Special Issue "Net Zero Energy Settlements"

A special issue of Urban Science (ISSN 2413-8851).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2022) | Viewed by 2722

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Gloria Pignatta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Built Environment, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Interests: sustainable building development; building energy efficiency; net-zero energy buildings; positive energy districts; climate adaptation and mitigation; energy transitions; energy poverty
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The concept of net zero energy building (NZEB), applied at new and existing buildings, provides the opportunity to improve the environmental performance of the building sector.

NZEBs can achieve an annual energy balance close to zero thanks to the combined synergy of building-integrated energy conservation strategies and renewable energy generation systems.

Several examples of NZEBs can be found around the world.

Despite all the drivers and benefits associated with the implementation of NZEBs, important barriers are still limiting their global diffusion. One of the most critical barriers is the high capital cost associated with the NZEB.

The transition from NZEB to net zero energy settlements, where the overall annual energy consumption at the settlement scale is covered by the renewable energy generated on site, can help to overcome the cost barrier as a result of the economies of scales, as well as to increase the energy efficiency and the CO2 offsetting of the overall urban system and the impact of mitigation strategies for counteracting the urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon.  

This Special Issue aims to explore recent trends around the following research topics that underpin net-zero energy urban systems, from NZEB toward NZE settlements and positive energy districts (PEDs):

  • Decision-making theories, tools, and methodologies;
  • Energy conservation strategies and high-performance building materials;
  • RES technologies, hybrid energy systems, and standardized interfaces between different technologies;
  • Smart grids, smart energy management systems, AI and IoT in energy management, and energy storage;
  • Indoor air quality, thermal comfort, and post occupancy evaluation;
  • Energy information systems to engage urban communities;
  • UHI mitigation strategies and assessment of the local microclimate;
  • Case studies including new and existing urban developments;
  • Best practice for the phases of design, construction, monitoring, and operation.

Dr. Gloria Pignatta
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. Urban Science is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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 1200 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.


  • sustainable built environment
  • net zero energy buildings
  • positive energy districts
  • building performance monitoring and evaluation
  • res technologies
  • smart energy management systems
  • local microclimate
  • climate mitigation and adaptation
  • post occupancy evaluation (poe)
  • urban energy communities

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Indoor Thermal Comfort Analysis: A Case Study of Modern and Traditional Buildings in Hot-Arid Climatic Region of Ethiopia
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci5030053 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1741
Indoor thermal comfort is an essential aspect of sustainable architecture and it is critical in maintaining a safe indoor environment. Expectations, acceptability, and preferences of traditional and modern buildings are different in terms of thermal comfort. This study, therefore, attempts to evaluate the [...] Read more.
Indoor thermal comfort is an essential aspect of sustainable architecture and it is critical in maintaining a safe indoor environment. Expectations, acceptability, and preferences of traditional and modern buildings are different in terms of thermal comfort. This study, therefore, attempts to evaluate the indoor thermal comforts of modern and traditional buildings and identify the contributing factors that impede or facilitate indoor thermal comfort in Semera city, Ethiopia. This study employed subjective and objective measurements. The subjective measurement is based on the ASHRAE seven-point thermal sensation scale. An adaptive comfort model was employed according to the ASHRAE standard to evaluate indoor thermal comfort. The results revealed that with regards to thermal sensational votes between −1 and +1, 88% of the respondents are satisfied with the indoor environment in traditional houses, while in modern houses this figure is 22%. Likewise, 83% of occupants in traditional houses expressed a preference for their homes to remain the same or be only slightly cooler or warmer. Traditional houses were, on average, in compliance with the 80% acceptability band of the adaptive comfort standard. The study investigated that traditional building techniques and materials, in combination with consideration of microclimate, were found to play a significant role in regulating the indoor environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Net Zero Energy Settlements)
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