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Buildings, Volume 4, Issue 4 (December 2014) , Pages 605-1000

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Open AccessArticle
SSI on the Dynamic Behaviour of a Historical Masonry Building: Experimental versus Numerical Results
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 978-1000; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040978
Received: 28 July 2014 / Revised: 21 October 2014 / Accepted: 10 November 2014 / Published: 28 November 2014
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2514 | PDF Full-text (2701 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A reliable procedure to identify the dynamic behaviour of existing masonry buildings is described in the paper, referring to a representative case study: a historical masonry palace located in Benevento (Italy). Since the building has been equipped with a permanent dynamic monitoring system [...] Read more.
A reliable procedure to identify the dynamic behaviour of existing masonry buildings is described in the paper, referring to a representative case study: a historical masonry palace located in Benevento (Italy). Since the building has been equipped with a permanent dynamic monitoring system by the Department of Civil Protection, some of the recorded data, acquired in various operating conditions, have been analysed with basic instruments of the Operational Modal Analysis in order to identify the main eigenfrequencies and vibration modes of the structure. The obtained experimental results have been compared to the numerical outcomes provided by three detailed Finite Element (FE) models of the building. The influence of Soil-Structure Interaction (SSI) has been also introduced in the FE model by a sub-structure approach where concentrated springs were placed at the base of the building to simulate the effect of soil and foundation on the global dynamic behaviour of the structure. The obtained results evidence that subsoil cannot a priori be disregarded in identifying the dynamic response of the building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic-Resistant Building Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Learning How to Use Buildings: An Exploration of the Potential of Design Interactions to Support Transition to Low-Impact Community Living
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 963-977; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040963
Received: 18 July 2014 / Revised: 28 October 2014 / Accepted: 6 November 2014 / Published: 27 November 2014
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2096 | PDF Full-text (237 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, I study how a housing project is designed and show the architects in conversation with the residents talking about living in a community with lower impact, to reveal different conceptual understandings of building technologies and systems within the home. In [...] Read more.
In this paper, I study how a housing project is designed and show the architects in conversation with the residents talking about living in a community with lower impact, to reveal different conceptual understandings of building technologies and systems within the home. In this account, it can be seen that building systems and technologies become entangled with dwelling, patterns of living and maintenance scenarios on a housing estate. Shown are several ways that these design interactions can be considered pedagogic and transformative. It is proposed that similar events between architects and users are established in the design stage for other building types and for more of the UK housing stock. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Building Design)
Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Energy Targets and Economic Concerns in Design Strategies for a Residential Nearly-Zero Energy Building
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 937-962; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040937
Received: 26 August 2014 / Revised: 23 October 2014 / Accepted: 27 October 2014 / Published: 25 November 2014
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3376 | PDF Full-text (1684 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Finding cost-optimal solutions towards nearly-zero energy buildings in accordance with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is a challenging task. In order to reach the 20-20-20 targets, EU energy policy has introduced new ambitious levels for the large-scale spread of nearly-zero energy [...] Read more.
Finding cost-optimal solutions towards nearly-zero energy buildings in accordance with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is a challenging task. In order to reach the 20-20-20 targets, EU energy policy has introduced new ambitious levels for the large-scale spread of nearly-zero energy buildings (nZEBs) and the concept of the cost-optimal level, defined as the energy performance level, which leads to the lowest cost during the estimated economic lifecycle of the building. Consequently, building design has begun a challenge involving both energy targets and economic concerns. The aim of this research is to analyze an example building of a new single family house, using the cost-optimal methodology, in order to define how energy and economic aspects influence the preliminary design phase of the project and, in particular, the choice of the performance features of some components of the project itself, such as envelope elements and systems. The impact on energy performances of different configurations for the building envelope and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems was assessed with the dynamic simulation software EnergyPlus. Finally, the costs of the different design scenarios were estimated, according to the European Standard EN 15459:2007 to establish which of them had the lowest global cost and, consequently, represents the cost-optimal level for the design configurations analyzed. In order to test the stability of the results obtained, different sensitivity analyses were carried out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Building Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Reducing Carbon from the “Middle-Out”: The Role of Builders in Domestic Refurbishment
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 911-936; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040911
Received: 29 July 2014 / Revised: 29 October 2014 / Accepted: 30 October 2014 / Published: 18 November 2014
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2836 | PDF Full-text (554 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A three-year research project explored the evolving level of “building expertise” for low-carbon housing refurbishment in the UK and France. With a focus on “middle actors” and the evolution of professional practice, this paper reports on “middle-out” responses from the housing retrofit supply [...] Read more.
A three-year research project explored the evolving level of “building expertise” for low-carbon housing refurbishment in the UK and France. With a focus on “middle actors” and the evolution of professional practice, this paper reports on “middle-out” responses from the housing retrofit supply chain to top-down policies promoting low-energy retrofits of existing homes. The two countries have comparable long-term policy goals for CO2 emissions reduction, but there are important differences between their more immediate initiatives to achieve a step-change in activity in the housing retrofit market. Industry responses to these various policy signals were explored in a series of semi-structured interviews with builders involved in innovative, low-energy refurbishment projects. Drawing mainly on four case studies of innovative business models, the paper highlights innovative practices and processes being proposed and trialled by “middle actors” in the building industry. We describe middle-out implications of these innovative practices: upstream to policy makers, downstream to clients, and sideways across refurbishment providers and the retrofit supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Building Design)
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Open AccessArticle
A Semantics-Rich Information Technology Architecture for Smart Buildings
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 880-910; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040880
Received: 25 July 2014 / Revised: 21 October 2014 / Accepted: 21 October 2014 / Published: 4 November 2014
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3504 | PDF Full-text (3939 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The design of smart homes, buildings and environments currently suffers from a low maturity of available methodologies and tools. Technologies, devices and protocols strongly bias the design process towards vertical integration, and more flexible solutions based on separation of design concerns are seldom [...] Read more.
The design of smart homes, buildings and environments currently suffers from a low maturity of available methodologies and tools. Technologies, devices and protocols strongly bias the design process towards vertical integration, and more flexible solutions based on separation of design concerns are seldom applied. As a result, the current landscape of smart environments is mostly populated by defectively designed solutions where application requirements (e.g., end-user functionality) are too often mixed and intertwined with technical requirements (e.g., managing the network of devices). A mature and effective design process must, instead, rely on a clear separation between the application layer and the underlying enabling technologies, to enable effective design reuse. The role of smart gateways is to enable this separation of concerns and to provide an abstracted view of available automation technology to higher software layers. This paper presents a blueprint for the information technology (IT) architecture of smart buildings that builds on top of established software engineering practices, such as model-driven development and semantic representation, and that avoids many pitfalls inherent in legacy approaches. The paper will also present a representative use case where the approach has been applied and the corresponding modeling and software tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Automation Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Considering the Feasibility of Semantic Model Design in the Built-Environment
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 849-879; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040849
Received: 3 April 2014 / Revised: 14 October 2014 / Accepted: 26 October 2014 / Published: 4 November 2014
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2543 | PDF Full-text (589 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the process of structuring, capturing, creating, and managing a digital representation of physical and/or functional characteristics of a built space [1]. Current BIM has limited ability to represent dynamic semantics, social information, often failing to consider building activity, [...] Read more.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the process of structuring, capturing, creating, and managing a digital representation of physical and/or functional characteristics of a built space [1]. Current BIM has limited ability to represent dynamic semantics, social information, often failing to consider building activity, behavior and context; thus limiting integration with intelligent, built-environment management systems. Research, such as the development of Semantic Exchange Modules, and/or the linking of IFC with semantic web structures, demonstrates the need for building models to better support complex semantic functionality. To implement model semantics effectively, however, it is critical that model designers consider semantic information constructs. This paper discusses semantic models with relation to determining the most suitable information structure. We demonstrate how semantic rigidity can lead to significant long-term problems that can contribute to model failure. A sufficiently detailed feasibility study is advised to maximize the value from the semantic model. In addition we propose a set of questions, to be used during a model’s feasibility study, and guidelines to help assess the most suitable method for managing semantics in a built environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Directions in Building Information Modeling)
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Open AccessArticle
Design of Dwellings and Interior Family Space in China: Understanding the History of Change and Opportunities for Improved Sustainability Practices
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 823-848; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040823
Received: 24 July 2014 / Revised: 19 October 2014 / Accepted: 21 October 2014 / Published: 31 October 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3101 | PDF Full-text (902 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reviews briefly the recent history of dwelling design in China. It notes the rapid changes that have taken place since the 1980s and identifies the way contemporary procurement processes leave out the final fit-out and decoration/refurbishment. A range of stakeholders were [...] Read more.
This paper reviews briefly the recent history of dwelling design in China. It notes the rapid changes that have taken place since the 1980s and identifies the way contemporary procurement processes leave out the final fit-out and decoration/refurbishment. A range of stakeholders were interviewed, and access was gained to drawings and other technical data that indicated how the secondary processes were carried out. These are largely ungoverned by regulation in the same way necessary for initial design. The key group is the occupants who drive the fit-out and decoration according to personal and cultural requirements, but often with less than perfect understanding of sustainability. The interior design industry has developed rapidly over the same period and was initially lacking in professional knowledge and understanding (something which can still be found). Advice provided to dwelling occupants was based more on appearance than function and efficiency. Over the same period, beneficial modifications to construction processes have been introduced in relation to structural design, and it should be possible to do the same for sustainability-related design issues. The paper advocates: more regulation; better assessment techniques; more information and guidance for home-owners; and a greater focus on energy issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings: Design for Comfort and Users)
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Open AccessArticle
Seismic Collapse Assessment of a 20-Story Steel Moment-Resisting Frame Structure
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 806-822; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040806
Received: 13 June 2014 / Revised: 24 September 2014 / Accepted: 20 October 2014 / Published: 28 October 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3552 | PDF Full-text (1867 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The 2010 edition of the load standard in the United States (U.S.), ASCE 7-10, (Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures) introduced risk-targeted spectral acceleration values for the estimation of seismic design loads. In this study, a 20-story steel moment resisting frame [...] Read more.
The 2010 edition of the load standard in the United States (U.S.), ASCE 7-10, (Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures) introduced risk-targeted spectral acceleration values for the estimation of seismic design loads. In this study, a 20-story steel moment resisting frame structure located in Century City, CA, USA was designed based on ASCE 7-10 and a probabilistic seismic collapse assessment was conducted. The main goals of this study are: (a) to evaluate whether the design of a typical steel moment-frame structure based on risk-targeted spectral accelerations fulfills the target design collapse level of 1% probability of collapse in 50 years; and (b) to quantify the collapse potential of a tall steel structure design based on the most current U.S. seismic code provisions. The probability of collapse was estimated for two sets of 104 and 224 recorded ground motions, respectively. An evaluation of the results demonstrated that for this specific structure the code-prescribed collapse performance target was reasonably met. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic-Resistant Building Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Valuing Indoor Air Quality Benefits in a Healthcare Construction Project with Real Option Analysis
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 785-805; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040785
Received: 14 August 2014 / Revised: 15 October 2014 / Accepted: 16 October 2014 / Published: 24 October 2014
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Abstract
Indoor air quality (IAQ) can produce significant economic benefits for the tenant during the use of the building. However, currently the potential economic benefits on a tenant’s employees’ health and performance are not considered in feasibility studies for IAQ investments. Here, the economic [...] Read more.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) can produce significant economic benefits for the tenant during the use of the building. However, currently the potential economic benefits on a tenant’s employees’ health and performance are not considered in feasibility studies for IAQ investments. Here, the economic value refers to benefits that can be expressed numerically in terms of money such as cost savings and increased revenues and that which impacts the building user organization’s financial profitability. This paper is one of the first known studies to explore real option analysis (ROA) as a potential approach to evaluate the life-cycle profitability of investments in IAQ. The research is carried out as a case study, which is a healthcare construction project in Finland. The main finding of this paper is that ROA seems to provide a viable method for the evaluation of investments in IAQ. In the case study, the economic benefits of IAQ to the tenant are noticeable. The real option value of the economic benefits of better IAQ is almost 4 million euros and the real option pay-off of the IAQ investment exceeds 0.5 million euros. The results are indicative only but imply that ROA is a promising method to evaluate investments in IAQ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of the Building Environment on Health and Well-Being)
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Open AccessArticle
Urban Blue Space and “The Project of the Century”: Doing Justice on the Seattle Waterfront and for Local Residents
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 764-784; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040764
Received: 12 April 2014 / Revised: 23 September 2014 / Accepted: 24 September 2014 / Published: 20 October 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2717 | PDF Full-text (631 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban blue space is increasingly embraced by cities as a specific and valuable genre of public space, valued for its economic, symbolic and experiential place attributes and essential to sustainable urban development. This article takes up the concept of urban blue space from [...] Read more.
Urban blue space is increasingly embraced by cities as a specific and valuable genre of public space, valued for its economic, symbolic and experiential place attributes and essential to sustainable urban development. This article takes up the concept of urban blue space from a design perspective, extending and exploring it through a critical social science lens. Using the reconfiguration and redesign of the central Seattle waterfront as a case example, the idea of “doing justice” is enlisted to examine not just the design opportunities and formal characteristics of the site, but also the patterns of privilege, access and regional socio-ecological equity that are raised through its redesign. After situating the extraordinary design opportunity presented by this iconic urban blue space, and the imperative to do justice to the waterfront’s physical situation, the article presents the site from four additional and discrete perspectives: economic justice, environmental justice, social justice and tribal justice. By thus foregrounding the urban political ecology of the waterfront, the article demonstrates that the most important challenge of the site’s redevelopment is not technological, financial or administrative, although these are real, and significant challenges, but rather, the need to construct a place that works to counter established patterns of local and regional injustice. In Seattle as in other coastal port cities, urban blue space is a shared public and environmental good, with unique and demanding governance responsibilities for its conceptualization and sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designing Spaces for City Living)
Open AccessEditorial
Building Performance Analysis and Simulation: We’ve Come a Long Way
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 762-763; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040762
Received: 9 October 2014 / Accepted: 13 October 2014 / Published: 17 October 2014
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Abstract
Back in 1981, when I started doing building energy performance simulation for pre-design and energy efficiency retrofit work, building simulation was in its infancy. There were only a handful of building energy simulation programs, with DOE-2, ESP-II, BLAST, TRACE and MERIWHETHER being the [...] Read more.
Back in 1981, when I started doing building energy performance simulation for pre-design and energy efficiency retrofit work, building simulation was in its infancy. There were only a handful of building energy simulation programs, with DOE-2, ESP-II, BLAST, TRACE and MERIWHETHER being the most commonly used ones by consultants [1]. These programs required "mainframe" computers, so I used to prepare the input files on a Radio Shack TRS-80, send it over a telephone modem to a company in Toronto that ran the simulation on a mainframe computer overnight and shipped the printed output to me by courier in the morning. Each run had a turn-around time of almost 48 h, and the run-time and courier charges were about $100, almost as much as a day's salary for a young engineer. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Performance Analysis and Simulation)
Open AccessArticle
What Can We Learn from the Household Electricity Survey?
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 737-761; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040737
Received: 22 July 2014 / Revised: 30 September 2014 / Accepted: 30 September 2014 / Published: 17 October 2014
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3499 | PDF Full-text (778 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The reasons for high carbon emissions from domestic buildings are complex, and have both social and technical dimensions. At the same time, it is costly and very time-consuming to gather reliable data on energy use in the home. The authors had early access [...] Read more.
The reasons for high carbon emissions from domestic buildings are complex, and have both social and technical dimensions. At the same time, it is costly and very time-consuming to gather reliable data on energy use in the home. The authors had early access to data from the Household Electricity Survey—the most detailed survey of electricity consumption in UK homes ever undertaken—which monitored 250 homes. The data enabled the authors to investigate a series of socio-technical questions drawn up by the UK Government: Why do some households use far more energy than average, whereas others use much less? What potential is there for shifting “peak load” so that electricity demand is more even through the day? Why is base load electricity use so high? The answers were seldom definitive, but statistical tests found significant correlations between high electricity use and social grade, large household size, unemployment and middle age; and between low electricity use and single-person households, small dwellings, and retirement. This paper draws out key findings from the work, and examines how these insights affect our broader understanding of carbon emissions from the built environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Building Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Detroit Works Long-Term Planning Project: Engagement Strategies for Blending Community and Technical Expertise
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 711-736; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040711
Received: 12 February 2014 / Revised: 24 September 2014 / Accepted: 25 September 2014 / Published: 16 October 2014
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3451 | PDF Full-text (1199 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In January 2013, civic leaders, community stakeholders, and residents came together to release Detroit Future City: 2012 Detroit Strategic Framework Plan, a guiding blueprint for transforming Detroit from its current state of population loss and excessive vacancy into a model for the [...] Read more.
In January 2013, civic leaders, community stakeholders, and residents came together to release Detroit Future City: 2012 Detroit Strategic Framework Plan, a guiding blueprint for transforming Detroit from its current state of population loss and excessive vacancy into a model for the reinvention of post-industrial American cities. Three years prior, the U.S. Census had reported that the city had lost 24% of its population over the last decade and had experienced a 20% increase in vacant and abandoned property, bringing total vacancy to roughly the size of Manhattan. In addition to physical and economic challenges, Detroiters had also acknowledged significant barriers to effective civic engagement. Foremost among these barriers were a profound sense of immobilization, planning fatigue, and a general perception of cynicism about planning and engagement efforts. These challenges were compounded by historic racial dynamics and tension. This case study elaborates on the comprehensive and innovative civic engagement executed in a citywide planning process called the Detroit Works Project, which took place from late 2010 through late 2012. For the citywide planning process to be successful and sustainable, civic leaders and project funders committed to a planning initiative that would be different from previous efforts, in large part because the “owners” of the process would be diverse and inclusive across all community sectors. The case study, written by three of the key consultants from the project, describes four key civic engagement strategies deployed in the creation of the strategic framework: (1) addressing profound challenges of culture, race, and politics by deliberately building trust; (2) elevating community expertise by fostering a sense of ownership of the process; (3) blending technical and community expertise; and (4) viewing civic engagement as an ongoing two-way conversation rather than a series of large-scale episodic events. This article elaborates on important lessons that other communities might learn from Detroit’s planning initiative in relation to these strategies. It concludes with a brief summary of the results and implications of the civic engagement process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designing Spaces for City Living)
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Open AccessReview
Green Retrofitting Skyscrapers: A Review
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 683-710; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040683
Received: 23 June 2014 / Revised: 22 August 2014 / Accepted: 22 September 2014 / Published: 30 September 2014
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3334 | PDF Full-text (745 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper investigates innovative trends, practices and goals of tall building retrofits while illustrating green design techniques and implementation strategies. The existing building stock is substantially large and represents one of the biggest opportunities to reduce energy waste and curb air pollution and [...] Read more.
This paper investigates innovative trends, practices and goals of tall building retrofits while illustrating green design techniques and implementation strategies. The existing building stock is substantially large and represents one of the biggest opportunities to reduce energy waste and curb air pollution and global warming. In terms of tall buildings, many will benefit from retrofits. There are long lists of inefficient all-glass curtain walls, initially promoted by the modernist movement, that are due to retrofit. The all-glass curtain wall buildings rely on artificial ventilation, cooling and heating, and suffer from poor insulation, which collectively make them energy hogs. Recent practices indicate that green retrofit has helped older buildings to increase energy efficiency, optimize building performance, increase tenants’ satisfaction and boost economic return while reducing greenhouse gas emission. As such, renovating older buildings could be “greener” than destroying them and rebuilding new ones. While some demolition and replacement may remain a necessity to meet contemporary needs, there are significant opportunities to reduce carbon emission and improve existing buildings’ performance by retrofitting them rather than constructing new ones. Practical insight indicates that the confluence of economic and environmental goals is increasingly at the heart of sustainable planning and design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-Towers: Technology, Sustainability, and Resilience)
Open AccessArticle
IDEAhaus: A Modular Approach to Climate Resilient UK Housing
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 661-682; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040661
Received: 27 May 2014 / Revised: 16 September 2014 / Accepted: 23 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4419 | PDF Full-text (2656 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper describes the result of a project to develop climate adaptation design strategies funded by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board. The aim of the project was to look at the threats and opportunities presented by industrialized and house-building techniques in the light [...] Read more.
This paper describes the result of a project to develop climate adaptation design strategies funded by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board. The aim of the project was to look at the threats and opportunities presented by industrialized and house-building techniques in the light of predicted future increases in flooding and overheating due to anthropogenic climate change. The paper shows that the thermal performance of houses built to the current UK Building Regulations is not adequate to cope with changing weather patterns, and in light of this, develops a detailed design for a new house: one that is industrially produced and climatically resilient, but affordable. This detailed concept IDEAhaus of a modular house is not only flood-proof to a water depth of 750 mm, but also is designed to utilize passive cooling, which dramatically reduces the amount of overheating, both now and in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Housing Design: Selected Papers from 2013 PLEA Conference)
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Open AccessArticle
Basic Research in Human–Computer–Biosphere Interaction
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 635-660; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040635
Received: 17 February 2014 / Revised: 9 September 2014 / Accepted: 11 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
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Abstract
In this study, we present a vision of how a human–computer–biosphere interaction (HCBI) can facilitate a sustainable society. HCBI extends and transforms the subject of human–computer interaction from countable people, objects, pets, and plants into an auditory biosphere that is an uncountable, a [...] Read more.
In this study, we present a vision of how a human–computer–biosphere interaction (HCBI) can facilitate a sustainable society. HCBI extends and transforms the subject of human–computer interaction from countable people, objects, pets, and plants into an auditory biosphere that is an uncountable, a complex, and a non-linguistic soundscape. As an example, utilizing HCBI to experience forest soundscapes can help us feel one with nature, without physically being present in nature. The goal of HCBI is to achieve ecological interactions between humans and nature through computer systems without causing environmental destruction. To accomplish this, information connectivity must be created despite the physical separation between humans and the environment. This combination should also ensure ecological neutrality. In this paper, we present an overview of an HCBI concept, related work, methodologies, and developed interfaces. We used pre-recorded animal calls to enable a bio-acoustical feedback from the target wildlife. In this study, we primarily focus on the design and evaluation of a bio-acoustic interaction system utilizing tracking collars, microphones, speakers, infrared cameras, infrared heat sensors, micro-climate sensors, radio-tracking devices, GPS devices, radio clocks, embedded Linux boards, high-capacity batteries, and high-speed wireless communication devices. Our experiments successfully demonstrated bio-acoustic interactions between wildlife—more specifically, an endangered species of a wild cat—and human beings via a computer system, thus validating the HCBI concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural, Urban and Natural Soundscapes)
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Evaluation of Different Masonry Infill Walls with Structural Fuse Elements Based on In-Plane Cyclic Load Testing
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 605-634; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040605
Received: 27 June 2014 / Revised: 4 September 2014 / Accepted: 9 September 2014 / Published: 26 September 2014
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3373 | PDF Full-text (2667 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper discusses the performance of a structural fuse concept developed for use as a seismic isolation system in the design and retrofit of masonry infill walls. An experimental program was developed and executed to study the behavior of the structural fuse system [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the performance of a structural fuse concept developed for use as a seismic isolation system in the design and retrofit of masonry infill walls. An experimental program was developed and executed to study the behavior of the structural fuse system under cyclic loads, and to evaluate the performance of the system with various masonry materials. Cyclic tests were performed by applying displacement controlled loads at the first, second, and third stories of a two-bay, three-story steel test frame with brick infill walls; using a quasi-static loading protocol to create a first mode response in the structural system. A parametric study was also completed by replacing the brick infill panels with infill walls constructed of concrete masonry units and autoclaved aerated concrete blocks, and applying monotonically increasing, displacement controlled loads at the top story of the test frame. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic-Resistant Building Design)
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