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Special Issue "Sustainable Architecture and Design"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. ir. Andy van den Dobbelsteen

Chair of Climate Design & Sustainability Department of Architectural Engineering + Technology, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +31-639-251-421
Interests: sustainable building; smart and bioclimatic design; climate adaptation; sustainable urban energy systems; circularity; resilient cities
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Greg Keeffe

Chair of Sustainable Architecture and Head of School School of Natural and Built Environment, Queens University Belfast, University Road, Belfast, BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland, UK
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +44-780-170-8328
Interests: sustainable architecture; bioclimatic design; passive solar design; climate proof design; resilient cities; closed cycle cities

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue deals with the three great challenges for the future of the built environment: Climate change, depletion of fossil fuels and scarcity of resources. The next generation of stakeholders, for instance, planners, urban designers, developers, architects and engineers, has to work with different boundary conditions than previous generations. Therefore, they have a heavy task at hand and can make a big difference in sustainable development of the world. In line with the three challenges, the built environment needs to become climate adaptive, fossil free (energy neutral) and circular. Our growing cities need to become resilient. This demands for new or renewed methods for planning and design, new technology, new governance and new business models. More than just scientific theory and methodology, thoroughly evaluated examples from practice are needed, as well as well-founded action agendas, based on local interventions with positive global impacts. With this in mind we invite scholars around the world to contribute to this Special Issue of Sustainability.

Prof. Dr. ir. Andy van den Dobbelsteen
Prof. Dr. Greg Keeffe
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

  • Climate adaptation
  • energy neutrality
  • circularity
  • resilience
  • sustainable development
  • built environment
  • urban planning
  • architectural design
  • engineering
  • governance
  • business models

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Future of Sustainable Urbanism: Society-Based, Complexity-Led, and Landscape-Driven
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1442; doi:10.3390/su9081442
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 6 August 2017 / Accepted: 13 August 2017 / Published: 15 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2543 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article discusses the question: where to with sustainable urbanism? It includes a historic review of the concept of sustainable urbanism and reviews of recent literature in the field of eco-cities. Through these reviews, it deliberately interrogates new pathways for sustainable urbanism. The
[...] Read more.
This article discusses the question: where to with sustainable urbanism? It includes a historic review of the concept of sustainable urbanism and reviews of recent literature in the field of eco-cities. Through these reviews, it deliberately interrogates new pathways for sustainable urbanism. The result of this investigation is the insight that there are six design principles that are required to create a sustainable city: a design in which cycles are closed, redundancy is built in, anti-fragility is created, citizens are seen as (design) experts, the landscape is used as the basis, and innovative, rule-breaking designs are developed. These six design principles are then captured in three comprehensive concepts, which together support the design of a sustainable city: the design approach needs to be a (1) society-based; (2) complexity-led, and (3) landscape-driven design approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
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Open AccessArticle Common Spaces of Multi-Commercial Complexes from Urban Sustainability
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1336; doi:10.3390/su9081336
Received: 9 June 2017 / Revised: 8 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 31 July 2017
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Abstract
In contemporary society, multi-commercial complexes have been developed in various ways according to the circumstances and historical situation of different cities with a vision to implement sustainability. Design direction centered on public and common spaces proposed in recent commercial complexes has shown a
[...] Read more.
In contemporary society, multi-commercial complexes have been developed in various ways according to the circumstances and historical situation of different cities with a vision to implement sustainability. Design direction centered on public and common spaces proposed in recent commercial complexes has shown a tendency to perform beyond its original role, not only supporting private space, but also taking a public role. In this study, urban sustainability implemented in the perspective of architectural design was defined in three categories: environmental, social, and economic sustainability. For each category, the planned aspects of multi-commercial complexes of passive circulation system, amenity and mobility, complexity, and flexibility were analyzed. Multi-commercial complexes from the viewpoint of urban sustainability were analyzed. The results showed that they were displayed through various expansion methods of common space rather than specific programs or designated spaces. Additionally, the development aspect of expansion could be characterized by common space, boundary, ground, and context. The results of this study revealed that a planned strategy for urban sustainability did not increase the program or space quantitatively. Therefore, the possibility of extending common space in terms of quality should be seriously considered. Moreover, it is imperative to monitor its actual use after completion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating Urban Forms for Comparison Studies in the Massing Design Stage
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 987; doi:10.3390/su9060987
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 6 June 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
PDF Full-text (9708 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We introduce five performance indicators to facilitate the comparison of urban massing design in the early design stages. The five simple indicators are based on existing studies and cover three main performance areas that are sensitive to urban form changes: solar, ventilation, and
[...] Read more.
We introduce five performance indicators to facilitate the comparison of urban massing design in the early design stages. The five simple indicators are based on existing studies and cover three main performance areas that are sensitive to urban form changes: solar, ventilation, and connectivity potentials. The first three indicators—the non-solar heated façade to floor area index, daylight façade to floor area index, and photovoltaics envelope to floor area index—measure the solar potential. The frontal area index measures the ventilation potential and the route-directness index measures the connectivity potential. The indicators are simple to use, as they only require urban geometry data for their calculation. We demonstrate the indicators in two case studies; variations in the values of these indicators show that they are sensitive to urban form changes and can be used in comparative studies to identify better performing urban forms among massing designs. We implement the indicators as an open-source Python library, Pyliburo, that designers and researchers can readily access and integrate into their existing design workflows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of the Changeable Organic Semi-Transparent Solar Cell Window on Building Energy Efficiency and User Comfort
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 950; doi:10.3390/su9060950
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 4 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3578 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are one of the most important sustainability technologies for building energy, and the semi-transparent solar cell is one of the most promising photovoltaic systems for building integration because it can generate electricity and is transparent with a range of beneficial
[...] Read more.
Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are one of the most important sustainability technologies for building energy, and the semi-transparent solar cell is one of the most promising photovoltaic systems for building integration because it can generate electricity and is transparent with a range of beneficial optical properties. On the other hand, the utilization of semi-transparent solar cells for a building facade is limited, as the optimal transparency and power conversion efficiency (PCE %) of the solar cell vary according to the purpose of the space, facing orientation, and number of occupants. This study designed a changeable organic semi-transparent solar cell window (COSW), in which the transparency can be altered by adjusting its temperature and solvent vapor pressure. A simulation test with the proposed COSW was conducted to examine the effects of the proposed window on energy consumption, electricity production, and occupant comfort. The results show that the proposed window has a huge potential for energy conservation and occupant comfort. Compared to the double-glazed Low-E windows, the proposed window reduces the energy consumption by approximately 14.80 kW/m2 (53.29 MJ/m2), 11.51 kW/m2 (41.45 MJ/m2), and 15.02 kW/m2 (54.07 MJ/m2), for the south-facing, east-facing, and west-facing facades, respectively, and increases user satisfaction, particularly in spring and autumn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
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Open AccessArticle How Building with Wood Can Be Linked to Sales of Building Plots: Results from an Exemplary Site Development in Munich, Germany
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 947; doi:10.3390/su9060947
Received: 8 April 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 4 June 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5431 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cities today seek ways to comply with national climate targets. The urban authorities responsible for city planning are therefore responsible for defining the eco-efficiency of cities for decades to come. They need clear guidelines on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the
[...] Read more.
Cities today seek ways to comply with national climate targets. The urban authorities responsible for city planning are therefore responsible for defining the eco-efficiency of cities for decades to come. They need clear guidelines on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the building stock in a specific area. The use of sustainably sourced wood in construction plays an increasingly vital part in the transition towards eco-cities. Drawing on an exemplary development site in Munich, this paper describes how the sale of building plots can be connected to an agreement to build with wood. Based on an actual research project, site-specific target values regarding greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of renewable material for specific building plots were developed by studying life cycle assessments for different buildings. Wood is introduced as a building material to achieve a minimal environmental footprint. The focus is set on linking the sale of building plots to an agreement to build primarily with wood. Target values for the buildings were developed in close cooperation with the city and were linked to the tendering of the plots. The proceedings and its implementation are shown in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
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Open AccessArticle A District Approach to Building Renovation for the Integral Energy Redevelopment of Existing Residential Areas
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 747; doi:10.3390/su9050747
Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 1 May 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2702 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building energy renovation quotas are not currently being met due to unfavorable conditions such as complex building regulations, limited investment incentives, historical preservation priorities, and technical limitations. The traditional strategy has been to incrementally lower the energy consumption of the building stock, instead
[...] Read more.
Building energy renovation quotas are not currently being met due to unfavorable conditions such as complex building regulations, limited investment incentives, historical preservation priorities, and technical limitations. The traditional strategy has been to incrementally lower the energy consumption of the building stock, instead of raising the efficiency of the energy supply through a broader use of renewable sources. This strategy requires an integral redefinition of the approach to energy building renovations. The joint project SWIVT elaborates on a district redevelopment strategy that combines a reduction in the energy demand of existing buildings and their physical interconnection within a local micro-grid and heating network. The district is equipped with energy generation and distribution technologies as well as hybrid thermal and electrical energy storage systems, steered by an optimizing energy management controller. This strategy is explored through three scenarios designed for an existing residential area in Darmstadt, Germany, and benchmarked against measured data. Presented findings show that a total primary energy balance at least 30% lower than that of a standard building renovation can be achieved by a cluster of buildings with different thermal qualities and connected energy generation, conversion, and storage systems, with only minimal physical intervention to existing buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
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Open AccessArticle Early-Stage Design Considerations for the Energy-Efficiency of High-Rise Office Buildings
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 623; doi:10.3390/su9040623
Received: 10 March 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (11437 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Decisions made at early stages of the design are of the utmost importance for the energy-efficiency of buildings. Wrong decisions and design failures related to a building’s general layout, shape, façade transparency or orientation can increase the operational energy tremendously. These failures can
[...] Read more.
Decisions made at early stages of the design are of the utmost importance for the energy-efficiency of buildings. Wrong decisions and design failures related to a building’s general layout, shape, façade transparency or orientation can increase the operational energy tremendously. These failures can be avoided in advance through simple changes in the design. Using extensive parametric energy simulations by DesignBuilder, this paper investigates the impact of geometric factors for the energy-efficiency of high-rise office buildings in three climates contexts: Amsterdam (Temperate), Sydney (Sub-tropical) and Singapore (Tropical). The investigation is carried out on 12 plan shapes, 7 plan depths, 4 building orientations and discrete values for window-to-wall ratio. Among selected options, each sub-section determines the most efficient solution for different design measures and climates. The optimal design solution is the one that minimises, on an annual basis, the sum of the energy use for heating, cooling, electric lighting and fans. The results indicate that the general building design is an important issue to consider for high-rise buildings: they can influence the energy use up to 32%. For most of the geometric factors, the greatest difference between the optimal and the worst solution occurs in the sub-tropical climate, while the tropical climate is the one that shows the smallest difference. In case of the plan depth, special attention should be paid in the case of a temperate climate, as the total energy use can increase more than in other climates. Regarding energy performance, the following building geometry factors have the highest to lowest influence: building orientation, plan shape, plan depth, and window-to-wall ratio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
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Open AccessArticle Ecological Worldview among Urban Design Professionals
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 498; doi:10.3390/su9040498
Received: 17 November 2016 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 26 March 2017
PDF Full-text (238 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The built environment is responsible for a large proportion of the global use of energy, natural resources, and emissions. Architects and other urban design professionals are key actors in the building process whose behavior and decisions will influence these impacts. Because environmental attitudes
[...] Read more.
The built environment is responsible for a large proportion of the global use of energy, natural resources, and emissions. Architects and other urban design professionals are key actors in the building process whose behavior and decisions will influence these impacts. Because environmental attitudes are linked to pro-environmental behavior, this study aims to measure environmental worldview among urban design professionals involved in the architectural competition ‘A New City Center for Kiruna’. The mean score registered for the New Environmental Paradigm (NEP) scale was 3.68 (standard deviation 0.51) and there were no significant differences with regard to age (mean 41.3 years) or gender (64.7% males). The ecological worldview of the participants was similar to most other samples from diverse countries, but a lower score was reported in comparison to environmentalists. The score ranged from 2.53 to 4.67 which shows heterogeneity at an individual level. Thus, future efforts to improve environmental attitudes among urban design professionals are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
Open AccessArticle Optimizing Existing Multistory Building Designs towards Net-Zero Energy
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 399; doi:10.3390/su9030399
Received: 14 December 2016 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (10045 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Recent global developments in awareness and concerns about environmental problems have led to reconsidering built environment approaches and construction techniques. One of the alternatives is the principle of low/zero-energy buildings. This study investigates the potentials of energy savings in an existing multi-story building
[...] Read more.
Recent global developments in awareness and concerns about environmental problems have led to reconsidering built environment approaches and construction techniques. One of the alternatives is the principle of low/zero-energy buildings. This study investigates the potentials of energy savings in an existing multi-story building in the Mediterranean region in order to achieve net-zero energy as a solution to increasing fossil fuel prices. The Colored building at the Faculty of Architecture, Eastern Mediterranean University, Cyprus was chosen as a target of this study to be investigated and analyzed in order to know how energy efficiency strategies could be applied to the building to reduce annual energy consumption. Since this research objective is to develop a strategy to achieve net-zero energy in existing buildings, case study and problem solving methodologies were applied in this research in order to evaluate the building design in a qualitative manner through observations, in addition to a quantitative method through an energy modeling simulation to achieve desirable results which address the problems. After optimizing the building energy performance, an alternative energy simulation was made of the building in order to make an energy comparison analysis, which leads to reliable conclusions. These methodologies and the strategies used in this research can be applied to similar buildings in order to achieve net-zero energy goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Choice Architecture as a Way to Encourage a Whole Systems Design Perspective for More Sustainable Infrastructure
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 54; doi:10.3390/su9010054
Received: 19 November 2016 / Revised: 19 December 2016 / Accepted: 26 December 2016 / Published: 30 December 2016
PDF Full-text (228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Across fields, more sustainable and resilient outcomes are being realized through a whole systems design perspective, which guides decision-makers to consider the entire system affected including interdependent physical and social networks. Although infrastructure is extremely interdependent, consisting of diverse stakeholders and networks, the
[...] Read more.
Across fields, more sustainable and resilient outcomes are being realized through a whole systems design perspective, which guides decision-makers to consider the entire system affected including interdependent physical and social networks. Although infrastructure is extremely interdependent, consisting of diverse stakeholders and networks, the infrastructure design and construction process is often fragmented. This fragmentation can result in unnecessary tradeoffs, leading to poor outcomes for certain stakeholders and the surrounding environment. A whole systems design perspective would help connect this fragmented industry and lead to more sustainable outcomes. For example, a whole systems design approach to relieve traffic on a highway might see beyond the obvious, but often ineffective, response of adding a new vehicle lane to encourage a solution such as repurposing existing road lanes from automobiles to above-ground “subway” systems. This paper discusses influences to whole systems design and how intentional choice architecture, meaning the way decisions are posed, can nudge decision-makers to employ whole systems design and result in more sustainable infrastructure. By uncovering these influences and organizing them by the social, organizational, and individual levels of the infrastructure design process, this paper provides the needed foundation for interdisciplinary research to help harness these influences through choice architecture and whole systems design for the infrastructure industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
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