Special Issue "Life Cycle Prediction and Maintenance of Buildings"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2020).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Jorge de Brito
Website
Guest Editor
Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049–001 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: sustainable construction (recycled aggregates in concrete and mortars); bridge and building management systems; buildings service life (prediction); life cycle assessment; construction technology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Ana Silva
Website
Guest Editor
CERIS, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, 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 and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The sustainability of the built environment can only be achieved through the maintenance planning of built facilities, during their lifecycle, considering social, economic, functional, technical and ecological aspects. Stakeholders should be conscious of the existing tools and knowledge for the optimization of maintenance and rehabilitation actions, considering the degradation mechanisms and the risk of failure over time. Knowledge concerning the service life prediction of building elements is crucial to the definition, in a rational and technically informed way, of a set of maintenance strategies over the building’s life cycle. Service life prediction methodologies provide a better understanding of the degradation phenomenon of the elements under analysis, enabling the relation of the characteristics of these elements, their exposure, use and maintenance conditions with their performance over time.

This Special Issue intends to provide an overview of the existing knowledge related with various aspects of Life Cycle Prediction and Maintenance of Buildings.

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 are not limited to the following subjects:

  1. Methodologies for service life prediction of buildings and components
  2. Maintainability of buildings and components
  3. Serviceability of buildings’ elements
  4. Maintenance and repair actions of buildings and components
  5. Definition and optimization of maintenance policies
  6. Financial analysis of various maintenance plans
  7. Whole Life Cycle Costing
  8. Life Cycle Assessment

Prof. Jorge de Brito
Dr. Ana Silva
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All 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

  • Methodologies for service life prediction of buildings and components
  • Maintainability of buildings and components
  • Serviceability of buildings’ elements
  • Maintenance and repair actions of buildings and component
  • Definition and optimization of maintenance policies
  • Financial analysis of various maintenance plans
  • Whole Life Cycle Costing
  • Life Cycle Assessment

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Life Cycle Prediction and Maintenance of Buildings
Buildings 2020, 10(6), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10060112 - 23 Jun 2020
Abstract
The sustainability of the built environment can only be achieved through the maintenance planning of built facilities during their life cycle, considering social, economic, functional, technical, and ecological aspects [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle
Climate Adaptation in Maintenance Operation and Management of Buildings
Buildings 2020, 10(6), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10060107 - 04 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to analyze the basic criteria, trends, applications, and developments related to climate adaptation in building maintenance and operation management (MOM) practices in Norway. Investigations conducted as part of the study include an analysis of current literature addressing [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to analyze the basic criteria, trends, applications, and developments related to climate adaptation in building maintenance and operation management (MOM) practices in Norway. Investigations conducted as part of the study include an analysis of current literature addressing climate adaptation in relation to MOM practices, supplemented by a review of existing research projects and initiatives in this field. Three case studies involving different Norwegian building owner organizations were examined in order to investigate the current status of the application and extent of climate adaptation practices in relation to MOM. The study has revealed a significant gap between theory and practice when it comes to integrating MOM in relation to climate adaptation. The concept of climate adaptation is only addressed as a high-level strategic issue. The case studies thus emphasize the need for a structured process that can enable the incorporation of climate adaptation in current MOM practices. This proposes a generic and structured climate-adaptive MOM framework that will enable the incorporation of climate adaptation in into corporate MOM practices at different scales and organizational levels. Implementation of this flexible and transferable framework is expected to provide a basis for accruing further knowledge on climate adaptation. Further work with the framework should include the introduction of more tangible and tailored tools and processes, including checklists or scoring systems accompanied by relevant climate adaptation factors and plans. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Reinforcing Steel Corrosion on Life Cycle Reliability Assessment of Existing R.C. Buildings
Buildings 2020, 10(6), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10060099 - 28 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Time-dependent reliability assessment is a crucial aspect of the decision process for rehabilitation of existing reinforced concrete structures. Since the assessment strongly depends on degradation of materials with time, the paper focuses on the influence of corrosion in reinforcing steel on time-reliability curves [...] Read more.
Time-dependent reliability assessment is a crucial aspect of the decision process for rehabilitation of existing reinforced concrete structures. Since the assessment strongly depends on degradation of materials with time, the paper focuses on the influence of corrosion in reinforcing steel on time-reliability curves of relevant reinforced concrete (r.c.) structures, built in Italy in the 1960s, belonging to different building categories. To realistically represent the probability distribution functions (pdfs) of the relevant properties of reinforcing steel and concrete commonly adopted in the 1960s, stochastic models for steel yielding and concrete compressive strength have been derived, by means of a suitable cluster analysis, from secondary databases of test results gathered at that time in Italy on concrete and steel rebar specimens. This cluster analysis, based on Gaussian mixture models, provides a powerful tool to “objectively” extract material classes and associated probability density functions from databases of experimental test results. In the study, different degradation conditions and several reinforcing steel and concrete classes are considered, also aiming to scrutinize their influence on the time-dependent reliability curves. Finally, to stress the significance of the study, the time-dependent reliability curves so obtained are critically examined and discussed also in comparison with the target reliability levels currently adopted in the Eurocodes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Profitability of Various Energy Supply Systems in Light of Their Different Energy Prices and Climate Conditions
Buildings 2020, 10(6), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10060100 - 28 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The majority of the single-family houses in Sweden are affected by deteriorations in building envelopes as well as heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. These dwellings are, therefore, in need of extensive renovation, which provides an excellent opportunity to install renewable energy supply [...] Read more.
The majority of the single-family houses in Sweden are affected by deteriorations in building envelopes as well as heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. These dwellings are, therefore, in need of extensive renovation, which provides an excellent opportunity to install renewable energy supply systems to reduce the total energy consumption. The high investment costs of the renewable energy supply systems were previously distinguished as the main barrier in the installation of these systems in Sweden. House-owners should, therefore, compare the profitability of the energy supply systems and select the one, which will allow them to reduce their operational costs. This study analyses the profitability of a ground source heat pump, photovoltaic solar panels and an integrated ground source heat pump with a photovoltaic system, as three energy supply systems for a single-family house in Sweden. The profitability of the supply systems was analysed by calculating the payback period (PBP) and internal rate of return (IRR) for these systems. Three different energy prices, three different interest rates, and two different lifespans were considered when calculating the IRR and PBP. In addition, the profitability of the supply systems was analysed for four Swedish climate zones. The analyses of results show that the ground source heat pump system was the most profitable energy supply system since it provided a short PBP and high IRR in all climate zones when compared with the other energy supply systems. Additionally, results show that increasing the energy price improved the profitability of the supply systems in all climate zones. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
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 1
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
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Open AccessArticle
Probabilistic Life-Cycle Assessment of Service Life Extension on Renovated Buildings under Seismic Hazard
Buildings 2020, 10(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10030048 - 09 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Existing buildings can reach a performance enhancement and extend their nominal service life through renovation measures such as seismic rehabilitation. In particular, when buildings have almost exhausted their service life, seeking an optimal solution should consider whether costs and environmental effects are worthwhile, [...] Read more.
Existing buildings can reach a performance enhancement and extend their nominal service life through renovation measures such as seismic rehabilitation. In particular, when buildings have almost exhausted their service life, seeking an optimal solution should consider whether costs and environmental effects are worthwhile, or new construction is preferred. In this paper, a methodology to consider seismic hazard into probabilistic approaches for life-cycle analyses is presented considering the possibility of structural enhancement over an extended building lifespan. A life-cycle-based decision support tool for building renovation measures is developed and applied to a selected case study. Unlike standard “static” analyses, which in this work show shortcomings by underestimating impacts of vulnerable buildings, such an approach brings out environmental and economic advantages of retrofit measures designed to improve the structural performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of 30 Years Outdoor Weathering on the Durability of Hydrophobic Agents Applied on Obernkirchener Sandstones
Buildings 2020, 10(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10010018 - 20 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The durability of eleven different water repellents applied on one sandstone type was studied after a long-term weathering at seven different locations in Germany. By measuring colour changes, it could be shown that the formation of black crusts, the deposition of particles and [...] Read more.
The durability of eleven different water repellents applied on one sandstone type was studied after a long-term weathering at seven different locations in Germany. By measuring colour changes, it could be shown that the formation of black crusts, the deposition of particles and biogenic growth caused a gradual darkening as well as significant changes in total colour over time. Additionally, the water absorption behaviour was investigated with two different methods: applying a low pressure using the pipe method and capillary water absorption measurements from a wet underlay. Afterwards, the test results were analysed with four different evaluation methods: calculation of the protection degree from pipe method and capillary water absorption, determination of the velocity of water uptake during capillary water absorption and calculation of the damaged depth of the stone surface using single-sided NMR technique. The growing damaged depth leads to an increase of the water uptake velocity and to a decrease of the protection degree of the applied hydrophobing agents. Three protective agents based on isobutyltrimethoxysilane showed already after two years of outdoor weathering a clear loss of performance, which significantly increased after 30 years of exposure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
LCC Estimation Model: A Construction Material Perspective
Buildings 2019, 9(8), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9080182 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 10
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
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Open AccessArticle
A Cross-Domain Decision Support System to Optimize Building Maintenance
Buildings 2019, 9(7), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9070161 - 04 Jul 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Operations and maintenance optimization are primary issues in Facility Management (FM). Moreover, the increased complexity of the digitized assets leads Facility Managers to the adoption of interdisciplinary metrics that are able to measure the peculiar dynamics of the asset-service system. The aim of [...] Read more.
Operations and maintenance optimization are primary issues in Facility Management (FM). Moreover, the increased complexity of the digitized assets leads Facility Managers to the adoption of interdisciplinary metrics that are able to measure the peculiar dynamics of the asset-service system. The aim of this research concerns the development of a cross-domain Decision Support System (DSS) for maintenance optimization. The algorithm underpinning the DSS enables the maintenance optimization through a wiser allocation of economic resources. Therefore, the primary metric encompassed in the DSS is a revised version of the Facility Condition Index (FCI). This metric is combined with an index measuring the service life of the assets, one measuring the preference of the owner and another measuring the criticality of each component in the asset. The four indexes are combined to obtain a Maintenance Priority Index (MPI) that can be employed for maintenance budget allocation. The robustness of the DSS has been tested on an office building in Italy and provided good results. Despite the proposed algorithm could be included in a wider Asset Management system employing other metrics (e.g., financial), a good reliability in the measurement of cross-domain performance of buildings has been observed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Diagnoses in the Aging Process of Residential Buildings Constructed Using Traditional Technology
Buildings 2019, 9(5), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9050126 - 20 May 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
The perspective of maintaining residential buildings in adequate technical condition is one of the most important problems over the course of their service life. The aim of the work is to present issues connected with the methods of predicting the process of changes [...] Read more.
The perspective of maintaining residential buildings in adequate technical condition is one of the most important problems over the course of their service life. The aim of the work is to present issues connected with the methods of predicting the process of changes in performance characteristics over the entire period that a building, constructed using traditional technology, is operational. Identification of the technical situation consists of a prognosis based on the analytical form of the distribution function and probability density of building usability. The technical condition of a building results from its past, while familiarity with the condition is necessary to determine how the building will behave in the future. The presented predictive diagnostics of the performance characteristics of an entire building and its elements is an original methodology of describing the lifespan of a building. In addition to identifying the technical condition, its aim is also to aid in making decisions regarding maintenance works. The developed model of predicting changes in the performance characteristics of buildings, the Prediction of Reliability according to Exponentials Distribution (PRED), is based on the principles applied for technical devices. The model is characterized by significant limitations in its application due to the negligible influence of wear processes. In connection with the above, the Prediction of Reliability according to Raleigh Distribution (PRDD) was developed, where the carried-out processes of changes in the performance characteristics are described using Rayleigh’s distribution, and the building is a multi-element system. Model development would be incomplete without subjecting it to verification. Predicting the degree of the technical wear of load-bearing walls of a building is a form of checking the proposed PRED and PRRD models on the basis of data derived from periodical inspections of the research material. The developed model of the time distribution of the proper functioning of a building, presented as an image of the forecast of changes in the technical condition, can be applied to solving problems occurring in practice. The targeted approach to predicting the occurrence of damage will allow for optimal planning of maintenance works in buildings during their entire service life. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pathology and Rehabilitation of Vinyl and Linoleum Floorings in Health Infrastructures: Statistical Survey
Buildings 2019, 9(5), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9050116 - 07 May 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
A statistical survey on the pathology and rehabilitation of linoleum and vinyl floorings is presented. It is based on the visual inspection of 101 vinyl and linoleum floorings, in six health infrastructures in Lisbon, Portugal, which enabled the validation of the classification/nomenclature previously [...] Read more.
A statistical survey on the pathology and rehabilitation of linoleum and vinyl floorings is presented. It is based on the visual inspection of 101 vinyl and linoleum floorings, in six health infrastructures in Lisbon, Portugal, which enabled the validation of the classification/nomenclature previously proposed, as well as the corresponding correlation matrices. It was also possible to identify the most common types of anomalies, their probable causes, the most adequate in situ diagnosis methods, and the most useful repair techniques. Anomalies, diagnosis methods, and repair techniques files were also validated. The obtained data enabled anomalies to be related to their causes, in situ diagnosis methods, and respective repair techniques e.g., a high number of scratches/wear were detected associated with dragging of equipment. The conclusions drawn intend to raise awareness among the industry actors and minimize the development of anomalies and their causes at the design and application stages. Furthermore, the main sensitive issues of the cladding system during its service life were revealed, highlighting the importance of a correct maintenance plan to minimize the surface’s susceptibility to various degradation mechanisms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Design of an Insurance Policy Model Applied to Natural Stone Facade Claddings
Buildings 2019, 9(5), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9050111 - 04 May 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
The insurance market deliberately excludes the buildings’ envelope from their insurance policies, neglecting all the damage that can be caused by the degradation process or ageing of the materials. This stance is mainly due to the lack of knowledge in terms of risk [...] Read more.
The insurance market deliberately excludes the buildings’ envelope from their insurance policies, neglecting all the damage that can be caused by the degradation process or ageing of the materials. This stance is mainly due to the lack of knowledge in terms of risk and costs associated to the failure of these elements. Even though the building and its elements are the most valuable asset of any owner, most often homeowners do not adopt effective preventive measures to mitigate the deterioration and obsolescence of their assets. This study proposes an innovative methodology for the design of insurance policies for buildings’ envelopes, applied to natural stone facade claddings. The insurance product is defined based on deterministic and stochastic service life prediction models, established through the past degradation history of 142 natural stone claddings analyzed in service conditions in Portugal. Single-parameter (only analyzing the cladding’s age) and multiparameter (encompassing the relevant variables) models are applied in the calculation of the insurance premium. The expected claims are related with the performance of maintenance actions and established according to three degradation levels. The results obtained reveal that an increased knowledge about the insured cladding leads to a reduction of the risk margin and consequently, to a lower annual value of commercial premium paid by a household. This study proposes an innovative solution for tailoring the insurance products, in terms of the risk of failure of the buildings components, as well as the financial charges related with the maintenance of these elements, channeling the risks to the market. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integrating Energy Efficiency into the Municipal Procurement Process of Buildings—Whose Responsibility?
Buildings 2019, 9(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9020045 - 13 Feb 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study addresses the challenges in ensuring energy efficiency and high indoor climate quality with efficient use of public money in the municipal building procurement process. Energy efficient municipal building procurement provides a significant leverage when steering the built environment towards the low-carbon [...] Read more.
This study addresses the challenges in ensuring energy efficiency and high indoor climate quality with efficient use of public money in the municipal building procurement process. Energy efficient municipal building procurement provides a significant leverage when steering the built environment towards the low-carbon economy targets of the EU. Municipal building department professionals need more skills and knowledge to appropriately define the requirements and identify the energy efficient design options accounting for the building’s changing operational environment. This study presents how to systematically integrate energy efficiency in the municipal procurement process of buildings by presenting the list of energy efficiency factors to be included into the procurement process. This list of factors clarifies how indoor climate quality, energy use, and the life cycle economy are related through technological solutions and how the optimal compromise solution can be determined. Furthermore, this list of factors explains the responsibilities in integrating energy efficiency within the municipal building procurement process. Applied in the design of the municipal building the list of factors contributes to more informed and transparent decision-making process. Full article
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