Buildings2016, 6(1), 5; doi:10.3390/buildings6010005 (registering DOI) - published 6 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The interactions between building occupants and control systems have a high influence on energy consumption and on indoor environmental quality. In the perspective of a future of “nearly-zero” energy buildings, it is crucial to analyse the energy-related interactions deeply to predict realistic energy use during the design stage. Since the reaction to thermal, acoustic, or visual stimuli is not the same for every human being, monitoring the behaviour inside buildings is an essential step to assert differences in energy consumption related to different interactions. Reliable information concerning occupants’ behaviours in a building could contribute to a better evaluation of building energy performances and design robustness, as well as supporting the development of occupants’ education to energy awareness. The present literature survey enlarges our understanding of which environmental conditions influence occupants’ manual controlling of the system in offices and by consequence the energy consumption. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible drivers for light-switching to model occupant behaviour in office buildings. The probability of switching lighting systems on or off was related to the occupancy and differentiated for arrival, intermediate, and departure periods. The switching probability has been reported to be higher during the entering or the leaving time in relation to contextual variables. In the analysis of switch-on actions, users were often clustered between those who take daylight level into account and switch on lights only if necessary and people who totally disregard the natural lighting. This underlines the importance of how individuality is at the base of the definition of the different types of users.
Buildings2016, 6(1), 6; doi:10.3390/buildings6010006 (registering DOI) - published 6 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: There is a limited penetration of housing which offsets all operational carbon emissions within UK housing developer portfolios. This paper develops a balanced approach to zero carbon housing design from both architectural and national house builder perspectives. The paper discusses the techniques which can be used to reduce build costs, simplify designs and simplify renewable energy systems, resulting in more cost effective homes. The paper develops a technical and economic linked model to optimise a zero carbon design and then develops a home using this technique. It acknowledges that extra costs are inevitable but minimises them and details a lifecycle costing approach to provide economic justification. The paper then focuses on how the building designed can function more efficiently and economically than a Part L 2013 Building Regulation compliant building. Improved functionality is demonstrated both with and without the use of feed in tariffs. A key finding from this research is that zero carbon homes can benefit the consumer without impacting the developer. The results also demonstrate that homes could be better marketed on economic rather than environmental or technical attributes.
Buildings2016, 6(1), 7; doi:10.3390/buildings6010007 (registering DOI) - published 6 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: It has long been argued that the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) data model standard is the key to unlocking the potential of interoperable Building Information Modeling (BIM). Despite a wealth of published research literature incorporating IFC, there have been no attempts at systematically summarizing the literature related to the standard. Targeting both summation and analysis of thematic developments over time, we performed a comprehensive systematic literature review of IFC‐related research published between 1997 and 2007: the first 11 years of research on the standard. Through a systematic web‐retrieval process, 170 unique publications were collected, read, and mapped to a custom framework. The results reveal that journals and conferences have been an integral part of the technical evaluation and development of the standard. The full classification data is provided as an appendix to facilitate future research on IFC and other standards.
Abstract: The aim of the article is to describe the results of an experimental campaign based on the assessment of a heat recovery unit coupled with a dynamic window. Two fully monitored and calibrated outdoor test cells are used, in order to evaluate the energy performance and the related thermal comfort. The former presents a traditional window with double-glazing, aluminum frame and indoor blind and a centrifugal extractor for the air circulation. The latter is equipped with a dynamic window with ventilated and blinded double-glazing provided with a heat exchanger. The connection of the dynamic window and heat recovery unit provides different actions: heat recovery; heat transfer reduction; pre-heating before the exchanger. Different operating configurations allowed the trends of the dynamic system to be assessed in different seasons in terms of energy saving, thermal comfort behavior and energy efficiency. The results showed an overall lower consumption of the innovative system, both in winter and summer, with 20% and 15% energy saving, respectively. In general, the dynamic system provided the best comfort conditions, even if it involves a worse behavior than expected, in the summer season.
Abstract: The modern use of ancient heritage sites can be, to say the least, challenging from an acoustical perspective. In fact, modern needs may require acoustical interventions in contrast with the preservation issues of the cultural heritage. This paper deals with this topic in an UNESCO designated world heritage site, the Palatine Chapel of the Royal Palace in Caserta, Italy. Since this chapel is currently being used for meetings and music chamber concerts, the acoustical characteristics of the chapel, originally used for religious purposes, are investigated. Field measurements were undertaken to evaluate the acoustical performance of the empty chapel. The measurements were then used to calibrate and validate a computer simulation model. Different acoustical treatments are then considered and simulations are used to determine the related acoustical improvements. Finally, the benefits of different acoustical treatments which are respectful of the aesthetic and historical value of this cultural heritage are discussed.