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Special Issue "Sustainable by Design: Towards a New Paradigm for the Built Environment"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Stelios Zerefos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Applied Arts and Sustainable Design, Hellenic Open University, Aristotelous 18, 263 35 Patra, Greece
Interests: architectural design; energy-efficient design; lighting design; sustainable design; architectural visualization; building simulation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to submit your most recent research or projects related to new issues on sustainable design for the built environment for this exciting new Special Issue.

In recent decades, the term sustainable design, in the built environment sector, has been associated mainly with the reduction of energy consumption. New trends, however, address a more human-centric approach, where sustainability is considered as the sum of not only energy-efficient design, but also the design of well-being and healthy spaces, resilient structures and methods, adaptability to climate change, minimal resource usage, as well as social, cultural, and economic issues embedded in building and urban design, such as circular economy and sustainable office culture that altogether form a new holistic paradigm for sustainability.

This Special Issue focuses on these aspects that promote integrated approaches on sustainable design in the built environment by showcasing original research, comprehensive literature reviews, tools, solutions, best practices, models, projects, and case studies on sustainable design for buildings and cities. It is the scope of this Special Issue to start an international discussion on what lies on the road ahead concerning sustainable design and discover new trends that could formulate a new paradigm for designing the built environment.

Topics to be addressed in the Special Issue include but are not limited to:

  • Architectural design for wellbeing and healthy spaces;
  • Circular economy trends in the built environment;
  • Climate change concerns for the built environment;
  • Design for cultural sustainability;
  • Design of early warning systems and human protection;
  • Design for social inclusiveness and accessibility;
  • Energy-efficient design for buildings;
  • Lighting design for wellbeing and energy efficiency;
  • Policies for sustainable design;
  • Resilient design of buildings and cities;
  • Water efficiency design and usage;
  • Waste reduction and recycling in the built environment.

Prof. Stelios Zerefos
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

  • Architectural design
  • Building rating systems
  • Building simulation
  • Circular economy
  • Climate change, adaptation, and mitigation
  • Construction methods
  • Daylighting
  • Design methods
  • Energy-efficient design
  • Environmental simulation
  • Healthy buildings
  • Inclusive design
  • Lighting design
  • Resilient design
  • Safety and security
  • Social sustainability
  • Sustainable design
  • Sustainable design policies
  • Waste and water management
  • Wellbeing
  • Zero and near zero energy buildings

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
A Regression Analysis of the Carbon Footprint of Megacities
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1379; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031379 - 28 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1020
Abstract
Urbanization and climate change are two major issues that humanity faces in the 21st century. Megacities are large urban agglomerations with more than 10 million inhabitants that emerged in the 20th century. The world’s top 100 economies include many North and South American [...] Read more.
Urbanization and climate change are two major issues that humanity faces in the 21st century. Megacities are large urban agglomerations with more than 10 million inhabitants that emerged in the 20th century. The world’s top 100 economies include many North and South American megacities, such as New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires; European cities such as London and Paris; and Asian cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Beijing and Mumbai. This paper addresses a dearth of megacity energy metabolism models in the literature. Cross-sectional data for 36 global megacities were collected from many literature and Internet sources. Variables included megacity name, country and region; population; area; population density; (per capita) GDP; income inequality measures; (per capita) energy consumption; household electricity prices; (per capita) carbon and ecological footprint; degree days; average urban heat island intensity; and temperature and precipitation. A descriptive comparison of the characteristics of megacities was followed by ordinary least squares with heteroskedasticity-robust standard errors that were used to estimate four alternative multiple regression models. The per-capita carbon footprint of megacities was positively associated with the megacity GDP per capita, and the megacity ecological footprint; and negatively associated with country income inequality, a low-income country dummy, the country household electricity price, and the megacity annual precipitation. Targeted policies are needed, but more policy autonomy should be left to megacities. Collecting longitudinal data for megacities is very challenging but should be a next step to overcome misspecification and bias issues that plague cross-sectional approaches. Full article
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Article
Efficient Structural Design of a Prefab Concrete Connection by Using Artificial Neural Networks
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8226; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198226 - 06 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 566
Abstract
In the built environment, one of the main concerns during the design stage is the selection of adequate structural materials and elements. A rational and sensible design of both materials and elements results not only in economic benefits and computing time reduction, but [...] Read more.
In the built environment, one of the main concerns during the design stage is the selection of adequate structural materials and elements. A rational and sensible design of both materials and elements results not only in economic benefits and computing time reduction, but also in minimizing the environmental impact. Nowadays, Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) are showing their potential as design tools. In this research, ANNs are used in order to foster the implementation of efficient tools to be used during the early stages of structural design. The proposed networks are applied to a dry precast concrete connection, which has been modelled by means of the Finite Element Method (FEM). The parameters are: strength of concrete and screws, diameter of screws, plate thickness, and the posttensioning load. The ANN input data are the parameters and nodal stresses obtained from the FEM models. A multilayer perceptron combined with a backpropagation algorithm is used in the ANN architecture, and a hyperbolic tangent function is applied as an activation function. Comparing the obtained predicted stresses to those of the FEM analyses, the difference is less than 9.16%. Those results validate their use as an efficient structural design tool. The main advantage of the proposed ANNs is that they can be easily and effectively adapted to different connection parameters. In addition, their use could be applied both in precast or cast in situ concrete connection design. Full article
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Article
Enhancing City Sustainability through Smart Technologies: A Framework for Automatic Pre-Emptive Action to Promote Safety and Security Using Lighting and ICT-Based Surveillance
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6142; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156142 - 30 Jul 2020
Viewed by 1035
Abstract
The scope of the present paper is to promote social, cultural and environmental sustainability in cities by establishing a conceptual framework and the relationship amongst safety in urban public space (UPS), lighting and Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based surveillance. This framework uses available [...] Read more.
The scope of the present paper is to promote social, cultural and environmental sustainability in cities by establishing a conceptual framework and the relationship amongst safety in urban public space (UPS), lighting and Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based surveillance. This framework uses available technologies and tools, as these can be found in urban equipment such as lighting posts, to enhance security and safety in UPS, ensuring protection against attempted criminal activity. Through detailed literary research, publications on security and safety concerning crime and lighting can be divided into two periods, the first one pre-1994, and the second one from 2004–2008. Since then, a significant reduction in the number of publications dealing with lighting and crime is observed, while at the same time, the urban nightscape has been reshaped with the immersion of light-emitting diode (LED) technologies. Especially in the last decade, where most municipalities in the EU28 (European Union of all the member states from the accession of Croatia in 2013 to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom in 2020) are refurbishing their road lighting with LED technology and the consideration of smart networks and surveillance is under development, the use of lighting to deter possible attempted felonies in UPS is not addressed. To capitalize on the potential of lighting as a deterrent, this paper proposes a framework that uses existing technology, namely, dimmable LED light sources, presence sensors, security cameras, as well as emerging techniques such as artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled image recognition algorithms and big data analytics and presents a possible system that could be developed as a stand-alone product to alert possible dangerous situations, deter criminal activity and promote the perception of safety thus linking lighting and ICT-based surveillance towards safety and security in UPS. Full article
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Article
A Building Information Model (BIM) and Artificial Neural Network (ANN) Based System for Personal Thermal Comfort Evaluation and Energy Efficient Design of Interior Space
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 4972; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11184972 - 11 Sep 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1264
Abstract
It is crucial to evaluate indoor personal thermal comfort for a comfortable and green thermal environment. At present, the research on individual thermal comfort does not consider its implementation mode. Moreover, the improvement of energy saving efficiency under the premise of increasing human [...] Read more.
It is crucial to evaluate indoor personal thermal comfort for a comfortable and green thermal environment. At present, the research on individual thermal comfort does not consider its implementation mode. Moreover, the improvement of energy saving efficiency under the premise of increasing human comfort is an urgent problem that needs to be solved. In this paper, we proposed a Building Information Model (BIM) and Artificial Neural Network (ANN) based system to solve this problem. The system consists of two parts including an ANN predictive model considering the Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) index, the persons’ position, and an innovative plugin of BIM to realize dynamic evaluation and energy efficient design. The ANN model has three layers, considering three environment parameters (air temperature, air humidity, and wind speed around the person), three human state parameters (human metabolism rate, clothing thermal resistance, and the body position) and four body parameters (gender, age, height, and weight) as inputs. The plugin provides two functions. One is to provide corresponding personal thermal comfort evaluation results with dynamic changes of parameters returned by Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN). The other one is to provide energy saving optimization suggestions for interior space design by simulating the energy consumption index of different design schemes. In the data test, the Mean Squared Error (MSE) of the established ANN model was about 0.39, while the MSE of traditional PMV model was about 2.1. The system realized the integration of thermal information and a building model, thereby providing guidance for the creation of a comfortable and green indoor environment. Full article
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Article
Assessing the Openness and Conviviality of Open Source Technology: The Case of the WikiHouse
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4746; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174746 - 30 Aug 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1963
Abstract
The housing crisis has received growing interest from academia, industry, and policymakers. Open construction systems have emerged as a promising solution to achieve long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability. In this paper, extensive fieldwork was conducted to investigate a case of an open [...] Read more.
The housing crisis has received growing interest from academia, industry, and policymakers. Open construction systems have emerged as a promising solution to achieve long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability. In this paper, extensive fieldwork was conducted to investigate a case of an open construction system, namely, the WikiHouse Den Bosch. The research framework builds on a combined view of two main concepts: “conviviality” and “openness”. The aim is to provide an in-depth understanding of the relationship between these two aspects and the literature regarding “Design Global Manufacture Local”. The analysis showed that conviviality and openness are complex and context-specific factors. The paper concludes by outlining the need for an “institutionalized conviviality” to open up new pathways for future practice to address sustainability issues. Full article
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