Special Issue "Energy Conservation and Management in Buildings: Technologies, Policies and Best Practices"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Muhammad Asif
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Engineering and Built Environment, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow G4 0BA, UK
Interests: renewable energy; energy conservation and management; sustainable buildings; energy policy; life cycle analysis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue “Energy Conservation and Management in Buildings: Technologies, Policies, and Best Practices” calls for papers around technologies, regulations and policies, and international best practices pertinent to energy conservation and management in buildings.

Buildings, being responsible for over a third of the world’s total energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, have a critical role to play in the global drive for sustainable development. Compared with industry, transportation, and agriculture, the building sector exhibits the greatest potential to save energy. Improved regulations and policies, coupled with technological advancements, are helping buildings improve their energy and environmental performance.

This Special Issue aims to cover the broader facets of energy conservation and management in buildings, with particular focus on technologies, policies, and best practices. Papers are invited on topics including, but not limiting to, sustainable and green buildings, energy saving technologies, energy auditing and monitoring, low carbon technologies, renewable energy application in buildings, zero energy buildings, building standards and regulations, sustainable building rating systems, energy retrofitting, life-cycle analysis, and life-cycle costing of buildings. Papers on these topics can have a diverse scope (i.e., scientific advancement and technology innovation, policy development and implementation, industrial and commercial practices, and case studies).

Dr. Muhammad Asif
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. 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 1900 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
  • green building
  • energy efficiency
  • energy management
  • energy auditing and monitoring
  • renewable energy
  • building integrated renewables
  • building rating systems
  • low carbon technologies
  • life-cycle analysis
  • retrofitting
  • standards and regulations
  • zero energy buildings

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Article
Performance of an Adsorptive Heat-Moisture Regenerator Based on Silica Gel–Sodium Sulphate
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5611; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145611 - 13 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 649
Abstract
The performance of an adsorptive heat-moisture regenerator based on a silica gel–sodium sulphate composite adsorbent was studied. The correlation between the adsorbent composition and structural characteristics of the laboratory-scale device was investigated. An algorithm for the calculation of the efficiency factors of the [...] Read more.
The performance of an adsorptive heat-moisture regenerator based on a silica gel–sodium sulphate composite adsorbent was studied. The correlation between the adsorbent composition and structural characteristics of the laboratory-scale device was investigated. An algorithm for the calculation of the efficiency factors of the adsorptive regenerator was further developed. The suggested algorithm calculates the operational parameters, including the temperatures, humidities and volumetric flows of internal and external air, and estimates the regenerator’s performance via temperature and moisture efficiency factors, total adsorption and time needed to achieve maximum adsorption, air pressure loss and fan power input. The validity of the calculation results obtained using the proposed algorithm was confirmed experimentally. Temperature efficiency factor, air pressure loss and fan power consumption are crucial parameters for the estimation of the optimal operating regime of an adsorptive heat-moisture regenerator. The correlation between meteorological conditions and efficiency factors was assessed and applied in a simulation of residential house-scale air conditioning unit operation. Maximal values of temperature efficiency factor were found at internal and external air temperatures of 15 to 20 °C and −5 to 0 °C, respectively. Moisture efficiency factors were observed to reach their maximum at the absolute humidities of external and internal air of 4.0 to 5.0 g/m3 and 2.75 to 3.0 g/m3, respectively. The fan power consumption of the adsorptive heat-moisture regenerator was found to be comparable to or even lower than that of commercial air conditioning units used in comparably voluminous interiors. Full article
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Article
Estimation of Direct and Indirect Household CO2 Emissions in 49 Japanese Cities with Consideration of Regional Conditions
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4678; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114678 - 08 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 897
Abstract
We conducted a detailed estimation of direct and indirect CO2 emissions related to multi-person households in 49 Japanese cities. Direct energy consumption was decomposed into energy use in order to consider the relationship with regional conditions. The results showed that CO2 [...] Read more.
We conducted a detailed estimation of direct and indirect CO2 emissions related to multi-person households in 49 Japanese cities. Direct energy consumption was decomposed into energy use in order to consider the relationship with regional conditions. The results showed that CO2 emissions from direct energy consumption were almost as large as indirect CO2 emissions induced by consuming products and services, suggesting that lifestyle improvements are important for both energy savings and reducing CO2 emissions relating to product and service consumption. In addition, CO2 emissions from direct energy consumption varied widely between cities, making them susceptible to regional conditions. We also calculated CO2 emissions from direct energy consumption and examined the regional conditions for individual forms of energy use. CO2 emissions were higher in cold regions and lower in larger cities. In Japan, large cities are often located in relatively warm areas, so we conducted an analysis to distinguish the effects of climatic conditions from those of urbanization. This analysis allowed us to clarify the effects of regional conditions on factors such as heating/cooling and the ratio of detached houses to apartments. Full article
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Article
Temporal and Spatial Variability of Carbon Emission Intensity of Urban Residential Buildings: Testing the Effect of Economics and Geographic Location in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2695; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072695 - 30 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 727
Abstract
The role of urban residential buildings (URBs) in the carbon reduction goal of China is becoming increasingly important because of the rising energy consumption and carbon emission of such buildings in the region. Considering the increasing spatial interaction of the carbon emission of [...] Read more.
The role of urban residential buildings (URBs) in the carbon reduction goal of China is becoming increasingly important because of the rising energy consumption and carbon emission of such buildings in the region. Considering the increasing spatial interaction of the carbon emission of URBs (URBCE) in the region, this study investigates the influence of climate and economic factors on the URBCE in North and South China. First, the URBCE is calculated by using a decomposition energy balance table based on the carbon emission coefficient of electric and thermal power, thereby improving the estimation of the basic data of URBCE. Second, the influence of economic and climatic factors on the URBCE intensity in 30 provinces of China is explored by using a spatial econometric model. Results show that the URBCE intensity in China had a spatial autocorrelation from 2000 to 2016. Climatic and economic factors have great differences in the degree and direction of influencing the URBCE intensity in the country. Formulating emission reduction policies for climate or economic zones is more scientific and effective than developing national policies. Among these factors, urbanization rate, climate, and GDP per capita have a significant positive impact on the URBCE intensity in the region, whereas other factors have varying degrees of negative impact. In addition, climate, consumption level, and building area have significant spatial spillover effects on URBCE intensity, whereas other factors do not pass the significance test. Relevant conclusions should be given special attention by policymakers. Full article
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Article
Energy Savings on an Industrial Building in Different Climate Zones: Envelope Analysis and PV System Implementation
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1391; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041391 - 13 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 838
Abstract
The energy market in Mexico is facing changes due to the incorporation of clean energy certificates (CEL) on the Electric Industry Law (LIE, Ley de la Industria Electrica). One of the aims is to increase the percentage of clean energy use in the [...] Read more.
The energy market in Mexico is facing changes due to the incorporation of clean energy certificates (CEL) on the Electric Industry Law (LIE, Ley de la Industria Electrica). One of the aims is to increase the percentage of clean energy use in the national energy matrix. Consequently, the integration of energy efficiency strategies prior to the incorporation of renewables has become essential at different levels. Industrial buildings have significant heat gains and losses through the envelope, mainly due to their vast surface and simple construction systems. This work analyses the typical envelopes of industrial buildings in Mexico and the effect of industrial rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems over the annual energy consumption. It was found that for temperate climates, the best option would be to insulate the roof. For cities with warm climates, the best approach is to implement a cool roof on a non-insulated layer or to simply insulate the roof. Additionally, the industrial buildings with metallic roofs situated in warmer climates would benefit the most from the implementation of rooftop PV systems. After all, the results point out that the decrease in the required CELs would not influence the savings. Full article
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Article
Application of Building Performance Simulation to Design Energy-Efficient Homes: Case Study from Saudi Arabia
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6048; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216048 - 31 Oct 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1385
Abstract
The per capita energy usage in Saudi Arabia is almost three times higher than the global average. A major contributor is the residential sector which consumes almost 50% of the total national energy consumption every year. Environmental and economic pressures along with the [...] Read more.
The per capita energy usage in Saudi Arabia is almost three times higher than the global average. A major contributor is the residential sector which consumes almost 50% of the total national energy consumption every year. Environmental and economic pressures along with the Saudi Vision 2030 reform program advocate for an improvement in energy consumption patterns. For a sustainable residential sector, energy-efficient solutions should be adopted in the design process preferably based on building performance simulation (BPS). This study investigates the existing status and future prospects of BPS in the construction industry of Saudi Arabia. A survey has been carried out with building industry professionals to investigate the existing practices in terms of use of BPS. Energy and environmental savings achievable through application of BPS have been estimated by modelling a typical residential villa as a case study. The results indicate that presently BPS is not being adequately applied by the building industry and a number of barriers exist which need to be addressed. The case study simulation indicates that electricity consumption of a villa based on a BPS-based design process is 51.3% less than the existing typical residential villa. Full article
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Article
Photovoltaic Expansion-Limit through a Net Energy Metering Scheme for Selected Malaysian Public Hospitals
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 5131; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11185131 - 19 Sep 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1300
Abstract
This paper presents an optimization approach in determining the expansion-limit of Renewable Distributed Generation (DG) capacity through a Net Energy Metering (NEM) scheme specifically for selected Malaysian public hospitals. In this study, the total line loss reduction was analyzed and set as the [...] Read more.
This paper presents an optimization approach in determining the expansion-limit of Renewable Distributed Generation (DG) capacity through a Net Energy Metering (NEM) scheme specifically for selected Malaysian public hospitals. In this study, the total line loss reduction was analyzed and set as the main objective function in the optimization process where an acceptance region for DG extensiveness was proposed via the lower total line loss outcome value. Solar photovoltaic (PV)-type DG unit (PV-DG) was identified as the type of DG used in this paper. Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) algorithm was chosen to alleviate such PV-DG optimization. The distribution network uses a bus and line data setup from the three selected Malaysian public hospitals prior to three different levels, i.e., National, State, and District level hospitals. MATLAB simulation result showed the PV-DG expansion capacity towards bigger scale and location bounded by the U-trajectory shape theory which resulted in a contradiction between NEM current maximum capacity requirement and actual PV-DG expansion-limit. These limitations were also found to be different among three different level hospitals, and the expansion-limit was tailored by their own distribution network parameters. Thus, this paper provides technical justification and gives the best option to the renewable energy (RE) developer for more effective PV-DG integration through the utilization of a NEM scheme. The importance of the study is portrayed in-depth towards achieving a more sensible and accurate way of estimating the outcome. This will encourage developers, building owners, and users in participating towards achieving potential benefits both in monetary and power system reliability improvement, specifically for Malaysian public hospital applications. Full article
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Article
A Comparison of Energy Efficiency Certification in Housing: A Study of the Chilean and Spanish Cases
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4771; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174771 - 02 Sep 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 774
Abstract
Faced with implementing policies that seek to improve the energy efficiency of housing and reduce the impact of CO2 emissions, several countries are introducing (unilaterally or by international agreement) energy certification systems that allow the effects of these policies to be evaluated. [...] Read more.
Faced with implementing policies that seek to improve the energy efficiency of housing and reduce the impact of CO2 emissions, several countries are introducing (unilaterally or by international agreement) energy certification systems that allow the effects of these policies to be evaluated. This study aims to compare the energy efficiency certification systems in Spain and Chile, identifying convergent and divergent parameters, enabling the existing gaps to be identified and improvements noted for both systems. To do so, 20 sample dwellings in Santiago de Chile were evaluated, along with the local calculating tools in both countries. The analysis considered the aspects of regulation, its reach, the characterization of the models and the necessary indicators. The comparison identified, among others, differences such as obligatory implementation of the system, a study of the existing buildings in the focus area, the prevailing indicators for evaluating the effects of the buildings, the low incidence of mixed energy systems in the Chilean system and the possibility of proposing and evaluating improvements in the Spanish system. As a result, higher energy requirements and greater CO2 emissions were identified in the Chilean system, reaching differences of 42 kWh/m2/year in consumption and 14 kgCO2/ m2/year in emissions with regard to the Spanish qualification. The results of this comparison have facilitated the identification of improvements that will increase the evaluation standards of the Chilean system. Full article
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Commentary
Role of Energy Conservation and Management in the 4D Sustainable Energy Transition
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10006; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310006 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 484
Abstract
In the twenty first century, the world is witnessing an unprecedented energy transition. This sustainability-driven transition, also termed the sustainable energy transition or low carbon transition, has four major dimensions: decarbonisation, decreased use, decentralisation, and digitalisation. Decarbonisation and decreased use of energy are [...] Read more.
In the twenty first century, the world is witnessing an unprecedented energy transition. This sustainability-driven transition, also termed the sustainable energy transition or low carbon transition, has four major dimensions: decarbonisation, decreased use, decentralisation, and digitalisation. Decarbonisation and decreased use of energy are already well established dimensions of the sustainable energy transition. Decreased use of energy through energy conservation and management (ECM) offers wide ranging benefits across all energy consuming sectors, i.e., buildings, industry, and transportation. The building sector, accounting for almost 40% of the world’s total energy consumption, is particularly conducive to ECM. Estimates suggest that with the reliable and commercially available solutions, energy demand in both new and existing buildings can be reduced by 30 to 80%. Full article
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