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Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article

Article
Mechanical Characteristics and Acoustic Emission Characteristics of Mortar-Rock Binary Medium
Buildings 2022, 12(5), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12050665 - 17 May 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 756
Abstract
The stability of the interface between mortar and rock is very important in engineering construction. In this paper, the all-digital acoustic emission (AE) system is used to detect the direct shear test of the mortar-rock binary medium interface with different sawtooth angles under [...] Read more.
The stability of the interface between mortar and rock is very important in engineering construction. In this paper, the all-digital acoustic emission (AE) system is used to detect the direct shear test of the mortar-rock binary medium interface with different sawtooth angles under different normal stress states. The stress-displacement information and AE signal during the whole shearing process are extracted. The coupling relationship between stress and AE characteristic parameters is discussed. The quantitative relationship between sawtooth angle and shear strength of binary medium is established, and three AE characteristic parameters that can be used to predict structural instability are proposed. The research shows that: With the increase of the normal stress and the sawtooth angle, the shear strength of the mortar-rock binary medium increases. The relationship of that is obtained by least squares fitting. The shear stress-displacement curve is divided into five stages according to the change of deformation law. Through the analysis of AE characteristic parameters, it is found that increasing the sawtooth angle makes the AE count and AE cumulative count increase. Based on the analysis of the characteristic parameters of RA-AF, the changes of shear cracks and tensile cracks within the whole shearing process were obtained, respectively. In the process of binary medium shearing, the AE peak frequency is in the range of 120–340 kHz. Three acoustic emission parameters that can predict the macroscopic damage of binary media are obtained: the AE b value, the ratio of shear crack signals, and the number of signals with a peak frequency of 220 Hz to 320 Hz. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Machine Learning and Web-Based Process for Damage Score Estimation of Existing Buildings
Buildings 2022, 12(5), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12050578 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1055
Abstract
The seismic vulnerability assessment of existing reinforced concrete (RC) buildings is a significant source of disaster mitigation plans and rescue services. Different countries evolved various Rapid Visual Screening (RVS) techniques and methodologies to deal with the devastating consequences of earthquakes on the structural [...] Read more.
The seismic vulnerability assessment of existing reinforced concrete (RC) buildings is a significant source of disaster mitigation plans and rescue services. Different countries evolved various Rapid Visual Screening (RVS) techniques and methodologies to deal with the devastating consequences of earthquakes on the structural characteristics of buildings and human casualties. Artificial intelligence (AI) methods, such as machine learning (ML) algorithm-based methods, are increasingly used in various scientific and technical applications. The investigation toward using these techniques in civil engineering applications has shown encouraging results and reduced human intervention, including uncertainties and biased judgment. In this study, several known non-parametric algorithms are investigated toward RVS using a dataset employing different earthquakes. Moreover, the methodology encourages the possibility of examining the buildings’ vulnerability based on the factors related to the buildings’ importance and exposure. In addition, a web-based application built on Django is introduced. The interface is designed with the idea to ease the seismic vulnerability investigation in real-time. The concept was validated using two case studies, and the achieved results showed the proposed approach’s potential efficiency. Full article
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Article
Wind Pressure Characteristics Based on the Rise–Span Ratio of Spherical Domes with Openings on the Roof
Buildings 2022, 12(5), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12050576 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 747
Abstract
Wind loads are a primary concern in dome roof structures with openings such as retractable dome roofs. This is because the openings can cause damage to the cladding owing to high internal pressure. In this study, the wind pressure characteristics of a dome [...] Read more.
Wind loads are a primary concern in dome roof structures with openings such as retractable dome roofs. This is because the openings can cause damage to the cladding owing to high internal pressure. In this study, the wind pressure characteristics of a dome with an opening that varied based on the opening, rise–span ratio, and height span were examined by comparing the results from wind tunnel tests with those from previous studies. The negative pressure dominated the internal pressure of the roof in all regions and was not significantly affected by changes in the rise–span and height–span ratios. The reattachment distance of the windward region increased as the rise–span ratio increased, increasing the negative net pressure and decreasing the positive net pressure owing to a relatively large vortex. The roof inclination angle of the leeward region decreased as the rise–span ratio decreased, resulting in a decrease in the negative net pressure and an increase in the positive net pressure owing to a relatively small vortex. Based on the experimental results, a peak net pressure coefficient for cladding design was proposed for an open dome roof with a rise–span ratio of 0.05. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Structures)
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Article
Collaboration and Risk in Building Information Modelling (BIM): A Systematic Literature Review
Buildings 2022, 12(5), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12050571 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2250
Abstract
Building information modelling (BIM) has become increasingly popular in construction projects in recent years. Simultaneously, project management has received more attention from academics and practitioners worldwide. Many studies have suggested that perceiving collaboration and risk are critical for successful construction project management. This [...] Read more.
Building information modelling (BIM) has become increasingly popular in construction projects in recent years. Simultaneously, project management has received more attention from academics and practitioners worldwide. Many studies have suggested that perceiving collaboration and risk are critical for successful construction project management. This study investigates the current status and future trends in building information modeling (BIM) literature from the Web of Science database. This review systematically uses bibliometric and systematic literature review (SLR) methods through co-occurrence and co-citation analysis. First, 650 academic documents were retrieved from the Web of Science database. Then, co-occurrence and co-citation analyses were performed along with network visualization to examine research interconnections’ patterns. As a result, relevant keywords, productive authors, and important journals have been highlighted. The prominent research topics within the literature on building information modelling focus on the following topics: collaborative in BIM, integration of BIM, GIS and Internet of Things (IoT), barriers to the integration of BIM, sustainability and BIM, and risk assessment and uncertainty. Finally, the potential research directions are developing towards digital twin technology, integration of BIM and AI, and Augmented Reality (AR) and BIM. The presented findings of only 88 articles discuss the collaboration and risk issue in BIM for the construction industry and thus confirms the need for more studies on this topic to enhance the chances of successfully building information modelling projects. The review focuses only on the academic documents retrieved from the Web of Science database, thus restricting the coverage of the reviewed literature relating to building information modelling collaboration and risk. Full article
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Article
HBIM Methodology to Achieve a Balance between Protection and Habitability: The Case Study of the Monastery of Santa Clara in Belalcazar, Spain
Buildings 2022, 12(5), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12050510 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 726
Abstract
The different technical and legal tools intended for heritage protection have augmented the possibilities to acknowledge important monumental complexes. However, a contrast lies in the artistic contexts in which, due to the consolidation of their programmatic typology, such monuments require habitation, unlike more [...] Read more.
The different technical and legal tools intended for heritage protection have augmented the possibilities to acknowledge important monumental complexes. However, a contrast lies in the artistic contexts in which, due to the consolidation of their programmatic typology, such monuments require habitation, unlike more conventional monuments. This article collects the results of an accurate investigation conducted by the authors, whose main objective was to obtain a tool that allows consistent measurement of different indicators in which both the protection of the elements, and the capacity for habitation, are safeguarded. To this aim, we contextualized the research at the Monastery of Santa Clara de la Columna in Belalcázar (Córdoba), a monastery with the highest heritage protection in Spain, and which, in turn, accommodates a religious community. The results have allowed us, for the first time in Andalucia, to define objective habitability parameters, within protected heritage contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced BIM Application in Construction and Buildings)
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Article
Investigation of Ventilation Systems to Improve Air Quality in the Occupied Zone in Office Buildings
Buildings 2022, 12(4), 493; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12040493 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 904
Abstract
As a result of COVID-19, many office buildings around the world have downsized their employees, but the comfort parameters in the building had to be kept. The facilities operation rearranged the workstations to keep physical distance and placed plexiglass sheets on the desks [...] Read more.
As a result of COVID-19, many office buildings around the world have downsized their employees, but the comfort parameters in the building had to be kept. The facilities operation rearranged the workstations to keep physical distance and placed plexiglass sheets on the desks for physical protection. A series of measurements have been carried out with workstation set-ups to examine the fresh air rate in the occupied zone. The effect of plexiglass sheets placed on the desks was also examined to see how it changes the airflow pattern in the occupied zone. As the sheets act as a barrier, the primary air does not reach the occupied zone, therefore, the fresh air rate is less. To modify the properties of the ceiling diffusers a new air-ventilation service element was developed. This attachment allows modifying the properties of the ceiling diffusers. Simulations were made at the relevant zones to validate the measurements. Based on design software, the fresh air ratio for a standard ceiling swirl diffuser is 2.46 v% (volume percentage). A numerical model was used to show the fresh air ratio with the system elements for the two different table arrangements, which were 18.3 v% and 21.4 v%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Indoor Environments and Respiratory Health)
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Article
A Scientometric Analysis and Systematic Literature Review for Construction Project Complexity
Buildings 2022, 12(4), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12040482 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1451
Abstract
The construction industry has been experiencing a rapid increase in complex projects for the last two decades. Simultaneously, project complexity has received more attention from academics and practitioners worldwide. Many studies suggest that perceiving complexity is critical for successful construction project management. This [...] Read more.
The construction industry has been experiencing a rapid increase in complex projects for the last two decades. Simultaneously, project complexity has received more attention from academics and practitioners worldwide. Many studies suggest that perceiving complexity is critical for successful construction project management. This study investigates the current status and future trends in construction project complexity (CPC) literature from the Scopus database. This review systematically uses bibliometric and scientometric methods through co-occurrence and co-citation analysis. First, 644 academic documents were retrieved from the Scopus database. Then, co-occurrence and co-citation analysis were performed along with network visualization to examine research interconnections’ patterns. As a result, relevant keywords, productive authors, and important journals have been highlighted. The prominent research topics within the literature on construction project complexity focus on the following topics: identifying and measuring project complexity, schedule performance and cost estimation, system integration and dynamic capabilities, and risk assessment and uncertainty. Finally, the potential research directions are developing towards safety performance, organizational resilience, and integrated project delivery (IPD). The study still has a limitation. The review focuses only on the academic documents retrieved from the Scopus database, thus restricting the coverage of the reviewed literature relating to construction project complexity. To the best of the author’s knowledge, this study is the first study that provides a systematic review of the literature from the Scopus database on construction project complexity. Full article
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Article
Implementation of BIM Energy Analysis and Monte Carlo Simulation for Estimating Building Energy Performance Based on Regression Approach: A Case Study
Buildings 2022, 12(4), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12040449 - 05 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1668
Abstract
The energy performance prediction of buildings plays a significant role in the design phases. Theoretical analysis and statistical analysis are typically carried out to predict energy consumption. However, due to the complexity of the building characteristics, precise energy performance can hardly be predicted [...] Read more.
The energy performance prediction of buildings plays a significant role in the design phases. Theoretical analysis and statistical analysis are typically carried out to predict energy consumption. However, due to the complexity of the building characteristics, precise energy performance can hardly be predicted in the early design stage. This study considers both building information modeling (BIM) and statistical approaches, including several regression models for the prediction purpose. This paper also highlights a number of findings of energy modeling related to building energy performance simulation software, particularly Autodesk Green Building Studio. In this research, the geometric models were created using Autodesk Revit. Based on the energy simulation conducted by Autodesk Green Building Studio (GBS), the energy properties of five prototype and case study models were determined. The GBS simulation was carried out using DOE 2.2 engine. Eight parameters were used in BIM, including building type, location, building area, analysis year, floor-to-ceiling height, floor construction, wall construction, and ceiling construction. The Monte Carlo simulation method was performed to predict precise energy consumption. Among the regression models developed, the single variable linear regression models appear to have high accuracy. Although there exist some limitations in applying the equation in EUI prediction, the rough estimation of energy use was realized. Regression model validation was carried out using the model from the case study and Monte Carlo simulation results. A total of 35 runs of validation were performed, and most differences were maintained within 5%. The results show some limitations in the application of the linear regression model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy in Buildings)
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Article
Post-Disaster Temporary Shelters Distribution after a Large-Scale Disaster: An Integrated Model
Buildings 2022, 12(4), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12040414 - 29 Mar 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1094
Abstract
This paper develops an integrated model for the distribution of post-disaster temporary shelters after a large-scale disaster. The proposed model clusters impacted areas using an Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) method and then prioritizes the points of clusters by affecting factors on the [...] Read more.
This paper develops an integrated model for the distribution of post-disaster temporary shelters after a large-scale disaster. The proposed model clusters impacted areas using an Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) method and then prioritizes the points of clusters by affecting factors on the route reliability using a permanent matrix. The model’s objectives are to minimize the maximum service time, maximize the route reliability and minimize the unmet demand. In the case of ground relief, the possibility of a breakdown in the vehicle is considered. Due to the disaster’s uncertain nature, the demands of impacted areas are considered in the form of fuzzy numbers, and then the equivalent crisp counterpart of the non-deterministic is made by Jimenez’s method. Since the developed model is multi-objective, the Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm (NSGA-II) and Multi-Objective Firefly Algorithm (MOFA) are applied to find efficient solutions. The results confirm higher accuracy and lower computational time of the proposed MOFA. The findings of this study can contribute to the growing body of knowledge about disaster management strategies and have implications for critical decision-makers involved in post-disaster response projects. Furthermore, this study provides valuable information for national decision-makers in countries with limited experience with disasters and where the destructive consequences of disasters on the built environment are increasing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction Management and Disaster Risk Management)
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Article
Barriers to BIM-Based Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment for Buildings: An Interpretive Structural Modelling Approach
Buildings 2022, 12(3), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12030324 - 08 Mar 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1659
Abstract
With the emergence of Building Information Modelling (BIM) as central to construction design, planning, execution and maintenance, integration into the entire infrastructure sustainability process is imperative for achieving sustainable development. Despite its immense benefit of aiding compliance to sustainable construction, potential barriers continue [...] Read more.
With the emergence of Building Information Modelling (BIM) as central to construction design, planning, execution and maintenance, integration into the entire infrastructure sustainability process is imperative for achieving sustainable development. Despite its immense benefit of aiding compliance to sustainable construction, potential barriers continue to widen the gap in implementation. Therefore, this study adopts the “interpretive structural modelling approach” to advance a ranked structure of the interrelatedness of the barriers to integrating BIM in buildings sustainability assessment. The “Matrice d’Impacts croises-multipication applique a classement analysis (MICMAC)” was utilised to categorise the identified adoption barriers in the model. The identified barriers and relationship with themselves are valuable in discussing the challenges to BIM-based LCA and developing policies and design decisions to drive the process further. Further, it adds to the emerging discussion of BIM from the life cycle sustainability assessment perspective for infrastructure. The findings are critical for policy, stakeholders and extending the body of knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment of Buildings)
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Article
The Mechanism of Influencing Green Technology Innovation Behavior: Evidence from Chinese Construction Enterprises
Buildings 2022, 12(2), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12020237 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1072
Abstract
The Green Technology Innovation Behavior (GTIB) of construction enterprises is crucial for promoting green development in the construction industry. In order to clarify the mechanism of action affecting the GTIB of construction enterprises, this paper considers the context of green development in the [...] Read more.
The Green Technology Innovation Behavior (GTIB) of construction enterprises is crucial for promoting green development in the construction industry. In order to clarify the mechanism of action affecting the GTIB of construction enterprises, this paper considers the context of green development in the construction industry based on the vector autoregressive model and constructs a theoretical model of GTIB in construction enterprises. Time series data collected by the Chinese government (2000–2018) were used to analyze the mechanism of action of the factors influencing the GTIB of construction enterprises by EViews 10.0. The results of the paper showed the following: (1) direct government investment has the greatest impact on the GTIB of construction enterprises and has made a positive contribution; (2) the added value of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the construction industry has a relatively small impact on the GTIB of construction enterprises; (3) the role of environmental regulation on the GTIB of construction enterprises is non-linear. This paper further broadens the research to the factors influencing the GTIB of construction enterprises. Meanwhile, this paper provides a reference basis for local governments to formulate policies related to the GTIB of construction enterprises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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Article
Sound Transmission Loss of a Honeycomb Sandwich Cylindrical Shell with Functionally Graded Porous Layers
Buildings 2022, 12(2), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12020151 - 01 Feb 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1093
Abstract
To examine the acousto-structural behavior of a sandwich cylindrical shell benefiting from hexagonal honeycomb structures in its core and functionally graded porous (FGP) layers on its outer and inner surfaces, a comprehensive study based on an analytical model which also considers the effect [...] Read more.
To examine the acousto-structural behavior of a sandwich cylindrical shell benefiting from hexagonal honeycomb structures in its core and functionally graded porous (FGP) layers on its outer and inner surfaces, a comprehensive study based on an analytical model which also considers the effect of an external flow is conducted. A homogenous orthotropic model is used for the honeycomb core while its corresponding material features are found from the modified Gibson’s equation. The distribution pattern of FGP parts is either even or logarithmic-uneven, and a special rule-of-mixture relation governs their properties. Based on the first-order shear deformation theory (FSDT), Hamilton’s principle is exploited to derive the final coupled vibro-acoustic equations, which are then solved analytically to allow us to calculate the amount of sound transmission loss (STL) through the whole structure. This acoustic property is further investigated in the frequency domain by changing a set of parameters, i.e., Mach number, wave approach angle, structure’s radius, volume fraction, index of functionally graded material (FGM), and different honeycomb properties. Overall, good agreement is observed between the result of the present study and previous findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Dynamics of Building Structures)
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Article
Digital Twins in Built Environments: An Investigation of the Characteristics, Applications, and Challenges
Buildings 2022, 12(2), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12020120 - 25 Jan 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4569
Abstract
The concept of digital twins is proposed as a new technology-led advancement to support the processes of the design, construction, and operation of built assets. Commonalities between the emerging definitions of digital twins describe them as digital or cyber environments that are bidirectionally-linked [...] Read more.
The concept of digital twins is proposed as a new technology-led advancement to support the processes of the design, construction, and operation of built assets. Commonalities between the emerging definitions of digital twins describe them as digital or cyber environments that are bidirectionally-linked to their physical or real-life replica to enable simulation and data-centric decision making. Studies have started to investigate their role in the digitalization of asset delivery, including the management of built assets at different levels within the building and infrastructure sectors. However, questions persist regarding their actual applications and implementation challenges, including their integration with other digital technologies (i.e., building information modeling, virtual and augmented reality, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing). Within the built environment context, this study seeks to analyze the definitions and characteristics of a digital twin, its interactions with other digital technologies used in built asset delivery and operation, and its applications and challenges. To achieve this aim, the research utilizes a thorough literature review and semi-structured interviews with ten industry experts. The literature review explores the merits and the relevance of digital twins relative to existing digital technologies and highlights potential applications and challenges for their implementation. The data from the semi-structured interviews are classified into five themes: definitions and enablers of digital twins, applications and benefits, implementation challenges, existing practical applications, and future development. The findings provide a point of departure for future research aimed at clarifying the relationship between digital twins and other digital technologies and their key implementation challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Twin in the AEC Industry – Advances and Challenges)
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Article
Off-Site Construction Three-Echelon Supply Chain Management with Stochastic Constraints: A Modelling Approach
Buildings 2022, 12(2), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12020119 - 25 Jan 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1922
Abstract
Off-site construction is becoming more popular as more companies recognise the benefits of shifting the construction process away from the construction site and into a controlled manufacturing environment. However, challenges associated with the component supply chain have not been fully addressed. As a [...] Read more.
Off-site construction is becoming more popular as more companies recognise the benefits of shifting the construction process away from the construction site and into a controlled manufacturing environment. However, challenges associated with the component supply chain have not been fully addressed. As a result, this study proposes a model for three-echelon supply chain supply management in off-site construction with stochastic constraints. In this paper, multiple off-site factories produce various types of components and ship them to supplier warehouses to meet the needs of the construction sites. Each construction site is directly served by a supplier warehouse. The service level for each supplier warehouse is assumed to be different based on regional conditions. Because of the unpredictable nature of construction projects, demand at each construction site is stochastic, so each supplier warehouse should stock a certain number of components. The inventory control policy is reviewed regularly and is in (R, s, S) form. Two objectives are considered: minimising total cost while achieving the desired delivery time for construction sites due to their demands and balancing driver workloads during the routeing stage. A grasshopper optimisation algorithm (GOA) and an exact method are used to solve this NP-hard problem. The findings of this study contribute new theoretical and practical insights to a growing body of knowledge about supply chain management strategies in off-site construction and have implications for project planners and suppliers, policymakers, and managers, particularly in companies where an unplanned supply chain exacerbates project delays and overrun costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction Management and Disaster Risk Management)
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Article
Investigations on the Response of Novel Layered Geopolymer Fibrous Concrete to Drop Weight Impact
Buildings 2022, 12(2), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12020100 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1466
Abstract
In recent years, geopolymer concrete (GC) has become more popular in construction because of its multiple benefits, such as eco-friendliness, high temperature resistance and resistance to chemical attack in harsh environments. However, GC has limited deformation capability and tensile strength compared to ordinary [...] Read more.
In recent years, geopolymer concrete (GC) has become more popular in construction because of its multiple benefits, such as eco-friendliness, high temperature resistance and resistance to chemical attack in harsh environments. However, GC has limited deformation capability and tensile strength compared to ordinary concrete. Geopolymer fibrous concrete (GFC) exhibits high mechanical properties, such as compressive strength and impact strength. This study aimed to develop a novel composite comprising GFC at the tension zone and GC at the compression zone, and vice versa, are these composites were examined. The impact resistance of two-layered GC-GFC with various ratios (25–75, 50–50, 75–25%) was examined. In addition, a single layer specimen comprising GC and GFC was fabricated and tested as the reference specimen. Twenty-nine mixtures were developed and divided into four series. Four different types of fibre were used in this study; short polypropylene fibre, long polypropylene fibre, short steel fibre and long steel fibre. The ACI committee 544 drop weight test was used to evaluate the impact strength of specimens. Results indicated that the impact strength of GFC was significantly improved in long steel fibre-based specimens. In addition, two-layered specimens comprising different fibres—short polypropylene, long polypropylene, short steel and long steel—exhibited a positive influence on impact strength. Compared to a single-layer specimen, inferior impact strength was recorded in the two-layered specimen. Full article
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Article
BIM Approach in Construction Safety—A Case Study on Preventing Falls from Height
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010073 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2382
Abstract
The construction industry has one of the highest occupational accident incidence rates among all economic sectors. Currently, building information modelling (BIM) appears to be a valuable tool for analysing occupational safety issues throughout the construction life cycle of projects, helping to avoid hazards [...] Read more.
The construction industry has one of the highest occupational accident incidence rates among all economic sectors. Currently, building information modelling (BIM) appears to be a valuable tool for analysing occupational safety issues throughout the construction life cycle of projects, helping to avoid hazards and risks and, consequently, increasing safety. This work investigates BIM methodology and the application of related technologies for building safety planning and demonstrates the potential of this technology for the integrated implementation of safety measures during the design phase and construction site management. The first step consisted of a literature review on applying BIM-related technologies for safety in the design and planning phases. Following this, to show the potentialities of construction simulation, a case study based on BIM 4D to prevent falls from height was developed. With BIM 4D, it is possible to follow the construction process over time, giving the construction safety technicians, designers, supervisors and managers the capability to analyse, in each phase, the potential risks and identify which safety measures should be implemented. BIM can effectively integrate safety measures from the design phase to the construction and use phase and enable integrated safety planning within construction planning, leading to reliable safety management throughout the construction process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced BIM Application in Construction and Buildings)
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Article
Designing Post COVID-19 Buildings: Approaches for Achieving Healthy Buildings
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010074 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 5331
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the accessibility, social gathering, lifestyle, and working environment to be changed to reduce the infection. Coronavirus spreads between people in several different ways. Small liquid particles (aerosols, respiratory droplets) from an infected person are transmitted through air and surfaces [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the accessibility, social gathering, lifestyle, and working environment to be changed to reduce the infection. Coronavirus spreads between people in several different ways. Small liquid particles (aerosols, respiratory droplets) from an infected person are transmitted through air and surfaces that are in contact with humans. Reducing transmission through modified heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and building design are potential solutions. A comprehensive review of the engineering control preventive measures to mitigate COVID-19 spread, healthy building design, and material was carried out. The current state-of-the-art engineering control preventive measures presented include ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), bipolar ionization, vertical gardening, and indoor plants. They have potential to improve the indoor air quality. In addition, this article presents building design with materials (e.g., copper alloys, anti-microbial paintings) and smart technologies (e.g., automation, voice control, and artificial intelligence-based facial recognition) to mitigate the infections of communicable diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Post-COVID Architecture Research)
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Article
Operational Carbon Change in Commercial Buildings under the Carbon Neutral Goal: A LASSO–WOA Approach
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010054 - 06 Jan 2022
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 1924
Abstract
The rapid growth of energy consumption in commercial building operations has hindered the pace of carbon emission reduction in the building sector in China. This study used historical data to model the carbon emissions of commercial building operations, the LASSO regression was applied [...] Read more.
The rapid growth of energy consumption in commercial building operations has hindered the pace of carbon emission reduction in the building sector in China. This study used historical data to model the carbon emissions of commercial building operations, the LASSO regression was applied to estimate the model results, and the whale optimization algorithm was used to optimize the nonlinear parameter. The key findings show the following: (1) The major driving forces of carbon emissions from commercial buildings in China were found to be the population size and energy intensity of carbon emissions, and their elastic coefficients were 0.6346 and 0.2487, respectively. (2) The peak emissions of the commercial building sector were 1264.81 MtCO2, and the peak year was estimated to be 2030. Overall, this study analyzed the historical emission reduction levels and prospective peaks of carbon emissions from China’s commercial buildings from a new perspective. The research results are helpful for governments and decision makers to formulate effective emission reduction policies and can also provide references for the low-carbon development of other countries and regions. Full article
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Article
Numerical Simulation and Design Recommendations for Web Crippling Strength of Cold-Formed Steel Channels with Web Holes under Interior-One-Flange Loading at Elevated Temperatures
Buildings 2021, 11(12), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11120666 - 20 Dec 2021
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 1808
Abstract
This paper investigates the interior-one-flange web crippling strength of cold-formed steel channels at elevated temperatures. The stress-strain curves of G250 and G450 grade cold-formed steel (CFS) channels at ambient and elevated temperatures were taken from the literature and the temperatures were varied from [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the interior-one-flange web crippling strength of cold-formed steel channels at elevated temperatures. The stress-strain curves of G250 and G450 grade cold-formed steel (CFS) channels at ambient and elevated temperatures were taken from the literature and the temperatures were varied from 20 to 700 °C. A detailed parametric analysis comprising 3474 validated finite element models was undertaken to investigate the effects of web holes and bearing length on the web crippling behavior of these channels at elevated temperatures. From the parametric study results, it was found that the web crippling strength reduction factor is sensitive to the changes of the hole size, hole location, and the bearing length, with the parameters of hole size and hole location having the largest effect on the web crippling reduction factor. However, the web crippling strength reduction factor remains stable when the temperature is changed from 20 to 700 °C. Based on the parametric analysis results, the web crippling strength reduction factors for both ambient and elevated temperatures are proposed, which outperformed the equations available in the literature and in the design guidelines of American standard (AISI S100-16) and Australian/New Zealand standard (AS/NZS 4600:2018) for ambient temperatures. Then, a reliability analysis was conducted, the results of which showed that the proposed design equations could closely predict the reduced web crippling strength of CFS channel sections under interior-one-flange loading conditions at elevated temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings: 10th Anniversary)
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Article
The Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Dynamic Site Layout Planning in Large-Scale Construction Projects
Buildings 2021, 11(12), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11120602 - 01 Dec 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1379
Abstract
Construction sites are increasingly complex, and their layout have an impact on productivity, safety, and efficiency of construction operations. Dynamic site layout planning (DSLP) considers the adjustment of construction facilities on-site, on an evolving basis, allowing the relocation of temporary facilities according to [...] Read more.
Construction sites are increasingly complex, and their layout have an impact on productivity, safety, and efficiency of construction operations. Dynamic site layout planning (DSLP) considers the adjustment of construction facilities on-site, on an evolving basis, allowing the relocation of temporary facilities according to the stages of the project. The main objective of this study is to develop a framework for integrating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and their capacity for effective photogrammetry with site layout planning optimisation and Building Information Modelling (BIM) for automating site layout planning in large construction projects. The mathematical model proposed is based on a mixed integer programming (MIP) model, which was employed to validate the framework on a realistic case study provided by an industry partner. Allocation constraints were formulated to ensure the placement of the facilities in feasible regions. Using information from the UAV, several parameters could be considered, including proximity to access ways, distances between the facilities, and suitability of locations. Based on the proposed framework, a layout was developed for each stage of the project, adapting the location of temporary facilities according to current progress on-site. As a result, the use of space was optimised, and internal transport costs were progressively reduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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Article
Carbon Neutral Roadmap of Commercial Building Operations by Mid-Century: Lessons from China
Buildings 2021, 11(11), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11110510 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2060
Abstract
Carbon neutrality has positive impacts on people, nature and the economy, and buildings represent the “last mile” sector in the transition to carbon neutrality. Carbon neutrality is characterized by the decarbonization of operations and maintenance, in addition to zero emissions in electricity and [...] Read more.
Carbon neutrality has positive impacts on people, nature and the economy, and buildings represent the “last mile” sector in the transition to carbon neutrality. Carbon neutrality is characterized by the decarbonization of operations and maintenance, in addition to zero emissions in electricity and other industry sectors. Taking China’s commercial buildings as an example, this study is the first to perform an extensive data analysis for a step-wise carbon neutral roadmap of building operations via the analysis of a dynamic emission scenario. The results reveal that the carbon emissions abatement of commercial building operations from 2001 to 2018 was 1460.85 (±574.61) mega-tons of carbon dioxide (Mt CO2). The carbon emissions of commercial building operations will peak in the year 2039 (±5) at 1364.31 (±258.70) Mt, with emission factors and energy intensity being the main factors influencing the carbon peak. To move toward carbon neutral status, an additional 169.73 Mt CO2 needs to be cut by 2060, and the low emission path toward carbon neutrality will lead to the realization of the carbon peak of commercial buildings in 2024, with total emissions of 921.71 Mt. It is believed that cutting emissions from the operation of buildings in China will require a multi-sectoral synergistic strategy. It is suggested that government, residents, enterprises, and other stakeholders must better appreciate the challenges to achieve a substantial carbon reduction and the need for urgent action in the building sector in order to achieve carbon neutrality. Full article
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Article
Effect of Amount of Fibre and Damage Level on Service Life of SFR Recycled Concrete in Aggressive Environment
Buildings 2021, 11(10), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11100489 - 18 Oct 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1193
Abstract
The paper presents a numerical calculation of the service life of concrete structures considering the effect of chlorides in the case of the material properties of structural lightweight waste aggregate concrete. Different amounts of fibres (0.0%, 1.0%, and 1.5%) and different values of [...] Read more.
The paper presents a numerical calculation of the service life of concrete structures considering the effect of chlorides in the case of the material properties of structural lightweight waste aggregate concrete. Different amounts of fibres (0.0%, 1.0%, and 1.5%) and different values of compressive preloading (0%, 50%, and 100% of the ultimate strength capacity-USC) were considered. The subject of the research was the comparison of the influence of the constant diffusion coefficient and the time-dependent diffusion coefficient regarding the service life of the selected structure. Nine groups of material characteristics in combination with two numerical models are compared. A time-dependent diffusion coefficient and maturation coefficient, which were determined based on long-term monitoring (up to 461 days), were accepted for the numerical modelling. Thanks to time-dependent parameters, it is possible to observe the results of the theoretical service life of the structure and the influence of the mentioned factors. The analysed structure can be considered as the upper layer of an industrial floor in a chemical plant. It is important to determine the theoretical service life at which the structure shall be inspected or replaced. The results, in general, show that a higher amount of fibres reduces the service life as well as the preloading of the structure. An exception was a mixture with 1% of fibre loaded to 50% USC, which shows a lower diffusion coefficient than the specimens without preloading. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Utilization of Waste Materials in Building Engineering)
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Article
Facial Expression-Based Experimental Analysis of Human Reactions and Psychological Comfort on Glass Structures in Buildings
Buildings 2021, 11(5), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11050204 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2802
Abstract
For engineering applications, human comfort in the built environment depends on several objective aspects that can be mathematically controlled and limited to reference performance indicators. Typical examples include structural, energy and thermal issues, and others. Human reactions, however, are also sensitive to a [...] Read more.
For engineering applications, human comfort in the built environment depends on several objective aspects that can be mathematically controlled and limited to reference performance indicators. Typical examples include structural, energy and thermal issues, and others. Human reactions, however, are also sensitive to a multitude of aspects that can be associated with design concepts of the so-called “emotional architecture”, through which subjective feelings, nervous states and emotions of end-users are evoked by constructional details. The interactions of several objective and subjective parameters can make the “optimal” building design challenging, and this is especially the case for new technical concepts, constructional materials and techniques. In this paper, a remote experimental methodology is proposed to explore and quantify the prevailing human reactions and psychological comfort trends for building occupants, with a focus on end-users exposed to structural glass environments. Major advantages were taken from the use of virtual visual stimuli and facial expression automatic recognition analysis, and from the active support of 30 volunteers. As shown, while glass is often used in constructions, several intrinsic features (transparency, brittleness, etc.) are responsible for subjective feelings that can affect the overall psychological comfort of users. In this regard, the use of virtual built environments and facial expression analysis to quantify human reactions can represent an efficient system to support the building design process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation in Structural Analysis and Dynamics for Constructions)
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Article
Properties of Cementitious Materials with Recycled Aggregate and Powder Both from Clay Brick Waste
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030119 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2203
Abstract
The utilization of recycled brick aggregate (RBA) and recycled brick powder (RBP) in cementitious materials helps the reclamation of clay brick waste in construction and demolition waste. This work studied the properties of cementitious materials with RBA as aggregate and RBP as supplementary [...] Read more.
The utilization of recycled brick aggregate (RBA) and recycled brick powder (RBP) in cementitious materials helps the reclamation of clay brick waste in construction and demolition waste. This work studied the properties of cementitious materials with RBA as aggregate and RBP as supplementary cementitious material. The RBA has lower apparent density and higher water absorption than natural aggregate, and RBP with an irregular micro-structure contains high content of silicon and aluminum oxides and possesses excellent pozzolanic activity. Incorporating RBP decreases the fluidity and increases the setting time, but the incorporated RBP improves the pore structure and decreases the average pore diameter of cementitious materials, thereby decreasing the permeability. Utilizing RBA increases the drying shrinkage, while the incorporated RBP decreases the drying shrinkage of cementitious materials; the mortar with 50% RBA and 30% RBP has the lower drying shrinkage than the common mortar without RBA and RBP. Incorporating RBA and high-volume RBP decreases the mechanical strength, while there is no obvious decrease in the mechanical strength for the mortar with 50% RBA and 30% RBP. Moreover, the flexural strength to compressive strength ratio increases with RBA and RBP incorporating. Utilizing RBA increases the water transport, while the water transport properties decrease with the RBP incorporation; incorporating appropriate content of RBA and RBP can obtain the cementitious materials with low permeability. Particularly, a significant decrease in chloride ingress occurs with the substitution of RBP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete Materials in Construction)
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Article
Operational Modal Analysis, Model Update and Fragility Curves Estimation, through Truncated Incremental Dynamic Analysis, of a Masonry Belfry
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030120 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2244
Abstract
Masonry towers, located in seismic zones, are vulnerable and prone to damages up to compromise their stability. The scatter of data on the mechanical properties of masonry, geometry and boundary conditions determine a lack of building knowledge on their expected behaviour. Therefore the [...] Read more.
Masonry towers, located in seismic zones, are vulnerable and prone to damages up to compromise their stability. The scatter of data on the mechanical properties of masonry, geometry and boundary conditions determine a lack of building knowledge on their expected behaviour. Therefore the assessment of the seismic capacity represents a critical task. This paper contributes to the issue of seismic analysis of masonry towers, focusing a meaningful case study: the St.Silvestro belfry in L’Aquila, Italy. The tower, severely damaged by the 2009 earthquake sequence, underwent extensive restoration works, endeavoured to mitigate its vulnerability. The observed seismic damage, the performed no-destructive testing campaign and the accomplished rehabilitation measures are described in the paper. The authors appraised the actual seismic performances of the St.Silvestro belfry, reinforced by the last restoration works. At first, the Operational Modal Analysis (OMA) is carried out to enhance building knowledge. In a second step, a refined finite element model is calibrated on the results from OMA to seize the actual dynamic response. Ultimately, by using the updated finite element model, the authors estimate the fragility curves in terms of peak ground acceleration using truncated incremental dynamic analyses. Full article
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Article
Resistance of an Optimized Ultra-High Performance Fiber Reinforced Concrete to Projectile Impact
Buildings 2021, 11(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11020063 - 11 Feb 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1780
Abstract
The scope of this paper is to investigate the performance of ultra-high performance fiber reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) concrete slabs, under projectile impact. Mixture performance under impact loading was examined using bullets with 7.62 mm diameter and initial velocity 800 m/s. The UHPFRC, used [...] Read more.
The scope of this paper is to investigate the performance of ultra-high performance fiber reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) concrete slabs, under projectile impact. Mixture performance under impact loading was examined using bullets with 7.62 mm diameter and initial velocity 800 m/s. The UHPFRC, used in this study, consists of a combination of steel fibers of two lengths: 6 mm and 13 mm with the same diameter of 0.16 mm. Six composition mixtures were tested, four UHPFRC, one ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC), without steel fibers, and high strength concrete (HSC). Slabs with thicknesses of 15, 30, 50, and 70 mm were produced and subjected to real shotgun fire in the field. Penetration depth, material volume loss, and crater diameter were measured and analyzed. The test results show that the mixture with a combination of 3% 6 mm and 3% of 13 mm length of steel fibers exhibited the best resistance to projectile impact and only the slabs with 15 mm thickness had perforation. Empirical models that predict the depth of penetration were compared with the experimental results. This material can be used as an overlay to buildings or to construct small precast structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation)
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Article
Assessment of Cloud Computing Success Factors for Sustainable Construction Industry: The Case of Nigeria
Buildings 2021, 11(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11020036 - 23 Jan 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3094
Abstract
Cloud Computing has become a valuable platform for sustainability in many countries. This study evaluates the cloud computing implementation and its Critical Success Factors (CSFs) towards ensuring sustainable construction projects in Nigeria. Data were collected from previous literature, supplemented by a quantitative approach [...] Read more.
Cloud Computing has become a valuable platform for sustainability in many countries. This study evaluates the cloud computing implementation and its Critical Success Factors (CSFs) towards ensuring sustainable construction projects in Nigeria. Data were collected from previous literature, supplemented by a quantitative approach via a questionnaire survey. Data were collected from 104 construction professionals while cloud computing CSFs were examined using Relative Importance Ranking (RII) and Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA). The results show that cloud computing’s awareness level is 96.2%, which means that the respondents are aware of cloud computing concept. Furthermore, the result shows that most of the respondents are adopting the concept. The analysis of the CSFs indicated that reliable data storage, performance as well as cost of accessibility and availability were the four most significant CSFs to cloud computing applications. Analysis of the CSFs through EFA generated four main components which include human satisfaction, organization, client’s acceptance, and industry-based. Consequently, this study contributed to existing body of knowledge by highlighting the cloud computing CSFs for achieving sustainable construction project. As such, the results could be a game-changer in the construction industry—not only in Nigeria but also in developing nations where construction projects are implemented through similar style and procedure. This study would be a benchmark for supporting decision-makers to improve data fragmentation, in which the use of data is paramount to the execution of construction works. Finally, the results of this study would be useful for enhancing sustainability and general management of construction projects through cloud computing implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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Article
Positioning Positive Energy Districts in European Cities
Buildings 2021, 11(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11010019 - 04 Jan 2021
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 6088
Abstract
There are many concepts for buildings with integrated renewable energy systems that have received increased attention during the last few years. However, these concepts only strive to streamline building-level renewable energy solutions. In order to improve the flexibility of decentralized energy generation, individual [...] Read more.
There are many concepts for buildings with integrated renewable energy systems that have received increased attention during the last few years. However, these concepts only strive to streamline building-level renewable energy solutions. In order to improve the flexibility of decentralized energy generation, individual buildings and energy systems should be able to interact with each other. The positive energy district (PED) concept highlights the importance of active interaction between energy generation systems, energy consumers and energy storage within a district. This paper strives to inform the public, decision makers and fellow researchers about the aspects that should be accounted for when planning and implementing different types of PEDs in different regions throughout the European Union. The renewable energy environment varies between different EU regions, in terms of the available renewable energy sources, energy storage potential, population, energy consumption behaviour, costs and regulations, which affect the design and operation of PEDs, and hence, no PED is like the other. This paper provides clear definitions for different types of PEDs, a survey of the renewable energy market circumstances in the EU and a detailed analysis of factors that play an essential role in the PED planning process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Net-Zero/Positive Energy Buildings and Districts)
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Article
Increasing Green Infrastructure in Cities: Impact on Ambient Temperature, Air Quality and Heat-Related Mortality and Morbidity
Buildings 2020, 10(12), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10120233 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3997
Abstract
Urban vegetation provides undeniable benefits to urban climate, health, thermal comfort and environmental quality of cities and represents one of the most considered urban heat mitigation measures. Despite the plethora of available scientific information, very little is known about the holistic and global [...] Read more.
Urban vegetation provides undeniable benefits to urban climate, health, thermal comfort and environmental quality of cities and represents one of the most considered urban heat mitigation measures. Despite the plethora of available scientific information, very little is known about the holistic and global impact of a potential increase of urban green infrastructure (GI) on urban climate, environmental quality and health, and their synergies and trade-offs. There is a need to evaluate globally the extent to which additional GI provides benefits and quantify the problems arising from the deployment of additional greenery in cities which are usually overlooked or neglected. The present paper has reviewed and analysed 55 fully evaluated scenarios and case studies investigating the impact of additional GI on urban temperature, air pollution and health for 39 cities. Statistically significant correlations between the percentage increase of the urban GI and the peak daily and night ambient temperatures are obtained. The average maximum peak daily and night-time temperature drop may not exceed 1.8 and 2.3 °C respectively, even for a maximum GI fraction. In parallel, a statistically significant correlation between the peak daily temperature decrease caused by higher GI fractions and heat-related mortality is found. When the peak daily temperature drops by 0.1 °C, then the percentage of heat-related mortality decreases on average by 3.0% The impact of additional urban GI on the concentration of urban pollutants is analysed, and the main parameters contributing to decrease or increase of the pollutants’ concentration are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings: 10th Anniversary)
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Article
Numerical Modelling and Validation of the Response of Masonry Infilled RC Frames Using Experimental Testing Results
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100182 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2874
Abstract
Reinforced concrete (RC) frame buildings with masonry infills represent one of the most common structural typologies worldwide. Although, in the past, masonry infills were frequently considered as non-structural elements and their interaction with the structure was neglected, earthquakes occurring over the last decades [...] Read more.
Reinforced concrete (RC) frame buildings with masonry infills represent one of the most common structural typologies worldwide. Although, in the past, masonry infills were frequently considered as non-structural elements and their interaction with the structure was neglected, earthquakes occurring over the last decades have demonstrated the important role of these elements in the seismic response of all RC-infilled building typologies. In this regard, the selection of the most suitable numerical modelling approaches to reproduce the hysteretic response of the masonry infills—and their interaction with the RC frames—is still an open issue. To deal with this issue, in this study, a macro-classification based on different available databases of experimental tests on infilled RC frames, is firstly proposed to understand the variability in the infill properties and the corresponding numerical modelling uncertainties. Five masonry infill types are selected as representative for the typical existing configurations in Italy and other Mediterranean countries. Three of those masonry infill types are then selected to carry out a more detailed analysis, namely their numerical modelling validation using experimental testing results, considering and comparing the main formulations available in the literature for the definition of the hysteretic behaviour of infills. From such a comparison, the model that minimizes the prediction error, according to specific features of the selected masonry infill, is identified for each masonry infill type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Structural Analysis for Earthquake-Resistant Design of Buildings)
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Article
Humans-as-a-Sensor for Buildings—Intensive Longitudinal Indoor Comfort Models
Buildings 2020, 10(10), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10100174 - 01 Oct 2020
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 4913
Abstract
Evaluating and optimising human comfort within the built environment is challenging due to the large number of physiological, psychological and environmental variables that affect occupant comfort preference. Human perception could be helpful to capture these disparate phenomena and interpreting their impact; the challenge [...] Read more.
Evaluating and optimising human comfort within the built environment is challenging due to the large number of physiological, psychological and environmental variables that affect occupant comfort preference. Human perception could be helpful to capture these disparate phenomena and interpreting their impact; the challenge is collecting spatially and temporally diverse subjective feedback in a scalable way. This paper presents a methodology to collect intensive longitudinal subjective feedback of comfort-based preference using micro ecological momentary assessments on a smartwatch platform. An experiment with 30 occupants over two weeks produced 4378 field-based surveys for thermal, noise, and acoustic preference. The occupants and the spaces in which they left feedback were then clustered according to these preference tendencies. These groups were used to create different feature sets with combinations of environmental and physiological variables, for use in a multi-class classification task. These classification models were trained on a feature set that was developed from time-series attributes, environmental and near-body sensors, heart rate, and the historical preferences of both the individual and the comfort group assigned. The most accurate model had multi-class classification F1 micro scores of 64%, 80% and 86% for thermal, light, and noise preference, respectively. The discussion outlines how these models can enhance comfort preference prediction when supplementing data from installed sensors. The approach presented prompts reflection on how the building analysis community evaluates, controls, and designs indoor environments through balancing the measurement of variables with occupant preferences in an intensive longitudinal way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Approaches to Modelling Occupant Comfort)
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Article
Enhancing the Historic Public Social Housing through a User-Centered Design-Driven Approach
Buildings 2020, 10(9), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10090159 - 06 Sep 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 5755
Abstract
The study presents a didactic experience for the deep refurbishment and the revitalization of the San Siro neighborhood in Milan (Italy). The public housing is a significative example of the 20th-century architecture (also named “Italian Modernism of Architecture”), designed by the Italian architects—Franco [...] Read more.
The study presents a didactic experience for the deep refurbishment and the revitalization of the San Siro neighborhood in Milan (Italy). The public housing is a significative example of the 20th-century architecture (also named “Italian Modernism of Architecture”), designed by the Italian architects—Franco Albini, Renato Camus, Giancarlo Palanti, and Laslo Kovacs (1938–1941). Nowadays, it is a multicultural area, characterized by the presence of a fragile population, with strong socio-spatial inequalities, intercultural and intergenerational conflicts. Here, an architectural design project is realized, experimenting with innovative and up-to-date design solutions. This experience develops a sensitive awareness of the multidimensional complexity of the environmentally responsible design, which requires a critical balance among different disciplines and skills. The reusing of existing buildings has sustainable importance for preventing new land-uses and for saving the potential energy consumption related to the construction process. Only a widespread knowledge of the local socio-economic conditions through participatory actions permits the selection of appropriate retrofit solutions, considering also the high cultural, social, and economic values. Functional and social mix, space flexibility, green design, renewable energies, circular economy criteria, and continuative maintenance are the correct strategies for boosting the social revitalization and for improving fairness, safety, architectural quality, human comfort, energy efficiency, and sustainability in this public housing neighborhood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency of Historical Buildings)
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Article
Potential Application of Blockchain Technology for Embodied Carbon Estimating in Construction Supply Chains
Buildings 2020, 10(8), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10080140 - 06 Aug 2020
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 4770
Abstract
Carbon emissions are categorised as Embodied Carbon (EC) occurring in the production phase and Operational Carbon (OC) occurring in the operational phase of buildings. The current focus on producing zero-carbon buildings, emphasises reducing OC and ignores the importance of reducing EC emissions. This [...] Read more.
Carbon emissions are categorised as Embodied Carbon (EC) occurring in the production phase and Operational Carbon (OC) occurring in the operational phase of buildings. The current focus on producing zero-carbon buildings, emphasises reducing OC and ignores the importance of reducing EC emissions. This study focuses on EC. Methods available in EC estimating currently produce estimates that often do not complement each other. This makes it important to develop a robust and accurate methodology for estimating EC. Blockchain is an emerging technology that has significant potential for transaction processing in supply chains. The construction industry being the second least digitalised industry, the adoption of innovative technologies is predominantly important. This paper explores the potential application of blockchain for accurate estimation of EC in construction supply chains. A detailed literature review and expert interviews revealed that, compared to traditional information systems, blockchain systems could eliminate issues in EC estimating highlighting its potential credible application for EC estimating. Scalability was identified as a feature that was lacking in a blockchain system, however, for EC estimating, its impact was identified as minimal. It will be difficult to generalise the findings of the study due to interview based qualitative methodology adopted in this study along with the fact that blockchain is an emerging and fairly new technology. However, a similar process could be followed by other studies to compare blockchain with traditional information systems, to evaluate the suitability of blockchain technology to develop prototype systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Computer Technology in Buildings)
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Article
Definition of Optimal Ventilation Rates for Balancing Comfort and Energy Use in Indoor Spaces Using CO2 Concentration Data
Buildings 2020, 10(8), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10080135 - 24 Jul 2020
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3458
Abstract
Air ventilation rate plays a relevant role in maintaining adequate indoor air quality (IAQ) conditions in public buildings. In general, high ventilation rates ensure good indoor air quality but entail relevant energy consumption. Considering the necessity of balancing IAQ and energy consumption, a [...] Read more.
Air ventilation rate plays a relevant role in maintaining adequate indoor air quality (IAQ) conditions in public buildings. In general, high ventilation rates ensure good indoor air quality but entail relevant energy consumption. Considering the necessity of balancing IAQ and energy consumption, a correlation between the number of occupants obtained from analysis of CO2 concentration variation is presented as a general element for controlling the operation of heating ventilation and air cooling (HVAC) systems. The specific CO2 exhalation rate is estimated using experimental data in some real conditions in university classrooms. A method for the definition of optimal values of air exchange rate is defined, highlighting that the obtained values are much lower than those defined in current technical standards with possibilities of relevant reduction of the total energy consumption. Full article
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Article
Schedule Delay Risk Analysis in Construction Projects with a Simulation-Based Expert System
Buildings 2020, 10(8), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10080134 - 23 Jul 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3729
Abstract
In this paper, we present a simulation-based approach for effectively estimating delay risks in project schedules and predicting the possibilities of in-time project completion for various deadlines. The main contribution of this study is the development of a novel approach for duration risk [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present a simulation-based approach for effectively estimating delay risks in project schedules and predicting the possibilities of in-time project completion for various deadlines. The main contribution of this study is the development of a novel approach for duration risk quantification, which uses a newly introduced equation for total risk estimation regarding activities’ durations, and quantifying the manager’s experience as expressed through a questionnaire. In addition, the proposed approach integrates these preferences into a simulation-based framework used for estimating the activities’ durations variation and predicting the actual project duration with more accuracy. Furthermore, using different distributions according to each activity characteristic supports decision making from a wide range of experts, from risk-averse to risk-seeking managers. The proposed method was applied to estimate the total project completion time of a complicated hotel renovation project and the possibility for the project to be delivered within an imposed deadline. The promising results in comparison to the classic PERT method proved that this process can better express the uncertainty and provide project risk managers with better predictions when estimating budget and time-critical overruns under lack of knowledge and historical data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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Article
Durability and Climate Change—Implications for Service Life Prediction and the Maintainability of Buildings
Buildings 2020, 10(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10030053 - 12 Mar 2020
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 5755
Abstract
Sustainable building practices are rooted in the need for reliable information on the long-term performance of building materials; specifically, the expected service-life of building materials, components, and assemblies. This need is ever more evident given the anticipated effects of climate change on the [...] Read more.
Sustainable building practices are rooted in the need for reliable information on the long-term performance of building materials; specifically, the expected service-life of building materials, components, and assemblies. This need is ever more evident given the anticipated effects of climate change on the built environment and the many governmental initiatives world-wide focused on ensuring that structures are not only resilient at their inception but also, can maintain their resilience over the long-term. The Government of Canada has funded an initiative now being completed at the National Research Council of Canada’s (NRC) Construction Research Centre on “Climate Resilience of Buildings and Core Public infrastructure”. The outcomes from this work will help permit integrating climate resilience of buildings into guides and codes for practitioners of building and infrastructure design. In this paper, the impacts of climate change on buildings are discussed and a review of studies on the durability of building envelope materials and elements is provided in consideration of the expected effects of climate change on the longevity and resilience of such products over time. Projected changes in key climate variables affecting the durability of building materials is presented such that specifications for the selection of products given climate change effects can be offered. Implications in regard to the maintainability of buildings when considering the potential effects of climate change on the durability of buildings and its components is also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life Cycle Prediction and Maintenance of Buildings)
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Article
Triplet Test on Rubble Stone Masonry: Numerical Assessment of the Shear Mechanical Parameters
Buildings 2020, 10(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10030049 - 09 Mar 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3650
Abstract
Rubble stone masonry walls are widely diffused in most of the cultural and architectural heritage of historical cities. The mechanical response of such material is rather complicated to predict due to its composite nature. Vertical compression tests, diagonal compression tests, and shear-compression tests [...] Read more.
Rubble stone masonry walls are widely diffused in most of the cultural and architectural heritage of historical cities. The mechanical response of such material is rather complicated to predict due to its composite nature. Vertical compression tests, diagonal compression tests, and shear-compression tests are usually adopted to investigate experimentally the mechanical properties of stone masonries. However, further tests are needed for the safety assessment of these ancient structures. Since the relation between normal and shear stresses plays a major role in the shear behavior of masonry joints, governing the failure mode, a triplet test configuration is herein investigated. First, the experimental tests carried out at the laboratory of the University of L’Aquila on stone masonry specimens are presented. Then, the triplet test is simulated by using the total strain crack model, which reflects all the ultimate states of quasi-brittle material such as cracking, crushing, and shear failure. The goal of the numerical investigation is to evaluate the shear mechanical parameters of the masonry sample, including strength, dilatancy, normal, and shear deformations. Furthermore, the effect of (i) confinement pressure and (ii) bond behavior at the sample-plate interfaces are investigated, showing that they can strongly influence the mechanical response of the walls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Structures)
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Article
Influence of Rendering Type on the Environmental Characteristics of Expanded Polystyrene-Based External Thermal Insulation Composite System
Buildings 2020, 10(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10030047 - 07 Mar 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3774
Abstract
External thermal insulation systems (ETICS) are relevant facade applications of functional components allowing to reduce energy consumption in buildings to fulfill the provisions of nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (nZEBs). ETICS systems generally are made of adhesives, thermal insulation material, renders with mesh reinforcement, primers, [...] Read more.
External thermal insulation systems (ETICS) are relevant facade applications of functional components allowing to reduce energy consumption in buildings to fulfill the provisions of nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (nZEBs). ETICS systems generally are made of adhesives, thermal insulation material, renders with mesh reinforcement, primers, and finish coats. Their main parameters are thermal characteristics and durability, both determined by the specific composition of the systems. Growing concerns on the environment and depletion of natural resources drive the need for the determination of the environmental characteristic of ETICS due to its growing market demand. This analysis focuses on a life cycle assessment (LCA) of a commonly used EPS based ETICS system with four different renderings, produced in several locations. The scope of this study concerns raw materials extraction, transport, production, and energy provision up to the finished, packed, and ready-for-sale product at the factory gate. The authors compared the environmental impact allocated to the 1 m2 of the produced system by taking into account the thickness of EPS and within different environmental impact categories. The results of the current impacts were compared to those obtained five years earlier, considering the technological and environmental progress of the production process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Building Material Engineering)
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Article
Assessing the Sustainability of Alternative Structural Solutions of a Building: A Case Study
Buildings 2020, 10(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10020036 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3613
Abstract
The implementation of sustainable solutions in the design of buildings is one of the main elements in achieving the transition to sustainability. The variety of structural elements and availability of sustainable materials, and the different preferences of clients, architects, and structural designers make [...] Read more.
The implementation of sustainable solutions in the design of buildings is one of the main elements in achieving the transition to sustainability. The variety of structural elements and availability of sustainable materials, and the different preferences of clients, architects, and structural designers make the decision-making process difficult. This research aims to develop a decision model for applying to the early design stage. This work evaluates the sustainability of the load-bearing structures of a commercial building. Three types of load-bearing structures have been selected and compared concerning different physical parameters, cost of construction, cost of materials, technological dimensions (duration expressed in person-hours and machine-hours), and environmental impact. The methodology combines the building information modeling, sustainability criteria, and multi-criteria decision-aiding methods. The presented case study illustrates the proposed approach. The study revealed that multi-criteria decision aiding methods give the possibility to improve the selection process and to assess the sustainability of alternative structural solutions at an early stage of building design. The proposed decision model is versatile and therefore can be applied for different cases. Full article
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Article
The Relevance of EPC Labels in the Spanish Residential Market: The Perspective of Real Estate Agents
Buildings 2020, 10(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10020027 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4139
Abstract
Assessment regarding the impact of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) on the residential market is largely inconclusive; while the majority of hedonic analyses have found EPC ratings to be correlated with prices, opinion-based research has found a negligible impact on prices and other marketing [...] Read more.
Assessment regarding the impact of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) on the residential market is largely inconclusive; while the majority of hedonic analyses have found EPC ratings to be correlated with prices, opinion-based research has found a negligible impact on prices and other marketing variables. Using the opinion of qualified real estate agents, this paper explores whether, in Spain, EPC labels play any role in housing marketing, as well as the policy changes required to foster efficient dwellings. The results reveal a large misunderstanding of the EPC labels, since they are seen as a global home-quality indicator, while their impact on residential marketing is quite poor. Apparently, both supply and demand place a small interest in energy performance, although it is slightly larger for sellers/buyers in relation to lenders/tenants. In any case, EPC labels are far from blurring the energy information asymmetry, since most of the buyers/tenants are informed of the EPC rating after having selected their home. Overall, the EPC scheme has a poor reputation exacerbated by inaccuracies, unintelligible units to express the financial and environmental implications of energy efficiency, and an apparent weak supervision. These findings stress the need to improve the scheme; in doing so, realtors suggest the need for some companion policies. Full article
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Article
Assessing Cement Stabilized Rammed Earth Durability in A Humid Continental Climate
Buildings 2020, 10(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10020026 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 6663
Abstract
The article compared the test results of a number of features determining the durability of rammed earth durability in a humid continental climate. The results of wet to dry compressive strength ratio, frost resistance, linear shrinkage, resistance to erosion under the influence of [...] Read more.
The article compared the test results of a number of features determining the durability of rammed earth durability in a humid continental climate. The results of wet to dry compressive strength ratio, frost resistance, linear shrinkage, resistance to erosion under the influence of a stream of pressurized water, and resistance to erosion under the influence of cyclic wetting and drying were presented. All of the tests were done on the same soil-cement mixture. On this basis, it was determined which of the methods of durability assessment is more and which is less restrictive. A new method for assessing the durability of CSRE in a humid continental climate has been proposed, which is the frost resistance test. This test is determined by the method that is described in the national annex of the European concrete standard of one of the temperate climate countries. The article also shows that a minimum of 9% of the cement additive and a soil mixture containing a gravel fraction are required, in order to ensure adequate rammed earth durability in a humid continental climate (i.e., frost resistance). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation)
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Article
Use of TLS (LiDAR) for Building Diagnostics with the Example of a Historic Building in Karlino
Buildings 2020, 10(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10020024 - 06 Feb 2020
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 4410
Abstract
This article presents the use of TLS (LiDAR) measurement for the evaluation of the technical conditions of a historic building. A FARO M70 laser scanner was used in the study. The measurements was taken as an RCP point cloud. The measurement allowed to [...] Read more.
This article presents the use of TLS (LiDAR) measurement for the evaluation of the technical conditions of a historic building. A FARO M70 laser scanner was used in the study. The measurements was taken as an RCP point cloud. The measurement allowed to partially determine the cause of the building damage. The performed measurement allows to propose a precise solution that could be pre-fabricated. The study shows the usefulness of TLS in building diagnostics. Improper measurement could lead to a wrong solution and a certain degree of uncertainty. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Architectural Design, Urban Science, and Real Estate)
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Article
Suitability of Eye Tracking in Assessing the Visual Perception of Architecture—A Case Study Concerning Selected Projects Located in Cologne
Buildings 2020, 10(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10020020 - 26 Jan 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 5438
Abstract
This article discusses the visual perception of selected buildings located in the historic centre of Cologne, Germany, that have been designed by outstanding architects. It presents eye-tracking research, both from a theoretical perspective and that of its application potential in, among other fields, [...] Read more.
This article discusses the visual perception of selected buildings located in the historic centre of Cologne, Germany, that have been designed by outstanding architects. It presents eye-tracking research, both from a theoretical perspective and that of its application potential in, among other fields, psychology, management, architecture and urban planning. It also presents an experiment which was performed to evaluate the suitability of eye tracking in the assessment of the visual perception of architecture and its surroundings, utilising the case study method and members of Generation Z as the subject population. Analysis of the experiment’s results enabled the authors to formulate commentary on findings concerning typically observed attractors and distractors in the perception of architecture and its surroundings depending on context-specific conditions. The study provided evidence of the suitability of eye tracking in the assessment of the visual perception of works of architecture and indicated the possibility of continuing research concerning the assessment and shaping of the state of awareness and knowledge of architecture and urban planning, which can significantly affect public participation in urban governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architecture and Engineering: the Challenges - Trends - Achievements)
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Article
A SWOT Analysis of the Use of BIM Technology in the Polish Construction Industry
Buildings 2020, 10(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10010016 - 20 Jan 2020
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 10546
Abstract
The present paper presents a SWOT analysis, the aim of which is to evaluate the strategic implementation of BIM technology in the construction industry in Poland. The authors created a SWOT matrix presenting strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and risks associated with the use of [...] Read more.
The present paper presents a SWOT analysis, the aim of which is to evaluate the strategic implementation of BIM technology in the construction industry in Poland. The authors created a SWOT matrix presenting strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and risks associated with the use of BIM. Using literature analyses, own experience, and market reports, all elements of the SWOT matrix are described in detail. Basic indicators characterizing the strategic position of BIM on the Polish construction market are calculated. Finally, the matrix of strategic tasks and actions that should be applied in order to promote and develop BIM in Poland are defined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architecture and Engineering: the Challenges - Trends - Achievements)
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Article
LCC Estimation Model: A Construction Material Perspective
Buildings 2019, 9(8), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9080182 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 7212
Abstract
The growing pressure to ensure sustainable construction is also associated with stricter demands on the cost-effectiveness of construction and operation of buildings and reduction of their environmental impact. This paper presents a methodology for building life cycle cost estimation that enables investors to [...] Read more.
The growing pressure to ensure sustainable construction is also associated with stricter demands on the cost-effectiveness of construction and operation of buildings and reduction of their environmental impact. This paper presents a methodology for building life cycle cost estimation that enables investors to identify the optimum material solution for their buildings on the level of functional parts. The functionality of a comprehensive model that takes into account investor requirements and links them to a construction cost estimation database and a facility management database is verified through a case study of a “façade composition” functional part, with sublevel “external thermal insulation composite system (ETICS) with thin plaster”. The results show that there is no generally applicable optimum ETICS material solution, which is caused by differing investor requirements, as well as the unique circumstances of each building and its user. The solution presented in this paper aims to aid investor decision-making regarding the choice of the building materials while taking the Life Cycle Cost (LCC) into account. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life Cycle Prediction and Maintenance of Buildings)
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Article
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 - 15 Jul 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4840
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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Article
Repair of Heavily Damaged RC Beams Failing in Shear Using U-Shaped Mortar Jackets
Buildings 2019, 9(6), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9060146 - 14 Jun 2019
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 4777
Abstract
The effectiveness of slightly reinforced thin U-shaped cementitious mortar jacketing for the repair of damaged shear-critical reinforced concrete beams is experimentally investigated. The test project includes two parts. In the first one, five concrete beams over-reinforced against flexure and under-reinforced against shear with [...] Read more.
The effectiveness of slightly reinforced thin U-shaped cementitious mortar jacketing for the repair of damaged shear-critical reinforced concrete beams is experimentally investigated. The test project includes two parts. In the first one, five concrete beams over-reinforced against flexure and under-reinforced against shear with different ratio of closed stirrups were initially subjected to monotonic loading until failure. The initially tested beams have been designed to fail in shear after wide diagonal cracking and to exhibit various strength and deformation capacities along with different levels of damages. In the second experimental part, the heavily damaged beams were jacketed with mild steel small diameter U-shaped transverse stirrups and longitudinal reinforcing bars. The retrofitted specimens using the proposed jacketing technique were tested again following the same four-point-bending load scheme. Based on the overall performance of the beams, it is deduced that the shear strength and deformation capability of the jacketed beams were substantially increased compared to the corresponding capacities of the initial beams. Further, although all beams failed in a shear abrupt manner, the retrofitted ones exhibited reduced brittleness and higher deflections at failure up to six times with respect to the initially tested specimens. The level of the initial damage influences the efficiency of the jacketing. Additional test data derived from relative shear-damaged beam specimens and retrofitted with similar thin jackets is also presented herein in order to establish the effectiveness of this repair system and to clarify the parameters affecting its structural reliability. Comparisons indicated that jacketed beams can alter the failure mode from brittle shear to ductile flexural under certain circumstances. Full article
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Article
Monitoring Moisture Performance of Cross-Laminated Timber Building Elements during Construction
Buildings 2019, 9(6), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9060144 - 14 Jun 2019
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 6946
Abstract
There are currently no standards regulating water management for mass timber elements during construction, little knowledge of impacts of moisture exposure (wetting and drying performance, dimensional stability, checking), and few precedents serving as guidelines for monitoring moisture response of mass timber. To address [...] Read more.
There are currently no standards regulating water management for mass timber elements during construction, little knowledge of impacts of moisture exposure (wetting and drying performance, dimensional stability, checking), and few precedents serving as guidelines for monitoring moisture response of mass timber. To address these gaps, a hygrothermal monitoring study was devised to track moisture performance of U.S. made cross laminated timber (CLT) and glulam at a three-story mass timber building. This paper discusses moisture measurements that were collected during the first six months of construction at a CLT rocking shear wall and a timber floor connection. Despite the limited number of structural systems monitored during construction, the distribution and number of sensors in these elements allow to draw some important conclusions. The data confirmed that moisture distribution and wetting/drying rates varied based on local conditions and details (aspect, coatings, connections, etc.), with measurements at an uncoated, north-facing area showing the highest moisture levels (reaching fiber saturation at multiple ply depths and locations). Most locations rarely exceeded 16% moisture content for more than a few months. Certain moisture-trapping details consistently showed higher moisture levels (i.e., above 16%) and poorer drying. Some interior plies continued to show slow increases in MC even after months of drying conditions. These observations suggest preventative approaches implementable in the design (e.g., avoiding moisture trapping details), during fabrication (e.g., localized coating), and construction (e.g., sequencing installation to minimize exposure and allow drying). Full article
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Article
Selection of (Green) Roof Systems: A Sustainability-Based Multi-Criteria Analysis
Buildings 2019, 9(5), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9050134 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 6705
Abstract
A wide diffusion of green envelopes in cities can be an opportunity to improve urban environment conditions and reduce negative effects of climate change. The green roof system is a widespread solution adopted all over the world due to the relative simplicity of [...] Read more.
A wide diffusion of green envelopes in cities can be an opportunity to improve urban environment conditions and reduce negative effects of climate change. The green roof system is a widespread solution adopted all over the world due to the relative simplicity of installation and the large private and social benefits provided. Despite this, some factors hinder the diffusion of the green roof system, not only economic factors (due to the higher installation costs compare to a traditional roof solution), but also technical factors connected to lack of knowledge. The present paper investigates the factors influencing designers in the choice of a building roof systems, comparing a traditional solution and a greening system. The involvement of architects, engineers, and researchers allows the selection of the most important factors. Results of the study identifies their priority, and through a sustainability-based multicriteria analysis, the role played by each one in the decision process. This approach provides interesting hints to identify effective strategies to support a wider diffusion of greening systems for urban resilience. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Repair Costs for Masonry Infills in RC Buildings from Observed Damage Data: the Case-Study of the 2009 L’Aquila Earthquake
Buildings 2019, 9(5), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9050122 - 14 May 2019
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 4002
Abstract
The estimation of direct and indirect losses due to earthquakes is a key issue in the Performance Based Earthquake Engineering framework. In commonly adopted loss computation tools, no specific data related to masonry infill panels, widespread in moment-resisting-frame residential buildings, are available to [...] Read more.
The estimation of direct and indirect losses due to earthquakes is a key issue in the Performance Based Earthquake Engineering framework. In commonly adopted loss computation tools, no specific data related to masonry infill panels, widespread in moment-resisting-frame residential buildings, are available to perform a probabilistic assessment of losses. To fill this gap, specific fragility and loss functions have been recently proposed in the last years. To assess their validity and estimate the relevance of the repair costs due to infills after earthquakes with respect to the total reconstruction process, the present work analyses the Reinforced Concrete residential buildings with masonry infills struck by the 2009 L’Aquila (Italy) earthquake, focusing on the dataset of “lightly” damaged buildings, where only damage to masonry infills occurred. Based on available data related to these buildings, the observed damage scenario after L’Aquila earthquake is first obtained. The repair costs for infills are estimated given this damage scenario. The resulting estimated repair costs are then compared with the actual repair costs presented in the available literature. The percentage influence of infills on the total repair costs due to earthquakes for residential buildings is lastly computed, resulting on average equal to the fifty percent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Masonry Buildings: Research and Practice)
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