Special Issue "Energy Performance in Buildings and Quality of Life"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Kristian Fabbri
Website
Guest Editor
ART-ER Energy Consultant, Bologna, Italy, and Adjunct Professor Department of Architecture, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Interests: building energy performance; thermal comfort; energy poverty; heritage building; indoor and outdoor microclimate

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The field of research concerning building energy performance (BEP) encompasses a variety of issues: BEP and building typologies (e.g., schools, dwellings, social housing, heritage, etc.); the relationships between BEP and energy monitoring, energy consumption, and architectural design; and the impact of specific building techniques or materials on BEP.

In this Special Issue, we are highlighting the relationship between BEP and quality of life in terms of comfort (thermal comfort and IAQ), architectural design, and household smartness (smart building, smart monitoring, or smart metering, following UE Directive 844/2018), as well as the reduction of energy poverty and the impact of buildings on the environment and global warming.

Although the above list provides examples of specific topics of interest, our aim is, more broadly, to collect papers discussing the role of BEP in quality of life improvement. We look forward to your contributions.

Prof. Kristian Fabbri
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. 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 1800 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

  • Building energy performance
  • Thermal comfort
  • IAQ
  • Quality of life
  • Smart building
  • Energy poverty
  • Households

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Criteria Optimisation of an Experimental Complex of Single-Family Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings
Energies 2020, 13(7), 1541; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13071541 - 25 Mar 2020
Abstract
The Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings has introduced the standard of “nearly zero-energy buildings” (NZEBs). European requirements place the obligation to reduce energy consumption on all European Union Member States, particularly in sectors with significant energy consumption indicators. Construction is [...] Read more.
The Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings has introduced the standard of “nearly zero-energy buildings” (NZEBs). European requirements place the obligation to reduce energy consumption on all European Union Member States, particularly in sectors with significant energy consumption indicators. Construction is one such sector, as it is responsible for around 40% of overall energy consumption. Apart from a building’s mass and its material and installation solutions, its energy consumption is also affected by its placement relative to other buildings. A proper urban layout can also lead to a reduction in project development and occupancy costs. The goal of this article is to present a method of optimising single-family house complexes that takes elements such as direct construction costs, construction site organisation, urban layout and occupancy costs into consideration in the context of sustainability. Its authors have analysed different proposals of the placement of 40 NZEBs relative to each other and have carried out a multi-criteria analysis of the complex, determining optimal solutions that are compliant with the precepts of sustainability. The results indicated that the layout composed of semi-detached houses scored the highest among the proposed layouts under the parameter weights set by the developer. This layout also scored the highest when parameter weights were uniformly distributed during a test simulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Performance in Buildings and Quality of Life)
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Open AccessArticle
Measurements of Energy Consumption and Environment Quality of High-Speed Railway Stations in China
Energies 2020, 13(1), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13010168 - 30 Dec 2019
Abstract
In recent years, the energy performance of public buildings has attracted substantial attention due to the significant energy-saving potential. As a semi-open high-space building, the high-speed railway station is obviously different from other public buildings and even traditional stations in terms of energy [...] Read more.
In recent years, the energy performance of public buildings has attracted substantial attention due to the significant energy-saving potential. As a semi-open high-space building, the high-speed railway station is obviously different from other public buildings and even traditional stations in terms of energy consumption and internal environment. This paper investigates the current energy consumption situation and environmental quality of 15 high-speed railway passenger stations in China. Results show that the energy consumption of the high-speed railway station is between 117–470 kWh/(m2·a). The energy consumption of the station is related to the area and the passenger flow. The energy use of the station using district heating is higher than that of the station without district heating in the same region. The higher glazing ratio induces good natural lighting in the station, but the uniformity of the lighting in the station is not good. The acceptable temperature range of passengers in winter is larger than that in summer. The average air change rate of the high-speed railway station is 3.2 h−1 in winter and 1.8 h−1 in summer, which is the main reason of high energy consumption of the HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) system in this kind of building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Performance in Buildings and Quality of Life)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of the Effect of Using External Venetian Blinds on the Thermal Comfort of Users of Highly Glazed Office Rooms in a Transition Season of Temperate Climate—Case Study
Energies 2020, 13(1), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13010081 - 23 Dec 2019
Abstract
Improving the energy efficiency of buildings is among the most urgent social development tasks due to the scale of energy consumption in this industry. At the same time, it is essential to meet high requirements for indoor environmental quality and thermal comfort. The [...] Read more.
Improving the energy efficiency of buildings is among the most urgent social development tasks due to the scale of energy consumption in this industry. At the same time, it is essential to meet high requirements for indoor environmental quality and thermal comfort. The issue of overheating is most often analysed in summer but it also occurs in transition seasons, when the cooling systems do not operate. The paper attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of external mobile shading elements on the microclimate of rooms with large glazed areas in the transition season. Passive solutions, such as shading elements, which limit the increase of indoor temperature, do not always allow the acquisition and maintenance of comfortable solutions for the duration of the season, as demonstrated by the authors. Temporary cooling of the rooms may be necessary to maintain comfortable conditions for the users, or other solutions should be devised to improve comfort (e.g., reduction of clothing insulation characteristics). The novelty of the study consists in the analysis of comfort in a “nearly zero energy consumption” building (NZEB) during a period not analyzed by other scientists. This is a transition period during which heating/cooling systems do not operate. The research task set by the authors involved the assessment of the possibility to reduce office space overheating in the transition season (spring) by using external shading equipment in rooms with large glazed areas. An additional research task aimed at checking the extent to which user behaviour, such as reduction in clothing insulation characteristics, can improve comfort in overheated rooms. The results of the tests reveal that the difference in the ambient air temperature between a room with external venetian blinds and an identical room with no venetian blinds in the transition season, i.e., from 27 March to 6 April 2017, ranged from 12.3 to 2.1 °C. The use of a shading system (external venetian blinds positioned at an angle of 45°) reduced the number of discomfort hours by 92% (during working hours) compared to the room without external venetian blinds. A reduction in the thermal insulation of the clothes worn by people working in the room with no venetian blinds helped to reduce the number of discomfort hours by 31%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Performance in Buildings and Quality of Life)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Energy Poverty and Protection of Vulnerable Consumers. Overview of the EU Funding Programs FP7 and H2020 and Future Trends in Horizon Europe
Energies 2020, 13(5), 1030; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13051030 - 25 Feb 2020
Abstract
Energy poverty—involving a combination of factors, such as low household incomes, high energy prices, and low levels of residential energy efficiency—is identified as a complex and increasing issue affecting people’s physical health, well-being, and social inclusion. Even though a shared identification of energy [...] Read more.
Energy poverty—involving a combination of factors, such as low household incomes, high energy prices, and low levels of residential energy efficiency—is identified as a complex and increasing issue affecting people’s physical health, well-being, and social inclusion. Even though a shared identification of energy poverty is not yet agreed, this phenomenon has been recognized as an EU priority. Several EU legislative documents address the topic, trying to outline its boundaries and provide a framework for mitigative actions. At the same time, different research and demonstration projects have been funded to experiment and evaluate innovative approaches, strategies, and solutions and to promote good practices at national, regional, and local levels. This review paper presents some results of the “ZOOM” project (“Energy zoning for urban systems. Models and relations for the built environment”, funded by University of Bologna in the framework of Alma Idea 2017–ongoing), proposing a critical overview of the EU projects directly or indirectly connected to energy poverty—funded under the 7th Framework Program (FP7) and under Horizon 2020 Program (H2020). The aim of such a review is to highlight the main objectives, trends, and related topics of ongoing and concluded projects addressing energy poverty, in order to identify gaps and open issues and to understand the possible orientation and placement of this subject in the future EU research and innovation framework project, Horizon Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Performance in Buildings and Quality of Life)
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