Special Issue "Sustainable Buildings: Design for Comfort and Users"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2015).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Adrian Pitts
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Urban Design, Architecture and Sustainability, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH, UK
Interests: climate sensitive/bioclimatic design; planning and design strategies at neighbourhood and urban level; environmental assessment techniques; design for health, well-being and security
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

May I ask you to consider submitting a paper for this Special Issue of the Journal Buildings; the focus of which is on the strong and essential links between sustainable buildings and comfort.

The design, construction, and operation of a building designed to be sustainable should not imply that the building is any less suitable in terms of conditions experienced. Indeed, occupants often prefer to be in buildings that are more naturally conditioned, rather than in a sealed, air conditioned space. Such buildings are often more sustainable, but require greater skills on the part of the designer to be most successful. A ‘forgiveness factor’ is also known to exist in which conditions outside the prescribed norms (sometimes associated with daylight, natural ventilation, and occupant controlled conditions) are accepted. Papers which address research and practical applications in these areas are invited.

Comfort considerations may embrace lighting, acoustic, and thermal issues. Contributions that concern any of these aspects are welcomed. A sense of comfort may also be associated with providing a healthy environment and places/spaces that also provide a sense of security. Potential authors may incorporate these themes too.

Designs accounting for local weather conditions are important. There are different forms of bioclimatic construction that may involve adjustments to interior and micro-climates to combine sustainability with comfort. Contributions which address comfort within an international context are welcomed, as are those dealing with user/occupant needs and preferences, comfort standards, and relevant aspects of post-occupancy evaluation.

Prof. Dr. Adrian Pitts
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 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

  • sustainability
  • comfort
  • occupants and users
  • bioclimatic design
  • natural
  • ecological standards
  • practice

Published Papers (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Diurnal Thermal Behavior of Pavements, Vegetation, and Water Pond in a Hot-Humid City
Buildings 2016, 6(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings6010002 - 24 Dec 2015
Cited by 13
Abstract
This study investigated the diurnal thermal behavior of several urban surfaces and landscape components, including pavements, vegetation, and a water pond. The field experiment was conducted in a university campus of Guangzhou, South China, which is characterized by a hot and humid summer. [...] Read more.
This study investigated the diurnal thermal behavior of several urban surfaces and landscape components, including pavements, vegetation, and a water pond. The field experiment was conducted in a university campus of Guangzhou, South China, which is characterized by a hot and humid summer. The temperature of ground surface and grass leaves and the air temperature and humidity from 0.1 to 1.5 m heights were measured for a period of 24 h under hot summer conditions. The results showed that the concrete and granite slab pavements elevated the temperature of the air above them throughout the day. In contrast, the trees and the pond lowered the air temperature near ground during the daytime but produced a slight warming effect during the nighttime. The influence of vegetation on air temperature and humidity is affected by the configurations of greenery. Compared to the open lawn, the grass shaded by trees was more effective in cooling and the mixture of shrub and grass created a stronger cooling effect during the nighttime. The knowledge of thermal behavior of various urban surfaces and landscape components is an important tool for planners and designers. If utilized properly, it can lead to climatic rehabilitation in urban areas and an improvement of the outdoor thermal environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings: Design for Comfort and Users)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Contribution of Portuguese Vernacular Building Strategies to Indoor Thermal Comfort and Occupants’ Perception
Buildings 2015, 5(4), 1242-1264; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5041242 - 17 Nov 2015
Cited by 11
Abstract
Solar passive strategies that have been developed in vernacular architecture from different regions are a response to specific climate effects. These strategies are usually simple, low-tech and have low potential environmental impact. For this reason, several studies highlight them as having potential to [...] Read more.
Solar passive strategies that have been developed in vernacular architecture from different regions are a response to specific climate effects. These strategies are usually simple, low-tech and have low potential environmental impact. For this reason, several studies highlight them as having potential to reduce the demands of non-renewable energy for buildings operation. In this paper, the climatic contrast between northern and southern parts of mainland Portugal is presented, namely the regions of Beira Alta and Alentejo. Additionally, it discusses the contribution of different climate-responsive strategies developed in vernacular architecture from both regions to assure thermal comfort conditions. In Beira Alta, the use of glazed balconies as a strategy to capture solar gains is usual, while in Alentejo the focus is on passive cooling strategies. To understand the effectiveness of these strategies, thermal performances and comfort conditions of two case studies were evaluated based on the adaptive comfort model. Field tests included measurement of hygrothermal parameters and surveys on occupants’ thermal sensation. From the results, it has been found that the case studies have shown a good thermal performance by passive means alone and that the occupants feel comfortable, except during winter where there is the need to use simple heating systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings: Design for Comfort and Users)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Summer Thermal Comfort and Self-Shading Geometries in Passivhaus Dwellings: A Pilot Study Using Future UK Climates
Buildings 2015, 5(3), 964-984; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5030964 - 27 Aug 2015
Abstract
This study uses numerical thermal simulation to investigate the potential use of building geometry to eliminate or reduce current and future thermal discomfort overheating risk in UK Passivhaus dwellings. The study focused on the optimum inclination of a south façade to make use [...] Read more.
This study uses numerical thermal simulation to investigate the potential use of building geometry to eliminate or reduce current and future thermal discomfort overheating risk in UK Passivhaus dwellings. The study focused on the optimum inclination of a south façade to make use of the building shape to self-protect itself. Dynamic simulation modelling software was used to test a range of different inclined façades with regards to their effectiveness in reducing overheating risk. The research found that implementing a tilted façade could completely eliminate the risk of overheating for current UK climates, but with some consequences for natural ventilation and daylighting. Future overheating was significantly reduced by the tilted façade. However, geometric considerations could not eradicate completely the risk of thermal discomfort overheating, particularly by the 2080s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings: Design for Comfort and Users)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Thermal Comfort Studies in Naturally Ventilated Buildings in Jakarta, Indonesia
Buildings 2015, 5(3), 917-932; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5030917 - 14 Aug 2015
Cited by 9
Abstract
Many thermal comfort studies have been conducted in offices, classrooms and dwellings, but few in public buildings such as cathedrals, museums and markets. A recent thermal comfort study has been conducted in three naturally ventilated (NV) buildings, a cathedral, a museum and a [...] Read more.
Many thermal comfort studies have been conducted in offices, classrooms and dwellings, but few in public buildings such as cathedrals, museums and markets. A recent thermal comfort study has been conducted in three naturally ventilated (NV) buildings, a cathedral, a museum and a market, in Jakarta, between March and April 2014. There is a curiosity as to whether people doing slightly different activities with slightly different clothing insulation values, in different building types, might have different comfort temperatures. Approximately the same number of subjects (respondents) participated in the study of each building. Using the same monitoring equipment, results of this study show that subjects’ comfort temperatures were found to be similar in all of the buildings; however, it was found that the spread of the subjects’ comfort range in the three buildings was significantly different. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings: Design for Comfort and Users)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Assessment of the Impact of Complex Healthcare Features on Construction Waste Generation
Buildings 2015, 5(3), 860-879; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5030860 - 07 Aug 2015
Cited by 5
Abstract
Over recent years, the British government has been investing billions of pounds in new and refurbished healthcare building projects. With the rapid growth in investment in healthcare infrastructure throughout the United Kingdom, a number of sustainability issues have been created, including construction waste [...] Read more.
Over recent years, the British government has been investing billions of pounds in new and refurbished healthcare building projects. With the rapid growth in investment in healthcare infrastructure throughout the United Kingdom, a number of sustainability issues have been created, including construction waste generation. There is growing consensus in the literature that healthcare buildings are “complex”, due to their unique functional and operational features, and are thus more prone to generating larger amounts of construction waste. However, no significant research has been undertaken to identify the relationships between complex features in building projects and construction waste production, which is the focus of this study. Twenty-five semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire survey were conducted among healthcare clients, contractors, and architects. A life cycle approach has been adopted in this study to holistically assess and evaluate the effects of complexities with construction waste causes in healthcare projects. The findings reveal that the complex shapes and sizes of rooms, and mechanical and electrical services, significantly impact waste caused by such things as: incomplete briefing, incorrect drawing details, complex designs, non-standard designs, and inadequate communication and coordination in the pre-design, design, and construction stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings: Design for Comfort and Users)
Open AccessArticle
The Design and Simulation of Natural Personalised Ventilation (NPV) System for Multi-Bed Hospital Wards
Buildings 2015, 5(2), 381-404; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings5020381 - 08 May 2015
Cited by 1
Abstract
Adequate ventilation is necessary for thermal comfort and reducing risks from infectious bio-aerosols in hospital wards, but achieving this with mechanical ventilation has carbon and energy implications. Natural ventilation is often limited to window-based designs whose dilution/mixing effectiveness are subject to constraints of [...] Read more.
Adequate ventilation is necessary for thermal comfort and reducing risks from infectious bio-aerosols in hospital wards, but achieving this with mechanical ventilation has carbon and energy implications. Natural ventilation is often limited to window-based designs whose dilution/mixing effectiveness are subject to constraints of wind speed, cross ventilation, and in the case of hospital wards, proximity of patients to external walls. A buoyancy-driven natural ventilation system capable of achieving dilution/mixing was shown to be feasible in a preceding study of novel system called natural personalised ventilation (NPV). This system combined both architecture and airflow engineering principles of space design and buoyancy and was tested and validated (salt-bath experiment) for a single bed ward. This research extends the previous work and is proof-of-concept on the feasibility of NPV system for multi-bed wards. Two different four-bed ward types were investigated of using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations under wind-neutral conditions. Results predict that NPV system could deliver fresh air to multiple patients, including those located 10 m away from external wall, with absolute flow rates of between 32 L·s−1 and 54 L·s−1 for each patient/bed. Compared to same wards simulated using window design, ingress of airborne contaminants into patients’ breathing zone and summer overheating potential were minimised, while overall ward dilution was maximised. Findings suggest the NPV has potentials for enabling architects and building service engineers to decouple airflow delivery from the visualisation and illumination responsibilities placed upon windows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings: Design for Comfort and Users)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Design of Dwellings and Interior Family Space in China: Understanding the History of Change and Opportunities for Improved Sustainability Practices
Buildings 2014, 4(4), 823-848; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings4040823 - 31 Oct 2014
Cited by 4
Abstract
This paper reviews briefly the recent history of dwelling design in China. It notes the rapid changes that have taken place since the 1980s and identifies the way contemporary procurement processes leave out the final fit-out and decoration/refurbishment. A range of stakeholders were [...] Read more.
This paper reviews briefly the recent history of dwelling design in China. It notes the rapid changes that have taken place since the 1980s and identifies the way contemporary procurement processes leave out the final fit-out and decoration/refurbishment. A range of stakeholders were interviewed, and access was gained to drawings and other technical data that indicated how the secondary processes were carried out. These are largely ungoverned by regulation in the same way necessary for initial design. The key group is the occupants who drive the fit-out and decoration according to personal and cultural requirements, but often with less than perfect understanding of sustainability. The interior design industry has developed rapidly over the same period and was initially lacking in professional knowledge and understanding (something which can still be found). Advice provided to dwelling occupants was based more on appearance than function and efficiency. Over the same period, beneficial modifications to construction processes have been introduced in relation to structural design, and it should be possible to do the same for sustainability-related design issues. The paper advocates: more regulation; better assessment techniques; more information and guidance for home-owners; and a greater focus on energy issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings: Design for Comfort and Users)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Accounting for the Uncertainty Related to Building Occupants with Regards to Visual Comfort: A Literature Survey on Drivers and Models
Buildings 2016, 6(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings6010005 - 06 Feb 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
The interactions between building occupants and control systems have a high influence on energy consumption and on indoor environmental quality. In the perspective of a future of “nearly-zero” energy buildings, it is crucial to analyse the energy-related interactions deeply to predict realistic energy [...] Read more.
The interactions between building occupants and control systems have a high influence on energy consumption and on indoor environmental quality. In the perspective of a future of “nearly-zero” energy buildings, it is crucial to analyse the energy-related interactions deeply to predict realistic energy use during the design stage. Since the reaction to thermal, acoustic, or visual stimuli is not the same for every human being, monitoring the behaviour inside buildings is an essential step to assert differences in energy consumption related to different interactions. Reliable information concerning occupants’ behaviours in a building could contribute to a better evaluation of building energy performances and design robustness, as well as supporting the development of occupants’ education to energy awareness. The present literature survey enlarges our understanding of which environmental conditions influence occupants’ manual controlling of the system in offices and by consequence the energy consumption. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible drivers for light-switching to model occupant behaviour in office buildings. The probability of switching lighting systems on or off was related to the occupancy and differentiated for arrival, intermediate, and departure periods. The switching probability has been reported to be higher during the entering or the leaving time in relation to contextual variables. In the analysis of switch-on actions, users were often clustered between those who take daylight level into account and switch on lights only if necessary and people who totally disregard the natural lighting. This underlines the importance of how individuality is at the base of the definition of the different types of users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings: Design for Comfort and Users)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop