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What Role Do Real Estate Markets Play in the Decarbonization of Building Sector?

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2023) | Viewed by 3496

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
ICEA, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of Padova, Via Venezia 1, 35131 Padova, Italy
Interests: multi-criteria decision and hedonic price models; urban regeneration; risk assessment

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
ICEA, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of Padova, via Venezia 1, 35131 Padova, Italy
Interests: economic feasibility; public investment and works; real estate and construction costs
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Sustainability is dedicating a Special Issue to the role that real estate markets play in the decarbonization of the building sector.

The recent pandemic experience requires a profound reflection on the ecological, digital, social, and economic transitions that are taking place globally. Considering that energy consumption in the real estate industry is one of the greatest contributors of all greenhouse gas emissions, it is mandatory to focus on the decarbonization process in the building sector, as it will soon no longer be an option. Nations, states, and cities work towards sustainability targets to mitigate climate change by adopting new green regulation policies on an urban scale, both on new development processes and on retrofitting programs of the existing built heritage. The decarbonization process has an impact on the entire value chain of the building sector. Public and private interventions take place at all levels of the real estate sector, starting from the planning, design, and valuation process to construction, life-cycle management, upgrading, and demolition. Building construction materials produce high levels of carbon at all stages of their production and use, from extraction to transportation and assembly. However, building management operations such as cooling and heating are the most energy-consuming phases. All these stages must be monitored and regulated with a view to decarbonization, from the perspective of both policymakers and private investors. Public administration, developers, owners, and managing companies are expected to manage sustainability issues and to make responsible and interoperable choices that will have long-term impacts on the socio-economic wealth, competitiveness, and resilience of cities. The main question now is how real estate markets, in their different declinations and forms, have reacted to sustainability policies, and how they are currently facing the demands of global climate change.

This Special Issue intends to shed light on how real estate markets have responded and are currently reacting to the decarbonization process at all stages of construction, and on how new technologies, strategies, and methodologies can be applied to increase the sustainability of new buildings through their life cycles.

This Special Issue offers a new opportunity to discuss this main topic in a critical and constructive way. We invite researchers interested in this crucial matter to submit their studies to this Special Issue, including empirical and theoretical investigations and extensive literature-oriented discussions.

Dr. Rubina Canesi
Dr. Giuliano Marella
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

  • sustainable real estate
  • sustainable urban development
  • environmental and social criteria in real estate
  • urban property
  • green policies and urban properties
  • ecological footprint and transition decarbonization
  • green buildings

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

21 pages, 610 KiB  
Article
Renewable Energy Community: Opportunities and Threats towards Green Transition
by Andrea Sarcina and Rubina Canesi
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13860; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813860 - 18 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 903
Abstract
The European Union faces a complex economic conjunction where different factors affect and reduce the number of feasible and sustainable projects according to the legislation and the available resources. In this context, one of the available solutions to the current energy crisis could [...] Read more.
The European Union faces a complex economic conjunction where different factors affect and reduce the number of feasible and sustainable projects according to the legislation and the available resources. In this context, one of the available solutions to the current energy crisis could be the implementation of Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) to support the European dual transition targets. The idea of an energy community is still being defined in the literature and from a legislative perspective. The increasing REC dimension and numerosity demand in-depth studies on opportunities and threats in a still unexplored market. To clarify the Italian and European state of the art of these communities, this study in the first section addresses the socioeconomic and policy conditions needed for the foundation and development of energy communities by analyzing the in-force legislation. The analysis of the current regulation has been conducted to verify how RECs affect local communities and their degrees of freedom and action in regions. The second part of the study aimed to define threats and opportunities in creating new professional profiles and local job opportunities in this new thriving market. In this study, we collected interviews and surveys with market operators, both on the service providers’ side (ESCo) and the communities’ side (promoters), to identify conflicts and advantages associated with establishing communities. The participants were initially selected through publicly available lists, and after verifying the contact correctness, they were contacted by email or phone. The results of the interviews have been processed into a SWOT analysis, showing how national policies currently need to catch up in implementing this efficiency tool and how the restricted number and the variety of the existing communities increase the difficulty in creating cohesive and universal guidelines. Finally, local markets can still not correctly manage this innovative tool’s uncertainty despite being interested in it. Full article
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25 pages, 5193 KiB  
Article
A Methodological Framework to Foster Social Value Creation in Architectural Practice
by Vibeke Grupe Larsen, Valentina Antoniucci, Nicola Tollin, Peter Andreas Sattrup, Krister Jens, Morten Birkved, Tine Holmboe and Giuliano Marella
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 1849; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15031849 - 18 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2088
Abstract
The building industry is essential for a national transition towards a circular economy (CE) in Denmark. The Danish state subsidises the Danish affordable housing sector, which is the largest single sector within the Danish building industry, making the sector an essential driver for [...] Read more.
The building industry is essential for a national transition towards a circular economy (CE) in Denmark. The Danish state subsidises the Danish affordable housing sector, which is the largest single sector within the Danish building industry, making the sector an essential driver for the transition. The social components of sustainability are considered crucial to ensuring the quality of the environmental and economic components of the CE. However, social value creation (SVC) has been neglected in building processes, and public investments are being used without the policymakers thoroughly assessing the CE’s socioeconomic efficiency and effectiveness. The sector therefore needs integrated methodologies to support comprehensive decision making on the CE during construction and renovation. SVC is an apparent field for architectural firms. Two surveys were conducted among business and sustainability managers of Danish architectural firms to identify the challenges and potentials regarding assessing sustainability and SVC in architects’ practices. The results of the surveys are described and analysed in this study. Several impact categories, indicators and tools are identified, discussed and summarised in a methodological framework that can support architects in decision making about SVC in constructing and renovating affordable housing. Further refinement of the framework to support dynamic and iterative decision-making is anticipated as future work. Full article
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