and environmental performance, within the context of adequate safety requirements. Tackling all these needs at the same time is cumbersome,
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The design of new buildings, and even more the rehabilitation of existing ones, needs to satisfy modern criteria in terms of energy efficiency and environmental performance, within the context of adequate safety requirements. Tackling all these needs at the same time is cumbersome, as demonstrated by several experiences during recent earthquakes, where the improvement of energy performance vanished by seismic-induced damages. The costs of energy retrofitting must be added to the normal losses caused by the earthquake. Even though the minimum safety requirements are met (no collapse), the damage due to earthquake might be enough to waste the investment made to improve energy efficiency. Since these measures are often facilitated by corresponding incentives, the use of public funding is not cost effective. The application of the existing impact assessment methods is typically performed at the end of the architectural and structural design process. Thus, no real optimisation can be achieved, because a good structural solution could correspond to a poor environmental performance and vice versa. The proposed Sustainable Structural Design method (SSD) considers both environmental and structural parameters in the life cycle perspective. The integration of environmental data in the structural performance is the focus of the method. Structural performances are considered in a probabilistic approach, through the introduction of a simplified Performance Based Assessment method. Finally, the SSD method is implemented with a case-study of an office-occupancy building, both for precast and cast-in-situ structural systems, with the aim to find the best solution in terms of sustainability and structural performance for the case at hand. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Social, Educational, and Market Scenario for nZEB in Europe
Buildings 2018, 8(4), 51; doi:10.3390/buildings8040051 -
Abstract
Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB) are a significant part of the energy efficiency strategy of the European Union. As buildings represent approximately 40% of the final energy use in Europe, the reduction of their energy demand is key for a sustainable future. This
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Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB) are a significant part of the energy efficiency strategy of the European Union. As buildings represent approximately 40% of the final energy use in Europe, the reduction of their energy demand is key for a sustainable future. This paper takes a qualitative approach and presents data about professional and market barriers, as well as the educational market in relation to the implementation of nZEB policies for new and retrofit buildings in 11 European countries. Different levels of policy enactments and market penetration are reported and are generally found to be more advanced in western and central European countries. Furthermore, gender equality is examined in the building sector in relation to nZEB and presents significant gaps, with a more balanced situation reported in southern Europe. The accreditation and targeted education of nZEB experts is still almost non-existent in the examined countries, and the need for training of building professionals is highlighted as a critical missing component of current policy. This research aims to be the first step towards the creation of educational material and programmes as a mean to accelerate the transition to nZEB. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Beyond the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: Vulnerability Reduction as a Challenge Involving Historical and Traditional Buildings
Buildings 2018, 8(4), 50; doi:10.3390/buildings8040050 -
Abstract
In observance of the international procedures on disaster risk management, and in particular the Sendai Framework (2015), this research focuses on how more specific procedures related to it can be made effective in the treatment of historic areas worldwide. Disaster risk management is
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In observance of the international procedures on disaster risk management, and in particular the Sendai Framework (2015), this research focuses on how more specific procedures related to it can be made effective in the treatment of historic areas worldwide. Disaster risk management is now viewed as being important in the context of historic buildings, as they are strongly related to cultural identity as well as to resilient communities, and can have a large impact on local economies. The study points out that cultural heritage might be the core field of action for capacity building in less vulnerable places, and that its protection is one of the main tasks to attend to in order to achieve the goal of vulnerability reduction. The paper also aims to answer questions such as: which actions could allow better protection of cultural heritage? Is it correct to involve local communities in reconstruction plans by capacity building and self-managed projects? How have reconstruction plans been managed recently worldwide? By further developing the applicability of the priority areas of action of the Sendai Framework, the research illustrates critical points and best practices that will hopefully support disaster risk reduction based on strategic management and remote monitoring, involving technologies and social participation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characteristics of Thermal Comfort Conditions in Cold Rural Areas of China: A Case study of Stone Dwellings in a Tibetan Village
Buildings 2018, 8(4), 49; doi:10.3390/buildings8040049 -
Abstract
This paper focuses on thermal environmental conditions in the stone dwellings of a Tibetan village in Danba County, Sichuan, China, in winter. During the study, field measurements and subjective survey studies were collected, simultaneously, to provide a comprehensive understanding of the thermal comfort
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This paper focuses on thermal environmental conditions in the stone dwellings of a Tibetan village in Danba County, Sichuan, China, in winter. During the study, field measurements and subjective survey studies were collected, simultaneously, to provide a comprehensive understanding of the thermal comfort conditions that were experienced by residents in cold rural areas of Sichuan. Subjective surveys involved questions about thermal comfort perceptions and acceptability in cold conditions. The status of thermal comfort and characteristics of indoor environmental qualities were investigated in the study. The majority of survey participants (47% and 74%) voted as “slightly cool” for temperature, and “slightly dry” for humidity in the studied typical winter days, respectively. The available adaptive opportunities for the residents were investigated through the survey studies. Adjusting clothing, drinking hot beverages, blocking air infiltration through windows, and changing activities were the most common adaptive measures. An adaptive coefficient (λ) was determined based on adaptive predicted mean votes (aPMV) models using least square methods to assess the different adaptation measures in the region. Findings of this study provided a valuable reference for thermal comfort adaptations in cold climates, where limited adaptive opportunities were available due to the low standard of living. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enhancing Heat Treatment Efficacy for Insect Pest Control: A Case Study of a CFD Application to Improve the Design and Structure of a Flour Mill
Buildings 2018, 8(4), 48; doi:10.3390/buildings8040048 -
Abstract
Heat treatment of the indoor environment of flour mills is an alternative technique to chemical fumigation for controlling insect pests. The aim of this research was to assess temperature distribution inside a flour mill during a heat treatment for insect pest control by
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Heat treatment of the indoor environment of flour mills is an alternative technique to chemical fumigation for controlling insect pests. The aim of this research was to assess temperature distribution inside a flour mill during a heat treatment for insect pest control by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling and simulation. The model was validated by using the average values of experimental data acquired during a heat treatment carried out in a flour mill, which is representative of the building materials and techniques used in the milling industry of South Italy. Simulations were carried out in steady-state conditions, and simulated data were validated by the average values of air and wall temperature measurements. Since the modelled temperature distribution in the mill fit the real one with a good accuracy (maximum error equal to 2.57 °C), the CFD model was considered reliable to simulate other operating conditions. Since it was observed that the internal surface temperatures of the mill were much lower than the value required for the success of the heat treatment, equal to 45 °C, the CFD model could be used for improving the effectiveness of heat treatments in the flour mill. Application of the proposed CFD model in the simulation of specific interventions could be aimed at improving both building performance and fan heaters’ localisatio,n in order to find the best configuration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
On the Influence of Thermal Mass and Natural Ventilation on Overheating Risk in Offices
Buildings 2018, 8(4), 47; doi:10.3390/buildings8040047 -
Abstract
Free cooling strategies are gaining importance in design practice due to the increased risk of overheating in well-insulated buildings with high internal loads such as offices. The state of the art highlights that the most efficient passive solution for indoor temperature stabilization and
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Free cooling strategies are gaining importance in design practice due to the increased risk of overheating in well-insulated buildings with high internal loads such as offices. The state of the art highlights that the most efficient passive solution for indoor temperature stabilization and control is the integration of thermal mass with an optimized ventilative cooling profile to enhance the thermal cycle of heat storage. Due to its cyclical behavior, thermal mass effects are difficult to predict and quantify with the traditional steady-state approach to building thermal performance. Dynamic thermal simulations help to assess a building’s behavior under transient situations, including the thermal mass influence. However, building codes usually include thermal simulations based on standard assumptions: typical meteorological year (TMY), standard occupancy, standard daily-based lighting and appliances profiles, and standard weekly-based occupancy. Thus, when assumptions change, the actual behavior of the building may vary consistently from the predicted conditions. In this paper, we focused on the ability of thermal mass to contrast the influence of variations from the standard assumptions, especially in relation to climate and ventilation profiles. The results show the necessity of encompassing different risk scenarios when evaluating a free cooling solution performance. Among the different scenarios simulated, natural ventilation misuse shows greater influence on the thermal indoor environment, especially if coupled with low thermal mass. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Variations in the U-Value Measurement of a Whole Dwelling Using Infrared Thermography under Controlled Conditions
Buildings 2018, 8(3), 46; doi:10.3390/buildings8030046 -
Abstract
U-values of building elements are often determined using point measurements, where infrared imagery may be used to identify a suitable location for these measurements. Current methods identify that surface areas exhibiting a homogeneous temperature—away from regions of thermal bridging—can be used to obtain
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U-values of building elements are often determined using point measurements, where infrared imagery may be used to identify a suitable location for these measurements. Current methods identify that surface areas exhibiting a homogeneous temperature—away from regions of thermal bridging—can be used to obtain U-values. In doing so, however, the resulting U-value is assumed to represent that entire building element, contrary to the information given by the initial infrared inspection. This can be problematic when applying these measured U-values to models for predicting energy performance. Three techniques have been used to measure the U-values of external building elements of a full-scale replica of a pre-1920s U.K. home under controlled conditions: point measurements, using heat flux meters, and two variations of infrared thermography at high and low resolutions. U-values determined from each technique were used to calibrate a model of that building and predictions of the heat transfer coefficient, annual energy consumption, and fuel cost were made. Point measurements and low-resolution infrared thermography were found to represent a relatively small proportion of the overall U-value distribution. By propagating the variation of U-values found using high-resolution thermography, the predicted heat transfer coefficient (HTC) was found to vary between 183 W/K to 235 W/K (±12%). This also led to subsequent variations in the predictions for annual energy consumption for heating (between 4923 kWh and 5481 kWh, ±11%); and in the predicted cost of that energy consumption (between £227 and £281, ±24%). This variation is indicative of the sensitivity of energy simulations to sensor placement when carrying out point measurements for U-values. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Post-Earthquake Damage: St. Salvatore Church in Acquapagana, Central Italy
Buildings 2018, 8(3), 45; doi:10.3390/buildings8030045 -
Abstract
This article proposes a multidisciplinary approach for the assessment of seismic damage from the perspective of conservation and prevention. A comparison of the state of damage has been carried out in a case study, St. Salvatore church in Acquapagana (MC), as an example
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This article proposes a multidisciplinary approach for the assessment of seismic damage from the perspective of conservation and prevention. A comparison of the state of damage has been carried out in a case study, St. Salvatore church in Acquapagana (MC), as an example of church, which underwent two important seismic events in the Central Italy area, the 1997 and the 2016 earthquakes. The comparison of the state of damage passes through the following stages: (a) the territorial seismic overview; (b) the historical description and material analysis; (c) the identification of macro-elements with activated damage mechanisms; (d) the comparison between the two seismic events both from a territorial- and building-scale perspective. This work puts together the archived and the on-site survey data with those elaborated starting from seismogenic information, available from the National Seismological Institute, and it provides a strategy also for other similar conditions. This work is to be considered a contribution to a wider study that could be carried out in the areas hit by the 2016 earthquake. It could also represent a way to collect documentation in the post-earthquake phase, improving the effectiveness of procedures currently applied to the first level of damage assessment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Renaissance Drawings of the 16th Century in the City of Lugo: Three Fountains from Gonzalo de la Bárcena’s Workshop
Buildings 2018, 8(3), 44; doi:10.3390/buildings8030044 -
Abstract
Historically, urban fountains have been underestimated to the point of not being considered worthy of conservation. The foregoing reason, together with the lack of sufficient archaeological data on this type of element in the Renaissance city, makes it necessary to document and carry
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Historically, urban fountains have been underestimated to the point of not being considered worthy of conservation. The foregoing reason, together with the lack of sufficient archaeological data on this type of element in the Renaissance city, makes it necessary to document and carry out graphic research to correct this deficiency and establish the relevance of these constructions. The present work shows, through the concrete case method, the analysis of three Renaissance fountains from the Spanish city of Lugo and the importance of these elements as urban landmarks that marked the essential lines of the development of cities after the medieval period. It also analyses the work of their constructors, who belonged to a workshop of plumbers and master builders from the historical territory of Trasmiera (Cantabria) and who took their art throughout the Spanish kingdom. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Waste Paper Cellulosic Fibers Utilization into Cement Based Building Materials
Buildings 2018, 8(3), 43; doi:10.3390/buildings8030043 -
Abstract
Recently, the utilization of renewable natural cellulosic materials, such as wood, plants, and waste paper in the preparation of building materials has attracted significant interest. This is due to their advantageous properties, low environmental impact and low cost. The objective of this paper
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Recently, the utilization of renewable natural cellulosic materials, such as wood, plants, and waste paper in the preparation of building materials has attracted significant interest. This is due to their advantageous properties, low environmental impact and low cost. The objective of this paper is to investigate the influence of recycled cellulosic fibers (in the amount 0.5 wt % of the filler and binder weight) and superplasticizer (in the amount 0.5 wt % of the cement weight) on the resulting properties of cement composites (consistency of fresh mixture, density, thermal conductivity, and compressive and flexural strength) for hardening times of 1, 3, 7, 28, and 90 days. Plasticizer use improved the workability of fresh cement mixture. In comparison to the reference sample, the results revealed a decrease in density of 6.8% and in the thermal conductivity of composites with cellulosic fibers of 34%. The highest values of compressive (48.4 MPa) and flexural (up to 7 MPa) strength were achieved for hardened fiber cement specimens with plasticizer due to their significantly better dispersion of cement particles and improved bond strength between fibers and matrix. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Methodology for Integrated Refurbishment Actions in School Buildings
Buildings 2018, 8(3), 42; doi:10.3390/buildings8030042 -
Abstract
Educational buildings could play leading roles in increasing high-performance building refurbishments across Europe. The city of Vienna has substantially modernized its schools in the last decade, however mostly single refurbishment measures have been undertaken. This is missing the potential of comprehensive and more
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Educational buildings could play leading roles in increasing high-performance building refurbishments across Europe. The city of Vienna has substantially modernized its schools in the last decade, however mostly single refurbishment measures have been undertaken. This is missing the potential of comprehensive and more energy-efficient actions as well as functional adaptations, which become ever more important as school and learning systems are changing. Institutional framework conditions, budget constraints as well as the lack of a coherent methodology have been identified as the main barriers in this context. The research question addresses how qualitative aspects, such as architecture and function, as well as quantitative aspects, such as energy consumption, could be combined in a methodology that can be easily applied by relevant stakeholders. What would a methodology that actively supports stakeholders in their decision-making process for more comprehensive school refurbishments look like? This paper describes a potential approach and its application in a case study. The proposed methodology supports the development of energy- and functionally optimized refurbishment concepts, with a focus on the synergies between energy-related optimizations and state-of-the-art functional room concepts in order to do justice to the changing learning requirements in schools. Full article
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