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Increasing the Energy and Indoor Environmental Resilience of Buildings and Systems into the Future

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 5571

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Cork Institute of Technology | CIT · Department of Process, Energy & Transport Engineering, Bishopstown, Ireland
Interests: Indoor & Enclosed Environments; Energy Efficient Buildings; Ventilative Cooling Strategies; Statistical Turbulence; Particle Transport Modelling; Data driven & Mechanistic Fluid & Thermal system Modelling

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Guest Editor
Department of Process, Energy and Transport Engineering, Cork Institute of Technology, Cork, Ireland
Interests: agricultural engineering; building simulation; virtual laboratories for higher education; energy systems modelling; optimization; machine learning; microgrids; dairy production optimization; demand side management; energy storage
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is a growing scientific consensus that we are now in a new geological age known as the Anthropocene, where human activity is the dominant influence on the global climate and the natural environment. In this context, the future evolution of our cities and built environment, with increasing urbanisation and densification, will play a key role in this new and important interdependent relationship between society and the climate. Buildings, both new and existing, will need resource-efficient and low-carbon solutions that are resilient to a changing climate and uncertain energy sector to ensure they are meeting the increasingly demanding expectations by occupants for enhanced comfort and wellbeing. Resilient solutions to heating, cooling and ventilation of buildings will strengthen the ability of individuals and communities as a whole to withstand, and also prevent, thermal and other impacts of changes in global and local climates.

With this in mind, this Special Issue focuses on solutions that demonstrate adaptive and resistive capacity to deal with known and unknown changes and disturbances in the successful operation of buildings and their energy and environmental systems, which can include solutions that increase resilience and performance through retrofit, replacement, diversity, redundancy, buffer capacity, coupling and other improved design and control mechanisms to ensure good-quality indoor environments. This can also include examples of an absence of resilience in current buildings and their thermal systems and recommendations for improvements. The Special Issue welcomes submissions addressing case studies, new methodologies and numerical analysis including but not limited to the following areas:

  • Solutions that reduce dependence on energy intensive technologies to maintain satisfactory indoor environments;
  • Energy technologies and applications that increase operational robustness and system capacities in buildings;
  • Good practice in future proofing of thermal system design demonstrating high energy and resource efficiency;
  • Control and operation of resilient heating, cooling and ventilation systems;
  • Resilient architectural, envelope and local microclimate design and operation;
  • Occupant behavioural strategies that build adaptation to the effects of climate change in buildings.

Original papers related to the above topics and also dealing generally with methodologies, numerical and experimental investigations and case-studies addressing resilience in buildings are welcome.

Dr. Paul D. O’Sullivan
Dr. Michael D. Murphy
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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.


  • Resilience
  • Indoor thermal comfort
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Ventilation systems
  • Low-energy performance
  • Low carbon
  • Adaptive capacity
  • Resistive capacity
  • Building retrofit
  • Future climate change

Published Papers (2 papers)

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38 pages, 3135 KiB  
Demand Response Analysis Framework (DRAF): An Open-Source Multi-Objective Decision Support Tool for Decarbonizing Local Multi-Energy Systems
by Markus Fleschutz, Markus Bohlayer, Marco Braun and Michael D. Murphy
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 8025; - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2840
A major barrier to investments in clean and future-proof energy technologies of local multi-energy systems (L-MESs) is the lack of knowledge about their impacts on profitability and carbon footprints due to their complex techno-economic interactions. To reduce this problem, decision support tools should [...] Read more.
A major barrier to investments in clean and future-proof energy technologies of local multi-energy systems (L-MESs) is the lack of knowledge about their impacts on profitability and carbon footprints due to their complex techno-economic interactions. To reduce this problem, decision support tools should integrate various forms of decarbonization measures. This paper proposes the Demand Response Analysis Framework (DRAF), a new open-source Python decision support tool that integrally optimizes the design and operation of energy technologies considering demand-side flexibility, electrification, and renewable energy sources. It quantifies decarbonization and cost reduction potential using multi-objective mixed-integer linear programming and provides decision-makers of L-MESs with optimal scenarios regarding costs, emissions, or Pareto efficiency. DRAF supports all steps of the energy system optimization process from time series analysis to interactive plotting and data export. It comes with several component templates that allow a quick start without limiting the modeling possibilities thanks to a generic model generator. Other key features are the access and preparation of time series, such as dynamic carbon emission factors or wholesale electricity prices; and the generation, handling, and parallel computing of scenarios. We demonstrate DRAF’s capabilities through three case studies on (1) the DR of industrial production processes, (2) the design optimization of battery and photovoltaic systems, and (3) the design optimization and DR of distributed thermal energy resources. Full article
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19 pages, 7443 KiB  
Capturing Changes in Residential Occupant Behavior Due to Work from Home in Japan as a Consequence of the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Takahiro Ueno
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2180; - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1883
Since there is a possibility that work from home will become one of the major working styles in the era of a new normal after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary to examine an effect of work from home on life of residents [...] Read more.
Since there is a possibility that work from home will become one of the major working styles in the era of a new normal after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary to examine an effect of work from home on life of residents at home and on energy consumption. Therefore, a web-based questionnaire survey was conducted at the end of October 2020 for households in which any of the family members was a work from home worker. In regard to the changes in life schedule, work from home helped 21.5% of respondents to sleep 30 min more or even longer. This shows that the loss of commuting time to work due to work from home improved the health of respondents in terms of sleep. In terms of the changes in energy consumption, more than a quarter of households experienced an increase in electricity consumption. Around 40~50% of households whose monthly electricity consumption increased from last year were not aware of the reasons for the increase or realized it for the first time when they answered the questionnaire survey. This indicates that feedback using home energy management systems, etc., play an important role in promoting energy-saving behavioral changes. An analysis of the causes of the increase in energy consumption by households reveals that the increase in hours of use of air-conditioners is significantly correlated with the increase in household electricity consumption in August (p = less than 0.01). The large-scale questionnaire survey on Japanese housing during the COVID-19 pandemic in this study elucidated that work from home as a countermeasure against COVID-19 infection affected the residents’ lives and the energy consumption of each household. This paper also showed the causes of the increase in household energy consumption and the importance of feedback, such as HEMS, in promoting energy-saving behavior. These results are expected to help to improve health of residents and energy saving in the era of a new normal. Full article
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