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Buildings, Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2020) – 21 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This article presents a joint research project carried on from two Institutes (I.E.ME.S.T. and T.U.C.) for the development of innovative self-cleaning lime-pozzolan plasters, to be used in bio-construction and cultural heritage fields. Lime-metakaolin and hydraulic lime-metakaolin based mortars with the addition of nano-TiO2 and perlite have been tested. A key point for the correct adoption of these innovative materials is their behavior over time and their resistance to weathering. For this purpose, the focus of the work was to carry out specific tests to evaluate the performance and durability characteristics of these mortars, verifying their behavior over time, through exposure to artificial aging cycles, including thermal shock cycles in saline solution aerosols, freeze cycles in vapor aerosol, and aging by heat treatment at high temperatures. View this paper
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Article
Perspectives on Quality Risk in the Building Process of Blue-Green Roofs in Norway
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100189 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1047
Abstract
As climate change brings an increase in torrential rain events in Nordic climates, new technologies are developed to manage stormwater. Blue-green roofs are constructed as a means to reduce the runoff of stormwater from roofs and reduce the risk of urban flooding. However, [...] Read more.
As climate change brings an increase in torrential rain events in Nordic climates, new technologies are developed to manage stormwater. Blue-green roofs are constructed as a means to reduce the runoff of stormwater from roofs and reduce the risk of urban flooding. However, compared to conventional roofs, blue-green roofs represent different construction and operation conditions, which may affect the long-term integrity of the roof. The purpose of this research is to understand the variety of perspectives on how different actors perceive and manage quality risks related to blue-green roofs—that is, the probabilities and consequences of defects. The quality risks of blue-green roofs have been investigated through document studies and interviews with actors in the Norwegian building sector. Data have been collected from actors across the building sector to map differences in how risk is managed from several perspectives. The findings show that actors view quality risk in very different ways. While building owners are primarily concerned with the quality of the finished product, the primary concern of other involved actors may be to ensure that eventual defects cannot be attributed to their own activities. The efforts of the various actors to reduce the risks in their own activities may not necessarily reduce the risk of defects in roofs. To ensure a more comprehensive management of quality risk in blue-green roofs, it is necessary to consider the perspectives and incentives of all involved actors. This way, a framework could be developed as a feasible tool in blue-green roof projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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Review
A Review of “Green Building” Regulations, Laws, and Standards in Latin America
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100188 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1801
Abstract
Latin America covers 20% of the world’s surface but only produces 12% of global carbon emissions. However, countries such as Brazil and Argentina have seen some of the most aggressive increases in individual country CO2 emissions over the last two decades. Given [...] Read more.
Latin America covers 20% of the world’s surface but only produces 12% of global carbon emissions. However, countries such as Brazil and Argentina have seen some of the most aggressive increases in individual country CO2 emissions over the last two decades. Given that 80% of Latin America’s population lives in cities, where we can expect the greatest increases in demand for energy and predicted growth in built floor space, it is necessary to ensure that these do not result in an overall growth in carbon emissions. Hence, we present the first review of the various “green building” rules developed in this region to curtail energy or carbon. This covers nine countries representing 80% of the region’s population. We find that these countries in Latin America have developed 94 different green building rules, though to different extents. Many pertain to domestic buildings that are known to contribute 17% of the overall carbon emissions. Subsidies and tax incentives are most common, whereas innovative carbon market schemes have only been adopted in Mexico and Chile. In Argentina and Chile, regulations are similar to their European cold-climate counterparts but are poorly enforced. Overall, we find considerable progress in Latin America to create new standards and regulations, with enforcement being a major future challenge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Energy Consumption in the Global South)
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Article
Three-Dimensional Thermal Mapping from IRT Images for Rapid Architectural Heritage NDT
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100187 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1726
Abstract
Thermal infrared imaging is fundamental to architectural heritage non-destructive diagnostics. However, thermal sensors’ low spatial resolution allows capturing only very localized phenomena. At the same time, thermal images are commonly collected with independence of geometry, meaning that no measurements can be performed on [...] Read more.
Thermal infrared imaging is fundamental to architectural heritage non-destructive diagnostics. However, thermal sensors’ low spatial resolution allows capturing only very localized phenomena. At the same time, thermal images are commonly collected with independence of geometry, meaning that no measurements can be performed on them. Occasionally, these issues have been solved with various approaches integrating multi-sensor instrumentation, resulting in high costs and computational times. The presented work aims at tackling these problems by proposing a workflow for cost-effective three-dimensional thermographic modeling using a thermal camera and a consumer-grade RGB camera. The discussed approach exploits the RGB spectrum images captured with the optical sensor of the thermal camera and image-based multi-view stereo techniques to reconstruct architectural features’ geometry. The thermal and optical sensors are calibrated employing custom-made low-cost targets. Subsequently, the necessary geometric transformations between undistorted thermal infrared and optical images are calculated to replace them in the photogrammetric scene and map the models with thermal texture. The method’s metric accuracy is evaluated by conducting comparisons with different sensors and the efficiency by assessing how the results can assist the better interpretation of the present thermal phenomena. The conducted application demonstrates the metric and radiometric performance of the proposed approach and the straightforward implementability for thermographic surveys, as well as its usefulness for cost-effective historical building assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency of Historical Buildings)
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Article
Performance of the Steel Fibre Reinforced Rigid Concrete Pavement in Fatigue
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100186 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1040
Abstract
Four-point bending fatigue experimental work was conducted on specimens that were cut from slabs to examine the fatigue life of concrete pavements. The variables considered were the volume fraction of fibres added in plain or steel bar reinforced concrete. It was found that [...] Read more.
Four-point bending fatigue experimental work was conducted on specimens that were cut from slabs to examine the fatigue life of concrete pavements. The variables considered were the volume fraction of fibres added in plain or steel bar reinforced concrete. It was found that the strain-based approach to fatigue testing on scaled-down concrete pavements is suitable to investigate the fatigue performance of scaled-down thin rigid pavements. The addition of fibres at 0.5% volume fraction in concrete improved the fatigue life by at least 135% and reduced the energy dissipated per cycle by 74%. As the volume fraction of fibres increased, it was found that the fatigue life of rigid pavements improved; total energy dissipation also increased but the energy dissipated per cycle was reduced in concrete pavements. This is due to the crack bridging effect of fibres that reduces the microcracking of concrete. The energy dissipation per cycle from fracture energy does not remain constant for rigid pavements under fatigue testing as it was found that the type of reinforcements influences the quantity of energy dissipated. Finally, hybrid reinforced pavements with both steel bars and fibres yielded the best performance in fatigue, with the highest number of fatigue cycles and lowest energy dissipated per cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation)
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Article
Fire Protection of Building Constructions with the Use of Fire-Retardant Intumescent Compositions
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100185 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1234
Abstract
The influence of basic components of intumescent paint on fire protection properties is studied. The resulting changes in properties are assessed by the intumescence coefficient and thermal analysis data. Influence of the binder polymer composition on fire protection properties under the same conditions [...] Read more.
The influence of basic components of intumescent paint on fire protection properties is studied. The resulting changes in properties are assessed by the intumescence coefficient and thermal analysis data. Influence of the binder polymer composition on fire protection properties under the same conditions was evaluated, quantitatively using the example of fire-retardant water-dispersion paint; the best result was obtained in the formulation based on vinyl acetate copolymers. The brands of ammonium polyphosphate (PFA) from different manufacturers were investigated under the same conditions. The results of the thermal analysis and testing of the physicochemical properties of the samples on various PFAs are presented, with conclusions about their influence on the fire-retardant properties of the paint. The results of the thermal analysis of the influence of orthophosphoric acid, as a modifying additive, on the fire-retardant properties of the paint are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation)
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Article
Evaluating Timoshenko Method for Analyzing CLT under Out-of-Plane Loading
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100184 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1167
Abstract
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is an engineered wood product made up of layers of structurally graded timber, where subsequent layers are oriented orthogonally to each other. In CLT, the layers oriented in transverse direction, generally termed as cross-layer, are subjected to shear in radial–tangential [...] Read more.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is an engineered wood product made up of layers of structurally graded timber, where subsequent layers are oriented orthogonally to each other. In CLT, the layers oriented in transverse direction, generally termed as cross-layer, are subjected to shear in radial–tangential plane, which is commonly known as rolling shear. As the shear modulus of cross-layers is significantly lower than that in other planes, CLT exhibits higher shear deformation under out-of-plane loading in contrast to other engineered wood products such as laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and glue laminated timber (GLT). Several analytical methods such as Timoshenko, modified gamma and shear analogy methods were proposed to account for this excessive shear deformation in CLT. This paper focuses on the effectiveness of Timoshenko method in hybrid CLT, in which hardwood cross-layers are used due to their higher rolling shear modulus. A comprehensive numerical study was conducted and obtained results were carefully analyzed for a range of hybrid combinations. It was observed that Timoshenko method could not accurately predict the shear response of CLTs with hardwood cross layers. Comprehensive parametric analysis was conducted to generate reliable numerical results, which were subsequently used to propose modified design equations for hybrid CLTs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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Article
An Event-Driven Approach for Changing User Behaviour towards an Enhanced Building’s Energy Efficiency
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100183 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 801
Abstract
Worldwide, buildings are one of the main energy consumers and the improvement of their energy performance has attracted great interest and has been typically related to the optimisation, both design and operational, of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), lighting and DHW systems, [...] Read more.
Worldwide, buildings are one of the main energy consumers and the improvement of their energy performance has attracted great interest and has been typically related to the optimisation, both design and operational, of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), lighting and DHW systems, to innovation in building materials, as well as to the integration of renewable technology in buildings. More recently, occupant behaviour has received increasing attention. Occupants’ interactions with the building systems influence their energy consumption in diverse ways. Their behaviour may affect energy use just as the systems and materials may do. Researchers identified and highlighted various aspects of this occupant behaviour and were gradually led to the conclusion that its effect might be worth investigating. This study has a twofold aim. First, to present a general conceptual framework to define, monitor and eventually change user behaviour in buildings. This framework is called “event-driven”; events are distinct moments in time associated with a potentially problematic behaviour, and the framework aims at tracking, acting upon and reporting on these events. Second, we aim to demonstrate and discuss the application and the savings achieved by means of our proposed approach and in the case of such behavioural events, in the Challenger building of Bouygues, in France. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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Article
Numerical Modelling and Validation of the Response of Masonry Infilled RC Frames Using Experimental Testing Results
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100182 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1875
Abstract
Reinforced concrete (RC) frame buildings with masonry infills represent one of the most common structural typologies worldwide. Although, in the past, masonry infills were frequently considered as non-structural elements and their interaction with the structure was neglected, earthquakes occurring over the last decades [...] Read more.
Reinforced concrete (RC) frame buildings with masonry infills represent one of the most common structural typologies worldwide. Although, in the past, masonry infills were frequently considered as non-structural elements and their interaction with the structure was neglected, earthquakes occurring over the last decades have demonstrated the important role of these elements in the seismic response of all RC-infilled building typologies. In this regard, the selection of the most suitable numerical modelling approaches to reproduce the hysteretic response of the masonry infills—and their interaction with the RC frames—is still an open issue. To deal with this issue, in this study, a macro-classification based on different available databases of experimental tests on infilled RC frames, is firstly proposed to understand the variability in the infill properties and the corresponding numerical modelling uncertainties. Five masonry infill types are selected as representative for the typical existing configurations in Italy and other Mediterranean countries. Three of those masonry infill types are then selected to carry out a more detailed analysis, namely their numerical modelling validation using experimental testing results, considering and comparing the main formulations available in the literature for the definition of the hysteretic behaviour of infills. From such a comparison, the model that minimizes the prediction error, according to specific features of the selected masonry infill, is identified for each masonry infill type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Analysis for Earthquake-Resistant Design of Buildings)
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Editorial
Architecture and Engineering: The Challenges—Trends—Achievements
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100181 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1248
Abstract
The current Special Issue is addressed to architects and engineers. Design and research are areas connecting their activities. A review of 17 published articles confirms the fact that the interface between architecture and engineering is multidimensional. The ways of finding points of contact [...] Read more.
The current Special Issue is addressed to architects and engineers. Design and research are areas connecting their activities. A review of 17 published articles confirms the fact that the interface between architecture and engineering is multidimensional. The ways of finding points of contact between the two industries are highlighted. This is favoured by the dynamically changing reality, supported by new design paradigms and new research techniques. The multi-threaded subject matter of the articles is reduced to six blocks: research scopes, methods, design aspects, context, nature of research, and economy and cost calculation. Each of the articles in these six blocks has its weight, and so, in the “Nature of research” block, the following areas have been underscored: laboratory tests, in situ research, field investigations, and street perception experiments. The “Design aspects” block includes design-oriented thinking, geometrical forms, location of buildings, cost prediction, attractor and distractor elements, and shaping spatial structures. The new design and research tools are an inspiration and a keystone bonding architects and engineers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architecture and Engineering: the Challenges - Trends - Achievements)
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Article
Determination of the Simplified Daylight Glare Probability (DGPs) Criteria for Daylit Office Spaces in Thailand
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100180 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1356
Abstract
The increasing trend of employing glazed façades to utilize daylight in the buildings has made it necessary to develop measures to avoid excessive sunlight penetration in such daylit spaces. In Thailand, only a few studies have focused on daylight glare, and therefore, applicable [...] Read more.
The increasing trend of employing glazed façades to utilize daylight in the buildings has made it necessary to develop measures to avoid excessive sunlight penetration in such daylit spaces. In Thailand, only a few studies have focused on daylight glare, and therefore, applicable criteria are required to fulfill the local preference. This study aimed to determine daylight glare thresholds on the basis of the occupants’ responses. A post-occupancy evaluation with a simplified daylight glare probability (DGPs) model was performed in eight open-plan office spaces located in Bangkok, Thailand. The occupants participated in a survey including a subjective questionnaire; the results showed that the DGPs model performed effectively for glare prediction, with a preference for a lower level than that found in the current references. Statistical analysis helped mark the threshold values for each glare sensation level: imperceptible–perceptible = 0.22; perceptible–disturbing = 0.24; and disturbing–intolerable = 0.26. The findings of this study can be considered as initial evidence for improving the understanding of local occupants’ perspectives and illumination standards, which currently encourage daylight utilization without any specific glare control strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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Article
Assessment of the Effect of Wind Load on the Load Capacity of a Single-Layer Bar Dome
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100179 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 959
Abstract
The main purpose of the paper was the assessment of the effect of wind load on the load capacity of a single-layer bar dome. Additionally, which numerical method is appropriate for low-rise single-layer bar domes was checked. In order to explain the effect [...] Read more.
The main purpose of the paper was the assessment of the effect of wind load on the load capacity of a single-layer bar dome. Additionally, which numerical method is appropriate for low-rise single-layer bar domes was checked. In order to explain the effect of the height-to-span ratio on the selection of the appropriate calculation model and method of analysis of the bar dome, an example of the known von Mises truss was proposed. Two cases of von Mises truss differing in the height-to-span ratio were considered. For the shallow structure, a significant change in the value of the stiffness matrix determinant and the current stiffness parameter was observed. A similar tendency in the behavior of the structure can be observed on fragments of larger structures, including shallow single-layer steel domes. These problems are described on the basis of the dome, which is located on top of the building housing the restaurant. This structure is subjected to large displacement gradients and the actual configuration is taken into account in analysis. The analysis showed that there is a change in stiffness for these structures, and, therefore, that such structures should be designed according to geometric nonlinear analysis (GNA). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Design, Construction, and Maintenance of Buildings)
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Article
The Value of Design in Real Estate Asset Pricing
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100178 - 09 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1915
Abstract
Does design contribute to real estate value? Practicing architects require evidence to justify both functional and aesthetic building needs within the financial ecosystem. Some buildings that become real estate assets are valued using models that consider some proxies for understanding value, but these [...] Read more.
Does design contribute to real estate value? Practicing architects require evidence to justify both functional and aesthetic building needs within the financial ecosystem. Some buildings that become real estate assets are valued using models that consider some proxies for understanding value, but these features are abstract and may misidentify the sub-optimal differentiation that design brings. The lack of feedback between real estate valuation and building design often leads to poor design and economic outcomes. To address this miscommunication, we investigate the transaction price performance of four external architectural form features—diagonality, curvature, setbacks and podiums. Whilst controlling for drivers that are known to explain transaction price variation, we find that diagonality and podiums have a positive pricing differential of 12.4 and 9.7% more than rectilinear control buildings, respectively. Buildings with setbacks have a negative pricing differential of 10%. Furthermore, these results are also consistent for rental valuation. Results suggest that there is a significant economic impact of some architectural form interventions that differentiate commercial buildings and contribute to the role of form in design, planning and commercial real estate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Architectural Design, Urban Science, and Real Estate)
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Article
Accounting for the Spatial Variability of Seismic Motion in the Pushover Analysis of Regular and Irregular RC Buildings in the New Italian Building Code
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100177 - 09 Oct 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1148
Abstract
Pushover analysis is the main methodology adopted in practice-oriented applications for investigating the non-linear response of reinforced concrete (RC) buildings; it is applicable for both new and existing buildings. It is well-known that several limitations characterize this methodology and the scientific literature proposes [...] Read more.
Pushover analysis is the main methodology adopted in practice-oriented applications for investigating the non-linear response of reinforced concrete (RC) buildings; it is applicable for both new and existing buildings. It is well-known that several limitations characterize this methodology and the scientific literature proposes several non-conventional approaches to provide results comparable to those of the more efficient nonlinear dynamic analysis. In most recent seismic guidelines, some improvements have been introduced, in order to overcome the main drawbacks of conventional pushover methods, in view of practice-oriented applications. In particular, new prescriptions are related to the load profiles and the choice of control nodes, aspects that lead to different results in terms of capacity curves and in the safety assessment. Another relevant point is represented by the spatial combination of effects, which suggests the opportunity of executing simultaneous bi-directional pushover analyses. The aim of this paper is to investigate the effects of the new trends followed by some guidelines about pushover analysis, such as the recent 2018 release of the Italian Building Code. In particular, after a general test of the new conventional procedure for the case of RC buildings, a set of case studies has been generated, consisting of three-dimensional RC-archetypes specifically designed and investigated in order to cover the more significant scenarios. The results in terms of global and local performances are processed and critically analyzed, with the aim of appraising the main differences between the traditional and new approaches and identifying the effectiveness and of the actual improvements achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Analysis for Earthquake-Resistant Design of Buildings)
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Article
Prediction of Joint Shear Deformation Index of RC Beam–Column Joints
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100176 - 05 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2401
Abstract
In the analysis of reinforced concrete (RC) buildings, beam–column joints are regarded as rigid nodes. In fact, joint deformation may make a significant difference in the lateral response of RC buildings if joints are not properly designed and detailed. To consider joint flexibility, [...] Read more.
In the analysis of reinforced concrete (RC) buildings, beam–column joints are regarded as rigid nodes. In fact, joint deformation may make a significant difference in the lateral response of RC buildings if joints are not properly designed and detailed. To consider joint flexibility, several types of joint models have been proposed. However, these models require complicated computations, consequently making them challenging to apply in engineering practice. This paper proposed a simple approach for predicting the contribution of the joint deformation to the total deformation of RC interior beam–column joints under critical structural deformations. To develop such a simple and accurate approach, experimental and analytical studies were performed on RC interior beam–column joints. In this study, eight half-scale joint specimens were tested under reversed cyclic loading, and 39 full–scale FE models were constructed, varying the selected key parameters. The experimental and analytical results showed that the “joint shear” is a useful index for the beam–column joints with high shear stress levels of vj>1.7 fc but is unsuitable for defining the failure of beam–column joints with medium or low shear stress levels of vj1.251.7fc and vj1.0fc. Based on the results, three equations were developed to predict the joint shear deformation index (SDI) of RC interior beam–column connections corresponding to three different types of failure (i.e., joint failure before beam yielding, joint failure after beam yielding, and beam flexural failure). SDI predictions of the proposed equations correlate well with 50 test results of beam–column joints available from the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Analysis for Earthquake-Resistant Design of Buildings)
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Article
Optimal Sizing of Solar-Assisted Heat Pump Systems for Residential Buildings
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100175 - 04 Oct 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1141
Abstract
This paper analyzes the optimal sizing of a particular solution for renewable energy residential building integration. The solution combines a photovoltaic (PV) plant with a heat pump (HP). The idea is to develop a system that permits the maximum level of self-consumption of [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the optimal sizing of a particular solution for renewable energy residential building integration. The solution combines a photovoltaic (PV) plant with a heat pump (HP). The idea is to develop a system that permits the maximum level of self-consumption of renewable energy generated by using a small-scale solar array installed on the same building. The problem is analyzed using data obtained from an experimental system installed in a building in Pisa, Italy. The residential house was equipped with a PV plant (about 3.7 kW of peak power), assisting a HP of similar electrical power (3.8 kW). The system was monitored for eight years of continuous operation. With reference to the data acquired from the long-term experimental analysis and considering a more general perspective, we discuss criteria and guidelines for the design of such a system. We focus on the possibility of exporting energy to the electrical grid, from the perspective of obtaining self-consumption schemes. Considering that one of the problems with small-scale PV plants is represented by the bidirectional energy flows from and to the grid, possible alternative solutions for the design are outlined, with both a size reduction in the plant and utilization of a storage system considered. Different design objectives are considered in the analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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Article
Humans-as-a-Sensor for Buildings—Intensive Longitudinal Indoor Comfort Models
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100174 - 01 Oct 2020
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 3314
Abstract
Evaluating and optimising human comfort within the built environment is challenging due to the large number of physiological, psychological and environmental variables that affect occupant comfort preference. Human perception could be helpful to capture these disparate phenomena and interpreting their impact; the challenge [...] Read more.
Evaluating and optimising human comfort within the built environment is challenging due to the large number of physiological, psychological and environmental variables that affect occupant comfort preference. Human perception could be helpful to capture these disparate phenomena and interpreting their impact; the challenge is collecting spatially and temporally diverse subjective feedback in a scalable way. This paper presents a methodology to collect intensive longitudinal subjective feedback of comfort-based preference using micro ecological momentary assessments on a smartwatch platform. An experiment with 30 occupants over two weeks produced 4378 field-based surveys for thermal, noise, and acoustic preference. The occupants and the spaces in which they left feedback were then clustered according to these preference tendencies. These groups were used to create different feature sets with combinations of environmental and physiological variables, for use in a multi-class classification task. These classification models were trained on a feature set that was developed from time-series attributes, environmental and near-body sensors, heart rate, and the historical preferences of both the individual and the comfort group assigned. The most accurate model had multi-class classification F1 micro scores of 64%, 80% and 86% for thermal, light, and noise preference, respectively. The discussion outlines how these models can enhance comfort preference prediction when supplementing data from installed sensors. The approach presented prompts reflection on how the building analysis community evaluates, controls, and designs indoor environments through balancing the measurement of variables with occupant preferences in an intensive longitudinal way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Approaches to Modelling Occupant Comfort)
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Review
Quantitative Review of Construction 4.0 Technology Presence in Construction Project Research
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100173 - 29 Sep 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2386
Abstract
The development of technologies associated with the fourth industrial revolution is rapid. Construction 4.0 represents the architecture, engineering, construction and operations industries exploration of new technologies, equivalent to Industry 4.0 for the manufacturing industry. These concepts address multiple perspectives besides the technological, such [...] Read more.
The development of technologies associated with the fourth industrial revolution is rapid. Construction 4.0 represents the architecture, engineering, construction and operations industries exploration of new technologies, equivalent to Industry 4.0 for the manufacturing industry. These concepts address multiple perspectives besides the technological, such as management and processes. The purpose of this study was to investigate to what extent research regarding construction projects addresses information and communication, automatisation or industrialisation technologies. A scoping review was the method used to perform a quantitative analysis of over two thousand journal papers published from 2015 onwards. The results show that new technologies are addressed separately, while synergy studies are uncommon. Longitudinal analyses show that there was no significant increase in journal papers concerning new technologies from 2015 to 2019. Information and communication was the search criterion with the least number of papers found. The environmental perspective of new technologies was present but the least common from 2019 to 2020. Hence, this review shows that there is an extensive research gap regarding Construction 4.0 technologies in the context of construction projects. Studies regarding synergy and environmental effects of new technologies should increase to start the progress towards a successful entry into the fourth industrial revolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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Article
Development of Eco-Friendly and Self-Cleaning Lime-Pozzolan Plasters for Bio-Construction and Cultural Heritage
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100172 - 28 Sep 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1568
Abstract
Nowadays, the design and use of multi-functional mortars has increased significantly, with interesting applications in the green building and cultural heritage conservation sectors. A key point for a correct adoption of these innovative materials is their behavior along time and their resistance to [...] Read more.
Nowadays, the design and use of multi-functional mortars has increased significantly, with interesting applications in the green building and cultural heritage conservation sectors. A key point for a correct adoption of these innovative materials is their behavior along time and their resistance to the weathering. The objective of this project was to define the performance and durability of innovative mortars, in order to use them correctly and to avoid irreparable damage over time. For the development of this project, lime–metakaolin and hydraulic lime–metakaolin based mortars (hereinafter called A, B), as well as A and B with the addition of nano-TiO2 and perlite (hereinafter referred to as A+, B+), have been tested. The focus of the work was to carry out preliminary tests to evaluate the performance and durability characteristics of these mortars, verifying their behavior over time through exposure to artificial aging cycles, including thermal shock cycles in saline solution aerosols, freeze cycles in vapor aerosol, and aging by heat treatment at high temperatures. Before and after each artificial aging cycle, weight measurements, and macroscopic and microscopic observations were performed in order to evaluate possible structural changes. The characteristics of the mortars were assessed by determination of the apparent volume mass, mechanical properties, such as compressive and bending strength, water absorption, whereas their self-cleaning capacity was measured by methylene blue degradation test under UV and solar irradiation. The results obtained show degradation effects in the mortar samples due to aging after each test, and indicated that mortars with perlite and nano-TiO2 are the best-performing ones, both from the durability and energetic point of view, rendering them suitable for applications in the green building sector and the conservation of cultural heritage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Historic Buildings)
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Article
Construction Disputes in the UAE: Causes and Resolution Methods
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100171 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1998
Abstract
Claims and disputes occur frequently in the construction industry between different contracting parties, mainly the owner, the designer and the contractor. Consequently, valuable time and a significant amount of money are lost. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) construction industry, one of the most [...] Read more.
Claims and disputes occur frequently in the construction industry between different contracting parties, mainly the owner, the designer and the contractor. Consequently, valuable time and a significant amount of money are lost. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) construction industry, one of the most vibrant sectors globally, is experiencing a high level of construction disputes and claims. This paper aims to identify and assess the major causes of disputes in the UAE and weigh the effectiveness of the methods used for their avoidance and resolution. The sources of disputes, and their avoidance/resolution methods, were identified through a comprehensive literature review. A survey was then developed and sent to 150 construction professionals. Fifty-four responses were received and analyzed. The results show that the top five sources of disputes in the UAE are variations initiated by the owner, obtaining permit/approval from the municipality and other governmental authorities, material change and approval during the construction phase, the slowness of the owner in decision-making, and the short time available during the design phase. As for the avoidance and the resolution method, the most effective method was found to be negotiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings: 10th Anniversary)
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Review
Decision Support in Building Construction: A Systematic Review of Methods and Application Areas
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100170 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1710
Abstract
Decision making is a relevant task in the building construction sector, and various systems and methods for decision support are emerging. By means of a systematic literature review, this article identifies the methods for decision making in building construction and the lifecycle phases [...] Read more.
Decision making is a relevant task in the building construction sector, and various systems and methods for decision support are emerging. By means of a systematic literature review, this article identifies the methods for decision making in building construction and the lifecycle phases for which decision support systems are proposed. The selected articles are analyzed and grouped according to the adopted decision-making methods and the defined lifecycle phases. The findings show that multiple criteria decision analysis is the most used method for decision support in building construction and that the construction phase is the most addressed phase within the relevant existing works. The findings related to the construction phase are further refined by grouping the articles into application areas and by reviewing in detail the proposed methods therein. The scarce availability of data and project cases is identified as the most common barrier for the successful development and implementation of decision support systems in the building construction sector. This work provides a basis for scientists and practitioners for identifying suitable methods for decision-making support in a specific lifecycle phase of a building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Computer Technology in Buildings)
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Communication
Worker 4.0: The Future of Sensored Construction Sites
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100169 - 23 Sep 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2674
Abstract
The digitalization of the construction industry (CI) has the aim—among others—to raise the bar of overall productivity. The craft workforce is very relevant on the overall value-chain. Therefore, a boost in this dimension impacts the entire sector. There is a gap in proper [...] Read more.
The digitalization of the construction industry (CI) has the aim—among others—to raise the bar of overall productivity. The craft workforce is very relevant on the overall value-chain. Therefore, a boost in this dimension impacts the entire sector. There is a gap in proper methodologies to measure and model productivity. Construction 4.0 novelties provide new approaches for its evaluation and progress. This communication presents a review of workforce productivity assessment and delivers methods focusing primarily on craft workers motion monitoring. Products and services opportunities from Construction 4.0 in the spectrum of craft workforce management include support by embedded sensors for data collection that allow near real-time monitoring. The work developed led to the systematization of a framework to standardize craft workers’ motion productivity. The craft workforce motion productivity framework, Worker 4.0, tenders nine processes integrated on a flowchart to streamline task processes assessment and mechanization level. It also sets up a two-handed/two-legged chart system to model craft workers’ activities and operations. The contributions to the body of knowledge are substantiated on the framework creation with the ability to model and assess craft workforce performance. This approach is meant to serve as base point for different stakeholders focusing on skills, efficiency, mechanization and productivity improvements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction 4.0)
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