Special Issue "Environmental Impact Assessment of Buildings"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Wahidul K. Biswas

Sustainable Engineering Group, Curtin University, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: life cycle assessment; sustainable building design; waste management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Buildings are the key components of the society as a complex system. Energy consumption in buildings and for building construction represents more than 30% of global final energy consumption and contributes to nearly 25% of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions worldwide [1]. There are other indirect environmental consequences such as land use changes, loss of bio-diversity, resource scarcity, ozone depletion potential, human toxicity, acidification, and eutrophication associated with an increased demand for construction materials in the building sector. The designer, builders, developers and engineers are thus required to adopt an environmentally responsible approach to their design solutions and construction materials’ specification choices. There are ways to reduce these environmental impacts by considering the use of by-products, recycled materials and clean energy sources in building design. The material choice, building orientation, climatic conditions, building management systems, construction systems (e.g. wood frame, thermal insulating brick, sandwich wall and concrete block with a peripheral insulation), construction practices are key areas to consider to enhance durability and building efficiency. Life cycle assessment has potentially been considered as an environmental management tool to estimate the environmental impacts of the resources applied in the building envelope, floor slabs, and interior walls for green building design and to estimate the amount of environmental impacts that can potentially be mitigated through innovative engineering practices, designs and solutions. This special issue is aimed to cover following topics that are relevant for addressing environmental impacts of the fastest growing building sector.

  • Environmental impacts of building materials
  • Building energy and environments
  • Life cycle assessment and green buildings
  • Environmentally friendly construction practices

References

[1] UNEP, Towards zero-emission efficient and resilient buildings, Global Status Report 2016, prepared by The Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC), 2016.

Dr. Wahidul K. Biswas
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 650 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 energy management
  • C&D wastes
  • Construction management practices
  • Design and innovation
  • Environmental impacts
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Materials
  • Recycling, reuse and recovery

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Impact of Service Life on the Environmental Performance of Buildings
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 25 December 2018 / Published: 2 January 2019
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Abstract
The environmental performance assessment of the building and construction sector has been in discussion due to the increasing demand of facilities and its impact on the environment. The life cycle studies carried out over the last decade have mostly used an approximate life
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The environmental performance assessment of the building and construction sector has been in discussion due to the increasing demand of facilities and its impact on the environment. The life cycle studies carried out over the last decade have mostly used an approximate life span of a building without considering the building component replacement requirements and their service life. This limitation results in unreliable outcomes and a huge volume of materials going to landfill. This study was performed to develop a relationship between the service life of a building and building components, and their impact on environmental performance. Twelve building combinations were modelled by considering two types of roof frames, two types of wall and three types of footings. A reference building of a 50-year service life was used in comparisons. Firstly, the service life of the building and building components and the replacement intervals of building components during active service life were estimated. The environmental life cycle assessment (ELCA) was carried out for all the buildings and results are presented on a yearly basis in order to study the impact of service life. The region-specific impact categories of cumulative energy demand, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and land use are used to assess the environmental performance of buildings. The analysis shows that the environmental performance of buildings is affected by the service life of a building and the replacement intervals of building components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment of Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle Industrial Data-Based Life Cycle Assessment of Architecturally Integrated Glass-Glass Photovoltaics
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 29 December 2018
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Abstract
Worldwide, an increasing number of new buildings have photovoltaics (PV) integrated in the building envelope. In Switzerland, the use of coloured PV façades has become popular due to improved visual acceptance. At the same time, life cycle assessment of buildings becomes increasingly important.
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Worldwide, an increasing number of new buildings have photovoltaics (PV) integrated in the building envelope. In Switzerland, the use of coloured PV façades has become popular due to improved visual acceptance. At the same time, life cycle assessment of buildings becomes increasingly important. While a life cycle inventory for conventional glass-film PV laminates is available, this is not the case for glass-glass laminates, and in particular, coloured front glasses. Only conventional glass-film PV laminates are considered in databases, some of which are partly outdated. Our paper addresses this disparity, by presenting life cycle inventory data gathered from industries producing coloured front glass by digital ceramic printing and manufacturing glass-glass PV laminates. In addition, we applied this data to a hypothetical façade made of multi-coloured glass-glass laminates and its electricity generation in terms of Swiss eco-points, global warming potential, and cumulative energy demand as impact indicators. The results of the latter show that the effect of the digital ceramic printing is negligible (increase of 0.1%), but the additional glass (4% increase) and reduction of electricity yield (20%) are significant in eco-points. The energy pay-back time for a multi-coloured PV façade is 8.1 years, which decreases by 35% to 5.3 years when replacing the glass rain cladding in an existing façade, leaving 25 years for surplus electricity generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment of Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle Life-Cycle Asset Management in Residential Developments Building on Transport System Critical Attributes via a Data-Mining Algorithm
Received: 27 November 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 20 December 2018
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Abstract
Public transport can discourage individual car usage as a life-cycle asset management strategy towards carbon neutrality. An effective public transport system contributes greatly to the wider goal of a sustainable built environment, provided the critical transit system attributes are measured and addressed to
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Public transport can discourage individual car usage as a life-cycle asset management strategy towards carbon neutrality. An effective public transport system contributes greatly to the wider goal of a sustainable built environment, provided the critical transit system attributes are measured and addressed to (continue to) improve commuter uptake of public systems by residents living and working in local communities. Travel data from intra-city travellers can advise discrete policy recommendations based on a residential area or development’s public transport demand. Commuter segments related to travelling frequency, satisfaction from service level, and its value for money are evaluated to extract econometric models/association rules. A data mining algorithm with minimum confidence, support, interest, syntactic constraints and meaningfulness measure as inputs is designed to exploit a large set of 31 variables collected for 1,520 respondents, generating 72 models. This methodology presents an alternative to multivariate analyses to find correlations in bigger databases of categorical variables. Results here augment literature by highlighting traveller perceptions related to frequency of buses, journey time, and capacity, as a net positive effect of frequent buses operating on rapid transit routes. Policymakers can address public transport uptake through service frequency variation during peak-hours with resultant reduced car dependence apt to reduce induced life-cycle environmental burdens of buildings by altering residents’ mode choices, and a potential design change of buildings towards a public transit-based, compact, and shared space urban built environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment of Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle Comprehensive Evaluation of Carbon Emissions for the Development of High-Rise Residential Building
Buildings 2018, 8(11), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8110147
Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 23 October 2018
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Abstract
Despite the fact that many novel initiatives have been put forward to reduce the carbon emissions of buildings, there is still a lack of comprehensive investigation in analyzing a buildings’ life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, especially in high-density cities. In addition, no
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Despite the fact that many novel initiatives have been put forward to reduce the carbon emissions of buildings, there is still a lack of comprehensive investigation in analyzing a buildings’ life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, especially in high-density cities. In addition, no studies have made attempt to evaluate GHG emissions by considering the whole life cycle of buildings in Hong Kong. Knowledge of localized emission at different stages is critical, as the emission varies greatly in different regions. Without a reliable emission level of buildings, it is difficult to determine which aspects can reduce the life cycle GHG emissions. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the life cycle GHG emissions of buildings by considering “cradle-to-grave” system boundary, with a case-specific high-rise residential housing block as a representative public housing development in Hong Kong. The results demonstrated that the life cycle GHG emission of the case residential building was 4980 kg CO2e/m2. The analysis showed that the majority (over 86%) of the emission resulted from the use phase of the building including renovation. The results and analysis presented in this study can help the relevant parties in designing low carbon and sustainable residential development in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment of Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Heat Pump Flexibility in a French Residential Eco-District
Buildings 2018, 8(10), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8100145
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 26 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
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Abstract
This paper investigates the impact of load shedding strategies on a block of multiple buildings. It particularly deals with the quantification of the factors i.e., peak shaving, occupants’ thermal comfort or CO2 emission reduction and how to quickly quantify them. To achieve
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This paper investigates the impact of load shedding strategies on a block of multiple buildings. It particularly deals with the quantification of the factors i.e., peak shaving, occupants’ thermal comfort or CO 2 emission reduction and how to quickly quantify them. To achieve this goal, the paper focuses on a new residential district, thermally fed by heat pumps. Four modeling approaches were implemented in order to estimate buildings’ response towards load shedding. Two schemes were combined in order to study an overall load shedding. This strategy for the neighborhood has proved itself efficient for both peak shaving and thermal comfort. Most of the clipped heating load during the peak period is shifted to low-consumption periods, providing an effective peak shaving. The thermal comfort is guaranteed for at least 96% of the time. For CO 2 emissions reduction, the link between consumption reduction and CO 2 emissions savings should be realized carefully, since shifting the consumption could increase these emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment of Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle Mechanical and Durability Properties of Green Star Concretes
Buildings 2018, 8(8), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8080111
Received: 8 June 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 17 August 2018
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Abstract
This paper presents mechanical and durability properties of green star concretes. Four series of concretes are considered. The first series is control concrete containing 100% ordinary Portland cement, 100% natural aggregates and fresh water. The other three series of concretes are green star
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This paper presents mechanical and durability properties of green star concretes. Four series of concretes are considered. The first series is control concrete containing 100% ordinary Portland cement, 100% natural aggregates and fresh water. The other three series of concretes are green star concretes according to Green Building Council Australia (GBCA), which contain blast furnace slag, recycled coarse aggregates and concrete wash water. In all above concretes compressive strength, indirect tensile strength, elastic modulus, water absorption, sorptivity and chloride permeability are measured at 7 and 28 days. Results show that mechanical properties of green star concretes are lower than the control concrete at both ages with significant improvement at 28 days. Similar results are also observed in water absorption, sorptivity and chloride permeability where all measured durability properties are lower in green star concretes compared to control concrete except the higher water absorption in some green star concretes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment of Buildings)
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