Buildings2016, 6(3), 34; doi:10.3390/buildings6030034 (registering DOI) - published 30 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
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 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.
Buildings2016, 6(3), 35; doi:10.3390/buildings6030035 (registering DOI) - published 30 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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 . 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.
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 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.