Topic Editors

Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, 4099-002 Porto, Portugal
Section of Design for Sustainability, Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark

Sustainable and Smart Building

Abstract submission deadline
10 February 2025
Manuscript submission deadline
10 May 2025
Viewed by
7610

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

The building sector is one of the largest contributors to the world’s total energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Several building energy-related technologies have been introduced and developed to support these global challenges of reducing building energy consumption and GHG emissions, including passive design and active system measures. The smart building concept has become a prominent theme in recent years. The transformation in the smart product market and energy management service industry has led to the growth of smart building technologies globally.

Smart buildings address the need for automation, but building intelligence goes far beyond simple automation and focuses on how technology is used and managed. In other words, a modern and intelligent building must integrate a set of sensors and usage information systems to prioritize the use of passive solutions (e.g., natural ventilation and daylighting), not only to reduce energy consumption and resource usage costs but also to promote the safety, comfort, well-being, and health of citizens.

The Topic “Sustainable and Smart Building” provides a platform to publish both reviews and original research papers on the design and implementation of the smart building and sustainability concept to promote energy sustainability and improve the quality of life of citizens. Please join us in creating a diverse collection of articles covering a variety of topics. We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. João Quesado Delgado
Dr. Ricardo Forgiarini Rupp
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • renewable technologies
  • energy management and storage systems
  • energy-efficient buildings
  • indoor environment
  • low/nearly zero and energy positive buildings
  • advanced and emerging materials and nanomaterials
  • modeling and simulation
  • life-cycle assessment (LCA)
  • energy policy
  • Industry 4.0

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Buildings
buildings
3.1 3.4 2011 14.6 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Energies
energies
3.0 6.2 2008 16.1 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Land
land
3.2 4.9 2012 14.8 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Smart Cities
smartcities
7.0 11.2 2018 20.2 Days CHF 2000 Submit
Sustainability
sustainability
3.3 6.8 2009 18.8 Days CHF 2400 Submit

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Published Papers (7 papers)

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20 pages, 3765 KiB  
Article
Integrating Renewable Energy Solutions in Small-Scale Industrial Facilities
by Laila Zemite, Jevgenijs Kozadajevs, Leo Jansons, Ilmars Bode, Egils Dzelzitis and Karina Palkova
Energies 2024, 17(11), 2792; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17112792 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 302
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to analyze the economical suitability of numerous on-site renewable electricity generation technologies which were intended to be used in a recently built industrial facility designed and utilized as a warehouse. The facility was located in the vicinity [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to analyze the economical suitability of numerous on-site renewable electricity generation technologies which were intended to be used in a recently built industrial facility designed and utilized as a warehouse. The facility was located in the vicinity of Riga, Latvia. Data were collected and calculations were performed within the scope of the project “Mitigating Energy Poverty through Innovative Solutions” as part of several planned activities to address the broad spectrum of energy poverty and self-reliance issues in both the residential sector and small-scale industrial facilities. During the project, evaluations of various renewable energy technologies, including PV installations, wind energy installations, battery storage solutions, and hybrid technologies, were carried out. The aim of these evaluations was to develop an electricity production–consumption model for efficient and cost-effective energy use and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the test facility. A model was created and subsequent research scenarios were developed based on a payback period instead of the net present value criterion. The project was carried out over several steps to develop a calculation methodology. The open access databases of energy resource providers were used to evaluate statistical data and make forecasts for the analysis of the electricity consumption of companies. MATLAB/Simulink 23/2 was used for the data analysis, and the H-TEC method was employed. This made it possible to modulate the required production capacity as the model allowed for the addition of new modules to modules already installed. The project results proved that despite high initial investment costs, renewable energy sources and efficient storage systems can provide cost-effective solutions and reduce dependence on fossil fuels in the long term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable and Smart Building)
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24 pages, 1309 KiB  
Article
Always with the Best Intentions? Interrogating the Use of Sustainable Building Assessment Systems in Developing Countries: Kenya
by Faith Ng’eno Chelang’at and Ranald Lawrence
Sustainability 2024, 16(9), 3868; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16093868 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 755
Abstract
Assessment methodologies such as BREEAM and LEED allocate points based on prescribed interventions that promote design features or strategies considered to be more sustainable than others. A focus on accumulating numerical scores, however, often fails to address pertinent contextual issues, particularly within developing [...] Read more.
Assessment methodologies such as BREEAM and LEED allocate points based on prescribed interventions that promote design features or strategies considered to be more sustainable than others. A focus on accumulating numerical scores, however, often fails to address pertinent contextual issues, particularly within developing countries. This paper examines the use of four assessment systems in Kenya—two international systems, LEED-US and Green Star SA-Kenya; and two locally developed systems, Green Mark Kenya and the Safari Green Building Index. The paper compares the relative weighting of different categories under each system, and assesses their appropriateness to a Kenyan context, with reference to the suitability of active technology versus passive design approaches. The paper examines selected examples of ‘green’ buildings in Nairobi, reflecting on the influence of different methods of assessment on the adopted design approaches. The paper argues that international rating systems, such as LEED, often focus on a Western construct of sustainability featuring a systematic bias towards global rather than local perspectives, with an emphasis on physical environmental factors. In pursuit of objectivity, the measurement of non-contextual parameters untailored to local circumstances (e.g., energy performance) is prioritised at the expense of those contingent on local conditions or climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable and Smart Building)
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26 pages, 6190 KiB  
Review
Advances in Connection Techniques for Raw Bamboo Structures—A Review
by Mary Joanne C. Aniñon and Lessandro Estelito O. Garciano
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1126; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041126 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1353
Abstract
While bamboo’s sustainability and impressive mechanical properties make it suitable for structural use, its application is hindered by challenges in connection systems. Bamboo’s hollow, thin-walled nature, dimensional variations, and anisotropic properties complicate connection design. Despite numerous studies and proposed connection types, a consensus [...] Read more.
While bamboo’s sustainability and impressive mechanical properties make it suitable for structural use, its application is hindered by challenges in connection systems. Bamboo’s hollow, thin-walled nature, dimensional variations, and anisotropic properties complicate connection design. Despite numerous studies and proposed connection types, a consensus on preferred bamboo connections remains elusive. Ideal connections for raw bamboo structures should be robust, economical, practical, simple, and easy to assemble. This paper reviews 62 scientific papers from the Scopus database published between 2003 and 2024, along with additional relevant references. It identifies research gaps, recommending further studies on bamboo connections considering factors like species, harvest age, treatment type, and node location. The analysis of failure modes and long-term behavior is essential to anticipate and mitigate risks associated with bamboo connections, ensuring durability, and minimizing maintenance needs. Lastly, developing universally accepted standards and codes for bamboo and bamboo connections is crucial for enabling their widespread adoption in the construction industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable and Smart Building)
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16 pages, 2843 KiB  
Article
Smarter Window Selection for Smarter Energy Consumption: The Case of the United Arab Emirates
by Amin H. Almasri
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 876; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14040876 - 24 Mar 2024
Viewed by 737
Abstract
The energy consumption levels of buildings in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are among the highest in the world. One of the main reasons for this energy consumption is the need to cool buildings due to the hot climate of the UAE. As [...] Read more.
The energy consumption levels of buildings in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are among the highest in the world. One of the main reasons for this energy consumption is the need to cool buildings due to the hot climate of the UAE. As a large part of the heat accumulated inside buildings comes from windows, in this study, the effects of window size and direction in a typical building in the UAE on energy consumption and thermal performance are investigated through numerical modeling. The modeling process includes thermal conductivity, thermal convection, and solar radiation simulation. The energy performance of any building at any location can be obtained based on local weather data and the computational thermal characteristics of the building elements, such as its walls, roofs, windows, and doors. The study covered all different seasons of the year and different orientations for the windows, allowing the daily and yearly energy consumption associated with the windows to be obtained. Furthermore, the energy consumption was obtained for solar radiation and heat gain separately for both single- and double-glazed windows. It was found that north-facing windows consume significantly less annual energy (36% less), when compared with windows facing in the other three directions. Furthermore, the east- and west-facing windows consumed about 41% and 35% more daily cooling energy in August, when compared to north- and south-facing windows, respectively. The use of a window with a height equal to that of the wall can cause a clear greenhouse effect; hence, it is recommended to limit the window’s height to two-thirds of the wall height, which can save about one-third of the associated yearly cooling energy. This study should be considered as a general guideline, as the thermal performance of any specific building will be affected by its own thermal characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable and Smart Building)
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25 pages, 13693 KiB  
Article
Settlement Analysis of Concrete-Walled Buildings Using Soil–Structure Interactions and Finite Element Modeling
by Jonny D. Patrício, Alexandre D. Gusmão, Sílvio R. M. Ferreira, Fernando A. N. Silva, Hassan Jafarian Kafshgarkolaei, António C. Azevedo and João M. P. Q. Delgado
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030746 - 10 Mar 2024
Viewed by 894
Abstract
This study examines the performance of mat foundations in 13 blocks of eight-story concrete-walled residential buildings. Topographic monitoring bolts were used to monitor the slab’s construction, which was 0.35 m thick and comprised an area of 225 m2. Using the collected [...] Read more.
This study examines the performance of mat foundations in 13 blocks of eight-story concrete-walled residential buildings. Topographic monitoring bolts were used to monitor the slab’s construction, which was 0.35 m thick and comprised an area of 225 m2. Using the collected data, a retro-analysis of the modulus of elasticity was conducted to obtain the geotechnical parameters for forecasting the settlement using the elasticity theory. A nonlinear approach for construction modeling and soil–structure interactions showed that the earthworks at the start of construction had a significant role in settling. Blocks in landfills settled faster than those in land-cut zones. The partial execution of building levels was found to be critical in terms of angular distortions and stresses in the concrete slab. The partial lifting of the foundation plate was confirmed in blocks with partial building floor execution, demonstrating the importance of assessing the foundation’s behavior at this stage. The modulus of elasticity dropped as construction progressed, with landfill parts being particularly vulnerable. Creep settlements contributed significantly, accounting for about 20% of the total settlements in some blocks. The numerical staged construction model accurately replicated the behaviors observed in the monitoring data, confirming the hypothesis of the partial raising of the foundation during the building process, which resulted in higher angular distortions. Based on the results obtained, the authors strongly recommend that the simultaneous consideration of soil–structure interactions and construction effects be commonly used in foundation designs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable and Smart Building)
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19 pages, 3651 KiB  
Article
Adhesion Analysis of Adhesive Mortar Joints in Ceramic Tiles under Static Loading
by Janaina Salustio da Silva, Sandro M. Torres, Ângelo J. Costa e Silva, Fernando A. N. Silva, António C. Azevedo and João M. P. Q. Delgado
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030670 - 2 Mar 2024
Viewed by 746
Abstract
Ceramic detachment is a serious problem that persists in modern building constructions despite technological advances and updated regulatory documents. Most of these detachments occur at the interface between the adhesive mortar and the ceramic tile, due to the action of simultaneous tensile and [...] Read more.
Ceramic detachment is a serious problem that persists in modern building constructions despite technological advances and updated regulatory documents. Most of these detachments occur at the interface between the adhesive mortar and the ceramic tile, due to the action of simultaneous tensile and shearing efforts. However, despite this understanding, experimental studies that evaluate the integrity of the adhesion of façades covering materials subjected to simultaneous stress are scarce. In this sense, this study proposes to evaluate the integrity of adhesive mortar joints using the mixed-mode flexure (MMF) crack propagation test. Force and elastic and dissipated energy data were used in this analysis. Prismatic specimens, with a size of 160 × 40 mm2 and a thickness of 6 mm, were produced consisting of two ceramic plates joined by a layer of adhesive mortar at 5 ± 0.5 mm. An acetate film was inserted into one of the mortar–ceramic interfaces in order to simulate the presence of a previous crack, and different crack sizes were used. The results showed the high stress-concentrating effect that the existence of flaws in the interface region has on fracture resistance, as well as the importance of effective contact between the materials. The energy parameters confirmed the analyses carried out based on the load values. The elastic energy of the system fell in the cracked samples, showing that there is a close relationship between the interface energy and the adhesive strength of the material. An energy release of the order of 0.053 ± 0.031 J was required for a 15 mm crack to propagate, creating a fracture surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable and Smart Building)
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31 pages, 2728 KiB  
Review
Climate Change Mitigation through Modular Construction
by Zeerak Waryam Sajid, Fahim Ullah, Siddra Qayyum and Rehan Masood
Smart Cities 2024, 7(1), 566-596; https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities7010023 - 8 Feb 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2101
Abstract
Modular construction (MC) is a promising concept with the potential to revolutionize the construction industry (CI). The sustainability aspects of MC, among its other encouraging facets, have garnered escalated interest and acclaim among the research community, especially in the context of climate change [...] Read more.
Modular construction (MC) is a promising concept with the potential to revolutionize the construction industry (CI). The sustainability aspects of MC, among its other encouraging facets, have garnered escalated interest and acclaim among the research community, especially in the context of climate change (CC) mitigation efforts. Despite numerous scholarly studies contributing to the understanding of MC, a holistic review of the prevailing literature that systematically documents the impact of utilizing MC on CC mitigation remains scarce. The study conducts a systematic literature review (SLR) of the pertinent literature retrieved from the Scopus repository to explore the relationship between MC and CC mitigation. Employing the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocol, the SLR was conducted on 31 shortlisted articles published between 2010 and 2023. The findings of the study reveal that MC can mitigate the climate crisis by reducing GHG emissions, curtailing resource intensiveness by enabling a circular economy (CE), fomenting energy efficiency, and fostering resourceful land use and management in the CI. A conceptual framework based on the findings of the previous literature is proposed in this study, which outlines several strategies for CC mitigation that can be implemented by the adoption of MC in the CI. The current study is a humble effort to review various offerings of MC to help mitigate CC in the era of striving for global sustainability. For industry practitioners and policymakers, this study highlights the viability of leveraging MC for CC mitigation, aiming to inspire better decision making for sustainable development in the CI. Similarly, for researchers, it presents MC as a potential tool for CC mitigation that can be further explored in terms of its associated factors, and focused frameworks can be developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable and Smart Building)
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