Special Issue "Building Energy Consumption in the Global South"

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Sukumar Natarajan
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Architecture & Civil EngineeringCentre for Energy and the Design of Environments (EDEn)
Interests: building energy modeling, energy behavior, smart meter interface design, impacts of climate change on buildings, occupant thermal comfort

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Global South alone is predicted to double the current total global built floor space by 2050. This rapid pace of development will place a significant strain on already fragile energy networks, whilst increasing carbon emissions. Given that buildings currently consume about a third of global fuel and power consumption while emitting a quarter of global CO2, there is a significant opportunity for gaining simultaneous benefits through carefully thought out solutions that avoid unintended consequences. These include (i) climate change mitigation through reduced emissions, (ii) adaptation through resilient design, (iii) energy security through the reduction of mean and peak demand, (iv) technologies for effective energy management in buildings and communities, (v) mental and physical health benefits through occupant-conscious design, and (vi) economic benefits through energy efficiency and the stimulation of new industries. Given the shared climates and development level of many countries in the Global South, a platform for sharing research and driving new innovation is essential.

The papers in this Special Issue will collect but are not limited to the key outcomes from the international conference on “Energy Consumption in the Global South” held in Dec 2019 in New Delhi, as a first step towards this goal. The conference will cover research from several Global South countries including India, South Africa, Mexico, Jordan, Sri Lanka, Colombia, and China.

Dr. Sukumar Natarajan
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 papers will be 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 1000 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

  • Climate change mitigation
  • Climate change mitigation adaptation
  • Energy security
  • Energy efficiency
  • Occupant health and comfort
  • Low-energy heating and cooling
  • Renewable energy

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Energy Cost of Cold Thermal Discomfort in the Global South
Buildings 2020, 10(5), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10050093 - 15 May 2020
Abstract
The Global South, much of it in warm tropical latitudes, is expected to double its total energy demand by 2050. In addition to increased mean demand, greater demand for space cooling during external temperature peaks will exacerbate the strain on already fragile energy [...] Read more.
The Global South, much of it in warm tropical latitudes, is expected to double its total energy demand by 2050. In addition to increased mean demand, greater demand for space cooling during external temperature peaks will exacerbate the strain on already fragile energy networks. Recent anecdotal evidence that a proportion of the increase in cooling demand is driven by cold—rather than warm—indoor thermal discomfort, suggests the imposition of an unnecessary cooling energy cost. Here, we investigate the impact of this cost on the expanding Global South using field data from four cities in India, Philippines, and Thailand. We observe that mean cold discomfort across the four cities is roughly 45 percentage points higher than warm discomfort, suggesting warmer indoor temperatures would not only lower overall discomfort but also reduce cooling energy demand. Computer simulations using a calibrated building model reveal that average savings of 10%/Kelvin and peak reductions of 3%–19%, would be feasible across the expected external temperature range in these cities. This suggests that more climatically appropriate indoor thermal comfort standards in the Global South would not only significantly counteract the expected rise in energy demand, but also produce more comfortable indoor conditions and reduce peak demand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Energy Consumption in the Global South)
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-objective Building Design Optimization under Operational Uncertainties Using the NSGA II Algorithm
Buildings 2020, 10(5), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10050088 - 07 May 2020
Abstract
Operational uncertainties play a critical role in determining potential pathways to reduce the building energy footprint in the Global South. This paper presents the application of a non-dominated sorting genetic (NSGA II) algorithm for multi-objective building design optimization under operational uncertainties. A residential [...] Read more.
Operational uncertainties play a critical role in determining potential pathways to reduce the building energy footprint in the Global South. This paper presents the application of a non-dominated sorting genetic (NSGA II) algorithm for multi-objective building design optimization under operational uncertainties. A residential building situated in a mid-latitude steppe and desert region (Köppen climate classification: BSh) in the Global South has been selected for our investigation. The annual building energy consumption and the total number of cooling setpoint unmet hours (h) were assessed over 13,122 different energy efficiency measures. Six Pareto optimal solutions were identified by the NSGA II algorithm. Robustness of Pareto solutions was evaluated by comparing their performance sensitivity over 162 uncertain operational scenarios. The final selection for the most optimal energy efficiency measure was achieved by formulating a robust multi-criteria decision function by incorporating performance, user preference, and reliability criteria. Results from this robust approach were compared with those obtained using a deterministic approach. The most optimal energy efficiency measure resulted in 9.24% lower annual energy consumption and a 45% lower number of cooling setpoint unmet h as compared to the base case. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Energy Consumption in the Global South)
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding Residential Occupant Cooling Behaviour through Electricity Consumption in Warm-Humid Climate
Buildings 2020, 10(4), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10040078 - 19 Apr 2020
Abstract
According to the India Energy Security Scenario 2047, the number of residential air conditioner (A/C) units may increase seven-fold by 2037 as compared to 2017. Also, the related energy consumption might increase four times in the next two decades, according to India’s National [...] Read more.
According to the India Energy Security Scenario 2047, the number of residential air conditioner (A/C) units may increase seven-fold by 2037 as compared to 2017. Also, the related energy consumption might increase four times in the next two decades, according to India’s National Cooling Action Plan. Therefore, the study of occupant cooling behaviour is essential to reduce and manage the significant electricity demand, helping to formulate and implement climate-specific cooling policies, and to adopt low-energy and low-cost technologies at mass-market scale. The study aims to analyse residential electricity consumption in order to investigate occupant behaviour, especially for thermal comfort by using space cooling and mechanical ventilation technologies. Among the five climate zones in India, this study focuses on the occupant behaviour in a warm-humid climate using Auroville as a case study, where climate analysis of the past 30 years demonstrated progression towards unprecedented warmer weather in the last five years. In this study, electricity consumption data from 18 households (flats) were monitored for seven months (November 2018–June 2019). The study also elaborated the limitations faced while monitoring and proposed a data filling methodology to create a complete daily profile for analysing occupant behaviour through electricity consumption. The results of the data-driven approach demonstrated the characteristics and complexities in occupant behaviour and insight on the operation of different technologies to attain thermal comfort in residential buildings in an increasingly warming climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Energy Consumption in the Global South)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Current Energy Consumption in Residential Buildings in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070163 - 07 Jul 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), residential buildings’ energy consumption accounts for almost 50% of the building stock electricity consumption. The KSA’s economy relies heavily on fossil fuel sources, namely oil reservoirs, whose depletion will negatively affect the future development of the [...] Read more.
In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), residential buildings’ energy consumption accounts for almost 50% of the building stock electricity consumption. The KSA’s economy relies heavily on fossil fuel sources, namely oil reservoirs, whose depletion will negatively affect the future development of the country. The total electricity consumption is growing by approximately 5–8% annually, which would lead to oil production and oil consumption being equal in 2035. Therefore, residential buildings need further assessment as regards their current energy consumption. This research used a survey to explore current user behaviour in residential buildings’ energy performance in the city of Jeddah, KSA. The findings of the survey show that several factors impact the energy performance in residential buildings. First, the buildings’ thermal properties were found to be poorly designed. Second, the cultural aspects (family member role and generous hospitality), and the majority of users within the buildings preferring a room temperature of below 24 °C, requires a massive amount of cooling due to the climate conditions. Third, an increase in user awareness has helped to slightly improve residential buildings’ energy efficiency. Knowing the current high-energy-consumption sources and causes, being able to define opportunities for thermal properties’ enhancement, and increasing user awareness of how to achieve self-sustaining buildings are essential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Energy Consumption in the Global South)
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