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Volume 11, December

Buildings, Volume 12, Issue 1 (January 2022) – 85 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): As a part of the UK’s 3DMBC (3D Modular Building Connections) project, this study develops a three-dimensional finite element model in Abaqus software to study the effect of different geometrical and material parameters on the ultimate behaviour of modular building connections using a wire and arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) method. Case studies were investigated using the validated finite element model to analyse the behaviour of modular connections with different nominal and WAAM-produced materials under various loading arrangements. Consequently, this study proposes informed modelling decisions for WAAM-based 3D printed metallic connections. View this paper.
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Article
Performance-Based Bi-Objective Retrofit Optimization of Building Portfolios Considering Uncertainties and Environmental Impacts
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010085 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 679
Abstract
It is essential to assess the performance of a community under probable hazard scenarios and to provide possible performance enhancements. This requires establishing performance indicators, an assessment method, and an optimization technique to provide mitigation alternatives. In this paper, multiple performance indicators are [...] Read more.
It is essential to assess the performance of a community under probable hazard scenarios and to provide possible performance enhancements. This requires establishing performance indicators, an assessment method, and an optimization technique to provide mitigation alternatives. In this paper, multiple performance indicators are utilized to assess the performance of a community building portfolio including loss, downtime, and environmental impact (e.g., CO2 emissions). The performance of a community is assessed by utilizing a performance-based assessment methodology. Then, the performance indicators are utilized as performance objectives to be optimized considering non-dominated sorting and crowding distance evolutionary optimization techniques. The framework utilizes retrofit alternatives for each building in a community and provides Pareto-optimal solutions for considered performance objectives given retrofit cost. This process of performance assessment and optimization is repeated by utilizing the Monte Carlo approach to consider uncertainties. Finally, the Pareto-optimal solutions are utilized to evaluate the retrofit programs for community building portfolios in terms of considered performance indicators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-Hazard Risk and Resilience)
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Article
The Effect of the Bearing Width on the Buckling Capacity of Partially Loaded CLT Member
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010084 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 317
Abstract
The calculation method for buckling capacity of cross-laminated timber (CLT) under axial load with one-way members has been investigated and incorporated into design codes worldwide. However, the load may only be applied to a part of the CLT members. In this case, the [...] Read more.
The calculation method for buckling capacity of cross-laminated timber (CLT) under axial load with one-way members has been investigated and incorporated into design codes worldwide. However, the load may only be applied to a part of the CLT members. In this case, the available calculation method for buckling capacity is not applicable. To solve this problem, a 3D numerical model was developed to study the buckling behavior of axially loaded CLT members. After being validated by comparison with experimental results, the model was used to investigate the buckling capacity of axially loaded CLT members with different aspect ratios and bearing length ratios. The CLT members all consisted of three layers. The thickness of the CLT members was 105 mm, the width ranged from 300 mm to 2100 mm, and the height ranged from 1400 mm to 3500 mm. It was found that the unloaded part of CLT served as constraints to the loaded part. The longer the unloaded part, the stronger the constraint was. The buckling capacity increased with the increase in bearing length ratios. An equivalent width method (EWM) was proposed; i.e., the partially loaded CLT member was replaced by a fully loaded member with an equivalent width, which can be determined by the proposed formulas. It was found that the proposed calculation method is reliable and simple to apply. This study supplies the missing calculation method for the buckling behavior of partially loaded CLT members and helps to promote the engineering application of CLT members. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Building Materials)
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Article
Python-LMDI: A Tool for Index Decomposition Analysis of Building Carbon Emissions
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010083 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 903
Abstract
A timely analysis for carbon emission reduction in buildings is an effective global response to the crisis of climate change. The logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI) decomposition analysis approach has been extensively used to assess the carbon emission reduction potential of the buildings [...] Read more.
A timely analysis for carbon emission reduction in buildings is an effective global response to the crisis of climate change. The logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI) decomposition analysis approach has been extensively used to assess the carbon emission reduction potential of the buildings sector. In order to simplify the calculation process and to expand its application scope, a new open-source Python tool (PyLMDI) developed in this article is used to compute the results of LMDI decomposition analysis, including multiplicative and additive decomposition. Users can quickly obtain the decomposition result by initializing the input data through a simple class data structure. In addition, the carbon emissions from commercial buildings are used as a numerical example to demonstrate the function of PyLMDI. In summary, PyLMDI is a potential calculation tool for index decomposition analysis that can provide calculation guidance for carbon emission reduction in the buildings sector. The data and codes for the numerical example are also included. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Energy Consumption and Urban Energy Planning)
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Article
A Comparison of Energy Consumption in American Homes by Climate Region
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010082 - 16 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 411
Abstract
The present research analyzes the impact of nine factors related to household demographics, building equipment, and building characteristics towards a home’s total energy consumption while controlling for climate. To do this, we have surveyed single-family owned houses from the 2015 Residential Energy Consumption [...] Read more.
The present research analyzes the impact of nine factors related to household demographics, building equipment, and building characteristics towards a home’s total energy consumption while controlling for climate. To do this, we have surveyed single-family owned houses from the 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) dataset and controlled the analysis by Building America climate zones. Our findings are based on descriptive statistics and multiple regression models, and show that for a median-sized home in three of the five climate zones, heating equipment is still the main contributor to a household’s total energy consumed, followed by home size. Social-economic factors and building age were found relevant for some regions, but often contributed less than size and heating equipment towards total energy consumption. Water heater and education were not found to be statistically relevant in any of the regions. Finally, solar power was only found to be a significant factor in one of the regions, positively contributing to a home’s total energy consumed. These findings are helpful for policymakers to evaluate the specificities of climate regions in their jurisdiction, especially guiding homeowners towards more energy-efficient heating equipment and home configurations, such as reduced size. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Energy Efficiency, Environment and Health)
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Article
Light Shelf Development Using Folding Technology and Photovoltaic Modules to Increase Energy Efficiency in Building
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010081 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 377
Abstract
Some recent research in the area of light shelves has been focused on applying photovoltaic modules to light shelves to save building energy. However, due to the modules installed on the light shelf reflectors, most such light shelves have failed to improve both [...] Read more.
Some recent research in the area of light shelves has been focused on applying photovoltaic modules to light shelves to save building energy. However, due to the modules installed on the light shelf reflectors, most such light shelves have failed to improve both daylighting and generation efficiency. This study proposes a folding technology to improve light shelves’ daylighting and generation efficiency that uses photovoltaic modules and validates their performance using a testbed. The major obtained findings are as follows: (1) The proposed folding technology has a structure in which reflectors and photovoltaic modules fold alternately by modularizing the light shelf. The reflector and photovoltaic modules are controlled by adjusting the degree of folding. (2) Because light shelf angles for improving daylighting and generation differed depending on the application of the photovoltaic module, the optimal light shelf specifications differed. (3) Compared to previous light shelf technologies, the light shelf with folding technology and a photovoltaic module reduced energy use by 31.3% to 38.2%. This demonstrates the efficacy of the proposed system. (4) Applying a photovoltaic module can lower the indoor uniformity ratio, which means that the daylighting performance of the light shelf is degraded due to the reduction of the area occupied by the reflector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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Perspective
An AI/ML-Based Strategy for Disaster Response and Evacuation of Victims in Aged Care Facilities in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley: A Perspective
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010080 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 678
Abstract
The Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley, Australia’s longest coastal catchment, is spanned by a river system of more than 470 km, that runs from Goulburn to Broken Bay, covering a total area of over 2.2 million hectares. This region has remained prone to flood events, with [...] Read more.
The Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley, Australia’s longest coastal catchment, is spanned by a river system of more than 470 km, that runs from Goulburn to Broken Bay, covering a total area of over 2.2 million hectares. This region has remained prone to flood events, with considerable mortalities, economic impacts and infrastructural losses occurring quite regularly. The topography, naturally variable climatic conditions and the ‘bathtub’ effect in the region are responsible for the frequent flood events. In response, the Government at the national/federal, state and local level has focused on the design of efficient flood risk management strategies with appropriate evacuation plans for vulnerable communities from hospitals, schools, childcare and aged care facilities during a flood event. Despite these overarching plans, specialized response and evacuation plans for aged care facilities are critical to reducing the loss incurred by flood events in the region. This is the focus of this present paper, which reviews the history of flood events and responses to them, before examining the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques during flood events to overcome the flood risks. An early flood warning system, based on AI/Machine Learning (ML) strategy is being suggested for a timely decision, enhanced disaster prediction, assessment and response necessary to overcome the flood risks associated with aged care facilities within the Hawkesbury-Nepean region. A framework entailing AI/ML methods for identifying the safest route to the destination using UAV and path planning has been proposed for timely disaster response and evacuation of the residents of aged care facilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction Management and Disaster Risk Management)
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Editorial
Advanced Methods for Structural Rehabilitation
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010079 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 473
Abstract
Structural rehabilitation has globally become an urgent need due to both widespread construction obsolescence and more demanding requirements from modern construction codes, especially in earthquake-prone areas, where upgrading the existing constructions has become a primary goal [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Methods for Structural Rehabilitation)
Article
Failure Mechanisms and Parameters of Elastoplastic Deformations of Anchorage in a Damaged Concrete Base under Seismic Loading
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010078 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 346
Abstract
The article addresses mechanisms of anchorage failure in a concrete base studied within the framework of physical experiments. The authors investigated the most frequently used types of anchors, such as the cast-in-place and post-installed ones. The anchorages were studied under static and dynamic [...] Read more.
The article addresses mechanisms of anchorage failure in a concrete base studied within the framework of physical experiments. The authors investigated the most frequently used types of anchors, such as the cast-in-place and post-installed ones. The anchorages were studied under static and dynamic loading, similar to the seismic type. During the experiments, the post-earthquake condition of a concrete base was simulated. Within the framework of the study, the authors modified the values of such parameters, such as the anchor embedment depth, anchor steel strength, base concrete class, and base crack width. As a result of the experimental studies, the authors identified all possible failure mechanisms for versatile types of anchorages, including steel and concrete cone failures, anchor slippage at the interface with the base concrete (two types of failure mechanisms were identified), as well as the failure involving the slippage of the adhesive composition at the interface with the concrete of the anchor embedment area. The data obtained by the authors encompasses total displacements in the elastic and plastic phases of deformation, values of the bearing capacity for each type of anchorage, values of the bearing capacity reduction, and displacements following multi-cyclic loading compared to static loading. As a result of the research, the authors identified two types of patterns that anchorages follow approaching the limit state: elastic-brittle and elastoplastic mechanisms. The findings of the experimental research allowed the authors to determine the plasticity coefficients for the studied types of anchors and different failure mechanisms. The research findings can be used to justify seismic load reduction factors to be further used in the seismic design of anchorages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Structures)
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Article
A Study on the Reliability of Modeling of Thermocouple Response and Sprinkler Activation during Compartment Fires
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010077 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 405
Abstract
Real and numerical fire experiments involve temperature measurements with thermocouples, and thus some considerations on numerical modeling of this process are presented and a new approach to thermocouple modeling is introduced. Using ANSYS Fluent software a well-recognized analytical thermocouple model was implemented in [...] Read more.
Real and numerical fire experiments involve temperature measurements with thermocouples, and thus some considerations on numerical modeling of this process are presented and a new approach to thermocouple modeling is introduced. Using ANSYS Fluent software a well-recognized analytical thermocouple model was implemented in each cell of the computational domain, which allows for determination of thermocouple responses as a continuous field. Similarly, sprinklers are key elements of fire-protection systems. Sprinklers activation is one of the breakthrough moments during the course of a compartment fire. Therefore, assumptions on sprinkler activation time are of crucial importance when designing a fire safety system. Just as for thermocouple modeling, virtual sprinklers based on a commonly admitted response time index (RTI) model were placed in all cells. The proposed approach provides data on sprinklers activation or thermocouple response for the whole domain instead of retrieving data point by point only for predefined locations. In this study, experimental data available in the literature were used for the validation of the proposed approach. In addition, the results were compared with those obtained with the commonly used Fire Dynamic Simulator (FDS) software. The outcomes might be of a significant importance for practitioners, who deal with fire experiments and fire protection. Furthermore, some issues on accurate modeling of fire gases flow are discussed extensively. It was found that commonly applied k-ε and k-ω turbulence models might fail in the case of modeling of fire plumes in confined spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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Article
Affordances, Architecture and the Action Possibilities of Learning Environments: A Critical Review of the Literature and Future Directions
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010076 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 744
Abstract
This paper critically reviews the body of literature on affordances relating to the design and inhabitation of school buildings. Focusing on the influence of learning spaces on pedagogical practices, we argue that links between affordances, architecture and the action possibilities of school-based environments [...] Read more.
This paper critically reviews the body of literature on affordances relating to the design and inhabitation of school buildings. Focusing on the influence of learning spaces on pedagogical practices, we argue that links between affordances, architecture and the action possibilities of school-based environments have largely been overlooked and that such links hold great promise for better aligning space and pedagogy—especially amidst changing expectations of what effective teaching and learning ‘looks like’. Emerging innovative learning environments (ILEs) are designed to enable a wider pedagogical repertoire than traditional classrooms. In order to transcend stereotypical understandings about how the physical environment in schools may afford teaching and learning activities, it is becoming increasingly recognised that both design and practice reconceptualisation is required for affordances of new learning environments to be effectively actualised in support of contemporary education. With a focus on the environmental perceptions of architects, educators and learners, we believe affordance theory offers a useful framework for thinking about the design and use of learning spaces. We argue that Gibson’s affordance theory should be more commonly applied to help situate conversations between designers and users about how physical learning environments are conceived, perceived and actioned for effective teaching and learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning Environment Design and Use)
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Article
Analyzing the Time-Varying Thermal Perception of Students in Classrooms and Its Influencing Factors from a Case Study in Xi’an, China
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010075 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 391
Abstract
Owing to movement in the spatial environment and changes in activity levels, students’ thermal perception is time varying in classrooms throughout different periods of the day. However, previous studies have rarely considered the time-varying thermal perception in different periods of the day, which [...] Read more.
Owing to movement in the spatial environment and changes in activity levels, students’ thermal perception is time varying in classrooms throughout different periods of the day. However, previous studies have rarely considered the time-varying thermal perception in different periods of the day, which may cause discomfort for students and lead to energy wastage. Therefore, a study was conducted to investigate the time-varying thermal perception of students and its influencing factors in different classes of the day. In addition, the differences in students’ adaptive behaviors in different periods were also explored. A total of 578 university students were surveyed using questionnaire surveys during the heating season in Xi’an, China. The following results can be obtained: (1) The thermal sensation vote and thermal preference vote values in the afternoon were significantly higher than those in the morning. At the start of the first class in the morning/afternoon, the thermal sensation of the students had the highest sensitivity to outdoor temperature changes. (2) The students’ thermal perception was greatly affected by the preclass activity state at the start of the first class in the morning/afternoon. However, in other periods, the above phenomenon was not obvious. (3) In the afternoon, the frequency of clothing adjustment was greater than that in the morning, and this behavior would significantly affect the students’ thermal sensation. (4) Compared with the current classroom heating strategy, the heating strategy of dynamically adjusting the indoor set temperature according to the time-varying characteristics of the students can theoretically achieve energy savings of 25.6%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning Environment Design and Use)
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Article
Designing Post COVID-19 Buildings: Approaches for Achieving Healthy Buildings
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010074 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1533
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the accessibility, social gathering, lifestyle, and working environment to be changed to reduce the infection. Coronavirus spreads between people in several different ways. Small liquid particles (aerosols, respiratory droplets) from an infected person are transmitted through air and surfaces [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the accessibility, social gathering, lifestyle, and working environment to be changed to reduce the infection. Coronavirus spreads between people in several different ways. Small liquid particles (aerosols, respiratory droplets) from an infected person are transmitted through air and surfaces that are in contact with humans. Reducing transmission through modified heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and building design are potential solutions. A comprehensive review of the engineering control preventive measures to mitigate COVID-19 spread, healthy building design, and material was carried out. The current state-of-the-art engineering control preventive measures presented include ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), bipolar ionization, vertical gardening, and indoor plants. They have potential to improve the indoor air quality. In addition, this article presents building design with materials (e.g., copper alloys, anti-microbial paintings) and smart technologies (e.g., automation, voice control, and artificial intelligence-based facial recognition) to mitigate the infections of communicable diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Post-COVID Architecture Research)
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Article
BIM Approach in Construction Safety—A Case Study on Preventing Falls from Height
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010073 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 797
Abstract
The construction industry has one of the highest occupational accident incidence rates among all economic sectors. Currently, building information modelling (BIM) appears to be a valuable tool for analysing occupational safety issues throughout the construction life cycle of projects, helping to avoid hazards [...] Read more.
The construction industry has one of the highest occupational accident incidence rates among all economic sectors. Currently, building information modelling (BIM) appears to be a valuable tool for analysing occupational safety issues throughout the construction life cycle of projects, helping to avoid hazards and risks and, consequently, increasing safety. This work investigates BIM methodology and the application of related technologies for building safety planning and demonstrates the potential of this technology for the integrated implementation of safety measures during the design phase and construction site management. The first step consisted of a literature review on applying BIM-related technologies for safety in the design and planning phases. Following this, to show the potentialities of construction simulation, a case study based on BIM 4D to prevent falls from height was developed. With BIM 4D, it is possible to follow the construction process over time, giving the construction safety technicians, designers, supervisors and managers the capability to analyse, in each phase, the potential risks and identify which safety measures should be implemented. BIM can effectively integrate safety measures from the design phase to the construction and use phase and enable integrated safety planning within construction planning, leading to reliable safety management throughout the construction process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced BIM Application in Construction and Buildings)
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Article
Seismic Fragility Analysis of Low-Rise RC Buildings with Brick Infills in High Seismic Region with Alluvial Deposits
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010072 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 786
Abstract
Most of the reinforced concrete buildings in Nepal are low-rise construction, as this type of construction is the most dominant structural form adopted to construct residential buildings in urban and semi-urban neighborhoods throughout the country. The low-rise residential constructions generally follow the guidelines [...] Read more.
Most of the reinforced concrete buildings in Nepal are low-rise construction, as this type of construction is the most dominant structural form adopted to construct residential buildings in urban and semi-urban neighborhoods throughout the country. The low-rise residential constructions generally follow the guidelines recommended by the Nepal Building Code, especially the mandatory rules of thumb. Although low-rise buildings have brick infills and are randomly constructed, infill walls and soil–structure interaction effects are generally neglected in the design and assessment of such structures. To this end, bare frame models that are used to represent such structures are questionable, especially when seismic vulnerability analysis is concerned. To fulfil this gap, we performed seismic vulnerability analysis of low-rise residential RC buildings considering infill walls and soil–structure interaction effects. Considering four analysis cases, we outline comparative seismic vulnerability for various analysis cases in terms of fragility functions. The sum of observations highlights that the effects of infills, and soil–structure interaction are damage state sensitive for low-rise RC buildings. Meanwhile, the design considerations will be significantly affected since some performance parameters are more sensitive than the overall fragility. We also observed that the analytical fragility models fundamentally overestimate the actual seismic fragility in the case of low-rise RC buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic Performance of New-Designed and Existing RC Buildings)
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Article
An Exploratory Analysis of Housing and the Distribution of COVID-19 in Sweden
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010071 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 418
Abstract
The impact of COVID-19 on various aspects of our life is evident. Proximity and close contact with individuals infected with the virus, and the extent of such contact, contribute to the intensity of the spread of the virus. Healthy and infected household members [...] Read more.
The impact of COVID-19 on various aspects of our life is evident. Proximity and close contact with individuals infected with the virus, and the extent of such contact, contribute to the intensity of the spread of the virus. Healthy and infected household members who both require sanctuary and quarantine space come into close and extended contact in housing. In other words, housing and living conditions can impact the health of occupants and the spread of COVID-19. This study investigates the relationship between housing characteristics and variations in the spread of COVID-19 per capita across Sweden’s 290 municipalities. For this purpose, we have used the number of infected COVID-19 cases per capita during the pandemic period—February 2020 through April 2021—per municipality. The focus is on variables that measure housing and housing conditions in the municipalities. We use exploratory analysis and Principal Components Analysis to reduce highly correlated variables into a set of linearly uncorrelated variables. We then use the generated variables to estimate direct and indirect effects in a spatial regression analysis. The results indicate that housing and housing availability are important explanatory factors for the geographical spread of COVID-19. Overcrowding, availability, and quality are all critical explanatory factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Housing and Real Estate Economics)
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Article
Supporting the Reuse of Design Assets in ETO-Based Components—A Case Study from an Industrialised Post and Beam Building System
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010070 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 373
Abstract
The ability to offer customisation has been considered as a competitive advantage for industrialised house building (IHB) companies. Product platform approaches have been acknowledged as one of the prominent ways to improve both internal and external efficiency. However, the use of traditional platform-based [...] Read more.
The ability to offer customisation has been considered as a competitive advantage for industrialised house building (IHB) companies. Product platform approaches have been acknowledged as one of the prominent ways to improve both internal and external efficiency. However, the use of traditional platform-based strategies does not suffice for the design of engineer-to-order (ETO)-based components in a building system. The purpose of this research is to test and evaluate how the reuse of design assets can be achieved by using a parametric modelling approach to support the design process of ETO-based components in a post and beam building system. This is an additional study using the design platform approach (DPA) that contributes to expanding the knowledge for designing ETO-based components. This research proposes a parametric design platform method developed by following an inductive approach based on the findings from a detailed study on bracket connection with a single case study in a Swedish multi-storey house building company. The proposed method offers flexibility in modelling ETO building components, facilitates design automation, and shows a 20-times improvement in the modelling process. This approach can be used in any building system with ETO-based components by identifying, formalising, and reusing connected design assets. A key finding is that the ETO components can be shifted towards configurable solutions to achieve platform-based design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced BIM Application in Construction and Buildings)
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Review
Building Geometry as a Variable in Energy, Comfort, and Environmental Design Optimization—A Review from the Perspective of Architects
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010069 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 461
Abstract
Due to negative environmental impacts caused by the building industry, sustainable buildings have recently become one of the most investigated fields in research. As the design technique itself is mainly responsible for building performance, building energy design optimization is of particular interest. Several [...] Read more.
Due to negative environmental impacts caused by the building industry, sustainable buildings have recently become one of the most investigated fields in research. As the design technique itself is mainly responsible for building performance, building energy design optimization is of particular interest. Several studies concentrate on systems, operation, and control optimization, complemented by passive strategies, specifically related to the envelope. In building physics, different architectural considerations, in particular, the building’s shape, are essential variables, as they greatly influence the performance of a building. Most scientific work that takes into consideration building geometry explores spaces without any energy optimization or calculates optimization processes of a few basic variables of simplified space geometries. Review studies mainly discuss the historic development of optimization algorithms, building domains, and the algorithm-system and software framework performance with coupling issues. By providing a systemized clustering of different levels of shape integration intensities, space creation principals, and algorithms, this review explores the current status of sustainability related shape optimization. The review proves that geometry design variable modifications and, specifically, shape generation techniques offer promising optimization potential; however, the findings also indicate that building shape optimization is still in its infancy. Full article
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Article
Development of Psi Factors for Thermal Bypass Due to Insulation Gaps in Low-Slope Roofing Assemblies
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010068 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 200
Abstract
In commercial roofs, the presence or formation of gaps could be due to improper installation, thermal expansion, and dimensional changes in the insulation boards. The heat loss from these gaps could lead to higher thermal transmittance in the roof assembly. The current research [...] Read more.
In commercial roofs, the presence or formation of gaps could be due to improper installation, thermal expansion, and dimensional changes in the insulation boards. The heat loss from these gaps could lead to higher thermal transmittance in the roof assembly. The current research study conducted around 70 experiments to investigate the effect of gap height, gap width and gap offset on the thermal transmittance of the roofing assembly. The measured data showed that in a staggered insulation layout with a joint offset of 610 mm (24 in), formation of 6.4 mm (1/4 in) to 12.7 mm (1/2 in) gaps at the insulation joints could contribute to an average decrease of 2% to 9% in the effective R-value of the roof assembly. As the insulation thermal resistance increases or becomes thicker, the thermal losses in the roof assembly increase. Generalized gap impact curves were developed to provide the relation between gap parameters (i.e., gap widths and height) and the thermal performance of the roof assembly. The experimental data were further analyzed using the psi factor approach of linear thermal bridging generating thermal transmittance data to support the calculation of thermal bypass from gaps in the thermal roof design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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Article
Optimization of the Curved Metal Damper to Improve Structural Energy Dissipation Capacity
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010067 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 386
Abstract
Structural curved metal dampers are implemented in various applications to mitigate the damages at a specific area efficiently. A stable and saturated hysteretic behavior for the in-plane direction is dependent on the shape of a curved-shaped damper. However, it has been experimentally shown [...] Read more.
Structural curved metal dampers are implemented in various applications to mitigate the damages at a specific area efficiently. A stable and saturated hysteretic behavior for the in-plane direction is dependent on the shape of a curved-shaped damper. However, it has been experimentally shown that the hysteretic behavior in the conventional curved-shaped damper is unstable, mainly as a result of bi-directional deformations. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct shape optimization for curved dampers to enhance their hysteretic behavior and energy dissipation capability. In this study, the finite element (FE) model built in ABAQUS, is utilized to obtain optimal shape for the curved-shaped damper. The effectiveness of the model is checked by comparisons of the FE model and experimental results. The parameters for the optimization include the curved length and shape of the damper, and the improved approach is conducted by investigating the curved sections. In addition, the design parameters are represented by B-spline curves (to ensure enhanced system performance), regression analysis is implemented to derive optimization formulations considering energy dissipation, constitutive material model, and cumulative plastic strain. Results determine that the energy dissipation capacity of the curved steel damper could be improved by 32% using shape optimization techniques compared to the conventional dampers. Ultimately, the study proposes simple optimal shapes for further implementations in practical designs. Full article
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Article
Mitigation of Tsunami Debris Impact on Reinforced Concrete Buildings by Fender Structures
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010066 - 10 Jan 2022
Viewed by 321
Abstract
Buildings located in coastal regions are prone to tsunami dangers, which often carry debris in the form of shipping containers and boats. This paper presents an approach for the design of fender structures to minimize debris impacts on buildings. The impact of shipping [...] Read more.
Buildings located in coastal regions are prone to tsunami dangers, which often carry debris in the form of shipping containers and boats. This paper presents an approach for the design of fender structures to minimize debris impacts on buildings. The impact of shipping containers, which are categorized as large debris, is considered in the study. Since the weights of shipping containers are standardized, the impact energy can be related to other debris. For a fender structure, cone-type rubber fenders are used to resist the impact of the shipping container. Various fender reactions are considered as parameters to study the efficiency of the fenders. The displacement-controlled nonlinear static analysis is carried out to determine the building capacity. The energy approach for shipping container impact is used to evaluate the resistance of the building. Capacity curves, energy absorptions, inter-story drift ratios of the buildings with and without a fender structure, and the efficiency of the fender are presented. The buildings with a fender structure can absorb the energy from the impact of a loaded shipping container. Conversely, the building without a fender structure cannot resist the impact of a loaded shipping container. From the obtained results, a recommendation is given for buildings with a fender structure. The hydrodynamic force on the fender structure is transferred to the main building through the fender. Hence, the yield force of the fenders affects the performance of the main building that must be considered in the design. Full article
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Article
Mechanical Performance Prediction for Sustainable High-Strength Concrete Using Bio-Inspired Neural Network
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010065 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 431
Abstract
High-strength concrete (HSC) is a functional material possessing superior mechanical performance and considerable durability, which has been widely used in long-span bridges and high-rise buildings. Unconfined compressive strength (UCS) is one of the most crucial parameters for evaluating HSC performance. Previously, the mix [...] Read more.
High-strength concrete (HSC) is a functional material possessing superior mechanical performance and considerable durability, which has been widely used in long-span bridges and high-rise buildings. Unconfined compressive strength (UCS) is one of the most crucial parameters for evaluating HSC performance. Previously, the mix design of HSC is based on the laboratory test results which is time and money consuming. Nowadays, the UCS can be predicted based on the existing database to guide the mix design with the development of machine learning (ML) such as back-propagation neural network (BPNN). However, the BPNN’s hyperparameters (the number of hidden layers, the number of neurons in each layer), which is commonly adjusted by the traditional trial and error method, usually influence the prediction accuracy. Therefore, in this study, BPNN is utilised to predict the UCS of HSC with the hyperparameters tuned by a bio-inspired beetle antennae search (BAS) algorithm. The database is established based on the results of 324 HSC samples from previous literature. The established BAS-BPNN model possesses excellent prediction reliability and accuracy as shown in the high correlation coefficient (R = 0.9893) and low Root-mean-square error (RMSE = 1.5158 MPa). By introducing the BAS algorithm, the prediction process can be totally automatical since the optimal hyperparameters of BPNN are obtained automatically. The established BPNN model has the benefit of being applied in practice to support the HSC mix design. In addition, sensitivity analysis is conducted to investigate the significance of input variables. Cement content is proved to influence the UCS most significantly while superplasticizer content has the least significance. However, owing to the dataset limitation and limited performance of ML models which affect the UCS prediction accuracy, further data collection and model update must be implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Building Materials on Construction Sustainability)
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Article
Exploring Visualisation Methodology of Landscape Design on Rural Tourism in China
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010064 - 10 Jan 2022
Viewed by 506
Abstract
Rural tourism has become a hot topic in China in the context of the nation’s rural revitalisation. Rural tourism allows tourists to experience local life and promotes local economic development. However, there is considerable controversy over the landscape design of ancient Chinese villages. [...] Read more.
Rural tourism has become a hot topic in China in the context of the nation’s rural revitalisation. Rural tourism allows tourists to experience local life and promotes local economic development. However, there is considerable controversy over the landscape design of ancient Chinese villages. Many problems, such as how to design and protect the landscape of these ancient villages and how to improve the tourist experience, are not resolved. For our research object, we selected the ancient Gaotiankeng Village in Kaihua County, Zhejiang Province. Using questionnaires, image interviews, and some user experience techniques such as mental maps, we collected user experience data by assessing design cases. The visualisation method presented a wide range of experience in the landscape and planning field. This study primarily used computer image processing, image entropy calculation, and colour mapping to process the data. A visualisation framework was defined to highlight the landscape aesthetics, landscape service, and tourists’ emotion. The results indicated the relationship of three elements. The objective of our study was to develop a method of landscape design and planning that can effectively enhance tourists’ experience and provide practical suggestions for rural landscapes and relatively better services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Architectural Design, Urban Science, and Real Estate)
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Article
Performance Evaluation of Thermal Bridge Reduction Method for Balcony in Apartment Buildings
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010063 - 09 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 396
Abstract
Most apartment buildings in South Korea use internal insulation systems to reduce building energy demand. However, thermal bridges such as balcony slabs in apartment buildings still lead to significant heat loss in winter, because the internal insulation system is not continuous in the [...] Read more.
Most apartment buildings in South Korea use internal insulation systems to reduce building energy demand. However, thermal bridges such as balcony slabs in apartment buildings still lead to significant heat loss in winter, because the internal insulation system is not continuous in the balcony slab structure, and floor heating systems are commonly used in residential buildings. Therefore, this study investigates two types of thermal break elements, namely thermal break (TB) and thermal break-fiber glass reinforced polymer (TB-GFRP), to improve the thermal resistance of a balcony thermal bridge. To understand the effects of balcony thermal bridges with and without thermal break elements, the linear thermal transmittances of different balcony thermal bridges were analyzed using Physibel simulations. Then, the heating demand of a model apartment under varying thermal bridge conditions was evaluated using TRNSYS simulations. To understand the effect of insulation systems on heat loss through a balcony thermal bridge, apartments with internal and external insulation systems were studied. Whether the apartment was heating was also considered in the thermal transmittance analysis. Thus, the linear thermal transmittance of the thermal bridges with thermal break elements was reduced by more than 60%, and the heating energy demands were reduced by more than 8%. Full article
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Article
Green Interactive Installations as Conceptual Experiments towards a New Meaning of Smart Design
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010062 - 09 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 320
Abstract
Nature-based design process with its embedded concept of form that follows function can be materialized as products capable of incorporating aesthetics and functionality similar to the characteristics of its natural role models. The paper addresses the topic of green installations created through a [...] Read more.
Nature-based design process with its embedded concept of form that follows function can be materialized as products capable of incorporating aesthetics and functionality similar to the characteristics of its natural role models. The paper addresses the topic of green installations created through a design process that simulates nature’s smart developmental mechanisms. The aim is to create an interactive installation capable of receiving and interpreting external factors that would determine the ensemble’s behavior and influence its future development and evolution. The main challenge lies in the fact that the smart feature is often achieved by intensive use of technology, which often overshadows inventive ways in which the behavioral and aesthetic properties of the material can be reinterpreted. The interactive green installation “Modgrew” investigates the possibilities of obtaining smart features through the experimental testing of two main types of configurations. The results underline the fact that, by applying the principles of biomimetic design, technologies from different fields can be combined towards obtaining a smart product. The conclusions highlight the need for future studies cover subjects such as the efficiency of automation, the possible reconfiguration of modules, behavioral optimization over time, the identification of minimal tech alternatives and the reduction of maintenance necessities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Architectural Design, Urban Science, and Real Estate)
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Review
Enabling Nature-Based Solutions to Build Back Better—An Environmental Regulatory Impact Analysis of Green Infrastructure in Ontario, Canada
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010061 - 08 Jan 2022
Viewed by 740
Abstract
The application of green infrastructure in the built environment delivers a nature-based solution to address the impacts of climate change. This study presents a qualitative evidence synthesis that evaluates policy instruments which enable the use and implementation of green infrastructure, using Ontario, Canada [...] Read more.
The application of green infrastructure in the built environment delivers a nature-based solution to address the impacts of climate change. This study presents a qualitative evidence synthesis that evaluates policy instruments which enable the use and implementation of green infrastructure, using Ontario, Canada as a case study. Unpacking the elements of the policy landscape that govern green infrastructure through environmental regulatory impact analysis can inform effective implementation of this nature-based solution and support decision-making in public policy. This environmental regulatory impact analysis is based on a systematic review of existing policy instruments, contextual framing in a continuum of coercion, and identification of alignment with relevant UN SDGs. Enabling widespread usage of green infrastructure in the built environment could be a viable strategy to build back better, localize the UN SDGs, and address multiple climate change impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Buildings, Infrastructure and SDGs 2030)
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Article
The Physical and Mechanical Properties of Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) with Recycled AAC as a Partial Replacement for Sand
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010060 - 07 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 324
Abstract
The application of AAC has increased considerably in Malaysia since the 1990s. The usage of AAC has some advantages, but it also has negative environmental impacts since rejected concrete will become landfill. This study aimed to use AAC waste powder as a material [...] Read more.
The application of AAC has increased considerably in Malaysia since the 1990s. The usage of AAC has some advantages, but it also has negative environmental impacts since rejected concrete will become landfill. This study aimed to use AAC waste powder as a material that would partially replace the sand content to produce a new form of Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC). The physical and mechanical properties of the newly developed AAC were investigated. This paper presents improved mechanical and physical properties of the new form of recycled AAC concrete. Besides these improvements, using recycled AAC could lower production costs. Furthermore, the usage of this recycled waste powder is both economically and environmentally advantageous. This study found that when recycled AAC was substituted for sand, AAC with a fine recycled powder content of 30% had a compressive strength that was around 16% higher than conventional AAC and between 29% and 156% higher than any value attained utilizing an industrial waste product. This study also confirmed that the greater strength could be identical to a higher tobermorite phase and that the recycled AAC surface showed a finer crystalline morphology. Full article
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Article
Research on Optimization of Climate Responsive Indoor Space Design in Residential Buildings
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010059 - 07 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 384
Abstract
This paper first analyzes the climate characteristics of five typical cities in China, including Harbin, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Kunming. Then, based on Grasshopper, Ladybug and Honeybee analysis software, according to the indoor layout of typical residential buildings, this research extracts design parameters [...] Read more.
This paper first analyzes the climate characteristics of five typical cities in China, including Harbin, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Kunming. Then, based on Grasshopper, Ladybug and Honeybee analysis software, according to the indoor layout of typical residential buildings, this research extracts design parameters such as the depth and width of different rooms and their window-to-wall ratios etc., to establish a climate responsive optimization design process with indoor lighting environment comfort, with heating and cooling demand as the objective functions. Meanwhile, based on Monte Carlo simulation data, ANN (Artificial Neural Network) is used to establish a prediction model to analyze the sensitivity of interior design parameters under different typical cities’ climatic conditions. The study results show that the recommended values for the total width and total depth of indoor units under the climatic conditions of each city are both approximately 14.97 m and 7.88 m. Among them, under the climatic conditions of Harbin and Shenzhen, the design parameters of residential interiors can take the recommended value of UDI optimal or nZEB optimal. While the recommended values of window-to-wall ratios for the north bedroom, master bedroom and living room in Shanghai residential interiors are 0.26, 0.32 and 0.33, respectively. The recommended value of the window-to-wall ratio of the master bedroom in Kunming residences is 0.36, and that of the remaining rooms is between 0.15 and 0.18. The recommended values of window-to-wall ratios for the master bedroom and living room in Beijing residences are 0.41 and 0.59, respectively, and that for the remaining rooms are 0.15. The multi-objective optimization process based on parametric performance simulation used in the study can effectively assist architects in making energy-saving design decisions in the preliminary stage, allowing architects to have a case to follow in the actual design operation process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Building Performance Analysis)
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Article
Understanding Occupants’ Thermal Sensitivity According to Solar Radiation in an Office Building with Glass Curtain Wall Structure
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010058 - 07 Jan 2022
Viewed by 421
Abstract
The thermal comfort of occupants in the increasing number of modern buildings with glass curtain wall structures is of significant research interest. As the thermal sensitivity of building occupants varies with building features, situational factors, and the human body’s thermal balance, it is [...] Read more.
The thermal comfort of occupants in the increasing number of modern buildings with glass curtain wall structures is of significant research interest. As the thermal sensitivity of building occupants varies with building features, situational factors, and the human body’s thermal balance, it is necessary to derive the comfort temperature based on field research, which was conducted in this study in a South Korean office building with a glass curtain wall structure. The influence of solar radiation on the indoor thermal environment and thermal comfort obtained by measurements and occupant questionnaires was analyzed using cumulative graphs and a sensitivity analysis. The observed changes in operative temperature over time confirmed that occupant comfort was significantly affected by the radiant temperature. Based on this result, two groups (Group A near the windows and Group B near the interior corridor) were defined for analysis. Owing to the influx of solar radiation, Group A was more sensitive to changes in the thermal environment (0.67/°C) than Group B (0.49/°C), and the derived comfort temperature for each group differed from the set temperature by approximately ±2 °C. Thus, it was confirmed that the solar radiation introduced through a glass curtain wall building has a direct impact on the indoor thermal environment and occupant comfort according to location. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Energy Efficiency, Environment and Health)
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Article
Structural Performance Assessment of Innovative Hollow Cellular Panels for Modular Flooring System
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010057 - 06 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 463
Abstract
Lightweight modular construction has become an increasing need to meet the housing requirements around the world today. The benefits of modular construction ranging from rapid production, consistency in quality, sustainability, and ease of use have widened the scope for the construction of residential, [...] Read more.
Lightweight modular construction has become an increasing need to meet the housing requirements around the world today. The benefits of modular construction ranging from rapid production, consistency in quality, sustainability, and ease of use have widened the scope for the construction of residential, commercial, and even emergency preparedness facilities. This study introduces novel floor panels that can be flat-packed and built into modular housing components on-site with minimal labour and assistance. The flooring system uses hollow cellular panels made of various configurations of trapezoidal steel sheets. The structural performance of three different configurations of these hollow flooring systems as a modular component is presented in this study by analysing the failure modes, load-displacement parameters, and strain behaviour. The study confirms significant advantages of the proposed hollow floor systems, with multi-cells reporting higher load-carrying capacity. The hollow flooring system performed well in terms of structural performance and ease in fabrication as opposed to the conventional formworks and commercial temporary flooring systems. The proposed flooring system promises efficient application as working platforms or formworks in temporary infrastructural facilities and emergency construction activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment, Diagnosis and Service Life Prediction)
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Article
Measuring the Construction Project Resilience from the Perspective of Employee Behaviors
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010056 - 06 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 594
Abstract
The increasing developmental potentiality for the construction industry brings the huge challenge to make up the limitation of traditional construction project management mode when adapting to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Due to the high energy and resource consumption for the construction projects, [...] Read more.
The increasing developmental potentiality for the construction industry brings the huge challenge to make up the limitation of traditional construction project management mode when adapting to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Due to the high energy and resource consumption for the construction projects, there are a large number of uncertainties and disturbances in achieving resilient urban infrastructure. Studying construction project resilience (CPR) is imperative. However, prior studies preferred to measure resilience by systemic indicators, which are complex and unfriendly. Studying CPR from the perspective of employee behavior (EB) remains rare. Hence, this study proposed a social network analysis (SNA) methodology to overcome the research gap. Firstly, six EBs are identified by the systematic literature review (SLR). Then, the critical employees (CEs) and their interrelationships are investigated to form the social network. Six SNA parameters including density, degree centrality, betweenness centrality, efficiency, constraint, and cliques are selected to model the EBs, namely PMT cohesion, the identity of the project culture, formal behavior between employees, collaboration efficacy, informal social constraints, and reciprocity and mutual trust. Finally, the value of CPR is obtained and the strategies for improving the CPR are proposed from four characteristics: robustness, redundancy, rapidity, and resourcefulness. The findings provided a simple and effective techniques to measure the CPR and could benefit the project manager to improve the CPR by exerting accurate strategies to the EBs in poor performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Buildings, Infrastructure and SDGs 2030)
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