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Buildings, Volume 9, Issue 12 (December 2019) – 9 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) In the last decade, several regional and municipal authorities in Italy have promoted seismic [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Approach for Printability Assessment: Toward a Practical Decision-Making Framework of Printability for Cementitious Materials
Buildings 2019, 9(12), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9120245 - 17 Dec 2019
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Abstract
The objective of this paper is to propose a pre-experimental framework of printability pre-assessment of cementitious materials. This study firstly presents a general review of additive manufacturing in construction and then examines the main characteristic of the material formulation and printability properties based [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper is to propose a pre-experimental framework of printability pre-assessment of cementitious materials. This study firstly presents a general review of additive manufacturing in construction and then examines the main characteristic of the material formulation and printability properties based on extrusion technique. This framework comes with experimental tests to determine a qualitative printability index of mixtures. It uses mix-designs reported in the literature to define interval ratio of mixture design to be investigated in this study. The focus was put on two criteria that influence the formulation namely flowability and buildability. Two practiced based tests, mini slump and cone penetrometer, were used to draw the flowability and buildability dimensionless index. The results were analyzed by introducing an optimal printability coefficient and examining their time evolution. An optimal time of printing was determined Toptimal. Finally, a 3D mortar printing system and its operational process are presented. Then, based on the measurement, the optimal mixture is identified and printed in a large-scale geometry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Criteria Analysis of Design Solutions in Architecture and Engineering: Review of Applications and a Case Study
Buildings 2019, 9(12), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9120244 - 17 Dec 2019
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Abstract
The primary goal of this paper is to present the application potential of MCDM/MCDA (multi-criteria decision-making/multi-criteria decision analysis) methods in the field of architecture and urban planning and in energy efficient construction, especially in the context of sustainable development paradigm. The first part [...] Read more.
The primary goal of this paper is to present the application potential of MCDM/MCDA (multi-criteria decision-making/multi-criteria decision analysis) methods in the field of architecture and urban planning and in energy efficient construction, especially in the context of sustainable development paradigm. The first part of this paper is devoted to literature studies pertaining to multi-criteria decision-making support in the selected fields. On the basis of the delivered review, it was demonstrated that the most popular methods belonging to the MCDM/MCDA group that have been used so far for the purpose of resolving selected decision-making challenges, is the AHP (analytic hierarchy process) method with modifications, TOPSIS (technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution) method, as well the up-and-coming COPRAS (complex proportional assessment) method. In addition, by reviewing the literature, it was found that MCDM/MCDA methods constitute an effective support tool at the stage of evaluating and selecting project solutions, and are especially helpful in framing various social, economic, environmental criteria that are permanently linked to the rule of sustainable development. The empirical section of this paper, through a case study, presents a comparative analysis of the classical AHP method with its extension onto fuzzy sets. The case study pertained to the criteria for the location of single-family residential buildings with solar installations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architecture and Engineering: the Challenges - Trends - Achievements)
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Open AccessArticle
Recovering Industrial Heritage: Restoration of the Wine Cellar Cooperative in Falset (Catalonia, Spain)
Buildings 2019, 9(12), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9120243 - 11 Dec 2019
Viewed by 419
Abstract
Awareness regarding conservation of industrial heritage is recent. Several policies have been adopted to start protecting these buildings because of their historic, artistic and scientific values. Wine cellars are an important example of industrial heritage in Catalonia due to the tradition of this [...] Read more.
Awareness regarding conservation of industrial heritage is recent. Several policies have been adopted to start protecting these buildings because of their historic, artistic and scientific values. Wine cellars are an important example of industrial heritage in Catalonia due to the tradition of this product in the territory and the influence of Art Nouveau and Catalan ‘Noucentisme’ in their construction and style. The wine cellar in Falset, built by Cèsar Martinell in 1919, has recently been restored and still maintains its original function. This article analyses its history, its architectonic and construction characteristics, as well as the restoration process carried out in 2009, which consisted of recovering its original appearance and allowed to emphasize the architectural value of the building. This restoration is a prototypical example whose experience can be applied in other cases of restoration of wine cellars both for the characteristics of the building and for its good restoration practices. This restoration enabled the wine cellar to continue carrying out its original industrial function, providing suitable conditions to add a new cultural use as well. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Ferrocement Patent for Emergency Housing: The Technological Hut
Buildings 2019, 9(12), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9120242 - 11 Dec 2019
Viewed by 410
Abstract
This article focuses on the comparison between the Spanish architects de La Hoz (Madrid, 1924) and José María García de Paredes (Seville, 1924) projects for ‘ultra-cheap’ housing in Cordoba, how it evolved from a British patent named Ctesiphon, and the study of some [...] Read more.
This article focuses on the comparison between the Spanish architects de La Hoz (Madrid, 1924) and José María García de Paredes (Seville, 1924) projects for ‘ultra-cheap’ housing in Cordoba, how it evolved from a British patent named Ctesiphon, and the study of some of existing buildings erected following this construction system. The aim of this article is to stablish the evolution of the system from the original patent into a new possibility for low-income social housing. This system was used to erect new developments in the 1950s that would relocate people living in huts during the dictatorship era in Spain, thus new “technological huts” were proposed and erected. The research process includes an analysis of the documents and literature available of the patent and the projects themselves, and in situ tests (infrared thermography and samples extraction) will allow to establish the relation between its original inventor, the dissemination of his works in publications from that era, and the Spanish company that subsequently, as a concession of the original patent, introduced that system in Spanish architecture. Analysis of the original patent document allows to study the primitive system as it was invented and for what uses it was conceived. Thus, such a methodology supports an establishment of the technical innovations achieved in order to adapt the system to the Andalusian environment at that time and its use for housing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Advanced Seismic Retrofit of a Mixed R/C-Steel Structure
Buildings 2019, 9(12), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9120241 - 29 Nov 2019
Viewed by 568
Abstract
A study concerning the performance assessment and enhanced retrofit of public buildings originally designed without any anti-seismic provisions is presented herein. A representative structure belonging to this class was demonstratively examined, i.e., a school built in Italy in the early 1970s, before a [...] Read more.
A study concerning the performance assessment and enhanced retrofit of public buildings originally designed without any anti-seismic provisions is presented herein. A representative structure belonging to this class was demonstratively examined, i.e., a school built in Italy in the early 1970s, before a coordinate national Seismic Standard was issued. The building is characterized by a mixed reinforced concrete (ground storey)–steel (first and second storey) frame skeleton. An extensive on-site experimental investigation was developed in the first step of the study, which helped identify the mechanical characteristics of the constituting materials, and re-draw the main structural details. Based on these data, and relevant updates of the finite element model of the structure, the seismic assessment analyses carried out in current conditions highlighted several performance deficiencies, in both the reinforced concrete and steel members. An advanced seismic retrofit hypothesis of the building was then designed, consisting of the installation of a set of dissipative braces incorporating fluid viscous dampers as protective devices. This solution makes it possible to attain an elastic structural response up to the maximum considered normative earthquake level, while at the same time causing more limited architectural intrusion and lower costs as compared to conventional rehabilitation strategies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Formula for Determining the Construction Workers Productivity Including Environmental Factors
Buildings 2019, 9(12), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9120240 - 26 Nov 2019
Viewed by 582
Abstract
The aim of this study is to build a mathematical model of the productivity of construction workers. It does so by selecting 17 factors that influence the productivity of construction workers and categorising them into five groups. For the mathematical description of the [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to build a mathematical model of the productivity of construction workers. It does so by selecting 17 factors that influence the productivity of construction workers and categorising them into five groups. For the mathematical description of the factors, fuzzy logic was used. A formula for calculating the work productivity of construction workers is proposed. The novelty of the approach proposed by the authors is rooted in the consideration of various factors that have the potential to influence the productivity of construction workers. To present the way the formula operates, a single assessment of ceiling formwork was undertaken. The verification of a model confirmed its capability of analyzing, evaluating, and predicting the productivity of construction workers with satisfying accuracy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Representing Small Commercial Building Faults in EnergyPlus, Part II: Model Validation
Buildings 2019, 9(12), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9120239 - 22 Nov 2019
Viewed by 520
Abstract
Automated fault detection and diagnosis (AFDD) tools based on machine-learning algorithms hold promise for lowering cost barriers for AFDD in small commercial buildings; however, access to high-quality training data for such algorithms is often difficult to obtain. To fill the gap in this [...] Read more.
Automated fault detection and diagnosis (AFDD) tools based on machine-learning algorithms hold promise for lowering cost barriers for AFDD in small commercial buildings; however, access to high-quality training data for such algorithms is often difficult to obtain. To fill the gap in this research area, this study covers the development (Part I) and validation (Part II) of fault models that can be used with the building energy modeling software EnergyPlus® and OpenStudio® to generate a cost-effective training data set for developing AFDD algorithms. Part II (this paper) first presents a methodology of validating fault models with OpenStudio and then presents validation results, which are compared against measurements from a reference building. We discuss the results of our experiments with eight different faults in the reference building (a total of 39 different baseline and faulted scenarios), including our methodology for using fault models along with the reference building model to simulate the same faulted scenarios. Then, we present validation of the fault models by comparing results of simulations and experiments either quantitatively or qualitatively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Genetic Algorithm Applied to Multi-Criteria Selection of Thermal Insulation on Industrial Shed Roof
Buildings 2019, 9(12), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9120238 - 21 Nov 2019
Viewed by 546
Abstract
The rational use of energy has motivated research on improving the energy efficiency of buildings, which are responsible for a large share of world consumption. A strategy to achieve this goal is the application of optimized thermal insulation on a building envelope to [...] Read more.
The rational use of energy has motivated research on improving the energy efficiency of buildings, which are responsible for a large share of world consumption. A strategy to achieve this goal is the application of optimized thermal insulation on a building envelope to avoid thermal exchanges with the external environment, reducing the use of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. In order to contribute to the best choice of insulation applied to an industrial shed roof, this study aims to provide an optimization tool to assist this process. Beyond the thermal comfort and cost of the insulation, some hygrothermic properties also have been analysed to obtain the best insulation option. To implement this optimization technique, several thermo-energetic simulations of an industrial shed were performed using the Domus software, applying 4 types of insulation material (polyurethane, expanded polystyrene, rockwool and glass wool) on the roof. Ten thicknesses ranging from 0.5 cm to 5 cm were considered, with the purpose of obtaining different thermal comfort indexes (PPD, predicted percentage dissatisfied). Posteriorly, the best insulation ranking has been obtained from the weights assigned to the parameters in the objective function, using the technique of the genetic algorithm (GA) applied to multi-criteria selection. The optimization results showed that polyurethane (PU) insulation, applied with a thickness of 1 cm was the best option for the roof, considering the building functional parameters, occupant metabolic activity, clothing insulation and climate conditions. On the other hand, when the Brazilian standard was utilized, rock wool (2 cm) was considered the best choice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Probabilistic Seismic Assessment of Existing Masonry Buildings
Buildings 2019, 9(12), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9120237 - 21 Nov 2019
Viewed by 594
Abstract
The evaluation of seismic performance of existing masonry buildings is a critical issue in assessing the seismic vulnerability of the built environment. With this aim, non-linear static analysis is commonly used, but results are influenced significantly by the collapse criteria adopted, as well [...] Read more.
The evaluation of seismic performance of existing masonry buildings is a critical issue in assessing the seismic vulnerability of the built environment. With this aim, non-linear static analysis is commonly used, but results are influenced significantly by the collapse criteria adopted, as well as by the assumptions about material properties and drift capacity of masonry walls. A methodology for the probabilistic assessment of the seismic risk index is proposed by means of an original non-linear pushover type algorithm developed by the authors. The main sources of uncertainties related to masonry parameters and their influence on seismic risk indices are identified by means of sensitivity analysis. Response surfaces for the seismic risk indices are thus defined through general polynomial chaos expansion in order to quantify the uncertainties in the resulting seismic risk index. Finally, a seismic performance classification is presented to help stakeholders to manage risks and define priorities for seismic retrofit. The methodology together with the outcomes is illustrated for a set of existing masonry buildings that are part of the school system in the Municipality of Florence. Full article
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