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Special Issue "Sustainable Building"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Alan S. Fung

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Phone: 1-416-979-5000 ext 4917
Fax: +1 416 979 5265
Interests: sustainable energy systems; net zero energy buildings; renewable energy; building energy simulation; fuel cell based advanced power generation cycle; energy efficiency and conservation; greenhouse gas emission reduction strategy

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Environmental Assessment Methodologies for Commercial Buildings: An Elicitation Study of U.S. Building Professionals’ Beliefs on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
Sustainability 2011, 3(12), 2392-2412; doi:10.3390/su3122392
Received: 6 September 2011 / Revised: 14 November 2011 / Accepted: 15 November 2011 / Published: 12 December 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (491 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Voluntary environmental programs (VEPs) have become increasingly popular around the world to address energy efficiency issues that mandatory building codes have not been able to tackle. Even though the utility of voluntary schemes is widely debated, they have become a de facto [...] Read more.
Voluntary environmental programs (VEPs) have become increasingly popular around the world to address energy efficiency issues that mandatory building codes have not been able to tackle. Even though the utility of voluntary schemes is widely debated, they have become a de facto reality for many professionals in the building and construction sector. One topic that is neglected, however, in both academic and policy discussions, relates to how professionals (architects, engineers, real estate developers, etc.) perceive the rise of voluntary rating schemes. In order to fill this gap in the literature, the present study investigates beliefs underlying adoption behavior regarding one of the most prominent voluntary assessment and certification programs in the U.S. building industry, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) scheme. In this paper, an elicitation study, based on 14 semi-structured interviews with building professionals in the North East of the United States, was conducted to analyze this question. Building on the Reasoned Action Approach, this paper shows that, in addition to more conventional factors such as financial calculations and marketing aspects, the understanding of beliefs held by building professionals offers important insights into their decisions to work with Voluntary Environmental Assessment and Rating Programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Building)
Open AccessArticle Climate Responsive Design and the Milam Residence
Sustainability 2011, 3(11), 2289-2306; doi:10.3390/su3112289
Received: 29 September 2011 / Accepted: 9 November 2011 / Published: 21 November 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1743 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Energy conservation and efficiency is an essential area of focus in contemporary building design. The perception that the designers of buildings during the Modernist period of architecture ignored these principles is a false one. The present study, an examination of Paul Rudolph’s [...] Read more.
Energy conservation and efficiency is an essential area of focus in contemporary building design. The perception that the designers of buildings during the Modernist period of architecture ignored these principles is a false one. The present study, an examination of Paul Rudolph’s Milam Residence, a masterpiece of American residential architecture, is part of a larger project endeavoring to create a knowledge base of the environmental performance of iconic modernist homes. A critical examination of the Milam House allows insight into specific design characteristics that impact energy efficiency and conservation. Located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, the Milam Residence was constructed in 1962. It was the last of a series of Florida residences designed by Rudolph, Chairman of the Department of Architecture at Yale University (1958–1965). The structure’s form is strongly related to its location on a subtropical beachfront. This paper presents a detailed analysis of the building’s solar responsiveness. Specifically, we examine design strategies such as orientation and sunscreening and their effect on daylighting, shading, and heat gain. The analysis is based on parametric energy modeling studies using Autodesk’s Ecotect, an environmental analysis tool that allows simulation of building performance. While the initial target of the program was early design, the program allows the input of complex geometries and detailed programming of zones, materials, schedules, etc. The program's excellent analyses of desired parameters are augmented by visualizations that make it especially valuable in communicating results. Our findings suggest that the building, as built and situated on the site, does take advantage of daylighting and solar shading and does so in both expected and unexpected ways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Building)
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Open AccessArticle A Longitudinal Study on the Carbon Emissions of a New Residential Development
Sustainability 2011, 3(8), 1170-1189; doi:10.3390/su3081170
Received: 23 June 2011 / Revised: 26 July 2011 / Accepted: 26 July 2011 / Published: 4 August 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (451 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Buildings account for nearly 50% of all greenhouse gases globally. While this has been widely recognized, the GHG mitigation strategies have traditionally concentrated on reducing the use phase emissions, as over 90% of the emissions are generated during the use phase according [...] Read more.
Buildings account for nearly 50% of all greenhouse gases globally. While this has been widely recognized, the GHG mitigation strategies have traditionally concentrated on reducing the use phase emissions, as over 90% of the emissions are generated during the use phase according to several studies. However, two current developments increase the importance of the construction phase emissions and the embodied emissions of the building materials. Firstly, the improvements in the energy efficiency of buildings directly increase the relative share of the construction phase emissions. Secondly, the notification of the temporal allocation of the emissions increases the importance of the carbon spike from construction. While these perspectives have been noted, few studies exist that combine the two perspectives of the construction and the use phase. In this paper, we analyze the implications of low-carbon residential construction on the life cycle emissions of a residential area with a case study. Furthermore, we demonstrate that when the temporal allocation of the emissions is taken into account, the construction phase emissions can hinder or even reverse the carbon mitigation effect of low-carbon buildings for decades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Building)
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Open AccessArticle A Value Function for Assessing Sustainability: Application to Industrial Buildings
Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 35-50; doi:10.3390/su3010035
Received: 9 November 2010 / Revised: 13 December 2010 / Accepted: 16 December 2010 / Published: 24 December 2010
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (285 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Decision support tools based on multi-attribute analysis involve the use of different types of variables. These variables are aimed at providing a framework that allows preferences to be quantified. This is particularly useful in the field of sustainability, where variables with different [...] Read more.
Decision support tools based on multi-attribute analysis involve the use of different types of variables. These variables are aimed at providing a framework that allows preferences to be quantified. This is particularly useful in the field of sustainability, where variables with different units are involved. One widely accepted framework for standardizing different units is the value function. Studies of value function are complex and frequently have limited physical meaning. In this context, this paper emphasizes the need to define a general equation that reflects the preferences of the decision maker in a clear and easily applied way. The paper proposes a new general equation that fulfils these requirements. By modifying certain parameters, this general equation represents the most commonly used relationships (linear, convex, concave and S-shaped). The proposed equation is finally applied to four variables used in the field of industrial buildings and sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Building)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Sustainable Buildings: An Ever Evolving Target
Sustainability 2011, 3(2), 443-464; doi:10.3390/su3020443
Received: 3 December 2010 / Revised: 24 January 2011 / Accepted: 26 January 2011 / Published: 16 February 2011
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (249 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Environmental considerations have called for new developments in building technologies to bridge the gap between this need for lower impacts on the environment and ever increasing comfort. These developments were generally directed at the reduction of the energy consumption during operations. While [...] Read more.
Environmental considerations have called for new developments in building technologies to bridge the gap between this need for lower impacts on the environment and ever increasing comfort. These developments were generally directed at the reduction of the energy consumption during operations. While this was indeed a mandatory first step, complete environmental life cycle analysis raises new questions. For instance, for a typical low thermal energy consumption building, the embodied energy of construction materials now becomes an important component of the environmental footprint. In addition, the usual practice in life cycle analysis now appears to call for some adaptation—due to variable parameters in time—to be implemented successfully in building analysis. These issues bring new challenges to reach the goal of integrated design, construction, commissioning, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of sustainable buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Building)

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