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Buildings, Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2015) , Pages 1-296

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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Banana Fibers on the Compressive and Flexural Strength of Compressed Earth Blocks
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 282-296; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010282
Received: 5 January 2015 / Revised: 6 March 2015 / Accepted: 11 March 2015 / Published: 18 March 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3479 | PDF Full-text (2674 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable development of the built environment in developing countries is a major challenge in the 21st century. The use of local materials in construction of buildings is one of the potential ways to support sustainable development in both urban and rural areas. Building [...] Read more.
Sustainable development of the built environment in developing countries is a major challenge in the 21st century. The use of local materials in construction of buildings is one of the potential ways to support sustainable development in both urban and rural areas. Building with Compressed Earthen Blocks (CEBs) is becoming more popular due to their low cost and relative abundance of materials. The proposed Green-Compressed Earth Block (GCEB) consists of ordinary CEB ingredients plus Banana fibers, which will be the focus of this study. Banana fibers are widely available worldwide as agricultural waste from Banana cultivation. Banana fibers are environmentally friendly and present important attributes, such as low density, light weight, low cost, high tensile strength, as well as being water and fire resistant. This kind of waste has a greater chance of being utilized for different application in construction and building materials. This focused on the use of banana fiber and its effect on the compressive and flexural strength in CEB. The deflection at the mid-span of the blocks studied was calculated using the Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT). The results of this study will highlight general trends in the strength properties of different soil mixes for CEBs. These efforts are necessary to ensure that GCEB technology becomes more widely accepted in the world of building materials and is considered a reliable option for providing low-cost housing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Framework of Thermal Sensitive Urban Design Benchmarks: Potentiating the Longevity of Auckland’s Public Realm
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 252-281; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010252
Received: 28 November 2014 / Revised: 25 February 2015 / Accepted: 27 February 2015 / Published: 12 March 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2984 | PDF Full-text (1548 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the key objectives of contemporary urban design is to ensure the quality and activity within urban public spaces. Presented as a progressively emerging paradigm in this process, the effects of urban climatology are increasingly elucidating the need for further climate responsive [...] Read more.
One of the key objectives of contemporary urban design is to ensure the quality and activity within urban public spaces. Presented as a progressively emerging paradigm in this process, the effects of urban climatology are increasingly elucidating the need for further climate responsive environments. Moreover, this interest is one that shall increase along with the progression of climate change effects upon outdoor environments. Nevertheless, it is often that climatic assessments lack bottom-up climatic indicators, tools and practical benchmarks. As a result, this obstructs local decision making, and practices of localised adaptive design. In an effort to address such discrepancies, this paper launches a framework of international precedents of built and conceptual projects that address thermal comfort levels in public spaces. This organisation will be cross-referenced with theory that supports its structure and typological division. With Auckland as the focal case study, the solutions that are extracted from the framework will be scrutinised in order to shape new potential measures, and launch new considerations in Auckland’s local policy and design guidelines. In this way, microclimatic concerns are hence framed into an opportunity to potentiate the use and longevity of Auckland’s public realm. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modern Housing Retrofit: Assessment of Upgrade Packages to EnerPHit Standard for 1940–1960 State Houses in Auckland
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 229-251; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010229
Received: 18 December 2014 / Revised: 13 February 2015 / Accepted: 27 February 2015 / Published: 11 March 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3348 | PDF Full-text (3371 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
New Zealand state housing includes a significant portion of problematic buildings constructed after the public housing scheme launched in 1936. Most of these houses are still uninsulated, thus, cold, draughty, mouldy, and progressively decaying; however, as they are fundamental elements of the country’s [...] Read more.
New Zealand state housing includes a significant portion of problematic buildings constructed after the public housing scheme launched in 1936. Most of these houses are still uninsulated, thus, cold, draughty, mouldy, and progressively decaying; however, as they are fundamental elements of the country’s culture, society, and environment, and are built with good quality materials and sound construction, they are suitable candidates for effective energy upgrades. This paper presents findings of a study on problems and opportunities of retrofitting the state houses built between 1940 and 1960 in the Auckland region. It advocates strategic national policies and initiatives for retrofitting, based on more challenging performance thresholds. The research defines and virtually implements an incremental intervention strategy including different retrofit packages for a typical 1950s stand-alone house. Indoor and outdoor environmental parameters were monitored over a year, and data used to establish a base case for thermal simulation. The upgrade packages were then modelled to assess their impact on the house’s thermal performance, comparing heating requirements and comfort of various insulation and ventilation options. The paper reports on effective ways of preserving the integrity of such a house, while improving its thermal performance to the EnerPHit standard, and discusses the benefits of introducing this holistic approach into New Zealand retrofit practice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Production Model for Construction: A Theoretical Framework
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 209-228; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010209
Received: 3 December 2014 / Revised: 13 February 2015 / Accepted: 15 February 2015 / Published: 3 March 2015
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 13860 | PDF Full-text (1149 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The building construction industry faces challenges, such as increasing project complexity and scope requirements, but shorter deadlines. Additionally, economic uncertainty and rising business competition with a subsequent decrease in profit margins for the industry demands the development of new approaches to construction management. [...] Read more.
The building construction industry faces challenges, such as increasing project complexity and scope requirements, but shorter deadlines. Additionally, economic uncertainty and rising business competition with a subsequent decrease in profit margins for the industry demands the development of new approaches to construction management. However, the building construction sector relies on practices based on intuition and experience, overlooking the dynamics of its production system. Furthermore, researchers maintain that the construction industry has no history of the application of mathematical approaches to model and manage production. Much work has been carried out on how manufacturing practices apply to construction projects, mostly lean principles. Nevertheless, there has been little research to understand the fundamental mechanisms of production in construction. This study develops an in-depth literature review to examine the existing knowledge about production models and their characteristics in order to establish a foundation for dynamic production systems management in construction. As a result, a theoretical framework is proposed, which will be instrumental in the future development of mathematical production models aimed at predicting the performance and behaviour of dynamic project-based systems in construction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Marginal Productivity Gained Through Prefabrication: Case Studies of Building Projects in Auckland
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 196-208; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010196
Received: 21 November 2014 / Accepted: 3 February 2015 / Published: 11 February 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3273 | PDF Full-text (279 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Several studies have documented benefits of prefabrication system (prefab) compared to the traditional building system (TBS). However, the documented benefits have been anecdotal or fragmented with reports of isolated case study projects. Few studies have looked at the objectively quantified benefits from statistical [...] Read more.
Several studies have documented benefits of prefabrication system (prefab) compared to the traditional building system (TBS). However, the documented benefits have been anecdotal or fragmented with reports of isolated case study projects. Few studies have looked at the objectively quantified benefits from statistical significance point of view and across building types in New Zealand. This study contributes to filling this knowledge gap by analyzing cost and time-savings, and productivity improvement achievable by the use of prefab in place of the TBS. Records of completion times and final contract values of 66 building projects implemented using prefab in Auckland were collected. The building types included commercial, houses, apartments, educational, and community buildings. The project details included final contract sums, completion dates, gross floor areas, and number of floors. Based on these details, the equivalent completion times and the final cost estimates for similar buildings implemented using the TBS were obtained from the Rawlinsons construction data handbook and feedback from some designers and contractors. Marginal productivity outcome for each building project was computed as the product of the cost and time-savings achieved using the prefab. Results showed that the use of prefab in place of TBS resulted in 34% and 19% average reductions in the completion times and costs, respectively. This also translated to overall 7% average improvement in the productivity outcomes in the building projects. Univariate ANOVA-based hypothesis test results showed that ‘building type’ had no significant effects on the cost and productivity improvement outcomes, but had significant effect on the time savings analyzed in the case study projects. The greatest productivity gain of 11% was achieved in house projects. These evidence-based results could guide optimized use of prefab for specific building application. The hypothesis-testing outcome provides insights on one of several potential influences on prefab improvements, which will be analyzed in subsequent research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impacts of an Innovative Residential Construction Method on Internal Conditions
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 179-195; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010179
Received: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 30 January 2015 / Published: 11 February 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2727 | PDF Full-text (2671 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
New Zealand houses are known for producing sub-optimal internal thermal conditions and unacceptably high internal moisture levels. These contribute to poor levels of health, mould and can coincide with the decay of structural timber frames. A proposed solution is to provide an alternative [...] Read more.
New Zealand houses are known for producing sub-optimal internal thermal conditions and unacceptably high internal moisture levels. These contribute to poor levels of health, mould and can coincide with the decay of structural timber frames. A proposed solution is to provide an alternative structure utilising plywood, a vapour check on the internal face of the timber frame and an additional air gap, followed by the internal lining. The internal vapour check is designed to prevent moisture vapour diffusion from inside into the frame and to permit moisture diffusion from outside through the structure to the internal environment. Two full scale houses had temperatures, dew points and humidity levels monitored in passive, unoccupied conditions. The test case house incorporated the innovative construction solution. The control house was of identical design and location, using standard construction practice. The calculated internal moisture content profile appeared to be unrelated to the external moisture content as expected, instead following the profile of the changing internal temperature. Whilst the innovative construction appeared to prevent moisture diffusion into the structure in winter and permit it inside in summer, this resulted in a generally higher internal relative humidity than the control house. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Dissipative Column: A New Hysteretic Damper
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 163-178; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010163
Received: 19 November 2014 / Accepted: 2 February 2015 / Published: 9 February 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2414 | PDF Full-text (2183 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A new replaceable hysteretic damper to better control seismic building damage, consisting of two or more adjacent steel vertical elements connected to each other with continuous mild/low strength steel shear links, is proposed and investigated in this paper. New Dampers, called Dissipative Columns [...] Read more.
A new replaceable hysteretic damper to better control seismic building damage, consisting of two or more adjacent steel vertical elements connected to each other with continuous mild/low strength steel shear links, is proposed and investigated in this paper. New Dampers, called Dissipative Columns (DC), continuously linked with X-shaped steel plates, provide additional stiffness and damping to a lateral system by using a basic and minimally invasive construction element: the column. Working in a way similar to coupled shear walls, the proposed element behavior is theoretically analyzed at linear and non-linear ranges. In fact, considering different restrained cases, a parametric analysis is developed in order both to evaluate the effect of the main geometrical and structural parameters and to provide the design capacity curves of this new damper. The DC can be considered a new damping device, easy to install in new as well as existing buildings in order to protect them from seismic damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic-Resistant Building Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Heater Choice, Dampness and Mould Growth in 26 New Zealand Homes: A Study of Propensity for Mould Growth Using Encapsulated Fungal Spores
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 149-162; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010149
Received: 27 November 2014 / Revised: 9 December 2014 / Accepted: 21 January 2015 / Published: 2 February 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2440 | PDF Full-text (536 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The relationship between the use of unflued gas heaters (UGH, N = 14) and heat pump heaters (HP, N = 12) located in the living rooms, and mould growth on the living room and bedroom walls, of 26 New Zealand (NZ) occupied homes [...] Read more.
The relationship between the use of unflued gas heaters (UGH, N = 14) and heat pump heaters (HP, N = 12) located in the living rooms, and mould growth on the living room and bedroom walls, of 26 New Zealand (NZ) occupied homes was investigated during winter. Two methods were employed to evaluate the potential of mould growth on walls: (i) measurement of daily hyphal growth rate using a fungal detector (encapsulated fungal spores); and (ii) estimation of fungal contamination based on a four level scale visual inspection. The average wall psychrometric conditions were significantly different between the two heater type groups, in both the living rooms and the bedrooms with the UGH user homes being colder and damper than HP user homes. The UGHs were found to be a significant additional source of moisture in the living rooms which dramatically increased the capacity for fungi to grow on wall surfaces. The average daily hyphal growth rates were 4 and 16 times higher in the living rooms and in the bedrooms of the UGH user homes, respectively. Results from both mould detection methods gave good agreement, showing that the use of a fungal detector was an efficient method to predict the potential of mould growth on the inside of the external walls in NZ homes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Measuring the Weathertight Performance of Flashings
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 130-148; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010130
Received: 25 November 2014 / Revised: 17 December 2014 / Accepted: 14 January 2015 / Published: 28 January 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2623 | PDF Full-text (607 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Residential buildings are now better engineered to manage rainwater following the leaking building problem in New Zealand. The next challenge is to improve the weathertightness of medium-rise buildings which often use joint details widely applied on low-rise buildings but are subject to higher [...] Read more.
Residential buildings are now better engineered to manage rainwater following the leaking building problem in New Zealand. The next challenge is to improve the weathertightness of medium-rise buildings which often use joint details widely applied on low-rise buildings but are subject to higher wind pressures and surface runoff rates. This study begins to address this challenge by measuring the water leakage performance limits of the following common flashings with static and dynamic rain and wind loads to see how their performance might be improved: (a) Horizontal H and Z jointers between direct fixed sheet claddings; (b) The window head flashing in a cavity wall; (c) A horizontal apron flashing at the junction between a roof and wall. At this stage, water penetration resistances have been measured but the data has not yet been discussed in the context of wind pressures and rain loads on mid-rise buildings. All of the joints were found to resist water leakage to pressures equivalent to the hydrostatic head of the upstand, so long as there were no air leakage paths through the joint. When vents were added, or openings were present that might arise due to construction tolerances, then the onset pressure for leakage was found to fall by as much as 50%. Vents, of course, are essential for ventilation drying in rainscreen walls and even with vents present, the onset of leakage was at generally at least twice the 50 Pa wet wall test pressure applied in New Zealand. Opportunities were found to improve the way vented joints deal with runoff by enlarging the gap between the cladding and flashing. This prevented the outer joint volume from filling with water and occluding the vents. The apron flashing was found to cope better than a window head joint with runoff, because of the larger 35 mm vertical gap between the cladding and apron. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of NZ’s Energy Efficiency Regulation and Verification Assumptions to Real Building Loads and Operation
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 116-129; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010116
Received: 25 November 2014 / Revised: 22 December 2014 / Accepted: 15 January 2015 / Published: 27 January 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2532 | PDF Full-text (400 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The New Zealand building design industry assumes various building model inputs for the consumption of energy through lighting and appliances. It also makes assumptions regarding when these energy consumers are considered to be “turned on”. This paper aims to better inform industry energy [...] Read more.
The New Zealand building design industry assumes various building model inputs for the consumption of energy through lighting and appliances. It also makes assumptions regarding when these energy consumers are considered to be “turned on”. This paper aims to better inform industry energy modellers about the real load and operation of real commercial buildings in New Zealand when compared to New Zealand Standard energy efficiency requirements and assumptions. The paper presents a set of New Zealand relevant commercial building operation information. Typical operation information is provided for three commercial building types: (1) Office; (2) Retail; and (3) Mixed/Other. The information provides low, typical, and high installed building load and operation pattern scenarios for the three building types. The typical data presented in this paper is significantly different to the load requirement and operation modelling assumptions presented in the New Zealand Building code. The results established in this paper are informed by data gathered in the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) Building Energy End-Use Study (BEES). The purpose of BEES is to increase knowledge on energy use patterns for the entire New Zealand building stock. The intention of this paper is to disseminate the established knowledge that will eventually update the assumptions used in New Zealand commercial energy models. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Building Information Modelling for Smart Built Environments
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 100-115; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010100
Received: 15 December 2014 / Revised: 9 January 2015 / Accepted: 15 January 2015 / Published: 26 January 2015
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 4515 | PDF Full-text (1329 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building information modelling (BIM) provides architectural 3D visualization and a standardized way to share and exchange building information. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in using BIM, not only for design and construction, but also the post-construction management of the built facility. [...] Read more.
Building information modelling (BIM) provides architectural 3D visualization and a standardized way to share and exchange building information. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in using BIM, not only for design and construction, but also the post-construction management of the built facility. With the emergence of smart built environment (SBE) technology, which embeds most spaces with smart objects to enhance the building’s efficiency, security and comfort of its occupants, there is a need to understand and address the challenges BIM faces in the design, construction and management of future smart buildings. In this paper, we investigate how BIM can contribute to the development of SBE. Since BIM is designed to host information of the building throughout its life cycle, our investigation has covered phases from architecture design to facility management. Firstly, we extend BIM for the design phase to provide material/device profiling and the information exchange interface for various smart objects. Next, we propose a three-layer verification framework to assist BIM users in identifying possible defects in their SBE design. For the post-construction phase, we have designed a facility management tool to provide advanced energy management of smart grid-connected SBEs, where smart objects, as well as distributed energy resources (DERs) are deployed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Importance of Urban Amenities: A Case Study from Auckland
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 85-99; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010085
Received: 7 November 2014 / Revised: 6 January 2015 / Accepted: 19 January 2015 / Published: 26 January 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3370 | PDF Full-text (2444 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Along with many Pacific Rim cities in Australia and North America, Auckland, New Zealand has enacted an urban growth management strategy premised on two concepts: “liveability” and a “quality compact city”. The effective implementation of this strategy will, in part, require higher density [...] Read more.
Along with many Pacific Rim cities in Australia and North America, Auckland, New Zealand has enacted an urban growth management strategy premised on two concepts: “liveability” and a “quality compact city”. The effective implementation of this strategy will, in part, require higher density housing typologies to be developed within the existing suburban fabric. The urban amenities in a neighbourhood play an important role in providing a sense of liveability for residents. This paper examines these issues by evaluating and reporting on key outcomes from 57 face-to-face qualitative interviews with residents who currently live in medium density housing in four Auckland suburbs; Takapuna, Kingsland, Botany Downs, and Te Atatu Peninsula. Findings consider the trade-offs residents make when choosing to live in medium density housing typologies, how they value the urban amenities in their neighbourhood and the role they think these amenities play in their location satisfaction. Conclusions are drawn around how the resident-derived information may inform the market on the supply side of housing, and comment is made about how these preferences may, or may not, respond to the objectives of the underlying urban management strategies involved. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Aiming for a Better Public Realm: Gauging the Effectiveness of Design Control Methods in Wellington, New Zealand
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 69-84; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010069
Received: 26 November 2014 / Accepted: 15 January 2015 / Published: 23 January 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2256 | PDF Full-text (1251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Design review aims to improve the quality of urban settings, principally by seeking to influence the design of individual buildings positively during the planning approval stages of development. Design review systems were first set up in New Zealand in the mid-1990s in Wellington. [...] Read more.
Design review aims to improve the quality of urban settings, principally by seeking to influence the design of individual buildings positively during the planning approval stages of development. Design review systems were first set up in New Zealand in the mid-1990s in Wellington. The aims of design review are laudable; even if the process is not set up to secure the best possible design outcome it should be able to prevent the worst outrages, so as to ensure a minimal visual quality of streetscapes. However, does design review really achieve what it sets out to do? After a brief summary of design review practices, this article considers whether current design control practices in Wellington are helping to foster well-liked urban streetscapes. Using the results from a recent case study, comparing the aesthetic preferences of the public to those of professionals who participate in design control, the article notes where preferences overlap and where they are different. In the process, the characteristics of buildings and streetscapes that are considered positive and negative are identified. The article goes on to speculate how design review could be made to work more effectively in Wellington. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Building to Net Zero in the Developing World
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 56-68; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010056
Received: 13 October 2014 / Accepted: 15 January 2015 / Published: 23 January 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2589 | PDF Full-text (1959 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper discusses the design of a zero energy home in Panama. The standards for zero site energy as well as other performance factors are used as the basis for the analysis. A description of the construction type, energy use, active and renewable [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the design of a zero energy home in Panama. The standards for zero site energy as well as other performance factors are used as the basis for the analysis. A description of the construction type, energy use, active and renewable systems, and other features of this particular zero energy building are provided to facilitate a better understanding of efficient and sustainable residential design for hot-humid climates. This understanding is critical to facilitating net zero energy building development in developing regions of the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings, Design and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Defect Reporting in New Residential Buildings in New Zealand
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 39-55; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010039
Received: 16 July 2014 / Accepted: 6 January 2015 / Published: 9 January 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2531 | PDF Full-text (225 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The need for defect reporting is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore at handover of new residential buildings. A general review in defect studies has consistently shown that newly built properties can be found to have a significant number of defects. Very often the [...] Read more.
The need for defect reporting is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore at handover of new residential buildings. A general review in defect studies has consistently shown that newly built properties can be found to have a significant number of defects. Very often the responsibility for rectifying these common defects is borne by the new homeowner even though house developers are liable. In the current study, survey data is obtained from 216 recent home purchasers/owners across New Zealand urban cities. The intent of the investigation is to show that opportunities exist for defect reporting that will act as a mechanism to measure performance and thus improve the quality of finished construction products in New Zealand. The study found that a significant number (81%) of the participants were involved in the construction of their homes and could influence quality performance if they were proactive enough. The results show that (64.7%) did not engage the service of independent building inspectors for defect reporting on their new homes. Seventy-four percent now agree that independent building inspection was important in hindsight. The study findings are in line with literature on defects and the poor use of defect reporting in new residential buildings. The current challenge for defect rectification by house developers after handover is real and this could increase the confidence that new home owners can have in their developers. Defect reporting could confer benefits to new residential building quality in New Zealand and should be embraced as part of a wider best practice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Climate Based Façade Design for Business Buildings with Examples from Central London
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 16-38; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010016
Received: 13 September 2014 / Accepted: 5 January 2015 / Published: 9 January 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4657 | PDF Full-text (2608 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a disconnection between commercial architecture and environmental thinking, where green features can be included as part of a strategy for gaining approvals and marketing projects, but those features are not reviewed after completion and occupation of the building and knowledge is [...] Read more.
There is a disconnection between commercial architecture and environmental thinking, where green features can be included as part of a strategy for gaining approvals and marketing projects, but those features are not reviewed after completion and occupation of the building and knowledge is not shared. High levels of air conditioning are still considered unavoidable. Elaborate double skin façades and complex motorized shading systems are adopted; often masking an underlying lack of basic environmental thinking. This article returns (in principle) to the physics of comfort in buildings and the passive strategies which can help achieve this with a low energy and carbon footprint. Passive and active façade design strategies are outlined as the basis of a critical tool and a design methodology for new projects. A new architectural sensibility can arise based on modeling the inputs of sunlight, daylight and air temperature in time and space at the early stages of design. Early but sound strategies can be tested and refined using advanced environmental modeling techniques. Architecture and environmental thinking can proceed hand in hand through the design process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings, Design and Climate Change)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Buildings in 2014
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 14-15; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010014
Received: 7 January 2015 / Accepted: 7 January 2015 / Published: 7 January 2015
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Abstract
The editors of Buildings would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2014:[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Zero-Energy and Beyond: A Paradigm Shift in Assessment
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 1-13; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010001
Received: 23 September 2014 / Accepted: 18 December 2014 / Published: 24 December 2014
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2292 | PDF Full-text (446 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The world is on the eve of major changes in the way energy and material are used, and the building and construction sector is at the forefront. One of the revolutionary changes is that for 0-energy houses and buildings. Many countries already have [...] Read more.
The world is on the eve of major changes in the way energy and material are used, and the building and construction sector is at the forefront. One of the revolutionary changes is that for 0-energy houses and buildings. Many countries already have some projects established, and legislation is following, first requiring near 0-energy, but undoubtedly this will evolve into 0-energy as basic requirement. Buildings will generate all required energy from within their building lot, from incoming free and renewable energy sources: solar radiation and earth core heat mainly. In other words, there are no polluting or depleting issues anymore related to energy consumed to operate a building. This will change the whole approach in evaluation and optimization of the environmental performance of buildings: while the energy-driven measures for buildings become obsolete, it will be materials needed for this transition that have to become the main focus, as argued in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Building Design)
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