Special Issue "Buildings, Design and Climate Change"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. David Dernie

Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS, UK
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +44-20-7911-5130

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change is increasingly acknowledged as a significant global challenge. The full extent of the momentum of change, its implications for our cities and landscapes, is still emerging, but it the imperative to act now is abundantly clear. Across the world we see a shift to resilient development strategies, renewable energies and low carbon technologies in order to adapt to and mitigate against unpredictable weather events, rising sea levels, soaring urban temperatures. Increasingly, climate-related developments are facilitated by legislative frameworks and financial structures being put in place in order to respond to issues of human risk posed by environmental change.

At the same time, the implications of climate change for the spatiality of our built and natural environments, for building forms, community structures and patterns of life, landscapes and urban design are far-reaching and complex. They call for political action, new financial models, renewable community-based energy design and behavioral change.  Tomorrow’s ‘Places of Climate Change’ are fundamentally about the wellbeing of future generations. Climate change design calls for new architectural and landscape design paradigms. Moreover, new ways of conceiving forms for living in a changed environment, of re-shaping what already exists, will require integrated, muti-disciplinary thinking where the role of creative, design thinking is paramount.

This Special Issue of Buildings examines the role of creativity and design in buildings, in the space between buildings and the natural environment for climate change. It calls for papers that explore the role of design in a broad sense, ranging from design of policy or finance, to buildings or landscape. The issue puts design and imagination at the heart of the climate change debate to integrate and explore visions for new ways of living in a world transformed by climate change.

Prof. Dr. David Dernie
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 550 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
  • building design
  • urban landscape design
  • mitigation
  • adaptation
  • urban heat island
  • sustainable urban infrastructures

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle A Methodology to Support Decision-Making Towards an Energy-Efficiency Conscious Design of Residential Building Envelope Retrofitting
Buildings 2015, 5(4), 1221-1241; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5041221
Received: 24 September 2015 / Revised: 22 October 2015 / Accepted: 10 November 2015 / Published: 17 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1326 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over the next decade investment in building energy savings needs to increase, together with the rate and depth of renovations, to achieve the required reduction in building-related CO2 emissions. Although the need to improve residential buildings has been identified, guidelines come as
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Over the next decade investment in building energy savings needs to increase, together with the rate and depth of renovations, to achieve the required reduction in building-related CO2 emissions. Although the need to improve residential buildings has been identified, guidelines come as general suggestions that fail to address the diversity of each project and give specific answers on how these requirements can be implemented in the design. During early design phases, architects are in search of a design direction to make informed decisions, particularly with regard to the building envelope, which mostly regulates energy demand. To result in an energy-efficient residential stock, this paper proposes a methodology to support refurbishment strategies design. The methodology, called “façade refurbishment toolbox (FRT) approach”, is based on compiling and quantifying retrofitting measures that can be also seen as “tools” used to upgrade the building’s energy performance. The result of the proposed methodology enables designers to make informed decisions that lead to energy and sustainability conscious designs, without dictating an optimal solution, from the energy point of view alone. Its applicability is validated through interviews with refurbishment stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings, Design and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle The Environmental Design of Working Spaces in Equatorial Highlands Zones: The Case of Bogotá
Buildings 2015, 5(4), 1105-1130; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5041105
Received: 5 June 2015 / Revised: 14 September 2015 / Accepted: 17 September 2015 / Published: 9 October 2015
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Abstract
Recent empirical investigations have indicated that the majority of occupants in office buildings would appreciate contact with the external environment, especially in cities where the climate is mild for part of the year. Supported by the possibilities of adaptive thermal models, the design
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Recent empirical investigations have indicated that the majority of occupants in office buildings would appreciate contact with the external environment, especially in cities where the climate is mild for part of the year. Supported by the possibilities of adaptive thermal models, the design of naturally ventilated buildings has been elaborated since the decade of 1990s. More communal areas rather than private ones are demanded due to the importance of social interaction and knowledge transfer among employees. In this context, this paper investigates the possibility of daylight and thermal comfort in naturally ventilated working environments, located in cities of mild climatic conditions, by redefining the parameters of a façade’s design and exploring coupling strategies with the outdoors. For this purpose, the city of Bogotá (Latitude 4°7′ N), in Colombia, a place with great potential for passive strategies, is taken as the geographic context of this research, which is supported by fieldwork with occupants of 37 office buildings and analytical work. The survey revealed that being close to a window is valued by the majority. Furthermore, 50% would like to have informal areas and outdoor spaces attached to their working environments. In additithe analytical studies showed how the combination of a set of environmental design strategies, including a schedule for coupling and decoupling of indoor spaces with the outdoors and a variation of occupancy density, made thermal comfort possible in free running working spaces in Bogotá. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings, Design and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle The Mitigative Potential of Urban Environments and Their Microclimates
Buildings 2015, 5(3), 783-801; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5030783
Received: 4 May 2015 / Revised: 20 June 2015 / Accepted: 29 June 2015 / Published: 7 July 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1076 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cities play a crucial role in climate change: More than 50% of the growing population lives in cities producing most of the global GDP but also 78% of greenhouse gases (GHG) responsible for climate change. Moreover, due to their highly modified land-use and
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Cities play a crucial role in climate change: More than 50% of the growing population lives in cities producing most of the global GDP but also 78% of greenhouse gases (GHG) responsible for climate change. Moreover, due to their highly modified land-use and intensive activities, cities are at the forefront of the most rapid environmental and climatic change ever experienced by mankind. Yet, cities’ potential to mitigate both climate change and their own environment is underexploited. This paper explores ideas related to the potential of urban environments to modify their microclimates, reflecting on the overlapping potential between mitigative and adaptive actions. These actions in cities can not only tackle some of the largest contributing factors to global climate change but offer short- to medium-term benefits that could drive more immediate socioeconomic and behavioral changes. This review proposes and discusses a new preliminary definition of urban environments as microclimate modifiers—Mitigative urban Environments and Microclimates (MitEM)—and calls for further research into: (a) inter-connecting the full range of mitigative and adaptive initiatives already being undertaken in many cities and maximizing their input systemically; (b) developing a common and holistic definition of MitEM; (c) promoting its uptake at policy level and amongst the key stakeholders, based on its social and public value beyond the environmental. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings, Design and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Building Envelope Over-Cladding: Impact on Energy Balance and Microclimate
Buildings 2015, 5(2), 715-735; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5020715
Received: 23 March 2015 / Revised: 2 June 2015 / Accepted: 15 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1618 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A considerable part of recent EU policies is currently addressed at developing effective measures to support the transition towards a low carbon society according to the principles and goals of Roadmap to 2050. In this general framework the links between the development of
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A considerable part of recent EU policies is currently addressed at developing effective measures to support the transition towards a low carbon society according to the principles and goals of Roadmap to 2050. In this general framework the links between the development of low-emission strategies and climate-resilient approaches to buildings play a key role. As most part of the existing building stock was built before the 1980s, retrofit and renovation actions are widely investigated. Despite progress in this field, relatively little attention has been given to the connections between the achievable energy savings and the energy investment needed to pursue the renovation process and to how technological choices can impact on the energy balance according to a multi-criteria perspective. The paper will explore how different technologies and design solutions to building envelopes cladding contribute to the reduction of the heat gains in urban environments and how appropriate adaptive strategies can further mitigate against accelerated greenhouse emissions. It will discuss the relationship between individual building performance and consequent effect on external environment. The effects of technological and material choices are evaluated for some design scenarios and conditions in order to develop an indicative impact mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings, Design and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Climate Change Mitigation through Energy Benchmarking in the GCC Green Buildings Codes
Buildings 2015, 5(2), 700-714; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5020700
Received: 7 April 2015 / Accepted: 26 May 2015 / Published: 5 June 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1376 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is well known that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) of countries resides at or close to the top of the global table of CO2 emissions per capita and its economy relies heavily on its fossil fuels. This provides a context for
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It is well known that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) of countries resides at or close to the top of the global table of CO2 emissions per capita and its economy relies heavily on its fossil fuels. This provides a context for green building programs that initially aim to create an understanding of emission pathways within the GCC and hence develop approaches to their reduction in the built environment. A set of criteria will allow specific analysis to be undertaken linked to the spatial dimensions of the sector under study. In this paper, approaches to modelling energy consumption and CO2 emissions are presented. As investment in the built environment continues, natural resources dwindle and the cost of energy increases, delivering low-energy buildings will become mandatory. In this study, a hybrid modelling approach (bottom-top & top-bottom) is presented. Energy benchmarks are developed for different buildings’ uses and compared with international standards. The main goals are to establish design benchmarks and develop a modelling tool that contains specific information for all buildings types (existing and new), as well as planned and projected growths within the various city districts, then integrate this database within a geospatial information system that will allow us to answer a range of “what-if”-type questions about various intervention strategies, emissions savings, and acceptability of pre-defined course of actions in the city sector under consideration. The spatial carbon intensity may be adjusted over a certain period, (e.g., through local generation (microgeneration)) or due to an increasing proportion of lower carbon-energy in the generation mix and this can be related to the sector and city overall consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings, Design and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Optimizing Whole House Deep Energy Retrofit Packages: A Case Study of Existing Chicago-Area Homes
Buildings 2015, 5(2), 323-353; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5020323
Received: 23 March 2015 / Revised: 21 April 2015 / Accepted: 28 April 2015 / Published: 4 May 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1393 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Improving the energy efficiency of the residential building stock plays a key role in mitigating global climate change. New guidelines are targeting widespread application of deep energy retrofits to existing homes that reduce their annual energy use by 50%, but questions remain as
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Improving the energy efficiency of the residential building stock plays a key role in mitigating global climate change. New guidelines are targeting widespread application of deep energy retrofits to existing homes that reduce their annual energy use by 50%, but questions remain as to how to identify and prioritize the most cost-effective retrofit measures. This work demonstrates the utility of whole building energy simulation and optimization software to construct a “tool-box” of prescriptive deep energy retrofits that can be applied to large portions of the existing housing stock. We consider 10 generally representative typology groups of existing single-family detached homes built prior to 1978 in the Chicago area for identifying cost-optimal deep energy retrofit packages. Simulations were conducted in BEopt and EnergyPlus operating on a cloud-computing platform to first identify cost-optimal enclosure retrofits and then identify cost-optimal upgrades to heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. Results reveal that prescriptive retrofit packages achieving at least 50% site energy savings can be defined for most homes through a combination of envelope retrofits, lighting upgrades, and upgrades to existing HVAC system efficiency or conversion to mini-split heat pumps. The average upfront cost of retrofits is estimated to be ~$14,400, resulting in average annual site energy savings of ~54% and an average simple payback period of ~25 years. Widespread application of these prescriptive retrofit packages across the existing Chicago-area residential building stock is predicted to reduce annual site energy use by 3.7 × 1016 J and yield approximately $280 million USD in annual energy savings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings, Design and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Building to Net Zero in the Developing World
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 56-68; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010056
Received: 13 October 2014 / Accepted: 15 January 2015 / Published: 23 January 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1959 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper discusses the design of a zero energy home in Panama. The standards for zero site energy as well as other performance factors are used as the basis for the analysis. A description of the construction type, energy use, active and renewable
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This paper discusses the design of a zero energy home in Panama. The standards for zero site energy as well as other performance factors are used as the basis for the analysis. A description of the construction type, energy use, active and renewable systems, and other features of this particular zero energy building are provided to facilitate a better understanding of efficient and sustainable residential design for hot-humid climates. This understanding is critical to facilitating net zero energy building development in developing regions of the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings, Design and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Climate Based Façade Design for Business Buildings with Examples from Central London
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 16-38; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5010016
Received: 13 September 2014 / Accepted: 5 January 2015 / Published: 9 January 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2608 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a disconnection between commercial architecture and environmental thinking, where green features can be included as part of a strategy for gaining approvals and marketing projects, but those features are not reviewed after completion and occupation of the building and knowledge is
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There is a disconnection between commercial architecture and environmental thinking, where green features can be included as part of a strategy for gaining approvals and marketing projects, but those features are not reviewed after completion and occupation of the building and knowledge is not shared. High levels of air conditioning are still considered unavoidable. Elaborate double skin façades and complex motorized shading systems are adopted; often masking an underlying lack of basic environmental thinking. This article returns (in principle) to the physics of comfort in buildings and the passive strategies which can help achieve this with a low energy and carbon footprint. Passive and active façade design strategies are outlined as the basis of a critical tool and a design methodology for new projects. A new architectural sensibility can arise based on modeling the inputs of sunlight, daylight and air temperature in time and space at the early stages of design. Early but sound strategies can be tested and refined using advanced environmental modeling techniques. Architecture and environmental thinking can proceed hand in hand through the design process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings, Design and Climate Change)
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