Abstract: This paper investigates innovative trends, practices and goals of tall building retrofits while illustrating green design techniques and implementation strategies. The existing building stock is substantially large and represents one of the biggest opportunities to reduce energy waste and curb air pollution and global warming. In terms of tall buildings, many will benefit from retrofits. There are long lists of inefficient all-glass curtain walls, initially promoted by the modernist movement, that are due to retrofit. The all-glass curtain wall buildings rely on artificial ventilation, cooling and heating, and suffer from poor insulation, which collectively make them energy hogs. Recent practices indicate that green retrofit has helped older buildings to increase energy efficiency, optimize building performance, increase tenants’ satisfaction and boost economic return while reducing greenhouse gas emission. As such, renovating older buildings could be “greener” than destroying them and rebuilding new ones. While some demolition and replacement may remain a necessity to meet contemporary needs, there are significant opportunities to reduce carbon emission and improve existing buildings’ performance by retrofitting them rather than constructing new ones. Practical insight indicates that the confluence of economic and environmental goals is increasingly at the heart of sustainable planning and design.
Abstract: This paper describes the result of a project to develop climate adaptation design strategies funded by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board. The aim of the project was to look at the threats and opportunities presented by industrialized and house-building techniques in the light of predicted future increases in flooding and overheating due to anthropogenic climate change. The paper shows that the thermal performance of houses built to the current UK Building Regulations is not adequate to cope with changing weather patterns, and in light of this, develops a detailed design for a new house: one that is industrially produced and climatically resilient, but affordable. This detailed concept IDEAhaus of a modular house is not only flood-proof to a water depth of 750 mm, but also is designed to utilize passive cooling, which dramatically reduces the amount of overheating, both now and in the future.
Abstract: In this study, we present a vision of how a human–computer–biosphere interaction (HCBI) can facilitate a sustainable society. HCBI extends and transforms the subject of human–computer interaction from countable people, objects, pets, and plants into an auditory biosphere that is an uncountable, a complex, and a non-linguistic soundscape. As an example, utilizing HCBI to experience forest soundscapes can help us feel one with nature, without physically being present in nature. The goal of HCBI is to achieve ecological interactions between humans and nature through computer systems without causing environmental destruction. To accomplish this, information connectivity must be created despite the physical separation between humans and the environment. This combination should also ensure ecological neutrality. In this paper, we present an overview of an HCBI concept, related work, methodologies, and developed interfaces. We used pre-recorded animal calls to enable a bio-acoustical feedback from the target wildlife. In this study, we primarily focus on the design and evaluation of a bio-acoustic interaction system utilizing tracking collars, microphones, speakers, infrared cameras, infrared heat sensors, micro-climate sensors, radio-tracking devices, GPS devices, radio clocks, embedded Linux boards, high-capacity batteries, and high-speed wireless communication devices. Our experiments successfully demonstrated bio-acoustic interactions between wildlife—more specifically, an endangered species of a wild cat—and human beings via a computer system, thus validating the HCBI concept.
Abstract: This paper discusses the performance of a structural fuse concept developed for use as a seismic isolation system in the design and retrofit of masonry infill walls. An experimental program was developed and executed to study the behavior of the structural fuse system under cyclic loads, and to evaluate the performance of the system with various masonry materials. Cyclic tests were performed by applying displacement controlled loads at the first, second, and third stories of a two-bay, three-story steel test frame with brick infill walls; using a quasi-static loading protocol to create a first mode response in the structural system. A parametric study was also completed by replacing the brick infill panels with infill walls constructed of concrete masonry units and autoclaved aerated concrete blocks, and applying monotonically increasing, displacement controlled loads at the top story of the test frame.
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.