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Buildings, Volume 11, Issue 6 (June 2021) – 45 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This paper aims to promote the incorporation of embodied energy impacts into building energy-efficiency regulations by proposing a comprehensive framework that facilitates a clear description of system boundary conditions for lifecycle energy assessment (LCEA) analyses. The proposed framework consists of fifteen components, representing six distinctive dimensions: temporal, physical, methodological, hypothetical, spatial, and functional. The applicability of the proposed framework is demonstrated in the analysis of two case studies. The results indicate the capability of the framework to maintain transparency in establishing a system boundary in an LCEA analysis as well as providing a standardised basis for cross-comparing cases. View this paper
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Review
Practical Implementation of Structural Health Monitoring in Multi-Story Buildings
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060263 - 20 Jun 2021
Viewed by 630
Abstract
This study investigated operational and structural health monitoring (SHM) as well as damage evaluations for building structures. The study involved damage detection and the assessment of buildings by placing sensors and by assuming weak areas, and considered situations of assessment and self-monitoring. From [...] Read more.
This study investigated operational and structural health monitoring (SHM) as well as damage evaluations for building structures. The study involved damage detection and the assessment of buildings by placing sensors and by assuming weak areas, and considered situations of assessment and self-monitoring. From this perspective, advanced sensor technology and data acquisition techniques can systematically monitor a building in real time. Furthermore, the structure’s response and behavior were observed and recorded to predict the damage to the building. In this paper, we discuss the real-time monitoring and response of buildings, which includes both static and dynamic analyses along with numerical simulation studies such as finite element analysis (FEA), and recommendations for the future research and development of SHM are made. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Methodologies and Technologies in Structural Monitoring)
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Article
The Spatial Structure of Yazd Courtyard Houses: A Space Syntax Analysis of the Topological Characteristics of the Courtyard
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060262 - 19 Jun 2021
Viewed by 542
Abstract
An important “architectural type” in Iranian history is the Yazd courtyard house. This historic building type features a walled boundary that contains a complex pattern of open (to the sky), semi-enclosed and enclosed spaces. The planning of the courtyard in these houses has [...] Read more.
An important “architectural type” in Iranian history is the Yazd courtyard house. This historic building type features a walled boundary that contains a complex pattern of open (to the sky), semi-enclosed and enclosed spaces. The planning of the courtyard in these houses has typically been interpreted as either a response to changing socio-cultural values or to local climatic conditions. Such theories about the planning of these houses are based on a series of assumptions about (i) the numbers of courtyards and rooms they contain, (ii) their unchanging nature over time and (iii) a topological pattern existing in the relationship between the courtyard and the rest of the plan. Yet, these assumptions, all of which have an impact on the socio-cultural or climatic interpretation of this famous architectural type, have never been tested. In response, this paper uses a computational and mathematical method drawn from Space Syntax to measure the spatial topology of 37 plans of Yazd’s most significant courtyard houses. These houses, which are classified by the Yazd Cultural Heritage Organization, were constructed between the 11th and 20th CE centuries and are all exemplars of this type. This paper develops three hypotheses around the assumptions found in past research about the characteristic planning of the Yazd courtyard house. Then, using quantitative measures derived from plan graph analysis, the paper develops a series of longitudinal trends to test the hypotheses and explore changes that have occurred in this architectural type over time. Full article
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Article
Mould Growth Models and Risk Assessment for Emerging Timber Envelopes in Australia: A Comparative Study
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060261 - 18 Jun 2021
Viewed by 995
Abstract
Timber envelopes provide multiple benefits in reducing both operational and embodied energy environmental impacts in construction. However, when poorly designed, they may incur in high risk of mould growth, affecting both building performance and occupant’s wellbeing. This research investigates the risk of mould [...] Read more.
Timber envelopes provide multiple benefits in reducing both operational and embodied energy environmental impacts in construction. However, when poorly designed, they may incur in high risk of mould growth, affecting both building performance and occupant’s wellbeing. This research investigates the risk of mould growth associated with emerging timber envelopes in Australia, particularly looking at mass-timber and timber-framed wall typologies. The study compares the use of two mould growth assessment models: the VTT and the IBP biohygrothermal. Results provide relevant insights on both current design approaches and performance assessment methodologies. Whilst the study is based on Australian practice, conclusions have international relevance and applicability. Full article
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Case Report
A Case Study of a Negotiated Tender within a Small-to-Medium Construction Contractor: Modelling Project Cost Variance
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060260 - 18 Jun 2021
Viewed by 546
Abstract
This research explores the failure of competitively tendered projects in the UK construction industry to procure the most suited contractor(s) to conduct the works. Such work may have equal relevance for other developed nations globally. This research seeks to teach clients and their [...] Read more.
This research explores the failure of competitively tendered projects in the UK construction industry to procure the most suited contractor(s) to conduct the works. Such work may have equal relevance for other developed nations globally. This research seeks to teach clients and their representatives that “lowest price” does not mean “best value”, by presenting a case study of a successfully negotiated tender undertaken by a small-to-medium enterprise (SME) contractor; SME studies are relatively scant in academic literature. By applying the “lessons learnt” principle, this study seeks to improve future practice through the development of a novel alternative procurement option (i.e., negotiation). A mixed philosophical stance combining interpretivism and pragmatism was used—interpretivism to critically review literature in order to form the basis of inductive research to discuss negotiation as a viable procurement route, and pragmatism to analyse perceptions of tendering and procurement. The methods used follow a three-stage waterfall process including: (1) literature review and pilot study; (2) quantitative analysis of case study data; and (3) qualitative data collection via a focus group. Our research underscores the need to advise clients and their representatives of the importance of understanding the scope of works allowed within a tender submission before discounting it based solely on price. In addition, we highlight the failings of competitive tendering, which results in increased costs and project duration once the works commence on site. These findings provide new contemporary insight into procurement and tendering in the construction industry, with emphasis on SME contractors, existing relationships, and open-book negotiation. This research illustrates the adverse effects of early cost estimates produced without first securing a true understanding of project buildability and programming. Our work concludes with a novel insight into an alternative procurement option that involves early SME contractor involvement in an open-book environment, without the need for a third-party cost control. Full article
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Article
Comparison of Downdraught and Up Draft Passive Air Conduction Systems (PACS) in a Winery Building
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060259 - 17 Jun 2021
Viewed by 433
Abstract
A huge portion of energy consumption in buildings comes from heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Numerous previous works assessed the potential of natural ventilation compared to mechanical ventilation and proved their justification on the field. Nevertheless, it is a major difficulty to collect [...] Read more.
A huge portion of energy consumption in buildings comes from heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Numerous previous works assessed the potential of natural ventilation compared to mechanical ventilation and proved their justification on the field. Nevertheless, it is a major difficulty to collect enough information from the literature to make decisions between different natural ventilation solutions with a given situation and boundary conditions. The current study tests the passive air conduction system (PACS) variations in the design phase of a medium-sized new winery’s cellar and production hall in Villány, Hungary. A computational fluid dynamics simulation based comparative analysis enabled to determine the differences in updraft (UD) and downdraught (DD) PACS, whereby the latter was found to be more efficient. While the DD PACS performed an air change range of 1.02 h−1 to 5.98 h−1, the UD PACS delivered −0.25 h−1 to 12.82 h−1 air change rate. The ventilation performance of the DD version possessed lower amplitudes, but the distribution was more balanced under different wind incident angles, thus this version was chosen for construction. It could be concluded that the DD PACS provides a more general applicability for natural ventilation in moderate climates and in small to medium scale industry hall domains with one in- and one outlet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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Article
Sassi of Matera Building Material: High-Resolution Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy Characterization for Radioprotection
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060258 - 17 Jun 2021
Viewed by 460
Abstract
The Sassi of Matera (Basilicata region, southern Italy) is a peculiar site, but not unique in Italy, from a landscape point of view. Most of the buildings are excavated in rocks of calcarenite origin and used as homes and accommodation facilities. For this [...] Read more.
The Sassi of Matera (Basilicata region, southern Italy) is a peculiar site, but not unique in Italy, from a landscape point of view. Most of the buildings are excavated in rocks of calcarenite origin and used as homes and accommodation facilities. For this reason, the contribution of gamma radiation to the population due to this building material has been investigated for the first time. Even though the type of rock is not mentioned among the construction materials indicated in Italian Legislative Decree 101/2020 to be subjected to radiological characterization, the methodology indicated in the decree was applied, comparing the values with those present in the literature. The content of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K was then investigated with gamma spectroscopy, and the gamma index was calculated. The results obtained showed a low level of activity concentration of natural radionuclides in this type of stone, confirming the radiological safety. This result can also support the recovery and restoration initiatives for these buildings to conserve the architectural and landscape heritage of this village. Full article
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Article
Energy-Efficient Retrofit Measures (EERM) in Residential Buildings: An Application of Discrete Choice Modelling
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060257 - 16 Jun 2021
Viewed by 488
Abstract
Cross-country evidence on the adoption of energy-efficient retrofit measures (EERMs) in residential buildings is critical to supporting the development of national and pan-European policies aimed at fostering the energy performance upgrade of the building stock. In this light, the aim of this paper [...] Read more.
Cross-country evidence on the adoption of energy-efficient retrofit measures (EERMs) in residential buildings is critical to supporting the development of national and pan-European policies aimed at fostering the energy performance upgrade of the building stock. In this light, the aim of this paper is to advance in the understanding of the probability of certain EERMs taking place in eight EU countries, according to a set of parameters, such as building typology, project types, and motivation behind the project. Using these parameters collected via a multi-country online survey, a set of discrete-choice (conditional logit) models are estimated on the probability of selecting a choice of any combination of 33 EERMs across the sampled countries. Results show that actions related to the building envelope are the most often-addressed across countries and single building elements or technology measures have a higher probability of being implemented. The modelling framework developed in this study contributes to the scientific community in three ways: (1) establishing an empirical relationship among EERMs and project (i.e., retrofit and deep retrofit), (2) identifying commonalities and differences across the selected countries, and (3) quantifying the probabilities and market shares of various EERMs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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Article
Coconut Fibre and Sawdust as Green Building Materials: A Laboratory Assessment on Physical and Mechanical Properties of Particleboards
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060256 - 16 Jun 2021
Viewed by 388
Abstract
This paper evaluates, via a laboratory assessment, the physical properties (BS EN 323:1993, BS EN 324) and mechanical performance (BS EN 310:1993) of hybrid particleboards using agricultural wastes, namely coconut fibre and sawdust. The process begins with the preparation of the materials where [...] Read more.
This paper evaluates, via a laboratory assessment, the physical properties (BS EN 323:1993, BS EN 324) and mechanical performance (BS EN 310:1993) of hybrid particleboards using agricultural wastes, namely coconut fibre and sawdust. The process begins with the preparation of the materials where they are sieved and retained with the 5-mm sieve and then oven-dried. The hybrid particleboard mixed with the addition of resin (urea formaldehyde) was sprayed and hot pressed. The hot press temperature was set at 180 °C, with the resin content of 8 wt.% and the design density of 650 kg/m3 used in producing the particleboard. The percentage/ratio of the composition of sawdust (SD) to coconut fibre (CF) varied ranging from 100SD:0CF to 70SD:30CF, 50SD:50CF, 30SD:70CF, and 0SD:100CF. Meanwhile, as for the thickness of the boards, it was categorised into three groups which are 16 mm, 20 mm, and 32 mm. The particleboards were conditioned to the room temperature for seven days before being tested for physical properties and mechanical performances. The results show that the most optimum composition of sawdust to coconut fibre is 0% sawdust to 100% coconut fibre (0SD:100CF) and the optimum thickness is 20 mm, where its density is 761.99 kg/m3, swelling thickness is 11.98%, and water absorption at 37.64%. With the modulus of elasticity of 1510 N/mm2, the modulus of rupture of 17.8 N/mm2, and the internal bonding of 1.08 N/mm2, they satisfied the universal standard of Particleboard Type P3 of BS EN 312:2010. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green and Sustainable Building Materials)
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Article
A Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Structural Insulated Panels for Residential Buildings in a Hot and Arid Climate
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060255 - 15 Jun 2021
Viewed by 553
Abstract
In hot and humid climatic conditions, cooling tends to dominate building thermal energy use. Cooling loads can be reduced through the adoption of efficient building envelope materials, such as Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs). This study quantifies the life cycle cost and operational energy [...] Read more.
In hot and humid climatic conditions, cooling tends to dominate building thermal energy use. Cooling loads can be reduced through the adoption of efficient building envelope materials, such as Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs). This study quantifies the life cycle cost and operational energy of a representative case-study house in Bahrain using SIPs and hollow concrete blocks (HCBs) for the envelope over a period of 50 years. Operational energy is calculated using a dynamic energy simulation tool, operational costs are calculated based on the energy demand and local tariff rates, and construction costs are estimated using market prices and quotations. The life cycle cost is quantified using the Net Present Cost technique. Results show that SIPs yield a 20.6% reduction in cooling energy use compared to HCBs. For SIP costs of 12 and 17 USD/m2, the SIP house was cheaper throughout, or had a higher capital cost than the HCB house (breaking even in year 33), respectively. We propose policy recommendations with respect to material pricing, electricity tariffs, and energy efficiency, to improve the operational energy efficiency of houses in Bahrain and similar countries along the Arabian Peninsula. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation)
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Review
Architectural Evaluation of 3D-Printed Buildings
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060254 - 15 Jun 2021
Viewed by 830
Abstract
3D-printed constructions express the capacity of automated technologies to elaborate buildings through additive manufacturing. These constructions require an architectural design according to their manufacturing conditions. This research reviews buildings that have been executed with these technologies in order to determine architectural characteristics. From [...] Read more.
3D-printed constructions express the capacity of automated technologies to elaborate buildings through additive manufacturing. These constructions require an architectural design according to their manufacturing conditions. This research reviews buildings that have been executed with these technologies in order to determine architectural characteristics. From an Internet search, a register was compiled of 112 cases of 3D-printed constructions around the globe. They include some 10,000 m2 of built surface area and were mainly erected in the last five years. The review shows that cases were built by approximately thirty executors, mostly entrepreneurs’ companies who have made different buildings as single-family dwellings constructed with gantries or robotic arms, either on-site or in factories. Most of the components printed are walls, with single or double filaments with interior voids. In some cases, they integrate reinforcements and openings. The geometry of the 3D-printed constructions varies between orthogonal layouts that replicate existing buildings and spherical shapes that reflect printing capabilities. Many of the cases are a combination of these characteristics, mixing a technological adaptation to existing architecture and new operative conditions. This review reveals the emerging development of this construction system with the progressive consolidation of some architectural attributes. Full article
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Article
Learning from Failures: Reflections on the Role of Project Design and Design Management in the Procurement of Non-Standard Buildings
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060253 - 11 Jun 2021
Viewed by 715
Abstract
The opening of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in 1997 heralded the beginning of an era in world architecture defined by iconic buildings underpinned by mediatic exposure and the belief in the power of design to leverage urban conditions. Today, a conspicuous number [...] Read more.
The opening of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in 1997 heralded the beginning of an era in world architecture defined by iconic buildings underpinned by mediatic exposure and the belief in the power of design to leverage urban conditions. Today, a conspicuous number of such buildings featuring non-standard geometries are experiencing accelerated forms of decay with the emergence of construction defects. This study compares the type of problems encountered in the Jubilee Church in Rome (1996–2003), analysed in previous studies, with the failures of other two contemporary buildings of analogous features, namely: the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia (1996–2005) and the Museum of the Arts of the XXI Century in Rome (1998–2010). The findings of the study show that the accelerated decay of the three buildings shares familiar features and common challenges: geometry of the façade, local environmental factors, labour organisation, and limited regard of maintenance principles. Building on the patterns identified here, the paper suggests structural reasons for their emergence and speculates on the potential benefits deriving from the amplification of the design function. Full article
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Article
Informal Learning Spaces in Higher Education: Student Preferences and Activities
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060252 - 11 Jun 2021
Viewed by 640
Abstract
Informal learning spaces play a significant role in enriching student experiences in learning environments. Such spaces are becoming more common, resulting in a change to the spatial configuration of built environments in higher education. However, previous research lacks methods to evaluate the influence [...] Read more.
Informal learning spaces play a significant role in enriching student experiences in learning environments. Such spaces are becoming more common, resulting in a change to the spatial configuration of built environments in higher education. However, previous research lacks methods to evaluate the influence of the spatial design characteristics of informal learning spaces on student preferences and their activities within. This paper aims to tease out the spatial design characteristics of informal learning spaces to examine how they shape students’ preferences in terms of their use of the spaces and what they do within them. The two case studies selected for this study, both in the UK, are the Diamond at the University of Sheffield, and the Newton at Nottingham Trent University. A mixed-methods study is applied, including questionnaires, observation, interviews, and focus groups. Six significant design characteristics (comfort, flexibility, functionality, spatial hierarchy, openness, and other support facilities) that influence student use of informal learning environments are identified. These can be used to inform future design strategies for other informal learning spaces in higher education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning Environment Design and Use)
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Review
A Meta-Integrative Qualitative Study on the Hidden Threats of Smart Buildings/Cities and Their Associated Impacts on Humans and the Environment
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060251 - 10 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1005
Abstract
Smart buildings deploying 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) are viewed as the next sustainable solution that can be seamlessly integrated in all sectors of the built environment. The benefits are well advertised and range from inducing wellness and monitoring health, amplifying [...] Read more.
Smart buildings deploying 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) are viewed as the next sustainable solution that can be seamlessly integrated in all sectors of the built environment. The benefits are well advertised and range from inducing wellness and monitoring health, amplifying productivity, to energy savings. Comparatively, potential negative risks are less known and mostly relate to cyber-security threats and radiation effects. This meta-integrative qualitative synthesis research sought to determine the possible underlying demerits from developing smart buildings, and whether they outweigh the possible benefits. The study identified five master themes as threats of smart buildings: a surfeit of data centers, the proliferation of undersea cables, the consternation of cyber-security threats, electromagnetic pollution, and E-waste accumulation. Further, the paper discusses the rebound impacts on humans and the environment as smart buildings’ actualization becomes a reality. The study reveals that, although some aspects of smart buildings do have their tangible benefits, the potential repercussions from these not-so-discussed threats could undermine the former when all perspectives and interactions are analyzed collectively rather than in isolation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Architectural Design, Urban Science, and Real Estate)
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Article
The Improvement of Indoor Air Quality in Residential Buildings in Dubai, UAE
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060250 - 10 Jun 2021
Viewed by 614
Abstract
Due to unprecedented urbanization, UAE had built many new residential projects with poor choices of material and ventilation. This social phenomenon is leading UAE to Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) faster than any other countries. The Dubai Municipality regulates the indoor air quality with [...] Read more.
Due to unprecedented urbanization, UAE had built many new residential projects with poor choices of material and ventilation. This social phenomenon is leading UAE to Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) faster than any other countries. The Dubai Municipality regulates the indoor air quality with strict stipulation, but the detailed regulations are still insufficient. The objective of this paper is to measure the indoor air quality of new residential projects in Dubai to suggest the improvement of the regulations for indoor air quality. As a methodology, a field survey was conducted to investigate the status of indoor air pollution in residential buildings. Based on the field survey data, lab experiments for building materials were conducted and a computer simulation on radon gas was conducted. The result had shown that radon gas was mainly detected in new townhouses and labor camp houses, and its concentration was found to exceed the standard. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde (CH2O) were mainly detected in showhouses and new townhouses, and the concentration distribution was about 10 times higher than that of outdoors. It was proven that emission concentration of radon gas from various building materials were detected, and the order was red clay, gypsum board, and concrete. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are mainly detected in oil paints and PVC floor and the radiation amount of all pollutants increased with temperature increase. In computer simulation, it was found that a new townhouse needs a grace period from 20 days to 6 months to lower the radon gas concentration by 2 pCi/L. This study will serve as a basic data to establish more detailed regulation for the building materials and improve the IAQ standards in Dubai. Full article
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Article
Strategies for Adopting Building Information Modeling (BIM) in Sustainable Building Projects—A Case of Malaysia
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060249 - 10 Jun 2021
Viewed by 687
Abstract
In terms of sustainable growth, Malaysia’s construction industry faces significant challenges, such as construction costs and lack of awareness. To meet these challenges, it is essential to integrate building information modeling (BIM) and sustainable development. As a result, this study aimed to establish [...] Read more.
In terms of sustainable growth, Malaysia’s construction industry faces significant challenges, such as construction costs and lack of awareness. To meet these challenges, it is essential to integrate building information modeling (BIM) and sustainable development. As a result, this study aimed to establish strategies for adopting BIM in sustainable building projects. A systematic literature review was performed to classify the strategies to accomplish this aim, followed by a questionnaire survey of 129 construction project stakeholders. Mean score and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) were conducted to explore the detailed influence of BIM adoption strategies in sustainable building projects. The results revealed that “workshops, lectures, and conference events are used to enhance public awareness” and “better information on the costs and benefits of sustainable materials” and “strengthened sustainable development” were the most essential strategies to boost sustainable growth in building projects. Furthermore, EFA was conducted to undertake the group analysis, namely, to identify the standardization-related strategy, economic-related strategy, awareness-related strategy, and environment-related strategy. This study paves the way for future scholars, policymakers, and practitioners to investigate the limitations of future studies. Full article
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Article
Analysis of Incorporating a Phase Change Material in a Roof for the Thermal Management of School Buildings in Hot-Humid Climates
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060248 - 09 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 601
Abstract
Strategies to reduce energy consumption are presently experiencing vigorous development. Phase change materials (PCMs) are novel materials that can reduce indoor temperatures via the change in material phase. Regarding the situation in Taiwan, there is no practical utilization of PCMs in school buildings [...] Read more.
Strategies to reduce energy consumption are presently experiencing vigorous development. Phase change materials (PCMs) are novel materials that can reduce indoor temperatures via the change in material phase. Regarding the situation in Taiwan, there is no practical utilization of PCMs in school buildings at present, especially in combination with rooftops. In this paper, we discuss the feasibility and utilization potential of installing PCMs in the rooftops of school buildings. School buildings located in northern and southern Taiwan (Taipei and Kaohsiung) were selected to analyze the energy-saving potential and optimization of indoor thermal comfort by installing PCMs with different properties in rooftops over two time periods, including the air conditioning (AC) and natural ventilation (NV) seasons. Based on the simulation results, the feasible patterns of PCM simultaneity are found to be appropriate for improved indoor comfort and energy saving during the different seasons. Specifically, the efficient phase change temperature (PCT) for different PCM thicknesses is clarified to be 29 °C. The economic thickness of PCM was clarified to be 20 mm for Taipei and Kaohsiung. Through the recommendations proposed in this study, it is expected that the PCMs may be efficiently implemented in school buildings to realize the goal of energy conservation and improve thermal comfort. Full article
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Article
Risk Assessment Framework to Avoid Serial Failure for New Technical Solutions Applied to the Construction of a CLT Structure Resilient to Climate
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060247 - 09 Jun 2021
Viewed by 464
Abstract
Design-build contractors are challenged with the task of minimizing failure risks when introducing new technical solutions or adapting technical solutions to new conditions, e.g., climate change. They seem to have a disproportional trust in suppliers and their reference cases and might not have [...] Read more.
Design-build contractors are challenged with the task of minimizing failure risks when introducing new technical solutions or adapting technical solutions to new conditions, e.g., climate change. They seem to have a disproportional trust in suppliers and their reference cases and might not have adequate resources or methodologies for sufficient evaluation. This creates the potential for serial failures to spread in the construction industry. To mitigate this, it was suggested that a predefined risk assessment framework should be introduced with the aim of providing a prequalification and requirements for the use of the technical solution. The objectives of this paper are to develop a comprehensive risk assessment framework and to explore the framework’s potential to adequately support the design-build contractor’s decisions. The framework uses qualitative assessment, relying on expert workshops and quantitative assessments, with a focus on simulation and probabilities. Tollgates are used to communicate risk assessments to the contractor. The framework is applied to a real-life case study of construction with a CLT-structure for a Swedish design-build contractor, where exposure to precipitation during construction is a key issue. In conclusion, the chosen framework was successful in a design-build contractor context, structuring the process and identifying difficulties in achieving the functional requirements concerning moisture. Three success factors were: documentation and communication, expert involvement, and the use of tollgates. Recommendations to the design-build contractor on construction of CLT structure are to keep construction period short and to use full weather protection on site. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Resilient Buildings)
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Article
BIM-Based Energy Analysis and Sustainability Assessment—Application to Portuguese Buildings
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060246 - 09 Jun 2021
Viewed by 783
Abstract
Buildings are responsible for several negative impacts on the environment, most of them related to nonrenewable energy consumption, increasing the concern regarding buildings energy efficiency. In this context, computer software has been used to estimate the energy needs of the built environment, and [...] Read more.
Buildings are responsible for several negative impacts on the environment, most of them related to nonrenewable energy consumption, increasing the concern regarding buildings energy efficiency. In this context, computer software has been used to estimate the energy needs of the built environment, and the Building Information Modelling (BIM) methodology can be used to simplify this process. This study aims to validate a BIM-based framework to streamline the energy analysis of Portuguese buildings, based on the method of the national regulation for the thermal performance of residential buildings. Currently, designers need to spend considerable time assessing all the building characteristics and performing the mandatory calculations for energy performance analysis. It is also intended to link the results of the energy simulation with a Building Sustainability Assessment method—SBToolPT-H. The purpose is to demonstrate how it is possible to benefit from this approach to simultaneously improve building sustainability during the design stage. To do so, different case studies were modelled in Autodesk Revit and exported to a BIM energy tool to perform energy simulation analysis. The results were validated against the official assessment method of the Portuguese thermal regulation and were successfully used to assess the SBToolPT-H energy efficiency category. The research outcomes provide design teams with a reliable BIM-based framework to improve building energy performance and to develop thermal projects while enhancing building sustainability. It also increases the knowledge about the integration of sustainability assessment in the BIM environment, providing new insights for complete integration. Full article
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Article
The Potential of Using an Eye Tracker in Architectural Education: Three Perspectives for Ordinary Users, Students and Lecturers
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060245 - 08 Jun 2021
Viewed by 668
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to discuss the potential of eye trackers as tools providing diversified support for the architectural education of future designers. The possibility to track eye movement guaranteed by this group of devices enables an extension of knowledge on [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to discuss the potential of eye trackers as tools providing diversified support for the architectural education of future designers. The possibility to track eye movement guaranteed by this group of devices enables an extension of knowledge on the non-professional perception of architectural creations. It also allows people to monitor progress while learning and verify a project’s assumptions as well as provide lecturers with an opportunity to optimize didactic methods. The paper includes authors’ ideas for modifications of teaching methods applied at technical universities. It is a result of an analysis of research related to the perception of urban designs and architectural objects—research during which noticeable differences were observed between how experts and non-professionals perceive these structures. What also contributed to the contents of this paper was a comprehension of the wide range of eye tracking studies examining the level of acquisition of specialist professional skills. The presented ideas are also based on the analysis and adaptation of eye-tracking research conducted by scientists within other areas of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computer Aided Architectural Design)
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Review
Evaluating the Connection between Thermal Comfort and Productivity in Buildings: A Systematic Literature Review
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060244 - 07 Jun 2021
Viewed by 682
Abstract
The thermal environment is one of the main factors that influence thermal comfort and, consequently, the productivity of occupants inside buildings. Throughout the years, research has described the connection between thermal comfort and productivity. Mathematical models have been established in the attempt to [...] Read more.
The thermal environment is one of the main factors that influence thermal comfort and, consequently, the productivity of occupants inside buildings. Throughout the years, research has described the connection between thermal comfort and productivity. Mathematical models have been established in the attempt to predict changes in productivity according to thermal variations in the environment. Some of these models have failed for a number of reasons, including the understanding of the effect that several environment variables have had on performance. From this context, a systematic literature review was carried out with the aim of verifying the connection between thermal comfort and productivity and the combinations of different thermal and personal factors that can have an effect on productivity. A hundred and twenty-eight articles were found which show a connection between productivity and some thermal comfort variables. By means of specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, 60 articles were selected for a final analysis. The main conclusions found in this study were: (i) the vast majority of research uses subjective measures and/or a combination of methods to evaluate productivity; (ii) performance/productivity can be attained within an ampler temperature range; (iii) few studies present ways of calculating productivity. Full article
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Article
Influence of the Concentration of Seawater on the Early Hydration Properties of Calcium Sulphoaluminate (CSA) Cement: A Preliminary Study
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060243 - 06 Jun 2021
Viewed by 647
Abstract
This research investigates the effect of seawater of different concentrations on the hydration process and microstructure of calcium sulphoaluminate (CSA) cement. It studies the CSA cement pastes via experiments carried out to determine the initial and final setting times, mechanical strength and chemical [...] Read more.
This research investigates the effect of seawater of different concentrations on the hydration process and microstructure of calcium sulphoaluminate (CSA) cement. It studies the CSA cement pastes via experiments carried out to determine the initial and final setting times, mechanical strength and chemical shrinkage with X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and simultaneous differential thermal-thermogravimetric (DTA-TG) analysis. The DTA-TG and XRD results showed that the main hydration products were ettringite (AFt) and aluminum hydroxide in the CSA cement paste mixed with both freshwater and seawater, while a small amount of ettringite (AFt) became monosulfate (AFm) in the freshwater-mixed CSA cement. The SEM results demonstrate that seawater can improve the microstructure of CSA cement paste in the early stage of hydration (1 d) but impairs the microstructure of the CSA cement matrix in the later stage of hydration (7 d). The experimental results also indicate that a high concentration of seawater can extend the setting time, increase the chemical shrinkage and decrease the mechanical strength of CSA cement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete Materials in Construction)
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Article
Guidelines to Calibrate a Multi-Residential Building Simulation Model Addressing Overheating Evaluation and Residents’ Influence
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060242 - 05 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 544
Abstract
Can building performance simulation reproduce measured summertime indoor conditions of a multi-residential building in good conformity? This question is answered by calibrating simulated to monitored room temperatures of several rooms of a multi-residential building for an entire summer in two process steps. First, [...] Read more.
Can building performance simulation reproduce measured summertime indoor conditions of a multi-residential building in good conformity? This question is answered by calibrating simulated to monitored room temperatures of several rooms of a multi-residential building for an entire summer in two process steps. First, we did a calibration for several days without the residents being present to validate the building physics of the 3D simulation model. Second, the simulations were calibrated for the entire summer period, including the residents’ impact on evolving room temperature and overheating. As a result, a high degree of conformity between simulation and measurement could be achieved for all monitored rooms. The credibility of our results was secured by a detailed sensitivity analysis under varying meteorological conditions, shading situations, and window ventilation or room use in the simulation model. For top floor dwellings, a high overheating intensity was evoked by a combination of insufficient use of night-time window ventilation and non-heat-adapted residential behavior in combination with high solar gains and low heat storage capacities. Finally, the overall findings were merged into a process guideline to describe how a step-by-step calibration of residential building simulation models can be done. This guideline is intended to be a starting point for future discussions about the validity of the simplified boundary conditions which are often used in present-day standard overheating assessment. Full article
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Article
Masonry Dome Behavior under Gravity Loads Based on the Support Condition by Considering Variable Curves and Thicknesses
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060241 - 04 Jun 2021
Viewed by 601
Abstract
It is necessary to recognize masonry domes’ behavior under gravity loads in order to strengthen, restore, and conserve them. The neutral hoop plays a crucial role in identifying the masonry dome’s behavior to distinguish between its tensile and compressive regions. When it comes [...] Read more.
It is necessary to recognize masonry domes’ behavior under gravity loads in order to strengthen, restore, and conserve them. The neutral hoop plays a crucial role in identifying the masonry dome’s behavior to distinguish between its tensile and compressive regions. When it comes to determining the neutral hoop position in a dome with the same brick material, in addition to determining the dome’s curve and thickness, the support condition located on the boundary line is a significant parameter that has received less attention in the past. Therefore, this research aims to comprehensively define masonry dome behaviors based on the support condition’s effect on the masonry dome’s behavior, in addition to thickness and curve parameters, by determining neutral hoop(s). The method is a graphical and numerical analysis to define the sign-changing positioning in the first principal stress (hoop stress), based on the shell theory and extracted from a finite element method (FEM) Karamba3D analysis of a macro-model. The case studies are in four types of supports: condition fixed, free in the X- and Y-axes, free in all axes (domes placed on a drum), and free in all axes (domes placed on a pendentive and a drum). For each support condition, twelve curves and four varied thicknesses for each curve are considered. Results based on the dome’s variables show that, in general, four types of masonry domes behavior can be identified: single-masonry dome behavior with no neutral hoop; double-masonry dome behavior where all hoops are compressive with a single neutral hoop; double-masonry dome behavior where hoops are compressive and tensile with a single neutral hoop; and treble-masonry dome behavior with double neutral hoops. Full article
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Article
Estimation of the Age of Architectural Heritage Objects by Microstructural Changes of Calcite in Lime Mortars of Ancient Brickwork and Masonry
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060240 - 04 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1010
Abstract
Determining the age of ancient architectural and cultural monuments is a significant scientific problem. An approach based on the transformation of portlandite into calcite and subsequent recrystallization of calcite is considered, which allows for estimating the relative age of ancient brickworks for local [...] Read more.
Determining the age of ancient architectural and cultural monuments is a significant scientific problem. An approach based on the transformation of portlandite into calcite and subsequent recrystallization of calcite is considered, which allows for estimating the relative age of ancient brickworks for local groups of historic buildings based on the results of diffraction studies of powder samples of carbonate mortars and measurements of samples with a known age. This article presents the results of the study of lime mortars of ancient brickwork. Under natural conditions, the process of transformation of portlandite into calcite takes from 100 to 200 years. The rate of this process is influenced by temperature, humidity, peculiarities of interaction with carbon dioxide contained in the air, etc. Examples show that portlandite is completely transformed into calcite in masonry mortars of the 18th century and that portlandite is not found in older mortars. It was determined that after the transformation of portlandite into calcite, an increase in the degree of recrystallization of calcite is observed, which manifests itself in powder diffraction patterns in the relative broadening of the diffraction peak of calcite hkl 104. In a detailed study, an estimate of the peak width at half maximum (FWHM) associated with the degree of crystallinity is effective. The actual data are given, which show that in older lime mortars the degree of recrystallization of calcite is higher than in younger ones. This fact makes it possible to indirectly determine the relative age of brickwork and masonry of various buildings of architectural heritage, which is especially relevant for the objects with the use of lime mortars of the northern provinces of the Byzantine Oecumene and other periods of various cultures. Full article
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Article
Effect of an Aluminosilicate Disperse Additive on Behaviors of Autoclave Silicate Materials
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060239 - 03 Jun 2021
Viewed by 399
Abstract
In this research, a phase formation in CaO–SiO2–Al2O3–H2O binding system under hydrothermal conditions was studied. The novelty of this article lies in the quantitative full-profile X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis used to determine kinetics of mineral [...] Read more.
In this research, a phase formation in CaO–SiO2–Al2O3–H2O binding system under hydrothermal conditions was studied. The novelty of this article lies in the quantitative full-profile X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis used to determine kinetics of mineral formation in the binder system “lime–granite mineral modifier (GMM)”. The formation of a polymineral system is described in detail, as well as quantitative relationships between mineral composition of newly formed phases and the binding mixture ratios were determined. Phenomenological model of mineral formation in a “lime–GMM” system under hydrothermal conditions was proposed. The results obtained allow the demonstration of this binding system as a binder that is characterized by superposition of hydration and geopolymerization. The properties (strength, density, water absorption, porosity) of compressed autoclave-hardened materials with the addition of a granite modifier introduced instead of part of the sand as an aggregate have been studied. The maximum increase in strength (more than 50%) is observed at a modifier content of 15%. This is due to the formation of a rational composition of neoplasms, the compaction of the structure of the pressed products and the optimization of their pore space, which is confirmed by the data of X-ray diffraction analysis, scanning electron microscopy and the method of gas adsorption. Full article
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Article
Kriging Metamodel-Based Seismic Fragility Analysis of Single-Bent Reinforced Concrete Highway Bridges
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060238 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 956
Abstract
Uncertainty quantification is an important issue in the seismic fragility analysis of bridge type structures. However, the influence of different sources of uncertainty on the seismic fragility of the system is commonly overlooked due to the costly re-evaluation of numerical model simulations. This [...] Read more.
Uncertainty quantification is an important issue in the seismic fragility analysis of bridge type structures. However, the influence of different sources of uncertainty on the seismic fragility of the system is commonly overlooked due to the costly re-evaluation of numerical model simulations. This paper aims to present a framework for the seismic fragility analysis of reinforced concrete highway bridges, where a data-driven metamodel is developed to approximate the structural response to structural and ground motion uncertainties. The proposed framework to generate fragility curves shows its efficiency while using a few finite element simulations and accounting for various modeling uncertainties influencing the bridge seismic fragility. In this respect, a class of single-bent bridges available in the literature is taken as a case study, whose three-dimensional finite element model is established by the OpenSees software framework. Twenty near-source records from different sources are selected and the Latin hypercube method is applied for generating the random samples of modeling and ground motion parameters. The Kriging metamodel is then driven on the structural response obtained from nonlinear time history analyses. Component fragility curves of the reinforced concrete pier column are derived for different damage states using the Kriging metamodel whose parameters are established considering different modeling parameters generated by Monte Carlo simulations. The results demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed framework in interpolating the structural response and deriving the fragility curve of the case study with any input conditions of the random variables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic Safety Assessment of Existing Constructions)
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Article
An Incentive-Based Optimization Approach for Load Scheduling Problem in Smart Building Communities
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060237 - 31 May 2021
Viewed by 665
Abstract
The impact of load growth on electricity peak demand is becoming a vital concern for utilities. To prevent the need to build new power plants or upgrade transmission lines, power companies are trying to design new demand response programs. These programs can reduce [...] Read more.
The impact of load growth on electricity peak demand is becoming a vital concern for utilities. To prevent the need to build new power plants or upgrade transmission lines, power companies are trying to design new demand response programs. These programs can reduce the peak demand and be beneficial for both energy consumers and suppliers. One of the most popular demand response programs is the building load scheduling for energy-saving and peak-shaving. This paper presents an autonomous incentive-based multi-objective nonlinear optimization approach for load scheduling problems (LSP) in smart building communities. This model’s objectives are three-fold: minimizing total electricity costs, maximizing assigned incentives for each customer, and minimizing inconvenience level. In this model, two groups of assets are considered: time-shiftable assets, including electronic appliances and plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging facilities, and thermal assets such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and electric water heaters. For each group, specific energy consumption and inconvenience level models were developed. The designed model assigned the incentives to the participants based on their willingness to reschedule their assets. The LSP is a discrete–continuous problem and is formulated based on a mixed-integer nonlinear programming approach. Zoutendijk’s method is used to solve the nonlinear optimization model. This formulation helps capture the building collaboration to achieve the objectives. Illustrative case studies are demonstrated to assess the proposed model’s effect on building communities consisting of residential and commercial buildings. The results show the efficiency of the proposed model in reducing the total energy cost as well as increasing the participants’ satisfaction. The findings also reveal that we can shave the peak demand by 53% and have a smooth aggregate load profile in a large-scale building community containing 500 residential and commercial buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Approaches to Modelling Occupant Comfort)
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Article
Casa de la Asegurada: A Collective Housing Facility for Women Development in Mexico
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060236 - 31 May 2021
Viewed by 775
Abstract
While several women’s movements that aimed to modify their relationship with public space were taking place across the world, in 1956, the Mexican Social Security Institute founded the program Casa de la Asegurada, the subject of this study, as a tool for improving [...] Read more.
While several women’s movements that aimed to modify their relationship with public space were taking place across the world, in 1956, the Mexican Social Security Institute founded the program Casa de la Asegurada, the subject of this study, as a tool for improving the social security of Mexican families through the input of cultural, social, artistic, and hygienic knowledge for women. The program’s facilities, Casas de la Asegurada, are located in the large Mexican housing complexes, articulating themselves to the existing city. Despite the impact on the lives of Mexican families, these have been ignored throughout the history of Mexican architecture. The main objective of this paper is to show the state of the art of Casa de la Asegurada and its facilities located in Mexico City. To achieve this, the greatest number available of primary sources on the topic was compiled through archive and document research. Sources were classified identifying information gaps to explain, in three different scales (program, facilities, and a case study), how they work through their objectives, performed activities, and evolved through time, so that the gathered information is analyzed with an urbanistic, architectural, and gender approach to contribute new ideas in the building of facilities that allow women empowerment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Architecture of Collective Housing)
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Article
CAD Tools and Computing in Architectural and Urban Acoustics
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060235 - 30 May 2021
Viewed by 889
Abstract
Contemporary architectural and urban planning aims at optimal development of the environment, including in terms of acoustics. As such, support with computer-aided design (CAD) tools is, nowadays, obligatory. The authors present investigation outcomes of three different CAD and computing methods extracted for the [...] Read more.
Contemporary architectural and urban planning aims at optimal development of the environment, including in terms of acoustics. As such, support with computer-aided design (CAD) tools is, nowadays, obligatory. The authors present investigation outcomes of three different CAD and computing methods extracted for the study. The scope covers different scales of considerations from architectural acoustics to the urban level, which relates to the standard architect’s commissions field. The described approaches are applicable for both academics and professionals in the broadly understood building industry There were analysed and synthesized experiences from the use of two-dimensional and three-dimensional simulations, computing based on standardized formulas, and an acoustic meter (here: the SVAN 979 for RT60, LAeq measurement). The article concludes with an assessment, which shows possible uses of methods and confirmations of their usability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computer Aided Architectural Design)
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Review
Capacity to Develop Recycled Aggregate Concrete in South East Asia
Buildings 2021, 11(6), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11060234 - 30 May 2021
Viewed by 830
Abstract
The global sustainable construction aimed to minimize the ecological impacts of constructed facilities’ lifetime. In construction, concretes are the major materials utilized in South East Asia. Thus, it makes environmental and economic sense to utilize recycled materials in the production of new concretes [...] Read more.
The global sustainable construction aimed to minimize the ecological impacts of constructed facilities’ lifetime. In construction, concretes are the major materials utilized in South East Asia. Thus, it makes environmental and economic sense to utilize recycled materials in the production of new concretes for diverse uses. This review indicated that the practical implementations of the recycled aggregate concretes (RAC) in the area is greatly lacking, even though there are reasonable studies on RAC, particularly because of lack awareness and economic viability of such uses at the present period. This research aims to establish an interdisciplinary consortium with researchers, policy makers, practitioners, and social scientists in Southeast Asia to investigate the development of sustainable, durable, cost-effective, green concrete by utilizing recycled aggregates. Concentrating on waste resource recovery, this research presents an integrated modeling method. The approaches track and forecast a variety of values across technical, economic, social, and environmental areas linking these to the material flow and therefore integrating and building upon one-dimensional models like life cycle assessments (LCAs) and material flow analyses (MFAs). Additionally, the analysis of this study supported the recycling of cement for general use in construction, emphasizing the feasibility, reliability, and longevity of a project at the same time. However, the analysis also demonstrated that although there is fair progress on recycled concrete, there is still a severe lack of appropriate development in particular because of the lack of economic sustainability and knowledge of such applications at present. Raw material conservations were recorded; carbon dioxide costs and footprint were also reduced. Considering the RAC economic, technical, and environmental parameters, frameworks were applied for sustainable selections with target compressive strengths as the major goal. Full article
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