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Energy and Water Efficiency in Buildings: Benchmarking, Challenges and Opportunities

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2023) | Viewed by 3741

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Department of Civil Engineering, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Campus Universitario, Trindade, Florianópolis 88040-900, SC, Brazil
Interests: energy efficiency in buildings; water efficiency in buildings; rainwater use in buildings; sustainability
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Guest Editor
International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy, Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Interests: thermal comfort; indoor environmental quality; energy efficiency; building energy simulation; occupant behaviour; sustainable design; water efficiency
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, 4100 Porto, Portugal
Interests: thermal comfort; building physics; indoor air quality; energy efficiency; building performance simulation; digital building twins
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Buildings contribute significantly to climate change since they use considerable amounts of resources during construction and operation. Given this, energy and water consumption in buildings has been a matter of concern all over the world. Therefore, this Special Issue is dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge on ways of decreasing energy and water consumption in buildings. We call for contributions that investigate the main following issues: energy efficiency in buildings, lighting, air-conditioning, heating, envelopes, building materials, thermal comfort, occupant behaviour, water efficiency in buildings, rainwater, water consumption, sustainability, life-cycle analysis, circular construction, and benchmarking. High-quality articles in relevant fields related to either energy or water efficiency in buildings will be considered for publication.

We invite studies performed in the context of energy and water use in buildings, including studies based on laboratory work, field measurements, and simulations, as well as studies using life-cycle assessments (LCA). Research papers and literature reviews are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Enedir Ghisi
Dr. Ricardo Forgiarini Rupp
Dr. Pedro Pereira
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 in buildings
  • lighting
  • air-conditioning
  • heating
  • envelopes
  • building materials
  • thermal comfort
  • occupant behaviour
  • water efficiency in buildings
  • rainwater
  • water consumption
  • sustainability
  • life-cycle analysis
  • circular construction
  • benchmarking

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 2412 KiB  
Article
Energy Hogs and Misers: Magnitude and Variability of Individuals’ Household Electricity Consumption
by Claudia Bustamante, Stephen Bird, Lisa Legault and Susan E. Powers
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4171; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054171 - 25 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1674
Abstract
We use circuit-level granular electricity measurements from student housing and statistical analysis to better understand individuals’ electricity consumption. Two key patterns emerged—individuals varied systematically in their magnitude of electricity use as well as in their variability of usage at the hourly and daily [...] Read more.
We use circuit-level granular electricity measurements from student housing and statistical analysis to better understand individuals’ electricity consumption. Two key patterns emerged—individuals varied systematically in their magnitude of electricity use as well as in their variability of usage at the hourly and daily level. A cluster analysis of electricity consumption in individual bedrooms shows that 18% of students consume 48% of total electricity use at a median of 2.17 kWh/d/person. These few energy hogs have a disproportionate impact on electricity consumption. In contrast, the misers (22% of students) consume only 4% of the electricity (0.18 kWh/d/person). Mini-refrigerators in bedrooms contributed substantially to the total electricity use of the moderate users. In contrast, mini-refrigerators were less influential for energy hogs, suggesting that these residents may draw power in others ways, such as by using powerful computing or gaming systems for hours each day. A sub-cluster analysis revealed substantial individual variability in hourly usage profiles. Some energy hogs use electricity consistently throughout the day, while others have specific periods of high consumption. We demonstrate how our analysis is generalizable to other situations where the resident does not directly pay their utility bills and thus has limited financial incentive to conserve, and how it contributes to a deeper understanding of the different ways in which individuals use energy. This allows for targeting interventions to groups with similar patterns of consumption. For example, policies such as fines or fees that might reduce the excessive electricity use for short times or for individual hogs could result in potential savings ranging from 16–33% of bedroom electricity. Full article
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18 pages, 2827 KiB  
Article
Financial Feasibility Analysis of Residential Rainwater Harvesting in Maringá, Brazil
by Rodrigo Novais Istchuk and Enedir Ghisi
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12859; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912859 - 9 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1366
Abstract
Rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems are key solutions to improve water resource management in cities, and financial feasibility is essential for their diffusion. Moreover, studies about rainwater often adopt diverse design approaches, leading to incompatible results for direct comparison. This study introduces a categorised [...] Read more.
Rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems are key solutions to improve water resource management in cities, and financial feasibility is essential for their diffusion. Moreover, studies about rainwater often adopt diverse design approaches, leading to incompatible results for direct comparison. This study introduces a categorised item-by-item outlay procedure and evaluates indirect (gravity) and direct (pressuriser) rainwater distribution schemes. Computer simulations were used to design 54 generic RWH system scenarios in Maringá based on a range of design variables. For each scenario, a monthly cost–benefit balance was built, and discounted payback, net present value, and internal rate of return were obtained. Similar outlays were obtained for direct and indirect rainwater distribution schemes (∆ = BRL 21.81) with an average of BRL 13,484.87 among all scenarios. Average operational costs were estimated at BRL 1.31/month.m3 of rainwater demand. On average, paybacks of 14.7 years and internal rates of return of 0.99% per month were obtained among feasible scenarios. Like in other studies, financial feasibility indicators presented significant correlations (0.88 ≤ R2 ≤ 0.94) with rainwater demand. The initial outlay distribution proposed herein provides an objective reference for result comparison among similar studies. Similar results for both rainwater distribution schemes point towards investigating alternative technical solutions for RWH systems. Full article
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