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Optimization of Energy Use in Buildings

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Green Building".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 13162

Special Issue Editors

Department of Energy, Systems, Territory and Constructions Engineering (DESTEC), University of Pisa, 56122 Pisa, Italy
Interests: HVAC system; energy efficiency in buildings; heat pumps; thermal comfort; artwork conservation; renewable energy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering (DABC), Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy
Interests: renewable energies; energy efficiency; energy audit; energy simulation; built environment; cultural heritage
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is well known that buildings are responsible for about 40% of final energy consumptions and 30% of total energy-related CO2 emission. In recent years, the reduction of energy needs in the building sector and subsequent decarbonization has been defined as a priority in several national and international policy plans, legislative, and regulatory documentations. In this framework, more research is necessary on novel methodologies and technologies aiming at the minimization of building energy needs. Typical systems are renewable energy sources, smart grid concepts, storage technologies, and smart control techniques (e.g., demand–response). Furthermore, the minimization of energy needs cannot be detouched by other concerns, such as economic aspects, thermal comfort of occupants, building design issues, and operational limits of the technologies. Thus, in many cases, a multiobjective optimization represents a beneficial instrument for many analyses on this topic.

This Special Issue of Sustainability is aimed at collecting scientific contributions on energy efficiency improvement in buildings, with a special focus on optimization of energy uses also taking into account economic, architectural, technological, and human comfort constraints. Case study discussions, as well as simulation or theoretical research, are encouraged.

Dr. Eva Schito
Prof. Dr. Elena Lucchi
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. Sustainability 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 2400 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

  • energy efficiency
  • energy optimization
  • multiobjective optimization
  • building energy modeling
  • renewable energy sources
  • smart control
  • smart grid
  • thermal comfort
  • HVAC systems and ventilation
  • energy system modeling
  • building energy system optimization

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 183 KiB  
Editorial
Advances in the Optimization of Energy Use in Buildings
by Eva Schito and Elena Lucchi
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13541; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813541 - 11 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1116
Abstract
Buildings are responsible for about 40% of final energy consumptions and 30% of total energy-related CO2 emissions [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization of Energy Use in Buildings)

Research

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20 pages, 1350 KiB  
Article
Reducing CO2 Emissions and Improving Water Resource Circularity by Optimizing Energy Efficiency in Buildings
by Giada Romano, Serena Baiani, Francesco Mancini and Fabrizio Tucci
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13050; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713050 - 30 Aug 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1338
Abstract
Climate neutrality by 2050 is a priority objective and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increasing energy efficiency, and improving the circularity processes of resources are the imperatives of regulatory and economic instruments. Starting from the central themes of the mitigation of the causes [...] Read more.
Climate neutrality by 2050 is a priority objective and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increasing energy efficiency, and improving the circularity processes of resources are the imperatives of regulatory and economic instruments. Starting from the central themes of the mitigation of the causes of climate change and the interdependence represented by the water–energy nexus, this research focuses, through the application of the principles of the circular and green economy, on deep energy zero-emission renovation through the improvement of circularity processes of water resources in their integration with energetic ones on the optimization of their management within urban districts, to measure their capacity to contribute towards reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions during water use and distribution in buildings. After defining the key strategies and the replicable intervention solutions for the circularity of water resources, the investigation focuses on the definition of the research and calculation method set up to define, in parallel, the water consumption of an urban district and the energy consumption necessary to satisfy water requirements and CO2 emissions. Starting from the application of the calculation method in an existing urban district in Rome, 10 indicators of quantities have been developed to define water and energy consumption and their related CO2 emissions, focusing on the obtained results to also define some interventions to reduce water and energy consumption and CO2 emissions in territories that suffer a medium-risk impact from contemporary climatic conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization of Energy Use in Buildings)
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27 pages, 1151 KiB  
Article
Assessing and Monitoring of Building Performance by Diverse Methods
by Paola Seminara, Behrang Vand, Seyed Masoud Sajjadian and Laura Tupenaite
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1242; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031242 - 22 Jan 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 5605
Abstract
Buildings are one of the largest contributors to energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the world. There is an increased interest in building performance evaluation as an essential practice to design a sustainable building. Building performance is influenced by various terms, [...] Read more.
Buildings are one of the largest contributors to energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the world. There is an increased interest in building performance evaluation as an essential practice to design a sustainable building. Building performance is influenced by various terms, for example, designs, construction-related factors such as building envelope and airtightness, and energy technologies with or without micro-generations. How well a building performs thermally is key to determining the level of energy demand and GHG emissions. Building standards and regulations, in combination with assessments (e.g., energy modeling tools) and certifications, provide sets of supports, guidelines and instructions for designers and building engineers to ensure users’ health and well-being, consistency in construction practices and environmental protection. This paper reviews, evaluates and suggests a sequence of building performance methods from the UK perspective. It shows the relationships between such methods, their evolutions and related tools, and further highlights the importance of post-occupancy analysis and how crucial such assessments could be for efficient buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization of Energy Use in Buildings)
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Other

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27 pages, 684 KiB  
Systematic Review
A Systematic Literature Review of the Interplay between Renewable Energy Systems and Occupant Practices
by Troy Malatesta, Gregory M. Morrison, Jessica K. Breadsell and Christine Eon
Sustainability 2023, 15(12), 9172; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15129172 - 6 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2220
Abstract
The development of renewable energy systems offers a potential solution to energy consumption in the residential sector. These systems face many barriers and challenges regarding the nature of home energy demand and behaviors of household occupants. These barriers are discussed in innovation theory, [...] Read more.
The development of renewable energy systems offers a potential solution to energy consumption in the residential sector. These systems face many barriers and challenges regarding the nature of home energy demand and behaviors of household occupants. These barriers are discussed in innovation theory, which describes how people assess new technologies. A systematic literature review of 123 journals was conducted to explore the interrelationship between energy systems, home energy demand and occupant practices. This identified key gaps in the literature and important takeaways from past research showing the limitations of renewable energy systems in integrating into everyday lives. There are numerous personal and social barriers that inhibit behavior change and limit the penetration of renewable systems. Additionally, the development of social norms and institutional rhythms have resulted in people living in a lock-in lifestyle, with limited flexibility for change. This review discusses the role of technology, consumers and policies, and how they must all interact to create a sustainable and effective energy solution to this climate emergency. The next step is to reevaluate the design of home automation and energy management systems to consider the impacts of different lifestyles and routines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization of Energy Use in Buildings)
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12 pages, 2913 KiB  
Brief Report
Active Optimization of Chilled Water Pump Running Number: Engineering Practice Validation
by Shunian Qiu, Zhenhai Li, Delong Wang, Zhengwei Li and Yinying Tao
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010096 - 21 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1585
Abstract
To realize building energy conservation, appropriate operation of building energy systems is necessary. A chilled water pump, an essential component for chilled water transportation in building cooling systems, consumes substantial energy. Hence, its operation should be optimized. Previous studies on optimal pump control [...] Read more.
To realize building energy conservation, appropriate operation of building energy systems is necessary. A chilled water pump, an essential component for chilled water transportation in building cooling systems, consumes substantial energy. Hence, its operation should be optimized. Previous studies on optimal pump control mostly focused on pump speed/frequency control, while the control of pump running number is usually too passive to realize energy-saving objectives. Moreover, existing relevant studies have some disadvantages, such as (1) too complex a workflow for maintenance; (2) dependence on accurate system performance models that take substantial data and labor to establish; and (3) high requirements on monitoring and sensors. To tackle those problems, this article proposes a simple, feasible approach to optimize the running number (on/off status) of chilled water pumps for building energy conservation. The proposed method is merely based on similarity/affinity laws and pump performance curves feasible for engineering practices. It has been implemented on a real cooling system in a battery factory. Our results suggest that: (1) based on similarity/affinity laws and pump performance curves, the estimation of potential targeted pump working points is accurate enough for optimal control (the flow rate estimation error is less than 2%, the frequency estimation error is less than 1 Hz); (2) the energy-saving effect of this control method is evident (20% of pump energy is saved by the proposed method compared to the former control logic); (3) the water grid operation condition is maintained well: cooling supply is not sacrificed by the control intervention (compared to the working condition before the intervention, grid pressure difference changed by 1.4%, flow rate changed by 2.6%). Regarding the low preconditions, simple workflow, and acceptable energy-saving performance of the proposed method, it is suitable for energy conservation in building cooling systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization of Energy Use in Buildings)
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