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Buildings, Volume 8, Issue 12 (December 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The first two decades of the twenty-first century represent a major milestone in skyscraper [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Collaboration Enables Innovative Timber Structure Adoption in Construction
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120183
Received: 9 October 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
Timber structures in construction have become more popular in recent years. Nevertheless, besides the complexity of designing, contracting and building these structures, a barrier to their market growth is the complexity of their supply chain relationships encompassing architects, engineers, builders and suppliers. The [...] Read more.
Timber structures in construction have become more popular in recent years. Nevertheless, besides the complexity of designing, contracting and building these structures, a barrier to their market growth is the complexity of their supply chain relationships encompassing architects, engineers, builders and suppliers. The objective of this study is therefore to identify and characterize the supply chain relationships shared by these stakeholders within a massive timber construction project. Twenty-seven semi-structured interviews with architects, structural engineers, builders and timber element suppliers from nine countries, participant observations and secondary data were used to study the various relationship levels involved in timber construction projects. Triangulation and qualitative data analysis were also conducted. Three levels of relationships were then identified: “Contractual,” “Massive timber construction project” and “Massive timber construction industry development.” Results showed that timber structures involve value-added stakeholder relationships rather than linear relationships. These relationships appeared closer and more frequent and involved knowledge and information sharing. Furthermore, prefabricated systems allow for smoother relationships by limiting the number of stakeholders while promoting innovative thinking. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Impact of the Morphological Transformation of Urban Sites on the Urban Thermal Microenvironment
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120182
Received: 13 October 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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Abstract
Tropical cities currently face issues of climate change resulting from rapid urbanization and the impact of urban morphological transformations on the microclimate. The analysis of urban physical forms and patterns is a realisticmethodfor quantifying these impacts. This work examined the impact of morphological [...] Read more.
Tropical cities currently face issues of climate change resulting from rapid urbanization and the impact of urban morphological transformations on the microclimate. The analysis of urban physical forms and patterns is a realisticmethodfor quantifying these impacts. This work examined the impact of morphological transformations of an urban site in Wuhan, China, on the microthermal environment at different time periods. We also quantified and compared the impact of four urban site morphologies on ambient air temperature. The morphological changes of the study site were inferred from Google Earth images acquired at different time points in 2006 and 2013. ENVI-met simulation software was used to compare the changes in temperature at the selected site by specific date. The year- and time-based analysis of existing urban morphologies and their impact on the microurban thermal environment shows that the overall minimum and maximum values of morning and afternoon ambient air temperature are nearly the same for the 2013 and 2006 morphologies. The maximum temperature difference was observed in the afternoon (14:00), with an average difference of approximately 2 °C in the east. The findings of this research could provide a useful guide for optimizing the transformation of urban site planning and design and a suitable method for assessing the impact of built-up areas on the environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Monetary Value of a District’s Flexibility on the Spot- and Reserve Electricity Markets
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120181
Received: 16 August 2018 / Revised: 24 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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Abstract
In the future, advanced multi-energy systems are expected to handle an increasing share of fluctuating renewable energy generation through the management of multiple advanced energy conversion and storage technologies operating across different energy carriers. The market diffusion of such concepts of Local Energy [...] Read more.
In the future, advanced multi-energy systems are expected to handle an increasing share of fluctuating renewable energy generation through the management of multiple advanced energy conversion and storage technologies operating across different energy carriers. The market diffusion of such concepts of Local Energy Management—the management of energy supply, demand, and storage within a given geographical area—is expected to provoke a fundamental reorganization of the power generation sector. This work contributes to this topic by estimating the maximum potential economic value attained from using the flexibility of a district to take advantage of operating within multiple electricity markets at the same time. The study is based on the measured demand and production data of a newly built suburban residential district located in Central Switzerland. The actual configuration of the district and the resulting flexibility, as well as an extension with a battery storage system, is used to estimate the economic value of the flexibility. Then, an optimization algorithm manages flexible demand, production, and storage capacities in order to alternatively maximize the revenues/cost savings, self-sufficiency, or share of renewable resources of the district’s energy supply. In this vein, the impact of the way the system operates in the markets regarding the degradation of the battery is assessed and its pay-back-time is estimated. The analysis revealed a considerable profit potential associated with the district thermal and electricity storage flexibility, in particular, when operating on both the spot and reserve electricity markets. Firstly, it was shown that overall energy costs can be minimized through an optimal management of energy conversion and storage systems. Secondly, complementing the infrastructure with batteries and trading flexibility on the spot market would decrease costs by about 43%, while an additional 20% cost decrease could be captured by including trading on the reserve market. Thirdly, it has been shown that operation on the spot- and reserve market does not seem to degrade the battery more than solely operation on the spot market. However, when operating on the spot- and reserve markets, battery amortization would still take about 10 years. Full article
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Open AccessReview Exergy Analysis of Energy Systems in Buildings
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120180
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 12 December 2018
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Abstract
The performance of space heating and cooling systems in buildings is usually measured by applying the first law of thermodynamics, which makes it possible to quantify the energy losses of the single components and to measure their energy conversion efficiency. However, this common [...] Read more.
The performance of space heating and cooling systems in buildings is usually measured by applying the first law of thermodynamics, which makes it possible to quantify the energy losses of the single components and to measure their energy conversion efficiency. However, this common approach does not properly consider that different forms of energy have different potentials to produce useful work, the latter being a function of the temperature at which energy is made available. As a result, it is not possible to properly address how the “quality” of energy is exploited or conserved in the different processes. On the contrary, the second law of thermodynamics is able to do that by introducing the concept of exergy: This is the maximum amount of work that can be produced through an ideal reversible process evolving until a full condition of equilibrium with the environment is attained. Exergy is; thus, a possible way to measure the “quality” of an energy flow or an energy source. This perspective is particularly relevant when dealing with buildings and their energy conversion systems, which usually deliver thermal energy at a temperature level that is close to the environmental temperature. This means that the users require “low-quality” energy; notwithstanding, this energy comes from the depletion of “high-quality” energy sources, such as fossil fuels and electricity. The exergy analysis helps with identifying such irrational use of the energy sources, which cannot come to light from the energy analysis. In this paper, a literature review identifies methods and metrics commonly used to carry out the exergy analysis of buildings and their energy technologies, while also underlining discrepancies and open methodological issues. Then, the review discusses the main lessons learned from selected works, providing significant advice about the rational use of energy in buildings as well as the most effective technological solutions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Potential Seismic Damage Assessment of Residential Buildings in Imzouren City (Northern Morocco)
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120179
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 6 December 2018 / Published: 11 December 2018
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Abstract
The main purpose of this study is to assess seismic risk and present earthquake loss scenarios for the city of Imzouren, in northern Morocco. An empirical approach was chosen to assess the seismic vulnerability of the existing buildings, using the Vulnerability Index Method [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this study is to assess seismic risk and present earthquake loss scenarios for the city of Imzouren, in northern Morocco. An empirical approach was chosen to assess the seismic vulnerability of the existing buildings, using the Vulnerability Index Method (RISK-UE), and considering two earthquake scenarios (deterministic and probabilistic). Special concern was given to the seismic vulnerability in Imzouren since the 2004 earthquake (24 February, mw = 6.4) that struck the region and caused substantial damage. A site investigation was conducted in the city targeting more than 3000 residential buildings, which had been closely examined and catalogued to assess their seismic vulnerability. The results of the seismic risk assessment in the city are represented through damage to the buildings, harm to the population and economic loss. Generally, the results obtained from the deterministic approach are in agreement with the damage caused by the 2004 earthquake. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Automation of Measuring Actual Productivity of Earthwork in Urban Area, a Case Study from Montreal
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120178
Received: 21 September 2018 / Revised: 9 November 2018 / Accepted: 27 November 2018 / Published: 10 December 2018
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Abstract
The construction of a new facility in an urban area, such as a downtown area, involves considerable earthwork excavation most of the time. Measuring the actual productivity of earthwork operations that involve heavy machinery can be a complex task for project managers. The [...] Read more.
The construction of a new facility in an urban area, such as a downtown area, involves considerable earthwork excavation most of the time. Measuring the actual productivity of earthwork operations that involve heavy machinery can be a complex task for project managers. The complexity contributes to the impact of the many factors involved, the required accuracy, and the uncertainties associated with such operations. Traditionally, measuring actual productivity is carried out manually by measuring the actual quantities of the excavated earth. Measuring actual productivity manually is time-consuming and not necessarily accurate. The paper presents a case study project in Montreal to investigate the application of a developed methodology that is affordable for small to medium size contractors. It integrates the GPS and fuzzy set theory as an alternate effective methodology for measuring actual onsite productivity during the construction stage in an urban area. The developed methodology combines GPS data that are collected in near real time, fuzzy set theory (FST), and Google Earth. FST is used to define the variability and uncertainty which exists in the duration of the main activities of the earthwork (loading, traveling, dumping, and returning). Google Earth is used for graphical presentation and to store the collected GPS data of the moving hauling units. The productivity estimated by the developed methodology was compared with that provided by a simulation-based model, in which the collected GPS data are used to define the duration of earthmoving moving operations, and with that measured manually by contractor. The developed methodology proves that the utilization of GPS data and FST can yield a more accurate estimation of onsite actual productivity compared to that provided by simulation-based approaches, but in much a simpler way regarding the computation effort and time. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Laboratory Mix Design of Cold Bitumen Emulsion Mixtures Incorporating Reclaimed Asphalt and Virgin Aggregates
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120177
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 30 November 2018 / Accepted: 4 December 2018 / Published: 10 December 2018
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Abstract
Bitumen emulsion asphalts, especially those incorporating marginal and secondary aggregates, are energy efficient, environment friendly, and sustainable alternatives to hot-mix asphalts. This study set out to compare engineering properties of a bitumen emulsion asphalt composed entirely of virgin aggregates with another composed of [...] Read more.
Bitumen emulsion asphalts, especially those incorporating marginal and secondary aggregates, are energy efficient, environment friendly, and sustainable alternatives to hot-mix asphalts. This study set out to compare engineering properties of a bitumen emulsion asphalt composed entirely of virgin aggregates with another composed of 55% reclaimed asphalt and 45% virgin aggregates. The aggregates were bound with a slow setting cationic bitumen emulsion composed of 65% base bitumen and 35% water. Marshall specimens molded at varying pre-mix water and bitumen emulsion contents were cured in molds for 24 h before being de-molded and cured for a further 72 h at 40 °C. Dry densities, porosities, and indirect tensile strengths for the cured specimens were determined in dry and soaked states. Virgin aggregate mix, at an optimum binder content of 6.1%, had a tensile strength ratio of 1.3 with corresponding air voids and moisture absorption values of 10.1% and 0.92%, respectively. Similarly, reclaimed asphalt mix at an optimum binder content of 6.2% had a tensile strength ratio of 1.03, with corresponding air voids and moisture absorption values of 7.9% and 0.38%, respectively. Compared to virgin mix, reclaimed asphalt mix had lower air voids and lower moisture absorption values with the overall benefit of enhanced resistance to moisture damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Building Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Concrete Defects Sizing by Means of Ultrasonic Velocity Maps
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120176
Received: 7 November 2018 / Revised: 28 November 2018 / Accepted: 4 December 2018 / Published: 7 December 2018
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Abstract
The paper illustrates the results of an experimental test which intends to check the efficacy of ultrasonic testing (UT) in detecting anomalies inside concrete elements. For this purpose, UT has been carried out on a small concrete wall having different defects deliberately settled [...] Read more.
The paper illustrates the results of an experimental test which intends to check the efficacy of ultrasonic testing (UT) in detecting anomalies inside concrete elements. For this purpose, UT has been carried out on a small concrete wall having different defects deliberately settled inside the wall during casting. A grid of several measurements points has been arranged on the wall surfaces and for each point the ultrasonic signal has been acquired after passing through the thickness of the wall and the propagation velocity V has been extracted and analyzed. A graphic representation of V distribution has been implemented by a map where each pixel identifies one measurement point and is representative of its neighborhood. This map highlights areas with different velocity values, and allows to visually detect areas having particularly low velocity. The matching between the low-velocity areas and the artificial defects has been analyzed, and the level of accuracy of the V map in detecting and sizing the concrete inner defects has been discussed with reference to different spacing of the grid points. Finally, some considerations regarding the choice of the most suitable measurements grid have been addressed. Full article
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Open AccessReview Skyscrapers in the Twenty-First Century City: A Global Snapshot
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120175
Received: 26 October 2018 / Revised: 20 November 2018 / Accepted: 4 December 2018 / Published: 6 December 2018
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Abstract
The first two decades of the twenty-first century represent a major milestone in skyscraper developments. By analyzing extensive data, the research presented here contrasts building activities of skyscrapers before and after the turn of the 21st century. It examines tall buildings in the [...] Read more.
The first two decades of the twenty-first century represent a major milestone in skyscraper developments. By analyzing extensive data, the research presented here contrasts building activities of skyscrapers before and after the turn of the 21st century. It examines tall buildings in the world’s major continents (Asia, Europe, North America, Oceana, Middle East, South America, Central America, and Africa) and their respective cities including Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Bangkok, London, Moscow, New York, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Melbourne, Sydney, Dubai, Doha, Riyadh, Tel Aviv, São Paulo, Panama City, Mexico City, and Nairobi. By using nearly 40 tables and 80 maps, the paper highlights the rapid activities of building significant skyscrapers at greater heights, elucidates the changes in functions and services, and delineates shifts in spatial patterns and visual impact. Full article
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Open AccessConcept Paper Technical, Financial, and Social Barriers and Challenges in Deep Building Renovation: Integration of Lessons Learned from the H2020 Cluster Projects
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120174
Received: 14 September 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 30 November 2018 / Published: 6 December 2018
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Abstract
With a low rate of new building construction and an insufficient rate of existing building renovation, there is the need to step up the pace of building renovation with ambitious performance targets to achieve European Union (EU) climate change policies for 2050. However, [...] Read more.
With a low rate of new building construction and an insufficient rate of existing building renovation, there is the need to step up the pace of building renovation with ambitious performance targets to achieve European Union (EU) climate change policies for 2050. However, innovative technologies, including, but not limiting to, plug and play (PnP) prefabricated facades, information and communications technology (ICT)-support for building management systems (BMS), the integration of renewable energy systems (RES), building information model (BIM) and building performance simulation models (BPSM), advanced heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), advanced geomatics, 3D-printing, and smart connectors, cannot alone solve the problem of low renovation rates of existing buildings in Europe that is hindering reaching of EU-wide targets. A workshop was held at the Sustainable Place Conference 2018 to present, with an integrative approach, the experiences from four H2020 innovation actions, i.e., 4RinEU, P2ENDURE, Pro-GET-OnE, and MORE-CONNECT, which were united by their central aims of improving building energy performance through deep renovation practices. This article presents the outcomes of the joint workshop and interactive discussion, by focusing on technical, financial, and social added values, barriers and challenges, in the context of the building renovation processes tackled by the four projects. Conclusive remarks converge on the identification of open questions to address future innovation opportunities, as well as some recommendations to be used at a policy level and/or in future implementation projects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle One Step Ahead of Active Shooters: Are Our University Buildings Ready?
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120173
Received: 3 September 2018 / Revised: 19 November 2018 / Accepted: 3 December 2018 / Published: 5 December 2018
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Abstract
Active shooter incidents typically transpire quickly. Research reveals that 70 percent of active shooter incidents end in less than 5 min, and that a majority of incidents are over before law enforcement arrive on scene. This study analyzes the level of preparedness among [...] Read more.
Active shooter incidents typically transpire quickly. Research reveals that 70 percent of active shooter incidents end in less than 5 min, and that a majority of incidents are over before law enforcement arrive on scene. This study analyzes the level of preparedness among a sample of faculty members on executing “Run, Hide, Fight” in two university buildings that range in layout complexity. It also analyzes design challenges impacting response time for a sample of police officers. A visibility graph analysis (VGA), a new architectural based simulation tactic, was conducted to measure visual exposure and access, the legibility of layouts, and the ease of wayfinding within these two buildings. The findings showed that VGA measures explained the perceived level of preparedness among faculty members, and the importance of visibility to the police when they clear the building room by room. These measures may have the ability to identify the risk of exposure to shooters while attempting to run or hide, and to identify potential hidden spots in any floor plan. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Energetic, Cost, and Comfort Performance of a Nearly-Zero Energy Building Including Rule-Based Control of Four Sources of Energy Flexibility
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120172
Received: 30 September 2018 / Revised: 23 November 2018 / Accepted: 1 December 2018 / Published: 5 December 2018
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Abstract
A focal point of ongoing research is matching the energy demand in the built environment to the energy supply from onsite generation, to maximize the self-consumption, and from the energy grids, to lower energy costs and reduce peak loads on the system. Energy [...] Read more.
A focal point of ongoing research is matching the energy demand in the built environment to the energy supply from onsite generation, to maximize the self-consumption, and from the energy grids, to lower energy costs and reduce peak loads on the system. Energy flexibility addresses this task by modulating the energy demand in a building according to dynamic criteria such as electricity prices or onsite generation. This study addresses the potential of building performance simulation with real time rule-based control that provides energy flexibility based on onsite generation and hourly electricity prices, prioritizing energy matching, and reducing costs. The novelty relies on investigating four sources of energy flexibility simultaneously: shiftable machine loads, charging/discharging of batteries, hot-water storage tanks, and the building’s mass. The energy matching and flexibility actions provided a decrease of up to 4% in annual energy costs, yet risk increasing the cost by 9% when the savings are offset by the increase in the energy demand. As well, the method for price categorization strongly influences the cost performance of the flexibility actions. The outcomes of this study provide insight to energy flexibility sources in nearly-zero energy buildings and how their outcomes are affected by price thresholds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Simplified Approach for the Annual and Spatial Evaluation of the Comfort Classes of Daylight Glare Using Vertical Illuminances
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120171
Received: 20 September 2018 / Revised: 27 November 2018 / Accepted: 30 November 2018 / Published: 5 December 2018
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Abstract
A simplified approach to calculate the daylight glare comfort class (imperceptible, perceptible, disturbing, or intolerable glare) on annual basis and for a grid of points in a space is presented. This method relies on the calculation of the vertical illuminance (Ev) [...] Read more.
A simplified approach to calculate the daylight glare comfort class (imperceptible, perceptible, disturbing, or intolerable glare) on annual basis and for a grid of points in a space is presented. This method relies on the calculation of the vertical illuminance (Ev) for each grid point only, which is compared to an Ev threshold value for each daylight glare comfort class. These Ev threshold values are determined through a comparison with the Daylight Glare Probability (DGP) values on an annual basis through a fault-detection technique, for a reduced number of points. Compared to an annual calculation of exact DGP values on a certain grid, this approach is able to evaluate the daylight glare comfort classes only, but it is less time consuming. The paper presents and critically discusses this simplified method by means of its application to different case-studies: south and west oriented office in Turin (Lat 45.1° N), in which the DGP is assessed for three points in the space, considering glazing with different transmission properties (specular or scattering) and visible transmittances, as well as three operable internal shading systems (one venetian blinds and two roller blinds, for solar or glare control). For the presented case studies, the average error in the classification of the space according to daylight glare comfort classes is below 5% when comparing this simplified approach to related DGP values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Discomfort Glare Research)
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Open AccessArticle Energy Consumption Optimization Measures for Buildings in the Midwest Regions of USA
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120170
Received: 25 October 2018 / Revised: 13 November 2018 / Accepted: 28 November 2018 / Published: 4 December 2018
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Abstract
This paper investigates various building material effects on the cooling load requirements of a typical two-floor house located in the Midwest region in the USA. A survey was done for various building materials along with their prices in the US market. Various building [...] Read more.
This paper investigates various building material effects on the cooling load requirements of a typical two-floor house located in the Midwest region in the USA. A survey was done for various building materials along with their prices in the US market. Various building walls, lighting, window glazing, and insulations were used for simulation as single and combined cases. The return on investment from savings in the electrical load consumption against the materials cost was investigated. It was found that the best single case savings and investments were for cases when lights were changed from incandescent lighting with 20 W/m2 to fluorescent bulbs, or when using double skinned walls with 5 cm rock wool or expanded polystyrene insulation. Combined cases, combining more than one single change, offered more reductions in cooling loads but were associated with higher initial costs and, thus, longer returns on investment. The best case recommendation was for buildings with a 20 cm hollow concrete block (HCB) when combined with fluorescent lights and double pane heat-absorbing glazing for windows. Although these recommendations were for a typical house in the Midwest region of the United States, a similar analysis could be adopted by designers and building owners to optimize the energy consumption in their buildings. The final design decision should be based on an optimum correlation of the air-conditioning units’ size and cost, running and maintenance costs, the return on the investment duration, and the available usage area in the building. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Noise Detection in Open-Plan Offices Using Recursive Partitioning
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120169
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 29 November 2018 / Accepted: 30 November 2018 / Published: 3 December 2018
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Abstract
Open-plan offices have lower construction costs, allowing for significant savings in space and, according to designers, facilitate communication between workers, thus, improving collaboration, as well as the exchange of ideas. For these reasons, this type of office has become widespread, while highlighting numerous [...] Read more.
Open-plan offices have lower construction costs, allowing for significant savings in space and, according to designers, facilitate communication between workers, thus, improving collaboration, as well as the exchange of ideas. For these reasons, this type of office has become widespread, while highlighting numerous limitations and various problems. These include the control of anthropic and electromechanical noise. In this study, measurements of the noise emitted by a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system were carried out in an open-plan office. The average spectral levels in a 1/3 octave band were compared through correlation analysis, to identify any redundant data. A model was then adapted to evaluate the importance of the variables, in order to classify the characteristics, by importance. To reduce the number of predictor variables, a selection analysis of the characteristics was carried out. A subset of predictors was extracted to be used to produce an accurate prediction model. Finally, a model based on recursive partitioning, to detect the operating conditions of an HVAC system, was developed and applied, so as to provide insights into the development and application of this technique, in these contexts. The high accuracy of the model (Accuracy = 0.9981) suggests the adoption of this tool for several applications. Full article
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Open AccessReview Recent Progress in Daytime Radiative Cooling: Is It the Air Conditioner of the Future?
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120168
Received: 4 November 2018 / Revised: 22 November 2018 / Accepted: 28 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
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Abstract
Radiative cooling is a well-researched area. For many years, surfaces relying on radiative cooling failed to exhibit a sub-ambient surface temperature under the sun because of the limited reflectance in the solar spectrum and the reduced absorptivity in the atmospheric window. The recent [...] Read more.
Radiative cooling is a well-researched area. For many years, surfaces relying on radiative cooling failed to exhibit a sub-ambient surface temperature under the sun because of the limited reflectance in the solar spectrum and the reduced absorptivity in the atmospheric window. The recent impressive developments in photonic nanoscience permitted to produce photonic structures exhibiting surface temperatures much below the ambient temperature. This paper aims to present and analyze the main recent achievements concerning daytime radiative cooling technologies. While the conventional radiative systems are briefly presented, the emphasis is given on the various photonic radiative structures and mainly the planar thin film radiators, metamaterials, 2 and 3D photonic structures, polymeric photonic technologies, and passive radiators under the form of a paint. The composition of each structure, as well as its experimental or simulated thermal performance, is reported in detail. The main limitations and constraints of the photonic radiative systems, the proposed technological solutions, and the prospects are presented and discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Usability Study of a Proposed Environmental Experience Design Framework for Active Ageing
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120167
Received: 14 August 2018 / Revised: 2 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 28 November 2018
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Abstract
Growing ageing population today may be necessitating building design decision makers to reconsider the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) standards in a way that accommodates senior occupants’ diverse and individual needs and demands. An experience design approach to rationalising and individualising end-user experience on [...] Read more.
Growing ageing population today may be necessitating building design decision makers to reconsider the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) standards in a way that accommodates senior occupants’ diverse and individual needs and demands. An experience design approach to rationalising and individualising end-user experience on how to utilise tangible products may serve to reflect user perceptions. Generally, architectural design practices tend to incorporate neither IEQ monitoring and analysis data, nor environmental experience design today. In response to the need for filling this gap, the authors of this paper conducted a feasibility study previously that led to structuring and defining an ‘Environmental Experience Design’ (EXD) research framework. Based on the previous case study on the collective spatial analysis and IEQ monitoring results, this paper further explored the usability and applicability of this proposed EXD framework particularly to the previously documented aged care facility in Victoria, Australia, which has been stressing active ageing agendas. This EXD framework usability experiment helped to build the capacity for engaging the subjectivity and objectivity of end users’ expectations, desires, and requirements in the architectural design thinking process. Nonetheless, due to the limitation of this initial and fundamental usability study’s resources and the objective, the necessity of adjusting the scale and scope of EXD analyses emerged. Moreover, the universality of this EXD research framework usage under various architectural typologies and user conditions yet require further attempts and investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Factors in Green Building) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Thermal Characteristics of the Courtyard in the Hot and Arid Climate of Isfahan
Buildings 2018, 8(12), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120166
Received: 22 October 2018 / Revised: 20 November 2018 / Accepted: 21 November 2018 / Published: 26 November 2018
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Abstract
The courtyard is a common and traditional architectural concept in Middle Eastern countries, especially Iran. This study presents practical solutions to arrive at the optimal form and features of a courtyard based on this traditional architecture to cope with the hot and arid [...] Read more.
The courtyard is a common and traditional architectural concept in Middle Eastern countries, especially Iran. This study presents practical solutions to arrive at the optimal form and features of a courtyard based on this traditional architecture to cope with the hot and arid climate of Isfahan, Iran. A model using the ENVI-met 3.1 software was used to simulate the courtyard orientation, the height of the wall enclosure, the albedo of the materials and the vegetation level in Isfahan. As the first step of the simulation, different orientations were simulated. Based on the results, the northern courtyard is recommended as the optimum orientation for the remainder of the simulation process. A high wall enclosure is recommended in the second step of simulation to ensure cool temperatures at noon and warmth at night. In the third step, it is advised to use low-albedo material in the courtyards to avoid the extra reflected radiation of used materials on the inhabitants. The final step suggests that more than 50% of the courtyard plan should be covered by greenery to ensure thermal comfort in the courtyards. Based on these suggestions, designers can create more sustainable courtyards that are better suited to the hot and arid climate of Isfahan. Full article
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