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Sustainability of Retrofit Actions in Great Buildings

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2022) | Viewed by 7497

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Architecture and Design, Politecnico di Torino, 10125 Torino, Italy
Interests: historical and architectural; built heritage; real estate; cultural heritage

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Adding Quality to Add Value by Reusing and Retrofitting Existing Industrial Buildings

The Special Issue seeks to address the subject of the potential for economic enhancement of industrial buildings by reusing them and applying energy retrofit measures. It addresses the problems associated with sustainable conservation of industrial buildings, bringing together reuse and energy retrofit with the aim of enhancing the economic value of the buildings by protecting their historic and architectural value. To tackle the objective of “adding quality to add value” while assuming the principles of sustainable conservation, contributions which address the problems of reuse in relation to geographical features are considered important, as are those which deal with technical, specialist questions of particular relevance or which consider retrofit measures, not only in sector-specific terms but also in relation to aesthetic objectives or on the basis of protecting the elements that characterise the assets from a historic and architectural point of view. The aim is to recreate, at a methodological level, the approaches and tools borrowed from both technical and humanist disciplines that, depending on the inherent problems of the buildings or the cases, should be involved in the enhancement of industrial buildings.

Reuse and Geographical and Economic Contexts

The reconversion of industrial buildings is particularly challenging on the economic and social fronts, in fragile regions where the availability of space for reuse is greater than the demand.  In these situations, the reuse of industrial buildings must, however, address both the systemic risk―defined mostly at the level of a system undergoing uncertainty which was not foreseeable, such as in the case of COVID-19―and the risk which, being specific to the project to be carried out, can be controlled using a mixture of marketing tools and/or the most sophisticated models for predicting and profiling demand. Potential contributors are invited to tackle the problems relating to the reuse of industrial buildings, in both strong and weak areas, from the points of view 1) of the economic, e-financial feasibility; 2) of the management of the assets and activities; 3) of optimising the management costs (including those pertaining to energy consumption); and 4) of the balance between private and public use, as represented by the interests of the different stakeholders. Furthermore, as the buildings are often found in areas already impoverished by de-industrialisation, contributions will also be considered relating to projects and policies for regional redevelopment and regeneration of industrial sites, as well as to cost–benefit analyses.

From the standpoint of these challenges, the contributions of economists, assessors, architects, planners, sociologists, administrators, and managers of economic activities who have conducted studies on the problems of reuse or who have concrete experience will be especially appreciated.

Energy Retrofit and Global Quality

Energy retrofit of great architectures, such as industrial buildings, is one of the most innovative aspects to be considered in reuse projects. If attention is shifted from the contexts to the buildings, it leads to consideration of the measures connected to the optimal cost and the life cycle, attempting to overcome the purely sectorial vision of a technical/engineering nature. In fact, the retrofit of existing buildings is often considered only in relation to energy performance, undervaluing the role that the retrofit measures can have on global quality and economic enhancement. Contributions that pursue different objectives that can be integrated with each other could, however, be considered. Other contributions may focus on the results of studies or on technical measures carried that are out of a strongly innovative and experimental nature. In fact, in many cases, the typological and architectural features of industrial buildings raise extremely sensitive issues when the choice of technical and engineering equipment is addressed. Consider, for example, the large areas of glass covering the industrial buildings constructed by the Modern Movement that, today, require measures to improve the cladding from a transmittance perspective. Or else, consider the large-scale coverings―such as the Torino Esposizioni Hall of Pier Luigi Nervi―that pose not inconsiderable challenges when intervening without altering the original features that characterise them. Contributions on specific aspects and technical/specialist solutions would be welcome. A second group of contributions could deal instead with the topic of energy retrofit, also addressing the limitations of exclusively sectoral approaches. From this point of view, the LCC, for example, while meeting the integrated design specification, could be seen as reductive when compared to the holistic approach of the whole building design. The LCC in fact only considers the optimal cost in relation to energy improvement without taking into account that the most economically convenient solution may not be the best solution from an aesthetic point of view or from the point of view of protecting the features that characterise the industrial buildings or, else, how the most economically beneficial solution from the energy point of view is not the one that adds the greatest value to redeveloped assets. In addition, research contributions or experiments conducted on concrete cases by engineers, architects, restorers, technical physicists, technologists, economists, materials science researchers, and experts in home automation and BIM (building information modelling) are welcomed.

Prof. Dr. Rocco Curto
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 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 conservation
  • high-performance building
  • existing buildings
  • great architectures
  • ex-industrial buildings
  • LCC―life cycle cost
  • WBD―whole building design
  • global quality
  • total economic value
  • historic and modern buildings
  • aesthetics value
  • economic value
  • real estate market
  • enhancement
  • cost-effectiveness
  • DCFM―discounted cash flow method

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

24 pages, 3566 KiB  
Article
Energy Retrofitting for the Modern Heritage Enhancement in Weak Real Estate Markets: The Olivetti Housing Stock in Ivrea
by Alice Barreca, Rocco Curto, Giorgia Malavasi and Diana Rolando
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3507; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063507 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2319
Abstract
The enhancement of Modern Heritage buildings is nowadays a challenging issue as they are often degraded or abandoned and their historical value is not well acknowledged by potential buyers and their owners. Moreover, they are usually energy inefficient and obsolete, but investments for [...] Read more.
The enhancement of Modern Heritage buildings is nowadays a challenging issue as they are often degraded or abandoned and their historical value is not well acknowledged by potential buyers and their owners. Moreover, they are usually energy inefficient and obsolete, but investments for energy retrofit interventions are not always convenient, especially in socio-economic contexts characterized by weak real-estate market dynamics. This paper aims to study the influence of intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics on housing prices and, in particular, to understand whether elements of building cultural connotations or some housing green features are monetized by the real estate market. The UNESCO site “Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century”, located in the weak real-estate context of the Eporediese territorial area, was selected as an emblematic case study and two data samples of property listings were built to perform spatial regression analyses. The results showed that the green features of housing, such as the heating type and the EPC level, have a greater influence on property prices than those characteristics related to the cultural connotations of a building, such as the Olivettian context. Therefore, the current incentive-based policies for energy efficiency can represent great opportunities that can be exploited both to preserve and to improve the condition of this valuable Modern Heritage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Retrofit Actions in Great Buildings)
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24 pages, 5713 KiB  
Article
Architectural Quality and the Housing Market: Values of the Late Twentieth Century Built Heritage
by Alice Barreca
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 2565; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052565 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2223
Abstract
The assessment of the ‘quality’ of built heritage is a complex transdisciplinary issue, which both public administrations and real estate developers need to carefully consider when making any interventions. Recent international climate regulations underline that currently around 75% of buildings in the EU [...] Read more.
The assessment of the ‘quality’ of built heritage is a complex transdisciplinary issue, which both public administrations and real estate developers need to carefully consider when making any interventions. Recent international climate regulations underline that currently around 75% of buildings in the EU are not energy efficient. In Italy, those inefficient buildings are more than 50 years old and, if subjected to retrofit interventions, risk being totally transformed and losing their historical value in favor of a more contemporary use. This work aimed to study the residential heritage of the second half of the 20th century in the real estate market and to understand if, how, and in what measure the building and architectonical qualities are recognized and monetized by buyers. The city of Turin was chosen as a study area, and residential building qualities were analyzed using two quality indicators to perform a GWR on market POIs. The results highlighted that housing historical qualities are not homogeneously recognized by the real estate market, in favor of green ones. This work can help both public and private bodies to identify which ‘invisible’ quality residential buildings are immediately exploitable for enhancement strategies, with more respectful retrofitting interventions and a modern protection policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Retrofit Actions in Great Buildings)
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23 pages, 8497 KiB  
Article
Behavior of Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete Panels under Surface Pressure
by Ozge Ersu Cakir and Fatih Cetisli
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010298 - 28 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2062
Abstract
In this study, it is aimed to investigate the importance of the affecting parameters on the pressure–displacement relationship of steel fiber reinforced concrete panels. Among these parameters, panel thickness, panel dimensions, material type, and boundary conditions of the panels are the parameters that [...] Read more.
In this study, it is aimed to investigate the importance of the affecting parameters on the pressure–displacement relationship of steel fiber reinforced concrete panels. Among these parameters, panel thickness, panel dimensions, material type, and boundary conditions of the panels are the parameters that were examined. In this context, the effects of surface pressure on the steel fiber reinforced concrete panels were investigated. It was observed that as the thickness and the fiber ratio increased, the ultimate bearing capacity increased. It was determined that it may not be enough to support the panels only at the corner points, and intermediate supports are needed. As the support spacing decreased, the absorbed surface pressure increased. In addition, it was concluded that the increase in the amount of steel fiber in the concrete material increased the strength, deflection, and ductility values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Retrofit Actions in Great Buildings)
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