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Special Issue "Achieving a Sustainable Future Using Renewable Materials in Buildings"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Wen-Shao Chang

School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: timber engineering; timber floor vibration; vibration serviceability; structural dynamics; earthquake engineering; structural health monitoring; smart materials and structures; building conservation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The building sector is responsible for 36% of global CO2 emissions and consumes 40% of total energy worldwide. There exist several pathways to reduce the environmental impacts of building sector, one of which is to use sustainable materials, such as timber, bamboo, and other renewable materials, in construction. With growth of global economy, substantial amounts of CO2 have been emitted in the past few decades, and this is likely to continue in the foreseeable future, which has led to global warming and causes damage to our environment. The construction sector, therefore, needs to take action to rectify the current situation. Putting together these two factors has shown that there is an increasing interest and more research efforts being devoted in using renewable materials in the construction sector.

The aim of this Special Issue is to demonstrate the possibility of reducing the environmental impacts that are caused by the construction sector, and to encourage the use of sustainable materials in construction. Papers addressing how sustainable construction materials can help to achieve a more sustainable society are particularly encouraged to submit. The topics of this Special Issue include, but are not limited to:

  1. Minimizing the environmental impact using sustainable construction materials

  2. Technologies that enhance use of sustainable construction materials more efficiently

  3. Education of sustainability

  4. Integrating sustainable construction materials in design

  5. Public perception of using different construction materials

  6. Case studies

All the papers will go through rigorous reviews by experts in the field to ensure the quality of the Special Issue, those who are interested in submitting to this Special Issue, but are not sure if their works fall into the scope, are encouraged to contact the Guest Editor for clarification.

Dr. Wen-Shao Chang
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

  • timber

  • bamboo

  • straw

  • sustainable materials

  • renewable materials

  • life cycle assessment

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Artificial Neural Network for Assessment of Energy Consumption and Cost for Cross Laminated Timber Office Building in Severe Cold Regions
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 84; doi:10.3390/su10010084
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 27 December 2017 / Accepted: 28 December 2017 / Published: 30 December 2017
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Abstract
This paper aims to develop an artificial neural network (ANN) to predict the energy consumption and cost of cross laminated timber (CLT) office buildings in severe cold regions during the early stage of architectural design. Eleven variables were selected as input variables including
[...] Read more.
This paper aims to develop an artificial neural network (ANN) to predict the energy consumption and cost of cross laminated timber (CLT) office buildings in severe cold regions during the early stage of architectural design. Eleven variables were selected as input variables including building form and construction variables, and the values of input variables were determined by local building standards and surveys. ANNs were trained by the simulation data and Latin hypercube sampling (LHS) method was used to select training datasets for the ANN training. The best ANN was obtained by analyzing the output variables and the number of hidden layer neurons. The results showed that the ANN with multiple outputs presented better prediction performance than the ANN with single output. Moreover, the number of hidden layer neurons in ANN should be greater than five and preferably 10, and the best mean square error (MSE) value was 1.957 × 103. In addition, it was found that the time of predicting building energy consumption and cost by ANN was 80% shorter than that of traditional building energy consumption simulation and cost calculation method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Achieving a Sustainable Future Using Renewable Materials in Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle Simulation-Based Multiobjective Optimization of Timber-Glass Residential Buildings in Severe Cold Regions
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2353; doi:10.3390/su9122353
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 17 December 2017
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Abstract
In the current context of increasing energy demand, timber-glass buildings will become a necessary trend in sustainable architecture in the future. Especially in severe cold zones of China, energy consumption and the visual comfort of residential buildings have attracted wide attention, and there
[...] Read more.
In the current context of increasing energy demand, timber-glass buildings will become a necessary trend in sustainable architecture in the future. Especially in severe cold zones of China, energy consumption and the visual comfort of residential buildings have attracted wide attention, and there are always trade-offs between multiple objectives. This paper aims to propose a simulation-based multiobjective optimization method to improve the daylighting, energy efficiency, and economic performance of timber-glass buildings in severe cold regions. Timber-glass building form variables have been selected as the decision variables, including building width, roof height, south and north window-to-wall ratio (WWR), window height, and orientation. A simulation-based multiobjective optimization model has been developed to optimize these performance objectives simultaneously. The results show that Daylighting Autonomy (DA) presents negative correlations with Energy Use Intensity (EUI) and total cost. Additionally, with an increase in DA, Useful Daylighting Illuminance (UDI) demonstrates a tendency of primary increase and then decrease. Using this optimization model, four building performances have been improved from the initial generation to the final generation, which proves that simulation-based multiobjective optimization is a promising approach to improve the daylighting, energy efficiency, and economic performances of timber-glass buildings in severe cold regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Achieving a Sustainable Future Using Renewable Materials in Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle Retrofits for Energy Efficient Office Buildings: Integration of Optimized Photovoltaics in the Form of Responsive Shading Devices
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2096; doi:10.3390/su9112096
Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 22 October 2017 / Accepted: 9 November 2017 / Published: 15 November 2017
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Abstract
This study presents a retrofit strategy: integrating optimized photovoltaics (PV) in the form of responsive shading devices using a dual-axis solar tracking system. A prototype-based model was fabricated to compare the efficiency of PV in this implementation with the conventional fixed installation. The
[...] Read more.
This study presents a retrofit strategy: integrating optimized photovoltaics (PV) in the form of responsive shading devices using a dual-axis solar tracking system. A prototype-based model was fabricated to compare the efficiency of PV in this implementation with the conventional fixed installation. The office building, T1 Empire World in Erbil, was selected as a retrofit case study and for the application of the proposed integration system. In order to assess the effectiveness of the proposed retrofit method, the energy performance of the base case is simulated to be compared later with the energy performance simulations after the integration technique. The amount of generated electricity from the PV surfaces of the integrated shading elements is calculated. The energy simulations were performed using OpenStudio® (NREL, Washington, DC, USA), EnergyPlusTM (NREL, Washington, DC, USA), and Grasshopper/ Ladybug tools in which the essential results were recorded for the baseline reference, as well as the energy performance of the retrofitted building. The results emphasize that the PV-integrated responsive shading devices can maximize the efficiency of PV cells by 36.8% in comparison to the fixed installation. The integrated system can provide approximately 15.39% of the electricity demand for operating the building. This retrofit method has reduced the total site energy consumption by 33.2% compared to the existing building performance. Total electricity end-use of the various utilities was lowered by 33.5%, and the total natural gas end-use of heating demand was reduced by 30.9%. Therefore, the percentage reduction in electricity cooling demand in July and August is 42.7% due to minimizing the heat gain in summer through blocking the sun’s harsh rays from penetrating into interior spaces of the building. In general, this system has multiple benefits, starting with being extremely efficient and viable in generating sustainable alternative energy—which is the global growing concern of today’s sustainable development—providing thermal comfort for occupants, and granting a dynamic appearance to the building when the PV-integrated elements rotate according to the sun’s position in the sky. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Achieving a Sustainable Future Using Renewable Materials in Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle A Comparison of the Energy Saving and Carbon Reduction Performance between Reinforced Concrete and Cross-Laminated Timber Structures in Residential Buildings in the Severe Cold Region of China
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1426; doi:10.3390/su9081426
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 8 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 August 2017 / Published: 12 August 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1989 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper aims to investigate the energy saving and carbon reduction performance of cross-laminated timber residential buildings in the severe cold region of China through a computational simulation approach. The authors selected Harbin as the simulation environment, designed reference residential buildings with different
[...] Read more.
This paper aims to investigate the energy saving and carbon reduction performance of cross-laminated timber residential buildings in the severe cold region of China through a computational simulation approach. The authors selected Harbin as the simulation environment, designed reference residential buildings with different storeys which were constructed using reinforced concrete (RC) and cross-laminated timber (CLT) systems, then simulated the energy performance using the commercial software IESTM and finally made comparisions between the RC and CLT buildings. The results show that the estimated energy consumption and carbon emissions for CLT buildings are 9.9% and 13.2% lower than those of RC buildings in view of life-cycle assessment. This indicates that the CLT construction system has good potential for energy saving when compared to RC in the severe cold region of China. The energy efficiency of residential buildings is closely related to the height for both RC and CLT buildings. In spite of the higher cost of materials for high-rise buildings, both RC and CLT tall residential buildings have better energy efficiency than low-rise and mid-rise buildings in the severe cold region of China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Achieving a Sustainable Future Using Renewable Materials in Buildings)
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