Assessment, Diagnosis and Service Life Prediction

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309). This special issue belongs to the section "Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2022) | Viewed by 31295

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Special Issue Editor

CERIS, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Av.Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: pathology and rehabilitation of buildings; service life prediction, durability and life cycle of buildings and their components.
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Service life prediction is crucial for the adoption of more sustainable solutions, allowing optimizing the costs and environmental impact of buildings during their life cycle. Accurate assessment of the service life of buildings requires a thorough understanding of degradation mechanisms and material’s behavior. Building pathology assessment methods allow characterizing the deterioration state of the buildings and their components, using as indicators specific measurable properties. Based on this information, different service life prediction methodologies can be defined, in order to provide reliable data concerning the most probable failure time of buildings and components according to their characteristics and their age.

This special issue intends to provide an overview of the existing knowledge related with various aspects of Assessment, Diagnosis and Service Life Prediction of buildings and components.

Original research, theoretical and experimental, case studies, and comprehensive review papers are invited for possible publication in this special issue. Relevant topics to this special issue include, but not limited to the following subjects:

  • Building pathology assessment methods;
  • Identification and classification of defects in buildings and components;
  • Probable causes of defects;
  • Diagnosis techniques;
  • Appropriate intervention and repair techniques;
  • Deterministic service life prediction models;
  • Stochastic service life prediction models.

Dr. Ana Silva
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Building pathology assessment methods
  • Inspection and diagnosis
  • Classification of defects
  • Diagnosis techniques
  • Service life prediction
  • Deterministic models
  • Stochastic models

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 186 KiB  
Editorial
Assessment, Diagnosis and Service Life Prediction
by Ana Silva
Buildings 2022, 12(11), 2005; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12112005 - 17 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1034
Abstract
Service life prediction is crucial for the adoption of more sustainable solutions, allowing optimizing the costs and environmental impact of buildings during their life cycle [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment, Diagnosis and Service Life Prediction)

Research

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20 pages, 10387 KiB  
Article
Integrated Building Maintenance and Safety Framework: Educational and Public Facilities Case Study
by Kun-Chi Wang, Reut Almassy, Hsi-Hsien Wei and Igal M. Shohet
Buildings 2022, 12(6), 770; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12060770 - 5 Jun 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3234
Abstract
The facility safety is a highly important issue in educational institutions and public facilities, where the safety and health of the occupants (students, educational and public service staff) is a high-order priority. The research hypothesizes that a synergy exists between the maintenance and [...] Read more.
The facility safety is a highly important issue in educational institutions and public facilities, where the safety and health of the occupants (students, educational and public service staff) is a high-order priority. The research hypothesizes that a synergy exists between the maintenance and safety of public facilities. Analytical–empirical research methods were aimed at the development of an integrated maintenance–safety framework. The framework was validated through inferential statistics and a case study. A correlation (R2) of 0.74 between the level of maintenance and the safety level of 24 educational facilities was found using the Pearson correlation coefficient. The levels of maintenance and of safety observed were marginal. An innovative Integrated Safety–maintenance performance framework was developed for synergetic safety–maintenance monitoring, control and management. The framework proposes a cycle loop of safety–maintenance–performance audits of facilities as a key tool for advanced maintenance and safety management in public facilities. The framework was validated in a case study of public facility. The time history of maintenance performance and safety shows a high level of fitness (R2 = 0.8865, p-Value < 0.05). These research findings stress that integrated safety and maintenance should be implemented as a unified procedure to enhance the advanced maintenance performance and safety climate in public facilities management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment, Diagnosis and Service Life Prediction)
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16 pages, 1308 KiB  
Article
Insurance Policies for Condition-Based Maintenance Plans of ETICS
by Ilídio S. Dias, Ana Silva, Carlos Oliveira Cruz, Cláudia Ferreira, Inês Flores-Colen and Jorge de Brito
Buildings 2022, 12(6), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12060707 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1517
Abstract
Currently, insurance companies exclude the buildings’ envelope of their policies since they lack reliable information about the risks and degradation models and are unable to estimate the probabilities of intervention and corresponding costs. This study intends to overcome the existing gap, proposing property [...] Read more.
Currently, insurance companies exclude the buildings’ envelope of their policies since they lack reliable information about the risks and degradation models and are unable to estimate the probabilities of intervention and corresponding costs. This study intends to overcome the existing gap, proposing property maintenance insurance policies developed based on condition-based maintenance plans, using stochastic information regarding the degradation process of the buildings’ envelope elements in the definition of insurance policies. To perform this work, external thermal insulation composite systems (ETICS) are used as case study, for the definition of an insurance policy. This approach allows reducing the uncertainty associated with the degradation of ETICS even when subject to scheduled maintenance actions. Several insurance policies are analysed, with different insurance premiums, evaluating different risks accepted by the owners when adopting a certain maintenance plan. For owners, the main advantages of acquiring this insurance product are: (i) changing the nature of the risk, transferring the risk to the insurer; and (ii) increasing the asset’s equity value, reducing the risk associated with the degradation of ETICS and the uncertainty of maintenance costs over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment, Diagnosis and Service Life Prediction)
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22 pages, 1835 KiB  
Article
Improvement of the Inspection Interval of Highway Bridges through Predictive Models of Deterioration
by Ademir F. Santos, Maurício S. Bonatte, Hélder S. Sousa, Túlio N. Bittencourt and José C. Matos
Buildings 2022, 12(2), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12020124 - 26 Jan 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3226
Abstract
Bridges have substantial significance within the transport system, considering that their functionality is essential for countries’ social and economic development. Accordingly, a superior level of safety and serviceability must be reached to ensure the operating status of the bridge network. On that account, [...] Read more.
Bridges have substantial significance within the transport system, considering that their functionality is essential for countries’ social and economic development. Accordingly, a superior level of safety and serviceability must be reached to ensure the operating status of the bridge network. On that account, the recent collapses of road bridges have led the technical–scientific community and society to reflect on the effectiveness of their management. Bridges in a network are likely to share coinciding environmental conditions but may be subjected to distinct structural deterioration processes over time depending on their age, location, structural type, and other aspects. This variation is usually not considered in the bridge management predictions. For instance, the Brazilian standards consider a constant inspection periodicity, regardless of the bridges’ singularities. Consequently, it is helpful to pinpoint and split the bridge network into classes sharing equivalent deterioration trends to obtain a more precise prediction and improve the frequency of inspections. This work presents a representative database of the Brazilian bridge network, including the most relevant data obtained from inspections. The database was used to calibrate two independent predictive models (Markov and artificial neural network). The calibrated model was employed to simulate different scenarios, resulting in significant insights to improve the inspection periodicity. As a result, the bridge’s location accounting for the differentiation of exposure was a critical point when analyzing the bridge deterioration process. Finally, the degradation models developed following the proposed procedure deliver a more reliable forecast when compared to a single degradation model without parameter analysis. These more reliable models may assist the decision process of the bridge management system (BMS). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment, Diagnosis and Service Life Prediction)
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16 pages, 7122 KiB  
Article
Structural Performance Assessment of Innovative Hollow Cellular Panels for Modular Flooring System
by Keerthana John, Sherin Rahman, Bidur Kafle, Matthias Weiss, Klaus Hansen, Mohamed Elchalakani, Nilupa Udawatta, M. Reza Hosseini and Riyadh Al-Ameri
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010057 - 6 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2197
Abstract
Lightweight modular construction has become an increasing need to meet the housing requirements around the world today. The benefits of modular construction ranging from rapid production, consistency in quality, sustainability, and ease of use have widened the scope for the construction of residential, [...] Read more.
Lightweight modular construction has become an increasing need to meet the housing requirements around the world today. The benefits of modular construction ranging from rapid production, consistency in quality, sustainability, and ease of use have widened the scope for the construction of residential, commercial, and even emergency preparedness facilities. This study introduces novel floor panels that can be flat-packed and built into modular housing components on-site with minimal labour and assistance. The flooring system uses hollow cellular panels made of various configurations of trapezoidal steel sheets. The structural performance of three different configurations of these hollow flooring systems as a modular component is presented in this study by analysing the failure modes, load-displacement parameters, and strain behaviour. The study confirms significant advantages of the proposed hollow floor systems, with multi-cells reporting higher load-carrying capacity. The hollow flooring system performed well in terms of structural performance and ease in fabrication as opposed to the conventional formworks and commercial temporary flooring systems. The proposed flooring system promises efficient application as working platforms or formworks in temporary infrastructural facilities and emergency construction activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment, Diagnosis and Service Life Prediction)
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20 pages, 12055 KiB  
Article
Moisture Accumulation in Building Façades Exposed to Accelerated Artificial Climatic Ageing—A Complementary Analysis to NT Build 495
by Silje Kathrin Asphaug, Berit Time and Tore Kvande
Buildings 2021, 11(12), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11120568 - 23 Nov 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2289
Abstract
Building façades must endure severe climatic exposure throughout their lifetimes. To prevent damage and expensive repairs, ageing tests are used in durability assessments. The NT Build 495 describes an artificial ageing procedure to address building material and component resistance to ultraviolet (UV) light, [...] Read more.
Building façades must endure severe climatic exposure throughout their lifetimes. To prevent damage and expensive repairs, ageing tests are used in durability assessments. The NT Build 495 describes an artificial ageing procedure to address building material and component resistance to ultraviolet (UV) light, heat, water, and frost using a climate simulator. The test has been used for decades to investigate exterior surface materials and façade products but has only recently been adopted for multi-layered systems. This study investigates moisture accumulation in a façade system for retrofitting based on concrete and thermal insulation. Hygrothermal simulations of the façade system subjected to ageing were conducted. Moisture accumulation was considered theoretically for the current test procedure and compared to a modified setup in which the interior climate was controlled at 21 °C. Physical measurements were performed in the climate simulator to determine the boundary conditions. Results showed that moisture accumulation in the thermal insulation was largely affected by the type of concrete, that applying a water-repellent surface treatment reduced moisture accumulation, and that the current setup resulted in less moisture accumulation compared to the modified setup. The latter implicates accelerated degradation with the modified setup. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment, Diagnosis and Service Life Prediction)
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21 pages, 5526 KiB  
Article
Degradation Assessment of Natural Stone Claddings over Their Service Life: Comparison between Tehran (Iran) and Lisbon (Portugal)
by S. H. Mousavi, Ana Silva, Jorge de Brito, A. Ekhlassi and S. B. Hosseini
Buildings 2021, 11(10), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11100438 - 27 Sep 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1792
Abstract
Now more than ever, the construction sector is aiming to adopt more sustainable solutions. To achieve this purpose, more durable solutions must be adopted, making rational decisions at the design and maintenance stages regarding the conditions of environmental exposure and use. In this [...] Read more.
Now more than ever, the construction sector is aiming to adopt more sustainable solutions. To achieve this purpose, more durable solutions must be adopted, making rational decisions at the design and maintenance stages regarding the conditions of environmental exposure and use. In this sense, knowledge regarding the service life of building components is crucial. This knowledge should not be a general concept, or a standard value, and adapting practices from one country to another is extremely challenging. In this sense, this study analyses the service life of natural stone claddings. We adopt a methodology initially proposed for Lisbon (Portugal), intending to evaluate its applicability to other geographical contexts, in order to perform a more reliable service life prediction of stone claddings located in Tehran (Iran). An estimated service life of 65 years was obtained for a sample of 162 stone claddings directly adhered to the substrate, located in Tehran, which were analysed by in situ inspections. The impact of different conditions (e.g., type of stone and environmental exposure conditions) on the service life of stone claddings in Tehran was quantified, which revealed that the exposure to environmental agents, such as wind, rain and pollutants, is the main cause of degradation of the natural stone claddings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment, Diagnosis and Service Life Prediction)
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19 pages, 2595 KiB  
Article
Critical Analysis about Emerging Technologies for Building’s Façade Inspection
by Ilídio S. Dias, Inês Flores-Colen and Ana Silva
Buildings 2021, 11(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11020053 - 4 Feb 2021
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 4314
Abstract
The diagnosis of the building’s façades pathology is extremely important to support rational and technically informed decisions regarding maintenance and rehabilitation actions. With a reliable diagnosis, the probable causes of the anomalies can be correctly identified, and the correction measures adopted can be [...] Read more.
The diagnosis of the building’s façades pathology is extremely important to support rational and technically informed decisions regarding maintenance and rehabilitation actions. With a reliable diagnosis, the probable causes of the anomalies can be correctly identified, and the correction measures adopted can be more compatible with the existing elements, promoting the durability of the façades. Visual inspection is the most common approach to identify anomalies in a building’s façade and, in many cases, this technique is sufficient to support the decision to intervene. However, the pathological phenomenon is complex, and the anomalies observed may indicate the presence of other defects, or some anomalies may not be visible in a simple visual observation. This study intends to discuss the application of emerging technologies on the diagnosis and anamneses of building’s façade, in order to automatise the collection of reliable on-site data and, thus, reduce the uncertainty of the diagnosis. The use of these techniques can help existing inspection methodologies, already tested, based mainly on the visual assessment of the buildings’ elements degradation condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment, Diagnosis and Service Life Prediction)
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14 pages, 5315 KiB  
Article
Most Frequent Problems of Building Structures of Urban Apartment Buildings from 2nd Half of 19th Century and the Start of 20th Century
by Klara Kroftova
Buildings 2021, 11(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11010027 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3793
Abstract
An urban residential building from the second half of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century, the so-called tenement house, is a significant representative of the architecture of the developing urban fabric in Central Europe. The vertical and horizontal load-bearing [...] Read more.
An urban residential building from the second half of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century, the so-called tenement house, is a significant representative of the architecture of the developing urban fabric in Central Europe. The vertical and horizontal load-bearing structures of these houses currently tend to show characteristic, repeated defects and failures. Their knowledge may, in many cases, facilitate and speed up the design of the historic building’s restoration without compromising its heritage value in this process. The article presents the summary of the most frequently occurring defects and failures of these buildings. The summary, however, is not an absolute one, and, in the case of major damage to the building, it still applies that, first of all, a detailed analysis of the causes and consequences of defects and failures must be made as a basic prerequisite for the reliability and long-term durability of the building’s restoration and rehabilitation. An integral part of the rehabilitation of buildings must be the elimination of the causes of the appearance of their failures and remediation of all defects impairing their structural safety, health safety and energy efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment, Diagnosis and Service Life Prediction)
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19 pages, 6909 KiB  
Article
How Long Can a Wood Flooring System Last?
by Pedro Coelho, Ana Silva and Jorge de Brito
Buildings 2021, 11(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11010023 - 7 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3594
Abstract
Wood is a natural, sustainable, and renewable material, which has been used as flooring for centuries, but not enough is known about its durability and performance over time when subjected to different degradation agents. This study proposes a methodology for the service life [...] Read more.
Wood is a natural, sustainable, and renewable material, which has been used as flooring for centuries, but not enough is known about its durability and performance over time when subjected to different degradation agents. This study proposes a methodology for the service life prediction of wood flooring systems, considering the impact of different factors that influence the floors’ durability. For that purpose, a fieldwork survey is performed to evaluate the degradation phenomena of 96 indoor wood floorings in-use conditions, located in Portugal. The data collected are converted into degradation patterns that graphically illustrate the loss of performance of wood floorings over time. An estimated service life of 44 years is obtained. This study thus allows quantifying the impact of various characteristics on the indoor wood floorings’ service life. The results reveal the high importance of the type of protection, the type of wood, and the type of floor (with a range of estimated service life values of around 18, 17 and 16 years, respectively). This study is a first step to understanding the degradation mechanisms of the wood flooring systems, in order to extend their service life, while allowing optimising of maintenance actions, thus promoting the durability and sustainability of these floorings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment, Diagnosis and Service Life Prediction)
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Review

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17 pages, 1770 KiB  
Review
Microclimate of Air Cavities in Ventilated Roof and Façade Systems in Nordic Climates
by Sara Bredal Ingebretsen, Erlend Andenæs and Tore Kvande
Buildings 2022, 12(5), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12050683 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3036
Abstract
Accurate values for the climatic conditions in an air cavity, hereby called the microclimate, are crucial when calculating and simulating the performance of a ventilated roof and façade system. The climatic stress of its components and their mould and rot potential influence the [...] Read more.
Accurate values for the climatic conditions in an air cavity, hereby called the microclimate, are crucial when calculating and simulating the performance of a ventilated roof and façade system. The climatic stress of its components and their mould and rot potential influence the long-term durability of the roof or façade. A scoping study is conducted to gain an overview on research and the scientific literature on the microclimate of air cavities in ventilated roofing and claddings in Nordic climates. From the body of the research literature, 21 scientific works were of particular interest, and their findings are summarized. The review shows that only a limited number of studies discuss the microclimate of air cavities. Roofs are discussed to a greater and more varied degree compared to façades and air cavities behind solar panels. However, the results cannot be compared and validated against each other to generally describe the microclimate of air cavities, as the surveyed papers approach the subject differently. This knowledge gap indicates that calculations and simulations can be performed without knowing whether the results represent reality. If the structure of ventilated roof and façade systems are only designed based on experience, it can be difficult to be proactive and adapt to future climate changes. Further studies are needed to determine the relation between the exterior climate and the air cavity microclimate, so that future climate predictions can be used to simulate the long-term performance of ventilated roof and façade systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment, Diagnosis and Service Life Prediction)
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