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Special Issue "Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation - ZEMCH 2016"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2017)

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Arman Hashemi

School of Environment and Technology, University of Brighton, Brighton, BN2 4GJ, UK.
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainable development; building performance evaluation; energy efficiency in buildings; natural lighting; indoor air quality; thermal comfort; offsite/modern methods of construction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The adverse effects of climate change are becoming more evident and global warming is now undeniable. The efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change have been progressing slowly and adaptation is now one of the major strategies which has been considered by both developed and developing countries. The challenging and ambitious targets of the Paris Agreement in December 2015 were a milestone in such efforts; however, despite the commitment of many countries, greenhouse gas emissions have not been decreasing sufficiently to slow down the global warming. Indeed, there are currently debates on whether reducing the emissions to 40 gigatonnes by 2030 and limiting the temperature rise to “1.5 ˚C above pre-industrial levels” are realistic and achievable. Nevertheless, reducing CO2 emissions from the construction industry would significantly contribute to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement. To this end, this special issue intends to explore the current design, planning and management strategies within the construction industry which could contribute to global efforts towards climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Dr. Arman Hashemi
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.

Keywords

  • Sustainable Design, Development and Management
  • Climate Change Mitigation
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Energy Efficient Buildings
  • Green Economy and Policies
  • Sustainable Buildings and Cities

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Structuring the Environmental Experience Design Research Framework through Selected Aged Care Facility Data Analyses in Victoria
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2172; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122172
Received: 4 September 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
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Abstract
Humans relate to the living environment physically and psychologically. Environmental psychology has a rich developed history while experience design emerged recently in the industrial design domain. Nonetheless, these approaches have barely been merged, understood or implemented in architectural design practices. This study explored
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Humans relate to the living environment physically and psychologically. Environmental psychology has a rich developed history while experience design emerged recently in the industrial design domain. Nonetheless, these approaches have barely been merged, understood or implemented in architectural design practices. This study explored the correlation between experience design and environmental psychology. Moreover, it conducted literature reviews on theories about emotion, user experience design, experience design and environmental psychology, followed by the analyses of spatial settings and environmental quality data of a selected aged care facility in Victoria, Australia, as a case study. Accordingly, this study led to proposing a research framework on environmental experience design (EXD). It can be defined as a deliberate attempt that affiliates experience design and environmental psychology with creation of the built environment that should accommodate user needs and demands. The EXD research framework proposed in this study was tailored for transforming related design functions into the solutions that contribute to improving the built environment for user health and wellbeing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The impact of Lighting on Vandalism in Hot Climates: The Case of the Abu Shagara Vandalised Corridor in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2040; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9112040
Received: 17 September 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 7 November 2017
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Abstract
This study mainly discusses how the immature behaviour of a part of the society, resulting in vandalism, affects the building aesthetics and design features in the districts of the city of Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Initially explaining the term “vandalism”
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This study mainly discusses how the immature behaviour of a part of the society, resulting in vandalism, affects the building aesthetics and design features in the districts of the city of Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Initially explaining the term “vandalism” in itself, this study goes on to debate on the reasons behind vandalism, its different types, and its effects on the environment. Throughout the discussion, studies of the relationship between vandalism and reflectivity are examined, considering how the characteristics and features of the buildings affect vandalism. Three methodology tools were used: a questionnaire, an Integrated Environmental Solution Virtual Environment (IESVE) software program, and illuminance measurements. Simulation scenarios of the current situation of Abu Shagara were performed, which took into account several options with respect to wall material, flooring material, and types of lighting. All in all, ten simulation cases were conducted and compared, which allowed the identification of the best simulation scenario. The type of lighting had a greater impact on the simulation scenario results than the type of wall and flooring materials. The type of lighting varied as per its polar grid and light distribution. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Energy and Economic Performance of Plant-Shaded Building Façade in Hot Arid Climate
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2026; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9112026
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 28 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 6 November 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2125 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of vegetated walls and intensive plantation around buildings has increased in popularity in hot and arid climates, such as those in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This is due to its contribution towards reducing the heat gain and increasing the occupants’
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The use of vegetated walls and intensive plantation around buildings has increased in popularity in hot and arid climates, such as those in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This is due to its contribution towards reducing the heat gain and increasing the occupants’ comfort levels in spaces. This paper examines the introduction of plant-shaded walls as passive technique to reduce heat gain in indoor spaces as a strategy to lower cooling demand in hot arid climate of Al-Ain city. Experimental work was carried out to analyze the impact of using plantation for solar control of residential building façades in extreme summer. External and internal wall surface and ambient temperatures were measured for plant-shaded and bare walls. The study concluded that shading effect of the intensive plantation can reduce peak time indoor air temperature by 12 °C and reduce the internal heat gain by 2 kWh daily in the tested space. The economic analysis reveals a payback period of 10 years considering local energy tariff excluding environmental savings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Overheating and Daylighting; Assessment Tool in Early Design of London’s High-Rise Residential Buildings
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1544; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091544
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
High-rise residential buildings in dense cities, such as London, are a common response to housing shortage. The apartments in these buildings may experience different levels of thermal and visual comfort, depending on their orientation and floor level. This paper aims to develop simplified
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High-rise residential buildings in dense cities, such as London, are a common response to housing shortage. The apartments in these buildings may experience different levels of thermal and visual comfort, depending on their orientation and floor level. This paper aims to develop simplified tools to predict internal temperatures and daylighting levels, and propose a tool to quickly assess overheating risk and daylight performance in London’s high-rise residential buildings. Single- and double-sided apartments in a high-rise building were compared, and the impact of their floor level, glazing ratio, thermal mass, ventilation strategy and orientation was investigated. Using Integrated Environmental Solutions Virtual Environment (IES VE), temperature and daylight factor results of each design variable were used to develop early design tools to predict and assess overheating risks and daylighting levels. The results indicate that apartments that are more exposed to solar radiations, through either orientation or floor level, are more susceptible to overheat in the summer while exceeding the daylighting recommendations. Different design strategies at different levels and orientations are subsequently discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Adoption of Energy Design Strategies for Retrofitting Mass Housing Estates in Northern Cyprus
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1477; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9081477
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 11 August 2017 / Accepted: 13 August 2017 / Published: 21 August 2017
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Abstract
This research project is undertaken in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (T.R.N.C.). The objective of the research is to investigate the occupants’ behaviour and role in the refurbishment activity by exploring how and why occupants decide to change building systems and how
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This research project is undertaken in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (T.R.N.C.). The objective of the research is to investigate the occupants’ behaviour and role in the refurbishment activity by exploring how and why occupants decide to change building systems and how to understand why and how occupants consider using energy-efficient measurements. The housing estates are chosen from 16 different projects in four different regions of the T.R.N.C. that include urban and suburban areas. The study is conducted through semi-structured interviews to identify occupants’ behaviour as it is associated with refurbishment activity. This paper presents the results of semi-structured interviews with 70 homeowners in a selected group of 16 housing estates in four different parts of the T.R.N.C. Alongside the construction process and its impact on the environment, the results point out the need for control mechanisms in the housing sector to promote and support the adoption of retrofit strategies and to minimise non-controlled refurbishment activities. The results demonstrate that European Union Energy Efficiency directives need not only inform households about technological improvements that can be installed in their residential properties, but should also strongly encourage and incentivise them to use them efficiently. Furthermore, the occupants’ energy consumption behaviour and the applicable policy interventions will make the difference between implementing policy which in fact delivers on its aims for energy efficiency and sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Substrate Depth, Vegetation and Irrigation Affect Green Roof Thermal Performance in a Mediterranean Type Climate
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1451; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9081451
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 August 2017 / Published: 16 August 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (14273 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Green roofs are consistently being used to reduce some of the negative environmental impacts of cities. The increasing interest in extensive green roofs requires refined studies on their design and operation, and on the effects of their relevant parameters on green roof thermal
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Green roofs are consistently being used to reduce some of the negative environmental impacts of cities. The increasing interest in extensive green roofs requires refined studies on their design and operation, and on the effects of their relevant parameters on green roof thermal performance. The effects of two design parameters, substrate thickness (ST) and conductivity of dry soil (CDS), and four operating parameters, leaf area index (LAI), leaf reflectivity (LR), stomatal resistance (SR), and moisture content (MC), were investigated using the green roof computer model developed by Sailor in 2008. The computer simulations showed that among the operating parameters, LAI has the largest effects on thermal performance while CDS is a more influential design parameter than ST. Experimental investigations of non-vegetated and sparsely vegetated green roofs in Melbourne were principally used to understand the effect of the substrate and enable better understanding of dominant heat transfer mechanisms involved. Investigated green roofs had three substrate thicknesses (100, 150 and 200 mm), and their performance was compared to a bare conventional roof. In contrast to the computer simulations, the experimental results for summer and winter showed the importance of MC and ST in reducing the substrate temperature and heat flux through the green roof. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Improving Thermal Comfort of Low-Income Housing in Thailand through Passive Design Strategies
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1440; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9081440
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 29 July 2017 / Accepted: 10 August 2017 / Published: 15 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (6265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Thailand, the delivery of adequate low-income housing has historically been overshadowed by politics with cost and quantity being prioritised over quality, comfort and resilience. In a country that experiences hot and humid temperatures throughout the year, buildings need to be adaptable to
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In Thailand, the delivery of adequate low-income housing has historically been overshadowed by politics with cost and quantity being prioritised over quality, comfort and resilience. In a country that experiences hot and humid temperatures throughout the year, buildings need to be adaptable to the climate to improve the thermal comfort of inhabitants. This research is focused on identifying areas for improving the thermal performance of these housing designs. Firstly, dynamic thermal simulations were run on a baseline model using the adaptive thermal comfort model CIBSE TM52 for assessment. The three criteria defined in CIBSE TM52 were used to assess the frequency and severity of overheating in the buildings. The internal temperature of the apartments was shown to exceed the thermal comfort threshold for these criteria throughout the year. The internal operating daily temperatures of the apartment remain high, ranging from a maximum of 38.5 °C to a minimum of 27.3 °C. Based on these findings, five criteria were selected to be analysed for sensitivity to obtain the key parameters that influence the thermal performance and to suggest possible areas for improvement. The computer software package Integrated Environmental Solutions—Virtual Environment (IES-VE) was used to perform building energy simulations. Once the baseline conditions were identified, the software packages SimLab2.2 and RStudio were used to carry out the sensitivity analysis. These results indicated that roof material and the presence of a balcony have the greatest influence on the system. Incorporating insulation into the roof reduced the mean number of days of overheating by 21.43%. Removing the balcony increased the number of days of overheating by 19.94% due to significant reductions in internal ventilation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Designing Sustainable Urban Social Housing in the United Arab Emirates
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1413; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9081413
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 August 2017 / Published: 10 August 2017
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Abstract
The United Arab Emirates is experiencing a challenging turn towards sustainable social housing. Conventional neighborhood planning and design principles are being replaced by those leading to more sustainable urban forms. To trace this challenging move, the research has investigated the degree of consideration
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The United Arab Emirates is experiencing a challenging turn towards sustainable social housing. Conventional neighborhood planning and design principles are being replaced by those leading to more sustainable urban forms. To trace this challenging move, the research has investigated the degree of consideration of sustainable urban design principles in two social housing neighborhoods in Al Ain City in Abu Dhabi Emirate, UAE. The first represents a conventional urban form based on the neighborhood theory; the other represents the new sustainable design. The ultimate aim is to define the obstacles hindering the full achievement of a sustainable urban form in this housing type. To undertake research investigations, a matrix of the design principles of sustainable urban forms has been initiated in order to facilitate the assessment of the urban forms of the two selected urban communities. Some qualitatively measurable design elements have been defined for each of these principles. The results of the analysis of the shift from ‘conventional’ to ‘sustainable’ case studies have revealed some aspects that would prevent the attainment of fully sustainable urban forms in newly designed social housing neighborhoods. Finally, the research concludes by recommending some fundamental actions to help meet these challenges in future design. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Low-Carbon Transition toward Sustainability of Regional Coal-Dominated Energy Consumption Structure: A Case of Hebei Province in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1184; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071184
Received: 19 May 2017 / Revised: 2 July 2017 / Accepted: 4 July 2017 / Published: 6 July 2017
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Abstract
CO2 emission resulted from fossil energy use is threatening human sustainability globally. This study focuses on the low-carbon transition of Hebei’s coal-dominated energy system by estimating its total end-use energy consumption, primary energy supply and resultant CO2 emission up to 2030,
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CO2 emission resulted from fossil energy use is threatening human sustainability globally. This study focuses on the low-carbon transition of Hebei’s coal-dominated energy system by estimating its total end-use energy consumption, primary energy supply and resultant CO2 emission up to 2030, by employing an energy demand analysis model based on setting of the economic growth rate, industrial structure, industry/sector energy consumption intensity, energy supply structure, and CO2 emission factor. It is found that the total primary energy consumption in Hebei will be 471 and 431 million tons of coal equivalent (tce) in 2030 in our two defined scenarios (conventional development scenario and coordinated development scenario), which are 1.40 and 1.28 times of the level in 2015, respectively. The resultant full-chain CO2 emission will be 1027 and 916 million tons in 2030 in the two scenarios, which are 1.24 and 1.10 times of the level in 2015, respectively. The full-chain CO2 emission will peak in about 2025. It is found that the coal-dominated situation of energy structure and CO2 emission increasing trend in Hebei can be changed in the future in the coordinated development scenario, in which Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area coordinated development strategy will be strengthened. The energy structure of Hebei can be optimised since the proportion of coal in total primary energy consumption can fall from around 80% in 2015 to below 30% in 2030 and the proportions of transferred electricity, natural gas, nuclear energy and renewable energy can increase rapidly. Some specific additional policy instruments are also suggested to support the low-carbon transition of energy system in Hebei under the framework of the coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, and with the support from the central government of China. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview A Review on Building Integrated Photovoltaic Façade Customization Potentials
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2287; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122287
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 9 December 2017
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Abstract
Technological advancement in Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) has converted the building façade into a renewable energy-based generator. The BIPV façade is designed to provide energy generation along with conventional design objectives such as aesthetics and environmental control. The challenge however, is that architectural
[...] Read more.
Technological advancement in Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) has converted the building façade into a renewable energy-based generator. The BIPV façade is designed to provide energy generation along with conventional design objectives such as aesthetics and environmental control. The challenge however, is that architectural design objectives sometimes conflict with energy performance, such as the provision of view and daylight versus maximum power output. In innovative cases, the characteristics of conventional BIPV façades have been modified by researchers to address such conflicts through customization as an emerging trend in BIPV façade design. Although extensive reviews exist on BIPV product types, design integration, adoption barriers and performance issues, research on BIPV customization has not been reviewed as a solution to BIPV adoption. This paper seeks to review the potential of BIPV façade customization as a means of enhancing BIPV adoption. The current paper identifies customization parameters ranging from the customization category, level, and strategies, and related architectural potential along with an assessment of their impact. The findings reflect that elemental and compositional level customization using combined customization strategies provide enhanced BIPV products. These products are well integrated for both energy generation and aesthetic applications with a power output increase of up to 80% in some cases. The paper concludes that a wide range of BIPV adoption barriers such as aesthetics, architectural integration, and performance can be overcome by appropriate BIPV customization. Full article
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