Buildings2014, 4(3), 580-604; doi:10.3390/buildings4030580 (registering DOI) - published 22 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper describes the results from a 12-month study of two prototype low energy dwellings built for Glasgow Housing Association (GHA). The houses are intended for mainstream and social tenure within Glasgow and contain a range of energy reducing features including one house with a thermally heavy clay block wall and one house using a conventional timber frame and both houses have sunspaces, Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR), solar thermal system and low energy lighting. The dwellings have been subject to an innovative monitoring strategy by MEARU, whereby test occupants (students recruited from the School of Architecture) have been asked to inhabit the buildings for six two-week periods using occupancy ‘scripts’ that determine their internal behaviour. The scenarios thus simulate varying patterns of occupancy in both houses simultaneously and the performance of the houses can then been compared. Indications are that although the clay block house had a poorer thermal performance, it did have other qualitative advantages, and consumption differences could be eliminated by exploiting the thermal mass. The performance of the active systems, including the MVHR system, was found to be problematic, and specific scenarios were undertaken to explore the implications of this.
Abstract: The interoperability challenge is a long-standing challenge in the domain of architecture, engineering and construction (AEC). Diverse approaches have already been presented for addressing this challenge. This article will look into the possibility of addressing the interoperability challenge in the building life-cycle with a linked data approach. An outline is given of how linked data technologies tend to be deployed, thereby working towards a “more holistic” perspective on the building, or towards a large-scale web of “linked building data”. From this overview, and the associated use case scenarios, we conclude that the interoperability challenge cannot be “solved” using linked data technologies, but that it can be addressed. In other words, information exchange and management can be improved, but a pragmatic usage of technologies is still required in practice. Finally, we give an initial outline of some anticipated use cases in the building life-cycle in which the usage of linked data technologies may generate advantages over existing technologies and methods.
Abstract: Structures designed in accordance with even the most modern buildings codes are expected to sustain damage during a severe earthquake; however; these structures are expected to protect the lives of the occupants. Damage to the structure can require expensive repairs; significant business downtime; and in some cases building demolition. If damage occurs to many structures within a city or region; the regional and national economy may be severely disrupted. To address these shortcomings with current seismic lateral force resisting systems and to work towards more resilient; sustainable cities; a new class of seismic lateral force resisting systems that sustains little or no damage under severe earthquakes has been developed. These new seismic lateral force resisting systems reduce or prevent structural damage to nonreplaceable structural elements by softening the structural response elastically through gap opening mechanisms. To dissipate seismic energy; friction elements or replaceable yielding energy dissipation elements are also included. Post-tensioning is often used as a part of these systems to return the structure to a plumb; upright position (self-center) after the earthquake has passed. This paper summarizes the state-of-the art for self-centering seismic lateral force resisting systems and outlines current research challenges for these systems.
Abstract: Under the label “future-proofing”, this paper examines the temporal component of sustainable construction as an unexplored, yet fundamental ingredient in the delivery of low-energy domestic buildings. The overarching aim is to explore the integration of future-proofed design approaches into current mainstream construction practice in the UK, focusing on the example of the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) tool. Regulation has been the most significant driver for achieving the 2016 zero-carbon target; however, there is a gap between the appeal for future-proofing and the lack of effective implementation by building professionals. Even though the CSH was introduced as the leading tool to drive the “step-change” required for achieving zero-carbon new homes by 2016 and the single national standard to encourage energy performance beyond current statutory minima, it lacks assessment criteria that explicitly promote a futures perspective. Based on an established conceptual model of future-proofing, 14 interviews with building practitioners in the UK were conducted to identify the “feasible” and “reasonably feasible” future-proofed design approaches with the potential to enhance the “Energy and CO2 Emissions” category of the CSH. The findings are categorised under three key aspects; namely: coverage of sustainability issues; adopting lifecycle thinking; and accommodating risks and uncertainties and seek to inform industry practice and policy-making in relation to building energy performance.
Abstract: Construction customers are persistently seeking to achieve sustainability and maximize value as sustainability has become a major consideration in the construction industry. In particular, it is essential to refurbish a whole house to achieve the sustainability agenda of 80% CO2 reduction by 2050 as the housing sector accounts for 28% of the total UK CO2 emission. However, whole house refurbishment seems to be challenging due to the highly fragmented nature of construction practice, which makes the integration of diverse information throughout the project lifecycle difficult. Consequently, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore in order to manage construction projects in a collaborative manner, although the current uptake of the housing sector is low at 25%. This research aims to investigate homeowners’ decision making factors for housing refurbishment projects and to provide a valuable dataset as an essential input to BIM for such projects. One-hundred and twelve homeowners and 39 construction professionals involved in UK housing refurbishment were surveyed. It was revealed that homeowners value initial cost more while construction professionals value thermal performance. The results supported that homeowners and professionals both considered the first priority to be roof refurbishment. This research revealed that BIM requires a proper BIM dataset and objects for housing refurbishment.
Abstract: This research is focused on realizing productivity benefits for the delivery of transport infrastructure in the Australian construction industry through the use of building information modeling (BIM), virtual design and construction (VDC) and integrated project delivery (IPD). Specific objectives include: (I) building an understanding of the institutional environment, business systems and support mechanisms (e.g., training and skilling) which impact on the uptake of BIM/VDC; (II) gathering data to undertake a cross-country analysis of these environments; and (III) providing strategic and practical outcomes to guide the uptake of such processes in Australia. Activities which will inform this research include a review of academic literature and industry documentation, semi-formal interviews in Australia and Sweden, and a cross-country comparative analysis to determine factors affecting uptake and associated productivity improvements. These activities will seek to highlight the gaps between current-practice and best-practice which are impacting on widespread adoption of BIM/VDC and IPD. Early findings will be discussed with intended outcomes of this research being used to: inform a national public procurement strategy; provide guidelines for new contractual frameworks; and contribute to closing skill gaps.