Special Issue "Smart Energy Management for a Sustainable Built Environment"

A special issue of Environments (ISSN 2076-3298).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Alessia Arteconi

Università eCampus, via Isimbardi 10, Novedrate (CO) 22060, Italy
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Interests: demand side management; energy flexibility; energy efficiency

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The energy demand of buildings represents a large share of the total energy demand worldwide, thus, it is of paramount importance to promote and achieve a sustainable built environment. In particular, improving the energy efficiency and exploiting the energy flexibility that buildings can provide improves the overall efficiency of the energy system. The built environment interacts with different energy networks, such as the electricity grid, natural gas grid and thermal networks. In general, buildings can be coupled to multi-carrier energy systems and their inner flexibility can be exploited to optimize the overall energy system in order to make better use of the available resources and achieve a sustainable energy system. There are different kinds of energy demand in buildings, which can be mainly divided into electricity and thermal demand. The energy demand of buildings can be reduced by means of different actions aimed at increasing their energy efficiency. Furthermore, part of the demand is due to the so-called deferrable loads, which can be shifted in time without altering the service provided to the end user (e.g., refrigerators, dishwashers and thermostatically controlled loads).

The focus of this Special Issue concerns the smart management of energy demand in the built environment, which can be realized in different ways, e.g., by refurbishment, use of higher performing energy production devices, introduction of energy storage systems, and proper control strategies. All of these actions can indeed make buildings interact with the energy production system in a more effective way, leading to a more sustainable world.

Dr. Alessia Arteconi
Guest Editor

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. Environments is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 300 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.


  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy flexibility
  • Demand side management
  • Energy storage
  • Multi-carrier energy systems
  • Integrated energy systems

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Estimation of Energy Savings Potential in Higher Education Buildings Supported by Energy Performance Benchmarking: A Case Study
Environments 2018, 5(8), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5080085
Received: 6 June 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 24 July 2018
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This paper presents results of work developed in the field of building energy benchmarking applied to the building stock of the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal, based on a thorough energy performance characterisation of each of its buildings. To address the benchmarking of
[...] Read more.
This paper presents results of work developed in the field of building energy benchmarking applied to the building stock of the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal, based on a thorough energy performance characterisation of each of its buildings. To address the benchmarking of the case study buildings, an energy efficiency ranking system was applied. Following an energy audit of each building, they were grouped in different typologies according to the main end-use activities developed: Pedagogic buildings, canteens, residential buildings and office buildings. Then, an energy usage indicator was used to establish a metric to rank the buildings of each typology according to their energy efficiency. The energy savings potential was also estimated, based on the reference building energy usage indicator for each typology, and considering two different scenarios, yielding potential savings between 10% and 34% in final energy consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Energy Management for a Sustainable Built Environment)

Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Tentative title: Analysis of the Methodologic Assumptions of the NOM-020-ENER-2011 Mexican Residential Building Standard
Authors: Ignacio Martin-Dominguez 1, Norma Rodriguez-Muñoz 2,*, Karelly Romero-Perez 1 and Mario,  Najera-Trejo 1 
Abstract: The study of housing in Mexico and throughout the world has been a topic of recent relevance mainly due to increasing energy consumption and environmental issues. Despite government and private efforts to provide quality housing for the increasing demand, the quality of construction and thermal comfort have decreased. In Mexico, social housing lacks thermal comfort and relies on ventilation and air conditioning systems. These concerns have led to the implementation of different regulations. In 2011, the NOM-020-ENER-2011 was published in México as a mandatory procedure to be met for residential buildings. The objective of this standard is to limit heat gains of residential buildings to reduce energy consumption due to cooling systems. This standard was intended to be applied throughout Mexico; however, the standard limits to include four different climatic zones and prioritizes the energy savings due the decrease on the use of cooling systems. As a result, the energy consumption of regions with mild to moderate winters was left with a poorly designed thermal regulation. In this study, technical arguments and deficiencies on several assumptions that produce errors on their application. Equations and calculation assumptions are analyzed, and alternative modifications on the existent methodology are proposed accordingly.

Tentative title: Management of multi-sector and multi-energy systems: a critical analysis
Authors: Alessia Arteconi*
Affiliation: Università Telematica eCampus, Via Isimbardi 10, Novedrate (CO) 22060, Italy
Abstract: The urgent need for reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions requires efficient and integrated energy communities in order to decrease final energy demand and sustain energy transition towards renewable energy sources (RES). This introduces a big research challenge for future energy systems design and optimization given the multi level and inter-sectorial dimension of the problem. Buildings cover a central role in this context because they represent the nexus between different energy carriers networks. The study of management of multi sector and multi energy systems present several challenges, such as the need to take into account uncertainties, to represent the heterogeneity of the energy demand and the scalability of the problem. This paper aims at outlining such framework and at showing the state of the art about the challenges above mentioned.
Keywords: system integration, buildings, energy flexibility, multi-energy systems

Tentative title: Energy Savings in Buildings Energy Demand by Means of a Micro-Solar ORC System
Authors: Alessia Arteconi 1, Luca Del Zotto 1, Roberto Tascioni 1,2, Khamid Mahkamov 3, Chris Underwood 3, Luisa F. Cabeza 4, Alvaro de Gracia 4,5, Roberto Manca 6, André C. Mintsa 7, Carlo M. Bartolini 8, Toni Gimbernat 9, Teresa Botargues 10, Elvedin Halimic 11, Luca Cioccolanti 1
Affiliations: 1. Università Telematica eCampus, Via Isimbardi 10, Novedrate (CO) 22060, Italy; 2. DIAEE, Sapienza Università di Roma, via Eudossiana 18, Rome 00184, Italy; 3. Department Mechanical Engineering and Construction, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST, UK; 4. GREiA Research Group, Universitat de Lleida, Pere de Cabrera s/n, Lleida 25001, Spain; 5. CIRIAF - Interuniversity Research Centre, University of Perugia, Via G. Duranti 67, Perugia 06125, Italy; 6. Elianto S.R.L., Parco Scientifico e Tecnologico della Sardegna Località Piscina Manna - Edificio 1 Pula (CA) 09010, Italy; 7. Enogia S.A.S, 19 Avenue Paul héroult, Marseille 13015, France; 8. Società per il TRAsferimento TEcnologico e Guida all’Innovation Engineering, S.TRA.TE.G.I.E. srl, via Sandro Totti 1, Ancona 60131, Italy; 9. SINAGRO ENGINYERIA S.L.P, Av. Estudi General 7, Altell 5, Lleida 25001, Spain; 10. USER FEEDBACK PROGRAM SL, Sant Jaume Apòstol 8, Almenar 25126, Spain; 11. AAVID Thermacore Europe, 12 Wansbeck Business Park Ashington, Northumberland NE63 8QW, UK
Abstract: In this paper the smart management of buildings energy use by means of an innovative renewable microcogeneration system is investigated. The system consists of a concentrated Linear Fresnel Reflectors solar field coupled with a phase change material thermal energy storage tank and a 2kWe/18kWth Organic Rankine Cycle system, as developed by the consortium of several European Universities and industrial organizations, with the funding from EU under the Innova MicroSolar project. More precisely, the microsolar ORC has been designed to supply both electricity and thermal energy demand to several dwellings. In this analysis, the achievable energy savings by the proposed plant with respect to traditional technologies have been assessed for different locations and size of dwellings. In particular, the influence of the climate and latitude of the installation is taken into account to assess the performance and the potential of such system across Europe.
Keywords: renewable technologies; combined heat and power production; Organic Rankine Cycle; buildings; energy savings

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