Special Issue "Passive Strategies for Building Renovation in Temperate Climate"

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Margani

Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture (DICAr), University of Catania, Viale Andrea Doria 6, 95127 Catania, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainable architecture; energy and seismic retrofit; innovation in building technologies; integration of renewable energy systems in the building envelope; history of construction technologies; building refurbishment; restoration of historical buildings
Guest Editor
Dr. Gianpiero Evola

Department of Electric, Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Catania, Viale Andrea Doria 6, 95127 Catania, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: energy performance of buildings; thermal comfort; renewable energy technologies; cool and green roofs; phase change materials; ventilation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

One of the most difficult challenges for the EU is to reduce the energy demand of the building stock, that accounts nowadays for approximately 40% of the overall demand. However, new buildings currently increase the existing stock by less than 1.5% every year; on the other hand, over 40% of the European residential stock has been constructed when energy regulations were absent or very limited. These data suggest the need to improve, first of all, the energy performance of existing buildings.

The strategies for building renovation must be accurately defined depending on the local climatic conditions. As an example, in countries with a mild winter and a warm summer, the thermal insulation of the building envelope is not always suitable to provide remarkable benefits. Excessive insulation, or a wrong position of the insulating material in the outer walls, may enhance overheating and produce sensible thermal discomfort in summer.

In this framework, this Special Issue aims at collecting contributions regarding the most suitable sustainable strategies, both traditional and innovative, to renovate existing buildings in countries where overheating in summer is a particularly relevant issue, such as in the Mediterranean climate. The strategies must aim to reduce the energy needs and to improve indoor thermal comfort; some examples are the exploitation of night time natural ventilation, the enhancement of the thermal capacity of the outer envelope, the use of solar chimneys, highly reflective (cool) coatings, green roofs and façades, and shading devices.

The studies are expected to underline the relation of the proposed strategies with the local climate and the potential synergic effects, supported by case studies, dynamic energy simulations and by experimental measurements. We believe that the Special Issue can serve as a platform to disseminate research on this field and to encourage exchange and cooperation within the scientific community.

Thank you for your contribution

Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Margani
Dr. Gianpiero Evola
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

•    energy renovation
•    summer thermal comfort
•    natural ventilation
•    passive cooling
•    thermal mass
•    traditional and innovative materials

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Thermal and Economic Analysis of Renovation Strategies for a Historic Building in Mediterranean Area
Buildings 2017, 7(3), 60; doi:10.3390/buildings7030060
Received: 4 May 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 3 July 2017
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Abstract
Around 30% of the European building stock was built before 1950, when no regulations about energy efficiency were in force. Since only a small part of them has been renovated by now, the energy performance of this building stock is on average quite
[...] Read more.
Around 30% of the European building stock was built before 1950, when no regulations about energy efficiency were in force. Since only a small part of them has been renovated by now, the energy performance of this building stock is on average quite poor, resulting in a significant impact on the energy balance of European countries, as confirmed by data published by ISTAT (Italian National Statistical Institute). However, energy retrofit in historic edifices is a quite demanding issue as any intervention must take into account the need to preserve existing building materials and appearances while also allowing reversibility and low invasiveness. As an example, in these buildings it is not possible to apply an ETICS (External Thermal Insulation Composite System), since this would alter the historic and architectural value of the façade. On the other hand, internal insulation would have the drawback of reducing the net useful floor area, which also implies a loss of economic value. Moreover, internal insulation may induce overheating risks and mold formation. In this paper, all these issues are investigated with reference to an existing historic building located in southern Italy, showing that a retrofit strategy aimed at energy savings and cost-effectiveness is still possible if suitable materials and solutions are adopted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Passive Strategies for Building Renovation in Temperate Climate)
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Open AccessArticle Thermal Analysis and Energy-Efficient Solutions to Preserve Listed Building Façades: The INA-Casa Building Heritage
Buildings 2017, 7(3), 56; doi:10.3390/buildings7030056
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 17 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
Energy efficiency of building heritage derived from pre-regulation period is one of the most debated topics in Europe. Building façades, through opaque walls and thermal bridges, are a major source of transmission heat losses and require sustainable and consistent solutions. Aiming to achieve
[...] Read more.
Energy efficiency of building heritage derived from pre-regulation period is one of the most debated topics in Europe. Building façades, through opaque walls and thermal bridges, are a major source of transmission heat losses and require sustainable and consistent solutions. Aiming to achieve an energy demand reduction, thermal features of building façades were evaluated by field measurements and simulations for one INA-Casa listed apartment building built in the 1950s. Non-destructive insulating solutions have been proposed and a comparison between transmission heat loss coefficient in the current situation and the designed intervention was made. Results show that before the renovation, opaque walls and thermal bridges respectively contributed to 25% and 44% of total transmission heat loss in the case-study building façade. After the renovation, total impact was reduced up to 70% depending on whether high performance windows were replaced; in particular, the impact of opaque walls and thermal bridges were reduced by 66% and 82%, respectively. Interventions performed primarily on the internal layer of the façade with insulation elements, when appropriately designed, strengthen the negative effects of thermal bridges in junctions. Findings show that an accurate insulation design allows for both more efficient conditions and the preservation of the heritage-listed buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Passive Strategies for Building Renovation in Temperate Climate)
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Open AccessArticle The Experience of International Sustainability Protocols for Retrofitting Historical Buildings in Italy
Buildings 2017, 7(2), 52; doi:10.3390/buildings7020052
Received: 26 April 2017 / Revised: 9 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 16 June 2017
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Abstract
The sustainability and efficiency of buildings represents a crucial issue since the building sector is currently responsible for more than 40% of energy consumption and emissions. This concern is extended to historical buildings, as they are typically low-performance constructions usually equipped with ineffective
[...] Read more.
The sustainability and efficiency of buildings represents a crucial issue since the building sector is currently responsible for more than 40% of energy consumption and emissions. This concern is extended to historical buildings, as they are typically low-performance constructions usually equipped with ineffective systems. For these reasons, the upgrade of historical constructions from an energy and environmental perspective is urgent, especially in those countries where such buildings represent more than half of the building stock. This work concerns the refurbishment of a historical Italian building by integrating passive and active solutions to optimize the indoor thermal comfort and the energy performance. To this aim, the innovative GBC Historic Building® rating system, a new tool evaluating the sustainability level of conservation-related activities on pre-industrial buildings, is applied. A combined trigeneration heat and power plant with an absorption chiller to produce cooling and powered by vegetable oil is installed in the building. A dynamic simulation of the building is also carried out to predict the post-retrofit energy performance upgrading. The final aim is to propose an integrated approach for the preservation and energy upgrading of existing constructions by improving their energy performance and environmental quality while protecting their heritage value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Passive Strategies for Building Renovation in Temperate Climate)
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