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Human-Centred Design of the Built Environments: Latest Advances and Prospects

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Civil Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 December 2022) | Viewed by 17299

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, 39100 Bozen, Italy
Interests: indoor comfort; acoustics; impaired individual comfort perception; acoustic and thermal material characterization; building elements; numerical simulations; sustainability; timber buildings
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Trieste, 34127 Trieste, Italy
Interests: acoustics; architecture; comfort perception; inclusive design; building elements; sustainable solutions for the built environment; timber buildings
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,  

Indoor comfort is of undoubted importance, but it is often not guaranteed in our everyday living spaces. As an example, when referring to impaired individuals, this issue becomes even more important because they may have hyper- or hyposensitivity to thermal, acoustic, visual or air quality issues but be unable to perceive the effects that these factors may have on their ways of life. 

These topics have been examined/addressed and modifications have been implemented in various spaces, enabling people to live in a normal way and society to become more inclusive. This Special Issue aims to publish papers developing new perspectives, inclusive design and smart home technologies that can be applied to spaces wherein users are able to improve their comfort and wellbeing. The human-centered design of built environments will help everybody to better focus on users, merging building performance with inhabitants’ requests and needs.

Dr. Marco Caniato
Dr. Federica Bettarello
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • acoustics
  • thermohygrometric
  • visual
  • indoor air quality
  • impaired individual
  • user
  • built environment
  • sustainability
  • human-centered design

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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22 pages, 4571 KiB  
Article
Requirements of a Supportive Environment for People on the Autism Spectrum: A Human-Centered Design Story
by Lukas Wohofsky, Arianna Marzi, Federica Bettarello, Luca Zaniboni, Sandra Lisa Lattacher, Paola Limoncin, Anna Dordolin, Simone Dugaria, Marco Caniato, Giuseppina Scavuzzo, Andrea Gasparella and Daniela Krainer
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 1899; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13031899 - 1 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2940
Abstract
People on the autism spectrum have a different perception of the environment than neurotypical people and often require support in various activities of daily living. Assistive technology can support those affected, but very few smart-home-like technologies exist. To support people on the autism [...] Read more.
People on the autism spectrum have a different perception of the environment than neurotypical people and often require support in various activities of daily living. Assistive technology can support those affected, but very few smart-home-like technologies exist. To support people on the autism spectrum in their autonomy and safety and to help caregivers, a smart home and interior design environment was developed. Requirements were gathered by employing a holistic human-centered design approach through interactive workshops and questionnaires to create a useful and user-friendly solution. From this process, requirements for a comprehensive solution (the SENSHOME environment) emerged. These requirements include a set of functionalities tailored to the needs of people on the autism spectrum, such as a crowd warning that informs when many people are in a certain area (for example, the entrance), an automatic light regulation system, or a daily life planner that supports task completion. Furthermore, inclusive furniture elements such as a refuge seat or a table with dividers can support wellbeing, autonomy, and safety. This paper demonstrates a consequent and considerable participatory research approach and the story from the target group and context of use through design requirements to the initial design solution of the SENSHOME environment. Full article
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24 pages, 10165 KiB  
Article
Cross-Laminated Timber Floor: Analysis of the Acoustic Properties and Radiation Efficiency
by Nicola Granzotto, Arianna Marzi and Andrea Gasparella
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(7), 3233; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12073233 - 22 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2393
Abstract
Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) is a building technology that is becoming increasingly popular due to its sustainable and eco-friendly nature, as well as its availability. Nevertheless, CLT presents some challenges, especially in terms of impact noise and airborne sound insulation. For this reason, many [...] Read more.
Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) is a building technology that is becoming increasingly popular due to its sustainable and eco-friendly nature, as well as its availability. Nevertheless, CLT presents some challenges, especially in terms of impact noise and airborne sound insulation. For this reason, many studies focus on the vibro-acoustic behavior of CLT building elements, to understand their performance, advantages and limitations. In this paper, a 200 mm CLT floor has been characterized in the laboratory, according to ISO standards, by three noise sources: dodecahedron, standard tapping machine and rubber ball. In order to understand the vibro-acoustic behavior of the CLT floor, measurements through the analysis of sound pressure levels and velocity levels, measured by dedicated sensors, were performed. Analysis was carried out in order to understand what is prescribed by the prediction methods available in the literature and by the simulation software. Then, a specific prediction law for the CLT floor under investigation was derived. Finally, an analysis on sound radiation index is provided to complete the vibro-acoustic study. Full article
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26 pages, 7886 KiB  
Article
Indoor Acoustic Requirements for Autism-Friendly Spaces
by Federica Bettarello, Marco Caniato, Giuseppina Scavuzzo and Andrea Gasparella
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 3942; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11093942 - 27 Apr 2021
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 6249
Abstract
The architecture of spaces for people on the autistic spectrum is evolving toward inclusive design, which should fit the requirements for independent, autonomous living, and proper support for relatives and caregivers. The use of smart sensor systems represents a valuable support to internal [...] Read more.
The architecture of spaces for people on the autistic spectrum is evolving toward inclusive design, which should fit the requirements for independent, autonomous living, and proper support for relatives and caregivers. The use of smart sensor systems represents a valuable support to internal design in order to achieve independent living for impaired people. Accordingly, these devices can monitor or prevent hazardous situations, ensuring security and privacy. Acoustic sensor systems, for instance, could be used in order to realize a passive monitoring system. The correct functioning of such devices needs optimal indoor acoustic criteria. Nevertheless, these criteria should also comply with dedicated acoustic requests that autistic individuals with hearing impairment or hypersensitivity to sound could need. Thus, this research represents the first attempt to balance, integrate, and develop these issues, presenting (i) a wide literature overview related to both topics, (ii) a focused analysis on real facility, and (iii) a final optimization, which takes into account, merges, and elucidates all the presented unsolved issues. Full article
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Review

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31 pages, 1225 KiB  
Review
A Review of Recent Literature on Systems and Methods for the Control of Thermal Comfort in Buildings
by Benedetta Grassi, Edoardo Alessio Piana, Adriano Maria Lezzi and Mariagrazia Pilotelli
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(11), 5473; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12115473 - 28 May 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 4527
Abstract
Thermal comfort in indoor environments is perceived as an important factor for the well-being and productivity of the occupants. To practically create a comfortable environment, a combination of models, systems, and procedures must be applied. This systematic review collects recent studies proposing complete [...] Read more.
Thermal comfort in indoor environments is perceived as an important factor for the well-being and productivity of the occupants. To practically create a comfortable environment, a combination of models, systems, and procedures must be applied. This systematic review collects recent studies proposing complete thermal-comfort-based control strategies, extracted from a scientific database for the period 2017–2021. The study consists of this paper and of a spreadsheet recording all the 166 reviewed works. After a general introduction, the content of the papers is analyzed in terms of thermal comfort models, indoor environment control strategies, and correlation between these two aspects. Practical considerations on scope, required inputs, level of readiness, and, where available, estimated cost are also given. It was found that the predicted mean vote is the preferred thermal comfort modeling approach, followed by data-driven and adaptive methods. Thermal comfort is controlled mainly through indoor temperature, although a wide range of options are explored, including the comfort-based design of building elements. The most popular field of application of advanced control strategies is office/commercial buildings with air conditioning systems, which can be explained by budget and impact considerations. The analysis showed that few works envisaging practical implementations exist that address the needs of vulnerable people. A section is, therefore, dedicated to this issue. Full article
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