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Experimental and Computational Assessment of Building Envelopes, Materials and Components

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "G: Energy and Buildings".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021) | Viewed by 19755

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Materials Engineering and Chemistry, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
Interests: heat transport; moisture transport; energy; hygric properties; thermal properties; mortars; cement binders
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Guest Editor
Department of Building Services and Building Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Debrecen, 4032 Debrecen, Hungary
Interests: thermal insulation; energy in buildings; sorption; insulation materials; thermal conductivity
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Materials Engineering and Chemistry, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
Interests: heat transport; moisture transport; computational modeling; energy balance calculations; building energy model
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Materials Engineering and Chemistry, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
Interests: heat transport; moisture transport; computational modeling; energy balance calculations; building energy model
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The building sector is continuously developing towards growing needs raised by the human society. This development requires to address issues in the field of sustainability or energy efficiency that is crucial for the building sector. Another part of such a development is associated with the indoor environmental comfort of building occupants. The growing needs resulted in seeking for new building concepts, materials, or technologies. In that respect, the building envelopes and systems play crucial role as they offer a big potential to meet most of the current demands.

Searching for new building concepts, materials, or systems is not an easy task. It requires a multi-disciplinary approach combining both experimental and computational techniques. The search for new solutions has to include various effects that act on building envelopes and materials, such as interactions between the design elements, effects of the climate, user behavior, etc. Therefore, the newest findings and knowledge in the field of laboratory analyses, in-situ measurements and computational analyses are very welcome.

This special issue was established with the goal of enhancing the knowledge base and stimulating an innovative culture in the building sector. Therefore, the scientists and researchers are encouraged to share their knowledge and recent developments in any field of experimental and computational assessment covering a wide range of scientific topics that include but are not limited to the following:

  • Building materials and components
  • Building envelope systems
  • Energy performance
  • Environmental impact and damage assessment
  • Life-cycle assessment
  • Smart building materials and applications
  • Indoor climate and human comfort

Retrofit and conservation of buildings

Prof. Dr. Robert Černý
Dr. Ákos Lakatos
Dr. Jan Kočí
Dr. Václav Kočí
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2600 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

  • heat and mass transfer
  • building materials
  • buildings
  • envelopes
  • computational modeling
  • experimental analysis
  • life cycle assessment
  • smart materials
  • environmental impact

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 4853 KiB  
Article
Influence of Untreated Metal Waste from 3D Printing on Electrical Properties of Alkali-Activated Slag Mortars
by Lukáš Fiala, Michaela Petříková, Martin Keppert, Martin Böhm, Jaroslav Pokorný and Robert Černý
Energies 2021, 14(23), 8178; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14238178 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1623
Abstract
The negative environmental impact of cement production emphasizes the need to use alternative binders for construction materials. Alkali-activated slag is a more environmentally friendly candidate which can be utilized in the design of mortars with favorable material properties. However, the electrical properties of [...] Read more.
The negative environmental impact of cement production emphasizes the need to use alternative binders for construction materials. Alkali-activated slag is a more environmentally friendly candidate which can be utilized in the design of mortars with favorable material properties. However, the electrical properties of such materials are generally poor and need to be optimized by various metallic or carbon-based admixtures to gain new sophisticated material functions, such as self-sensing, self-heating, or energy harvesting. This paper investigates the influence of waste metal powder originating from the 3D printing process on the material properties of alkali-activated slag mortars. The untreated metal powder was characterized by means of XRD and SEM/EDS analyses revealing high nickel content, which was promising in terms of gaining self-heating function due to the high electrical conductivity and stability of nickel in a highly alkaline environment. The designed mortars with the waste metal admixture in the amount up to 250 wt.% to the slag and aggregates were then characterized in terms of basic physical, thermal, and electrical properties. Compared to the reference mortar, the designed mortars were of increased porosity of 17–32%. The thermal conductivity of ~1–1.1 W/m·K was at a favorable level for self-heating. However, the electrical conductivity of ~10−6 S/m was insufficient to allow the generation of the Joule heat. Even though a high amount of 3D printing waste could be used due to the good workability of mixtures, its additional treatment will be necessary to achieve reasonable, effective electrical conductivity of mortars resulting in self-heating function. Full article
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13 pages, 1188 KiB  
Article
Environmental Efficiency Aspects of Basalt Fibers Reinforcement in Concrete Mixtures
by Jan Fořt, Jan Kočí and Robert Černý
Energies 2021, 14(22), 7736; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14227736 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3044
Abstract
Modern building materials must fulfill not only functional performance criteria but also reduce the environmental impact accompanied by their production. Within the past decades, fiber-reinforced materials have been found to be promising and durable materials that can be utilized in various fields. Among [...] Read more.
Modern building materials must fulfill not only functional performance criteria but also reduce the environmental impact accompanied by their production. Within the past decades, fiber-reinforced materials have been found to be promising and durable materials that can be utilized in various fields. Among a wide range of reinforcement types, basalt fibers have been introduced as an alternative to broadly used steel fibers. As informed by the available literature, benefits linked with less energy-intensive production indicate a very good potential application of this material in terms of functional properties and, at the same time, a reduction in environmental burden. However, only a very limited amount of information is available on the actual impact of using basalt fibers in terms of environmental impact. In order to fill this gap, the present study describes, using Life Cycle Assessment, the environmental impacts associated with the production of basalt fibers. In order provide a more reliable and coherent overview, an analysis combining functional and environmental indicators was performed. The presented results reveal that the use of basalt reinforcement provides a significantly lower environmental intensity per strength unit, especially in the case of compressive and flexural strength. Full article
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27 pages, 6413 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Passive Retrofitting Scenarios in Heritage Residential Buildings in Hot, Dry Climates
by Hanan S.S. Ibrahim, Ahmed Z. Khan, Waqas Ahmed Mahar, Shady Attia and Yehya Serag
Energies 2021, 14(11), 3359; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14113359 - 07 Jun 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3731
Abstract
Retrofitting heritage buildings for energy efficiency is not always easy where cultural values are highly concerned, which requires an integrated approach. This paper aims to assess the potential of applying passive retrofitting scenarios to enhance indoor thermal comfort of heritage buildings in North [...] Read more.
Retrofitting heritage buildings for energy efficiency is not always easy where cultural values are highly concerned, which requires an integrated approach. This paper aims to assess the potential of applying passive retrofitting scenarios to enhance indoor thermal comfort of heritage buildings in North Africa, as a hot climate, a little attention has been paid to retrofit built heritage in that climate. A mixed-mode ventilation residential building in Cairo, Egypt, was selected as a case study. The study combines field measurements and observations with energy simulations. A simulation model was created and calibrated on the basis of monitored data in the reference building, and the thermal comfort range was evaluated. Sets of passive retrofitting scenarios were proposed. The results (based on the ASHRAE-55-2020 adaptive comfort model at 90% acceptability limits) showed that the annual thermal comfort in the reference building is very low, i.e., 31.4%. The application of hybrid passive retrofitting scenarios significantly impacts indoor thermal comfort in the reference building, where annual comfort hours of up to 66% can be achieved. The originality of this work lies in identifying the most effective energy measures to improve indoor thermal comfort that are optimal from a conservation point of view. The findings contribute to set a comprehensive retrofitting tool that avoids potential risks for the conservation of residential heritage buildings in hot climates. Full article
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18 pages, 1199 KiB  
Article
Economic and Energy Analysis of Building Retrofitting Using Internal Insulations
by Małgorzata Basińska, Dobrosława Kaczorek and Halina Koczyk
Energies 2021, 14(9), 2446; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14092446 - 25 Apr 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2162
Abstract
The energy-saving requirements for most buildings focus on improving the insulation and airtightness of a building’s envelope. In this paper, the authors have investigated the effect of additional internal insulation on energy consumption for heating and cooling in a residential building. Energy performance [...] Read more.
The energy-saving requirements for most buildings focus on improving the insulation and airtightness of a building’s envelope. In this paper, the authors have investigated the effect of additional internal insulation on energy consumption for heating and cooling in a residential building. Energy performance analyses were conducted for buildings with four internal thermal insulation systems in three locations using the WUFI Plus software. The Global Cost Method and Simply Pay Back Time have been used to assess and compare the economic viability of the retrofit systems. The results show that, in relation to energy, retrofitting with internal wall insulation can be an alternative to traditional external insulation. The assessment of internal insulation for low-energy buildings, however, cannot be conducted based on economic criteria. The usual approach of Simply Pay Back Time has exceptionally long payback time, which is unacceptable. In turn, the Global Cost Method, can only be used to compare the applied materials. With high investment costs, thermo-modernization improvements do not contribute to significant savings. The conditions of thermal comfort and the analysis of temperature and steam pressure play a decisive role in assessing this type of solution. Full article
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19 pages, 5591 KiB  
Article
Improving the Energy Performance of Public Buildings Equipped with Individual Gas Boilers Due to Thermal Retrofitting
by Anna Życzyńska, Dariusz Majerek, Zbigniew Suchorab, Agnieszka Żelazna, Václav Kočí and Robert Černý
Energies 2021, 14(6), 1565; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14061565 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1403
Abstract
The article assesses an impact of thermal retrofitting on an improvement of the energy quality of public buildings in terms of their heating. The analysis covered a group of 14 buildings, including schools, kindergartens or offices, while energy audits were carried out for [...] Read more.
The article assesses an impact of thermal retrofitting on an improvement of the energy quality of public buildings in terms of their heating. The analysis covered a group of 14 buildings, including schools, kindergartens or offices, while energy audits were carried out for 12 of them. The indications of individual gas meters were the source of actual data for the assessment of changes in energy consumption indexes in operating conditions. The analysis showed a clear improvement in the energy quality of buildings; however, the actual effects were much lower than forecasted. The average forecasted decrease in energy consumption was supposed to be 64.3%, but the measured data showed only 37.1%. The investigation confirmed that the most complex refurbishing provided the most satisfactory decrease in energy consumption (51.4% of real decrease in energy consumption), while objects with partial thermal refurbishing reached an efficiency of only 21.8%. It was stated that in operating conditions, special attention should be paid to the manner of energy use, since different indicators of energy consumption can be obtained with the same parameters of building’s balance cover. The results obtained can be further utilized in thermal-refurbishment implementation procedures. Follow-up investigations on the impact of selected parameters on energy consumption are planned. Full article
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25 pages, 13717 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Summer Overheating Phenomenon in Reinforced Concrete and Cross Laminated Timber Residential Buildings in the Cold and Severe Cold Regions of China
by Haibo Guo, Lu Huang, Wenjie Song, Xinyue Wang, Hongnan Wang and Xinning Zhao
Energies 2020, 13(23), 6305; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13236305 - 29 Nov 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1895
Abstract
As the climate changed in recent years, an increase in summer indoor temperatures in severe cold and cold regions of China has started to affect thermal comfort. However, the local design standard for energy efficiency does not recognize this phenomenon. This paper reports [...] Read more.
As the climate changed in recent years, an increase in summer indoor temperatures in severe cold and cold regions of China has started to affect thermal comfort. However, the local design standard for energy efficiency does not recognize this phenomenon. This paper reports the potential overheating phenomenon in residential buildings and examines the rationale for the current thermal designs adopted in severe cold and cold regions of China. In this study, the two most commonly used building materials, reinforced concrete (RC) and cross laminated timber (CLT), are used separately in the design of an 18-story residential building envelope located in six different cities in the severe cold and cold regions. The energy consumption and indoor operative temperatures during the operation of these buildings are simulated using Integrated Environmental Solutions Virtual Environment (IES VE). The results demonstrate that both the RC and the CLT buildings experience varying degrees of overheating in any climate subregion. The CLT buildings have longer overheating hours compared to the RC buildings, especially in the cold regions. The results also indicate that for apartments on higher stories, the cooling energy consumption and indoor temperature also increase gradually. The research results suggest that the local design standard for energy efficiency needs to be adjusted by adding thermal design methods for summer to reduce the periods of overheating. Full article
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15 pages, 3774 KiB  
Article
Heat Transfer Analysis of Timber Windows with Different Wood Species and Anatomical Direction
by Namhyuck Ahn and Sanghoon Park
Energies 2020, 13(22), 6050; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13226050 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2996
Abstract
When assessing the hygrothermal performance of timber windows, it is important to apply the unique thermal conductivity of wood by each wood species as well as an anatomical direction within the same material as they affect the performance and long-term durability of products. [...] Read more.
When assessing the hygrothermal performance of timber windows, it is important to apply the unique thermal conductivity of wood by each wood species as well as an anatomical direction within the same material as they affect the performance and long-term durability of products. A series of heat transfer analyses of window frames using THERM and WINDOW along with measurements on the thermal conductivity of five hardwoods using laser flash apparatus (LFA) was performed to compare and evaluate heat transmittance (U-value) and condensation resistance (CR) of three types of timber and hybrid timber windows. For each window type, 6.1 to 10.3% of the maximum difference in the heat transmittance among cases was calculated. Besides, a linear correlation was found between the U-value and the CR for most cases; thus, the selection of wood species and anatomical direction would improve the hygrothermal performance of timber windows overall. The results also indicated that there were some cases where the overall CR of windows did not improve because the U-value of the glazing system was not sufficiently low. Full article
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20 pages, 9013 KiB  
Article
A Study on Axial Compression Performance of Concrete-Filled Steel-Tubular Shear Wall with a Multi-Cavity T-Shaped Cross-Section
by Hao Sun, Qingyuan Xu, Pengfei Yan, Jianguang Yin and Ping Lou
Energies 2020, 13(18), 4831; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13184831 - 16 Sep 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1720
Abstract
In order to study the axial compression performance of the T-shaped multi-cavity concrete-filled steel tube shear wall, first, three specimens were designed to perform the axial compression test. Then three-dimensional finite element analysis by the ABAQUS software was used to obtain the axial [...] Read more.
In order to study the axial compression performance of the T-shaped multi-cavity concrete-filled steel tube shear wall, first, three specimens were designed to perform the axial compression test. Then three-dimensional finite element analysis by the ABAQUS software was used to obtain the axial bearing capacity of the shear wall with different parameters. According to the results of the finite element model, the computational diagram in the limit state was obtained. The diagram was simplified into the core concrete in the non-enhanced area that was not constrained by the steel tube and the core concrete in the enhanced area that was uniformly constrained by the steel tube. Finally, a new practical equation for calculating the axial bearing capacity of a multi-cavity concrete-filled steel tubular shear wall was deduced and proposed based on the theory of ultimate equilibrium. The calculation results of the proposed equation were in good agreement with the finite element results, and the proposed equation can be used in practical engineering design. Full article
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