Special Issue "Sustainable Development of Buildings: Design, Construction, Quality Inspection, Operation Management "

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tatjana Vilutiene
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Vilnius Gediminas Technical University
Interests: sustainability, civil engineering, construction management, decision making, building information modelling, energy efficiency
Prof. Dr. Heng Li
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Interests: Construction informatics;construction management;construction health and safety;construction engineering and management
Prof. Dr. Chunlu Liu
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
School of Architecture and Built Environment, Waterfront Campus, Deakin University, 1 Gheringhap Street, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia
Interests: construction economics; project lifecycle management; sustainability assessment
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Dr. Nuria Forcada
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Project and Construction Engineering, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, 08222 Terrassa (Barcelona), Spain
Interests: thermal comfort; building performance; BIM; energy efficiency; building quality; facility management; risk analysis
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Prof. Dr. Audrius Banaitis
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Construction Management and Real Estate, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Vilnius 10221, Lithuania
Interests: renovation of buildings; green and sustainable construction; sustainable supply chain management; energy behavior change; property management; multiple criteria decision making: applications in construction and real estate
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this Special Issue of the journal Buildings, we plan to extend the growing research stream by inviting manuscripts that investigate current practices, advanced developments, and essential effects of sustainable building design, construction, quality inspection, and operation management. The effects of sustainable development will be discussed throughout the whole life cycle of a building in terms of three dimensions: technology, people, and processes. Submissions that address the investigation of advanced sustainable solutions for new construction and energy retrofitting, describe novel methodologies for sustainability assessment, present strategies and advanced approaches in sustainable urban development, applications of advanced tools for building performance assessment; analyse the approaches that integrate building information modelling and facilities management; and address quality inspection and operation management issues are encouraged.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tatjana Vilutiene
Prof. Dr. Heng Li
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chunlu Liu
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nuria Forcada
Prof. Dr. Audrius Banaitis
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 1600 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

  • sustainable buildings
  • sustainable design
  • sustainable construction
  • sustainable urban development
  • quality inspection
  • operations management
  • models and tools for sustainability assessment
  • sustainable energy retrofitting
  • rework prevention
  • building information modelling (BIM) in the operational management
  • building performance
  • project performance
  • energy efficiency.

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Article
Deploying Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing in Construction
Buildings 2020, 10(4), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10040062 - 26 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2517
Abstract
No standardised approach appears to exist in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry for the communication of tolerance information on drawings. As a result of this shortcoming, defects associated with dimensional and geometric variability occur with potentially severe consequences. In contrast, in [...] Read more.
No standardised approach appears to exist in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry for the communication of tolerance information on drawings. As a result of this shortcoming, defects associated with dimensional and geometric variability occur with potentially severe consequences. In contrast, in mechanical engineering, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) is a symbolic language widely used to communicate both the perfect geometry and the tolerances of components and assemblies. This paper prescribes the application of GD&T in construction with the goal of developing a common language called geometric dimensioning and tolerancing in construction (GD&TIC) to facilitate the communication of tolerance information throughout design and construction. design science research is the adopted methodological approach. Evidence was collated from direct observations in two construction projects and two group interviews. A focus group meeting was conducted to evaluate whether the developed solution (GD&TIC) fulfilled its aim. The contribution of this paper to designers, to organisations involved in developing AEC industry standards, and to the scholarly community is twofold: (1) It is an attempt to develop a standardised approach (GD&TIC) for the communication of tolerance information in AEC, and (2) it identifies discrepancies between GD&TIC rules and some of the commonly used American and British standards on tolerances. Full article
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Article
Exploring the Influence of an Urban Water System on Housing Prices: Case Study of Zhengzhou
Buildings 2020, 10(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10030044 - 03 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2004
Abstract
A good living environment is the foundation of sustainable housing. Exploring the external influence of environmental factors on housing prices is one of the key issues in the field of real estate research; however, the current study of the urban water landscape on [...] Read more.
A good living environment is the foundation of sustainable housing. Exploring the external influence of environmental factors on housing prices is one of the key issues in the field of real estate research; however, the current study of the urban water landscape on the spillover effect of housing prices is not sufficient. Taking the Zhengzhou residential market as an example, this paper analyzes the effect of an urban water system on residential prices by constructing the traditional Hedonic price model, spatial lag model (SLM) and geographically weighted regression model (GWR) by selecting the main water system and 678 points of residential data in the main urban area. The results show that the accessibility of rivers and lakes and the width and water quality of rivers have a significant effect on residential prices, and the impact of lakes is greater than that of rivers. The spatial heterogeneity of the water system effect is further revealed by adopting spatial lag model and geographically weighted regression model, and the effect of the water system is gradually reduced from the eastern urban area to the western urban area. The results of this study are of great practical significance to the government’s municipal planning, water environment management and housing market management. Full article
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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 2 | Viewed by 1951
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
Evaluating the Impact of Building Information Modeling (BIM) on Mass House Building Projects
Buildings 2020, 10(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10020035 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3012
Abstract
This paper aims to identify and investigate the factors affecting the goals of mass-housing building projects due to the use of building information modeling (BIM). A descriptive-survey method was used to collect necessary data. Fifty respondents from the target sectors and experts in [...] Read more.
This paper aims to identify and investigate the factors affecting the goals of mass-housing building projects due to the use of building information modeling (BIM). A descriptive-survey method was used to collect necessary data. Fifty respondents from the target sectors and experts in the field of modeling building information participated in self-selection survey. The tools of collecting data included three questionnaires regarding three phases of construction work: pre-construction, during construction and post-construction, which were developed based on the three indices of cost, time and quality. The face, content and construct validity of the questionnaires were confirmed after several rounds of testing. The reliability coefficient of the pre-construction, during the construction and post-construction questionnaires were 0.923, 0.917 and 0.876, respectively. The results show that the F-statistic is significant for the difference between the three groups (pre-construction, during construction and post-construction) at the 0.01 level. The results confirmed that BIM has a great influence on a project in terms of meeting time, cost and quality objectives through the whole life cycle of a construction project: during pre-construction, construction, and post-construction stages. Full article
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Article
Identifying the Configuration Differences of Primary Schools with Different Administrative Affiliations in China
Buildings 2020, 10(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10020033 - 19 Feb 2020
Viewed by 1540
Abstract
Equalization of education facilities, which means the balanced distribution of human and material resources under limited resource conditions, is one of the goals of sustainable development. In the process of rapid urbanization in China, there are apparent discrepancies between urban and rural areas [...] Read more.
Equalization of education facilities, which means the balanced distribution of human and material resources under limited resource conditions, is one of the goals of sustainable development. In the process of rapid urbanization in China, there are apparent discrepancies between urban and rural areas because of different land and household registration systems. Primary schools with three types of different administrative affiliations also have significant distinctions. This study is aimed at assessing and comparing the configuration of primary schools with three different administrative affiliations, including cities, towns, and villages. After building an indicator system, the entropy weight method is applied to calculate the overall and category configuration scores of each school. Based on a spatial database, the ArcGIS thematic maps display the geography characteristic of each school in different geolocations. Moreover, the Kruskal–Wallis test identifies if the configuration of primary schools with different administrative affiliations is equal. The results indicate that the allocation of primary schools with three different administrative affiliations showed a ternary development. Moreover, although primary schools with city affiliation had significant advantages in education quality and convenience, their supply–demand conditions were not optimistic. In addition, the quality of the primary schools subordinate to towns was better, but convenience was generally lower. Finally, the quality of primary schools subordinate to villages and some towns was still poor. The results provide facts and a basis for policymakers to achieve an equity configuration in the sustainable development context. Full article
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Article
Towards Sustainable Heritage Tourism: A Space Syntax-Based Analysis Method to Improve Tourists’ Spatial Cognition in Chinese Historic Districts
Buildings 2020, 10(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10020029 - 14 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2174
Abstract
Historical and cultural blocks in Chinese historic districts are important components of sustainable heritage tourism. In towns along the Grand Canal, historical and cultural blocks are generally integrated with modern commerce, forming a complex space characterized by multi-elements, multi-cultures, and multi-functions. The understanding [...] Read more.
Historical and cultural blocks in Chinese historic districts are important components of sustainable heritage tourism. In towns along the Grand Canal, historical and cultural blocks are generally integrated with modern commerce, forming a complex space characterized by multi-elements, multi-cultures, and multi-functions. The understanding of tourists’ spatial cognition thus becomes extremely important to support heritage conservation and encourage sustainable heritage tourism. This study proposes a space syntax-based methodology to help inform heritage consultants and urban designers in understanding the tourists’ spatial cognition of canal town cultural blocks, and thereby assists designers and managers in identifying where cognitive experiences can be improved. The proposed method is applied to Nanyang, which is a canal town currently in decline in Shandong Province, and is contrasted with the ancient town of Wuzhen in Zhejiang Province, China, a highly successful tourist town. By using this proposed method, the relationship between street networks and tourists’ spatial cognition has been explored. The results of the analysis were evaluated in order to inform a range of design concepts that could enhance the sustainable heritage tourism experience of these two towns. Full article
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Article
Carbon Emissions of Hotels: The Case of the Sri Lankan Hotel Industry
Buildings 2019, 9(11), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9110227 - 30 Oct 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2759
Abstract
The need to mitigate climate change has become a major global concern, and greenhouse gas emissions are a major cause of global climate change. Therefore, the need to curb greenhouse gas emissions has been well recognized by global researchers, policymakers and academics. Carbon [...] Read more.
The need to mitigate climate change has become a major global concern, and greenhouse gas emissions are a major cause of global climate change. Therefore, the need to curb greenhouse gas emissions has been well recognized by global researchers, policymakers and academics. Carbon emissions of hotel operations have seized the attention of global researchers. However, carbon emissions of the hotels in developing countries remain to be a less explored domain. Therefore, carbon emissions of Sri Lankan hotels were explored using a case study approach. Five hotels in the Colombo suburb were explored, which revealed that each hotel released more than 7000 tons of carbon annually. Results further indicated the use of purchased electricity as the dominant source of carbon emissions. Emissions caused by transport activities were not included in the calculations due to the unavailability of data. Recommendations were made to overcome the issues identified during data collection as well as to reduce the carbon emissions from hotel operations. Wider adoption of the methodology used in this research will benefit the hotels to keep track of the carbon emissions using a systematic approach. Full article
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Article
The Influence of an Integrated Driving on the Performance of Different Passive Heating and Cooling Methods for Buildings
Buildings 2019, 9(11), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9110224 - 23 Oct 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1778
Abstract
Passive cooling and heating methods within buildings are studied a lot nowadays. Nevertheless, their performance considering their driving has not been deeply studied. Therefore, the performance of the most common passive heating and cooling methods is analyzed in this document. The methods are [...] Read more.
Passive cooling and heating methods within buildings are studied a lot nowadays. Nevertheless, their performance considering their driving has not been deeply studied. Therefore, the performance of the most common passive heating and cooling methods is analyzed in this document. The methods are divided into three categories: operable, semi-operable, and not operable. They are studied under different conditions of operation in order to estimate their performance in terms of indoor temperature increase/decrease in a single dwelling. The study is carried out with the thermal simulation program EnergyPlus, using a dwelling in Mexico City as a case study, which is validated with literature that studied passive methods for similar climates. Furthermore, for an integrated driving, four features of operation of the passive methods are considered: mobility, maintenance, assembly, and consumables. The results show that a correct use of these features of driving might achieve a significant temperature drop in the case of cooling and a significant indoor temperature increase in the case of heating. This is reflected in a considerable amount of energy saving compared to a conventional heating/cooling heat-pump system running under regular conditions, which is taken as a reference of consumption. Thereby, it is concluded that the proper usage, considered here as the correct application of the four features of operation mainly by the occupants, might have a high influence in their performance of increase/decrease of the indoor temperature. Thus, it is highly recommended to follow up their performance once installed and not to suppose an optimal performance ever after. Full article
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Article
Sustainable Strategies for the Adaptive Reuse of Religious Heritage: A Social Opportunity
Buildings 2019, 9(10), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9100211 - 28 Sep 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2122
Abstract
The legacy of built heritage is one of the most critical questions of our time—the objective of preserving its immaterial values and exploiting its original vocation brings about challenges related to the history, the identity, and the quality of life of the concerned [...] Read more.
The legacy of built heritage is one of the most critical questions of our time—the objective of preserving its immaterial values and exploiting its original vocation brings about challenges related to the history, the identity, and the quality of life of the concerned territory. This especially applies to religious buildings given their strong bond with collective memory. The aim of this research is to determine whether allocating new uses that pursuit social benefits for the community is a possible implementation of the aforementioned purposes and whether it better addresses a broader view of sustainable development, which encompasses equity and well-being. The methodology combines careful knowledge of the building, comparing residual performances of the fabric with new functions. We present a case study, with focus on healthcare-related accommodation facilities and the issue of healthcare migration, which aims to convert a dismissed capuchin convent, located in Villagonia (Taormina, Italy), into a shelter house to host families whose relatives are being treated at the neighbourhood medical centre. This proposal shows that heritage buildings, especially religious ones, have outstanding material and immaterial potential and, through good reuse practices, they provide a valuable opportunity to address the overarching objective of social sustainability. Full article
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Article
Circular and Flexible Indoor Partitioning—A Design Conceptualization of Innovative Materials and Value Chains
Buildings 2019, 9(9), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9090194 - 26 Aug 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2383
Abstract
This article sheds light on the materialization and operation of residential partitioning wall components in relation to circular and flexible performance. The hypothesis is twofold: (1) A stronger integration of materialization and operation aspects is indispensable in establishing sustainable value-models, and (2) recent [...] Read more.
This article sheds light on the materialization and operation of residential partitioning wall components in relation to circular and flexible performance. The hypothesis is twofold: (1) A stronger integration of materialization and operation aspects is indispensable in establishing sustainable value-models, and (2) recent innovations, concerning the reversibility of material connections, will help disrupting the status-quo in that respect. Attention is drawn to renewable natural fibre composites (NFC), reversible adhesives, and biodegradable insulation materials. After a background sketch regarding the notion of time, change, and material circularity in design and planning, the housing challenge in the Amsterdam metropolitan area (AMA, the Netherlands) is described. Next, a design conceptualization stage is introduced, informed by two methods and tools in particular: Circ-Flex assessment, and activity-based spatial material flow analysis. Results of the conceptualization stage are presented regarding materialization and operation, culminating in Circ-Flex partitioning components, more specifically: Side panels and insulation. It was found that NFC can tackle current issues relating, most prominently, to circularity performance. Associated modifications in the value-chain occur, above all, in raw material sourcing, manufacturing, reutilization logistics, and data-sharing. The outcomes are valid for multiple building components other than indoor partitioning, such as kitchens and furniture, but also insulation—and interior side-sheeting—of walls and roofs in energy-renovations. Full article
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Article
Advantages of an Interdisciplinary Approach to the Sustainable Development of Two Scenarios in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Buildings 2019, 9(6), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9060143 - 13 Jun 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1941
Abstract
Presently, almost all human activities (agriculture, transport, industry, construction sector, etc.) have an adverse impact on the environment. The construction sector in the EU alone accounts for a big part of the total energy consumption and emission of CO2. Two-thirds of [...] Read more.
Presently, almost all human activities (agriculture, transport, industry, construction sector, etc.) have an adverse impact on the environment. The construction sector in the EU alone accounts for a big part of the total energy consumption and emission of CO2. Two-thirds of the energy used in the construction sector in Europe goes to housing. As the number of residents grows, the requirements for new housing increase, causing an additional increase in energy consumption and new CO2 emissions for construction, maintenance, lighting, ventilation, cooling, and heating. Benefits of detailed planning of sustainable development of the construction sector are manifold. The most important benefits are sustainable use of resources, economic and social development of communities, increasing employment rates, improvements of living conditions and protection of the environment. Two scenarios for the development of an energy-efficient construction sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a focus on housing facilities are developed, in order to address the needs and benefits of detailed planning. Both scenarios analyze the effects on job creation, the impact of used construction materials on the environment and eco balance of local products. The difference in the solutions confirms the benefits of an interdisciplinary approach to the planning of sustainable systems so that not only technical, but also economic and social benefits can be evaluated thanks to the combination of methods used. Full article
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Article
Assessment of Manufacturing Processes for Automated Timber-Based Panelised Prefabrication
Buildings 2019, 9(5), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9050125 - 16 May 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2577
Abstract
The manufacturing processes involved in the prefabrication of timber-based panelised walls is presented and explored in this study, through current industry practice and the latest automated technological solutions. A weighted Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA) was constructed as a preliminary mechanism for assessment of [...] Read more.
The manufacturing processes involved in the prefabrication of timber-based panelised walls is presented and explored in this study, through current industry practice and the latest automated technological solutions. A weighted Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA) was constructed as a preliminary mechanism for assessment of current practices in conducting manufacturing processes compared to leading automated solutions. The developed method can be used to evaluate any timber-based wall panel manufacturing assembly line and to suggest recommended automation-based improvements on a process level in order to achieve prefabricated manufacturing objectives specific to local conditions and requirements. This has been demonstrated and verified through a case study with an industry partner. The resultant recommendations obtained close the knowledge gaps in the market and academia in uncovering recommended areas for investment and development to advance assembly lines at certain key processes in the production of timber-based walls for panelised construction. Full article
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