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Buildings, Volume 8, Issue 3 (March 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Point measurements are often used in U-value measurements, where the thermal performance for entire [...] Read more.
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Variations in the U-Value Measurement of a Whole Dwelling Using Infrared Thermography under Controlled Conditions
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
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Abstract
U-values of building elements are often determined using point measurements, where infrared imagery may be used to identify a suitable location for these measurements. Current methods identify that surface areas exhibiting a homogeneous temperature—away from regions of thermal bridging—can be used to obtain
[...] Read more.
U-values of building elements are often determined using point measurements, where infrared imagery may be used to identify a suitable location for these measurements. Current methods identify that surface areas exhibiting a homogeneous temperature—away from regions of thermal bridging—can be used to obtain U-values. In doing so, however, the resulting U-value is assumed to represent that entire building element, contrary to the information given by the initial infrared inspection. This can be problematic when applying these measured U-values to models for predicting energy performance. Three techniques have been used to measure the U-values of external building elements of a full-scale replica of a pre-1920s U.K. home under controlled conditions: point measurements, using heat flux meters, and two variations of infrared thermography at high and low resolutions. U-values determined from each technique were used to calibrate a model of that building and predictions of the heat transfer coefficient, annual energy consumption, and fuel cost were made. Point measurements and low-resolution infrared thermography were found to represent a relatively small proportion of the overall U-value distribution. By propagating the variation of U-values found using high-resolution thermography, the predicted heat transfer coefficient (HTC) was found to vary between 183 W/K to 235 W/K (±12%). This also led to subsequent variations in the predictions for annual energy consumption for heating (between 4923 kWh and 5481 kWh, ±11%); and in the predicted cost of that energy consumption (between £227 and £281, ±24%). This variation is indicative of the sensitivity of energy simulations to sensor placement when carrying out point measurements for U-values. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Post-Earthquake Damage: St. Salvatore Church in Acquapagana, Central Italy
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 17 March 2018
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Abstract
This article proposes a multidisciplinary approach for the assessment of seismic damage from the perspective of conservation and prevention. A comparison of the state of damage has been carried out in a case study, St. Salvatore church in Acquapagana (MC), as an example
[...] Read more.
This article proposes a multidisciplinary approach for the assessment of seismic damage from the perspective of conservation and prevention. A comparison of the state of damage has been carried out in a case study, St. Salvatore church in Acquapagana (MC), as an example of church, which underwent two important seismic events in the Central Italy area, the 1997 and the 2016 earthquakes. The comparison of the state of damage passes through the following stages: (a) the territorial seismic overview; (b) the historical description and material analysis; (c) the identification of macro-elements with activated damage mechanisms; (d) the comparison between the two seismic events both from a territorial- and building-scale perspective. This work puts together the archived and the on-site survey data with those elaborated starting from seismogenic information, available from the National Seismological Institute, and it provides a strategy also for other similar conditions. This work is to be considered a contribution to a wider study that could be carried out in the areas hit by the 2016 earthquake. It could also represent a way to collect documentation in the post-earthquake phase, improving the effectiveness of procedures currently applied to the first level of damage assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Built Heritage: Conservation vs. Emergencies)
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Open AccessArticle Renaissance Drawings of the 16th Century in the City of Lugo: Three Fountains from Gonzalo de la Bárcena’s Workshop
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 17 February 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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Abstract
Historically, urban fountains have been underestimated to the point of not being considered worthy of conservation. The foregoing reason, together with the lack of sufficient archaeological data on this type of element in the Renaissance city, makes it necessary to document and carry
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Historically, urban fountains have been underestimated to the point of not being considered worthy of conservation. The foregoing reason, together with the lack of sufficient archaeological data on this type of element in the Renaissance city, makes it necessary to document and carry out graphic research to correct this deficiency and establish the relevance of these constructions. The present work shows, through the concrete case method, the analysis of three Renaissance fountains from the Spanish city of Lugo and the importance of these elements as urban landmarks that marked the essential lines of the development of cities after the medieval period. It also analyses the work of their constructors, who belonged to a workshop of plumbers and master builders from the historical territory of Trasmiera (Cantabria) and who took their art throughout the Spanish kingdom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Built Heritage: Conservation vs. Emergencies)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of Waste Paper Cellulosic Fibers Utilization into Cement Based Building Materials
Received: 25 November 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
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Abstract
Recently, the utilization of renewable natural cellulosic materials, such as wood, plants, and waste paper in the preparation of building materials has attracted significant interest. This is due to their advantageous properties, low environmental impact and low cost. The objective of this paper
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Recently, the utilization of renewable natural cellulosic materials, such as wood, plants, and waste paper in the preparation of building materials has attracted significant interest. This is due to their advantageous properties, low environmental impact and low cost. The objective of this paper is to investigate the influence of recycled cellulosic fibers (in the amount 0.5 wt % of the filler and binder weight) and superplasticizer (in the amount 0.5 wt % of the cement weight) on the resulting properties of cement composites (consistency of fresh mixture, density, thermal conductivity, and compressive and flexural strength) for hardening times of 1, 3, 7, 28, and 90 days. Plasticizer use improved the workability of fresh cement mixture. In comparison to the reference sample, the results revealed a decrease in density of 6.8% and in the thermal conductivity of composites with cellulosic fibers of 34%. The highest values of compressive (48.4 MPa) and flexural (up to 7 MPa) strength were achieved for hardened fiber cement specimens with plasticizer due to their significantly better dispersion of cement particles and improved bond strength between fibers and matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Building Materials)
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Open AccessArticle A Methodology for Integrated Refurbishment Actions in School Buildings
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
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Abstract
Educational buildings could play leading roles in increasing high-performance building refurbishments across Europe. The city of Vienna has substantially modernized its schools in the last decade, however mostly single refurbishment measures have been undertaken. This is missing the potential of comprehensive and more
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Educational buildings could play leading roles in increasing high-performance building refurbishments across Europe. The city of Vienna has substantially modernized its schools in the last decade, however mostly single refurbishment measures have been undertaken. This is missing the potential of comprehensive and more energy-efficient actions as well as functional adaptations, which become ever more important as school and learning systems are changing. Institutional framework conditions, budget constraints as well as the lack of a coherent methodology have been identified as the main barriers in this context. The research question addresses how qualitative aspects, such as architecture and function, as well as quantitative aspects, such as energy consumption, could be combined in a methodology that can be easily applied by relevant stakeholders. What would a methodology that actively supports stakeholders in their decision-making process for more comprehensive school refurbishments look like? This paper describes a potential approach and its application in a case study. The proposed methodology supports the development of energy- and functionally optimized refurbishment concepts, with a focus on the synergies between energy-related optimizations and state-of-the-art functional room concepts in order to do justice to the changing learning requirements in schools. Full article
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Open AccessArticle From an Enclosure to the Corraleja. An Analysis of the Genesis of an Ephemeral and Vernacular Colombian Architecture
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
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Abstract
In the Colombian Caribbean region, human extraordinary ability to interpret nature’s functioning and mechanical language, has allowed man to manage and use, throughout history, natural elements to improve living conditions. In Architecture, technical-constructive knowledge development has enabled constructions of a temporary and stable
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In the Colombian Caribbean region, human extraordinary ability to interpret nature’s functioning and mechanical language, has allowed man to manage and use, throughout history, natural elements to improve living conditions. In Architecture, technical-constructive knowledge development has enabled constructions of a temporary and stable nature. In fact, this research project begins with the relationship between the understanding of nature and the creation of Colombian vernacular architecture, which has led to a special and unique form of architecture such as the Corraleja. In this architecture, vernacular constructive tradition and ephemeral character are concurremt. This has been an object of interest due to its folkloric aspects, however, it has rarely been researched for its architecture. Currently, it is usually built only when its real spatial function is needed, becoming a place destined to contain the annual bullfighting-like festivities. In fact, its limited and cyclical permanence, gives it an ephemeral and also nomadic character since it is not always built, necessarily, in the same place. This research study begins by means of the importance of the vertical balance control of the alive branches nailed in the ground, still present in the whole Caribbean region through enclosures. This can be considered as a primordial action and conquest, and has allowed the realization of every vernacular construction. In Europe, the tradition of ephemeral architecture when there are some civil and religious festivities becomes stable architecture over time; bullfighting party in Spain is an emblematic case which is transformed into stable spaces such as bullrings. This tradition extends to the Spanish colony in America in the eighteenth century. In the Colombian Caribbean, for example, the bullfighting festival keeps an ephemeral character that is fed by a vernacular architectural tradition. In addition, existing literature on the vernacular theme suggests that, from long time ago, many examples of tectonic building (a set of finite or pseudo-finite elements such as branches, trunks, etc.) have been nomadic, self-constructed, anonymous and with an emergency appearance which have become stable, just after many constructions, by losing all ephemeral characteristics. Likewise, to understand the Corralejas’ genesis, observing the history of European architecture has been necessary due to the several old associated experiences of transitory constructions, e.g., with recreational spaces, religious or civil celebrations. This study is based on different research methodologies such as drawings of existing cases and bibliographic and iconographic analyzes. This has also been developed through a compulsory contrast with the ancient architecture of bullfighting shows, to formulate morphological reflections and analogies and analyze their ephemeral condition. Today, the Corraleja survives in Colombia, representing an architectural oddity that must be safeguarded not only for its vernacular essence but also for its limited temporal condition. In fact, tectonics, the art of montage, reconfirms the connection allowing its existence and representing a surprising and unique set of values that must be defended and treated as an architectural heritage. After the analysis on the Corralejas genesis, the study will continue through several forms of survey to explore and define constructive aspects in a different scale of detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Built Heritage: Conservation vs. Emergencies)
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Open AccessEditorial Real Estate Economics, Management and Investments: New Perspectives and Frontiers
Received: 7 March 2018 / Revised: 7 March 2018 / Accepted: 11 March 2018 / Published: 12 March 2018
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Abstract
New perspectives and frontiers were highlighted in a Special Issue on “Real Estate Economics, Finance and Investments”. The twenty-eight papers that were selected and published emanated from scholars from universities all over the world with the aim to represent more recent advances in
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New perspectives and frontiers were highlighted in a Special Issue on “Real Estate Economics, Finance and Investments”. The twenty-eight papers that were selected and published emanated from scholars from universities all over the world with the aim to represent more recent advances in building management, mass appraisal methods, real estate risk management, economic evaluation of real estate investment projects, real estate market, property, social housing, real estate economics, real estate finance, building transformation and economic effects on environment. These papers helped to determine a unique and valuable opportunity to experiment with multiple approaches to these ever more crucial topics. This note proposes a brief review of the twenty-eight papers, concluding with some reflections about policy, practice and research on real estate issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Real Estate Economics, Management and Investments)
Open AccessFeature PaperConcept Paper Far-Sightedness vs. Emergency: A Matter for “Not Outstanding” European Cultural Landscapes
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 4 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 11 March 2018
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Abstract
A far-sighted policy, designed to safeguard a State’s land and culture, is one that would be able to go beyond emergency culture in the direction of shared far-sightedness in the territorial government, looking ahead to future generations. New and different visions capable of
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A far-sighted policy, designed to safeguard a State’s land and culture, is one that would be able to go beyond emergency culture in the direction of shared far-sightedness in the territorial government, looking ahead to future generations. New and different visions capable of taking responsibility for fragile territories and landscapes are needed, rather than approaches that, to date, have only been considered as emergency policies. In order to realize such a new approach, some actions must be implemented, and this paper focuses on the most relevant ones: looking at heritage as a relationship among buildings, land, and intangible assets; garnering the attention of politicians and scholars to address fragile landscapes and inland areas; framing the issue in a European perspective; and pushing for moral and social commitment in identifying new working hypotheses and possible solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Built Heritage: Conservation vs. Emergencies)
Open AccessArticle A Lean Approach for Real-Time Planning and Monitoring in Engineer-to-Order Construction Projects
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
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Abstract
Engineer-to-order (ETO) construction companies are characterized by an off-site and on-site production. Often, budget deviations for installation works on-site are identified in a late stage when improvement actions cannot be applied anymore. Consequently, installation tasks are often affected by significant delays and/or reworks.
[...] Read more.
Engineer-to-order (ETO) construction companies are characterized by an off-site and on-site production. Often, budget deviations for installation works on-site are identified in a late stage when improvement actions cannot be applied anymore. Consequently, installation tasks are often affected by significant delays and/or reworks. This work proposes a “real-time” capable approach for planning and monitoring in construction and a corresponding information technology (IT) framework. The core is represented by the so-called “pitching” concept known from lean management, which breaks down large job orders into smaller controllable parts. It can be considered as the main enabler for gathering management information in real-time and to identify problems and their causes on time. The most noticeable consequence lies in smaller jobs and a software-aided punctual control that allows a better rescheduling capability and, thus reduced, delays. A case study is provided, showing how the model was applied and validated in an ETO façade supplier company. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lean Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Energy and Economic Performance of Solar Cooling Systems in the Hot-Summer and Cold-Winter Zone
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 2 March 2018
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Abstract
Building energy consumption has distinctly increased in the hot-summer and cold-winter zone in China. Solar cooling technology has been developed to reduce the increasing electricity consumption for air conditioning and to shift the peak load during hot summer days. This paper presents a
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Building energy consumption has distinctly increased in the hot-summer and cold-winter zone in China. Solar cooling technology has been developed to reduce the increasing electricity consumption for air conditioning and to shift the peak load during hot summer days. This paper presents a performance simulation and economic analysis for both photovoltaic (PV) and thermal solar cooling systems compared to a reference system, which is composed of two electric heat pumps. The results show that 30.7% and 30.2% of primary energy can be saved by using the PV and the thermal system, respectively. The payback time is 6–7 years for the PV system, but more than 20 years for the thermal system based on current conditions in China. Therefore, the PV system is more suitable for practical application in the hot-summer and cold-winter zone. The thermal system could be an alternative when middle- and high-temperature solar thermal collector technology has been further developed, as well as following mass production of small- and middle-sized chillers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Renewable Energy Sources in Buildings)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Seismic Strengthening and Energy Efficiency: Towards an Integrated Approach for the Rehabilitation of Existing RC Buildings
Received: 2 December 2017 / Revised: 24 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4198 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Italy, most of the residential buildings (77%) were constructed before 1981, when only 25% of the national territory was classified as seismic. Further, the first provisions addressing thermal performance criteria were introduced in 1991, when about 88% of the existing Italian buildings
[...] Read more.
In Italy, most of the residential buildings (77%) were constructed before 1981, when only 25% of the national territory was classified as seismic. Further, the first provisions addressing thermal performance criteria were introduced in 1991, when about 88% of the existing Italian buildings had already been realized. Therefore, the Italian building stock is characterized by a large deficit in terms of both seismic capacity and thermal insulation. The large number of buildings having inadequate performance, both seismic and thermal, calls for rehabilitation interventions that are based on an integrated and sustainability-oriented approach. In the paper, the influence on seismic performance deriving from some retrofitting techniques, generally adopted to enhance the thermal performance of infill walls, has been evaluated. A common residential RC building representative of existing buildings designed only for vertical loads has been studied. The seismic performances have been evaluated through Incremental Dynamic Analyses (IDA). A first comparison is related to a thermal retrofitting intervention made by replacing the existing masonry infill walls with new elements that are able to ensure an adequate thermal protection. Further, a retrofitting intervention based on the “double skin” technique, where new infilled RC frames are added and connected to the existing ones, has been investigated in terms of seismic and thermal performance. Full article
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