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Special Issue "Sustainable Building Renovation"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 April 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Per Anker Jensen

Centre for Facilities Management, DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Produktionstorvet Building 424, 2800 Lyngby, Denmark
Website | E-Mail
Interests: facilities management; construction management; briefing, knowledge transfer; sustainable buildings; building renovations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The need for building renovations is currently receiving increased attention in many countries. However, how can we make building renovations (more) sustainable?

The term “renovation” is used with a particular focus on comprehensive projects in existing buildings, which, in addition to improvements in quality of life, attractiveness and building lifetime expectancy, include a major increase in energy performance—also called “deep renovation”. Sustainable building renovation is changing existing buildings in such a way, so they become more sustainable after the renovation than before. The meaning of sustainability is associated with the consideration of the interdependence of society, environment and economy in complex sustainability thinking based on the definitions from the United Nations with the three sustainability dimensions: Social, economic, and environment.

This Special Issue invites research-based papers on building renovations, which apply a holistic approach to sustainability, as indicated above. Papers with a specific focus on one of the three sustainability dimensions will not be included. Papers based on both empirical research and more conceptual, theory-based contributions are welcome. Pure opinion-based papers are not accepted. The topics of the research could include one or more of the three themes mentioned below, but papers on other topics related to sustainable building renovation will also be considered.

Understanding sustainable building renovation (SBR):

  • How can SBR be described and understood?

  • What are the main drivers and barriers for SBR?

  • What theories are appropriate to comprehend SBR?

  • What role does legislation and public policy have for SBR?

  • What distinguish and differentiate SBR in different sectors and countries?

Setting objective and evaluating results of SBR:

  • What are relevant objectives for SBR?

  • When and how should the objectives for SBR be evaluated?

  • Who should make and be involved in decision-making and evaluation of SBR?

  • How to differentiate SBR objectives and results, for instance between output/outcome/added value, short/medium/long term or operational/tactical/strategic?

  • How can results of evaluations be utilized in other SBR projects?

How can the process of CBR be enhanced?

  • How can the value chain of SBR be improved?

  • What new forms of tendering can improve the SBR process?

  • What is the possible impact on SBR of new technologies like Virtual Digital Constructions, 3D-printing, Sensors, Drones, Industry 4.0, etc.?

  • Is disruptive innovation relevant for SBR?

  • What are the most promising cases for enhanced SBR processes?

Prof. Dr. Per Anker Jensen
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. 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.


  • building

  • renovation

  • sustainability

  • objectives

  • evaluation

  • outcome

  • added value

  • process

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

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.

Title: Development and Validation of a Hybrid Decision Support System for Generation of Holistic Renovation Scenarios—Case of Energy Consumption, Investment Cost, and Thermal Indoor Comfort
Authors: Aliakbar Kamari, Stefan Jensen, Maria Leonhard Christensen, Steffen Petersen and Poul Henning Kirkegaard
Affiliations: Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, al@eng.au.dk (A.K.), phk@eng.au.dk (P.H.K.)
Abstract: Future building renovation concerns more holistic perspectives related to the sustainability seen in a wider range of objectives/criteria facilitated by the renovation scenarios. The aim of this paper is to develop a DSS for generation of holistic renovation scenarios that can be used by different stakeholders particularly architects and consultants corporations in early design stages of renovation projects. In this regard, this paper firstly discusses both the notion of a sustainable renovation and various renovation approaches, towards appreciation of developing the DSS for generation of holistic scenarios. Next, it provides details about mechanism and types of Multiple Criteria Decision Making methods to be exploited in the body of the DSS. A hybrid approach including a search algorithm with Genetic Algorithms is used to combine and analyze all possible renovation scenarios to develop optimal solutions, addressing the trade-offs among the evaluating criteria. This continues by use of some rating methods to develop a ranking of the possible solutions. The criteria-focused for running simulations in this paper includes energy consumption, investment cost, and thermal indoor comfort. The outcome is validated discussing a case study about an actual [recently] renovated building and the top ranked generated scenarios using the DSS in this paper.
Keyword: building renovation; sustainability; sustainable renovation; Decision Support Systems (DSS); renovation scenario; Multiple Criteria Decision Making (MCDM); Genetic Algorithms (GA); energy consumption; investment cost; thermal indoor comfort

Title: Stimulating the Adoption of Energy Saving Technologies by Consultancy Centers and Pop-up Models
Authors: Ad Straub *, Frits Meijer and Erwin Mlecnik
Affiliation: Department OTB Research for the Built Environment, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft, P.O. Box 5043, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands
* Corresponding author: E-Mail: a.straub@tudelft.nl; Tel.: +31-(0)6-28616426
About 50% of the dwellings in North-West Europe are owner-occupied single-family houses. Frontrunner local authorities aim to achieve a market acceleration in the owner-occupied single-family home renovation sector by increasing awareness of—and enabling access to—energy saving technologies. Local authorities are particularly looking for opportunities to improve their communication channels using for instance novel web portal functionalities, neighborhood actions and consultancy centers.
This work looks into opportunities for stimulating homeowners to adopt energy-saving technologies by improving municipal communication channels, particularly consultancy centres and pop-up models. With their easy availability, adaptability, and possible mobility, pop-up centres can provide an additional local outreach, particularly in neighbourhoods that are targeted for upgrading and renovation. The pop-up centers can be used for providing consultancy and for stimulating the local application of low carbon technologies, including home energy monitoring systems, to make homeowners more aware about their energy use.
Literature research provides novel insights regarding the development of recent public models, but also public-private collaboration structures and private initiatives that inform and advice home-owners. Far reaching initiates that indeed result in adoption of technologies by home-owners were analyzed using the business model canvas. Further, business models were set up for new consultancy centers and pop-up models for seven local authorities from four countries: 3 city authorities in Belgium (Antwerpen, Mechelen and EOS Oostende), 2 cities in The Netherlands (Rotterdam and Breda), and 2 regional bodies in the UK (Kent County Council) and France (SPEE Picardie). The research results in recommendations for business models for the self-supporting of consultancy centers and pop-up models to ensure continuity, in connection to the development of web portals.
Keywords: business models; consultancy centers; housing; local authorities; pop-up models; renovation
The work is done in the framework of the Interreg 2 Seas project “Triple-A: stimulating the Adoption of low-carbon technologies by home-owners through Awareness and easy Access” (http://www.triple-a-interreg.eu/) funded by the European Fund for Regional Development and the Provinces of South Holland and West Flanders.

Title: 3D printing: opportunities and challenges for sustainable building renovation
Authors and Affiliations: Jacky K.H. CHUNG, National University of Singapore; Huiying HOU, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Joseph LAI, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Abstract: Building renovation is key to the sustainability of building performance, but its traditional implementation process is subject to a series of technical constraints and thus often delivered inefficiently and ineffectively in practice. 3D printing (3DP), on the other hand, is an advanced manufacturing technique designed to improve the product and process technologies in manufacturing. Although 3DP had been introduced to construction since 1997, it remains embryonic in the construction domain and there has been limited knowledge of its application to building renovation. Aimed at addressing the feasibility of applying 3DP to sustainable building renovation through the lessons learnt from the manufacturing sector, this paper consists of four sections, namely (i) problem definition, (ii) theoretical framework, (iii) practical examples, and (iv) future impact. The first section covers a critique of the conventional building renovation approach and a set of technical constraints identified from the literature and case studies. Then, the characteristics of 3DP and a theoretical framework showing the principles and opportunities for a new building renovation approach by 3DP are presented. Further, some key potential applications of the framework are demonstrated by real-life examples from the manufacturing sector. Lastly, the paper is concluded with a discussion on the potential challenges and impacts of the new renovation approach. Being the first of its kind in addressing 3DP application in building renovation, the paper contributes to developing a crucial foundation for bridging the knowledge gap between 3DP and sustainable building renovation.
Keywords: 3D printing; building renovation; theoretical framework; benefit; challenge; impact

Title: The Theory of Sustainable Built Asset Management
Authors: Justine Cooper 1 and Keith Jones 2
Affiliation: 1 School of Built Environment, University of Salford, UK, J.C.Cooper@salford.ac.uk; 2 Department of Engineering and Built Environment, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK, Keith.Jones@anlgia.ac.uk
Abstract: Improving the sustainability of the existing housing stock is a major challenge facing the UK social housing sector for whom there is little support to navigate the growing and often incongruent information relating to sustainable development and how to operationalise it. The problem is twofold; firstly, the current (single criterion) conditioned based approach to maintenance planning constrains Asset Managers and does not fully address the social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainability. Secondly, the toolkits available for assessing the sustainability of housing are often generic and time consuming and expensive to implement. This paper reports the findings of a participatory research project with a London based housing association which used a series of landlord and tenant interviews and workshops to derive a set of key performance indicators (PKIs). The KPIs were used to populate the ‘performance based sustainable housing maintenance model’ to reflect the local requirements of the landlord and their interpretation of the sustainability agenda. The same data was used to create an Analytical Hierarchy Process model to optimize sustainable maintenance decision making. As such the paper presents a strategy for integrating sustainability within the Built Asset Management process, by developing a multi-criteria approach to maintenance based on the performance of a house in-use, rather than on its condition. In conclusion, the way in which sustainability is interpreted and measured by social housing asset managers is unique, therefore a strategy which successfully integrates sustainability with the built asset management process should be generic in form to provide guidance to all social housing providers yet flexible enough to incorporate the local requirements and interpretations of the sustainability agenda of individual organisations.
Keywords: Sustainability; Building Asset Management; Multi-Criteria; AHP, Housing

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