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Special Issue "17th CIRIAF National Congress—Energy–Environmental Sustainability and Seismic Retrofit of Built Heritage"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Andrea Nicolini

University of Perugia, Department of Engineering - CIRIAF
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainable development; energy saving; renewables; energy storage; environmental impact; energy efficiency in buildings
Guest Editor
Dr. Anna Laura Pisello

Department of Engineering, University of Perugia, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: energy efficiency in buildings; urban heat island; thermal-energy storage; environmental monitoring; building physics; mitigation; passive cooling; cool roof

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

CIRIAF (the Inter-University Research Centre on Pollution and Environment “Mauro Felli)” is a research center, based out of the University of Perugia, which promotes interdisciplinary and international research activities in the fields of environmental pollution, and its health and socio-economic effects, sustainable development, renewable and alternative energy, energy planning, sustainable mobility. More than one hundred professors from about 20 different Italian and foreign universities are involved in the activities of the center.

The CIRIAF National Congress, at its seventeenth edition in 2017, has become, over time, an important event for welcoming researchers and experts (engineers, physicists, chemists, architects, medical doctors, economists, and policy makers) coming, not only from the academic world, but also from public institutions such as ministries, environmental agencies and local authorities. The annual meeting in Perugia is an opportunity to discuss the issues related to Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development.

The 17th Congress, which took place in the ancient fortress of S. Apollinare–Marsciano (Perugia) on 67 April, 2017, represented a quite successful dissemination event. Eighty-eight papers were presented during the congress, divided into the following sessions, according to the congress tradition of multidisciplinary interest:

  • Energy and environmental refurbishment of existing buildings and historic heritage
  • Seismic retrofit, sustainability and rehabilitation of building heritage
  • Innovative materials and building technologies
  • Building diagnosing and monitoring
  • Sustainability and building energy–environmental certification protocols
  • Circular design and lifecycle analysis
  • Resilience of cultural heritage to natural disasters
  • Bio-refineries and energy–environmental sustainability of biomass
  • Interrupted Landscapes: Drawing, relief, design after the disaster

As usual, the ceremony of the “Mauro Felli” award took place during the congress. The award, established to honor the memory of the founder and first director of CIRIAF, is aimed at recognizing promising young scientists, Ph.D. students or researchers who carried out research activities in the fields of pollution from physical agents, and effects of environmental pollution on humans or related issues.

Thanks to the agreement with the international publishing house MDPI, we are glad to introduce a Special Issue of Sustainability containing the best papers dealing with environmental and sustainable development issues, presented at the congress.

The Special Issue will include only selected papers presented at the congress, as invited by the Scientific Committee, and after successfully finalizing the peer revision process of the journal.

Prof. Andrea Nicolini
Dr. Anna Laura Pisello
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. Sustainability 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 1400 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

  • sustainable development
  • circular engineering design
  • energy efficiency
  • environmental impact
  • cultural heritage resilience
  • smart materials
  • life cycle assessment

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle On Innovative Cool-Colored Materials for Building Envelopes: Balancing the Architectural Appearance and the Thermal-Energy Performance in Historical Districts
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2319; doi:10.3390/su9122319
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 9 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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Abstract
Architectural expression and energy performance are key decision-drivers in the selection of a particular construction element, with the purpose of Urban Heat Island mitigation, energy-consumption reductions, and cultural heritage preservation in historical centers. In historical centers, the external layer of the envelope and
[...] Read more.
Architectural expression and energy performance are key decision-drivers in the selection of a particular construction element, with the purpose of Urban Heat Island mitigation, energy-consumption reductions, and cultural heritage preservation in historical centers. In historical centers, the external layer of the envelope and the visible parts of the building are built with traditional materials and technological solutions, such as single-layer walls or brickworks, depending on the country’s context, while the energy performance is usually optimized by means of internal insulation layers, or other active and passive solutions. Thermal-energy efficient materials and construction elements for the temperate, warm climate of the Mediterranean area are usually light-colored to reflect the largest part of solar radiation, thus reducing energy demands for cooling and improving thermal comfort conditions for occupants. On the other hand, many historical centers in such areas are characterized by reddish or grayish colors. In this work, we considered Italian historical areas, and other countries in the Mediterranean area with present similar situations. Thus, in this study, innovative, cool-colored, cement-based materials were developed to improve the thermal-energy performance of the external envelope of historical/historic built environments, without altering their appearance. These materials were prepared directly on-site, by mixing two types of pigments to achieve the desired color saturation. Optic and thermal properties were assessed, and yearly dynamic simulations of a historic, listed, case study building were performed, by comparing traditional-colored mortar and the prototype cool mortar envelopes. The research demonstrates that such cool-colored materials can maintain lower surface temperatures (−8 °C), while reducing energy demands for cooling (−3%). Full article
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Open AccessArticle ‘Interrupted’ Landscapes: Post-Earthquake Reconstruction in between Urban Renewal and Social Identity of Local Communities
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2015; doi:10.3390/su9112015
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 31 October 2017 / Accepted: 1 November 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3950 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study deals with the topic of post-seismic reconstruction focusing on landscape and social issues. Sustainable reconstruction requires a connection between the physical context of a given territory and the immaterial (historical, cultural, productive) values that constitute the place’s identity. In this
[...] Read more.
The present study deals with the topic of post-seismic reconstruction focusing on landscape and social issues. Sustainable reconstruction requires a connection between the physical context of a given territory and the immaterial (historical, cultural, productive) values that constitute the place’s identity. In this perspective, those places that have been destroyed by severe earthquakes or other disasters could be labelled as “interrupted landscapes”, meaning a drastic break in the individual stories attaching the people to their own territory, as well as an abrupt alteration of the continuous process by which people attribute a sense to their own territory. The study discusses selected cases of post-earthquake reconstruction in Italy, providing an overview of different visions for development of the new towns, that oscillate between two contrasting approaches: the “new town” model, implying the construction of a new town off-site and the “in loco” model. Looking for the reasons for failures of the new town model reconstruction, the study also debates the social dimension of urban landscapes, reflecting upon the notion of ‘collective identity’ connecting place attachment to cultural heritage. These issues were finally considered when defining strategic guidelines for sustainable urban reconstruction promoting place identity and preserving the intimate characteristics of the affected landscapes. Governance actions were defined along with sustainability strategies based on the investigated case studies, outlining a series of best practices that may promote the permanent involvement of local communities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Oxidative Status and Presence of Bioactive Compounds in Meat from Chickens Fed Polyphenols Extracted from Olive Oil Industry Waste
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1566; doi:10.3390/su9091566
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
A study was carried out to determine the quality characteristics, antioxidant capacity, oxidative status, and consumer acceptability of chicken meat after dietary administration of a semi-solid olive cake, known as “paté” (pOC), in broilers. pOC is an olive oil industry waste rich in
[...] Read more.
A study was carried out to determine the quality characteristics, antioxidant capacity, oxidative status, and consumer acceptability of chicken meat after dietary administration of a semi-solid olive cake, known as “paté” (pOC), in broilers. pOC is an olive oil industry waste rich in bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols, obtained by mechanical extraction from destoned olives. Two hundred and ninety-seven 22-day-old fast growing (Ross 308) female chicks were randomly assigned to three experimental grower-finisher diets. Each dietary group consisted of three replicates, each with 33 birds. The experimental treatments were: (1) basal control diet (C); (2) C diet supplemented with a low dose of pOC (82.5 g/Kg, L-pOC); and (3) C diet supplemented with a high dose of pOC (165.0 g/Kg, H-pOC). Chicken growth rate increased with increasing pOC concentration in the diet. Polyphenol analyses were performed through liquid-chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry technique (LC-MS/MS). In meat of animals belonging to L-pOC and H-pOC groups, tyrosol and sulphate metabolites of hydroxytyrosol were detected. Meat quality parameters and proximate composition were not affected by the dietary treatment, whereas the antioxidant status and the oxidative stability of meat were positively affected, especially when the highest level of pOC was applied. These results demonstrate that pOC can be recommended in chicken diets to improve performance and meat oxidative status. Full article
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Open AccessArticle National Water Footprint: Toward a Comprehensive Approach for the Evaluation of the Sustainability of Water Use in Italy
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1341; doi:10.3390/su9081341
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 28 July 2017 / Published: 1 August 2017
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Abstract
The aim of this study is to monitor the water use over the national territory and evaluate water flows by economic sectors across regional boundaries. The sustainability level is evaluated in terms of water scarcity (the ratio between water consumption and water availability).
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to monitor the water use over the national territory and evaluate water flows by economic sectors across regional boundaries. The sustainability level is evaluated in terms of water scarcity (the ratio between water consumption and water availability). Publicly-available geo-referenced maps containing the annual average volume of available and consumed water for different economic activities, pollution loads, and land cover are elaborated with geographic information system (GIS) software. Different administrative and geographic boundaries (regional, river basin, and hydrogeological complex) are used to produce a statistical overview of the sustainability level in water use over the Italian territory. Water footprint indicators are set up for the blue and grey components, while the sustainability of the green component is preliminarily evaluated from land use. The effective impact on the water resource is assessed in terms of water scarcity for all the three components. Water availability data refer to annual average computed between 1990 and 2010. Water consumption and land cover refer to reference year 2006. Results are shown as annual averages and they are used to establish a baseline of the national water use that is expected to be particularly relevant for next-coming analyses, including virtual water flows associated to import/export activities and trending reports for future periods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Experimental Analysis of the Effect of Geometry and Façade Materials on Urban District’s Equivalent Albedo
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1245; doi:10.3390/su9071245
Received: 26 May 2017 / Revised: 2 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 16 July 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2848 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban Heat Island (UHI) is influenced by urban form, geometry, and the properties of surfaces. Retroreflective (RR) materials have been proposed as a countermeasure to UHI, thanks to their optical property of reflecting most of the incident solar energy back towards the same
[...] Read more.
Urban Heat Island (UHI) is influenced by urban form, geometry, and the properties of surfaces. Retroreflective (RR) materials have been proposed as a countermeasure to UHI, thanks to their optical property of reflecting most of the incident solar energy back towards the same direction. In this paper, the effect of RR materials on urban districts was investigated. They were applied on building façades of urban districts with different urban forms and orientations. To this aim, an experimental model resembling urban districts with different geometries was built and RR materials on vertical surfaces were tested and compared to conventional construction materials with similar global reflectance. The trend of the instantaneous albedo was monitored during the day and a new parameter called “equivalent albedo” was used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the RR materials. The comparative analysis shows that the RR façades lead to an increase of the equivalent albedo for all of the investigated urban patterns. For a block pattern, the equivalent albedo increase is equal to 3%, while for canyon patterns it is equal to 7%. Results of energy evaluations show that the energy savings obtainable with the use of RR materials is comparable to the values of anthropogenic heat emissions in residential areas. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle A Multi-Step Approach to Assess the Lifecycle Economic Impact of Seismic Risk on Optimal Energy Retrofit
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 989; doi:10.3390/su9060989
Received: 10 May 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3707 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Most European buildings built before 1980s were constructed without any design concern for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. In addition to this issue, over the last decades, the essential need of safer buildings has progressively attracted the interest of scientific community and government
[...] Read more.
Most European buildings built before 1980s were constructed without any design concern for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. In addition to this issue, over the last decades, the essential need of safer buildings has progressively attracted the interest of scientific community and government institutions. However, the strong interaction between energy and structural aspects in building retrofit design has never been handled via robust and reliable approaches. The present study explores this knowledge gap by introducing a novel multi-step approach that addresses the retrofit of existing buildings by integrating energy, structural and economic aspects. To this end, a multi-stage energy optimization is carried out by implementing a genetic algorithm and a smart research strategy. Thus, the cost-optimal energy retrofit solution is identified and the impact of the expected economic losses due to seismic damage is assessed throughout the building lifecycle. The methodology is applied to a multi-story residential building, considering the effects of two different building locations, namely Milan and Norcia. These latter are characterized by similar climatic conditions but by a different level of seismic risk, which is higher for Norcia. The outcomes show that the estimated seismic economic losses associated with the energy retrofit solutions are strongly affected by the building location. Thus, the selection of the optimal energy retrofit measures should be related to the building structural behavior in order to achieve reliable economic and sustainability benefits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Addressing Large-Scale Energy Retrofit of a Building Stock via Representative Building Samples: Public and Private Perspectives
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 940; doi:10.3390/su9060940
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 26 May 2017 / Accepted: 28 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1386 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Scientific literature about energy retrofit focuses on single buildings, but the investigation of whole building stocks is particularly worthy because it can yield substantial energy, environmental and economic benefits. Hence, how to address large-scale energy retrofit of existing building stocks? The paper handles
[...] Read more.
Scientific literature about energy retrofit focuses on single buildings, but the investigation of whole building stocks is particularly worthy because it can yield substantial energy, environmental and economic benefits. Hence, how to address large-scale energy retrofit of existing building stocks? The paper handles this issue by employing a methodology that provides a robust energy analysis of building categories. This is denoted as SLABE, “Simulation-based Large-scale uncertainty/sensitivity Analysis of Building Energy performance”. It was presented by the same authors and is here enhanced to investigate a whole and heterogeneous building stock that includes various categories. Each category is represented via a Representative Building Sample (RBS), which is defined through Latin hypercube sampling and uncertainty analysis. Hence, optimal retrofit packages are found in function of building location, intended use and construction type. Two families of optimal solutions are achieved. The first one collects the most energy-efficient (and thus sustainable) solutions, among the ones that produce global cost savings, thereby addressing the public perspective. The second one collects cost-optimal solutions thereby addressing the private perspective. EnergyPlus is employed as a simulation tool and coupled with MATLAB® for data analysis and processing. The methodology is applied to a significant share of the Italian public administration building stock, which includes several building categories depending on location, use destination and construction type. The outcomes show huge potential energy and economic savings, and could support a deep energy renovation of the Italian building stock. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Energy Policies and Sustainable Management of Energy Sources
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2321; doi:10.3390/su9122321
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 9 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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Abstract
Sustainability of current energy policies and their mid-term outlooks are investigated. First, an overview is given about the trend of global energy demand and energy production. The share of energy sources and the geographic distribution of demand are analysed on the basis of
[...] Read more.
Sustainability of current energy policies and their mid-term outlooks are investigated. First, an overview is given about the trend of global energy demand and energy production. The share of energy sources and the geographic distribution of demand are analysed on the basis of the statistics and projections published by major agencies. Sustainability of selected renewable energy sources is then explored. Finally, potential use of Hydrogen for energy storage in systems with high share of renewable sources is investigated. Full article
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