Special Issue "Eco-Towers: Technology, Sustainability, and Resilience"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Kheir Al-Kodmany

Department of Urban Planning and Policy, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 312-413-3884
Fax: +1 312 413 2314
Interests: tall buildings; ecological design; biomimicry; intelligent systems; smart skins; renewable energy; wood skyscraper; retrofitting skyscrapers; vertical farms; green roofs; security systems; ultra-high speed and regenerative energy elevators; social life; life cycle assessment; recycling; bio-degradable materials; sustainable high-rise development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The skyscraper, as a building typology, has been harshly criticized as unsustainable. Skyscrapers demand more materials and primary structural systems, requiring enormous tons of steel, concrete and glass, as well as substantial streams of energy for operation. Skyscrapers are often poorly insulated, and consume large amounts of energy in order to artificially light, heat, and cool the buildings, resulting in generating excessive greenhouse emissions. Further, considerable wastes in energy and building materials have been observed in constructing these large structures. The problems of skyscrapers are becoming worse since they are increasingly larger and taller structures that contain a greater number of people, requiring greater resources to construct and involving exorbitant operational costs to run.

These aforementioned problems highlight the significance of the eco-tower project in providing a new type of skyscraper that is environmentally-friendly and integrates well with the city. The promise of the eco-tower is that, given the large-scale problems of conventional skyscrapers, any improvements in their design and construction will be significant. Since tall buildings serve many people and exert powerful demand on the environment and existing infrastructures for transportation, sewer, and electrical grid, the green design may better serve tenants, mitigate environmental impacts and enhance integration with the city infrastructure. Skyscrapers’ long life cycle offers the greatest justifications for recycling precious resources and employing green features when constructing new skyscrapers or retrofitting existing ones. These accumulated factors have engendered a substantial demand on the eco-tower project.

Considering the increasing studies, research, and implementation of green and ecological towers, Buildings has decided to devote a Special Issue to bring together articles that focus on this topic.

For this Special Issue of Buildings on “Eco-Towers: Technology, Sustainability, and Resilience”, we are looking for original papers that report on topics such as:

  • New technological advancement in the realm of green tall buildings including glass, elevators, destination dispatching systems; shading systems, structural systems, security and safety systems, nanomaterials; solar glass; heliostats;
  • State-of-the-art design that harnesses renewable energy sources including solar, wind, geothermal, biomass,
  • Innovative ecological design that supports natural ventilation, daylighting, comfort, health; increases productivity, and enhances atmospheric qualities; e.g. green vertical walls,
  • Research that provides analysis, modeling, and simulation of all aspects of building performance including energy production and consumption, thermal performance, etc.
  • Contextual green design, represented by a tall building or a cluster of tall buildings that establishes symbiotic relationships with the surrounding environment, e.g. soil, river, lake, air, plants, etc.

Original papers that address related topics on other types of buildings are also encouraged.

Papers will be published after acceptance following a full peer-review process.

Prof. Dr. Kheir Al-Kodmany
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

  • new design culture
  • technological advancement
  • climate change
  • soft infrastructure
  • elasticity
  • safety
  • endurance
  • shifting government priorities

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Life-Cycle Energy Implications of Downtown High-Rise vs. Suburban Low-Rise Living: An Overview and Quantitative Case Study for Chicago
Buildings 2015, 5(3), 1003-1024; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5031003
Received: 30 June 2015 / Accepted: 25 August 2015 / Published: 7 September 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1678 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is commonly accepted that the concentration of people in high-density urban city centers, which are typically dominated by medium- and high-rise buildings located close to public transit systems, offers greater overall energy efficiency and lower life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions than lower-density expanded [...] Read more.
It is commonly accepted that the concentration of people in high-density urban city centers, which are typically dominated by medium- and high-rise buildings located close to public transit systems, offers greater overall energy efficiency and lower life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions than lower-density expanded suburbs, which are dominated by low-rise single-family buildings and larger per-person automobile travel requirements. However, few studies have combined quantitative analyses of the life-cycle energy use of both buildings and transportation in both urban and suburban areas, especially in American cities. This work uses a variety of data sources to provide a quantitative comparison of the life-cycle energy consumption associated with residential life (including buildings, transportation, and supporting infrastructure) in prototypical downtown high-rises and suburban low-rises in and around Chicago, IL. We estimate that downtown high-rise living in Chicago, IL accounts for approximately 25% more life-cycle energy per person per year than suburban low-rise living, on average, contrary to some common beliefs (best estimates were ~141 and ~113 GJ/person/year, respectively). Building operational energy use was found to be the largest contributor of the total life-cycle energy in both the downtown high-rise and suburban low-rise cases, followed by vehicle operational energy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-Towers: Technology, Sustainability, and Resilience)
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Open AccessArticle Emerging Towers in Bayraklı: Sustainability as a Branding Strategy or a Tool for Local Development?
Buildings 2015, 5(3), 834-859; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5030834
Received: 14 June 2015 / Revised: 22 July 2015 / Accepted: 27 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2984 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability and eco-friendly towers have been among the most discussed topics of contemporary high-rise building design. High-rise buildings have been an important part of the modern economy with their concentration of human capital and branding value for the urban context. In addition, during [...] Read more.
Sustainability and eco-friendly towers have been among the most discussed topics of contemporary high-rise building design. High-rise buildings have been an important part of the modern economy with their concentration of human capital and branding value for the urban context. In addition, during the recent years, to address the problems of sprawl, environmental, and ecological concerns, sustainable high-rise building design has gained further significance and visibility in architecture and planning literature. In existing literature, sustainability of high-rises is defined mainly through ecological design and green architecture principles in individual building scale. However, sustainability in the case of high-rises remains an ill-defined term, as there is neglect of further long term effects of these buildings on the social, cultural, economic, and resiliency contexts of cities. When not integrated with the broader urban context, sustainability falls into the gap to be perceived as “greenwash”, which stands for a superficially-employed concept used as a fashionable branding strategy. Within this general framework, this study will examine the emerging towers in Bayrakli, Izmir, which is designated by the local government as a high-rise development zone. The study will focus on high-rise buildings (completed and under construction) in relation to the perception of sustainability and question whether or not sustainability is used as a greenwash branding strategy or a contextual element that is well-embedded in architectural design process and urban planning decisions. The method of research will be a descriptive case study through semi-structured interviews with the design team and real estate professionals of the buildings, as well as media analysis and consideration of the local municipality reports about Bayrakli. The results indicate that sustainability has become a principle embraced and advertised in the building scale as an environmental concern more than it is embraced in the urban and social context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-Towers: Technology, Sustainability, and Resilience)
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Open AccessArticle Supertall Asia/Middle East: Technological Responses and Contextual Impacts
Buildings 2015, 5(3), 814-833; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5030814
Received: 3 June 2015 / Revised: 24 July 2015 / Accepted: 24 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1412 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Supported by rapid economic growth, major cities in Asia and the Middle East have been rising as new centers for tall buildings. This article reviews the state of tall building developments in Asian and Middle Eastern countries with an emphasis on supertall buildings, [...] Read more.
Supported by rapid economic growth, major cities in Asia and the Middle East have been rising as new centers for tall buildings. This article reviews the state of tall building developments in Asian and Middle Eastern countries with an emphasis on supertall buildings, with their greater urban and global impacts. Focusing primarily on physical construction, this article examines technological responses for building tall in Asian and Middle Eastern contexts. The architectural transformation and globalization of what was once called the “American Building Type” in Asian and Middle Eastern countries is studied. Sustainable design technology transfer and adjustment in Asian and Middle Eastern climates are presented. Further, future prospects on supertall design in Asian and Middle Eastern contexts are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-Towers: Technology, Sustainability, and Resilience)
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Open AccessArticle Dynamic Simulation of the Green Roofs Impact on Building Energy Performance, Case Study of Antananarivo, Madagascar
Buildings 2015, 5(2), 497-520; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5020497
Received: 27 January 2015 / Revised: 23 April 2015 / Accepted: 5 May 2015 / Published: 19 May 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (908 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Green roofs improve building energy performance and constitute an alternative to sustainable buildings. A green roof model is dynamically coupled with a building thermal model to assess its energy performance that takes into account the indoor air temperature dynamic changes. Under the climate [...] Read more.
Green roofs improve building energy performance and constitute an alternative to sustainable buildings. A green roof model is dynamically coupled with a building thermal model to assess its energy performance that takes into account the indoor air temperature dynamic changes. Under the climate conditions in Antananarivo, we compared green and conventional roofs. The present study shows that green roofs protect the roof structure under extreme temperature and large temperature fluctuations. For the case of Antananarivo, the amplitude of the temperature fluctuations at the top face of the support is reduced by 28 °C when using green roof. The impact of the green roof on indoor air temperature and energy demand is investigated. The vegetation decreases the maximum indoor air temperature and improves the building thermal comfort during summer days. It has no effect on the minimum indoor air temperature, but additional soil thickness can increase it. In addition, a global sensitivity analysis, which is carried out on the proposed model without considering any specific weather data, allows us to identify the most influential parameters on the energy demand. It has been found that green roofs have almost insignificant thermal impact in insulated buildings; however, their potential prevails over the building envelope and weather characteristics in the case of non-insulated building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-Towers: Technology, Sustainability, and Resilience)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Tall Buildings and Elevators: A Review of Recent Technological Advances
Buildings 2015, 5(3), 1070-1104; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5031070
Received: 26 June 2015 / Revised: 1 August 2015 / Accepted: 31 August 2015 / Published: 17 September 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1292 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Efficient vertical mobility is a critical component of tall building development and construction. This paper investigates recent advances in elevator technology and examines their impact on tall building development. It maps out, organizes, and collates complex and scattered information on multiple aspects of [...] Read more.
Efficient vertical mobility is a critical component of tall building development and construction. This paper investigates recent advances in elevator technology and examines their impact on tall building development. It maps out, organizes, and collates complex and scattered information on multiple aspects of elevator design, and presents them in an accessible and non-technical discourse. Importantly, the paper contextualizes recent technological innovations by examining their implementations in recent major projects including One World Trade Center in New York; Shanghai Tower in Shanghai; Burj Khalifa in Dubai; Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and the green retrofit project of the Empire State Building in New York. Further, the paper discusses future vertical transportation models including a vertical subway concept, a space lift, and electromagnetic levitation technology. As these new technological advancements in elevator design empower architects to create new forms and shapes of large-scale, mixed-use developments, this paper concludes by highlighting the need for interdisciplinary research in incorporating elevators in skyscrapers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-Towers: Technology, Sustainability, and Resilience)
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Open AccessReview Green Retrofitting Skyscrapers: A Review
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 683-710; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040683
Received: 23 June 2014 / Revised: 22 August 2014 / Accepted: 22 September 2014 / Published: 30 September 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (745 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper investigates innovative trends, practices and goals of tall building retrofits while illustrating green design techniques and implementation strategies. The existing building stock is substantially large and represents one of the biggest opportunities to reduce energy waste and curb air pollution and [...] Read more.
This paper investigates innovative trends, practices and goals of tall building retrofits while illustrating green design techniques and implementation strategies. The existing building stock is substantially large and represents one of the biggest opportunities to reduce energy waste and curb air pollution and global warming. In terms of tall buildings, many will benefit from retrofits. There are long lists of inefficient all-glass curtain walls, initially promoted by the modernist movement, that are due to retrofit. The all-glass curtain wall buildings rely on artificial ventilation, cooling and heating, and suffer from poor insulation, which collectively make them energy hogs. Recent practices indicate that green retrofit has helped older buildings to increase energy efficiency, optimize building performance, increase tenants’ satisfaction and boost economic return while reducing greenhouse gas emission. As such, renovating older buildings could be “greener” than destroying them and rebuilding new ones. While some demolition and replacement may remain a necessity to meet contemporary needs, there are significant opportunities to reduce carbon emission and improve existing buildings’ performance by retrofitting them rather than constructing new ones. Practical insight indicates that the confluence of economic and environmental goals is increasingly at the heart of sustainable planning and design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-Towers: Technology, Sustainability, and Resilience)

Other

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Open AccessConcept Paper Correlating Stiffness and Shear Lag Behavior with Brace Configuration of Tall Truss Tube Buildings
Buildings 2015, 5(3), 736-750; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5030736
Received: 8 April 2015 / Revised: 29 May 2015 / Accepted: 1 June 2015 / Published: 25 June 2015
PDF Full-text (1041 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the height of buildings increases, effect of shear lag also becomes considerable in the design of high rise buildings. In this paper, shear lag effect in tall buildings of heights, i.e., 120, 96, 72, 48 and 36 stories of which aspect [...] Read more.
As the height of buildings increases, effect of shear lag also becomes considerable in the design of high rise buildings. In this paper, shear lag effect in tall buildings of heights, i.e., 120, 96, 72, 48 and 36 stories of which aspect ratio ranges from 3 to 10 is studied. Tube in tube structural system with façade bracing is used for designing the building of height 120 story. It is found that bracing system considerably reduces the shear lag effect and hence increases the building stiffness to withstand lateral loads. Different geometric patterns of the bracing system are considered. The best effective geometric configuration of a bracing system is concluded in this study. Lateral force, as wind load, is applied on the buildings as it is the most dominant lateral force for such heights. Wind load is set as per Indian standard code of Practice IS 875 Part 3. For analysis purposes, the SAP2000 software program is used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-Towers: Technology, Sustainability, and Resilience)
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