Open AccessArticle
Three-Dimensional Heat Transfer Analysis of Metal Fasteners in Roofing Assemblies
Buildings 2016, 6(4), 49; doi:10.3390/buildings6040049 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Heat transfer analysis was performed on typical roofing assemblies using HEAT3, a three-dimensional heat transfer analysis software. The difference in heat transferred through the roofing assemblies considered is compared between two cases—without any steel fasteners and with steel fasteners. In the latter case,
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Heat transfer analysis was performed on typical roofing assemblies using HEAT3, a three-dimensional heat transfer analysis software. The difference in heat transferred through the roofing assemblies considered is compared between two cases—without any steel fasteners and with steel fasteners. In the latter case, the metal roofing fasteners were arranged as per Factor Mutual Global (FMG) approvals, in the field, perimeter, and corner zones of the roof. The temperature conditions used for the analysis represented summer and winter conditions for three separate Climate Zones (CZ) namely Climate Zone 2 or CZ2 represented by Orlando, FL; CZ3 represented by Atlanta, GA; and CZ6 zone represented by St. Paul, MN. In all the climatic conditions, higher energy transfer was observed with increase in the number of metal fasteners attributed to high thermal conductivity of metals as compared to the insulation and other materials used in the roofing assembly. This difference in heat loss was also quantified in the form of percentage change in the overall or effective insulation of the roofing assembly for better understanding of the practical aspects. Besides, a comparison of 2D heat transfer analysis (using THERM software) and 3D analysis using HEAT3 is also discussed proving the relevance of 3D over 2D heat transfer analysis. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Review: Improving the Impact of Plant Science on Urban Planning and Design
Buildings 2016, 6(4), 48; doi:10.3390/buildings6040048 -
Abstract
Urban planning is a vital process in determining the functionality of future cities. It is predicted that at least two thirds of the world’s citizens will reside in towns and cities by the middle of this century, up from one third in the
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Urban planning is a vital process in determining the functionality of future cities. It is predicted that at least two thirds of the world’s citizens will reside in towns and cities by the middle of this century, up from one third in the middle of the previous century. Not only is it essential to provide space for work and dwelling, but also for their well-being. Well-being is inextricably linked with the surrounding environment, and natural landscapes have a potent positive effect. For this reason, the inclusion and management of urban green infrastructure has become a topic of increasing scientific interest. Elements of this infrastructure, including green roofs and façades are of growing importance to operators in each stage of the planning, design and construction process in urban areas. Currently, there is a strong recognition that “green is good”. Despite the positive recognition of urban greenery, and the concerted efforts to include more of it in cities, greater scientific attention is needed to better understand its role in the urban environment. For example, many solutions are cleverly engineered without giving sufficient consideration to the biology of the vegetation that is used. This review contends that whilst “green is good” is a positive mantra to promote the inclusion of urban greenery, there is a significant opportunity to increase the contribution of plant science to the process of urban planning through both green infrastructure, and biomimicry. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Top-Down and Bottom-Up Processes for Rural Development and the Role of Architects in Yunnan, China
Buildings 2016, 6(4), 47; doi:10.3390/buildings6040047 -
Abstract
This study identified two alternative but potentially simultaneous processes for rural development in China. One is the ‘bottom-up’ approach where individuals and groups of villagers work innovatively in developing new building construction opportunities, prompted by contemporary and indigenous design and construction methods. The
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This study identified two alternative but potentially simultaneous processes for rural development in China. One is the ‘bottom-up’ approach where individuals and groups of villagers work innovatively in developing new building construction opportunities, prompted by contemporary and indigenous design and construction methods. The alternative ‘top-down’ approach is associated with changes caused by external influences, such as directions given from funding sources, and encouragement for the use of specific knowledge and technologies; this is then filtered down through village administrative systems. Two ethnic villages were studied in Yunnan province, an area with a larger rural low-income population than other regions. Each village exhibited strong traditional cultures and each had undergone different tourist redevelopment over a period of more than ten years. The case studies revealed discrepancies between the academic categorization of dwellings in villages based on the representations of traditional culture created by materials and techniques, and the villagers’ own perception of the social and cultural meanings of their houses and spaces in the village. The outcomes suggest that architects and designers could have different involvement in rural development through building platforms for discussion and decision-making, used with and amongst stakeholders, and which could link the two different directions of approach. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Impact Assessment of a School Building in Iceland Using LCA-Including the Effect of Long Distance Transport of Materials
Buildings 2016, 6(4), 46; doi:10.3390/buildings6040046 -
Abstract
Buildings are the key components of urban areas and society as a complex system. A life cycle assessment was applied to estimate the environmental impacts of the resources applied in the building envelope, floor slabs, and interior walls of the Vættaskóli-Engi building in
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Buildings are the key components of urban areas and society as a complex system. A life cycle assessment was applied to estimate the environmental impacts of the resources applied in the building envelope, floor slabs, and interior walls of the Vættaskóli-Engi building in Reykjavik, Iceland. The scope of this study included four modules of extraction and transportation of raw material to the manufacturing site, production of the construction materials, and transport to the building site, as described in the standard EN 15804. The total environmental effects of the school building in terms of global warming potential, ozone depletion potential, human toxicity, acidification, and eutrophication were calculated. The total global warming potential impact was equal to 255 kg of CO2 eq/sqm, which was low compared to previous studies and was due to the limited system boundary of the current study. The effect of long-distance overseas transport of materials was noticeable in terms of acidification (25%) and eutrophication (31%) while it was negligible in other impact groups. The results also concluded that producing the cement in Iceland caused less environmental impact in all five impact categories compared to the case in which the cement was imported from Germany. The major contribution of this work is that the environmental impacts of different plans for domestic production or import of construction materials to Iceland can be precisely assessed in order to identify effective measures to move towards a sustainable built environment in Iceland, and also to provide consistent insights for stakeholders. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Post-Occupancy Evaluation Data Support for Planning and Management of Building Maintenance Plans
Buildings 2016, 6(4), 45; doi:10.3390/buildings6040045 -
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to propose a post-occupancy evaluation (POE) method focused on building maintenance and then to test it on two different sets of residential buildings. The paper’s three main goals are: to obtain useful data for optimizing the buildings’
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The purpose of this paper is to propose a post-occupancy evaluation (POE) method focused on building maintenance and then to test it on two different sets of residential buildings. The paper’s three main goals are: to obtain useful data for optimizing the buildings’ maintenance plans; to search for any correlation between the occupants’ characteristics and their expectations toward the building; to study the occupants’ willingness to pay for maintenance procedures, as well as its correlation with the occupants’ perception of the elements source of maintenance (ESM). The proposed POE method for building maintenance performance evaluation (BMPE) consists of six main stages, focusing on the occupants’ opinions and their correlation with the facility manager’s. The observed case studies allowed for a preliminary validation of the POE method for BMPE. Results generically endorsed the method as a valuable tool for the rapprochement between facility management and the building’s end-users. Such findings could allow facility managers to develop more efficient maintenance plans focusing on the occupants’ real needs and expectations, raising occupant satisfaction levels and contributing to the building’s general performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Design, Production, and Installation of Wooden Walls for the Japan Pavilion at Expo 2015
Buildings 2016, 6(4), 43; doi:10.3390/buildings6040043 -
Abstract
This article illustrates the production process, the structural calculations and the assembly phases of the wooden walls of the Japan Pavilion at Expo 2015 in Milan, designed by Atsushi Kitagawara Architects (AKA). The pavilion, one of the most popular construction of this international
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This article illustrates the production process, the structural calculations and the assembly phases of the wooden walls of the Japan Pavilion at Expo 2015 in Milan, designed by Atsushi Kitagawara Architects (AKA). The pavilion, one of the most popular construction of this international event, was built almost exclusively with precast interlocking. The production process and the assembly phases were optimized to construct the wooden walls (with a height of 4–12 m) in a short time frame and with a high level of quality. Out-of-plane rocking and other aspects of structural safety were considered, to ensure sufficient stability of the walls. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Development of Rural Areas in the EU and China: A Common Strategy for Architectural Design, Research Practice and Decision-Making
Buildings 2016, 6(4), 42; doi:10.3390/buildings6040042 -
Abstract
This paper describes the results of a research project to develop a set of goals and strategies aimed at policymakers, stakeholders, researchers, designers and/or some other groups of citizens’ communities whose development actions are undertaken in a specific rural context. The aim of
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This paper describes the results of a research project to develop a set of goals and strategies aimed at policymakers, stakeholders, researchers, designers and/or some other groups of citizens’ communities whose development actions are undertaken in a specific rural context. The aim of the project was to move beyond the knowledge of the articulated architectural and social evolution of the rural areas in both the EU and China, looking at the local and global challenges, at the need for continuous adaptation and at the experiences of resilience that the countryside faces today. The paper shows, through two-pronged methods, such as semantic analysis and a meta-project design, that a common strategy can be set to support actions for the development of rural areas both in China and the EU. In doing so, this study has defined a strategy system tool that is a type of interactive and generative key-checklist that can be used by stakeholders in specific contexts, becoming a reading tool, a set of design guidelines or a decision facilitator support system. The results achieved have been tested through design application in two meta-projects that confirm the validity of the whole research framework with the aim of promoting a sustainable development and enhancement of places and rural communities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Steady-State Thermal Properties of Rectangular Straw-Bales (RSB) for Building
Buildings 2016, 6(4), 44; doi:10.3390/buildings6040044 -
Abstract
Straw is an inevitable product of cereal production and is available in huge quantities in the world. In order to use straw-bales as a building material, the characteristic values of the thermal performances should be determined. To not lose the benefits of the
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Straw is an inevitable product of cereal production and is available in huge quantities in the world. In order to use straw-bales as a building material, the characteristic values of the thermal performances should be determined. To not lose the benefits of the cheapness and sustainability of the material, the characteristics must be determined with simple and inexpensive means and procedures. This research aims to implement tools and methods focused at the determination of the thermal properties of straw-bales. For this study, the guidelines dictated by ASTM and ISO were followed. A measurement system consisting of a Metering Chamber (MC) was realized. The MC was placed inside a Climate Chamber (CC). During the test, a known quantity of energy is introduced inside MC. When the steady-state is reached, all the energy put into MC passes through its walls in CC, where it is absorbed by the air-conditioner. A series of thermopiles detect the temperature of the surfaces of the measurement system and of the specimen. Determining the amount of energy transmitted by the various parts of MC and by the specimen, it is possible to apply Fourier’s law to calculate the thermal conductivity of the specimen. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Proposal for New Microclimate Indexes for the Evaluation of Indoor Air Quality in Museums
Buildings 2016, 6(4), 41; doi:10.3390/buildings6040041 -
Abstract
A correct artwork preservation requires strict values of several microclimate parameters, in particular temperature, humidity, and light. In existing museums, the evaluation of the effectiveness of current building plant systems and management is essential to avoid artwork deterioration. In this work, we propose
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A correct artwork preservation requires strict values of several microclimate parameters, in particular temperature, humidity, and light. In existing museums, the evaluation of the effectiveness of current building plant systems and management is essential to avoid artwork deterioration. In this work, we propose the use of five simple performance indexes that use monitored data to estimate the suitability of the whole museum system in the maintenance of benchmark values of temperature, humidity, and light. The new indexes also take into account microclimate daily span and spatial homogeneity, which can represent a criticality in the preservative process. We apply these new indexes to the results of a monitoring campaign in Palazzo Blu, a museum in Pisa, which lasted for almost four months during a temporary exhibition on Toulouse-Lautrec works. The indexes show a mainly acceptable instantaneous microclimate, but HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning) system improvement is necessary to avoid high thermo-hygrometric daily span. This methodology is useful for the identification of microclimate criticalities and can help the cooperation between conservation experts and professionals giving hints to improve museum internal microclimate. In case ofalready optimal microclimate, these indexes can be useful in more complex analyses, including simulations of possible retrofit actions, keeping microclimate suitability as a constraint. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
On the Use of Vibro-Compressed Units with Bio-Natural Aggregate
Buildings 2016, 6(3), 40; doi:10.3390/buildings6030040 -
Abstract
The paper deals with the use of vibro-compressed units with bio-natural components on construction. The proposed mix design of vibrated blocks consist of cork granules and/or hemp shives, with the aim to substitute polymeric elements or expanded clay, together with the use of
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The paper deals with the use of vibro-compressed units with bio-natural components on construction. The proposed mix design of vibrated blocks consist of cork granules and/or hemp shives, with the aim to substitute polymeric elements or expanded clay, together with the use of natural hydraulic lime (NHL) as binder. An experimental campaign is presented, with mechanical tests to evaluate the influence of each component on flexural and compression behavior. The proposal is also investigated from a productive point of view, considering how it can be harmonized in the productive process of lightweight aggregate concrete units without modifications in the productive process. The tested elements could perform a certain reduction of the carbon impact, maintaining interesting mechanical properties. The application of the proposed units in several contexts, as separating elements joined with structural components, is considered to improve rehabilitation or to obtain higher performances in buildings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical Simulation of the Application of Solar Radiant Systems, Internal Airflow and Occupants’ Presence in the Improvement of Comfort in Winter Conditions
Buildings 2016, 6(3), 38; doi:10.3390/buildings6030038 -
Abstract
In this work, the use of numerical simulation in the application of solar radiant systems, internal airflow and occupants’ presence in the improvement of comfort in winter conditions is made. The thermal comfort, the local thermal discomfort and the air quality in an
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In this work, the use of numerical simulation in the application of solar radiant systems, internal airflow and occupants’ presence in the improvement of comfort in winter conditions is made. The thermal comfort, the local thermal discomfort and the air quality in an occupied chamber space are evaluated. In the experimental measurements, a wood chamber, a desk, two seats, two seated hygro-thermal manikins, a warm radiant floor, a solar radiation simulator and a water solar collector are used. The air velocity and the air temperature fluctuation are experimentally evaluated around 15 human body sections. The chamber surface temperature is experimentally measured. In the numerical simulation, a coupling human thermal comfort (HTC) integral model, a computational fluids dynamics (CFD) differential model and a building thermal response (BTR) integral model are applied. The human thermal comfort level is evaluated by the HTC numerical model. The airflow inside the virtual chamber, using the k-epsilon and RNG turbulence models, is evaluated by the CFD numerical model. The chamber surface and the collector temperatures are evaluated by the BTR numerical model. In the human thermal comfort level, in non-uniform environments, the predicted mean vote (PMV) and the predicted percentage of dissatisfied (PPD) people are numerically evaluated; in the local thermal discomfort level the draught risk (DR) is experimentally and numerically analyzed; and in the air quality, the carbon dioxide CO2 concentration is numerically calculated. In the validation tests, the experimental and numerical values of the chamber surface temperature, the air temperature, the air velocity, the air turbulence intensity and the DR are presented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quantifying the Relationship between the Built Environment Attributes and Urban Sustainability Potentials for Housing Areas
Buildings 2016, 6(3), 39; doi:10.3390/buildings6030039 -
Abstract
The Greater Cairo Metropolitan Region (GCMR) in its seeking to sustainable development (SD) by the year of 2050 facing the serious challenge of around 65 percent of Cairenes live in unplanned settlements. In this respect, the authors examined the effect of urban characteristics
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The Greater Cairo Metropolitan Region (GCMR) in its seeking to sustainable development (SD) by the year of 2050 facing the serious challenge of around 65 percent of Cairenes live in unplanned settlements. In this respect, the authors examined the effect of urban characteristics of unplanned settlements on SD in the Egyptian context, focusing on the type of unplanned growth on agricultural land. The output of the analysis were fourfold. First of all, we provide a brief overview of previous research on the main types of unplanned settlements in GCMR and the sustainability definition according to the Egyptian context. Secondly, we had a discussion with the local government during our field survey in GCMR to determine the study samples, the main urban characteristics, and the sustainability evaluation criteria in the Egyptian context. Thirdly, through the comparative analysis and geographic information system (GIS), we examined how the character of urban development affected per capita four urban measures in a cross-section of two settlements, one represented the unplanned settlements and other as a comparative planned sample to determine the real gap. Finally, by using the evaluation matrix, the help and block items are estimated for each measure of urban characteristics, providing substantive evidence on how the four measures of urban characteristics have been affected by the urban sprawl. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Thin Films for Advanced Glazing Applications
Buildings 2016, 6(3), 37; doi:10.3390/buildings6030037 -
Abstract
Functional thin films provide many opportunities for advanced glazing systems. This can be achieved by adding additional functionalities such as self-cleaning or power generation, or alternately by providing energy demand reduction through the management or modulation of solar heat gain or blackbody radiation
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Functional thin films provide many opportunities for advanced glazing systems. This can be achieved by adding additional functionalities such as self-cleaning or power generation, or alternately by providing energy demand reduction through the management or modulation of solar heat gain or blackbody radiation using spectrally selective films or chromogenic materials. Self-cleaning materials have been generating increasing interest for the past two decades. They may be based on hydrophobic or hydrophilic systems and are often inspired by nature, for example hydrophobic systems based on mimicking the lotus leaf. These materials help to maintain the aesthetic properties of the building, help to maintain a comfortable working environment and in the case of photocatalytic materials, may provide external pollutant remediation. Power generation through window coatings is a relatively new idea and is based around the use of semi-transparent solar cells as windows. In this fashion, energy can be generated whilst also absorbing some solar heat. There is also the possibility, in the case of dye sensitized solar cells, to tune the coloration of the window that provides unheralded external aesthetic possibilities. Materials and coatings for energy demand reduction is highly desirable in an increasingly energy intensive world. We discuss new developments with low emissivity coatings as the need to replace scarce indium becomes more apparent. We go on to discuss thermochromic systems based on vanadium dioxide films. Such systems are dynamic in nature and present a more sophisticated and potentially more beneficial approach to reducing energy demand than static systems such as low emissivity and solar control coatings. The ability to be able to tune some of the material parameters in order to optimize the film performance for a given climate provides exciting opportunities for future technologies. In this article, we review recent progress and challenges in these areas and provide a perspective for future trends and developments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Assessment of Low-Cost Rural Housing—A Case Study in the Ecuadorian Andes
Buildings 2016, 6(3), 36; doi:10.3390/buildings6030036 -
Abstract
The aim of this research is to assess the indoor thermal performance of rural dwellings in the Ecuadorian highlands through both experimental and numerical analysis. A three-step methodology was applied to conduct the research: (a) field data collection, (b) building thermal model development
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The aim of this research is to assess the indoor thermal performance of rural dwellings in the Ecuadorian highlands through both experimental and numerical analysis. A three-step methodology was applied to conduct the research: (a) field data collection, (b) building thermal model development and calibration, and (c) comparison analysis and assessment of traditional improvement strategies. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from two representative rural dwellings under typical usage conditions. The first is a traditional construction, medium-exposed thermal mass dwelling (Case A). The second is a local common, uninsulated, lightweight construction (Case B). The thermal model was calibrated by comparing hourly temperature values of the observed and the predicted indoor air temperature. A high correlation level (R2) was achieved between the observed and predicted data; 0.89 in Case A and 0.94 in Case B. The results show that the roof, floor, and the airtightness are the critical building parameters affecting the indoor thermal environment. Likewise, the indoor air temperature is increased up to 4 °C through the implementation of traditional strategies. However, despite the rise in indoor air temperature, acceptable thermal comfort ranges were only reached for 25% of the total hours. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Urban and Rural—Population and Energy Consumption Dynamics in Local Authorities within England and Wales
Buildings 2016, 6(3), 34; doi:10.3390/buildings6030034 -
Abstract
The formulation of feasible and pragmatic policies that mitigate climate change would require a thorough understanding of the interconnectivity that exists between environment, energy, and the composition of our settlements both urban and rural. This study explores the patterns of energy consumption in
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The formulation of feasible and pragmatic policies that mitigate climate change would require a thorough understanding of the interconnectivity that exists between environment, energy, and the composition of our settlements both urban and rural. This study explores the patterns of energy consumption in England and Wales by investigating consumption behavior within domestic and transport sectors as a function of city characteristics, such as population, density, and density distribution for 346 Local Authority Units (LAU). Patterns observed linking energetic behavior of these LAUs to their respective population and area characteristics highlight some distinctly contrasting consumption behaviors within urban and rural zones. This provides an overview of the correlation between urban/rural status, population, and energy consumption and highlights points of interest for further research and policy intervention. The findings show that energy consumption across cities follows common power law scaling increasing sub-linearly with their population regardless of their urban/rural classification. However, when considering per capita and sector specific consumptions, decreasing per capita consumption patterns are observed for growing population densities within more uniformly populated urban LAUs. This is while rural and sparsely populated LAUs exhibit sharply different patterns for gas, electricity, and transport per capita consumption. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Void on Natural Ventilation Performance in Multi-Storey Housing
Buildings 2016, 6(3), 35; doi:10.3390/buildings6030035 -
Abstract
Enhancing natural ventilation performance in multi-storey housing is very important for the living environment in terms of health and thermal comfort purposes. One of the most important design strategies to enhance natural ventilation in multi-storey housing is through the provision of voids. A
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Enhancing natural ventilation performance in multi-storey housing is very important for the living environment in terms of health and thermal comfort purposes. One of the most important design strategies to enhance natural ventilation in multi-storey housing is through the provision of voids. A void is a passive architectural feature, which is located in the middle of deep plan buildings. It is very crucial to consider the configurations of voids in the buildings for enhancing natural ventilation, especially for multi-storey housing. In this study, Malaysian Medium Cost Multi-Storey Housing (MMCMSH), which is an example of multi-storey housing located in a suburban area, has been selected in this study. This study aims to investigate the potential of void for enhancing natural ventilation performance in multi-storey housing by the comparison of two different void configurations. Field measurement of MMCMSH has been conducted to validate Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) model and Atmospheric Boundary Layer (ABL) is an important parameter for setting up the CFD Model’s domain. Ventilation rate (Q), which is necessary for comfort and health reasons, is an important parameter for the comparison of the different void configurations. This study revealed that the provision of void can enhance natural ventilation performance in multi-storey housing with an increase in the value of Q, from 3.44% to 40.07%, by enlarging the void’s width by 50% compared to the existing void. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Establishing Priorities for Sustainable Environmental Design in the Rural Villages of Yunnan, China
Buildings 2016, 6(3), 32; doi:10.3390/buildings6030032 -
Abstract
This paper addresses sustainable rural village development in China. Rural development is unlike the process of urbanization in Chinese cities and reflects different land ownership rules and different organizational structures. Even though there are an increasing number of Chinese residents in cities, there
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This paper addresses sustainable rural village development in China. Rural development is unlike the process of urbanization in Chinese cities and reflects different land ownership rules and different organizational structures. Even though there are an increasing number of Chinese residents in cities, there are still more than 600 million people living in the countryside. The attention lavished on city development has been, in part, now refocused to rural villages. Since 2006, the support for large-scale investment in the countryside has created much change; however, not all of this change is well organized, with potential for less than optimum impacts on the environment and sustainability. The paper identifies the key influences and drivers from historic and contemporary points of view. The sustainability of the villages will derive from long-term self-sufficiency, and this must include the understanding of environmental design principles, which enable suitable dwelling design. Two villages are taken as contrasting examples, and information derived from other sources is discussed. Technologies and techniques that can help determine environmental design priorities are evaluated and directions for future development suggested. This includes development of a design support aid with key drivers of: orientation and site location, window design and key construction features. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Energy Impact in Buildings of Vegetative Solutions for Extensive Green Roofs in Temperate Climates
Buildings 2016, 6(3), 33; doi:10.3390/buildings6030033 -
Abstract
Many bibliographical studies have highlighted the positive effects of green roofs as technological solutions both for new and renovated buildings. The one-year experimental monitoring campaign conducted has investigated, in detail, some aspects related to the surface temperature variation induced by the presence of
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Many bibliographical studies have highlighted the positive effects of green roofs as technological solutions both for new and renovated buildings. The one-year experimental monitoring campaign conducted has investigated, in detail, some aspects related to the surface temperature variation induced by the presence of different types of vegetation compared to traditional finishing systems for flat roofs and their impact from an energy and environmental point of view. The results obtained underlined how an appropriate vegetative solution selection can contribute to a significant reduction of the external surface temperatures (10 °C–20 °C for I > 500 W/m2 and 0 °C–5 °C for I < 500 W/m2, regardless of the season) compared to traditional flat roofs. During the winter season, the thermal gradients of the planted surface temperatures are close to zero compared to the floor, except under special improving conditions. This entails a significant reduction of the energy loads from summer air conditioning, and an almost conservative behavior with respect to that from winter heating consumption. The analysis of the inside growing medium temperatures returned a further interesting datum, too: the temperature gradient with respect to surface temperature (annual average 4 °C–9 °C) is a function of solar radiation and involves the insulating contribution of the soil. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Accordance of Light Scattering from Design and De-Facto Variants of a Daylight Redirecting Component
Buildings 2016, 6(3), 30; doi:10.3390/buildings6030030 -
Abstract
For the systematic development of a small-scale daylight-redirecting louver system the impact of manufacturing on light scattering characteristics has to be quantified, localized and understood. In this research, the accordance of the measured scattering distributions of a de-facto production sample V1 with the
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For the systematic development of a small-scale daylight-redirecting louver system the impact of manufacturing on light scattering characteristics has to be quantified, localized and understood. In this research, the accordance of the measured scattering distributions of a de-facto production sample V1 with the computed predictions based on its design geometry V2 are quantified for selected incident light directions. A metric describing the global accordance of distributions is adapted to quantify their overall difference. A novel metric of local accordance allows further analysis. A particular low global accordance between V1 and V2 is found for an incident elevation θi=35. To test the hypothesis that this result can be explained by observed geometric deviations, a simulation model V3 replicating these is compared to the design. The hypothesis is supported by the resulting high degree of accordance. The low local accordance for individual outgoing light directions indicates geometric non-uniformity of the sample V1. This method has been found useful for product development and quality assurance. Beyond their application in the proposed method, global and local accordance have potential applications in all fields of light scattering measurements. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Play Provisions for Children in Urban Neighborhoods of India: Case Study Nagpur, Maharashtra
Buildings 2016, 6(3), 31; doi:10.3390/buildings6030031 -
Abstract
The creation of satisfying urban environments calls for the planners, designers and policy makers to understand the structures that cause residents to feel satisfied with their environments. The paper focuses on qualitative aspects of the childrens play spaces in the urban neighborhoods of
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The creation of satisfying urban environments calls for the planners, designers and policy makers to understand the structures that cause residents to feel satisfied with their environments. The paper focuses on qualitative aspects of the childrens play spaces in the urban neighborhoods of Nagpur which were analysed with the background of their daily activity schedule survey, their assement of the existing play provisions and their aspirations from their neighborhood environment quality. Apart from these studies, the childrens and their parents perceptions of the quality of urban residential environments was also studied. The literature review gave an extract of relevant attributes of environmental quality (EQ) which became the theoritical basis for the work. The research generates an approach to assessing the child friendliness of our urban neighborhoods, which in certain ways is not even catering to the most fundamental right of the child to play; it also generates a matrix of children’s needs and parameters relevant to Indian context. A theoretical model of the residents satisfaction is also generated which forms the base for the qualitative questionnaire analysis in SPSS 20 with a set of dependent and independent variables which shows the correlation of the resident’s satisfaction with child friendliness of neighborhoods in the Indian context. The regression model and mathematical equation as an outcome of the qualitative analysis was also validated upon two other urban neighborhoods of the city of Nagpur. The research with all its tools used and the approach adopted can help in undertaking such child-centered researches in other cities of India which have their own unique issues and characteristics of urban growth. Full article
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