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Buildings, Volume 9, Issue 1 (January 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Up till now, innovations in the concrete industry have been mainly focusing on improvements of the [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Establishing Grounds for Building Orientation Mapping and Validation of Noise Level Correlation Modeling on Aircraft Take-off and Landing
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
This research highlights correlation modeling between residential buildings orientation toward the runway as noise source and noise level. Many studies used noise mapping to identify noise performance in cities, but none of them discussed building orientation as an effort to reduce noise. This [...] Read more.
This research highlights correlation modeling between residential buildings orientation toward the runway as noise source and noise level. Many studies used noise mapping to identify noise performance in cities, but none of them discussed building orientation as an effort to reduce noise. This research aims to resolve the noise exceeding threshold of 55 dB for landed residential area. The method used was empirical experiments based on ISO 1996-1 using a 1:1-scaled building block model that was rotatable on its axis on various orientation angles. To examine the difference in sound reduction patterns, measurements were carried out during aircraft take-off and landing in three measurement conditions: outside the building model (OS), inside the model with both closed (CW) and open window (OW). The relative values of sound reduction in every angle were mapped and a Correlation Modeling was then empirically developed and theoretically validated by origin-8 software. As a result, the empirical validation formula deviation averaged only 1.20% and 1.13% during take-off and landing respectively from the actual noise and the theoretical validation. Furthermore, the new modeling was verified as a derivation from the grand theory of inverse square law and could be applied for master plan design. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Influence of Geo-Hazard Effects on the Physical Vulnerability Assessment of the Built Heritage: An Application in a District of Naples
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
The proposed study aims at analysing a sub-urban sector in the historic centre of Qualiano, located in the province of Naples (Italy), in order to assess the seismic vulnerability of the main typology classes (masonry and reinforced concrete) in the study area and [...] Read more.
The proposed study aims at analysing a sub-urban sector in the historic centre of Qualiano, located in the province of Naples (Italy), in order to assess the seismic vulnerability of the main typology classes (masonry and reinforced concrete) in the study area and the consequent expected damage scenarios. The typological and structural characterisation of the investigated area is done through the CARTIS form developed by the PLINIVS research centre together with the Italian Civil Protection Department. Subsequently, the vulnerability simulation analysis is carried out by means of a quick methodology integrated into a GIS tool in order to identify the structural units (S.U.) most susceptible at damage under seismic events. Furthermore, in order to take into account the possible damage scenarios, a parametric analysis is performed using a seismic attenuation law in order to obtain the maximization of the expected urban losses. Finally, the site and topographical local conditions, which negatively influence the severity of the seismic damage on the structures, have been taken into account in order to more correctly foresee the expected damage of the inspected sub-urban sector to be used for appropriate seismic risk mitigation plans. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Implementation Phase Safety System for Minimising Construction Project Waste
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
The construction sector is a key component of a nation’s gross domestic product, but its inherent nature results in potentially dangerous conditions that affect the safety of all workers on construction projects (CPs). Therefore, the original idea of the research is to determine [...] Read more.
The construction sector is a key component of a nation’s gross domestic product, but its inherent nature results in potentially dangerous conditions that affect the safety of all workers on construction projects (CPs). Therefore, the original idea of the research is to determine the relationship between safety system (SS) during the implementation phase (IPh) of CPs and the minimisation of waste (materials, time and cost). Achieving a lean construction work requires suitable planning, safety considerations and waste resource minimisation throughout the project cycle. This research aims to identify and rank the safety factors during the IPh of a CP, which will have positive effects on minimising waste. Information and data were gathered from the existing literature and the structured interviews and questionnaire survey conducted among 111 randomly selected construction companies. Questionnaire results were evaluated using statistical tools, such as hypothesis testing, analysis of variance and linear regression. This research identified and ranked 24 important safety factors with positive effects on minimising waste in CPs during IPh. The seven most important safety factors that should be considered to minimise material, time and cost wastage are as follows: handling, management, external factors, workers, procurement, site condition and appropriate scaffolding for SS. The best linear model was developed on the basis of the importance index of the identified factors. This model can predict the minimisation of waste (materials, time and cost) in CPs by using SS. Thus, the safety criteria and SS should be used during IPh to minimise waste on the basis of the developed model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Perceived Acoustic Quality and Effect on Occupants’ Satisfaction in Green and Conventional Residential Buildings
Received: 26 December 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
The study presented in this paper focuses on the subjective opinions of occupants of multistory residential buildings by examining the relationship between occupants’ satisfaction and indoor environment quality, and analysing the effect the problems experienced with noise level may have on general satisfaction [...] Read more.
The study presented in this paper focuses on the subjective opinions of occupants of multistory residential buildings by examining the relationship between occupants’ satisfaction and indoor environment quality, and analysing the effect the problems experienced with noise level may have on general satisfaction and the perceived acoustic quality. The analysis is based on data collected through surveys addressed to adults living in green and conventional buildings. The results show that occupants are very satisfied with their apartments, and subjectively rated acoustic quality received very high scores. The responses indicate that noise from neighbours has been experienced relatively seldom by occupants; however, the analysis shows that it is the factor that has the strongest effect on satisfaction with acoustic quality. We have found that the environmental profile of a building has a significant effect on general satisfaction expressed by occupants; however, this effect has not been confirmed for acoustic quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise Control in Buildings)
Open AccessArticle A Conceptual Model for a Safety-Based Theory of Lean Construction
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
The construction industry is one of the most fatal industries, so it is important to pay more attention to safety solutions. Even though work-related accidents are known as a major waste in construction projects, little attention has been paid so far to incorporating [...] Read more.
The construction industry is one of the most fatal industries, so it is important to pay more attention to safety solutions. Even though work-related accidents are known as a major waste in construction projects, little attention has been paid so far to incorporating safety into the lean construction framework. In this research, lean construction theory is reviewed through the lens of safety. That being so, the identified challenges in previous research on improving safety in construction projects are categorized, and those related to the concept of lean project delivery are introduced. Then, the principles of the lean construction framework are explained, and the relevant changes for incorporating safety into the framework are introduced and discussed. The proposed model includes a new approach to the Transformation-Flow-Value framework, in order to pay particular attention to safety in construction projects as one of the factors affecting the success of projects, and achieving optimal value for stakeholders. It is expected that this hybrid model would further enrich the lean construction framework. The careful attention of project executives to this model may improve the safety situation in construction projects. The conceptual model presented in this study can be used in the decision making process for project managers as well as research into optimization of safety costs, and eliminating waste (including models for optimizing the movement of machinery, controlling and reducing rework, and designing the site layout). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Building Microclimate on the Thermal Environment of Traditional Japanese Houses during Hot-Humid Summer
Received: 2 January 2019 / Revised: 10 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of building microclimate on the indoor thermal environment of traditional Japanese houses, focusing especially on the shading effect of trees as well as the cooling effect of spraying water. Basically, the indoor thermal [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of building microclimate on the indoor thermal environment of traditional Japanese houses, focusing especially on the shading effect of trees as well as the cooling effect of spraying water. Basically, the indoor thermal environment was found to follow the outdoor conditions due to the open-plan and lightweight wooden structure. Nevertheless, air temperatures of the living rooms in the two case study houses were lower than the corresponding outdoors by approximately 0.5 °C and 2 °C, respectively. It was found that the semi-outdoor spaces acted as thermal buffers for promoting cross-ventilation as well as pre-cooling to provide “warm but breezy” conditions to the surrounding indoor spaces. The results showed that the surface temperature of semi-outdoor spaces can be reduced by shading and water spraying, among which shading has prolonged effects and water spraying can reduce the surface temperature during peak hours and the following night. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Active BIM Approach to Optimize Work Facilities and Tower Crane Locations on Construction Sites with Repetitive Operations
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
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Abstract
This paper presents an active building information modeling (BIM) approach for work facilities and the optimal positioning of tower cranes on construction sites with repetitive operations. In this context, the metamorphosis of a passive BIM approach into an active approach is described. Here, [...] Read more.
This paper presents an active building information modeling (BIM) approach for work facilities and the optimal positioning of tower cranes on construction sites with repetitive operations. In this context, the metamorphosis of a passive BIM approach into an active approach is described. Here, the enhancement of the construction-ready BIM model starts with the export of the optimization input parameters, such as the 3D coordinates of the building, perimeter of the construction site, space for feasible solutions, relevant segment of the building with repetitive works, etc. Depending on the complexity of the problem, the user selects a suitable optimization approach and formulates the tower crane positioning optimization problem with the objective of minimizing the total duration of the operation’s cycle. Similarly, according to the model formulation, the user also chooses the optimization tool, including the search algorithm. The final step involves the post-optimal analysis and importing of the optimal solution into the BIM. An application example is demonstrated at the end of the paper to show the advantages of the proposed approach in which the optimization model has significantly improved the initial solution of the crane and depot positions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BIM in Building Repair and Maintenance)
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Open AccessArticle A Life Cycle Assessment of Two Residential Buildings Using Two Different LCA Database-Software Combinations: Recognizing Uniformities and Inconsistencies
Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 5 January 2019 / Accepted: 5 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
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Abstract
Traditionally, the emissions embodied in construction materials have not been considered important; however, they are becoming crucial due to the short time-frame in which the emissions should be reduced. Moreover, evaluating the environmental burden of construction materials has proven problematic and the reliability [...] Read more.
Traditionally, the emissions embodied in construction materials have not been considered important; however, they are becoming crucial due to the short time-frame in which the emissions should be reduced. Moreover, evaluating the environmental burden of construction materials has proven problematic and the reliability of the reported impact estimates is questionable. More reliable information from the construction sector is thus urgently needed to back and guide decision-making. Currently, the building sector environmental impact assessments predominantly employ commercial software with environmental impact databases and report results without knowledge about the impact of the software/database choice on the results. In this study, estimates for the embodied environmental impacts of residential construction from the two most widely used life cycle assessment (LCA) database-software combinations, ecoinvent with SimaPro software and GaBi, are compared to recognize the uniformities and inconsistencies. The impacts caused by two residential buildings of different types, a concrete-element multi-story residential building and a detached wooden house, both located in Finland, were assessed, including all building systems with a high level of detail. Based on the ReCiPe Midpoint method, fifteen impact categories were estimated and compared. The results confirm that the tool choice significantly affects the outcome. For the whole building, the difference is significant, around 15%, even in the most widely assessed category of Climate Change, and yields results that lean in different directions for the two cases. In the others, the estimates are entirely different, 40% or more in the majority of the categories and up to several thousand percentages of difference. The main conclusion is that extensive work is still urgently needed to improve the reliability of LCA tools in the building sector in order to provide reliable and trustworthy information for policy-making. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Progressive Collapse Resistance of Steel Structures with Moment Resisting Frames
Received: 17 December 2018 / Revised: 31 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
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This paper evaluates the practice of using moment connections in the perimeter of the structural system and shear connections within the interior connections of the three-dimensional structural system from the perspective of resistance to progressive collapse. The enhanced resistance to progressive collapse associated [...] Read more.
This paper evaluates the practice of using moment connections in the perimeter of the structural system and shear connections within the interior connections of the three-dimensional structural system from the perspective of resistance to progressive collapse. The enhanced resistance to progressive collapse associated with using moment resisting connections at the perimeter as well as internal to the three-dimensional system is assessed. Progressive collapse occurrence and system resistance are determined using the alternate path method which presumes a primary load carrying-member is notionally removed. The paper compares the structural response determined using linear elastic, non-linear elastic and non-linear dynamic analyses. Linear and non-linear static analyses are found to be incapable of capturing the response pursuant to the loss of the primary load carrying member. The analysis procedures used in this study followed (for the most part) the United States Department of Defense Guide for Progressive Collapse Resistant Design of Structures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mechanical and Typological Characterization of Traditional Stone Masonry Walls in Old Urban Centres: A Case Study in Viseu, Portugal
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
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Abstract
Essential for any intervention in existing buildings, a thorough knowledge of both structural and material characteristics is even more important in the case of traditional stone masonry buildings, due both to the variability of this technology’s properties and the degradation buildings might have [...] Read more.
Essential for any intervention in existing buildings, a thorough knowledge of both structural and material characteristics is even more important in the case of traditional stone masonry buildings, due both to the variability of this technology’s properties and the degradation buildings might have sustained. In Portugal, a number of in situ and laboratory experimental campaigns has allowed us in recent years to expand the knowledge on the mechanical properties of stone masonry walls. Nevertheless, the existence of different wall typologies built with the same material necessitates that this characterization takes into account the various regional constructive cultures. This paper presents the results obtained through an in-situ characterization campaign carried out in the old urban center of Viseu, for which there is no information available in the literature. Granite stone masonry walls of two different buildings were analyzed and characterized considering their geometrical and material features, contributing to the identification of stone masonry typologies present in the city’s old urban center. Flat-jack testing yielded resistance and deformability parameters to be used both in safety evaluation and intervention design. The properties obtained can be said to be consistent with those deriving from other experimental campaigns, conducted in granite walls of different typologies, throughout the country. Simultaneously, relevant conclusions about the use of flat-jacks to characterize this type of stone masonry were drawn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Masonry Buildings: Research and Practice)
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Open AccessEditorial Human Factors in Green Building: Building Types and Users’ Needs
Received: 17 December 2018 / Revised: 5 January 2019 / Accepted: 5 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
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Abstract
The Special Issue on “Human Factors in Green Building” addresses the design of indoor environment quality for users’ needs. The collected papers cover various building types and the research highlights the different needs of users. In working environments, employees’ stress is the main [...] Read more.
The Special Issue on “Human Factors in Green Building” addresses the design of indoor environment quality for users’ needs. The collected papers cover various building types and the research highlights the different needs of users. In working environments, employees’ stress is the main concern in the workplace design, especially for open plan offices where lack of privacy and over exposure to environmental stress have been reported. In residential environments, residents have great opportunities to adjust their environments to suit their needs; therefore, passive design such as natural ventilation is explored in residential buildings with climates such as cold or humid tropical. In healthcare environments, the papers in this issue are concerned with the needs of patients, especially the older adults who require special care. In learning environments, thermal and visual aspects are investigated for optimal comfort conditions and learning outcomes. The special issue demonstrates insightful critical thinking of indoor environment quality and proposes a new understanding for more practical design solutions. This editorial note is a brief review of the 12 papers, concluding with reflections about design of built environments to meet users’ needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Factors in Green Building) Printed Edition available
Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Buildings in 2018
Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Rigorous peer-review is the corner-stone of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle The impact of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Phases on Project Performance: A Case of Large-scale Residential Construction Project
Received: 23 November 2018 / Revised: 29 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
The Construction Industry is a complex and fragmented industry worldwide with regards to its supply chain, products, and processes, and is faced with a similar dilemma as faced by manufacturers during its time in past decades. Scope, time, and cost are the triple [...] Read more.
The Construction Industry is a complex and fragmented industry worldwide with regards to its supply chain, products, and processes, and is faced with a similar dilemma as faced by manufacturers during its time in past decades. Scope, time, and cost are the triple constraints of project management and leading factors in defining the project performance. Productivity and efficiency of each construction project is measured through its triple constraints, therefore the factors that affect project success are significantly important. Despite the importance of understanding project performance indicators, few empirical studies have been conducted over the last decade in terms of analyzing the factors that determine the performance of high-rise buildings in Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) projects. Hence, the aim of this paper is to analyze and rank EPC critical activities across large-scale residential construction projects in Iran, by using the TOPSIS method as a multi-attribute group decision-making technique. Results indicate that engineering design, project planning and controls are significant factors contributing to the project performance. In addition, engineering has a pivotal role in project performance and this significance is followed by the construction phase. On the contrary, all believe procurement is more important than Construction phase. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Proposal for Recycling the World’s Unused Stockpiles of Treated Wastewater Sludge (Biosolids) in Fired-Clay Bricks
Received: 23 November 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 13 December 2018 / Published: 5 January 2019
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Abstract
Millions of tonnes of leftover biosolids are increasingly stockpiled every year around the globe. Biosolids are a product of the wastewater sludge treatment process. Stockpiles necessitate the use of large areas of increasingly valuable land. Biosolids have many beneficial uses and are currently [...] Read more.
Millions of tonnes of leftover biosolids are increasingly stockpiled every year around the globe. Biosolids are a product of the wastewater sludge treatment process. Stockpiles necessitate the use of large areas of increasingly valuable land. Biosolids have many beneficial uses and are currently utilised in agricultural and land rehabilitation applications. However, it is estimated that 30% of biosolids are unused and stockpiled. A second and seemingly unrelated environmental issue is the massive excavation of virgin soil for brick production. The annual production of 1500 billion bricks globally requires over 3.13 billion cubic metres of clay soil—equivalent to over 1000 soccer fields dug 440 m deep or to a depth greater than three times the height of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This paper investigates and proposes a practical solution for the utilisation of the world’s excess biosolids in fired–clay bricks. The physical, chemical and mechanical properties of fired–clay bricks incorporating 25%, 20%, 15% and 10% biosolids have been tested. Bricks were produced from three different biosolids samples collected at Melbourne’s Eastern Treatment Plant (ETP 22) and the Western Treatment Plant (WTP 10 & WTP 17–29). Compressive strength testing indicated results ranging between 35.5 MPa and 12.04 MPa for the biosolids-amended bricks. Leachate analysis was conducted on the bricks before and after firing, and the results demonstrate that between 43 and 99% of the heavy metals tested were immobilised inside the fired bricks compared to the heavy metals tested in the raw mixture. All leachate concentrations were found to be insignificant for the biosolids-incorporated bricks tested in this study. Biosolids can have significantly different chemical characteristics depending on the origin of the wastewater and the treatment procedure. Suitable leachate analysis should be undertaken on biosolids and test bricks before large-scale production is approved. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images illustrate that biosolids-amended bricks have a higher porosity than the control bricks, which corresponds to the lower thermal conductivity values recorded for biosolids-amended bricks. In addition, brick firing energy demands are estimated to decrease by up to 48.6% for bricks incorporating 25% WTP 17–29 biosolids due to the higher organic content of the mixture containing biosolids. The emissions study and comparative Life Cycle Assessment results show that the incorporation of biosolids into bricks is a positive and sustainable alternative approach with respect to all environmental impacts arising from the stockpiling of biosolids and brick manufacturing. Based on the results found in this comprehensive study, this paper proposes the inclusion of a minimum of 15% biosolids content into 15% of brick production in order to completely recycle all the approximately 5 million tonnes of annual leftover biosolids production in Australia, New Zealand, the EU, the USA and Canada. This is a practical and sustainable proposal for recycling all the leftover biosolids worldwide. Utilisation of only 15% of biosolids in brick production would reduce the carbon footprint of brick manufacturing whilst satisfying all the environmental and engineering requirements for bricks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Building Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Vibration Analysis and Dynamic Characterization of Structural Glass Elements with Different Restraints Based on Operational Modal Analysis
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 28 December 2018 / Accepted: 29 December 2018 / Published: 5 January 2019
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Abstract
Given a series of intrinsic features of structural glass systems (i.e., material properties, type of restraints, operational conditions, etc.), special care should be spent at the design stage, to ensure appropriate fail-safe requirements, but also in the service life of these innovative building [...] Read more.
Given a series of intrinsic features of structural glass systems (i.e., material properties, type of restraints, operational conditions, etc.), special care should be spent at the design stage, to ensure appropriate fail-safe requirements, but also in the service life of these innovative building components and assemblies. In this paper, the dynamic characterization of simple monolithic glass elements is presented, based on non-destructive laboratory experiments and Operational Modal Analysis (OMA) techniques, including Finite Element (FE) numerical simulations, classical analytical models, and video-tracking approaches. It is shown, in particular, how the actual restraint condition (i.e., flexibility of supports, with respect to ideal boundaries) can affect the vibration parameters of a given glass member (frequency and damping capacity). This turns out in possible variations of its overall structural performance, including stress-strain-related effects, hence suggesting the need for even further dedicated studies and methods for the reliable analysis and design of structural glass assemblies and complex systems under dynamic loads. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-destructive Testing for Building Evaluation)
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Open AccessArticle Physical vs. Aesthetic Renovations: Learning from Swedish House Owners
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 22 December 2018 / Accepted: 26 December 2018 / Published: 3 January 2019
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In this paper, we identify the socio-economic attributes and attitudes that have influenced house owners in renovating their homes in the past. Our study is based on responses to an online questionnaire survey of 971 house owners living in Kronoberg County in Sweden. [...] Read more.
In this paper, we identify the socio-economic attributes and attitudes that have influenced house owners in renovating their homes in the past. Our study is based on responses to an online questionnaire survey of 971 house owners living in Kronoberg County in Sweden. Results showed that the interest and willingness of the house owners to perform a renovation varied depending on their demographic background and the age of the house. The latter positively affected past renovations, only when combined with the residence time. Furthermore, the age of house owners strongly and positively affected the probability of performing aesthetic type of renovations, because of a long time of residence in the house. Younger, town living, and highly educated house owners seem to be more concerned regarding saving energy, which motivated them to perform physical renovations on their house. Our results also suggest that income, level of education, and place of residence have an effect on renovation decisions only through their effect on the energy concern of house owners, and a varied effect on renovation decisions, when combined with the time of residence in the house. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Better Maintenance Strategy, a More Sustainable Hanok: Towards Korean Traditional Public Facilities
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 23 December 2018 / Accepted: 26 December 2018 / Published: 3 January 2019
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Currently, user demands for Hanok, the Korean traditional building type, are increasing in Korea, and their use as residences and accommodations are especially booming, while public facilities are rarely built in the style of Hanok these days. One of the most critical reasons [...] Read more.
Currently, user demands for Hanok, the Korean traditional building type, are increasing in Korea, and their use as residences and accommodations are especially booming, while public facilities are rarely built in the style of Hanok these days. One of the most critical reasons for the issue is that Hanok lack usability and are difficult to maintain as a public facilities. Therefore, it is improvement of the usability of Hanok is needed for them to be accepted as public buildings and to set up the maintenance strategy for the style of the wooden structure. This research has defined public buildings in Hanok and classified them into three types according to structural standards. Then, this study analyzed the characteristics of each type, and suggested a checklist for Hanok usability, employing it to analyze the most recent exemplar Hanoks built as results in the governmental research project, monitored them in aspects of the facility management focused on the wooden structure and suggested strategies for sustainability by deriving eight factors in usability and another eight major types of defects to review the current status of the maintenance for the wooden structure. Finally, this study proposed the main direction for Hanok maintenance to establish its strategies for sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Artificial Neural Network Estimation of the Effect of Varying Curing Conditions and Cement Type on Hardened Concrete Properties
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 16 December 2018 / Accepted: 19 December 2018 / Published: 3 January 2019
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Abstract
The use of mineral admixtures and industrial waste as a replacement for Portland cement is recognized widely for its energy efficiency along with reduced CO2 emissions. The use of materials such as fly ash, blast-furnace slag or limestone powder in concrete production [...] Read more.
The use of mineral admixtures and industrial waste as a replacement for Portland cement is recognized widely for its energy efficiency along with reduced CO2 emissions. The use of materials such as fly ash, blast-furnace slag or limestone powder in concrete production makes this process a sustainable one. This study explored a number of hardened concrete properties, such as compressive strength, ultrasonic pulse velocity, dynamic elasticity modulus, water absorption and depth of penetration under varying curing conditions having produced concrete samples using Portland cement (PC), slag cement (SC) and limestone cement (LC). The samples were produced at 0.63 and 0.70 w/c (water/cement) ratios. Hardened concrete samples were then cured under three conditions, namely standard (W), open air (A) and sealed plastic bag (B). Although it was found that the early-age strength of slag cement was lower, it was improved significantly on 90th day. In terms of the effect of curing conditions on compressive strength, cure W offered the highest compressive strength, as expected, while cure A offered slightly lower compressive strength levels. An increase in the w/c ratio was found to have a negative impact on pozzolanic reactions, which resulted in poor hardened concrete properties. Furthermore, carbonation effect was found to have positive effects on some of the concrete properties, and it was observed to have improved the depth of water penetration. Moreover, it was possible to estimate the compressive strength with high precision using artificial neural networks (ANN). The values of the slopes of the regression lines for training, validating and testing datasets were 0.9881, 0.9885 and 0.9776, respectively. This indicates the high accuracy of the developed model as well as a good correlation between the predicted compressive strength values and the experimental (measured) ones. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Service Life on the Environmental Performance of Buildings
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 25 December 2018 / Published: 2 January 2019
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The environmental performance assessment of the building and construction sector has been in discussion due to the increasing demand of facilities and its impact on the environment. The life cycle studies carried out over the last decade have mostly used an approximate life [...] Read more.
The environmental performance assessment of the building and construction sector has been in discussion due to the increasing demand of facilities and its impact on the environment. The life cycle studies carried out over the last decade have mostly used an approximate life span of a building without considering the building component replacement requirements and their service life. This limitation results in unreliable outcomes and a huge volume of materials going to landfill. This study was performed to develop a relationship between the service life of a building and building components, and their impact on environmental performance. Twelve building combinations were modelled by considering two types of roof frames, two types of wall and three types of footings. A reference building of a 50-year service life was used in comparisons. Firstly, the service life of the building and building components and the replacement intervals of building components during active service life were estimated. The environmental life cycle assessment (ELCA) was carried out for all the buildings and results are presented on a yearly basis in order to study the impact of service life. The region-specific impact categories of cumulative energy demand, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and land use are used to assess the environmental performance of buildings. The analysis shows that the environmental performance of buildings is affected by the service life of a building and the replacement intervals of building components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment of Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle Industrial Data-Based Life Cycle Assessment of Architecturally Integrated Glass-Glass Photovoltaics
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 29 December 2018
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Abstract
Worldwide, an increasing number of new buildings have photovoltaics (PV) integrated in the building envelope. In Switzerland, the use of coloured PV façades has become popular due to improved visual acceptance. At the same time, life cycle assessment of buildings becomes increasingly important. [...] Read more.
Worldwide, an increasing number of new buildings have photovoltaics (PV) integrated in the building envelope. In Switzerland, the use of coloured PV façades has become popular due to improved visual acceptance. At the same time, life cycle assessment of buildings becomes increasingly important. While a life cycle inventory for conventional glass-film PV laminates is available, this is not the case for glass-glass laminates, and in particular, coloured front glasses. Only conventional glass-film PV laminates are considered in databases, some of which are partly outdated. Our paper addresses this disparity, by presenting life cycle inventory data gathered from industries producing coloured front glass by digital ceramic printing and manufacturing glass-glass PV laminates. In addition, we applied this data to a hypothetical façade made of multi-coloured glass-glass laminates and its electricity generation in terms of Swiss eco-points, global warming potential, and cumulative energy demand as impact indicators. The results of the latter show that the effect of the digital ceramic printing is negligible (increase of 0.1%), but the additional glass (4% increase) and reduction of electricity yield (20%) are significant in eco-points. The energy pay-back time for a multi-coloured PV façade is 8.1 years, which decreases by 35% to 5.3 years when replacing the glass rain cladding in an existing façade, leaving 25 years for surplus electricity generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment of Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle Seismic Response of Acceleration-Sensitive Non-Structural Components in Buildings
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 15 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 28 December 2018
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Abstract
This paper aims at highlighting the main mechanical parameters controlling the behavior of the so-called ‘acceleration-sensitive’ non-structural components (NSCs). The first reports a short review of the current state of knowledge and the critical issues dealing with the prediction of the seismic response [...] Read more.
This paper aims at highlighting the main mechanical parameters controlling the behavior of the so-called ‘acceleration-sensitive’ non-structural components (NSCs). The first reports a short review of the current state of knowledge and the critical issues dealing with the prediction of the seismic response of NSCs. Then, the paper presents the results of a numerical parametric analysis intended to capture the key features of the coupled dynamic response of a two-degree-of-freedom (2DOF) system supposed to be representative of both main structure and ‘non-structural’ component (NSC). The main parameters controlling the dynamic response of NSCs emerge from this study, which could pave the way towards formulating more mechanically consistent relationships for evaluating the peak accelerations induced by seismic shakings on NSCs in buildings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Performance of Date Palm Ash as a Cementitious Material by Evaluating Strength, Durability, and Characterization
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 8 December 2018 / Accepted: 20 December 2018 / Published: 28 December 2018
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Abstract
Cement manufacturing is indeed a major contributor to global warming that involves energy-intensive production processes along with emitting huge greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. To adopt sustainable construction practices, agro-industrial waste materials as supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) have been used by numerous researchers [...] Read more.
Cement manufacturing is indeed a major contributor to global warming that involves energy-intensive production processes along with emitting huge greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. To adopt sustainable construction practices, agro-industrial waste materials as supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) have been used by numerous researchers to partially replace conventional ordinary Portland cement (OPC) with SCMs by evaluating its optimum replacement dosage. This study aims to: (1) highlight the background of the date palm tree and the application of date palm waste as a construction material; (2) optimizing the dosage of date palm ash (DPA) as a cementitious material, at the replacement level of 10%, 20%, and 30%; and (3) understand the reaction kinetics by way of characterization techniques. DPA-based binary mixes were compared with each other and with the control (100% OPC mix) through fresh, mechanical, durability, and microstructural properties. The mechanism of reaction at early- and long-term period of curing was studied by characterization tests on paste, including nitrogen adsorption test (BET), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The outcome revealed 10% DPA as a strong and durable substitute to OPC, by formation of more Calcium Silicate Hydrate (C-S-H) and Calcium Aluminosilicate Hydrate (C-A-S-H) gel, whereas up to 30% DPA replacement can further maximize clinker replacement with reasonable performance, together with enhanced sustainability and reduced construction cost. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Numerical Simulation of the Protective Effect of an Anti-Uplift Protector on Subway Tunnels with Different Sections
Received: 12 November 2018 / Revised: 11 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 27 December 2018
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Abstract
The construction areas of both the upper water gallery of the left circular tunnel and the water gallery of the right square tunnel in the Shuangjie River gallery project in Shenzhen that pass through the parking access line of the Qianhai parking lot [...] Read more.
The construction areas of both the upper water gallery of the left circular tunnel and the water gallery of the right square tunnel in the Shuangjie River gallery project in Shenzhen that pass through the parking access line of the Qianhai parking lot were numerically simulated. The ABAQUS finite element numerical simulation software was used to analyze the stress and strain of the cover and retaining pile with different sections under the design of tunnel anti-uplift protection measures. The results of the study are summarized as follows: The vertical deformation of the upper cover of the square section of tunnel was larger than that of the circular tunnel. The shear strength of the retaining pile on both sides of the square section tunnel was considerably lower than that of the retaining pile on both sides of the circular tunnel. The anti-uplift protection measures of the designed tunnel exhibited evident protective effects on the square and circular sections. However, the protection effect for the circular tunnel was more evident compared with that of the square section. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Investigation of the Behavioral Characteristics of Higher- and Lower-Temperature Group Families in a Condominium Equipped with a HEMS System
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 25 December 2018
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Abstract
A home energy management system (HEMS) shows the energy used indoors so that the energy waste can be easily identified and reduced. Thermal comfort is related to the trend of energy use in buildings. We conducted a survey in a condominium equipped with [...] Read more.
A home energy management system (HEMS) shows the energy used indoors so that the energy waste can be easily identified and reduced. Thermal comfort is related to the trend of energy use in buildings. We conducted a survey in a condominium equipped with a HEMS to determine the indoor thermal environment and various behaviors of the occupants taken for thermal comfort adjustment. The results showed that there is a large variation of indoor air temperatures according to season, floor and flat. We categorized families into two groups, one with higher and the other with lower average indoor temperatures. The indoor air temperature of the higher temperature group in summer was found to be higher than the recommended indoor temperature during the summer season in Japan. The higher temperature group tended to adopt behaviors, such as window opening and using a fan more often, than the lower temperature group. Due to the moderately high insulating levels in the building surveyed, the indoor air temperature of both groups was not low in winter. Heating was used less and irregular. The overall results indicate that the groups of families behaved differently to adjust the indoor thermal environment even though they were equipped with the same HEMS system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupant Comfort and Well-Being)
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Open AccessReview Reviewing Theoretical and Numerical Models for PCM-embedded Cementitious Composites
Received: 27 November 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 21 December 2018
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Abstract
Accumulating solar and/or environmental heat in walls of apartment buildings or houses is a way to level-out daily temperature differences and significantly cut back on energy demands. A possible way to achieve this goal is by developing advanced composites that consist of porous [...] Read more.
Accumulating solar and/or environmental heat in walls of apartment buildings or houses is a way to level-out daily temperature differences and significantly cut back on energy demands. A possible way to achieve this goal is by developing advanced composites that consist of porous cementitious materials with embedded phase change materials (PCMs) that have the potential to accumulate or liberate heat energy during a chemical phase change from liquid to solid, or vice versa. This paper aims to report the current state of art on numerical and theoretical approaches available in the scientific literature for modelling the thermal behavior and heat accumulation/liberation of PCMs employed in cement-based composites. The work focuses on reviewing numerical tools for modelling phase change problems while emphasizing the so-called Stefan problem, or particularly, on the numerical techniques available for solving it. In this research field, it is the fixed grid method that is the most commonly and practically applied approach. After this, a discussion on the modelling procedures available for schematizing cementitious composites with embedded PCMs is reported. Full article
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Open AccessReview Decision Making within the Built Environment as a Strategy for Mitigating the Risk of Malaria and Other Vector-Borne Diseases
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 7 December 2018 / Published: 21 December 2018
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Abstract
Although significant efforts have been made to combat the spread of vector-borne diseases (VBDs), they still account for more than 17% of all infectious diseases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 216 million estimated cases in 2016. The efforts that [...] Read more.
Although significant efforts have been made to combat the spread of vector-borne diseases (VBDs), they still account for more than 17% of all infectious diseases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 216 million estimated cases in 2016. The efforts that resulted in these positive outcomes lack long-term financial sustainability because of the significant amount of funding involved. There is, therefore, a need for more cost-effective intervention. The authors contend that design decisions in the built environment can have a positive impact on the efforts directed at mitigating the risk of malaria in a more cost-effective manner. It is known that the built environment, through features such as openings, can propagate the spread of malaria. There have been some significant efforts directed at addressing this risk. This notwithstanding, an extensive review of closely related work established that built environment professionals have limited access to information on specific ways through which their design decisions can contribute to mitigating the risk of malaria. The validity of this hypothesis was tested through evaluating the opportunities for synergies in selected parts of East Africa. Secondary data derived from relevant urban health journals as well as repositories curated by leading health agencies such as WHO were synthesized and analyzed using a web of causation approach. The outcome of the analysis is a schema of primary and secondary source (risk) factors. The use of the web of causation approach revealed the existing factor-to-factor interactions that could have a reinforcing effect. This information was used to identify the critical linkages and interdependencies across different factors. The outcome of the analysis was mapped against risk factors that can be linked to decisions made during the six primary phases of the construction life cycle: Preliminary phase, conceptual design, detailed design, construction, facilities management, and end of life/disuse. A conceptual architecture for a decision support framework has been proposed and will be developed into a prototype in subsequent efforts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Life-Cycle Asset Management in Residential Developments Building on Transport System Critical Attributes via a Data-Mining Algorithm
Received: 27 November 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 20 December 2018
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Abstract
Public transport can discourage individual car usage as a life-cycle asset management strategy towards carbon neutrality. An effective public transport system contributes greatly to the wider goal of a sustainable built environment, provided the critical transit system attributes are measured and addressed to [...] Read more.
Public transport can discourage individual car usage as a life-cycle asset management strategy towards carbon neutrality. An effective public transport system contributes greatly to the wider goal of a sustainable built environment, provided the critical transit system attributes are measured and addressed to (continue to) improve commuter uptake of public systems by residents living and working in local communities. Travel data from intra-city travellers can advise discrete policy recommendations based on a residential area or development’s public transport demand. Commuter segments related to travelling frequency, satisfaction from service level, and its value for money are evaluated to extract econometric models/association rules. A data mining algorithm with minimum confidence, support, interest, syntactic constraints and meaningfulness measure as inputs is designed to exploit a large set of 31 variables collected for 1,520 respondents, generating 72 models. This methodology presents an alternative to multivariate analyses to find correlations in bigger databases of categorical variables. Results here augment literature by highlighting traveller perceptions related to frequency of buses, journey time, and capacity, as a net positive effect of frequent buses operating on rapid transit routes. Policymakers can address public transport uptake through service frequency variation during peak-hours with resultant reduced car dependence apt to reduce induced life-cycle environmental burdens of buildings by altering residents’ mode choices, and a potential design change of buildings towards a public transit-based, compact, and shared space urban built environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment of Buildings)
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