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Buildings, Volume 11, Issue 3 (March 2021) – 56 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Energy resilience is becoming a focal point of disaster preparedness for the built environment. However, given the broad range of large-scale issues that resilience planning covers, evaluating the energy resilience of individual buildings when the power goes out may be difficult for stakeholders. Measuring the performance of non-critical buildings in preventing business productivity loss during a disruption reveals the need for quantifiable energy resilience metrics that have low data burden. In this study, we demonstrate the potential of a simple and practical metric for evaluating the energy resilience of office buildings, based on human and building science-based principles. View this paper
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Article
Factorial Study on the Impact of Climate Change on Freeze-Thaw Damage, Mould Growth and Wood Decay in Solid Masonry Walls in Brussels
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030134 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 950
Abstract
Previous studies show that climate change has an impact on the damage risks in solid masonry facades. To conserve these valuable buildings, it is important to determine the projected change in damages for the original and internally insulated cases. Since historical masonry covers [...] Read more.
Previous studies show that climate change has an impact on the damage risks in solid masonry facades. To conserve these valuable buildings, it is important to determine the projected change in damages for the original and internally insulated cases. Since historical masonry covers a wide range of properties, it is unknown how sensitive the climate change impact is to variations in different parameters, such as wall thickness, brick type, etc. A factorial study is performed to determine the climate change impact on freeze-thaw risk, mould growth and wood decay in solid masonry in Brussels, Belgium. It is found that the critical orientation equals the critical wind-driven rain orientation and does not change over time. Further, the freeze-thaw risk is generally decreasing, whereas the change in mould growth and wood decay depends on the climate scenario. Knowing the brick type and rain exposure coefficient is most important when assessing the climate change impact. For freeze-thaw risk and wood decay, it is found that simulating one wall thickness for the uninsulated and one insulated case is sufficient to represent the climate change impact. Finally, the effects of climate change generally do not compensate for the increase in damage after the application of internal insulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Resilient Buildings)
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Article
Influence of the Widespread Use of Corten Plate on the Acoustics of the European Solidarity Centre Building in Gdańsk
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030133 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 801
Abstract
This paper describes the relationship between a strong architectural vision that is difficult to balance, and user expectations in terms of acoustics. The focus is on the use of corten steel as the dominant finishing material on façades and interiors to achieve an [...] Read more.
This paper describes the relationship between a strong architectural vision that is difficult to balance, and user expectations in terms of acoustics. The focus is on the use of corten steel as the dominant finishing material on façades and interiors to achieve an expressive, symbolic message through program-based design. The architectural premises justifying the adopted solutions are presented, especially the universality and homogeneity of the material. Against this background, the influence of corten steel on the acoustics of the two largest rooms of the European Solidarity Center, which are the winter garden and the multi-purpose hall, was discussed. Remedial steps have been taken to reduce the greatest acoustic inconveniences resulting from the widespread use of metal sheet as a finishing material in rooms, i.e., excessive reverberation and a low degree of sound dispersion. A positive result for the acoustic conditions achieved in the winter garden was the presentation of a large body of classical music in the building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architecture: Integration of Art and Engineering)
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Article
Cultural Heritage: A Hybrid Framework for Ranking Adaptive Reuse Strategies
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030132 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 950
Abstract
The purpose of this research is to illustrate, through a case study, a multilevel decision-making process able to support the decision maker in optimizing investment choices for the efficient allocation of public resources, with specific reference to recovery and adaptation to the reuse [...] Read more.
The purpose of this research is to illustrate, through a case study, a multilevel decision-making process able to support the decision maker in optimizing investment choices for the efficient allocation of public resources, with specific reference to recovery and adaptation to the reuse of unused historical public heritage. During the evaluation process, two methods in particular were combined according to a multiphase design: (i) a multi-criteria analysis to identify the Highest and Best Use among alternative reuse scenarios and (ii) a Discounted Cash Flow Analysis to support verification of the financial feasibility of the investment, in the hypothesis of an enhancement concession in a public–private partnership. Each method was applied in parallel to the evolution of the different design scenarios. The results of the study show that hybrid approaches are a promising line of research in the field of evaluation and urban design, applied to cultural heritage. Full article
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Article
Development and Validation of Building Control Algorithm Energy Management
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030131 - 21 Mar 2021
Viewed by 773
Abstract
In this paper, a building control algorithm is proposed to reduce the electricity consumption of a building with a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system. The algorithm uses sequence-to-sequence long short-term memory (seq2seq LSTM) to set target electricity consumption, and uses a VRF air [...] Read more.
In this paper, a building control algorithm is proposed to reduce the electricity consumption of a building with a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system. The algorithm uses sequence-to-sequence long short-term memory (seq2seq LSTM) to set target electricity consumption, and uses a VRF air conditioner system to reduce electricity consumption. After setting target electricity consumption, the algorithm is applied as a method of updating target electricity consumption. In addition, we propose two methods to increase the performance of the seq2seq LSTM model. First, among the feature selection methods, random forest is used to select, among the numerous features of the data, only those features that are most relevant to the predicted value. Second, we use Bayesian optimization, which selects the optimal hyperparameter that shows the best model performance. In order to control the air conditioners, the priority of air conditioners is designated, the method of prioritization being the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). In this study, comparison of the performance of seq2seq LSTM model with and without Bayesian optimization proved that the use of Bayesian optimization achieved good performance. Simulation and demonstration experiments using the algorithm were also conducted, and showed that building electricity consumption decreased in a similar manner to the reduction rate by means of the algorithm. Full article
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Article
IEA EBC Annex83 Positive Energy Districts
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030130 - 20 Mar 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1487
Abstract
At a global level, the need for energy efficiency and an increased share of renewable energy sources is evident, as is the crucial role of cities due to the rapid urbanization rate. As a consequence of this, the research work related to Positive [...] Read more.
At a global level, the need for energy efficiency and an increased share of renewable energy sources is evident, as is the crucial role of cities due to the rapid urbanization rate. As a consequence of this, the research work related to Positive Energy Districts (PED) has accelerated in recent years. A common shared definition, as well as technological approaches or methodological issues related to PEDs are still unclear in this development and a global scientific discussion is needed. The International Energy Agency’s Energy in Buildings and Communities Programme (IEA EBC) Annex 83 is the main platform for this international scientific debate and research. This paper describes the challenges of PEDs and the issues that are open for discussions and how the Annex 83 is planned and organized to facilitate this and to actively steer the development of PEDs major leaps forward. The main topics of discussion in the PED context are the role and importance of definitions of PEDs, virtual and geographical boundaries in PEDs, the role of different stakeholders, evaluation approaches, and the learnings of realized PED projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Net-Zero/Positive Energy Buildings and Districts)
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Article
Design Science and Co-Designing of Hybrid Workplaces
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030129 - 20 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 911
Abstract
Background: Future places for learning and working are digitally and physically integrated hybrid environments. The archetypical context of learning is the classroom, and context of working is the office; especially in knowledge work. New information and communication technologies enable the spatial reconfiguration of [...] Read more.
Background: Future places for learning and working are digitally and physically integrated hybrid environments. The archetypical context of learning is the classroom, and context of working is the office; especially in knowledge work. New information and communication technologies enable the spatial reconfiguration of work opening possibilities for work to take place across multiple locations. This paper aims to explore how the conceptual framework of design-science research in Information Systems can be applied when the design object is a hybrid working environment. Methods: The case study method as a qualitative approach was chosen; because it involves an empirical investigation of a particular contemporary phenomenon within its real life context using multiple sources of evidence. The empirical analysis of two hybrid working environments is based on Action Design Research (ADR)-entry points; where one analyzes two case studies stage by stage. By analyzing various stages in both case studies; one can identify co-designing challenges of hybrid working environments. Results: The results present four recommendations for co-designing of hybrid working environments. The use of hybrid working environment; the design of spatial solution; the identification of iterative processes; and the user experiences of presence and distance are significant. The Entry Point Analysis-tool can be used and further developed in analyzing and developing hybrid working environments. Conclusion: The results contribute to the tradition of usability studies. The usability briefing approach can be further developed by identifying the iterative processes inside the linear project management models. Additionally, design science research can find new insights from identification of the large stakeholder iterations more precisely. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Facilities Management Models, Methods and Tools)
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Article
Health and Safety Consideration in the Procurement of Public Construction Projects in Ghana
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030128 - 20 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 959
Abstract
This study explored the extent to which health and safety (H&S) are considered in the procurement of public sector projects in Ghana. This is based on the background that procurement decisions have implications for project H&S management. The enormous size of public procurement [...] Read more.
This study explored the extent to which health and safety (H&S) are considered in the procurement of public sector projects in Ghana. This is based on the background that procurement decisions have implications for project H&S management. The enormous size of public procurement projects offers opportunities for public clients to influence the behaviour of the construction market including the promotion of H&S through procurement. To date, no study has fully assessed the extent of H&S considerations in procurement decisions for public sector construction projects in Ghana. To fill this gap, this research has provided an evidence-based assessment of H&S considerations in the various stages of the procurement process for public sector projects in Ghana. Through a questionnaire survey, data were collected from construction industry professionals in Ghana. The data were subjected to statistical analysis to evaluate the extent of H&S considerations. The findings suggest that H&S is given low priority in the procurement of public projects, because clear project objectives relating to H&S are not set, and adequate consideration is not given to H&S at the various procurement stages. Based on the findings, this research has made recommendations to promote H&S in public procurement in Ghana. Full article
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Article
Factors That Affect the Level of Success of the Transaction between Home Buyers and Developers in Sell-Build Residential Projects
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030127 - 19 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 700
Abstract
The “Sell-Build” model in residential project transactions involves a home buyer agreeing to pay the developer in monthly installments starting very early in the design or construction phases of a project. It is hypothesized that the success of this transaction depends on (1) [...] Read more.
The “Sell-Build” model in residential project transactions involves a home buyer agreeing to pay the developer in monthly installments starting very early in the design or construction phases of a project. It is hypothesized that the success of this transaction depends on (1) the home buyer’s knowledge about the transaction process and (2) the mutual trust between home buyer and developer. A survey was administered to 250 home buyers and 70 developers in Turkey to collect demographic information about the participants and about the participants’ perceptions of not only the success of the transactions they were involved in, but also of the impacts of how informed home buyers are about the transaction process and how much the two parties trust each other. The data collected was subjected to statistical analysis. The findings indicate that (1) the home buyer should make a special effort to study relevant materials and consult specialists before entering into an agreement with a developer, and (2) the trust between home buyer and developer depends largely on the buyer’s uninterrupted flow of monthly installment payments starting early in the project. The contribution of this study is that it provides a useful guideline to home buyers and developers. Full article
Review
Integration of BIM and Immersive Technologies for AEC: A Scientometric-SWOT Analysis and Critical Content Review
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030126 - 19 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2046
Abstract
With the outset of Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0), every sector is escalating to get enrichment out of it, whether they are research- or industry-oriented. The Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry lags a bit in adopting it because of its multi-faceted dependencies [...] Read more.
With the outset of Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0), every sector is escalating to get enrichment out of it, whether they are research- or industry-oriented. The Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry lags a bit in adopting it because of its multi-faceted dependencies and unique nature of work. Despite this, a trend has been seen recently to hone the IR 4.0 multitudes in the AEC industry. The upsurge has been seen in the usage of Immersive Technologies (ImTs) as one of the disruptive techniques. This paper studies the literature based on ImTs, which are Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) integrating with Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the AEC sector. A total number of 444 articles were selected from Scopus following the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) protocol of reviewing the literature. Among the selected database, 64 papers are identified as the result of following the protocol, and the articles are divided into eight domains relevant to the AEC industry, namely client/stakeholder, design exploration, design analysis, construction planning, construction monitoring, construction health/safety, facility/management, and education/training. This study adopts both a scientometric analysis for bibliometrics visualization and a critical review using Strength Weakness Opportunity Threat (SWOT) analysis for finding gaps and state of play. The novelty of this paper lies in the analysis techniques used in the literature to provide an insight into the literature, and it provides directions for the future with an emphasis on developing sustainable development goals (SDGs). In addition, research directions for the future growth on the adoption of ImTs are identified and presented based on categorization in immersive devices, graphical/non-graphical data and, responsive/integrative processes. In addition, five subcategories for each direction are listed, citing the limitations and future/needs. This study presents the roadmap for the successful adoption of ImTs for industry practitioners and stakeholders in the AEC industry for various domains. The paper shows that there are studies on ImTs with or without BIM; however, future studies should focus on the usage of ImTs in various sectors such as modular integrated construction (MiC) or emerging needs such as SDGs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Energy Efficiency in Smart Cities and Construction)
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Article
Correlation between Ground Motion Parameters and Displacement Demands of Mid-Rise RC Buildings on Soft Soils Considering Soil-Structure-Interaction
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030125 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 554
Abstract
This paper investigates the correlation between ground motion parameters and displacement demands of mid-rise RC frame buildings on soft soils considering the soil-structure interaction. The mid-rise RC buildings are represented by using 5, 8, 10, 13, and 15-storey frame building models with no [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the correlation between ground motion parameters and displacement demands of mid-rise RC frame buildings on soft soils considering the soil-structure interaction. The mid-rise RC buildings are represented by using 5, 8, 10, 13, and 15-storey frame building models with no structural irregularity. A total of 105 3D nonlinear time history analyses were carried out for 21 acceleration records and 5 different building models. The roof drift ratio (RDR) obtained as inelastic displacement demands at roof level normalized by the building height is used for demand measure, while 20 ground motion parameters were used as intensity measure. The outcomes show velocity related parameters such as Housner Intensity (HI), Root Mean Square of Velocity (Vrms), Velocity Spectrum Intensity (VSI) and Peak Ground Velocity (PGV), which reflect inelastic displacement demands of mid-rise buildings as a damage indicator on soft soil deposit reasonably well. HI is the leading parameter with the strongest correlation. However, acceleration and displacement related parameters exhibit poor correlation. This study proposed new combined multiple ground motion parameter equations to reflect the damage potential better than a single ground motion parameter. The use of combined multiple parameters can be effective in determining seismic damages by improving the scatter by at least 24% compared to the use of a single parameter. Full article
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Article
Numerical Analysis on Global Serviceability Behaviours of Tall CLT Buildings to the Eurocodes and UK National Annexes
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030124 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 576
Abstract
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is an innovative engineered timber product and has been widely used for constructing tall timber buildings due to its excellent structural performance and good strength with its multi-layers of boards in both perpendicular directions. However, the global serviceability performance of [...] Read more.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is an innovative engineered timber product and has been widely used for constructing tall timber buildings due to its excellent structural performance and good strength with its multi-layers of boards in both perpendicular directions. However, the global serviceability performance of tall timber buildings constructed from CLT products for the lift core, walls, and floors under wind load is not well known yet, even though it is crucial in a design. In this study, the finite element software SAP2000 is used to numerically simulate the global static and dynamic serviceability behaviours of a 30-storey tall CLT building assumed in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. The maximum horizontal storey displacement due to wind is only 16.6% of the design limit and the maximum global horizontal displacement is only 13.8% of the limit set to the Eurocodes. The first three lowest vibrational frequencies, modes and shapes were obtained, with the fundamental frequency being 19.9% larger than the code-recommended value. Accordingly, the peak acceleration of the building due to wind was determined as per the Eurocodes and ISO standard. The results show that the global serviceability behaviours of the building satisfy the requirements of the Eurocodes and other design standards. Parametric studies on the peak accelerations of the tall CLT building were also conducted by varying the timber material properties and building masses. By increasing the timber grade for CLT members, the generalised building mass and the generalised building stiffness can all be adopted to lower the peak accelerations at the top level of the building, so as to reduce human perceptions of the wind-induced vibrations with respect to the peak acceleration. Full article
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Article
Experimental and Numerical Study on the Heat Transfer Characteristics of a Newly-Developed Solar Active Thermal Insulation System
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030123 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 620
Abstract
A newly-developed solar active thermal insulation system (SATIS) is introduced with the main objective to accomplish a highly-dependent total solar transmittance on the irradiation angle. SATIS is also designed to obtain the maximum transmittance at a prescribed design irradiation angle and to reduce [...] Read more.
A newly-developed solar active thermal insulation system (SATIS) is introduced with the main objective to accomplish a highly-dependent total solar transmittance on the irradiation angle. SATIS is also designed to obtain the maximum transmittance at a prescribed design irradiation angle and to reduce it remarkably at higher irradiation angles. A purely mineral thermal insulation plaster with micro hollow glass spheres is applied to manufacture the investigated SATIS prototype. Light-conducting elements (LCEs) have been introduced into SATIS and suitable closing elements have been applied. The SATIS prototype has been investigated both experimentally and numerically. It turned out that the contributions of conduction, radiation and convection to the effective thermal conductivity of SATIS, without the closing elements (49 mWmK), amount to 86.2%, 13.2% and 0.6%, respectively. The angle-dependent short-wave radiation exchange within the LCE has been investigated via ray tracing. At the incidence angle of 19% (design angle), 27% of the radiation within the LCE is absorbed by the absorber plate, resulting in measured and computed total solar energy transmittances of 11.2%/11.7%, respectively. For a typical summer irradiation angle of 60%, 98% of the incident radiation is absorbed by the surfaces at the entrance of the LCE. The corresponding total solar energy transmittance amounts to 2.9%. Full article
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Article
Identification of Environmental and Contextual Driving Factors of Air Conditioning Usage Behaviour in the Sydney Residential Buildings
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030122 - 18 Mar 2021
Viewed by 709
Abstract
Air conditioning (A/C) is generally responsible for a significant proportion of total building energy consumption. However, occupants’ air conditioning usage patterns are often unrealistically characterised in building energy performance simulation tools, which leads to a gap between simulated and actual energy use. The [...] Read more.
Air conditioning (A/C) is generally responsible for a significant proportion of total building energy consumption. However, occupants’ air conditioning usage patterns are often unrealistically characterised in building energy performance simulation tools, which leads to a gap between simulated and actual energy use. The objective of this study was to develop a stochastic model for predicting occupant behaviour relating to A/C cooling and heating in residential buildings located in the Subtropical Sydney region of Australia. Multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate the probability of using A/C in living rooms and bedrooms, based on a range of physical environmental (outdoor and indoor) and contextual (season, day of week, and time of day) factors observed in 42 Sydney region houses across a two-year monitoring period. The resulting models can be implemented in building energy performance simulation (BEPS) tools to more accurately predict indoor environmental conditions and energy consumption attributable to A/C operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Approaches to Modelling Occupant Comfort)
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Article
Tower Crane Location Optimization for Heavy Unit Lifting in High-Rise Modular Construction
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030121 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 934
Abstract
Modular construction, which involves unit production in factories and on-site work, has benefits such as low cost, high quality, and short duration, resulting from the controlled factory environment utilized. An efficient tower crane lifting plan ensures successful high-rise modular project completion. For improved [...] Read more.
Modular construction, which involves unit production in factories and on-site work, has benefits such as low cost, high quality, and short duration, resulting from the controlled factory environment utilized. An efficient tower crane lifting plan ensures successful high-rise modular project completion. For improved efficiency, the lifting plan should minimize the reaching distance of the tower crane, because this distance directly affects the tower crane capacity, which is directly related to crane operation cost. In situations where units are lifted from trailers, the trailer-to-tower crane distance can have a significant impact on the tower crane operation efficiency. However, optimization of this distance to improve efficiency has not been sufficiently considered. This research proposes a genetic algorithm optimization model that suggests optimized tower crane and trailer locations. The case study results show that through the proposed model, the project manager can reflect the optimal location selection and optimal tower crane selection options with minimal cost. Full article
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Article
Operational Modal Analysis, Model Update and Fragility Curves Estimation, through Truncated Incremental Dynamic Analysis, of a Masonry Belfry
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030120 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 832
Abstract
Masonry towers, located in seismic zones, are vulnerable and prone to damages up to compromise their stability. The scatter of data on the mechanical properties of masonry, geometry and boundary conditions determine a lack of building knowledge on their expected behaviour. Therefore the [...] Read more.
Masonry towers, located in seismic zones, are vulnerable and prone to damages up to compromise their stability. The scatter of data on the mechanical properties of masonry, geometry and boundary conditions determine a lack of building knowledge on their expected behaviour. Therefore the assessment of the seismic capacity represents a critical task. This paper contributes to the issue of seismic analysis of masonry towers, focusing a meaningful case study: the St.Silvestro belfry in L’Aquila, Italy. The tower, severely damaged by the 2009 earthquake sequence, underwent extensive restoration works, endeavoured to mitigate its vulnerability. The observed seismic damage, the performed no-destructive testing campaign and the accomplished rehabilitation measures are described in the paper. The authors appraised the actual seismic performances of the St.Silvestro belfry, reinforced by the last restoration works. At first, the Operational Modal Analysis (OMA) is carried out to enhance building knowledge. In a second step, a refined finite element model is calibrated on the results from OMA to seize the actual dynamic response. Ultimately, by using the updated finite element model, the authors estimate the fragility curves in terms of peak ground acceleration using truncated incremental dynamic analyses. Full article
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Article
Properties of Cementitious Materials with Recycled Aggregate and Powder Both from Clay Brick Waste
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030119 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 819
Abstract
The utilization of recycled brick aggregate (RBA) and recycled brick powder (RBP) in cementitious materials helps the reclamation of clay brick waste in construction and demolition waste. This work studied the properties of cementitious materials with RBA as aggregate and RBP as supplementary [...] Read more.
The utilization of recycled brick aggregate (RBA) and recycled brick powder (RBP) in cementitious materials helps the reclamation of clay brick waste in construction and demolition waste. This work studied the properties of cementitious materials with RBA as aggregate and RBP as supplementary cementitious material. The RBA has lower apparent density and higher water absorption than natural aggregate, and RBP with an irregular micro-structure contains high content of silicon and aluminum oxides and possesses excellent pozzolanic activity. Incorporating RBP decreases the fluidity and increases the setting time, but the incorporated RBP improves the pore structure and decreases the average pore diameter of cementitious materials, thereby decreasing the permeability. Utilizing RBA increases the drying shrinkage, while the incorporated RBP decreases the drying shrinkage of cementitious materials; the mortar with 50% RBA and 30% RBP has the lower drying shrinkage than the common mortar without RBA and RBP. Incorporating RBA and high-volume RBP decreases the mechanical strength, while there is no obvious decrease in the mechanical strength for the mortar with 50% RBA and 30% RBP. Moreover, the flexural strength to compressive strength ratio increases with RBA and RBP incorporating. Utilizing RBA increases the water transport, while the water transport properties decrease with the RBP incorporation; incorporating appropriate content of RBA and RBP can obtain the cementitious materials with low permeability. Particularly, a significant decrease in chloride ingress occurs with the substitution of RBP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete Materials in Construction)
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Article
Displacement Demand for Nonlinear Static Analyses of Masonry Structures: Critical Review and Improved Formulations
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030118 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 812
Abstract
This paper discusses different formulations for calculating earthquake-induced displacement demands to be associated with nonlinear static analysis procedures for the assessment of masonry structures. Focus is placed on systems with fundamental periods between 0.1 and 0.5 s, for which the inelastic displacement amplification [...] Read more.
This paper discusses different formulations for calculating earthquake-induced displacement demands to be associated with nonlinear static analysis procedures for the assessment of masonry structures. Focus is placed on systems with fundamental periods between 0.1 and 0.5 s, for which the inelastic displacement amplification is usually more pronounced. The accuracy of the predictive equations is assessed based on the results from nonlinear time-history analyses, carried out on single-degree-of-freedom oscillators with hysteretic force–displacement relationships representative of masonry structures. First, the study demonstrates some limitations of two established approaches based on the equivalent linearization concept: the capacity spectrum method of the Dutch guidelines NPR 9998-18, and its version outlined in FEMA 440, both of which overpredict maximum displacements. Two codified formulations relying on inelastic displacement spectra are also evaluated, namely the N2 method of Eurocode 8 and the displacement coefficient method of ASCE 41-17: the former proves to be significantly unconservative, while the latter is affected by excessive dispersion. A non-iterative procedure, using an equivalent linear system with calibrated optimal stiffness and equivalent viscous damping, is then proposed to overcome some of the problems identified earlier. A recently developed modified N2 formulation is shown to improve accuracy while limiting the dispersion of the predictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic Performance Assessment of Buildings)
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Article
Assessing the Moisture Load in a Vinyl-Clad Wall Assembly through Watertightness Tests
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030117 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 545
Abstract
The moisture load in wall assemblies is typically considered as 1% of the Wind Driving Rain (WDR) load that is deposited on the surface of wall assemblies as specified in the ASHRAE-160 standard whereas this ratio has been shown to be inaccurate as [...] Read more.
The moisture load in wall assemblies is typically considered as 1% of the Wind Driving Rain (WDR) load that is deposited on the surface of wall assemblies as specified in the ASHRAE-160 standard whereas this ratio has been shown to be inaccurate as compared to results derived from several watertightness tests. Accurate assessment of moisture loads arising from WDR can be obtained through the watertightness test during which different levels of WDR intensities and Driving Rain Wind Pressures (DRWPs) are applied to a test specimen and water that penetrates wall assembly can thus be quantified. Although many previous studies have included watertightness tests, only a few of these have attempted to correlate the moisture loads to WDR conditions as may occur in specific locations within a country. To improve the assessment of moisture loads for a vinyl-clad wall assembly, a wall test specimen was tested following a test protocol based on local climate data using National Research Council of Canada’s Dynamic Wind and Wall Testing Facility (DWTF). The use of this test protocol permitted quantifying the moisture load in the vinyl wall assembly when subjected to several different simulated WDR conditions. The moisture load was formulated as a function of the WDR intensity and DRWP which thereafter allowed evaluating the moisture load based on a given climate’s hourly rainfall intensity and wind velocity. Such work is particularly relevant considering that the intensity, duration and frequency of WDR events across Canada will in some regions increase due to the effects of climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Resilient Buildings)
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Article
Mechanical Characterization of Iroko Wood Using Small Specimens
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030116 - 15 Mar 2021
Viewed by 648
Abstract
Despite their favorable physical and mechanical properties for structural use, tropical woods, such as Iroko (Milicia excelsa), present knowledge gaps to be filled mainly about their mechanical characterization, which currently limit their use or result in under- or overdimensioned structural elements. [...] Read more.
Despite their favorable physical and mechanical properties for structural use, tropical woods, such as Iroko (Milicia excelsa), present knowledge gaps to be filled mainly about their mechanical characterization, which currently limit their use or result in under- or overdimensioned structural elements. Visual classification, one of the most used methods for characterizing wood, is inaccurate in the case of Iroko due to the wide variety of geographical locations in which this species can be found. In addition, mechanical characterization using test pieces with structural dimensions leads to high and impractical costs. In this context, this study aims to verify the mechanical properties of Iroko (imported from the Republic of the Congo) from small size specimens, a process that is currently standardized only for softwoods, and to verify the correlation of different properties through bending properties and ultrasound tests. Prior to the bending tests, the speed of propagation of ultrasonic waves was measured using the direct method. The results obtained show a good correlation between density and bending properties and the velocity of propagation of ultrasonic waves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Assessment of Timber Structures)
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Article
Searching for Flexibility in Corporate Real Estate Portfolio: Six Co-Working Strategies for User Corporations
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030115 - 14 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1004
Abstract
The increasing competitive pressures and dynamic user preferences have resulted in a fast-paced and uncertain business environment. In the face of these circumstances, organizations are looking into alternatives to incorporate flexibility to become more adaptive and responsive to change. In this line, co-working, [...] Read more.
The increasing competitive pressures and dynamic user preferences have resulted in a fast-paced and uncertain business environment. In the face of these circumstances, organizations are looking into alternatives to incorporate flexibility to become more adaptive and responsive to change. In this line, co-working, typically associated with freelancers, entrepreneurs, and startups, has become a particularly interesting alternative in the market that has caught the attention of corporate occupiers. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to identify co-working strategies that can be implemented as part of the corporate real estate portfolio, in alignment with the flexibility demands of the organization. This nascent research topic is studied through 5 qualitative case studies including in-depth, semi-structured interviews with corporate real estate managers and related case documentation. The results evidence the different motivations that the organizations have when incorporating co-working in their property portfolio. As seen across the cases, organizations in different stages of maturity are implementing co-working as the main office location or as a temporary or complementary space solution, through six different strategies: (1) Swing Space, (2) Expansion Space, (3) Core and Flex, (4) Touchdown Space, (5) Testing Market, and (6) Temporary Projects and Staff. This research evidences that each strategy plays a specific role in the corporate real estate portfolio and implies different sources of flexibility that support the physical, functional, and financial flexibility demands of the organization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Facilities Management Models, Methods and Tools)
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Article
Perceptions of Hospitality and Safety Are Two Sides of the Same Coin
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030113 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 647
Abstract
Entering a building is a ‘moment of truth’ and may invoke feelings of hospitableness. Physical environments and staff behaviour deliver ‘clues’ that may result in the experience of hospitality. The focus in a reception area may be on mitigation of risks, or on [...] Read more.
Entering a building is a ‘moment of truth’ and may invoke feelings of hospitableness. Physical environments and staff behaviour deliver ‘clues’ that may result in the experience of hospitality. The focus in a reception area may be on mitigation of risks, or on a hospitable atmosphere, with either a host or a security officer at the entrance. However, the division of tasks to either the pleasing host or the controlling security officer to a certain extent disavows the overlap between perceptions of hospitality and safety. This exploratory qualitative study combines a group interview with three managers responsible for hospitality and security in reception areas and Critical Incidents by staff and visitors (N = 51). Thematic coding was based on The Egg Aggregated Model and the Experience of Hospitality Scale. Results show that hospitality and safety are indeed two sides of the same coin. Usually people do accept security measures, provided that staff act in a hospitable way. A lack of security measures may seem ‘inviting’, but also decreases the perception of care for your visitor, and may cause uncertainty and therefore decrease comfort. A correct risk perception, flexible appliance of security measures, and a friendly approach connect aspects of ‘safe’ and ‘hospitable’ sentiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Facilities Management Models, Methods and Tools)
Article
Relationship between Energy and Atmosphere (EA) Credits and Project Size in the LEED-NC Version 3 (v3) and 4 (v4) Projects
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030114 - 11 Mar 2021
Viewed by 637
Abstract
This study aims to explore the influence of project size on the Energy and Atmosphere (EA) credits in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for New Construction and Major Renovations (LEED-NC) version 3 (v3) in California and version 4 (v4) in the [...] Read more.
This study aims to explore the influence of project size on the Energy and Atmosphere (EA) credits in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for New Construction and Major Renovations (LEED-NC) version 3 (v3) in California and version 4 (v4) in the United States (US) in office-type projects. If the relationship between the ordinal data of EA credits and project size changed monotonically, then Spearman’s correlation coefficient was used. If the relationship between the EA credits ordinal data and project size did not change monotonically, then the EA credit data were divided into below and above the median project size groups, and, as a consequence, the Cliff′s δ effect size and exact Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney tests were used. If the EA credits were binary or dichotomous data, then the natural logarithm of the odds ratio and Fisher’s exact 2 × 2 test with Lancaster’s mid-p-value were used. The results showed that the performance of operational energy, enhanced the refrigerant management and that the renewable energy credits in LEED-NC v3/v4 Certified, Silver, and Gold projects depended on the project size. We concluded that the LEED project size is an important variable for developing LEED-NC strategies for office-type projects. Full article
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Article
Computational Simulation of Wind Microclimate in Complex Urban Models and Mitigation Using Trees
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030112 - 11 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 728
Abstract
Due to a rapid increase in urbanisation, accurate wind microclimate assessment is of crucial importance. Evaluating wind flows around buildings is part of the planning application process in the design of new developments. In this study, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are carried [...] Read more.
Due to a rapid increase in urbanisation, accurate wind microclimate assessment is of crucial importance. Evaluating wind flows around buildings is part of the planning application process in the design of new developments. In this study, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are carried out for a case study, representing the East Village in the London Olympic Park. Following a validation test against experimental data for a simpler urban configuration, the key input parameters, including appropriate boundary conditions, mesh setting and type of turbulence model, are selected for the Olympic Park model. All the simulations are conducted using the commercial code STARCCM+ under steady-state conditions with the Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) method. The turbulence is modelled using different common variants of eddy-viscosity models (EVMs) including standard k-ε, realizable k-ε and standard and shear stress transport (SST) k-ω. The results demonstrate that standard and realisable k-ε models correlate very well with the experimental data, while some discrepancies are found with standard and SST k-ω. Following the determination of areas of high velocity, appropriate tree planting is proposed to overcome the effect of corner and downwash acceleration. With the optimised arrangement of trees and using specific types of tree (e.g., birch), wind speeds at the pedestrian level are reduced by 3.5, 25 and 66% in three main regions of interest. Moreover, we investigate the effects of tree heights. The obtained results illustrate that the wind velocity reduces when the crowns of the trees are located closer to the buildings and the ground. Our high-resolution CFD simulation and results offer a quantitative tool for wind microclimate assessment and optimised design and arrangement of trees around buildings to improve pedestrian comfort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Computer Technology in Buildings)
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Article
Seismic Retrofitting Resilience-Based for Strategic RC Buildings
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030111 - 11 Mar 2021
Viewed by 839
Abstract
The resilience of communities is given by the ideal convolution of the resilience of all their single parts. Strategic buildings require high levels of performance during and after a seismic sequence. Consequently, the seismic retrofitting of old strategic buildings is a central issue [...] Read more.
The resilience of communities is given by the ideal convolution of the resilience of all their single parts. Strategic buildings require high levels of performance during and after a seismic sequence. Consequently, the seismic retrofitting of old strategic buildings is a central issue in prevention and mitigation strategies. The core of the study is a resilience approach to the seismic retrofitting of existing strategic buildings. Different performance levels are considered and four different retrofitting techniques are compared according to their fragility, and their post-earthquake cost and time recovery analyses. Lastly, the retrofitting techniques are compared based on the considered resilience index, which in turn is related to the estimated reduction of the seismic losses owing to the different retrofitting techniques, but especially to the effectiveness of the intervention based on the relevant cost and recovery times. In other words, these aspects take into account the key role of a building’s characteristics, and its public and strategic role during and after an earthquake. The intervention is selected not only (as is currently done) to reduce its construction times and costs, but to limit the service interruption after earthquakes. The results of this study could be operatively used as support tools in the seismic retrofitting of strategic buildings, either individually or on a large territorial scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Methods for Structural Rehabilitation)
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Article
Experimental Investigation and Numerical Simulation of a Levy Hinged-Beam Cable Dome
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030110 - 10 Mar 2021
Viewed by 540
Abstract
According to existing rigid roofing projects, a new structure called the Levy hinged-beam cable dome is proposed. By replacing the upper flexible cables with hinged beams, rigid plates can be installed overhead. To fulfill the requirements of integral tow-lifting construction, the setting criteria [...] Read more.
According to existing rigid roofing projects, a new structure called the Levy hinged-beam cable dome is proposed. By replacing the upper flexible cables with hinged beams, rigid plates can be installed overhead. To fulfill the requirements of integral tow-lifting construction, the setting criteria for the temporary hinged joints on ridge beams were presented. An 8-m diameter specimen was manufactured and monitored to investigate the structural configurations during the accumulative traction-hoisting construction process. Finally, the specimen was tested under full-span and half-span loading conditions, while a numerical model was built to verify the experimental values. The results show that in the early stages of traction-hoisting, the structure establishes the overall prestress and finds its internal force balance, while the entire structure is in a shape of “ω”. As the component’s internal force increases during the construction steps, and the local deformations of the hinged beams gradually decrease, with the entire structure changing from “ω” to “m”, and finally reach their designed states. Under full-span loads, large local deformations occurred at the HB-3 hinges, while the bending stresses of these hinged beams were relatively small. Under half-span loads, the loading part exhibits a downward appearance, while the unloading part exhibits upward deflection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Design, Construction, and Maintenance of Buildings)
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Article
An Overarching Review on Delay Analyses in Construction Projects
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030109 - 10 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1501
Abstract
Numerous studies have been conducted by researchers on the delay analysis topic, which is one of the primary areas of scientific study due to the effects of delays on time and cost in construction projects. Following fruitful contributions made by the researchers, it [...] Read more.
Numerous studies have been conducted by researchers on the delay analysis topic, which is one of the primary areas of scientific study due to the effects of delays on time and cost in construction projects. Following fruitful contributions made by the researchers, it is believed to be extremely important to summarize the existing studies in terms of being a road map for future studies and practitioners. In this context, not only does this study aim to detect the most significant authors, sources, organizations and countries contributing to the improvement of delay domain in the construction industry concerning delay analyses worldwide but also to provide the researchers with extensive insights concerning the prominent research themes, trends and gaps in the literature. Hence, 168 documents related to delay analyses from 1982 to 11 February 2021 were detected through the Scopus Database and the Web of Science Database, and scientometric analyses were conducted via VOSviewer software. By evaluating the related research, two main research areas were detected in this field, namely; improving the delay analysis methods and resolving the disputes before they occur. This study is believed to make theoretical and practical contributions in that it examines the delay analysis topic in all aspects such as prominent institutions, countries, authors and sources, synthesizes the data and highlights possible research domains, gaps and trends concerning the delay analysis topic in construction industry. Full article
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Article
Critical Review of Public Policies for the Rehabilitation of Housing Stock: The Case of Barcelona
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030108 - 09 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 828
Abstract
This article reviews rehabilitation programs in Barcelona, focusing on aspects such as the intervention model, actual public investment, and results. Programs of this type are not exclusive to Barcelona; however, similar examples can be found in other European cities, especially where European Union [...] Read more.
This article reviews rehabilitation programs in Barcelona, focusing on aspects such as the intervention model, actual public investment, and results. Programs of this type are not exclusive to Barcelona; however, similar examples can be found in other European cities, especially where European Union (EU) funding is present. After analyzing these models, we reached a series of general conclusions that may be of interest. Thus, an eminently practical and reflective analysis is presented, aimed at technicians and those responsible for the design of intervention policies in urban regeneration. Rehabilitation programs are increasingly focused on vulnerable settings, and in this context, the participation and service function of public administrations are particularly relevant. The general model for rehabilitation subsidies rarely takes into account the specific characteristics of disadvantaged urban settings, as the article will show. After analyzing the different policies presented in this research, we identified two essential requirements: detailed knowledge of the affected neighborhood, and ongoing evaluation of the development of programs—beyond simple management indicators—so negative effects can be corrected in time such as gentrification, real estate speculation, and other by-products that the intervention itself can promote. This study confirms that not all public investments have the expected results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Architecture of Collective Housing)
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Article
Seismic and Coastal Vulnerability Assessment Model for Buildings in Chile
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030107 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 991
Abstract
This article proposes a vulnerability assessment model for evaluating buildings’ expected seismic performance, as well as their vulnerability to tsunamis. The objective of this assessment is to provide appropriate information for decision makers regarding the need of repairs and reinforcement of buildings or [...] Read more.
This article proposes a vulnerability assessment model for evaluating buildings’ expected seismic performance, as well as their vulnerability to tsunamis. The objective of this assessment is to provide appropriate information for decision makers regarding the need of repairs and reinforcement of buildings or other mitigation measures that need to be applied in a territory. A procedure for assessing seismic vulnerability and another methodology for evaluating tsunami vulnerability faced by coastal structures is presented. Finally, a method that integrates both procedures is proposed, providing a combined index of vulnerability. The assessment model was applied to the central area of the city of Talcahuano, Chile, which was affected by the 2010 Maule earthquake and tsunami. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic Safety Assessment of Existing Constructions)
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Article
Actuation Characteristics of Basic Body Plans for Soft Modular Pneubotics in Architecture
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030106 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 674
Abstract
The article examines the actuation characteristics of different basic structural schemes—basic body plans—for soft modular pneubotics in architecture are investigated. Eight basic body plans are translated from abstract expressions into their corresponding modular structures and (re)constructed in their physical form using up to [...] Read more.
The article examines the actuation characteristics of different basic structural schemes—basic body plans—for soft modular pneubotics in architecture are investigated. Eight basic body plans are translated from abstract expressions into their corresponding modular structures and (re)constructed in their physical form using up to 12 soft unit elements in the shape of a cube. Reconstructed basic body plans are then examined through a qualitative analysis of their ability to actuate and change the shape of the structure. Through adaptive manual inflation of an individual element, a group of elements, or all elements at once, motions and transformations are produced and evaluated. The results show that five out of eight basic body plans have higher actuation capacity while three show a less pronounced capacity to change shape. Based on the most pronounced characteristics of the examined basic body plans, design opportunities for potential architectural applications are proposed. These include structures that can self-erect, lift, tilt, bend, change thickness, curvature, etc. What is also shown is that basic body plans could be combined into one complex structural body. Full article
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Article
Construction Logistics Centres Proposing Kitting Service: Organization Analysis and Cost Mapping
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030105 - 09 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 729
Abstract
The construction industry represents an important part of the global economy but is known for many issues such as harmful emissions, low productivity, waste generation, poor ergonomics, and construction incidents and accidents. A logistical view has proved to be a solid basis for [...] Read more.
The construction industry represents an important part of the global economy but is known for many issues such as harmful emissions, low productivity, waste generation, poor ergonomics, and construction incidents and accidents. A logistical view has proved to be a solid basis for improving construction performance while construction logistics centres (CLC) are gaining interest and proposing more services such as Kitting. Since the CLC-kitting-based approach is a new phenomenon, it is still a relatively unexplored topic. Hence, this paper addresses how this configuration could be applied to construction projects and what are its related costs information. The research design is based on a single case study showing the CLC-kitting use by a French general contractor in a student housing project. Data has been collected through site visits, observations, project documents, and discussions conducted with construction managers and logistics planners. Data analysis identified realized effects from deploying CLC-kitting in construction projects. Therefore, recommendations are provided, at both strategic and operational levels, which can be leveraged in similar projects. Finally, an identification of constructions logistics costs shows their distribution along the supply chain and was evaluated at 14.7% over material purchasing price. Full article
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