Abstract: Although repeated contact with nature helps foster mental and physical health among young people, their contact with nature has been diminishing over the last few decades. Also, low-income and ethnic minority children have even less contact with nature than white middle-income children. In this study, we compared accessibility to play in parks for young people from different income and racial backgrounds in Denver, Colorado. Park access for children and youth was measured using a geographic information system (GIS). Each neighborhood was classified according to income level, residential density, and distance from downtown; and then each park was classified based on formal and informal play, and level of intimacy. Comparisons between neighborhoods show that that low-income neighborhoods have the lowest access and high-income neighborhoods have the highest access to parks, and that differences are even higher for parks with play amenities and high levels of intimacy. To overcome this issue, the paper proposes a framework for action to improve access to parks for low-income children and youth and to help planners, decision makers and advocacy groups prioritize park investments.
Abstract: The Ando-Beranek’s model, a linear version of Ando’s subjective preference theory, obtained by the authors in a recent work, was combined with Barron revised theory. An optimal volume region for each reverberation time was obtained for classical music in symphony orchestra concert halls. The obtained relation was tested with good agreement with the top rated halls reported by Beranek and other halls with reported anomalies.
Abstract: Planning energy-efficient buildings which produce on-site renewable energy in an urban context is a challenge for all involved actors in the planning process. The primary objective of this study was to develop a façade assessment and design tool for solar energy (FASSADES) providing the necessary information for all stakeholders in the design process. The secondary objective was to demonstrate the tool by performing an assessment analysis of a building block. The FASSADES tool is a DIVA4Rhino script, combining Radiance/Daysim and EnergyPlus for simulating the annual production of solar thermal and photovoltaic systems on facades, the cost-effectiveness of the solar energy system, and the payback time. Different output methods are available; graphically within the 3D drawing environment and numerically within post-processing software. The tool was tested to analyse a building block within a city under Swedish conditions. Output of the developed tool showed that shading from nearby buildings greatly affects the feasibility of photovoltaic and solar thermal systems on facades.
Abstract: Wind-driven air infiltration has been recognized among the major reasons for energy loss in buildings, and the impact to energy efficiency under steady conditions has been reported and issued as part of many building codes. The nearly zero-energy building demand makes uncontrolled leakage paths even more undesired and creates the need for further investigation of their behavior under unsteady wind conditions. The present numerical study examines the role of wind gustiness on instantaneous infiltration rates of a low-rise building. For this purpose, two levels of gust frequency Ω have been simulated, expressed as a sinusoidal factor in the wind profile formula. In parallel, a ratio α is employed to represent seven different cases of external leakages distribution, while five scenarios of compartmentalization and internal leakages shows the impact of the latter on the dynamics of building air exchange rates. The results indicate that higher wind gustiness results in higher ACH, marking out gusts as a potential critical factor under unsteady climate conditions. The infiltration rates shown in relation to the leakage distribution ratio α provide arguments for the importance of the detailed detection of external leakages while the comparison of the different internal-volume-scenario highlights the key-role of internal leakages control towards a drastic reduction of infiltration rates.
Abstract: Does a building contain its own Voice? And if so, can that Voice be discovered, transformed and augmented by soundscape design? Barry Blesser’s writings on acoustic space, discuss reverberation and resonant frequencies as providing architectural spaces with characteristic listening conditions related to the architectural space’s dimensions and materiality. The paper argues that Blesser and Salter expand such discussion into pantheistic speculation when suggesting that humanity contains the imaginative capacity to experience spaces as “living spirits”. This argument is achieved by building on the speculation through the discussion of a soundscape design methodology that considers space as containing pantheistic qualities. Sonic architectures are created with electroacoustic sound installations that recompose existing architectural soundscapes, to create the conditions for the emergence of the Voices of buildings. This paper describes two soundscape designs, Revoicing the Striated Soundscape and Subterranean Voices, which transformed existing architectural soundscapes for the emergence of Voices in a laneway and a building located in the City of Melbourne, Australia.