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Buildings, Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Hospitals are complex, high-performance systems that demand continuous quality improvement. Several [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Applicability of the Smart Readiness Indicator for Cold Climate Countries
Buildings 2019, 9(4), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9040102
Received: 28 March 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
In the EU’s revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), a smart readiness indicator (SRI) was introduced as an energy efficiency activity to promote smart ready technologies (SRT) in the building sector. The proposed methodology is based on the evaluation of building services [...] Read more.
In the EU’s revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), a smart readiness indicator (SRI) was introduced as an energy efficiency activity to promote smart ready technologies (SRT) in the building sector. The proposed methodology is based on the evaluation of building services and how they contribute on SRT. The purpose of this paper is to explore the applicability of the SRI to cold climate countries in Northern Europe. The Northern European countries are an interesting test environment for the indicator because of their advanced information and communication technology and high building energy consumption profiles. The findings imply that regardless of the SRI’s conceptualization as a system oriented (smart grid) approach, in its current form, it was not able to recognize the specific features of cold climate buildings, specifically those employing advanced district heating (DH) systems. Another, more practical, implication of the study was that due to the subjective nature of the proposed process for selecting SRI relevant building services, the applicability of SRI as a fair rating system across the EU member states is problematic. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Seismic Retrofit of R/C T-Beams with Steel Fiber Polymers under Cyclic Loading Conditions
Buildings 2019, 9(4), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9040101
Received: 23 March 2019 / Revised: 14 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
This paper presents results of an experimental study on seismic response of reinforced concrete (RC) T-beams with shear deficiencies strengthened with externally bonded steel fiber reinforced polymer (SFRP) strips. Seven cantilever RC beams were strengthened with externally bonded uniaxial SFRP strips in a [...] Read more.
This paper presents results of an experimental study on seismic response of reinforced concrete (RC) T-beams with shear deficiencies strengthened with externally bonded steel fiber reinforced polymer (SFRP) strips. Seven cantilever RC beams were strengthened with externally bonded uniaxial SFRP strips in a U-shape configuration and were tested under cyclic loading conditions. The two main variables examined were the strip spacing and the use of anchoring system. Among the investigated anchoring systems, one was patented, and it is studied in the present manuscript. The examination of the results leads to the conclusion that the anchoring system has a significantly more pronounced effect on the performance of the beams and the mode of failure than the type or spacing of the strips. Furthermore, SFRP strips seem to have a great potential to be used for shear strengthening, especially since the use of mechanical anchoring systems drastically improves their performance. On the contrary, the lack of mechanical anchoring results in premature delamination of the strengthening system, and thus an undesirable SFRP material performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Review of Constructions and Materials Used in Swedish Residential Buildings during the Post-War Peak of Production
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
One of the greatest challenges for the world today is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. As buildings contribute to almost a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, reducing the energy use of the existing building stock is an important measure for [...] Read more.
One of the greatest challenges for the world today is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. As buildings contribute to almost a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, reducing the energy use of the existing building stock is an important measure for climate change mitigation. In order to increase the renovation pace, there is a need for a comprehensive technical documentation that describes different types of buildings in the existing building stock. The purpose of this study is to analyse and describe existing residential buildings in Sweden. The data are based on published reports from 1967 to 1994 that have not been publicly available in a database for other researchers to study until now. Data from the reports have been transferred to a database and analysed to create a reference for buildings and/or a description of building typology in Sweden. This study found that there is a rather large homogeneity in the existing residential building stock. However, it is not possible to use a single reference building or building technique to cover the majority of the existing buildings. In Sweden, common constructions for exterior walls in multi-dwelling buildings which should be used for further studies are insulated wood infill walls with clay brick façades, lightweight concrete walls with rendered façades and concrete sandwich walls. The most common constructions for one- and two-dwelling buildings are insulated wooden walls with clay brick façades or wooden façades. Furthermore, roof constructions with insulated tie beam and roof constructions where the tie beam is a part of the interior floor slab are frequently used and should be included in further studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Shear Strength of Geopolymer Concrete Beams Using High Calcium Content Fly Ash in a Marine Environment
Received: 9 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
This paper deals with the behavior of a geopolymer concrete beam (GCB) under shear load using high calcium content fly ash (FA). The effect of the marine environment on the shear strength of GCB was considered by curing the specimen in a sea [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the behavior of a geopolymer concrete beam (GCB) under shear load using high calcium content fly ash (FA). The effect of the marine environment on the shear strength of GCB was considered by curing the specimen in a sea splashing zone for 28 days. Destructive and non-destructive tests were carried out to determine the properties of geopolymer concrete in different curing environments. Geopolymer concretes cured at room temperature showed higher compressive strength, slightly lower porosity, and higher concrete resistivity than that of those cured in sea water. From the loading test of the GCB under shear load, there was no effect of a sea environment on the crack pattern and crack development of the beam. The shear strength of the GCB generally exceeded the predicted shear strength based on the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Code. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Rise of Office Design in High-Performance, Open-Plan Environments
Buildings 2019, 9(4), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9040100
Received: 28 March 2019 / Revised: 20 April 2019 / Accepted: 21 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
This study aimed to identify key drivers behind workers’ satisfaction, perceived productivity, and health in open-plan offices while at the same time understanding design similarities shared by high-performance workspaces. Results from a dataset comprising a total of 8827 post-occupancy evaluation (POE) surveys conducted [...] Read more.
This study aimed to identify key drivers behind workers’ satisfaction, perceived productivity, and health in open-plan offices while at the same time understanding design similarities shared by high-performance workspaces. Results from a dataset comprising a total of 8827 post-occupancy evaluation (POE) surveys conducted in 61 offices in Australia and a detailed analysis of a subset of 18 workspaces (n = 1949) are reported here. Combined, the database-level enquiry and the subset analysis helped identifying critical physical environment-related features with the highest correlation scores for perceived productivity, health, and overall comfort of the work area. Dataset-level analysis revealed large-size associations with spatial comfort, indoor air quality, building image and maintenance, noise distraction and privacy, visual comfort, personal control, and connection to the outdoor environment. All high-performance, open-plan offices presented a human-centered approach to interior design, purposely allocated spaces to support a variety of work-related tasks, and implemented biophilic design principles. These findings point to the importance of interior design in high-performance workspaces, especially in relation to open-plan offices. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Indicators of Printed Construction Materials: a Durability-Based Approach
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
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Abstract
Studying the durability of materials and structures, including 3D-printed structures, is now a key step in better meeting the challenges of sustainable development and integrating technical and economic aspects from the design phase into the execution phase. While digital and robotics technologies have [...] Read more.
Studying the durability of materials and structures, including 3D-printed structures, is now a key step in better meeting the challenges of sustainable development and integrating technical and economic aspects from the design phase into the execution phase. While digital and robotics technologies have been well developed for construction 3D printing, the material aspect still faces critical issues to meet the evolving requirements for buildings. This research aims to develop performance indicators for 3D-printed materials used in construction regardless of the nature of the material. A general guideline is to be established as a result of this research. Thus, the literature review analyzes traditional durability approaches to construction materials and challenges are identified for potential applications in construction. The results suggest that performance indicators for 3D-printed materials should be checked as printable through an experimental case study. This research could be of interest to researchers, professionals, and start-ups in the construction and materials research fields. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Urban Heat Islands in Bahrain: An Urban Perspective
Received: 17 March 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
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Abstract
Cities across the Arab Gulf region, especially those in Bahrain, have undergone a notable transformation by virtue of the rapid urbanization of the region. Thus, the characteristics of these cities have encountered massive transformation. Accordingly, both governmental and non-governmental projects are authorized for [...] Read more.
Cities across the Arab Gulf region, especially those in Bahrain, have undergone a notable transformation by virtue of the rapid urbanization of the region. Thus, the characteristics of these cities have encountered massive transformation. Accordingly, both governmental and non-governmental projects are authorized for collaborative work to meet the accelerating demands resulting from the increase in population in the Kingdom of Bahrain. However, such projects have been neglected due to other crucial environmental issues. For instance, these projects have resulted in excessive carbon dioxide gaseous emissions. Consequently, these cities are left to suffer from disregarded public spaces and a limited percentage of designed urban open spaces. The case in Bahrain can be summarized as suffering from an absence of the three pillars of sustainability. This has been a fertile ground for the emergence of various urban devastations, among which the “Urban Heat Island” phenomenon adversely affects the urban context of the city. This research investigates these problems, offering propositions to control Urban Heat Islands (UHIs) in Bahrain. Moreover, it aims to recognize the effect of Green Roof Systems in terms of sustainability in order to mitigate UHIs and reduce the threat of Global Warming. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Performance Evaluation of Common Exterior Residential Wall Types in Egypt
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 21 April 2019
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Abstract
The demand for energy-efficient housing is on the rise in Egypt. The information about the individual materials used in the construction of typical residential wall assemblies are known in the literature. However, data from lab tests to validate the performance for whole composite [...] Read more.
The demand for energy-efficient housing is on the rise in Egypt. The information about the individual materials used in the construction of typical residential wall assemblies are known in the literature. However, data from lab tests to validate the performance for whole composite walls are limited. Three typical wall types were constructed and tested utilizing a standard experimental evaluation procedure based on thermal convection loads. A research framework combining the validated thermal performance data from the experimental test and the simulated data was developed. The experimental tests were performed utilizing a state-of-the-art guarded hotbox apparatus and following the guidelines of the ASTM C1363-11 standard. The solar radiation load was taken into account in the calculations according to the standard, and the error estimation and uncertainty analysis for the experimental tests are reported. The results of the experimental testing are described and a recommendation of the best wall type is noted. The output of this research will help to initiate a material database of the thermal performance of typical residential wall types used in Egypt that have been validated in the lab. This will be useful for the building industry as a whole to understand the performance of the materials in composite assemblies and their impact on energy efficiency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Indoor/Outdoor Environmental Parameters and Window-Opening Behavior: A Structural Equation Modeling Analysis
Received: 21 February 2019 / Revised: 16 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 20 April 2019
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Abstract
In moderate climates, the operation of windows is the most common way to control for thermal comfort. Window-opening behavior (WOB) is a complex process influenced by multiple factors, yet only simple bi-variate analyses between variables obtained from longitudinal datasets have been examined. The [...] Read more.
In moderate climates, the operation of windows is the most common way to control for thermal comfort. Window-opening behavior (WOB) is a complex process influenced by multiple factors, yet only simple bi-variate analyses between variables obtained from longitudinal datasets have been examined. The goal of this study is to investigate the effects of indoor and outdoor environmental parameters on WOB using a statistical modeling approach called “structural equation modeling.” The results show that the indoor environmental parameters, such as operative temperature and air velocity, mediated the relationship between the outdoor environmental parameters, such as outdoor air temperature and wind gust, and the WOB. The indoor wet-bulb globe temperature rose as the solar radiation increased, and subsequently, both parameters affected the WOB. Also, an increase in outdoor wind gust led to higher indoor air velocity, which in turn resulted in a lower chance of occupants opening the window. By enhancing our understanding of the relationship between these theoretical parameters, improved design strategies on the mediating parameters can be prioritized and communicated early in the building design phase leading to more informed design decisions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Major Factors Causing Delay in the Delivery of Manufacturing and Building Projects in Saudi Arabia
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 27 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 20 April 2019
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Abstract
There have been many studies done on the causes of delay on construction projects and building projects all around the world. They use different methods, on different geographical areas, and they come up with different results. There are, however, few studies on industrial [...] Read more.
There have been many studies done on the causes of delay on construction projects and building projects all around the world. They use different methods, on different geographical areas, and they come up with different results. There are, however, few studies on industrial and building projects. This paper focuses on industrial/manufacturing projects in Saudi Arabia. The aim of this paper is to identify the major causes of delay in the manufacturing projects in Saudi Arabia. The top causes of delay have been identified through a literature survey and interviews with experts from the industrial field in Saudi Arabia. Twenty-two factors have been identified and listed in a survey that was distributed to professionals in the same field. Two categorizations were made: the first is based on the impact of the cause, and the second is based on the frequency of occurrence of the identified cause. It has been found that the top five impacted causes of delay in the delivery of industrial projects in Saudi Arabia are: difficulties in financing project by contractor/manufacturer, late procurement of materials, late delivery of materials, delay in progress payments, and delay in approving design documents, respectively. In terms of frequency, the top five identified causes are: delay in progress payments, difficulties in financing project by contractor/manufacturer, slowness in decision making, late procurement of materials, and delay in approving design documents, respectively. The diversity of the participants is an important point; therefore, the respondents were from different job positions (management, engineering, etc.), and different categories (contractor, owner, manufacturer, consultant, etc.). It is worth noting that this paper serves not only as an authentic study of the causes of delay in the delivery of industrial projects in Saudi Arabia which is a field that is not widely covered, but also as a fresh paper that gives an indication of the changes that happen to the business over time as compared to previous work. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Quantifying the Generality and Adaptability of Building Layouts Using Weighted Graphs: The SAGA Method
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 20 April 2019
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Abstract
This paper presents an assessment method that uses weighted graphs to quantify a building’s capacity to support changes. The method is called Spatial Assessment of Generality and Adaptability (SAGA), and evaluates the generality (passive support for change) and adaptability (active support for change) [...] Read more.
This paper presents an assessment method that uses weighted graphs to quantify a building’s capacity to support changes. The method is called Spatial Assessment of Generality and Adaptability (SAGA), and evaluates the generality (passive support for change) and adaptability (active support for change) of a building’s spatial configuration. We put forward that the generality and adaptability of a floor plan can be expressed in terms of graph permeability, and introduce a set of five quantitative indicators. To illustrate the method, we evaluate six representative plan layouts, and discuss how their generality and adaptability scores relate to their spatial configuration. We are developing the SAGA method for two areas of application. First, SAGA’s global graph indicators can be used to analyse and compare large sets of plan graphs, for example to map or plan adaptable capacity throughout a building or city. Second, the SAGA method can serve as a tool to inform design, allowing architects to improve the generality and adaptability of their plan layouts. While we conclude that the method has significant strengths and promising applications, the paper ends by discussing ways to make the assessment more robust and extend it beyond measuring spatial configuration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Architecture)
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Open AccessArticle
Multiscale Seismic Vulnerability Assessment and Retrofit of Existing Masonry Buildings
Received: 30 March 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
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Abstract
The growing concern about the protection of built heritage and the sustainability of urban areas has driven the reoccupation of existing masonry buildings, which, in the great majority of the cases, were not designed or constructed to withstand significant seismic forces. This fact, [...] Read more.
The growing concern about the protection of built heritage and the sustainability of urban areas has driven the reoccupation of existing masonry buildings, which, in the great majority of the cases, were not designed or constructed to withstand significant seismic forces. This fact, associated with territorial occupation often concentrated in areas with high seismic hazard, makes it essential to look at these buildings from the point of view of the assessment of their seismic vulnerability and retrofitting needs. However, to be effective and efficient, such an assessment must be founded on a solid knowledge of the existing methods and tools, as well as on the criteria that should underlie the selection of the most appropriate to use in each context and situation. Aimed at contributing to systematise that knowledge, this paper presents a comprehensive review of the most relevant vulnerability assessment methods applicable at different scales, as well as the most significant traditional and innovative seismic retrofitting solutions for existing masonry buildings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Optimizing Evaluation Methods for the Embodied Energy and Carbon Management of Existing Buildings in Egypt
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 27 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
There is an increasing demand for the decarbonization of existing buildings. The development of standardized calculation methods has simplified calculation processes and enabled wider engagement with the topic. As the industry advances, optimization and accounting for regional differences will increase in importance. This [...] Read more.
There is an increasing demand for the decarbonization of existing buildings. The development of standardized calculation methods has simplified calculation processes and enabled wider engagement with the topic. As the industry advances, optimization and accounting for regional differences will increase in importance. This paper reviews the key drivers in the field, both locally and internationally, and proposes a performance-based evaluation method specific to local construction in Egypt. The aim of the method is to assist in the renovation of existing buildings by guiding the decision-making process through the proposed evaluation framework. A local case study of an existing multi-story apartment building was used to create a baseline for typical local multi-story residential buildings and demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed evaluation method. This framework provides the owners of buildings with a decision-making process by which carbon impacts associated with future renovations and operations of existing buildings can be minimized. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Implementation of Safety Management System for Improving Construction Safety Performance: A Structural Equation Modelling Approach
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 11 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
The construction industry contributes to a large proportion of industrial injury and mortality. It is of high importance to evaluate the effectiveness of the Safety Management System (SMS). In particular, it is necessary to compare the quality and level of achievement of SMS [...] Read more.
The construction industry contributes to a large proportion of industrial injury and mortality. It is of high importance to evaluate the effectiveness of the Safety Management System (SMS). In particular, it is necessary to compare the quality and level of achievement of SMS and safety performance of a construction project. However, a sizeable sample of construction accidents is often not available. Therefore, possible proxies to indicate the safety performance were established. Moreover, the motivation factors which characterize the quality and level of achievement should be identified. In this study, a structural model has been established to examine the relationship between the SMS implementation and operational & safety performance of the construction projects. Results of the structural model illustrated the relationship between (i) SMS implementation and project safety outcome, (ii) SMS implementation and five motivation factors, and (iii) project safety outcome and six proxies. Results of this study have unfolded the motivation factors in SMS implementation and their subsequent effects on project performance, throwing light on the need to enhance the safety management practice in order to reduce accidents and injuries in the construction industry in the long run. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Ducted Photovoltaic Façade Unit with Buoyancy Cooling: Part I Experiment
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
A ducted photovoltaic façade (DPV) unit was studied using experimental prototype and simulated in a full scale computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model. The study comes in two parts; this is Part I, as detailed in the title above, and Part II is titled [...] Read more.
A ducted photovoltaic façade (DPV) unit was studied using experimental prototype and simulated in a full scale computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model. The study comes in two parts; this is Part I, as detailed in the title above, and Part II is titled “A Ducted Photovoltaic Façade Unit with Buoyancy Cooling: Part II CFD Simulation”. The process adopted in the experimental study is replicated in the simulation part. The aim was to optimize the duct width behind the solar cells to allow for a maximum buoyancy-driven cooling for the cells during operation. Duct widths from 5 to 50 cm were tested in a prototype. A duct width of 45 cm had the maximum calculated heat removed from the duct; however, the lowest cell-operating temperature was reported for duct width of 50 cm. It was found that ΔT between ducts’ inlets and outlets range from 5.47 °C to 12.32 °C for duct widths of 5–50 cm, respectively. The ducted system enhanced module efficiency by 12.69% by reducing photovoltaic (PV) temperature by 27 °C from 100 °C to 73 °C. The maximum measured heat recovered from the ducted PV system was 422 W. This is 48.98% from the incident radiation in the test. The total sum of heat recovered and power enhanced by the ducted system was 61.67%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coupling of Building Components and Ventilation Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Passive Ambient Comfort and Correlation of Strategies and Vernacular Devices for Habitat Design in Arid Zones: The Case of Biskra, Algeria
Received: 20 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
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Abstract
Current concerns focus on the need to reduce energy consumption in construction and over the lifespan of buildings. A major objective is to create affordable housing. However, reducing the energy needs of the present without harming the needs of future generations remains difficult [...] Read more.
Current concerns focus on the need to reduce energy consumption in construction and over the lifespan of buildings. A major objective is to create affordable housing. However, reducing the energy needs of the present without harming the needs of future generations remains difficult to put into practice, especially at the level of habitats in arid zones. In this research, a housing design assistance process for building designers is proposed, with the aim of converging towards a global optimum for the correlation and integration of vernacular devices and strategies in an optimized way. This will allow the integration of energy performance indicators and user comfort, in order to ultimately optimize, for this case study, the morphogenesis of residential buildings based on the morphological structure of a proposed building in Biskra, Algeria. This last developed process is articulated on various combinations distinguished for the case of the integration of devices and strategies, which allow maximum energy saving while ensuring the comfort of the occupants. As part of this research, this integration constituted a major challenge and made it possible to achieve a reduction in energy ratio of up to 25.11% compared to the standard building and the objectives of the research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Generalized Adaptive Framework (GAF) for Automating Code Compliance Checking
Received: 30 March 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 13 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
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Abstract
Building design review is the procedure of checking a design against codes and standard provisions to satisfy the accuracy of the design and identify non-compliances before construction begins. The current approaches for conducting the design review process in an automatic or semi-automatic manner [...] Read more.
Building design review is the procedure of checking a design against codes and standard provisions to satisfy the accuracy of the design and identify non-compliances before construction begins. The current approaches for conducting the design review process in an automatic or semi-automatic manner are either based on proprietary, domain-specific or hard-coded rule-based mechanisms. These methods may be effective in their specific applications, but they have the downsides of being costly to maintain, inflexible to modify, and lack a generalized framework of rules and regulations modeling that can adapt to various engineering design realms, and thus don’t support a neutral data standard. They are often referred to as ‘Black Box’ or ‘Gray Box’ approaches. This research offers a new comprehensive framework that reduces the limitations of the cited methods. Building regulations, for instance, are legal documents transcribed and approved by professionals to be interpreted and applied by people. They are hardly as precise as formal logic. Engineers, architects, and contractors can read those technical documents and transform them into scientific notations and software applications. They can extract any data they need, reason about it, and apply it at various phases of the project. How these extraction and use are carried out is a critical component of automating the design review process. The chief goal is to address this issue by developing a Generalized Adaptive Framework (GAF) for a neutral data standard (Industry Foundation Classes (IFC)) that enables automating the code compliance checking processes to achieve design efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The objectives of this study comprise i) to develop a theoretical background to an adaptive framework that supports a neutral data standard for transforming the written code regulations and rules into a computable model, and ii) to define the various modules required for computerizing of the code compliance verification process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IT in Design, Construction, and Management)
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Open AccessReview
A Scientometric Review and Metasynthesis of Building Information Modelling (BIM) Research in Africa
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 13 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
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Abstract
Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been gaining widespread adoption in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry across the globe. Consequently, several research studies have attempted to construct a holistic review of the increasing BIM publications to identify the development trend using manual [...] Read more.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been gaining widespread adoption in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry across the globe. Consequently, several research studies have attempted to construct a holistic review of the increasing BIM publications to identify the development trend using manual review, scientometric review, bibliometric review, or latent semantic review. These extant studies have often adopted a global view of the development despite the adoption of BIM varying across firms, countries, and continents. This approach is often regarded as not representative of the BIM development in countries and continents at the infancy stage. As BIM is still at the germinating stage of development in Africa and previous reviews are unrepresentative of BIM development in the AEC industry of Africa. This paper aims to present a scientometric review and metasynthesis of BIM development in the African AEC industry to explore the intellectual evolution of BIM, the status quo of BIM across the regions, and any potential barriers hindering BIM proliferation. The review findings revealed a varying level of BIM growth, with North Africa, West Africa, and Southern Africa leading the research development, whilst East Africa and Central Africa are slightly lagging behind. Additionally, the major challenges facing BIM adoption was found as people/process-related barriers. This study has provided valuable insights into BIM development and application in the growing African AEC industry. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Design and Fabrication of a Responsive Carrier Component Envelope
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
Responsive architecture comprises the creation of buildings or structural elements of buildings that adapt in response to external stimuli or internal conditions. The responsiveness of such structures rests on addressing constraints from multiple domains of expertise. The dynamic integration of geometric, structural, material [...] Read more.
Responsive architecture comprises the creation of buildings or structural elements of buildings that adapt in response to external stimuli or internal conditions. The responsiveness of such structures rests on addressing constraints from multiple domains of expertise. The dynamic integration of geometric, structural, material and electronic subsystems requires innovative design methods and processes. This paper reports on the design and fabrication of a responsive carrier component envelope (RCCE) that responds by changing shape through kinetic motion. The design of the RCCE is based on geometry and structure of carrier surfaces populated with a kinetic structural component that responds to external stimuli. We extend earlier prototypes to design a modular, component-driven bottom-up system assembly exploring full-scale material and electronic subsystems for the expansion and retraction of a symmetric polar array based on the Hobermann sphere. We test the kinetic responsiveness of the RCCE with material constraints and simulate responses by connecting the adaptive components with programmable input and behavior. Finally, a concrete situation from practice is presented where 16 fully-functional components of the adaptive component are assembled and tested as part of an interactive public placemaking installation at the Shenzhen MakerFaire Exhibition. The RCCE experimental prototype provides new results on the design and construction of an adaptive assembly in system design and planning, choice of fabrication and assembly methods and incorporation of dynamic forms. This paper concludes that the design and assembly of an adaptive structural component based on RCCE presents results for designing sensitive, creative, adaptable and sustainable architecture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Architecture)
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Open AccessArticle
Acoustic Enhancement of a Modern Church
Received: 11 February 2019 / Revised: 27 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
This paper presents the study of the intervention for the acoustic correction of a modern church. The investigated church was built in the 1960s, with a brutalist style and with a squared plan. The hard materials, including a marble floor and hard plastered [...] Read more.
This paper presents the study of the intervention for the acoustic correction of a modern church. The investigated church was built in the 1960s, with a brutalist style and with a squared plan. The hard materials, including a marble floor and hard plastered walls, were responsible for its reverberation time of over 5 s, resulting in poor speech comprehension. As common in worship spaces, the acoustic improvement interventions were challenged by the denial of covering the walls and the vault with conventional sound-absorbing materials due to aesthetic and architectural reasons. In order to carry out an adequate acoustic correction, while involving minimal interventions, the possibility of using light sound absorbing ceiling sheets was analyzed. The study is divided into three phases: Firstly, the acoustic characteristics of the current building were measured; then, new materials for adequate sound absorption were studied; finally, acoustic simulations were used to evaluate the effects on the acoustic characteristics for different intervention scenarios. The final room was able to shorten its reverberation time to about 2.0 s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise Control in Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle
Structural Performance of uPVC Confined Concrete Equivalent Cylinders Under Axial Compression Loads
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 14 April 2019
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Abstract
There is always a need for more durable, ductile, and robust materials for buildings, bridges, and other infrastructure due to the drawbacks of existing construction materials. Some of the drawbacks are the corrosion of steel, the brittle failure of concrete, and the performance [...] Read more.
There is always a need for more durable, ductile, and robust materials for buildings, bridges, and other infrastructure due to the drawbacks of existing construction materials. Some of the drawbacks are the corrosion of steel, the brittle failure of concrete, and the performance instabilities that are caused when exposed to different environments. Thus, an innovative system is required to improve the performance and retain the integrity of structures in a harsh environment. To alleviate the situation, Un-plasticized polyvinyl chloride (uPVC) tubes are used as a confining material and their performance was experimentally evaluated by testing uPVC confined equivalent cylinders. Accordingly, unconfined and uPVC confined equivalent concrete cylinders for five different concrete classes, four types of uPVC tube sizes, and the aspect ratios of two (h/D = 2) were prepared and tested under axial compression loads. The result shows that the uPVC confinement increased the strength, ductility factor, and energy absorption in between 1.28–2.35, 1.84–15.3, and 11–243 times the unconfined levels, respectively. The confinement performed well for lower concrete classes and higher thickness to diameter ratios (2t/D). The post-peak behavior of the stress-strain curve was affected by the 2t/D ratio and the absolute value of the slope decreased as the 2t/D ratio increased. Additionally, the uPVC tube has shown several advantages, such as acting as a permanent formwork, protecting the concrete from chemical attacks, preventing the segregation of concrete, preventing peeling, and taking off concrete cover, decreasing the cross-section, and resulting in lighter sections. The uPVC confinement provided a remarkable improvement on the strength, ductility, energy absorption, and post-peak behavior of concrete. Therefore, uPVC tubes can be used as confining material for bridge piers, piles, electric poles, and highway signboards, where the fire risk is very small, though additional research is required on fire resistance mechanisms, such as wire-mesh reinforced mortar cover. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Achieving a Trade-Off Construction Solution Using BIM, an Optimization Algorithm, and a Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Method
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 10 April 2019
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Abstract
The Energy Performance of Building Directive obligated all European countries to reduce the energy requirements of buildings while simultaneously improving indoor environment quality. Any such improvements not only enhance the health of the occupants and their productivity, but also provide further economic benefits [...] Read more.
The Energy Performance of Building Directive obligated all European countries to reduce the energy requirements of buildings while simultaneously improving indoor environment quality. Any such improvements not only enhance the health of the occupants and their productivity, but also provide further economic benefits at the national level. Accomplishing this task requires a method that allows building professionals to resolve conflicts between visual and thermal comfort, energy demands, and life-cycle costs. To overcome these conflicts, this study exploits the incorporation of building information modelling (BIM), the design of experiments as an optimization algorithm, and the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) into a multi-criteria decision-making method. Any such incorporation can (i) create constructive communication between building professionals, such as architects, engineers, and energy experts; (ii) allow the analysis of the performance of multiple construction solutions with respect to visual and thermal comfort, energy demand, and life-cycle costs; and (iii) help to select a trade-off solution, thereby making a suitable decision. Three types of energy-efficient windows, and five types of ground floors, roofs, and external wall constructions were considered as optimization variables. The incorporation of several methods allowed the analysis of the performance of 375 construction solutions based on a combination of optimization variables, and helped to select a trade-off solution. The results showed the strength of incorporation for analyzing big-data through the intelligent use of BIM and a simulation in the field of the built environment, energy, and costs. However, when applying AHP, the results are strongly contingent on pairwise comparisons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IT in Design, Construction, and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Responsive Performances of a Spanish Balcony-Based Vernacular Envelope
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 10 April 2019
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Abstract
Many operable and complementary layers make up a vernacular adaptive envelope. With vertical operable translucent textile blinds, horizontal foldable glass doors with thin structural framing, wooden horizontal foldable frames with vertical rotational shutters, plants with dynamic densities, humidity concentrations, and opaque operable textile [...] Read more.
Many operable and complementary layers make up a vernacular adaptive envelope. With vertical operable translucent textile blinds, horizontal foldable glass doors with thin structural framing, wooden horizontal foldable frames with vertical rotational shutters, plants with dynamic densities, humidity concentrations, and opaque operable textile blinds forming the deep responsive façades of many Southern European buildings as part of the building envelope. This low-tech configuration utilizes behavioral human interaction with the building. On their own, these are singular mechanisms, but as coupled systems, they become highly advanced adaptive building systems used to balance temperature sensations. The research investigates such an adaptive envelope structure through identification of operable elements and their thermal and energy performances through computer simulation models. The designed research computational model includes assessment of heat reception and transfer, resultant operative temperatures, and adaptive comfort sensations. The aim of the research and the material presented in this paper is understanding the performance of native, local, low-tech systems as an opposing approach to contemporary high-tech, complex mechanical systems. The study finds that the operable elements and various compositions make a significant, yet less than anticipated, impact on adaptive thermal comfort temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Architecture)
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Open AccessArticle
Perception and Barriers to Implementation of Intensive and Extensive Green Roofs in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
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Abstract
Buildings are one of the biggest consumers of fossil fuels, and thus, contribute largely to greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, a large number of studies have been conducted and innovative ideas or green solutions have been invented, adopted, and implemented across the [...] Read more.
Buildings are one of the biggest consumers of fossil fuels, and thus, contribute largely to greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, a large number of studies have been conducted and innovative ideas or green solutions have been invented, adopted, and implemented across the globe. These solutions are often contextual and heavily dependent on local environmental and socio-economic factors. Green roofs are such an example. Green roofs (both intensive and extensive) for buildings have been successfully adopted in many countries around the world. Bangladesh, a developing country that can benefit from green roofs, seems to remain in complete darkness regarding its potential. The objective of this study is to identify the reasons why green roofs have not been widely implemented in Bangladesh, especially in the capital Dhaka, even though, theoretically, the climatic conditions of this country favor this technology. This study focuses on the perception of the construction industry to comprehend the possible obstacles they are facing towards using green roofs in their designs. A questionnaire study was conducted among architects, engineers, construction managers, contractors, and owners who are at different levels of experience in their respective fields. The results indicate a gap in knowledge and misconceptions, which are major hindrances to the implementation of green roofs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Incremental Dynamic Analysis for Estimating Seismic Performance of Multi-Story Buildings with Butterfly-Shaped Structural Dampers
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 30 March 2019 / Published: 8 April 2019
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Abstract
Structural strength and stiffness were previously investigated to sufficiently improve the lateral load resistance against major events. Many buildings require appropriate design to effectively withstand the lateral seismic loads and reduce the corresponding damages. Design methodologies and structural elements were recently introduced to [...] Read more.
Structural strength and stiffness were previously investigated to sufficiently improve the lateral load resistance against major events. Many buildings require appropriate design to effectively withstand the lateral seismic loads and reduce the corresponding damages. Design methodologies and structural elements were recently introduced to improve the energy dissipation capability and limit the high force demands under seismic loadings. The new systems are designed to protect the structural integrity and concentrate the inelasticity in a specific area, while the remaining parts are kept undamaged and intact. This study introduces a new structural system with dampers having strategic cutouts, leaving butterfly-shaped shear dampers for dominating the yielding mechanism over other brittle limit states. The new system is designed for re-establishing the conventional eccentrically braced frame system with simple linking beams. The system with strategic cutouts is subsequently used and compared with the eccentrically braced frames (EBF) system for seismic performance investigation and incremental dynamic analysis (IDA), using the OpenSees program, which is used to indicate the collapse behavior under forty-four selected ground motions. Results show that the butterfly-shaped multi-story buildings, compared to the corresponding conventional systems, are capable of enhancing the system resistance against lateral seismic loads by postponing the collapse state to the larger drift ratio values. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Potential of Blockchain in Building Construction
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 21 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 5 April 2019
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Abstract
Construction customers want more complex facilities delivered faster and at a lower cost. Transaction costs account for a significant proportion of each new or refurbished facility (a 2017 report from the Infrastructure Client Group in the UK suggests as high as 50%), yet [...] Read more.
Construction customers want more complex facilities delivered faster and at a lower cost. Transaction costs account for a significant proportion of each new or refurbished facility (a 2017 report from the Infrastructure Client Group in the UK suggests as high as 50%), yet they contribute no value to the customer. Blockchain is being suggested as a way to reduce transaction costs by eliminating the need for intermediaries to build trust as a prerequisite for successfully executed agreements. This study first describes the thinking that underpins blockchain technology, outlining how it works, and the potential limitations of the technology. Second, using a case study, reviews the potential cost savings from the use of blockchain for a real estate company. The results reveal a potential cost savings from blockchain deployment at 8.3% of the total cost of residential construction, with a standard deviation of 1.26%. Third, we explore the implications, risks and applications of blockchain technology for improving flow in the end-to-end design and construction process and we identify opportunities for future research on blockchain applications in construction. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Healthy and Sustainable Hospital Evaluation—A Review of POE Tools for Hospital Assessment in an Evidence-Based Design Framework
Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 14 March 2019 / Accepted: 25 March 2019 / Published: 27 March 2019
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Abstract
Hospitals are complex, high-performance systems that demand continuous quality improvement. Several instruments evaluate the organizational or clinical qualities but very few focus on the built environment. The purpose of this paper is to compare and review the recent tools able to assess the [...] Read more.
Hospitals are complex, high-performance systems that demand continuous quality improvement. Several instruments evaluate the organizational or clinical qualities but very few focus on the built environment. The purpose of this paper is to compare and review the recent tools able to assess the hospital built environment and test how they measure health, sustainability, or both through Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE). A literature review has been conducted in the field of hospital quality assessment and 13 POE instruments have been included and analyzed through Ulrich’s Evidence-Based Design (EBD) framework. The percentage and the content of health or sustainability-related criteria have been compared and further discussed. Health related criteria the most recent tools are used three times more than in the tools developed in the nineties. The most used EBD criteria are safety enhancement (n = 131; 14%) and visual environment (n = 119; 13%). Although sustainability remains a relevant issue, today, growing attention is dedicated to the impact of built environment on occupant’s health. Further investigation is needed to understand the effectiveness of those instruments in practice. Full article
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