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.
Abstract: The editorial introduces the articles brought together in this Special Issue of Buildings, particularly their interpretation of the meaning, content, and goals of environmentally conscious architecture. The special issue goes beyond addressing mere energy efficient building by reflecting on the relationship of architecture to context, ethics and aesthetics, and to specific climate, cultural and/or economic conditions. The contributions cover various perspectives, which partially arise from the fact that the authors come from diverse locations and cultures around the world, from Korea, China, Egypt, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, and the United States. They discuss the topic from different disciplines such as cultural sciences, socio-economics, legislation, professional practice, building technology, and aesthetics. The articles touch on the diverse scales environmentally conscious architecture can have, from detail to urban planning. Some have a global approach, meaning that the conclusions they provide are adaptable to many industrialized countries. Others have a highly local approach, looking for solutions for a specific problem at a particular place, such as the sea-level rising in the Nile-Delta. Finally, theoretical articles can be distinguished from those with a practical approach, elaborating on built work or specific building elements.
Abstract: Despite documented political support for energy reduction measures in Switzerland’s built environment, as well as high international regard for its construction and research sectors, design practitioners and researchers perceive a diverse set of challenges involved in the implementation of green development solutions. Grounded in Science and Technology Studies (STS), observations drawn from 31 semi-structured qualitative interviews conducted with Swiss building industry experts provide insight into the relationships between designers, researchers and public authorities. A series of examples from the empirical data show how regulatory frictions and the challenges of implementing construction strategies into diverse domestic and international working contexts are ameliorated.
Abstract: This paper offers a new approach to understanding, improving and designing soundscapes. “Soundscape” means all the sounds that can be heard in a specific location. Soundscapes can be understood only through peoples’ perceptions, and this paper proposes using those perceptions to link soundscape improvement and design with traditional noise control methods. Decades of experience have yielded in-depth understanding of how undesirable sounds may be controlled or reduced. The control methods, however, are generally applicable to single sources of sound while soundscapes are composed of multiple sounds. Using human judgments, first in the laboratory and later in the field, it will be possible to deconstruct any soundscape into its desirable and undesirable sounds, which may then, one-by-one, be subjected to proven methods of noise control. This approach includes complications, not the least of which is deciding how much the undesirable sounds should be reduced to perceptually improve the soundscape. Previous published studies, primarily laboratory, but also field studies, suggest that initial laboratory work followed by increasingly complex field applications, should result in an understanding of how soundscapes can be improved and desirable ones designed.