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Buildings, Volume 9, Issue 7 (July 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) This issue starts with quantification of green roof effects, with year-long data delivering the [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Increasing Evapotranspiration on Extensive Green Roofs by Changing Substrate Depths, Construction, and Additional Irrigation
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070173
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 16 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 July 2019 / Published: 23 July 2019
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Abstract
Urban environments are characterized by dense development and paved ground with reduced evapotranspiration rates. These areas store sensible and latent heat, providing the base for typical urban heat island effects. Green roof installations are one possible strategy to reintroduce evaporative surfaces into cities. [...] Read more.
Urban environments are characterized by dense development and paved ground with reduced evapotranspiration rates. These areas store sensible and latent heat, providing the base for typical urban heat island effects. Green roof installations are one possible strategy to reintroduce evaporative surfaces into cities. If green roofs are irrigated, they can contribute to urban water management and evapotranspiration can be enhanced. As part of two research projects, lysimeter measurements were used to determine the real evapotranspiration rates on the research roof of the University of Applied Sciences in Neubrandenburg, Germany. In this paper, we address the results from 2017, a humid and cool summer, and 2018, a century summer with the highest temperatures and dryness over a long period of time, measured in Northeast Germany. The lysimeter measurements varied between the normal green roof layer (variation of extensive green roof constructions) and a special construction with an extra retention layer and damming. The results show that the average daily evapotranspiration rates can be enhanced from 3 to 5 L/m2/day under optimized conditions. A second test on a real green roof with irrigation was used to explain the cooling effects of the surface above a café building in Berlin. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Air Leakage of Joints Filled with Polyurethane Foam
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070172
Received: 19 June 2019 / Revised: 14 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
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Abstract
Air leakage through the building envelope joints is usually one of the main reasons why airtightness targets are not achieved. The objective of this study was to analyse the air leakage of joints filled with polyurethane foam and its influencing factors. Wooden test [...] Read more.
Air leakage through the building envelope joints is usually one of the main reasons why airtightness targets are not achieved. The objective of this study was to analyse the air leakage of joints filled with polyurethane foam and its influencing factors. Wooden test specimens (54 in total) with planed, sawn and plastic-coated cavities and two cavity thicknesses were filled with three different polyurethane foams and tested according to standard EN 12114. The surface type and thickness of the joint had a significant effect on the air leakage of joints filled with polyurethane foam. In laboratory conditions, a consistent and very low air leakage rate was obtained with planed timber surfaces. Joints with plastic-coated and sawn timber surfaces performed worse, on average, by a factor of two or more and contributed to very variable airtightness, with up to 28% and 50% of the test specimens failing the airtightness testing. On the basis of the high ‘failure rate’, polyurethane foam may classify as a not completely trustworthy solution in guaranteeing the airtightness of construction joints. A comparison of estimated and previously measured overall airtightness of an entire building envelope showed dependency on ‘failure rate’ rather than on average measured leakage rate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Structural Damage after a Severe Wildfire: A Case Study
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070171
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 13 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
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Abstract
Wildfires have always been a threat to forests and areas of high combustible vegetation. When they are not kept under control, they can spread to residential areas, creating severe damage and destruction. This paper examines the effects of the extreme heat conditions that [...] Read more.
Wildfires have always been a threat to forests and areas of high combustible vegetation. When they are not kept under control, they can spread to residential areas, creating severe damage and destruction. This paper examines the effects of the extreme heat conditions that developed during a wildfire on buildings as a function of their construction type. One of the deadliest wildfires in Greece (July 2018) is considered as a case study, and the damage that occurred to buildings during this event is presented. The temperature of the various structural subsystems in extreme heat conditions was estimated using the finite element method. Parameters that influenced the corresponding temperature distribution were identified. Simple guidelines are given to prevent or reduce damage in buildings exposed to wildfires. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Different Roof Types Concerning Daylight in Industrial Buildings during the Initial Design Phase: Methodology and Case Study
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070170
Received: 25 June 2019 / Revised: 9 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
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Abstract
Used properly, daylight can provide visual comfort, reduce energy consumption and improve health and safety at work. This paper investigates the influence that different roof types, (i.e., sawtooth roof, skylight and monitor), have on daylight levels, along with the construction cost in an [...] Read more.
Used properly, daylight can provide visual comfort, reduce energy consumption and improve health and safety at work. This paper investigates the influence that different roof types, (i.e., sawtooth roof, skylight and monitor), have on daylight levels, along with the construction cost in an industrial environment in Athens, Greece. Construction costs and daylight adequacy/uniformity are antagonistic phenomena, since as the distance between the roof openings increases, the construction cost is minimised, while the daylight levels and the uniformity are reduced. Therefore, an optimisation method is proposed in order to find the optimum distance between the roof openings. The selected building is a representative unit of Greek industrial facilities, while the optimisation method is based upon a multiparametric approach. This consists of three (3) different roof opening arrangement types with different geometric characteristics. The daylight metrics used are the Daylight Area, the Daylight Factor, the Mean Daylight Autonomy, the Uniform Daylight Index and the Annual Sunlight Exposure. Overall, sawtooth roofs represent the best choice for daylight provision in industrial buildings at the examined geographic location. Using the aforementioned optimisation method, the optimum solution of distances between the roof openings ranges from 10 m to 13 m. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Evaluation of the Ventilation Effectiveness of Corner Stratum Ventilation in an Office Environment
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070169
Received: 20 June 2019 / Revised: 3 July 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 14 July 2019
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Abstract
An experimental study was conducted in a room resembling an office in a laboratory environment. The study involved investigating the ability of corner-placed stratum ventilation in order to evaluate the ventilation’s effectiveness and local thermal comfort. At fixed positions, the air temperature, air [...] Read more.
An experimental study was conducted in a room resembling an office in a laboratory environment. The study involved investigating the ability of corner-placed stratum ventilation in order to evaluate the ventilation’s effectiveness and local thermal comfort. At fixed positions, the air temperature, air velocity, turbulence intensity, and tracer gas decay measurements were carried out. The results show that corner-placed stratum ventilation behaves very similar to a mixing ventilation system when considering air change effectiveness. The performance of the system was better at lower supply air flow rates for heat removal effectiveness. For the heating cases, the draught rates were all very low, with the maximum measured value of 12%. However, for the cooling cases, the maximum draught rate was 20% and occurred at ankle level in the middle of the room. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A New Analytical Prediction for Energy Responses of Hemi-Cylindrical Shells to Explosive Blast Load
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070168
Received: 23 June 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 5 July 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
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Abstract
This study presents a new analytical model on the dissipation process of the initial total energy of the hemi-cylindrical shell subjected to the explosive blast load. The analytical formulation has been established using the energy method. The analytical predictions have been validated and [...] Read more.
This study presents a new analytical model on the dissipation process of the initial total energy of the hemi-cylindrical shell subjected to the explosive blast load. The analytical formulation has been established using the energy method. The analytical predictions have been validated and found to be in excellent agreement with numerical simulations calculated by explicit finite element method (via LS-DYNA). The variational parameters considered are the shell thickness, elastic modulus, densities of the shell, and the positions of the detonation. Considering varieties of the parameters, the analytical and numerical results demonstrate that the pattern of vibrating deformations can be classified into two types according to the detonation positions. If the detonation position was at the midpoint of the width, there was no main frequency, whilst if the detonation position was at the edge of the width, the shell vibrated with a main frequency. It was also found from both analytical and numerical models that the total initial energy is inversely proportional to the thickness of the shell ( T ), namely, the exact formula can be written as β = ρ a c / ρ s T . Surprisingly, this study is the first to highlight that the total energy decreases with time by the exponential function, and the exponential ratio ( β ) is inversely proportional to the thickness of the shell as well. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of the Best 3D Viewpoint within the BIM Model: Application to Visual Tasks Related to Facility Management
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070167
Received: 23 June 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 10 July 2019
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Abstract
Visualizing building assets within building information modeling (BIM) offers significant opportunities in facility management as it can assist the maintenance and the safety of buildings. Nevertheless, taking decisions based on 3D visualization remains a challenge since the high density of spatial information inside [...] Read more.
Visualizing building assets within building information modeling (BIM) offers significant opportunities in facility management as it can assist the maintenance and the safety of buildings. Nevertheless, taking decisions based on 3D visualization remains a challenge since the high density of spatial information inside the 3D model requires suitable visualization techniques to achieve the visual task. The occlusion is ubiquitous and, whilst solutions already exist such as transparency, none currently solve this issue with an automatic and suitable management of the camera. In this paper, we propose the first RESTful web application implementing a 3D viewpoint management algorithm and we demonstrate its usability in the visualization of assets based on a BIM model for visual counting in facility management. Via an online questionnaire, empirical tests are conducted with architects, the construction industry, engineers, and surveyors. The results show that a 3D viewpoint that maximizes the visibility of 3D geometric objects inside the viewport significantly improves the success rate, the accuracy, and the certainty of a visual counting task compared to the traditional four side points of view (i.e., from the front, back, left, and right viewpoints). Finally, this first validation lays the foundation of future investigations in the 3D viewpoint usability evaluation, both in terms of visual tasks and application domains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BIM in Building Repair and Maintenance)
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Open AccessReview
An Overview of Climate Change and Building Energy: Performance, Responses and Uncertainties
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070166
Received: 13 June 2019 / Revised: 27 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
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Abstract
It is becoming increasingly crucial to develop methods and strategies to assess building performance under the changing climate and to yield a more sustainable and resilient design. However, the outputs of climate models have a coarse spatial and temporal resolution and cannot be [...] Read more.
It is becoming increasingly crucial to develop methods and strategies to assess building performance under the changing climate and to yield a more sustainable and resilient design. However, the outputs of climate models have a coarse spatial and temporal resolution and cannot be used directly in building energy simulation tools. This paper reviews methods to develop fine spatial and temporal weather files that incorporate climate emissions scenarios by means of downscaling. An overview of the climate change impact on building energy performance is given, and potential adaptation and mitigation factors in response to the changing climate in the building sector are presented. Also, methods to reflect, propagate, and partition main sources of uncertainties in both weather files and buildings are summarized, and a sample approach to propagate the uncertainties is demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioclimatic Design of Buildings for the Future Conditions)
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Open AccessArticle
Research on the Evolution of Building Technology Based on Regional Revitalization
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070165
Received: 23 May 2019 / Revised: 25 June 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
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Abstract
With the rapid development of the times, regionalization has become one of the hotspots in the field of architecture. The aim of this paper is to deal with the regionalization of contemporary architecture from the perspective of building technology. This paper systematically and [...] Read more.
With the rapid development of the times, regionalization has become one of the hotspots in the field of architecture. The aim of this paper is to deal with the regionalization of contemporary architecture from the perspective of building technology. This paper systematically and comprehensively evaluates and summarizes the development process of China's building technology, determines the key points of the evolution of building technology, and combines a large number of historical documents and historical remains to analyze the causes of the evolution of building technology, which include the natural environment, science and technology, building system and concept consciousness. Based on this, it analyses buildings in Sichuan from three aspects—building materials, structural system and construction process—and seeks for a reasonable regional development direction of building technology. Analysis results showed that greening, integration and scientific are the evolution path of building technology in the new era. Not only building technology is a necessary means of building realization, but also its influence on the regionalization of architecture should be supplemented and promoted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioclimatic Design of Buildings for the Future Conditions)
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Open AccessArticle
Swedish House Owners’ Intentions Towards Renovations: Is there a Market for One-Stop-Shop?
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070164
Received: 11 June 2019 / Revised: 1 July 2019 / Accepted: 4 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
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Abstract
In this paper, we examine factors affecting owners’ intention for renovation of their detached houses. Furthermore, we analyze their interest in choosing a one-stop-shop (OSS) service for the renovation, even though such a concept is not yet established in Sweden, but emerging in [...] Read more.
In this paper, we examine factors affecting owners’ intention for renovation of their detached houses. Furthermore, we analyze their interest in choosing a one-stop-shop (OSS) service for the renovation, even though such a concept is not yet established in Sweden, but emerging in other parts of Europe. Our study is based on responses to an online questionnaire survey of 971 house owners residing in Kronoberg Region in Sweden. About 76% of the respondents intend to renovate in the near future, with approximately 71% of them preferring to renovate individual components of their dwelling and 5% to renovate their whole house in steps. House owners of younger age, higher income, higher education, and those with an interest for environmental issues, were the ones most interested in physical renovations, which improves energy efficiency of the building. For those house owners, one-stop-shop can facilitate the decision-making process, and help them to choose those measures that will improve their quality of life. Approximately 20% of the respondents had a positive view towards an one-stop-shop, which is an indicator that market for such a service exists. Parameters such as quality of work, cost and energy savings and specification of measures to be adopted are the key for the promotion of one-stop-shop. Additionally, house owners want to have a certain level of involvement in the selection of actors performing the renovation. Moreover, financial incentives, e.g., loans, do not play a significant role for the selection of one-stop-shop, but act as complementary motive for house owners. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Current Energy Consumption in Residential Buildings in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070163
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 16 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 7 July 2019
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Abstract
In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), residential buildings’ energy consumption accounts for almost 50% of the building stock electricity consumption. The KSA’s economy relies heavily on fossil fuel sources, namely oil reservoirs, whose depletion will negatively affect the future development of the [...] Read more.
In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), residential buildings’ energy consumption accounts for almost 50% of the building stock electricity consumption. The KSA’s economy relies heavily on fossil fuel sources, namely oil reservoirs, whose depletion will negatively affect the future development of the country. The total electricity consumption is growing by approximately 5–8% annually, which would lead to oil production and oil consumption being equal in 2035. Therefore, residential buildings need further assessment as regards their current energy consumption. This research used a survey to explore current user behaviour in residential buildings’ energy performance in the city of Jeddah, KSA. The findings of the survey show that several factors impact the energy performance in residential buildings. First, the buildings’ thermal properties were found to be poorly designed. Second, the cultural aspects (family member role and generous hospitality), and the majority of users within the buildings preferring a room temperature of below 24 °C, requires a massive amount of cooling due to the climate conditions. Third, an increase in user awareness has helped to slightly improve residential buildings’ energy efficiency. Knowing the current high-energy-consumption sources and causes, being able to define opportunities for thermal properties’ enhancement, and increasing user awareness of how to achieve self-sustaining buildings are essential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Energy Consumption in the Global South)
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Open AccessEditorial
Masonry Buildings: Research and Practice
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070162
Received: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 5 July 2019
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Abstract
Masonry is a construction material that has been used throughout the years as a structural or non-structural component in buildings [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Masonry Buildings: Research and Practice)
Open AccessArticle
A Cross-Domain Decision Support System to Optimize Building Maintenance
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070161
Received: 3 June 2019 / Revised: 26 June 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 4 July 2019
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Abstract
Operations and maintenance optimization are primary issues in Facility Management (FM). Moreover, the increased complexity of the digitized assets leads Facility Managers to the adoption of interdisciplinary metrics that are able to measure the peculiar dynamics of the asset-service system. The aim of [...] Read more.
Operations and maintenance optimization are primary issues in Facility Management (FM). Moreover, the increased complexity of the digitized assets leads Facility Managers to the adoption of interdisciplinary metrics that are able to measure the peculiar dynamics of the asset-service system. The aim of this research concerns the development of a cross-domain Decision Support System (DSS) for maintenance optimization. The algorithm underpinning the DSS enables the maintenance optimization through a wiser allocation of economic resources. Therefore, the primary metric encompassed in the DSS is a revised version of the Facility Condition Index (FCI). This metric is combined with an index measuring the service life of the assets, one measuring the preference of the owner and another measuring the criticality of each component in the asset. The four indexes are combined to obtain a Maintenance Priority Index (MPI) that can be employed for maintenance budget allocation. The robustness of the DSS has been tested on an office building in Italy and provided good results. Despite the proposed algorithm could be included in a wider Asset Management system employing other metrics (e.g., financial), a good reliability in the measurement of cross-domain performance of buildings has been observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life Cycle Prediction and Maintenance of Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle
Ultimate Flexural Capacity of Reinforced Concrete Elements Damaged by Corrosion
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070160
Received: 14 June 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 29 June 2019 / Published: 2 July 2019
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Abstract
Worldwide, steel corrosion is one of the greatest deterioration problems for reinforced concrete structures. Comparing some experimental results from literature with a complex FEM model, the present paper points out the principal aspects that characterize the static behavior of reinforced concrete (RC) elements [...] Read more.
Worldwide, steel corrosion is one of the greatest deterioration problems for reinforced concrete structures. Comparing some experimental results from literature with a complex FEM model, the present paper points out the principal aspects that characterize the static behavior of reinforced concrete (RC) elements damaged by corrosion. Moreover, the nondimensional abaci defined for some specific case studies finalized to the evaluation of the residual flexural strength of corroded elements highlight the dangerousness of the corrosion degradation if the failure of the element is governed by the steel. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Daylighting Retrofit Methods as a Tool for Enhancing Daylight Provision in Existing Educational Spaces—A Case Study
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070159
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 25 June 2019 / Accepted: 27 June 2019 / Published: 29 June 2019
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Abstract
Adequate illuminance has a great effect on the health, comfort, and performance of pupils. It can be achieved by either artificial lighting or daylighting. Daylighting is usually preferred due to psychological, physiological, and economic purposes. This study aims to improve the daylight provision [...] Read more.
Adequate illuminance has a great effect on the health, comfort, and performance of pupils. It can be achieved by either artificial lighting or daylighting. Daylighting is usually preferred due to psychological, physiological, and economic purposes. This study aims to improve the daylight provision in existing classrooms, by investigating various retrofit methods for passive daylighting techniques in northerly oriented classrooms at Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST). Data for this research are obtained using computer simulation. The retrofit methods are evaluated in terms of illuminance levels on the desks plane and the chalkboard. The retrofit methods investigated in this study included improving the material reflectance, adding clerestory to the classroom, lightshelves, anidolic ducts, as well as various combinations between these cases. By comparing the results, and in light of the recommended lighting level by The Lighting Guide 5: Lighting for Education released by Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) in 2011, the combination of the clerestory window and the anidolic ducts result in the best results. While CIBSE recommended a target illuminance of 300 lx on desks plane and 500 lx on the board, the combination registers an average of 249 lx–300 lx on the desks plane in all sensors compared to 42 lx–105 lx in the base case, and an average of 275 lx–345 lx on the board for the tested dates compared to an average of 45 lx–115 lx in the base case. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Digital Construction Technology and Job-Site Equipment Demonstration: Modelling Relationship Strategies for Technology Adoption
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070158
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 21 June 2019 / Accepted: 25 June 2019 / Published: 29 June 2019
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Abstract
The construction technology market is competitive and complicated, due to the high-risk of digital technology utilisation in construction projects and the conservative character of construction companies. This complexity affects the process of job-site technology dissemination and adoption in which construction companies make decisions [...] Read more.
The construction technology market is competitive and complicated, due to the high-risk of digital technology utilisation in construction projects and the conservative character of construction companies. This complexity affects the process of job-site technology dissemination and adoption in which construction companies make decisions to purchase and utilise the new technology. The complexity is one of the reasons that many new remote technologies, positioning and locating systems, lasers and drones, 3D printing, and robots are not widely adopted in the short term, despite vendors making determined efforts to overcome this. Three objectives are investigated in this paper: (i) to define criteria for examining patterns of vendors’ strategies to support technology adoption; (ii) to present fact-based evidence of different vendors’ demonstration methods; and (iii) to present examples of different technology groups based on their required strategies. This paper presents the results of a longitudinal investigation of the construction technology market, including patterns of technology demonstration and a conceptual model of classifying vendors and their technologies in construction market places. The model involves the three most important factors that distinguish technology exhibitors: Physical appearance, Interpersonal relationship and Technology demonstration. Data was collected from technology exhibitions, involving randomly selected vendors. This data was analysed using hierarchical and c-means clustering techniques. The hard-clustering techniques resulted in vendors being placed in five classes based on the elements of the PIT framework. Fuzzy analysis shows how these classes fit into an underlying strategy spectrum. Understanding the strategies used in each class enables new vendors to select their own dissemination strategies based on their own particular circumstances. The practical implication of this study is to present a set of dissemination strategies to new technology stakeholders involved in Industry 4.0. The identified patterns of technology vendor strategies and the novel conceptual model contribute to the body of knowledge in technology diffusion. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evidence of the Climate Mitigation Effect of Green Roofs—A 20-Year Weather Study on an Extensive Green Roof (EGR) in Northeast Germany
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070157
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 28 June 2019
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Abstract
Approximately 10 km2 of new green roofs are built in Germany every year. About 85% of these are Extensive Green Roofs (EGR). An EGR with several research features was installed on new buildings belonging to the University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg in [...] Read more.
Approximately 10 km2 of new green roofs are built in Germany every year. About 85% of these are Extensive Green Roofs (EGR). An EGR with several research features was installed on new buildings belonging to the University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg in 1999. The results of the almost 20-year permanent survey of the climate effects of the green roof in contrast to gravel roofs are presented here. High-quality sensors, similar to those used by official weather stations, are in use, and data is collected every 10 s and aggregated to hourly values which enable comparisons to official measurements made by the DWD in Neubrandenburg and Berlin. The results show the typical urban heat island effect (UHI) and the mitigation effect of EGR. Whilst the temperature increased over the years due to the urban heat island effect, the temperature within the growing media in the green roof remained constant. The EGR has a stabilization effect of 1.5 K. This is good news for all those seeking a UHI mitigation solution for city centers. In a best-case scenario, the green roof potential of cities in Germany is between 3 and 8%. A value of 50% can be achieved for all buildings; roofs represent about ¼ of urban surfaces, and the cooling effect of 1.5 K in 20 years is a reasonable contribution to cooling cities and achieving environmental goals by greening urban surfaces. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Textiles and Fabrics for Enhanced Structural Glass Facades: Potentials and Challenges
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070156
Received: 9 June 2019 / Revised: 23 June 2019 / Accepted: 26 June 2019 / Published: 28 June 2019
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Abstract
The use of textiles in architecture can cover a wide set of solutions and functions, spanning from buildings, towards geotechnical, aeronautic or automotive fields, etc. Special applications involve textiles in the health care or dressing scenarios. A multitude of other functions can then [...] Read more.
The use of textiles in architecture can cover a wide set of solutions and functions, spanning from buildings, towards geotechnical, aeronautic or automotive fields, etc. Special applications involve textiles in the health care or dressing scenarios. A multitude of other functions can then be found relatively for the use of textiles in building engineering and facades. As far as traditional facades or roofs composed of glass are taken into account, textiles offer a relevant number of potential uses that are specifically focused on energy, acoustic, insulation and even structural goals, in addition to pure architectural objectives. It is known that glass is relatively versatile, but has intrinsic needs and thermo-physical and mechanical features that require dedicated design methods, towards safe design purposes. Glass itself, in the form of constructional material, cannot be directly compared to other consolidated solutions for buildings. The same concept applies to textiles, and to their use to enhance other building components. Besides the key advantages deriving from the use of textiles in glass facades and envelopes—in the form of light, thermal or acoustic insulation, or energy efficiency—special care must be spent for specific structural requirements and performances. In some cases, textiles can in fact offer enhanced resistance to ordinary glass structures. In other conditions, textiles in combination with glass can ensure also enhanced acoustic and thermal performances. A multidisciplinary design approach able to properly fit several objectives should be considered. This paper aims at exploring the actual knowledge on glass textiles, with a focus on available tools and research trends, with careful consideration for structural glass facade applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
User’s Lifestyle and the Thermal Performance of the Compound House: An Appraisal
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070155
Received: 2 May 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 21 June 2019 / Published: 28 June 2019
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Abstract
This study examines the impact of thermal performance of Yoruba compound house on the user’s lifestyle to cope with discomfort hours. A compound house was simulated using Autodesk Ecotect software. The study found that the front and right sides of the building have [...] Read more.
This study examines the impact of thermal performance of Yoruba compound house on the user’s lifestyle to cope with discomfort hours. A compound house was simulated using Autodesk Ecotect software. The study found that the front and right sides of the building have the lowest temperatures due to the combined effects of indirect and interzonal heat transfers. The research highlighted that while the user’s lifestyle in the Yoruba compound house relies on the veranda to cope with discomfort hours, residents of multi-dwelling compound houses rely on a lifestyle of housing adjustments. The study concludes that the thermal properties of the Yoruba compound house are complemented by the user’s lifestyle to cope with the discomfort hours. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Aggregate Recycling in Construction: Analysis of the Gaps between the Chilean and Spanish Realities
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070154
Received: 2 May 2019 / Revised: 12 June 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 26 June 2019
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Abstract
This study conducts a comparative analysis between Chilean and Spanish reality in regard to the recycling of aggregates and their reuse in road works and urban roads. The current situation of both countries was reviewed through different sources of information such as technical [...] Read more.
This study conducts a comparative analysis between Chilean and Spanish reality in regard to the recycling of aggregates and their reuse in road works and urban roads. The current situation of both countries was reviewed through different sources of information such as technical and legal regulation, projects and executed works, to then validate them in Chile by way of interviews to various professionals in the field of urban and interurban road construction, as well as others belonging to government bodies. Spain has extensive experience on this issue, as it has a culture of recycling and reusing aggregates that has produced excellent results, a situation which was taken into account to compare it to Chile’s reality. The conclusion is that currently, in Chile, although the existence of recycled aggregate use is known, this is not the case on a technical level for professionals in the sector. It lacks a specific government body that is in charge of this issue and does not have appropriate infrastructure for its treatment. The materials with a promising future within the construction sector are the production of crushed granular bases and the creation of low-resistance concretes, which cannot be used, as laws that regulate them are still being drafted. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Renovation of Public Buildings towards nZEB: A Case Study of a Nursing Home
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070153
Received: 15 May 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 24 June 2019 / Published: 26 June 2019
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Abstract
Recently, the European Union set new rules for the Energy Performance of Buildings emphasizing the need to facilitate the cost-effective renovation of existing buildings into nearly zero-energy buildings (nZEB). Within this framework, the aim of this paper is to investigate and evaluate the [...] Read more.
Recently, the European Union set new rules for the Energy Performance of Buildings emphasizing the need to facilitate the cost-effective renovation of existing buildings into nearly zero-energy buildings (nZEB). Within this framework, the aim of this paper is to investigate and evaluate the energy performance of existing public buildings before and after renovation into nearly zero-energy buildings. Since the general quality of existing buildings in Croatia has changed over different periods of construction, the presented research was conducted on a representative nursing home designed corresponding to different Croatian national building stock construction periods, based on a public sector buildings database obtained from the Croatian Energy Management Information System (EMIS). The thermal performance of the building envelope was designed to correspond to the periods of buildings built up to 1940, between 1941 and 1970, and between 1971 and 1980, taking into account characteristic building construction technology and service life. In terms of adopted energy efficiency measures, for all nearly zero-energy building renovation solutions, an energy and cost analysis was performed. The results showed that construction technology applied in different construction periods has the greatest impact on the energy performance of a building and thus on the economic and financial viability of investment in nZEB. Full article
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