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Buildings, Volume 11, Issue 4 (April 2021) – 43 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The recent growth of Spanish cooperative housing is challenging existing design standards and regulations, as well as cultural norms of ownership and management. The research analysis design opportunities and challenges that emerge from the implementation of a new housing model with social, spatial, and economic demands are currently restricted by regulatory and administrative frameworks that limit collective ownership and use. Approaching architecture as a process and not a product, cooperative housing is not just seen as a grassroots response to housing failures, but also as a political project of democratization and social transformation. View this paper
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Article
Shear Strength of HVFA-SCC Beams without Stirrups
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040177 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 587
Abstract
Various concretes have been developed to meet the principles of sustainability. High volume fly ash-self compacting concrete (HVFA-SCC) is one example. The utilization of HVFA-SCC for structural applications, however, raises a concern among designers: that HVFA-SCC may not be as strong as conventional [...] Read more.
Various concretes have been developed to meet the principles of sustainability. High volume fly ash-self compacting concrete (HVFA-SCC) is one example. The utilization of HVFA-SCC for structural applications, however, raises a concern among designers: that HVFA-SCC may not be as strong as conventional concrete when carrying shear forces. This concern is related to slow strength development and relatively smoother crack surface formation in HVFA-SCC, which, consequently, reduces the aggregate interlock mechanism contribution to the shear strength. In this respect, the design code for estimating the shear strength of HVFA-SCC may not be valid for the reason that the code was developed on the basis of the conventional concrete database. Previous research on the shear strength of HVFA-SCC was limited and no database can be extracted to justify the validity of the shear design code. This research was conducted to clarify the suitability of shear design code for HVFA-SCC. The research began with a limited laboratory investigation, followed by a numerical investigation to expand the range of results. Two types of HVFA-SCC beams with dimensions of 100 mm × 150 mm × 1700 mm were prepared, utilizing 50% and 60% fly ash. The shear behavior obtained from the laboratory investigations was then numerically modeled with the help of 3D ATENA Engineering software. The numerical model was used to explore the influence of reinforcement ratio, shear span to beam effective depth ratio, and beam size on the shear strength of the HVFA-SCC beam. The results were compared with the shear strength database of conventional and unconventional concrete beams to judge if the provisions in the design code can be applied to the shear design of an HVFA-SCC beam. The results confirm that the ACI shear design code is applicable for HVFA-SCC. Full article
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Article
Historical Study and Conservation Strategies of “Tianzihao” Colony (Nanjing, China)—Architectural Heritage of the French Catholic Missions in the Late 19th Century
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040176 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 729
Abstract
The “Tianzihao” colony was built by the French Jesuits in the 1890s. As one of the earliest examples of the French Catholic Church’s mission in China, as well as the only case in Nanjing, it shows the historical scenes of Western missionaries in [...] Read more.
The “Tianzihao” colony was built by the French Jesuits in the 1890s. As one of the earliest examples of the French Catholic Church’s mission in China, as well as the only case in Nanjing, it shows the historical scenes of Western missionaries in Nanjing 120 years ago. It is a demonstration of cultural exchanges between China and the West after China opened to the Western world in the late 19th century. In architectural style, the “Tianzihao” colony is Western-style townhouses, but a large number of traditional Chinese architectural technologies were used for it, and therefore it is characterized by Western space and Chinese technology. The “Tianzihao” colony was badly damaged during these decades, with a lot of decayed building materials and structures on the verge of collapse. Based on the historical research and technical analysis of the “Tianzihao” colony, this article explores the conservation strategies and methods of reusing the architectural heritage. In addition, this article is to study the characteristics of the times before introduction of Western architectural technology in Nanjing based on an analysis on the building technology used for the “Tianzihao” colony. The authors participated in the conservation and restoration project of the “Tianzihao” colony, and the objective of this study was achieved through some qualitative methods, including collection and analysis of archival data, analysis of old maps and photos, architectural mapping and a large amount of historical information found in the conservation process. Full article
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Article
Development of Side Mold Control Equipment for Producing Free-Form Concrete Panels
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040175 - 18 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 715
Abstract
Free-form concrete panel production requires an increasing amount of manpower because the molds cannot be reused. There are many limitations when it comes to reproducing accurate forms due to the many manual processes. Therefore, the current study developed side mold control equipment that [...] Read more.
Free-form concrete panel production requires an increasing amount of manpower because the molds cannot be reused. There are many limitations when it comes to reproducing accurate forms due to the many manual processes. Therefore, the current study developed side mold control equipment that can automatically fabricate molds for free-form concrete panels. The equipment is capable of molding various shapes and sustainable operation. However, there may be errors as it automatically produces various shapes. Therefore, it is necessary to check the errors between manufactured shapes and designed shapes. The shape created using the side mold control equipment showed less than 0.1° error in side angle and ±3 mm error in side length. Therefore, the equipment manufactured a precise shape. Based on the findings of the study, the side mold control equipment will be used to produce accurate shape of free-form concrete panels automatically. Full article
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Article
Quantification of Air Change Rate by Selected Methods in a Typical Apartment Building
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040174 - 18 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 852
Abstract
An important parameter that affects indoor climate of buildings and also ventilation heat losses and gains is the speed of air change between the outdoor environment and the interior of buildings. Indoor air quality is therefore significantly associated with ventilation. Quantification of air [...] Read more.
An important parameter that affects indoor climate of buildings and also ventilation heat losses and gains is the speed of air change between the outdoor environment and the interior of buildings. Indoor air quality is therefore significantly associated with ventilation. Quantification of air change rate is complicated, because it is impacted by many parameters, the most variable of which is air flow. This study focuses on the determination and comparison of air change rate values in two methods by quantification of the aerodynamic coefficient Cp = Cpe − Cpi, so-called “aerodynamic quantification of the building” and the methodology based on “experimental measurements of carbon dioxide”. The study describes and takes into account the effect of wind, building parameters and air permeability for the building using “aerodynamic quantification of the building”. The paper compares these calculated results with the values obtained from experimental measurements method of carbon dioxide in a selected reference room in apartment building and evaluates the accuracy of the prediction of the air exchange rate obtained by these methods. At higher wind speeds the values of air change rate with considering the effect of openings are closer to the values obtained based on experimental measurements of carbon dioxide and the difference between the values without considering the effect of openings increases significantly. Full article
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Article
Assessment of the Density Loss in Anobiid Infested Pine Using X-ray Micro-Computed Tomography
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040173 - 17 Apr 2021
Viewed by 720
Abstract
The present study aims at evaluating the impact of anobiid damage on pine timber elements. Anobiid attack produces a diffuse damage of the elements with a set of tunnels in random directions and sizes, thus confusing quantification. Therefore, a method was developed based [...] Read more.
The present study aims at evaluating the impact of anobiid damage on pine timber elements. Anobiid attack produces a diffuse damage of the elements with a set of tunnels in random directions and sizes, thus confusing quantification. Therefore, a method was developed based on X-ray micro-computed tomography (μ-XCT) to obtain, for naturally infested timber samples, an empirical correlation between lost material percentage (consumed by beetles) and timber apparent density (original, before degradation—OTD and residual, after degradation—RTD). The quantified density loss can then be used in further assessment of the structure. The results of the tests performed showed high correlation between original apparent density and lost material percentage (r2 = 0.60) and between residual apparent density and lost material percentage (r2 = 0.83), which confirms μ-XCT as a valuable tool to the required quantification. The loss of density results can be further applied on the definition of an assessment method for the evaluation of the residual strength of anobiids infested timber, thus contributing to reducing unnecessary replacement. The optimized procedure of the μ-XCT study for infested Maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) is presented and discussed in this article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Assessment of Timber Structures)
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Article
Risk Identification, Assessments, and Prediction for Mega Construction Projects: A Risk Prediction Paradigm Based on Cross Analytical-Machine Learning Model
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040172 - 17 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1071
Abstract
Risk identification and management are the two most important parts of construction project management. Better risk management can help in determining the future consequences, but identifying possible risk factors has a direct and indirect impact on the risk management process. In this paper, [...] Read more.
Risk identification and management are the two most important parts of construction project management. Better risk management can help in determining the future consequences, but identifying possible risk factors has a direct and indirect impact on the risk management process. In this paper, a risk prediction system based on a cross analytical-machine learning model was developed for construction megaprojects. A total of 63 risk factors pertaining to the cost, time, quality, and scope of the megaproject and primary data were collected from industry experts on a five-point Likert scale. The obtained sample was further processed statistically to generate a significantly large set of features to perform K-means clustering based on high-risk factor and allied sub-risk component identification. Descriptive analysis, followed by the synthetic minority over-sampling technique (SMOTE) and the Wilcoxon rank-sum test was performed to retain the most significant features pertaining to cost, time, quality, and scope. Eventually, unlike classical K-means clustering, a genetic-algorithm-based K-means clustering algorithm (GA–K-means) was applied with dual-objective functions to segment high-risk factors and allied sub-risk components. The proposed model identified different high-risk factors and sub-risk factors, which cumulatively can impact overall performance. Thus, identifying these high-risk factors and corresponding sub-risk components can help stakeholders in achieving project success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decision Support Systems for the Digital Built Environment)
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Article
Innovation in Sustainable Solar-Powered Net-Zero Energy Solar Decathlon Houses: A Review and Showcase
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040171 - 16 Apr 2021
Viewed by 879
Abstract
Solar Decathlon is a showcase of cutting-edge residential buildings containing innovative solutions and technologies. This study reviewed, identified, and categorized technological innovations from past Solar Decathlon competitions. The review was based on publicly available data of the top five houses from each U.S. [...] Read more.
Solar Decathlon is a showcase of cutting-edge residential buildings containing innovative solutions and technologies. This study reviewed, identified, and categorized technological innovations from past Solar Decathlon competitions. The review was based on publicly available data of the top five houses from each U.S. and international Solar Decathlon competition. The most prolific innovations identified were from building services systems and architectural design and construction. It was observed that most innovations within building services systems were in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning, and home automation, while architectural design and construction innovations focused on building adaptability, façade, structure, and building materials. It was found that although there is no fixed relationship between the numbers of innovations in the houses and their overall competition points, there is a high probability for an innovative house to be placed within the top five houses. This study also provides information about technological innovations within Solar Decathlon houses and offers an innovation classification scheme to guide Solar Decathletes to understand what innovations could be implemented in their future entries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings: 10th Anniversary)
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Article
Main Features of the Timber Structure Building Industry Business Models
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040170 - 16 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1177
Abstract
The use of timber as structural building material is growing and a greater number of firms are looking to enter this raising market. Erecting a complex timber building usually involves combining the work of architects, structural engineers, builders, suppliers and/or supplier–builders, all of [...] Read more.
The use of timber as structural building material is growing and a greater number of firms are looking to enter this raising market. Erecting a complex timber building usually involves combining the work of architects, structural engineers, builders, suppliers and/or supplier–builders, all of them having their own business models. The purpose of this research was to uncover the specific nature of business models in the timber structure building industry. First, a thorough mapping of these business models was undertaken. Second, underlying patterns were uncovered within these models. A triangulation method of secondary data, semi-structured interviews and participant observation was used to allow for an in-depth study of 23 stakeholder business models. The analysis shows that knowledge sharing appears as crucial and may be achieved through sustained collaboration. As a result, collaborative contract procurement modes seem to be the most appropriate for timber construction. Tight relationships with suppliers and supplier–builders also appear as prerequisites. Furthermore, stakeholder partnerships with universities appear common in the field, while prefabrication is increasing in popularity. These findings can be useful to grasp the prevailing business models in this industry given the sustained growth of the timber structure building market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Innovation and Innovation Risks in Construction Projects)
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Article
Post Occupancy Evaluation of School Refurbishment Projects: Multiple Case Study in the UK
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040169 - 16 Apr 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1237
Abstract
Buildings inevitably deteriorate with time. Schools buildings are no exception and require refurbishment at times. Despite the UK Government announcing the £1 billion funding for rebuilding 50 schools over 10 years starting 2010–2021, it is common practice for builders and designers to, upon [...] Read more.
Buildings inevitably deteriorate with time. Schools buildings are no exception and require refurbishment at times. Despite the UK Government announcing the £1 billion funding for rebuilding 50 schools over 10 years starting 2010–2021, it is common practice for builders and designers to, upon completion of a building project, move on to the next development without considering how the completed building performs. This research undertakes a post occupancy evaluation (POE) of three schools in the West Midlands, UK with specific focus on building services, viz., heating, lighting, and air conditioning and ventilation. The research adopted a mixed philosophical approach of interpretivism and post-positivism to conduct inductive reasoning. A questionnaire that collected both quantitative and qualitative primary data was distributed to the end-users of the schools. Data was analysed using the Cronbach’s alpha, one sample t-test and Kruskal–Wallis test to identify any differences between the questionnaire responses. Findings revealed that building users demanded greater control of the internal environment thus contradicting the current trend for automated ‘intelligent systems’ approaches. This research represents the first work to consider the contractor’s perspective towards developing a better understanding of client satisfaction with the school buildings. Moreover, the POE result represents a notable pragmatic advancement to knowledge that will influence the contractor’s knowledge and understanding of client satisfaction, and where to improve upon these. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Design, Construction, and Maintenance of Buildings)
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Article
New Housing Developments in the City Center of Guadalajara (Mexico): An Analysis from the Perspective of Collective and Sustainable Dwelling
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040168 - 16 Apr 2021
Viewed by 917
Abstract
New vertical housing developments in Guadalajara (Mexico) are reaching the city center as a response for redensification after many years of expansion of the urban area characterized by a suburban, low density and fragmented pattern. This horizontal growth, dominated by use of the [...] Read more.
New vertical housing developments in Guadalajara (Mexico) are reaching the city center as a response for redensification after many years of expansion of the urban area characterized by a suburban, low density and fragmented pattern. This horizontal growth, dominated by use of the automobile as prevailing mode of transport, has proven to be unsustainable not only from an environmental point of view, but also from a social perspective where the “human scale” of the city has been affected, same as the daily life of its inhabitants. On the other hand, vertical housing proposals are by their very nature associated with concepts of redensification, compact city and collective living; the aim of this article is to analyze some new housing developments in Guadalajara downtown in order to evaluate to what extent the new buildings embody a more sustainable, livable and collective dwelling, to discuss findings, successes and failures and thus be able to contribute some conclusions and open a broader reflection about contemporary housing, urban density and downtown redevelopment in Latin America cities through collective and sustainable dwelling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Architecture of Collective Housing)
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Article
A Conceptual Design Approach for Archaeological Structures, a Challenging Issue between Innovation and Conservation: A Studied Case in Ancient Pompeii
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040167 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 708
Abstract
The preservation of the authenticity of a building artifact in an archaeological area is a responsible practice. On the other hand, the need to save the building artifact from natural and anthropic degradation and ensuring the structural reliability as well as an efficient [...] Read more.
The preservation of the authenticity of a building artifact in an archaeological area is a responsible practice. On the other hand, the need to save the building artifact from natural and anthropic degradation and ensuring the structural reliability as well as an efficient maintenance program are big challenges. These tasks usually involve the cooperation of several professionals and the responsible use of innovative techniques and materials. This paper focused on a specific design approach for the rehabilitation works of ancient constructions at archaeological sites. The proposed approach implies different steps that allow for design optimization at an increasing knowledge level of the existing structures. In the archaeological area, some crucial design aspects cannot be defined before the execution work phase, since some elements can only be revealed and identified during work execution. As a consequence, the final design has often been optimized after all the information has been acquired. A studied case at the archaeological site of Pompeii is herein presented to prove the efficiency of the proposed approach. This methodology reduces the uncertainty related due to the ancient material performance, to the level of damage and to the effectiveness of the rehabilitation work, unknown at the design stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Methods for Structural Rehabilitation)
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Article
Extending the Architecture of Collective Housing: Towards Common Worlds of Care
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040166 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1031
Abstract
This article addresses the question of collective housing from the standpoint of two key notions in the contemporary architectural debate: care and the commons. With this objective in mind, a series of analytical parameters are put forward. The aim is to contribute to [...] Read more.
This article addresses the question of collective housing from the standpoint of two key notions in the contemporary architectural debate: care and the commons. With this objective in mind, a series of analytical parameters are put forward. The aim is to contribute to broadening and qualifying our understanding of the production and management of the collective habitat. As an illustration of each of the ideas expounded in this this paper, insightful examples of recent Spanish architecture are specifically selected and commented, as well as two case studies chosen to elaborate upon their particularities. They all share the fact of being projects, partly or wholly, designed by women, a matter which has had particular relevance in the creation of more sensitive, diverse and integration of built environments. At a time of acute health, economic and social crisis, as well as isolation and insecurity, more than ever, there is an urgent need for inspirational new ways of living and thinking in common. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Architecture of Collective Housing)
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Article
Modeling Deep Neural Networks to Learn Maintenance and Repair Costs of Educational Facilities
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040165 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 686
Abstract
Educational facilities hold a higher degree of uncertainty in predicting maintenance and repair costs than other types of facilities. Moreover, achieving accurate and reliable maintenance and repair costs is essential, yet very little is known about a holistic approach to learning them by [...] Read more.
Educational facilities hold a higher degree of uncertainty in predicting maintenance and repair costs than other types of facilities. Moreover, achieving accurate and reliable maintenance and repair costs is essential, yet very little is known about a holistic approach to learning them by incorporating multi-contextual factors that affect maintenance and repair costs. This study fills this knowledge gap by modeling and validating deep neural networks to efficiently and accurately learn maintenance and repair costs, drawing on 1213 high-confidence data points. The developed model learns and generalizes claim payout records on the maintenance and repair costs from sets of facility asset information, geographic profiles, natural hazard records, and other causes of financial losses. The robustness of the developed model was tested and validated by measuring the root mean square error and mean absolute error values. This study attempted to propose an analytical modeling framework that can accurately learn various factors, significantly affecting the maintenance and repair costs of educational facilities. The proposed approach can contribute to the existing body of knowledge, serving as a reference for the facilities management of other functional types of facilities. Full article
Article
Integrated Solution-Base Isolation and Repositioning-for the Seismic Rehabilitation of a Preserved Strategic Building
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040164 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 649
Abstract
This paper deals with the design of the seismic rehabilitation of a case-study building located in Florence, Italy. The particular reinforced concrete building hosts an important operational center of the main company that manages the Italian highway network. It is composed of the [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the design of the seismic rehabilitation of a case-study building located in Florence, Italy. The particular reinforced concrete building hosts an important operational center of the main company that manages the Italian highway network. It is composed of the juxtaposition of three reinforced concrete edifices standing out from a common basement. The design of the interventions for the seismic rehabilitation of this case study posed different challenges, some even in contrast with each other. The main design challenge was to reach the seismic retrofitting, due to the strategic role of the activities hosted herein, safeguarding as much as possible the peculiarity of the architectural elements. Moreover, the design was made harder by the presence of existing thermal joints between adjacent edifices which were inadequate to prevent the latter from pounding upon each other during an earthquake. This outcome yielded the need to intervene by enlarging the gap between the adjacent buildings. This latter intervention was in stark contrast with the explicit request of the client to bring the least possible disturbance to the strategic activities carried out within it; in fact, the joints are crossed by optical fibers and other technological systems which can be damaged easily. The need to fulfill all these design constraints brought the development of an original design strategy based on the employment of base-isolation in a rather unusual configuration. The details of the design procedure, along with the innovative aspects and the designed devices, are presented. With the objective to refine the adopted strategy in view of its possible repeatability by colleague engineers, the paper also presents a fair discussion of every aspect with regards to both the design and the realization phases. Possible ideas for new research and developments are also highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Methods for Structural Rehabilitation)
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Article
Fractal Dimension Calculation and Visual Attention Simulation: Assessing the Visual Character of an Architectural Façade
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040163 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 755
Abstract
The design of a building façade has a significant impact on the way people respond to it physiologically and behaviourally. Few methods are available to assist an architect to understand such impacts during the design process. Thus, this paper examines the viability of [...] Read more.
The design of a building façade has a significant impact on the way people respond to it physiologically and behaviourally. Few methods are available to assist an architect to understand such impacts during the design process. Thus, this paper examines the viability of using two computational methods to examine potential visual stimulus-sensation relationships in facade design. The first method, fractal analysis, is used to holistically measure the visual stimuli of a design. This paper describes both the box counting (density) and differential box counting (intensity) approaches to determining fractal dimension (D) in architecture. The second method, visual attention simulation, is used to explore pre-attentive processing and sensation in vision. Four measures—D-density (Dd), D-intensity (Di), heat map and gaze sequence—are used to provide quantitative and qualitative indicators of the ways people read different design options. Using two façade designs as examples, the results of this application reveal that the D values of a façade image have a relationship with the pre-attentive processing shown in heat map and gaze sequence simulations. The findings are framed as a methodological contribution to the field, but also to the disciplinary knowledge gap about the stimulus-sensation relationship and visual reasoning in design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computer Aided Architectural Design)
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Article
Crisis and Transition: Forms of Collective Housing in Brussels
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040162 - 14 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 877
Abstract
Focusing on the Brussels urban environment, this paper investigates spatial mutations produced by key critical transitions to accommodate new social and living conditions for collective purposes. Using CAD re-drawings, a systematic comparison of residential schemes identifies the evolutionary mechanism that connects manifold changes [...] Read more.
Focusing on the Brussels urban environment, this paper investigates spatial mutations produced by key critical transitions to accommodate new social and living conditions for collective purposes. Using CAD re-drawings, a systematic comparison of residential schemes identifies the evolutionary mechanism that connects manifold changes in the city and domestic spaces. This analysis defines a genealogical framework to observe how specific residential archetypes have shaped Brussels’ sociocultural identity and distinguishes contemporary housing initiatives dealing with current and future challenges. While during the 19th century, interwar, and postwar periods, spatial features evolved from individual, single-family houses to residential schemes bearing collective, egalitarian dwellings, contemporary initiatives are relevant for their experimental solutions, translating into housing design new collective ways of living. This trajectory demonstrates that collective housing provides new insights for designing future types of urban housing. Brussels contemporary housing can shed light on the fact that current crises generated by urban issues, such as demographic growth, migratory and gentrification dynamics, affordability and the COVID-19 pandemic, are accelerating the transition towards the 21st-century city. Eventually, the Belgian capital now has the opportunity to combine two crucial questions, such as typological innovation and sustainability, to successfully approach the coming transition period from social and environmental perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Architecture of Collective Housing)
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Article
Capacity Assessment of Existing RC Columns
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040161 - 14 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 645
Abstract
Existing reinforced concrete (RC) members, designed in accordance with obsolete codes, are often characterized by high stirrup spacing. The collapse mechanisms generated by high stirrup spacing are typically related to the buckling of longitudinal reinforcement and can be accentuated when corrosion takes place. [...] Read more.
Existing reinforced concrete (RC) members, designed in accordance with obsolete codes, are often characterized by high stirrup spacing. The collapse mechanisms generated by high stirrup spacing are typically related to the buckling of longitudinal reinforcement and can be accentuated when corrosion takes place. In this paper, new refined material constitutive laws for steel, including inelastic buckling and corrosion of reinforcement, are implemented in a fixed crack model suitable for RC elements subjected to cyclic loadings called the PARC_CL 2.1 crack model. The effectiveness of the proposed model is validated through comparison with available experimental data and analytical predictions. Finally, the proposed model is used to calibrate correction coefficients to be applied to current codes formulation for the ultimate rotational capacity prediction of non-conforming elements subjected to buckling phenomena and characterized by corrosion of reinforcing bars. Full article
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Article
Agent Based Modelling of a Local Energy Market: A Study of the Economic Interactions between Autonomous PV Owners within a Micro-Grid
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040160 - 14 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 731
Abstract
Urban Photovoltaic (PV) systems can provide large fractions of the residential electric demand at socket parity (i.e., a cost below the household consumer price). This is obtained without necessarily installing electric storage or exploiting tax funded incentives. The benefits of aggregating the electric [...] Read more.
Urban Photovoltaic (PV) systems can provide large fractions of the residential electric demand at socket parity (i.e., a cost below the household consumer price). This is obtained without necessarily installing electric storage or exploiting tax funded incentives. The benefits of aggregating the electric demand and renewable output of multiple households are known and established; in fact, regulations and pilot energy communities are being implemented worldwide. Financing and managing a shared urban PV system remains an unsolved issue, even when the profitability of the system as a whole is demonstrable. For this reason, an agent-based modelling environment has been developed and is presented in this study. It is assumed that an optimal system (optimized for self-sufficiency) is shared between 48 households in a local grid of a positive energy district. Different scenarios are explored and discussed, each varying in number of owners (agents who own a PV system) and their pricing behaviour. It has been found that a smaller number of investors (i.e., someone refuse to join) provokes an increase of the earnings for the remaining investors (from 8 to 74% of the baseline). Furthermore, the pricing strategy of an agent shows improvement potential without knowledge of the demand of others, and thus it has no privacy violations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Net-Zero/Positive Energy Buildings and Districts)
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Article
Improvement Proposal of Bottom-Up Approach for the Energy Characterization of Buildings in the Tropical Climate
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040159 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 727
Abstract
The energy characterization of buildings can be done by bottom-up methods such as energy simulation models (samples or archetypes). A sample consists of the selection of real buildings and an archetype is a theoretical building that represents them. Nevertheless, both approaches have shortcomings [...] Read more.
The energy characterization of buildings can be done by bottom-up methods such as energy simulation models (samples or archetypes). A sample consists of the selection of real buildings and an archetype is a theoretical building that represents them. Nevertheless, both approaches have shortcomings for the creation of energy models. This work proposes to improve the sampling approach from the validation of input data, and calibration of models by individual adjustment processes. The studied category corresponds to multi-family buildings of median incomes from the Metropolitan Area of Bucaramanga (Colombia). This study presents the energy model of five existing buildings and an archetype, calibration results, energy characterization, and comparative analysis between both approaches. The sampling approach indicates that housing units and general services demand an average of 76.9% and 23.1% of consumed energy, respectively. The average energy consumption by housing units is 22.38 kWh/m2·year caused by appliances (85.3%), lighting (11.2%), and air conditioning (3.5%). The archetype presents similar results for the energy consumption of housing units (kWh/m2·year), but notable differences concerning a specific behavior of inner spaces, being the sampling approach more accurate to characterize to a building category. Full article
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Article
Effects of Coarse Aggregate Maximum Size on Synthetic/Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete Performance with Different Fiber Parameters
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040158 - 13 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 726
Abstract
Recently, fiber has been incorporated into concrete mixtures, where its distribution in the concrete matrix helps to improve and enhance the mechanical properties of fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC). The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of steel and synthetic fiber parameters, [...] Read more.
Recently, fiber has been incorporated into concrete mixtures, where its distribution in the concrete matrix helps to improve and enhance the mechanical properties of fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC). The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of steel and synthetic fiber parameters, along with different coarse aggregate maximum sizes (CAMZs) on FRC performance. Additionally, in past research, the empirical relationships among the compressive, tensile, and flexural strengths of plain concrete and FRC were assessed, and correlations between these mechanical properties of FRC were examined. For each CAMZ, four fiber dosages for each fiber type were considered. The results demonstrate the mechanical properties of FRC enhanced as the fiber length increased from 13 mm to 60 mm, the CAMZ increased from 9.5 mm to 37.5 mm, and the ratio of the fiber length to the CAMZ was in the range of 0.35–5.68. All mixtures have been intended to exhibit similar compressive strengths; however, the synthetic/steel fiber advanced the brittleness ratio of specimens with G10, G19, and G38 to approximately 36.8%, 40.7%, and 47.4% greater than the contral specimens, respectively. In addition, from the regression analysis investigation, there are strong correlations from the regression analysis of the mechanical property results of FRC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete Materials in Construction)
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Essay
Review of Design of Collective Housing in the 21st Century
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040157 - 11 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1608
Abstract
This essay proposes a review of current trends in the design of collective housing projects. The method for the review is based on the observation of certain conditions of contemporary society that show an immediate influence on new habitat patterns. The concepts of [...] Read more.
This essay proposes a review of current trends in the design of collective housing projects. The method for the review is based on the observation of certain conditions of contemporary society that show an immediate influence on new habitat patterns. The concepts of uncertainty, scarcity and contingency are the catalysts for the observation, and conditions that provoke new diffuse scenarios for residential buildings. The concept of diffuse dwelling is identified here as the conjunction of three factors: non-permanent coexistence models, residential adaptation of the built environment, and non-hierarchical typological patterns. The review proposes a qualitative analysis questionnaire for the recognition of significant projects of this new residential paradigm. By tracing the EU Mies Award Archive, various examples have been identified that allow us to recognize common characteristics. The result of the analysis reveals how these parameters define a new paradigm in the design of collective housing based on collectivity, constructive resilience, and a new value of domesticity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Architecture of Collective Housing)
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Article
Condition Assessment Framework for Facility Management Based on Fuzzy Sets Theory
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040156 - 10 Apr 2021
Viewed by 996
Abstract
Condition information is essential to develop effective facility management (FM) strategies. Visual inspections and walk-through surveys are common practices of condition assessment (CA), generally resulting in qualitative and subjective outcomes such as “poor”, “good”, etc. Furthermore, limited resources of the FM process demand [...] Read more.
Condition information is essential to develop effective facility management (FM) strategies. Visual inspections and walk-through surveys are common practices of condition assessment (CA), generally resulting in qualitative and subjective outcomes such as “poor”, “good”, etc. Furthermore, limited resources of the FM process demand that CA practices be efficient. Given these, the purpose of this study is to develop a resource efficient quantitative CA framework that can be less subjective in establishing a condition rating. The condition variables of the study—mean time between failures, age-based obsolescence, facility condition index, occupant feedback, and preventive maintenance cycle—are identified through different sources, such as a computerized maintenance management system, expert opinions, occupants, and industry standards. These variables provide proxy measures for determining the condition of equipment with the implementation example for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning equipment. Fuzzy sets theory is utilized to obtain a quantitative condition rating while minimizing subjectivity, as fuzzy sets theory deals with imprecise, uncertain, and ambiguous judgments with membership relations. The proposed CA framework does not require additional resources, and the obtained condition rating value supports decision-making for building maintenance management and strategic planning in FM, with a comprehensive and less subjective understanding of condition. Full article
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Article
Towards a New Analytical Creep Model for Cement-Based Concrete Using Design Standards Approach
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040155 - 09 Apr 2021
Viewed by 659
Abstract
Creep properties are determined in design standards by measuring the creep coefficient, noted φ, as a function of time, t, and the age of the concrete at loading, t0. The work aims to study the validity of the analytical [...] Read more.
Creep properties are determined in design standards by measuring the creep coefficient, noted φ, as a function of time, t, and the age of the concrete at loading, t0. The work aims to study the validity of the analytical models proposed in the most used international standards and to check the possibility of their extension to estimate the creep of recycled aggregates concrete (RAC). A database was built from experimental results available in bibliographic references including 121 creep curves divided into 73 curves for natural aggregates concrete (NAC) and 48 curves for RAC. The comparison between the experimental and predicted values showed a significant dispersion for NAC and RAC. For the remediation of this dispersion, a new analytical model was developed for NAC. The parameters being the conventional creep coefficient, φ0, the power of the ageing function, named α, and βh, which accounts for the relative humidity and the compressive strength in the ageing function, were identified by inverse analysis. It was found that the power of the ageing function is 0.44 and not 0.3, as fixed by Eurocode 2 (EC2). Moreover, new expressions were proposed for φ0 and βh. The presence of recycled aggregates was considered through the equivalent replacement ratio. Full article
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Article
Calibrated Numerical Approach for the Dynamic Analysis of Glass Curtain Walls under Spheroconical Bag Impact
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040154 - 07 Apr 2021
Viewed by 636
Abstract
The structural design of glass curtain walls and facades is a challenging issue, considering that building envelopes can be subjected extreme design loads. Among others, the soft body impact (SBI) test protocol represents a key design step to protect the occupants. While in [...] Read more.
The structural design of glass curtain walls and facades is a challenging issue, considering that building envelopes can be subjected extreme design loads. Among others, the soft body impact (SBI) test protocol represents a key design step to protect the occupants. While in Europe the standardized protocol based on the pneumatic twin-tire (TT) impactor can be nowadays supported by Finite Element (FE) numerical simulations, cost-time consuming experimental procedures with the spheroconical bag (SB) impactor are still required for facade producers and manufacturers by several technical committees, for the impact assessment of novel systems. At the same time, validated numerical calibrations for SB are still missing in support of designers and manufacturers. In this paper, an enhanced numerical approach is proposed for curtain walls under SB, based on a coupled methodology inclusive of a computationally efficient two Degree of Freedom (2-DOF) and a more geometrically accurate Finite Element (FE) model. As shown, the SB impactor is characterized by stiffness and dissipation properties that hardly match with ideal rigid elastic assumptions, nor with the TT features. Based on a reliable set of experimental investigations and records, the proposed methodology acts on the time history of the imposed load, which is implicitly calibrated to account for the SB impactor features, once the facade features (flexibility and damping parameters) are known. The resulting calibration of the 2-DOF modelling parameters for the derivation of time histories of impact force is achieved with the support of experimental measurements and FE model of the examined facade. The potential and accuracy of the method is emphasized by the collected experimental and numerical comparisons. Successively, the same numerical approach is used to derive a series of iso-damage curves that could support practical design calculations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation in Structural Analysis and Dynamics for Constructions)
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Article
Urban Quality Assessment of Public Housing Estates in Murcia, Spain (Vistabella 1940–1950s, La Paz 1960s, La Fama 1970s). Threats or Opportunities for the Medium-Sized Contemporary City?
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040153 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 572
Abstract
The public housing built under the Franco regime in Spain (1939–1975) brought about the largest urban growth in the country’s recent history. It shares similar characteristics with other public housing built in Europe during the 20th century, and today it houses a predominantly [...] Read more.
The public housing built under the Franco regime in Spain (1939–1975) brought about the largest urban growth in the country’s recent history. It shares similar characteristics with other public housing built in Europe during the 20th century, and today it houses a predominantly multicultural and socioeconomically precarious population. This study analyses and evaluates three estates that make up a new urban axis in the city of Murcia. The objective is to evaluate the benefits and shortcomings of these developments in order to establish rehabilitation plans, which will seek to improve the lives of their inhabitants and enhance their experience of the urban area from environmental, functional and interactive perspectives. The methodology used for this study is based on the application of three systems of indicators in order to obtain a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of each neighborhood. The quantitative analysis evaluates the urban area in terms of environmental sustainability, while the two qualitative systems explore the neighborhoods’ functionality and ability to instil a sense of attachment, and therefore responsibility, among their inhabitants. In its conclusions, the article provides concrete lines of action for updating and regenerating these residential areas that form a significant part of the city of Murcia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Architecture of Collective Housing)
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Article
Indoor Airflow Distribution in Repository Design: Experimental and Numerical Microclimate Analysis of an Archive
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040152 - 05 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 677
Abstract
The majority of cultural heritage is stored in archives, libraries and museum storage spaces. To reduce degradation risks, many archives adopt the use of archival boxes, among other means, to provide the necessary climate control and comply with strict legislation requirements regarding temperature [...] Read more.
The majority of cultural heritage is stored in archives, libraries and museum storage spaces. To reduce degradation risks, many archives adopt the use of archival boxes, among other means, to provide the necessary climate control and comply with strict legislation requirements regarding temperature and relative air humidity. A strict ambient indoor climate is assumed to provide adequate environmental conditions near objects. Guidelines and legislation provide requirements for ambient indoor climate parameters, but often do not consider other factors that influence the near-object environment, such as the use of archival boxes, airflow distribution and archival rack placement. This study aimed to provide more insight into the relation between the ambient indoor conditions in repositories and the hygrothermal conditions surrounding the collection. Comprehensive measurements were performed in a case study archive to collect ambient, local and near-object conditions. Both measurements and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling were used to research temperature/relative humidity gradients and airflow distribution with a changing rack orientation, climate control strategy and supply as well as exhaust set-up in a repository. The following conclusions are presented: (i) supplying air from one air handling unit to multiple repositories on different floors leads to small temperature differences between them. Differences in ambient and local climates are noticed; (ii) archival boxes mute and delay variations in ambient conditions as expected—however, thermal radiation from the building envelope may have a large influence on the climate conditions in a box; (iii) adopting night reduction for energy conservation results in an increased influence of the external climate, with adequate insulation, this effect should be mitigated; and (iv) the specific locations of the supply air and extraction of air resulted in a vertical gradient of temperature and insufficient mixing of air, and adequate ventilation strategies should enhance sufficient air mixing in combination with the insulation of external walls, and gradient forming should be reduced. Full article
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Review
Differentiating Digital Twin from Digital Shadow: Elucidating a Paradigm Shift to Expedite a Smart, Sustainable Built Environment
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040151 - 02 Apr 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2169
Abstract
Construction projects and cities account for over 50% of carbon emissions and energy consumption. Industry 4.0 and digital transformation may increase productivity and reduce energy consumption. A digital twin (DT) is a key enabler in implementing Industry 4.0 in the areas of construction [...] Read more.
Construction projects and cities account for over 50% of carbon emissions and energy consumption. Industry 4.0 and digital transformation may increase productivity and reduce energy consumption. A digital twin (DT) is a key enabler in implementing Industry 4.0 in the areas of construction and smart cities. It is an emerging technology that connects different objects by utilising the advanced Internet of Things (IoT). As a technology, it is in high demand in various industries, and its literature is growing exponentially. Previous digital modeling practices, the use of data acquisition tools, human–computer–machine interfaces, programmable cities, and infrastructure, as well as Building Information Modeling (BIM), have provided digital data for construction, monitoring, or controlling physical objects. However, a DT is supposed to offer much more than digital representation. Characteristics such as bi-directional data exchange and real-time self-management (e.g., self-awareness or self-optimisation) distinguish a DT from other information modeling systems. The need to develop and implement DT is rising because it could be a core technology in many industrial sectors post-COVID-19. This paper aims to clarify the DT concept and differentiate it from other advanced 3D modeling technologies, digital shadows, and information systems. It also intends to review the state of play in DT development and offer research directions for future investigation. It recommends the development of DT applications that offer rapid and accurate data analysis platforms for real-time decisions, self-operation, and remote supervision requirements post-COVID-19. The discussion in this paper mainly focuses on the Smart City, Engineering and Construction (SCEC) sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Energy Efficiency in Smart Cities and Construction)
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Article
Change Detection in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Images for Progress Monitoring of Road Construction
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040150 - 02 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1031
Abstract
Currently, unmanned aerial vehicles are increasingly being used in various construction projects such as housing developments, road construction, and bridge maintenance. If a drone is used at a road construction site, elevation information and orthoimages can be generated to acquire the construction status [...] Read more.
Currently, unmanned aerial vehicles are increasingly being used in various construction projects such as housing developments, road construction, and bridge maintenance. If a drone is used at a road construction site, elevation information and orthoimages can be generated to acquire the construction status quantitatively. However, the detection of detailed changes in the site owing to construction depends on visual video interpretation. This study develops a method for automatic detection of the construction area using multitemporal images and a deep learning method. First, a deep learning model was trained using images of the changing area as reference. Second, we obtained an effective application method by applying various parameters to the deep learning process. The application of the time-series images of a construction site to the selected deep learning model enabled more effective identification of the changed areas than the existing pixel-based change detection. The proposed method is expected to be very helpful in construction management by aiding in the development of smart construction technology. Full article
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Review
Stakeholder-Associated Factors Influencing Construction and Demolition Waste Management: A Systematic Review
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040149 - 02 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1043
Abstract
Construction and demolition (C&D) activities generate a large amount of waste and have significant impacts on the environment. Thus, it is necessary to implement C&D waste management (WM), which requires the involvement of stakeholders and is influenced by a variety of factors. This [...] Read more.
Construction and demolition (C&D) activities generate a large amount of waste and have significant impacts on the environment. Thus, it is necessary to implement C&D waste management (WM), which requires the involvement of stakeholders and is influenced by a variety of factors. This study aims to undertake a systematic review of the stakeholder-associated factors influencing C&D WM. The Scopus search engine was used in a literature search, and two rounds of screening were performed. Only journal articles or reviews that were published in English after 2000 were used in this study. A total of 106 journal articles were reviewed. The review identified 35 stakeholder-associated factors influencing C&D WM and categorized them into six groups: regulatory environment, government and public supervision, advances in technologies, recycling market, knowledge, awareness, attitude, and behaviour of stakeholders, and project-specific factors. All the 35 factors are discussed in detail with considerations into relevant stakeholders. Although there have been studies focused on the factors influencing C&D WM, few have attempted to take stakeholders’ perspectives into consideration. This study expands the C&D WM literature by mapping the influential factors with relevant stakeholders and enables the practitioners to clearly understand their roles and responsibilities and make better informed decisions in the C&D WM process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings in the Built Environment)
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Review
Application of Virtual Environments for Biophilic Design: A Critical Review
by and
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040148 - 02 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1155
Abstract
Biophilic design as a new design approach promotes the integration of natural elements into the built environment, leading to a significant impact on human health, well-being, and productivity. On the other hand, scholars have explored Virtual Environment (VE) to create virtual nature and [...] Read more.
Biophilic design as a new design approach promotes the integration of natural elements into the built environment, leading to a significant impact on human health, well-being, and productivity. On the other hand, scholars have explored Virtual Environment (VE) to create virtual nature and provide a complex experience of exposure to natural elements virtually. However, there is a lack of understanding about such studies in general, which use VE as a reliable tool to support biophilic design. Thus, the authors conducted a literature review on the applications, capabilities, and limitations of VE for biophilic design. The literature review shows that VE is capable of supporting critical features of biophilic design studies such as representing combinations of biophilic patterns, providing multimodal sensory inputs, simulating stress induction tasks, supporting required exposure time to observe biophilic patterns, and measuring human’s biological responses to natural environment. However, factors affecting user’s experience of a virtual biophilic environment exist, such as VE experience dimensions, user-related factors, cybersickness, navigational issues, and possible limitations of VE sensory input. Overall, biophilic design studies in VEs are still limited. Nevertheless, there are many opportunities for further research in this field. Full article
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