Special Issue "Energy and Seismic Renovation Strategies for Sustainable Cities"
A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 March 2018
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Margani
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture (DICAr), University of Catania, Viale Andrea Doria 6, 95127 Catania, Italy
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Interests: sustainable architecture; energy and seismic retrofit; innovation in building technologies; integration of renewable energy systems in the building envelope; history of construction technologies; building refurbishment; restoration of historical buildings
The principle of sustainability should be strictly connected with safety, since both aim to conserve resources: In the case of sustainability, those resources are typically thought of as environmental, while in the case of safety, the resources are basically human. In spite of this common ground, discussions of sustainability usually give insufficient attention to safety.
In seismic states like Italy, over 75% of the building stock is both highly earthquake-prone and energy-consuming.
In the last years the EU has made large investments to increase the energy efficiency of the existing real estate, paving the way for a low-carbon future. However, less effort has been made for reducing its seismic vulnerability. Therefore, the safety, and consequently the sustainability, of towns situated in seismic countries remains inadequate. In this sense, the disastrous effects of the earthquakes that have recently struck central Italy are emblematic.
In such countries, energy renovation actions should be combined with seismic retrofitting, for the following main reasons: Energy renovation alone will turn out to be worthless if an earthquake destroys the building; to avoid several costs otherwise duplicated (e.g., costs for building-site setup and scaffolds, cladding, plasters and other finishing); for preventing life losses and damages.
However, a number of barriers considerably limit the real possibility to extensively undertake combined retrofit actions, especially for multi-owner housing and high-rise buildings. These barriers are of different kinds: (i) technical (e.g. unfeasibility and/or ineffectiveness of conventional retrofit solutions, need of regulatory simplification); (ii) financial (e.g. high renovation costs, split-incentive/landlord-tenant dilemma, insufficient incentives and subsidies); (iii) organizational (e.g., temporary alternate accommodation for occupants, consensus to the retrofit expenditure by condominium ownerships, excessive time for getting construction permits); and (iv) cultural/social (insufficient information and skills, lack of adequate policy measures for promoting renovation actions).
In this framework, this Special Issue aims at collecting contributions to:
describe the scenario of seismic vulnerability and energy performance of any region or state;
specify the barriers that limit the concrete possibility to extensively undertake combined retrofitting interventions;
suggest possible interventions, measures, tools and policies to overcome such barriers and promote energy and seismic renovation at the same time.
The studies are expected to underline the relation between the suggested strategies and the local context, with the support of case studies (if needed), and to highlight the potentiality of extending the outcomes to other countries with similar scenarios.
I believe that this Special Issue may help bridge the gap between sustainability and safety, with a link that may conserve both human and environmental resources.
Thank you for your contributions.
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Margani
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energy and seismic retrofit