Open AccessArticle
An IFC Interoperability Framework for Self-Inspection Process in Buildings
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 32; doi:10.3390/buildings8020032 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Self-inspection of buildings is the process of controlling the quality of construction work in order to ensure that the specifications are implemented according to the design. Under current practices, self-inspection is totally dependent on the operator’s skills, being a process that can be
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Self-inspection of buildings is the process of controlling the quality of construction work in order to ensure that the specifications are implemented according to the design. Under current practices, self-inspection is totally dependent on the operator’s skills, being a process that can be time-consuming and sometimes difficult to achieve. The Intuitive Self-Inspection Techniques using Augmented Reality (INSITER; for construction, refurbishment and maintenance of energy-efficient buildings made of prefabricated components) project aims to develop a software tool to support construction workers in self-inspection processes, with the overall objective of reducing major errors and extra costs. Nevertheless, one of the challenges is the lack of interoperability between the various equipment used to carry out self-inspection. Devices and current tools deployed on-site do not speak the same language, which leads to a lack of communication. Therefore, this paper presents a framework under which the equipment would be able to send information in a common format. For this purpose, the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) de-facto standard has been established as a viable data model to represent all the information related to the building project. Along these lines, Building Information Modeling (BIM) information and IFC-compliant databases have been designed for the representation of data coming from Computer-Aided Design (CAD) modeling, laser scanning, thermography and sensor networks. Besides the IFC-data repositories, the framework is a multi-layer architecture with the goal of ensuring interoperability and promoting the stakeholders’ objectives for self-inspection during the entire construction process. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Antimicrobial Efficiency of Metallurgical Slags for Application in Building Materials and Products
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 33; doi:10.3390/buildings8020033 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The article deals with studying the antimicrobial efficiency of finely ground metallurgical slags, such as granulated blast-furnace slag with specific surface areas of 340 (1Sa) and 520 m2/kg (1Sb), air cooled blast-furnace slag (2S), demetallized steel slag (3S), calcareous ladle slag
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The article deals with studying the antimicrobial efficiency of finely ground metallurgical slags, such as granulated blast-furnace slag with specific surface areas of 340 (1Sa) and 520 m2/kg (1Sb), air cooled blast-furnace slag (2S), demetallized steel slag (3S), calcareous ladle slag (4S), and copper slag (5S). The efficiency was tested on microbial representatives, such as: Gram-positive bacteria—Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus luteus; Gram-negative bacteria—Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Serratia marcescens; yeasts—Candida utilis, Rhodotorula glutinis; and microscopic filamentous fungi—Aspergillus niger, Penicillium funiculosum, Chaetomium globosum, Alternaria alternata, Trichoderma viride, Cladosporium herbarum. The efficiency was determined by dilution methods in agar growth media so that the resulting concentration of the tested slags was 10, 20, 40, and 60%. The antibacterial efficiency of the slags decreased in the order: S4 > S3 > S2 > S1a = S1b > S5, while their anti-yeast efficiency decreased in the order S4 > S1a = S1b = S3 > S2 > S5. Microscopic filamentous fungi were selectively sensitive to the slags; therefore, there is only an approximate order of efficiency of S4 > S3 = S1a = S1b > S5 > S2. Application of metallurgical slags into building materials and products provide them with increasing resistance against biodeterioration. Full article
Open AccessArticle
An Image-Based Gamut Analysis of Translucent Digital Ceramic Prints for Coloured Photovoltaic Modules
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 30; doi:10.3390/buildings8020030 -
Abstract
Colouring the frontglass of photovoltaic (PV) modules via digital ceramic printing aids in concealing the PV modules when integrated into existing building façades as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), while admitting sufficient light to produce electricity. This promotes the visual acceptance and adoption of PV
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Colouring the frontglass of photovoltaic (PV) modules via digital ceramic printing aids in concealing the PV modules when integrated into existing building façades as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), while admitting sufficient light to produce electricity. This promotes the visual acceptance and adoption of PV modules as a source of renewable energy in urban environments. The effective colour of the PV laminate is a combination of the transparent colour on glass and the colour of the PV cells. This colour should ideally match the architect’s visual expectations in terms of fidelity, but also in terms of relative PV efficiency as a function of print density. In practice, these requirements are often contradictory, particularly for vivid colours, and the visual results may deviate significantly. This paper presents an objective analysis of how colours appear on ceramically printed frontglass when laminated with a PV module, using an image-based colour acquisition process. Given a set of 1044 nominal colours uniformly distributed in the RGB colour space, each printed in 10 opacities, we quantify the range of effective colours observed when printed on glass and combined with a PV module, and their deviation from the nominals. Our results confirm that the effective colour gamuts are significantly constrained and skewed, depending on the ink volume and glass finish used for printing. In particular, blue–magenta hues cannot be reliably rendered with this process. These insights can serve as guidelines for selecting target colours for BIPV that can be well approximated in practice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
FE Modelling of the Seismic Behavior of Wide Beam-Column Joints Strengthened with CFRP Systems
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 31; doi:10.3390/buildings8020031 -
Abstract
A large share of reinforced concrete (RC) framed buildings is provided with wide beams being a type of beam allowing greater freedom in the architectural arrangement of interiors, beyond further advantage due to fewer formworks needed during the construction. Nevertheless, little attention has
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A large share of reinforced concrete (RC) framed buildings is provided with wide beams being a type of beam allowing greater freedom in the architectural arrangement of interiors, beyond further advantage due to fewer formworks needed during the construction. Nevertheless, little attention has been devoted to the seismic vulnerability of this kind of framed RC buildings as well as to the study of strengthening systems purposely developed for wide beams and wide beam-column connections. Under these premises, this paper proposes simple strengthening solutions made by Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRP) systems able to effectively improve seismic capacity through feasible arrangement suitable in case a wide beam is present. On the basis of wide beam-column joints previously tested without strengthening system, detailed nonlinear finite element models were calibrated. Then, an FRP strengthening intervention based on a brand new arrangement was modeled in order to perform additional simulations under seismic actions. This way, the effectiveness of the strengthening intervention was assessed finding out that significant strength and ductility increments were achieved with a relatively simple and cheap strengthening arrangement. Additional research would be desirable in the form of experimental tests on the simulated wide beam-column joints. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Energy Credits in LEED-Certified Buildings Based on Certification Levels and Project Ownership
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 29; doi:10.3390/buildings8020029 -
Abstract
Compared to other categories, the Energy and Atmosphere category contributes the most to the maximum obtainable points in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system. The objective of the study was to identify the extent to which project teams take
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Compared to other categories, the Energy and Atmosphere category contributes the most to the maximum obtainable points in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system. The objective of the study was to identify the extent to which project teams take advantage of the credits in the Energy and Atmosphere category of LEED. This study analyzes the performance of practitioners in achieving points in the Energy and Atmosphere credits of LEED-New Construction (NC) 2009 for 1500 buildings that received LEED certification in the US. For a better understanding of the credit patterns, the differences in the performance of practitioners are investigated relative to certification levels and project ownership. Achievement in credits is calculated in terms of percent of maximum points (PMP), since the maximum achievable points differ for each credit. Practitioners’ achievements in the credits were ranked as follows: (1) enhanced commissioning, (2) optimized energy performance, (3) enhanced refrigerant management, (4) green power, (5) measurement and verification, and (6) on-site renewable energy. The largest achievement differences were observed in the on-site renewable energy credit. Concerning building ownership, investors were found to optimize mostly energy efficiency and on-site renewable energy, but to mostly skip enhanced refrigerant management. Performance in the measurement and verification credit was similar for all owner types, whereas investors performed differently from corporations, and government agencies in the enhanced commissioning credit. Practitioners who recognize these priorities and differences are expected to be better positioned to make sustainability-related decisions in building design and construction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Instruments for Assessing Historical Built Environments in Emergency Contexts: Non-Destructive Techniques for Sustainable Recovery
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 27; doi:10.3390/buildings8020027 -
Abstract
This article looks at a knowledge-based approach to emergency situations caused by earthquakes or other natural disasters, and illustrates how a multidisciplinary approach enables the integration of technical requirements with those of a historical and cultural nature. The case study presented is the
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This article looks at a knowledge-based approach to emergency situations caused by earthquakes or other natural disasters, and illustrates how a multidisciplinary approach enables the integration of technical requirements with those of a historical and cultural nature. The case study presented is the recovery of the ex-city hospital of L’Aquila, in Italy, which was hit by an earthquake in 2009. The integrated use of varying investigation methodologies allowed us to establish the effectiveness of a knowledge-based approach, and generated new ideas for the development of the structure and its strategic role within the city. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improving the Healthiness of Sustainable Construction: Example of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 28; doi:10.3390/buildings8020028 -
Abstract
With the increasing emphasis on sustainable construction, it has become important to better understand the impacts of common materials. This is especially paramount with the introduction of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which call for more comprehensive evaluations, adding many
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With the increasing emphasis on sustainable construction, it has become important to better understand the impacts of common materials. This is especially paramount with the introduction of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which call for more comprehensive evaluations, adding many aspects of social consideration to the issues of environmental sustainability, including human health. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)/vinyl can be seen as a material with potential for significant adverse effects on a multiplicity of levels, and the construction industry is its single most significant consumer. This article presents a transdisciplinary review of adverse health impacts associated with PVC showing a number of issues: some that could be eliminated through design, but also some which appear inherent to the material itself and therefore unavoidable. The totality of issues revealed in relation to PVC presents a compelling case for a call for complete elimination of use of this material in sustainable construction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Centelles’ Palace of Oliva: The Recovery of Architectural Heritage through Its Plundering
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 26; doi:10.3390/buildings8020026 -
Abstract
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Danish architects Egil Fischer and Vilhelm Lauritzen carried out a rigorous graphic documentary study of one of the most important late-Gothic—Renaissance palaces in the Kingdom of Valencia, the Centelles’ Palace of Oliva, with the aim
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At the beginning of the 20th century, the Danish architects Egil Fischer and Vilhelm Lauritzen carried out a rigorous graphic documentary study of one of the most important late-Gothic—Renaissance palaces in the Kingdom of Valencia, the Centelles’ Palace of Oliva, with the aim of later taking many of its architectural elements to Denmark. After numerous complaints, the Palace was declared a National Monument in 1920 and the exportation of its pieces was suspended. In 1932, due to heavy rain, a part of the Palace collapsed. The Spanish Civil War increased the deterioration of the Palace, and after some attempts to retrieve it, the remains of the Palace were demolished in the 1950s, and all traces of this large building disappeared with them. Thanks to the graphic documentation carried out by Danish architects, today we are able to know and study this Palace of great cultural and patrimonial interest, which has now almost completely disappeared. The work carried out by these architects, far from destroying the Palace, has helped to preserve it through this graphic legacy which allows us to carry out a highly detailed graphical restoration of many of its elements, as well as a hypothetical physical restitution of them. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Vertical Farm: A Review of Developments and Implications for the Vertical City
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 24; doi:10.3390/buildings8020024 -
Abstract
This paper discusses the emerging need for vertical farms by examining issues related to food security, urban population growth, farmland shortages, “food miles”, and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Urban planners and agricultural leaders have argued that cities will need to produce food
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This paper discusses the emerging need for vertical farms by examining issues related to food security, urban population growth, farmland shortages, “food miles”, and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Urban planners and agricultural leaders have argued that cities will need to produce food internally to respond to demand by increasing population and to avoid paralyzing congestion, harmful pollution, and unaffordable food prices. The paper examines urban agriculture as a solution to these problems by merging food production and consumption in one place, with the vertical farm being suitable for urban areas where available land is limited and expensive. Luckily, recent advances in greenhouse technologies such as hydroponics, aeroponics, and aquaponics have provided a promising future to the vertical farm concept. These high-tech systems represent a paradigm shift in farming and food production and offer suitable and efficient methods for city farming by minimizing maintenance and maximizing yield. Upon reviewing these technologies and examining project prototypes, we find that these efforts may plant the seeds for the realization of the vertical farm. The paper, however, closes by speculating about the consequences, advantages, and disadvantages of the vertical farm’s implementation. Economic feasibility, codes, regulations, and a lack of expertise remain major obstacles in the path to implementing the vertical farm. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Bio-Aggregate-Based Composites Containing Hemp Hurds and Alternative Binder
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 25; doi:10.3390/buildings8020025 -
Abstract
This experimental study was focused on the application of a surface-modified hemp- hurds aggregate into composites using an alternative binder of MgO-cement. This paper presents the results of the comparative study of the parameters (chemical and physico-chemical modification, and hardening time) affecting the
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This experimental study was focused on the application of a surface-modified hemp- hurds aggregate into composites using an alternative binder of MgO-cement. This paper presents the results of the comparative study of the parameters (chemical and physico-chemical modification, and hardening time) affecting the physical (density, thermal conductivity coefficient and water-absorption behavior) and mechanical properties (compressive strength) of the bio-aggregate-based composite. A test of the parameters of the bio-composite samples showed some differences, which were determined by the chemical and surface properties of the modified filler, and which affected the mechanisms of hardening. The bulk density values of the hemp hurd composites hardened for 28 days place this material in the lightweight category of composites. The values of water absorption and the thermal conductivity coefficient of bio-composites decreased, and the strength parameter increased with an increase in the hardening time. The lower values of compressive strength, water absorption, and thermal conductivity coefficient (except for the ethylenediaminetetraacetic-acid-treated filler) were observed in composites based on fillers chemically treated with NaOH and Ca(OH)2) compared to referential composites (based on original hemp hurds). This is related to changes in the chemical composition of hemp hurds after chemical modification. The composites with ultrasound-treated hemp hurds had the greatest strengths at each hardening time. This is related to pulping the bundles of fibers and forming a larger surface area for bonding in the matrix. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Impact of Insulation and HVAC Degradation on Overall Building Energy Performance: A Case Study
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 23; doi:10.3390/buildings8020023 -
Abstract
Through monitoring of buildings, it can be proven that the performance of envelope elements and energy supply systems deteriorates with time. The results of this degradation are higher energy consumption and life cycle costs than projected in the building design phase. This paper
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Through monitoring of buildings, it can be proven that the performance of envelope elements and energy supply systems deteriorates with time. The results of this degradation are higher energy consumption and life cycle costs than projected in the building design phase. This paper considers the impacts of this deterioration on the whole building energy performance with the goal of improving the accuracy of long term performance calculations. To achieve that, simplified degradation equations found in literature are applied on selected envelope elements and heating system components of a single-family house in Germany. The energy performance of the building over 20 years is determined through simulations by EnergyPlus and MATLAB. The simulation results show that, depending on maintenance and primary heating system, the building can consume between 18.4% and 47.1% more primary energy over 20 years compared to a scenario in which no degradation were to occur. Thus, it can be concluded that considering performance drop with time is key in order to improve the decision-making process when designing future-proof buildings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Towards Zero-Emission Refurbishment of Historic Buildings: A Literature Review
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 22; doi:10.3390/buildings8020022 -
Abstract
Nowadays, restoration interventions that aim for minimum environmental impact are conceived for recent buildings. Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced using criteria met within a life-cycle analysis, while energy saving is achieved with cost-effective retrofitting actions that secure higher benefits in terms of comfort.
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Nowadays, restoration interventions that aim for minimum environmental impact are conceived for recent buildings. Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced using criteria met within a life-cycle analysis, while energy saving is achieved with cost-effective retrofitting actions that secure higher benefits in terms of comfort. However, conservation, restoration and retrofitting interventions in historic buildings do not have the same objectives as in modern buildings. Additional requirements have to be followed, such as the use of materials compatible with the original and the preservation of authenticity to ensure historic, artistic, cultural and social values over time. The paper presents a systematic review—at the intersection between environmental sustainability and conservation—of the state of the art of current methodological approaches applied in the sustainable refurbishment of historic buildings. It identifies research gaps in the field and highlights the paradox seen in the Scandinavian countries that are models in applying environmentally sustainable policies but still poor in integrating preservation issues. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Are Mental Biases Responsible for the Perceived Comfort Advantage in “Green” Buildings?
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 20; doi:10.3390/buildings8020020 -
Abstract
Previous research has shown that merely calling an indoor environment environmentally certified will make people favor that environment over a conventional alternative. In this paper we explore whether this effect depends on participants deliberately comparing the two environments, and whether different reasons behind
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Previous research has shown that merely calling an indoor environment environmentally certified will make people favor that environment over a conventional alternative. In this paper we explore whether this effect depends on participants deliberately comparing the two environments, and whether different reasons behind the certification influence the magnitude of the effect. In Experiment 1, participants in a between-subjects design assigned higher comfort ratings to an indoor environment that had been labeled “environmentally certified” in comparison with the exact same indoor environment that was unlabeled, suggesting that the effect arises even when participants do not compare the two environments when making their estimates. The results from Experiment 2 indicate that climate change mitigation (as the reason for the certification) is a slightly better trigger of the effect compared to climate change adaptation. The results suggest that studies on psychological effects of “green” buildings should experimentally control for the influence from participants’ judgmental biases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Interval Estimations of Building Heating Energy Consumption using the Degree-Day Method and Fuzzy Numbers
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 21; doi:10.3390/buildings8020021 -
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to propagate the input uncertainties of the degree-day method to estimate the building heating energy consumption as numerical intervals. While it is common to use average or expected values (e.g., Typical Meteorological Year) to address the input
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The purpose of this paper is to propagate the input uncertainties of the degree-day method to estimate the building heating energy consumption as numerical intervals. While it is common to use average or expected values (e.g., Typical Meteorological Year) to address the input uncertainties, this practice can only yield the best estimates as single-point values without informing the possible range of variations. After classifying two types of uncertainty as weather variability and imprecision in the degree-day method, this paper proposes the adoption of fuzzy numbers and their arithmetic as the theoretical approach to handle uncertainty. As the degree-day method mainly involves elementary arithmetic (e.g., addition and multiplication), fuzzy number arithmetic can be directly applied to formally process numerical intervals. The proposed method is demonstrated and verified via a building example in Canada, and the interval results are comparable to the variation of heating energy consumption based on the data of outdoor ambient temperatures in 52 years. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Building Materials, Ionizing Radiation and HBIM: A Case Study from Pompei (Italy)
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 18; doi:10.3390/buildings8020018 -
Abstract
This paper presents a different point of view on the conservation of the built heritage, adding ionizing radiation to the most well-known digital documentation dataset. Igneous building materials characterize most of the built heritage in the Campania region, and in a large part
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This paper presents a different point of view on the conservation of the built heritage, adding ionizing radiation to the most well-known digital documentation dataset. Igneous building materials characterize most of the built heritage in the Campania region, and in a large part of southern Italy. The ionizing radiations proceeding from these materials can produce stochastic biological effects on the exposed living beings. The research team designed and tested a technical-scientific protocol to survey and analyse this natural phenomenon in association with the use of geological material for building purposes. Geographical Information Systems (GISs), City Information Modelling (CIM), and Building Information Modelling (BIM) are the digital tools used to manage the construction entities and their characteristics, and then to represent the thematic data as false-colour images. The emission spectra of fair-faced or plastered materials as a fingerprint of their nature is proposed as a non-invasive method. Due to both the huge presence of historical buildings and an intense touristic flow, the main square of Pompei has been selected as a study area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Reducing the Loss of Built Heritage in Seismic Areas
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 19; doi:10.3390/buildings8020019 -
Abstract
The presence of the largest part of World Heritage sites in a seismically-prone area, like Italy, demands always greater measures to protect the most important built heritage, as well as the minor architecture. This requires a constant improvement of the current protocol from
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The presence of the largest part of World Heritage sites in a seismically-prone area, like Italy, demands always greater measures to protect the most important built heritage, as well as the minor architecture. This requires a constant improvement of the current protocol from the damage survey and the provisional safety measures to the final intervention. This procedure is summarized, briefly, here and additional practical suggestions are given to improve the activities, based on the experience of on-site volunteers during the damage survey after the earthquake that struck Italy in 2016. Basic issues on the recurrent characteristics of historic masonry buildings, that make them often complex constructions with unexpected behaviour, are fundamental in the preparation of the volunteers in surveying damage. This helps in reducing evaluation mistakes and in designing the provisional safety structures aimed at the preservation of built heritage to the extent possible. Some examples of incorrect interpretation of the damage in historic buildings are reported here. In conclusion, only the awareness that it is necessary that a correct understanding of the recurrent or, on the contrary, peculiar, characteristics of a historic building plays a key role in the damage evaluation and in its subsequent protection from further damage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Building in Historical Areas: Identity Values and Energy Performance of Innovative Massive Stone Envelopes with Reference to Traditional Building Solutions
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 17; doi:10.3390/buildings8020017 -
Abstract
The intrinsic nature of local rocks shaped the features of built heritage in historical centers. The resulting building culture is part of the cultural heritage itself, and must be considered when building in such areas, while it is essential to solve the issues
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The intrinsic nature of local rocks shaped the features of built heritage in historical centers. The resulting building culture is part of the cultural heritage itself, and must be considered when building in such areas, while it is essential to solve the issues related to traditional constructions’ weaknesses. Nonetheless, the potentialities of massive stone envelopes, particularly the importance of thermal inertia, have contributed to redefining the language of contemporary architectural culture. Nowadays, although the trend of employing thin stone cladding panels is prevalent, thick stone envelopes are gaining a renewed importance. Previous literature demonstrated that mixed building technologies or massive stone envelopes coupled with load-bearing framed structures are able to meet comfort and safety requirements and to guarantee the integration of new constructions in the consolidated urban landscape, avoiding historicist approaches. This research, through the analysis of case studies, aims to describe innovative building solutions developed by contemporary architectural culture, comparing them with traditional stone masonry walls. Moreover, thermal energy performance of such building solutions is assessed through dynamic yearly simulations. Results show that these solutions are technically and architecturally suitable to build in historical centers, because they can express urban cultural identity and guarantee good energy performance and users’ comfort. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Study of Self-Compacting Mortar Incorporating Recycled Glass Aggregate
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 15; doi:10.3390/buildings8020015 -
Abstract
This experimental research is focused on the development of self-compacting mortar incorporating recycled glass aggregate (SCM-RGA) as partial substitution of fine aggregate (wt 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% and 50%). The fresh and hardened mechanical properties as well as durability of SCM-RGA mixes
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This experimental research is focused on the development of self-compacting mortar incorporating recycled glass aggregate (SCM-RGA) as partial substitution of fine aggregate (wt 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% and 50%). The fresh and hardened mechanical properties as well as durability of SCM-RGA mixes were investigated. Limestone powder (LP) was used as filler that constitutes 20% of the powder volume to reduce the amount of cement. The SCM-RGA mixtures were designed based on Japanese mix design method. The experimental test results showed that the slump flow of SCM-RGA mixes decreased and V-funnel flow time increased when the content of recycled glass aggregate (RGA) increased. The bulk density, compressive strength, flexural strength, water absorption and sorptivity of SCM-RGA mixes were decreased as RGA content increased. Moreover, the accelerated mortar bar test results showed that the expansion due to alkali–silica reaction (ASR) of SCM-RGA mixes increased as the content of RGA increased although the expansion of all mixes were within acceptable limit and potentially innocuous. In conclusion, up to 30% of RGA can be successfully integrated in SCM mixes that offers comparable strength performance, sorptivity enhancement and without long term detrimental ASR effect, and thus, contributes towards sustainable solid waste management, conservation of natural resources and environmental protection. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Preservation Strategies for Southern Morocco’s At-Risk Built Heritage
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 16; doi:10.3390/buildings8020016 -
Abstract
Morocco has a vernacular architectural heritage of recognized value, which constitutes an indissoluble part of its cultural legacy. In the south of the country, specifically in the High Atlas mountain range and the pre-Saharan oases, we mainly find earth constructions of an incomparable
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Morocco has a vernacular architectural heritage of recognized value, which constitutes an indissoluble part of its cultural legacy. In the south of the country, specifically in the High Atlas mountain range and the pre-Saharan oases, we mainly find earth constructions of an incomparable landscape integration and plasticity. However, the political and social changes of the last decades are favoring the abandonment of these constructions, placing many of them at risk of disappearing. The objective of this contribution is to reveal the characteristics and weaknesses that the new constructions present today. The method used has consisted in analyzing the preservation actions that are being carried out, both by the Moroccan public administration and by private individuals, including those developed by the authors through documentation, cataloging, virtualization, and restoration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Fuzzy-Based Building Energy Management System for Energy Efficiency
Buildings 2018, 8(2), 14; doi:10.3390/buildings8020014 -
Abstract
Information and communication technologies (ICT) offer immense potential to improve the energetic performance of buildings. Additionally, common building control systems are typically based on simple decision-making tools, which possess the ability to obtain controllable parameters for indoor temperatures. Nevertheless, the accuracy of such
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Information and communication technologies (ICT) offer immense potential to improve the energetic performance of buildings. Additionally, common building control systems are typically based on simple decision-making tools, which possess the ability to obtain controllable parameters for indoor temperatures. Nevertheless, the accuracy of such common building control systems is improvable with the integration of advanced decision-making techniques embedded into software and energy management tools. This paper presents the design of a building energy management system (BEMS), which is currently under development, and that makes use of artificial intelligence for the automated decision-making process required for optimal comfort of occupants and utilization of renewables for achieving energy-efficiency in buildings. The research falls under the scope of the H2020 project BREASER which implements fuzzy logic with the aim of governing the energy resources of a school in Turkey, which has been renovated with a ventilated façade with integrated renewable energy sources (RES). The BRESAER BEMS includes prediction techniques that increase the accuracy of common BEMS tools, and subsequent energy savings, while ensuring the indoor thermal comfort of the building occupants. In particular, weather forecast and simulation strategies are integrated into the functionalities of the overall system. By collecting the aforementioned information, the BEMS makes decisions according to a well-established selection of key performance indicators (KPIs) with the objective of providing a quantitative comparable value to determine new actuation parameters. Full article
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