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Buildings, Volume 10, Issue 12 (December 2020) – 39 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The relationships among urban green infrastructure, climate, air quality and health are complex and sometimes counterintuitive and require serious consideration to best inform built environment policy, planning, design and management practice. This paper analysed 55 fully evaluated scenarios, investigating the impact of additional GI on temperature, air pollution and health for 39 cities. Statistically significant correlations between increased urban GI and ambient temperatures indicate that the average maximum daily peak and the night-time temperature drops may not exceed 1.8 and 2.3 °C, respectively; when the peak daily temperature drops by 0.1 °C, the percentage of heat-related mortality decreases, on average, by 3.0%. View this paper
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Article
An Integrated Organizational System for Project Source Selection in the Major Iranian Construction Companies
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120251 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1147
Abstract
Studies show that procurement management and its processes strongly affect project success in the construction industry, because the project-oriented organizations in the construction industry prefer to buy goods and services from outside the project team and benefit from outsourcing. Hence, these organizations are [...] Read more.
Studies show that procurement management and its processes strongly affect project success in the construction industry, because the project-oriented organizations in the construction industry prefer to buy goods and services from outside the project team and benefit from outsourcing. Hence, these organizations are continually facing different levels of procurement processes, and the establishment of a robust outsourcing system is crucial for success of their projects and development of their businesses. On the other hand, the housing projects are considered a significant sector of the construction industry in terms of the number of projects and the impact on the national economy. Traditionally, the key sources in conventional housing projects are the general contractors, the consultants and the suppliers. In this study, essential elements of an organizational system have been investigated by expert opinions and through the Delphi method, and all effective aspects of the source selection problem have been identified and integrated. Based on the research findings, procurement of housing construction projects should be organized in three organizational levels: development of the long list, preparation of the short list and selection of the most appropriate source by focusing on four main elements of the source identification method, criteria definition, evaluation arrangement and assessment model. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of the Impact of the Envelope System on Thermal Energy Demand in Hospital Buildings
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120250 - 19 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1055
Abstract
Construction materials and systems for the thermal building envelope have played a key role in the improvement of energy efficiency in buildings. Urban heat islands together with the upcoming rising global temperature demand construction solutions that are adapted to the specific microclimate conditions. [...] Read more.
Construction materials and systems for the thermal building envelope have played a key role in the improvement of energy efficiency in buildings. Urban heat islands together with the upcoming rising global temperature demand construction solutions that are adapted to the specific microclimate conditions. These circumstances are even more dramatic in the case of healthcare buildings where the need to preserve constant indoor temperatures is a priority for the proper recovery of patients. A new neonatal hospital, located in Madrid (Spain), has been monitored, and building energy simulations were performed to evaluate the effect of the building envelope on the energy demand. Based on the simulation results, the design of the building envelope was found to be insufficiently optimised to properly protect the building from the external heat flow. This is supported by the monitored results of the indoor temperatures, which went over the standard limit for about 50% of the hours, achieving up to 27 °C in June and July, and 28 °C in August. The results showed, on one hand, that solar radiation gains transmitted through the façade have an important impact on the indoor temperature in the analysed rooms. Heat gains through the opaque envelope showed an average of 8.37 kWh/day, followed by heat gains through the glazing with an average value of 5.29 kWh/day; while heat gains from lighting and occupancy were 5.21 kWh/day and 4.47 kWh/day, respectively. Moreover, it was shown that a design of the envelope characterised by large glass surfaces and without solar protection systems, resulted in excessive internal thermal loads that the conditioning system was not able to overcome. Full article
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Article
The Impacts of Symmetry in Architecture and Urbanism: Toward a New Research Agenda
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120249 - 19 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1717
Abstract
Architecture has an ancient relationship to mathematics, and symmetry—in the broad sense of the term—is a core topic of both. Yet the contemporary application of theories of symmetry to architecture and built environments is a surprisingly immature area of research. At the same [...] Read more.
Architecture has an ancient relationship to mathematics, and symmetry—in the broad sense of the term—is a core topic of both. Yet the contemporary application of theories of symmetry to architecture and built environments is a surprisingly immature area of research. At the same time, research is showing a divergence between the benefits of and preferences for natural environments on the one hand, and built environments on the other, demonstrating relatively deleterious effects of many contemporary built environments. Yet the research cannot yet pinpoint the actual geometric factors of architecture and urbanism that could produce such an important divergence. This paper explores this research gap, surveying the literature across a range of fields, and assessing current evidence for the impacts of symmetry in the built environment upon human perception and well-being. As an emerging case study, it considers the recent work by Christopher Alexander and Nikos Salingaros, two trained mathematicians who have made notable contributions to architecture and urbanism. The conclusion proposes a new research agenda toward further development of this immature subject area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Mathematics to Architecture)
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Article
Influence of the Cross-Sectional Shape of a Reinforced Bimodular Beam on the Stress-Strain State in a Transverse Impact
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120248 - 18 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1059
Abstract
The paper considers the stress-strain state of a reinforced concrete beam, as a bimodular material, under the action of an impact. The behavior of bimodular concretes with different moduli of elasticity in tension and compression has not been studied enough. At the same [...] Read more.
The paper considers the stress-strain state of a reinforced concrete beam, as a bimodular material, under the action of an impact. The behavior of bimodular concretes with different moduli of elasticity in tension and compression has not been studied enough. At the same time, taking into account the bimodularity of concrete makes it possible to design a more economical structure, especially for dynamic load. In this article, the impact is considered as an absolutely plastic impact of an absolutely rigid body on an elastic system. The stress state is investigated for beams of rectangular, T-section and I-sections, and is compared with and without the bimodularity of reinforced concrete. The analysis of the dependence of the stress state on the shape, cross-sectional dimensions, and the location of reinforcing bars in the compressed and tensioned zones was carried out for lightweight concrete (Et < Ec) and for heavy concrete (Et > Ec) under the action of shock load with and without regard to the mass of the beam. The numerical study shows that taking into account the mass of the beam upon impact significantly decreases the magnitude of the normal stresses in both the tensioned and compressed zones. Beams of rectangular cross-section have the highest load-bearing capacity when the cross-section height is equal for both light and heavy concrete. An increase in the size of the flange of the I-beam in the stretched zone leads to a sharp decrease in normal tensile stresses and a slight increase in normal compressive stresses. The proposed engineering method makes it possible to numerically study the effect on the stress-strain state of a beam under the action of a concentrated impact of various geometric characteristics of the cross-section, bimodularity of the material, size, number and location of reinforcement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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Article
Seismic Vulnerability of Masonry Lighthouses: A Study of the Bengut Lighthouse, Dellys, Boumerdès, Algeria
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120247 - 18 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1195
Abstract
In Algeria, lighthouses are an essential element of the maritime landscape and constitute a substantial part of the local historical and cultural heritage, marked by a great variety of styles, architecture, geometrical forms, and materials. The study presented falls into the general context [...] Read more.
In Algeria, lighthouses are an essential element of the maritime landscape and constitute a substantial part of the local historical and cultural heritage, marked by a great variety of styles, architecture, geometrical forms, and materials. The study presented falls into the general context of pre- and post-seismic conservation of Algerian lighthouses, since all these stone masonry buildings are situated in areas characterized by a medium–high seismic hazard. In the paper, a relevant example has been analyzed: the Bengut Lighthouse, which has been classified as “National Heritage” by the Algerian Ministry of Culture and has been severely damaged by the Boumerdès that occurred on 21 May 2003. After an overview of historical lighthouses in Algeria and their morpho-typological classification, the case study of the lighthouse at Cap Bengut is presented, showing the results of a detailed survey of the geometric and constructive features and of the actual cracking and damage pattern. First, based on the critical analysis of this knowledge framework, a preliminary qualitative evaluation of the seismic vulnerability has been made, analyzing and classifying the set of local and global failure modes coherently with the observed structural pathologies and damages. Then, numerical modeling has been implemented in TreMuri computer code, performing a set of pushover analyses. This allowed the investigation of the criticalities in the response of the building to seismic actions, characterization of the dynamic behavior, and comparison with the actual observed damages, which are discussed, providing an interpretation of the global and local failure modes. Based on the results of the visual assessment and numerical analysis, guidelines for the retrofitting intervention have been proposed, by considering, on the one hand, the objective of effectively mitigating the elements of vulnerability pointed out by the results and, on the other, the main principles of conservation and restoration. The presented study and its results, in perspective, are intended to provide a basis for developing risk and vulnerability analysis of typological classes of historical lighthouses at a large scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-linear Modelling and Analysis of Buildings)
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Article
Seismic Design of Grana Cheese Cold-Formed Steel Racks
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120246 - 18 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 882
Abstract
Since few years ago only one typology of racks was used to store Grana cheese wheels for aging, which was designed focusing on the sole static behavior. Battened steel columns made by vertical tubes welded to horizontal angles were connected by means of [...] Read more.
Since few years ago only one typology of racks was used to store Grana cheese wheels for aging, which was designed focusing on the sole static behavior. Battened steel columns made by vertical tubes welded to horizontal angles were connected by means of wood boards supporting the wheels. In 2012, a strong earthquake occurred in Emilia Romagna (Italy) and a great number of these structures collapsed owing to the absence of checks for resistance against earthquakes. This catastrophic event plus the need to maximize the structural efficiency led to the development of a new typology of rack systems based on the use of cold-formed steel members. Owing to an extremely limited state-of-the-art on these modern cheese rack, design is carried out in agreement with the standard provisions calibrated and proposed for adjustable pallet racks, despite the non-negligible differences between these structural systems. The paper is focused on the comparison between the available seismic design approaches for cheese rack in order to highlight their main advantages and limits. In particular, among the four design approaches admitted in the European standards, the modal response spectrum analysis (MRSA) and the nonlinear time-history (NLTH) have been considered and the associated results compared in terms of maximum safety index of the members, global displacements and interstorey drifts. Research outcomes stress the differences associated with the considered approaches in terms of expected performance underlining the importance of an accurate definition of the behavior (q-) factor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Analysis for Earthquake-Resistant Design of Buildings)
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Article
3D Concrete Printing Sustainability: A Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Four Construction Method Scenarios
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120245 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2458
Abstract
Three-dimensional concrete printing (3DCP) has become recognized as a possible alternative to conventional concrete construction, mainly due to its potential to increase productivity and reduce the environmental impact of the construction industry. Despite its up-and-coming popularity within the field, limited research has quantitively [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional concrete printing (3DCP) has become recognized as a possible alternative to conventional concrete construction, mainly due to its potential to increase productivity and reduce the environmental impact of the construction industry. Despite its up-and-coming popularity within the field, limited research has quantitively investigated the environmental benefits that 3DCP brings. This paper investigates the environmental tradeoff of utilizing 3DCP over conventional construction by conducting a detailed cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment (LCA) study of four case-scenarios (conventional concrete construction, 3DCP with reinforcement elements, 3DCP without any reinforcement, and 3DCP without any reinforcement and utilizing a lightweight printable concrete material.) These case-scenarios were carefully selected to quantify the environmental impact of 3DCP while emphasizing the importance of the material composition. The LCA was conducted for a 1 m2 external load-bearing wall in all four scenarios. The LCA analysis showed that 3DCP significantly reduced environmental effects in terms of global warming potential (GWP), acidification potential (AP), eutrophication potential (EP), smog formation potential (SFP), and fossil fuel depletion (FFD), as compared to conventional construction methods. However, these environmental improvements diminished when 3DCP was coupled with the use of conventional reinforcement elements. Moreover, the use of an alternative concrete mixture in 3DCP showed a further decrease in the GWP, AP, EP, and FFD impact. Ultimately, the findings in this paper support the advantages of 3DCP technology and recommend the investigation of the development of (i) sustainable printable concrete materials and (ii) novel reinforcement techniques that are suitable for 3DCP rather than adopting conventional reinforcement techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete Materials in Construction)
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Article
Development of Simulation Model for Proper Sales Price of Apartment House in Seoul
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120244 - 16 Dec 2020
Viewed by 933
Abstract
The number of new homes built in China in 2014 doubled compared to 2004, while Korea has built more than 3000 units every year since 2004 and Japan has built more than 6000 new units. Apartments account for 60% of homes in Korea, [...] Read more.
The number of new homes built in China in 2014 doubled compared to 2004, while Korea has built more than 3000 units every year since 2004 and Japan has built more than 6000 new units. Apartments account for 60% of homes in Korea, so it is anticipated that apartment construction projects will not cease in Korea. The current company assumes that the sale rate (pre-sale rate) of apartments may be completely controlled by the pre-sale prices. The study calculated appropriate pre-sale prices to maximize the revenue of companies based on that assumption. For that purpose, the study identified the factors affecting the pre-sale prices and analyzed its correlation with the pre-sale prices based on the apartments located in Seoul, Korea. As a result of the analysis, it was found that the pre-sale prices of apartments are correlated with the number of apartment complexes, local rates, and local development level. The final result of the study suggested a way to calculate the sale prices using the factors that are thought to be correlated with the pre-sale prices. A simulation model was created using the method. When tested, it yielded an average deviation rate of 10.32%. The current study will contribute to preventing the economic losses that may be caused by apartment construction projects. Full article
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Article
Seismic Acceleration and Displacement Demand Profiles of Non-Structural Elements in Hospital Buildings
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120243 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1340
Abstract
The importance of non-structural elements in performance-based seismic design of buildings is presently widely recognized. These elements may significantly affect the functionality of buildings even for low seismic intensities, in particular for the case of critical facilities, such as hospital buildings. One of [...] Read more.
The importance of non-structural elements in performance-based seismic design of buildings is presently widely recognized. These elements may significantly affect the functionality of buildings even for low seismic intensities, in particular for the case of critical facilities, such as hospital buildings. One of the most important issues to deal with in the seismic performance assessment of non-structural elements is the definition of the seismic demand. This paper investigates the seismic demand to which the non-structural elements of a case-study hospital building located in a medium–high seismicity region in Italy, are prone. The seismic demand is evaluated for two seismic intensities that correspond to the definition of serviceability limit states, according to Italian and European design and assessment guidelines. Peak floor accelerations, interstorey drifts, absolute acceleration, and relative displacement floor response spectra are estimated through nonlinear time–history analyses. The absolute acceleration floor response spectra are then compared with those obtained from simplified code formulations, highlighting the main shortcomings surrounding the practical application of performance-based seismic design of non-structural elements. The absolute acceleration floor response spectra are then compared with those obtained from simplified code formulations. The results, both in terms of absolute acceleration and relative displacement floor response spectra, highlighted the influence of the higher modes of the structure and the inaccuracy of the code provisions, pointing out the need for more accurate simplified methodologies for the practical application of performance-based seismic design of non-structural elements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Analysis for Earthquake-Resistant Design of Buildings)
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Article
Creative Decision-Making Processes in Parametric Design
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120242 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1569
Abstract
Decision-making in design is a cognitive process wherein alternatives are generated and evaluated, potentially enabling a more creative design process. In recent years parametric design’s heightened capacity for automatically generating and evaluating options has been celebrated by researchers and designers, but it has [...] Read more.
Decision-making in design is a cognitive process wherein alternatives are generated and evaluated, potentially enabling a more creative design process. In recent years parametric design’s heightened capacity for automatically generating and evaluating options has been celebrated by researchers and designers, but it has also placed an increased emphasis on decision-making activities which have not previously been studied in this context. This paper conducts the first in-depth protocol analysis of the decision-making process (DMP) in parametric design. Using empirical data, it identifies three parametric DMPs at the conceptual design stage: (i) “conclusive” DMP, (ii) “confirmative” DMP, and (iii) “simulative” DMP. The results of this research indicate that while conclusive DMP generates and evaluates design alternatives, its “forward incrementation” approach has only limited potential for creativity. The confirmative DMP develops three creative operation loops in parametric design, suggesting it may be an important creative process. The simulative DMP simultaneously addresses divergent and convergent thinking, also indicating potential creative operations and outcomes. The identification and analysis of these DMPs contributes to developing new knowledge about the processes used in parametric design and their capacity to support creative results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design Creativity in Architecture and Engineering)
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Article
Suitability of Seismic Isolation for Buildings Founded on Soft Soil. Case Study of a RC Building in Shanghai
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120241 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 958
Abstract
Base (seismic) isolation is a promising technology for seismic protection of buildings and other constructions. Nowadays, it is accepted that such a technique is efficient and reliable; however, it has two major limitations: soft foundation soil, and tall buildings. The first issue restrains [...] Read more.
Base (seismic) isolation is a promising technology for seismic protection of buildings and other constructions. Nowadays, it is accepted that such a technique is efficient and reliable; however, it has two major limitations: soft foundation soil, and tall buildings. The first issue restrains the seismic isolation spreading, given that soft soil is frequent in densely populated areas, and usually such a soil type concentrates the highest seismicity levels. This paper aims to contribute to demonstrating that base isolation, if properly implemented, can be suitable for soft soil. A representative case study is analyzed: a 6-story reinforced concrete (RC) building with base isolation that has recently been built in Shanghai. Since the building is founded on soft soil, concern regarding base isolation suitability arose; even the Chinese design code does not recommend this solution for soft soil. To clarify this issue, non-linear time-history analyses are carried out for a number of natural and artificial seismic inputs that represent the site seismicity; the superstructure behavior is linear, while nonlinearities are concentrated in the isolation layer. The adequacy of base isolation is assessed in the superstructure (in terms of reduction of interstory drift, absolute acceleration and shear force) and in the isolation layer (in terms of axial force, torsion angle and shear strain). The relevance of soil–structure interaction is discussed. The behavior when the mechanical parameters of the isolation units have experienced important changes is also analyzed. The major conclusion is that base isolation of ordinary mid-height RC buildings founded on soft soil can perform satisfactorily in medium seismicity regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings: 10th Anniversary)
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Article
A New Modular Structural System for Tall Buildings Based on Tetrahedral Configuration
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120240 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1346
Abstract
Inspired by the high mechanical performance of diagrid structures, the minimization of material consumption on braced tubes and the expressive potency of tensegrity modular structures, this work proposes an innovative three-dimensional system for tall buildings. A new modular structural system generated from the [...] Read more.
Inspired by the high mechanical performance of diagrid structures, the minimization of material consumption on braced tubes and the expressive potency of tensegrity modular structures, this work proposes an innovative three-dimensional system for tall buildings. A new modular structural system generated from the assembly of tetrahedral units is investigated. The paper integrates insights on the architectural implications and mechanical performance of the reticular system arranged in repetitive triangular-based modules. The impact of different geometric configurations of the structural members on the economic design is also discussed and recommendations for the optimal topology are made. Guidelines for the design and analytical formula for accessing preliminary member sizes are proposed on the basis of stiffness requirements. Full article
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Article
Critical Value Management Activities in Building Projects: A Case of Egypt
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120239 - 12 Dec 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1195
Abstract
Value management (VM) is one of the principles adopted by stakeholders to manage issues in the building industry. This paper aims to examine VM diffusion between residential building entities in the Egyptian residential building industry. This research was confined to the Cairo and [...] Read more.
Value management (VM) is one of the principles adopted by stakeholders to manage issues in the building industry. This paper aims to examine VM diffusion between residential building entities in the Egyptian residential building industry. This research was confined to the Cairo and Giza regions, with enough residential building experience from clients, consultants, and contractors. A quantitative questionnaire survey was generated to find answers from those active in the residential building industry. The results show that although VM’s most widely practiced activities in the Egyptian construction industry are only information phase activities, professionals in Egyptian building projects agreed that all VM activities are important. The results also demonstrated that there is a significant positive correlation among VM phases. The results constitute activities for the adoption of VMs in Egypt. Its guidelines will dramatically enhance the implementation of VMs both in Egypt and in other developing countries where similar projects are conducted. Finally, this research strengthens the residential building industry’s present management by enhancing VM tools and elements to generate value for money. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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Article
Outdoor Thermal Comfort: Coupling Microclimatic Parameters with Subjective Thermal Assessment to Design Urban Performative Spaces
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120238 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1027
Abstract
Thermal comfort plays a main role in encouraging people to use outdoor spaces, specifically in hot arid and humid climates. The reconciliation of climatic aspects during the urban design phase is limited in implementation, due to the need for multidisciplinary collaboration between desperate [...] Read more.
Thermal comfort plays a main role in encouraging people to use outdoor spaces, specifically in hot arid and humid climates. The reconciliation of climatic aspects during the urban design phase is limited in implementation, due to the need for multidisciplinary collaboration between desperate scientific fields of climatology, urban planning, and urban environmental modelling. This paper aims to create an integrated interface between the microclimate, outdoor thermal comfort, and design guidelines. The investigation combines subjective and objective approaches, including on-site field measurements, a structured questionnaire using the seven-point American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE 55) thermal sensation votes, and a correlation study of these votes and the microclimatic parameters. Pedestrian thermal comfort was then examined under six shading scenarios, addressing the form and opening of shading devices using computational fluid dynamics. Modelling is based on four dependent variables: wind velocity, ventilation flow rate, air temperature, and the physiological equivalent temperature (PET) index. Findings indicate that the form and location of apertures of the shading devices were the dominant factors in achieving thermal comfort on the urban scale, and led to a reduction in air temperature and a physiological equivalent temperature of 2.3–2.4 °C. Subjective votes indicate that people who live in hot arid climates have a wider range of adaptation and tolerance to local climatic conditions Accordingly, a psychometric chart, for the case study outdoor thermal comfort was developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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Article
Alternative Method to the Replication of Wind Effects into the Buildings Thermal Simulation
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120237 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 654
Abstract
To design energy-efficient buildings, energy assessment programs need to be developed for determining the inside air temperature, so that thermal comfort of the occupant can be sustained. The internal temperatures could be calculated through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis; however, miniscule time steps [...] Read more.
To design energy-efficient buildings, energy assessment programs need to be developed for determining the inside air temperature, so that thermal comfort of the occupant can be sustained. The internal temperatures could be calculated through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis; however, miniscule time steps (seconds and milliseconds) are used by a long-term simulation (i.e., weeks, months) that require excessive time for computing wind effects results even for high-performance personal computers. This paper examines a new method, wherein the wind effect surrounding the buildings is integrated with the external air temperature to facilitate wind simulation in building analysis over long periods. This was done with the help of an equivalent temperature (known as Tnatural), where the convection heat loss is produced in an equal capacity by this air temperature and by the built-in wind effects. Subsequently, this new external air temperature Tnatural can be used to calculate the internal air temperature. Upon inclusion of wind effects, above 90% of the results were found to be within 0–3 °C of the perceived temperatures compared to the real data (99% for insulated cavity brick (InsCB), 91% for cavity brick (CB), 93% for insulated reverse brick veneer (InsRBV) and 94% for insulated brick veneer (InsBV) modules). However, a decline of 83–88% was observed in the results after ignoring the wind effects. Hence, the presence of wind effects holds greater importance in correct simulation of the thermal performance of the modules. Moreover, the simulation time will expectedly reduce to below 1% of the original simulation time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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Article
Improving the Accuracy of a Hygrothermal Model for Wood-Frame Walls: A Cold-Climate Study
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120236 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 850
Abstract
A one-dimensional transient hygrothermal model was used to simulate eight different wood-frame wall assemblies. Simulations were compared with measured results from a two-year field study exploring the effects of exterior insulation on wall moisture performance in a cold-climate. The field study documented the [...] Read more.
A one-dimensional transient hygrothermal model was used to simulate eight different wood-frame wall assemblies. Simulations were compared with measured results from a two-year field study exploring the effects of exterior insulation on wall moisture performance in a cold-climate. The field study documented the moisture content, temperature, and relative humidity measurements in wall assemblies using oriented strand board (OSB) sheathing. Simulations were performed using generic design input values as well as input values based on measurements or sensitivity analysis. Laboratory material property measurements informed the choice of material property values in the improved model for OSB, asphalt-coated kraft paper, and interior latex paint. Simulations using improved input values typically agreed with field measurements within measurement error. The most significant model improvements were all related to vapor permeance. The vinyl siding used an effective permeance much lower than typically recommended. However, both the extruded polystyrene insulation and the asphalt-coated kraft paper facing on the cavity fiberglass insulation had higher permeance than literature values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation)
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Article
Experimental Data and Simulations of Performance and Thermal Comfort in a Patient Room Equipped with Radiant Ceiling Panels
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120235 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 848
Abstract
Hospitals require the highest energy demands in non-residential buildings. They provide healthcare 24/7/365 and, at the same time, they ensure indoor air quality, thermal comfort and sterility. However, several studies reveal that high indoor temperatures and low relative humidity (RH) are often perceived [...] Read more.
Hospitals require the highest energy demands in non-residential buildings. They provide healthcare 24/7/365 and, at the same time, they ensure indoor air quality, thermal comfort and sterility. However, several studies reveal that high indoor temperatures and low relative humidity (RH) are often perceived in patient rooms during the heating season, suggesting an important energy saving potential. Against this background, radiant ceiling panel (RCP) systems result to be one of the most appropriate solutions as they allow to achieve significant energy savings while providing the highest level of thermal and acoustic comfort, as well as of infection control. In the present study the microclimatic survey of a patient room at Maggiore Hospital in Bologna, Italy, equipped with an air conditioning system integrated with RCP, has reported occupant thermal discomfort. Experimental data were used to calibrate a building model and dynamic building energy simulations were carried out to analyse indoor air temperature, relative humidity, predicted mean vote (PMV) and predicted percentage of dissatisfied (PPD) indexes under different inlet air temperatures, to identify the best design conditions for energy efficiency and thermal comfort improvement. It was found that the highest advantages can be obtained when neutral air is supplied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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Article
Emission Reduction Potential of Different Types of Finnish Buildings through Energy Retrofits
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120234 - 08 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1116
Abstract
Energy retrofitting of buildings shows great potential in reducing CO2 emissions. However, most retrofitting studies only focus on a single building type. This paper shows the relative potential in six Finnish building types, to identify possible focus areas for future retrofits in [...] Read more.
Energy retrofitting of buildings shows great potential in reducing CO2 emissions. However, most retrofitting studies only focus on a single building type. This paper shows the relative potential in six Finnish building types, to identify possible focus areas for future retrofits in Finland. Data from previous optimization studies was used to provide optimal cases for comparison. Energy demand of the buildings was generated through dynamic simulation with the IDA-ICE software. The cases were compared according to emissions reduction, investment and life cycle cost. It was found that, in all buildings, it was possible to reduce emissions cost-neutrally by 20% to 70% in buildings with district heating and by 70% to 95% using heat pumps. Single-family homes with oil or wood boilers switching to heat pumps had the greatest emission reduction potential. More stringent requirements for energy efficiency could be mandated during building renovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Net-Zero/Positive Energy Buildings and Districts)
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Article
Increasing Green Infrastructure in Cities: Impact on Ambient Temperature, Air Quality and Heat-Related Mortality and Morbidity
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120233 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2221
Abstract
Urban vegetation provides undeniable benefits to urban climate, health, thermal comfort and environmental quality of cities and represents one of the most considered urban heat mitigation measures. Despite the plethora of available scientific information, very little is known about the holistic and global [...] Read more.
Urban vegetation provides undeniable benefits to urban climate, health, thermal comfort and environmental quality of cities and represents one of the most considered urban heat mitigation measures. Despite the plethora of available scientific information, very little is known about the holistic and global impact of a potential increase of urban green infrastructure (GI) on urban climate, environmental quality and health, and their synergies and trade-offs. There is a need to evaluate globally the extent to which additional GI provides benefits and quantify the problems arising from the deployment of additional greenery in cities which are usually overlooked or neglected. The present paper has reviewed and analysed 55 fully evaluated scenarios and case studies investigating the impact of additional GI on urban temperature, air pollution and health for 39 cities. Statistically significant correlations between the percentage increase of the urban GI and the peak daily and night ambient temperatures are obtained. The average maximum peak daily and night-time temperature drop may not exceed 1.8 and 2.3 °C respectively, even for a maximum GI fraction. In parallel, a statistically significant correlation between the peak daily temperature decrease caused by higher GI fractions and heat-related mortality is found. When the peak daily temperature drops by 0.1 °C, then the percentage of heat-related mortality decreases on average by 3.0% The impact of additional urban GI on the concentration of urban pollutants is analysed, and the main parameters contributing to decrease or increase of the pollutants’ concentration are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings: 10th Anniversary)
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Article
An Anchoring Groove Technique to Enhance the Bond Behavior between Heat-Damaged Concrete and CFRP Composites
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120232 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 910
Abstract
This experimental study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of using carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites with special anchoring grooves, specifically in terms of the ability of the concrete–CFRP bond to withstand elevated temperatures. The obtained findings of this experiment clearly highlighted the [...] Read more.
This experimental study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of using carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites with special anchoring grooves, specifically in terms of the ability of the concrete–CFRP bond to withstand elevated temperatures. The obtained findings of this experiment clearly highlighted the effectiveness of the direction of the anchoring grooves on the behavior of the concrete–CFRP bonding area. The results also showed that high temperatures lessen the bond’s strength and the ultimate slippage. On the other hand, this study showed that increasing the length of the CFRP sheet resulted in enhancement of the bond’s strength and slippage. When exposed to temperatures above 500 °C, the structures’ residual splitting and compression strength decreased significantly, resulting in the bond’s strength reducing to 67% and the slippage to 19%, with respect to the control samples. In the non-grooved and vertically grooved beams, the CFRP–concrete bond showed a skin-peeling type of failure. It appeared, also, that the temperature and the number of anchored grooves significantly affected the bonding area of the surface; as the surface was exposed to failure in adhesion, more concrete remained attached to the CFRP composite, signifying a stronger attachment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation)
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Review
Additive Manufacturing Applications for Industry 4.0: A Systematic Critical Review
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120231 - 06 Dec 2020
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 3293
Abstract
Additive manufacturing, including 3D printing (3DP), is one of the critical pillars of Industry 4.0 and the next construction revolution. Several countries, including China, have utilized 3DP on larger scales or real projects. However, reviews of the lessons learned from previous large-sized practices [...] Read more.
Additive manufacturing, including 3D printing (3DP), is one of the critical pillars of Industry 4.0 and the next construction revolution. Several countries, including China, have utilized 3DP on larger scales or real projects. However, reviews of the lessons learned from previous large-sized practices of 3DP utilization are scarce. This paper presents a few practical applications of implementing 3DP over the past decade and suggests a direction for future research work. Recent publications on 3DP practices are systematically reviewed using an interpretivist philosophical lens, and more specifically, the nozzle characteristics are focused upon. The Scopus and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) journal databases are utilized, resulting in the examination of 54 English and 62 Chinese papers. The selected practices from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao are considered for this review. A content critical review approach is adopted, and the identified papers are critically reviewed. These papers reported key challenges and advantages from their reported practices, such as limitations in aggregate sizes, nozzle sizes, standards, post-occupancy satisfaction, final product quality, productivity challenges and other associated risks. The paper reports upon prominent limitations and signposts directions for future investigations. Full article
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Article
AHP-Systems Thinking Analyses for Kaizen Costing Implementation in the Construction Industry
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120230 - 05 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1931
Abstract
The incessant reportage of cost overruns and abandoned projects in contemporary literature have accentuated the need for a re-examination of the nature of the cost management strategies deployed to these projects. This study explores the potential of kaizen costing strategy to engender effective [...] Read more.
The incessant reportage of cost overruns and abandoned projects in contemporary literature have accentuated the need for a re-examination of the nature of the cost management strategies deployed to these projects. This study explores the potential of kaizen costing strategy to engender effective cost management within construction project delivery systems in developing countries. Data collected during this study were analysed using the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and systems thinking approaches to determine the criticality of the factors influencing the effective implementation of kaizen costing. Seven (7) archetypes leading to final causal loop diagram identified the incorporation of the plan–do–check–act approach to project and cost planning, the budgeting system of the construction companies, overhead cost reduction during construction and the overall procurement process. Executing these archetypes will potentially reduce high overhead costs, project cost and time overruns, as well as enhance construction industry sector growth policies and construction organisation corporate governance. Full article
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Article
CFD Visualization in a Virtual Reality Environment Using Building Information Modeling Tools
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120229 - 04 Dec 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1271
Abstract
Scientific visualization has been an essential process in the engineering field, enabling the tracking of large-scale simulation data and providing intuitive and comprehendible graphs and models that display useful data. For computational fluid dynamics (CFD) data, the need for scientific visualization is even [...] Read more.
Scientific visualization has been an essential process in the engineering field, enabling the tracking of large-scale simulation data and providing intuitive and comprehendible graphs and models that display useful data. For computational fluid dynamics (CFD) data, the need for scientific visualization is even more important given the complicated spatial data structure and large quantities of data points characteristic of CFD data. To better take advantage of CFD results for buildings, the potential use of virtual reality (VR) techniques cannot be overlooked in the development of building projects. However, the workflow required to bring CFD simulation results to VR has not been streamlined. Building information modeling (BIM) as a lifecycle tool for buildings includes as much information as possible for further applications. To this end, this study brings CFD visualization to VR using BIM tools and reports the evaluation and analysis of the results. Full article
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Article
Experimental Study of Using Micro-Encapsulated Phase-Change Material Integrated into Hemp Shive Wallboard
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120228 - 04 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1242
Abstract
Phase change materials (PCMs) are now widely known as potential additives for building insulation materials to provide a thermal mass effect that helps conserve energy and maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Therefore, the study presented in this paper focuses on an experimental investigation [...] Read more.
Phase change materials (PCMs) are now widely known as potential additives for building insulation materials to provide a thermal mass effect that helps conserve energy and maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Therefore, the study presented in this paper focuses on an experimental investigation of the specific heat capacity and thermal conductivity of hemp shive mixed with PCMs. Industrially manufactured organic PCM-S50 received from MikroCaps Ltd. (Slovenia) has been used to further enhance respective properties of the product samples. The experimental boards were made from hemp shive by directly mixing 5% encapsulate PCMs into the mass. Cold pressing was used to manufacture the boards with Kleiberit urea formaldehyde resin glue as a binding agent. The experimental boards were made as 25 mm thick single-layer parts with a density of 300 ± 20 kg/m3, which qualify them as low-density boards. By adding nanocapsules during the board manufacturing process, the heat capacity is increased by 62%. Based on the great potential of using latent heat, it becomes a possible solution for the development of new technologies related to the automatic regulation of an indoor microclimate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Architectural Design, Urban Science, and Real Estate)
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Article
Response of an Existing Two-Storey RC Frame Designed for Gravity Loads: In Situ Pushover Tests and Numerical Analyses
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120227 - 04 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1006
Abstract
The purpose of the research was to study the response of existing constructions, designed for gravity loads only in the South of Italy, more precisely in the Sicily Region. The building is an existing two-story reinforced concrete structure, built in the ‘80s. In [...] Read more.
The purpose of the research was to study the response of existing constructions, designed for gravity loads only in the South of Italy, more precisely in the Sicily Region. The building is an existing two-story reinforced concrete structure, built in the ‘80s. In order to design the test, numerical study on the structure has been conducted, using information reported on original design drawings or derived by in situ geometric and material investigation. A number of numerical models and pushover analyses of the structure have been carried out, in order to account for the uncertainties related to possible different responses. The numerical analyses aimed at estimating the capacity of the structure in terms of both force and displacement, the ductility reserve, and the most likely sequence of formation of plastic hinges. The pseudo-static cyclic test was designed to push and pull the building in one direction at increasing displacement levels, up to a drift of about 2%. At the end of the test, the infill panels were completely collapsed. Beams, columns, and joints showed plastic hinges and shear failures in different parts of the structure, with spread spalling of the concrete. Numerical and experimental results were found in fair agreement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Analysis for Earthquake-Resistant Design of Buildings)
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Article
Takt Planning in Apartment Building Renovation Projects
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120226 - 04 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1318
Abstract
Takt production has been of great interest in construction during the last few years. In this research, a case study was carried out to demonstrate how the scheduling of an apartment building renovation project that utilizes takt production can be done. Furthermore, the [...] Read more.
Takt production has been of great interest in construction during the last few years. In this research, a case study was carried out to demonstrate how the scheduling of an apartment building renovation project that utilizes takt production can be done. Furthermore, the study defines what clarifications should be made into the existing takt production models in the context of apartment building renovation projects, and it also explains why. Based on the study, adhering to a uniform production rate is challenging in apartment renovation projects. Therefore, a total of five clarifications to existing takt production methods are suggested. (1) Production with short takt requires a highly detailed definition of tasks in order to avoid ambiguousness. (2) Some tasks carried out in takt areas may have to be excluded from takt production. (3) The sensitivity of a created takt schedule should be evaluated, and buffers should be added accordingly. (4) Emphasis must be put on coordinating takted and non-takted tasks. (5) Takt plan modification during production requires effective procedures, since there is little time to react. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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Article
Aesthetical Appeal and Dissemination of Architectural Heritage Photographs in Instagram
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120225 - 03 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1155
Abstract
Image-based social networks are environments where users share their photographs and involuntarily contribute to evolve and to spread the meaning of things. For this reason, it is essential to use this source of information to determine how people perceive cultural heritage, specifically building [...] Read more.
Image-based social networks are environments where users share their photographs and involuntarily contribute to evolve and to spread the meaning of things. For this reason, it is essential to use this source of information to determine how people perceive cultural heritage, specifically building heritage. These interactive spaces have a visual component that is essential to understand users’ perception of heritage architecture and that may also influence the dissemination of images. This research aims to describe the social concept of architectural heritage on Instagram and to explore whether the aesthetic appeal resources influence its dissemination. Images indexed to the hashtag #patrimonioarquitectonico (Spanish language version of #architecturalheritage) were collected for the period of three months (n = 180 images). A graphical and observational analysis was performed on categories of four variables of aesthetical appeal: human dimension, color, linear perspective and aesthetical quality. Subsequently, descriptive, cross-tabulation and variance analyses were applied. The findings have proven that regular users share a fairly heterogeneous vision of building types concerning architectural heritage, and that there are stakeholder accounts that could be altering their meaning due to strategies to protect residential areas. The paper describes how the aesthetic appeal variables add meaning to the social perception of the building heritage and which ones statistically influence its dissemination in terms of likes and engagement on Instagram. Full article
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Article
Acoustic Design of Ancient Buildings: The Odea of Pompeii and Posillipo
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120224 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1210
Abstract
In this paper, a typology of a building erected in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome is described: the Odeon. The Odeon is a covered building, but more modest in size than traditional open-air theatres without roofs. The Odeon could hold a few hundred [...] Read more.
In this paper, a typology of a building erected in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome is described: the Odeon. The Odeon is a covered building, but more modest in size than traditional open-air theatres without roofs. The Odeon could hold a few hundred spectators and therefore a smaller audience. The roof covering allowed the possibility of meetings even in adverse weather conditions. The etymology of the word of the Odeon (covered theatre) means the place of the ode, or of the songs. In this paper are discussed the architectonic and acoustic characteristics of the Odea of Pompeii and Posillipo. With commercial software (Odeon, Room Acoustics Software, Lyngby Denmark) we assess the acoustic characteristics of the Odea of Pompeii and Posillipo in the presence of an original roofing system and show that these buildings were well suited for music, songs and speech. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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Article
Assessment of the Impact of Hydraulic Binder on the Properties of the Cold Recycled Mixture with Foamed Bitumen and Bitumen Emulsion: Field Tests
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120223 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 721
Abstract
The paper presents the results of tests of the impact of hydraulic and bituminous binders on the properties of the cold-recycled mixture (CRM). The composition of the cold-recycled mixture includes two types of different binders, i.e., bituminous binder in the form of foamed [...] Read more.
The paper presents the results of tests of the impact of hydraulic and bituminous binders on the properties of the cold-recycled mixture (CRM). The composition of the cold-recycled mixture includes two types of different binders, i.e., bituminous binder in the form of foamed bitumen and bitumen emulsion, as well as Portland cement (CEM I 32.5R) and hydraulic binder. The hydraulic binder was produced by mixing three base ingredients in the following ratio: 40% CEM I 32.5R; 20% Ca(OH)2 and 40% CBD (cement bypass dust). The cold-recycled mixtures were produced under industrial conditions on a test section. The prepared CRM with bitumen emulsion (MCE) and foamed bitumen (MCAS) was collected from the test section and compacted under laboratory conditions. The impact of the type and kind of the binder was assessed in terms of physical properties, mechanical properties and deformation modulus (bearing capacity of subbase) of the recycled base course after 1, 7 and 28 days. It was found that the use of hydraulic binder in the recycled base course, regardless of the type of bituminous binder, reduced cohesion without reducing the remaining parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Design, Construction, and Maintenance of Buildings)
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Article
Cost Optimization of a Zero-Emission Office Building
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120222 - 30 Nov 2020
Viewed by 818
Abstract
The cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency measures meant to achieve a zero-emission office building is investigated and compared to business as usual energy efficiency measures. The laboratory for zero emission buildings, the ZEB Lab, located in Trondheim, Norway, is an office building designed and [...] Read more.
The cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency measures meant to achieve a zero-emission office building is investigated and compared to business as usual energy efficiency measures. The laboratory for zero emission buildings, the ZEB Lab, located in Trondheim, Norway, is an office building designed and built to compensate its lifecycle emissions with the use of a large array of building-integrated photovoltaic panels, pursuing a zero-emissions ambition level. Three design alternatives are investigated by downgrading the building insulation level to the values recommended by the currently enforced Norwegian building code, the byggteknisk forskrift TEK17. A sensitivity analysis of the variation of the installed area of the photovoltaic panels is performed to evaluate if smaller areas give better cost performances. Net present values are calculated by using three scenarios of future increase of electricity price for a time horizon of 20 years. Results show that business as usual solutions give higher net present values. Optimized areas of the photovoltaic panels further increase the net present values of the business as usual solutions in the highest electricity price scenario. The zero-emission ambition level shows a higher net present value than that of the business as usual solutions for a time horizon of at least 36 years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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