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Buildings, Volume 14, Issue 4 (April 2024) – 329 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The rational design and use of the artificial living environment are intended to meet the current and future needs of users. They are also an expression of concern for the natural environment. The task of designers is to achieve technical, functional, and aesthetic perfection of their work. Design achievements are assessed in the context of changing social and technical conditions. These issues are addressed in the New European Bauhaus. The NEB initiative involves people in building a sustainable and inclusive society in a beautiful future environment and creating harmony between the contemporary needs of people and the natural environment. It is an interdisciplinary project in the field of the natural environment, economy, architecture, and a broadly understood culture. View this paper
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17 pages, 9296 KiB  
Article
Pollutant Diffusion in an Infectious Disease Hospital with Different Thermal Conditions
by Ying Yang, Jiayi Hu, Yigao Tan, Kuo Wang and Lian Shen
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1185; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041185 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 480
Abstract
In recent years, the outbreak of infectious diseases has highlighted the need for improved planning of hospital buildings. Traditional planning for infectious disease hospitals only considers the impact of wind and pollutant diffusion, without analysing pollutant diffusion under different thermal conditions. To reveal [...] Read more.
In recent years, the outbreak of infectious diseases has highlighted the need for improved planning of hospital buildings. Traditional planning for infectious disease hospitals only considers the impact of wind and pollutant diffusion, without analysing pollutant diffusion under different thermal conditions. To reveal the distribution of pollutants in infectious disease hospitals under different thermal conditions, this study conducted wind tunnel tests and numerical analyses of pollutant diffusion in the environment surrounding an infectious disease hospital in Changsha, China. The results show that the pollutant concentration mainly depends on the local wind speed. In the range of Rb = −1.25 to 1.25, the concentration of pollutants was mainly affected by the disturbance of the flow field in areas with rough surfaces, where the effect of the thermal stability of the atmosphere on pollutant diffusion was relatively small. However, in relatively flat regions, the thermal stability of the atmosphere played a significant role in pollutant diffusion around the buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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17 pages, 3144 KiB  
Article
Suitability of Site Selection for Mountain Railway Engineering Spoil Disposal Areas from a Multi-Scenario Perspective
by Yange Li, Cheng Zeng, Zheng Han, Weidong Wang and Jianling Huang
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1184; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041184 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 375
Abstract
The current approach to selecting sites for abandoned spoil areas primarily relies on qualitative methods, often overlooking the impact of policy factors on decision-making. Traditional single-site selection strategies may not be flexible enough to accommodate evolving external policy demands. Addressing this challenge is [...] Read more.
The current approach to selecting sites for abandoned spoil areas primarily relies on qualitative methods, often overlooking the impact of policy factors on decision-making. Traditional single-site selection strategies may not be flexible enough to accommodate evolving external policy demands. Addressing this challenge is crucial for ensuring the site selection for abandoned spoil areas is both scientifically sound and policy-compliant. This research integrates various analytical methods, including principal component analysis, complex network theory, the CRITIC method, and the ordered weighted averaging method, to thoroughly evaluate the factors influencing site selection. Utilizing geographic information system (GIS) technology, the study simulates different policy scenarios, such as construction cost, social and ecological concerns, natural security, spatial accessibility, and a comprehensive balance approach. It specifically analyzes the suitability of the spoil site of a segment of the Chongqing ZW Railway under these policy conditions. Based on the actual policy situation in the local area, six potential suitable sites were screened with the help of field investigation. This study can offer a methodological framework and theoretical guidance for optimally locating mountain railway engineering waste disposal sites. In addition, the methodology presented in this study can be adapted to the development and change in policy scenarios. Full article
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22 pages, 1537 KiB  
Review
Effectiveness of Vibration-Based Techniques for Damage Localization and Lifetime Prediction in Structural Health Monitoring of Bridges: A Comprehensive Review
by Raihan Rahmat Rabi, Marco Vailati and Giorgio Monti
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1183; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041183 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 555
Abstract
Bridges are essential to infrastructure and transportation networks, but face challenges from heavier traffic, higher speeds, and modifications like busway integration, leading to potential overloading and costly maintenance. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) plays a crucial role in assessing bridge conditions and predicting failures [...] Read more.
Bridges are essential to infrastructure and transportation networks, but face challenges from heavier traffic, higher speeds, and modifications like busway integration, leading to potential overloading and costly maintenance. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) plays a crucial role in assessing bridge conditions and predicting failures to maintain structural integrity. Vibration-based condition monitoring employs non-destructive, in situ sensing and analysis of system dynamics across time, frequency, or modal domains. This method detects changes indicative of damage or deterioration, offering a proactive approach to maintenance in civil engineering. Such monitoring systems hold promise for optimizing the management and upkeep of modern infrastructure, potentially reducing operational costs. This paper aims to assist newcomers, practitioners, and researchers in navigating various methodologies for damage identification using sensor data from real structures. It offers a comprehensive review of prevalent anomaly detection approaches, spanning from traditional techniques to cutting-edge methods. Additionally, it addresses challenges inherent in Vibration-Based Damage (VBD) SHM applications, including establishing damage thresholds, corrosion detection, and sensor drift. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Resilient Civil Infrastructure)
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13 pages, 8674 KiB  
Article
Numerical Study on Permeability of Reconstructed Porous Concrete Based on Lattice Boltzmann Method
by Danni Zhao, Jiangbo Xu, Xingang Wang, Qingjun Guo, Yangcheng Li, Zemin Han, Yifan Liu, Zixuan Zhang, Jiajun Zhang and Runtao Sun
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041182 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 424
Abstract
The reconstruction of the porous media model is crucial for researching the mesoscopic seepage characteristics of porous concrete. Based on a self-compiled MATLAB program, a porous concrete model was modeled by controlling four parameters (distribution probability, growth probability, probability density, and porosity) with [...] Read more.
The reconstruction of the porous media model is crucial for researching the mesoscopic seepage characteristics of porous concrete. Based on a self-compiled MATLAB program, a porous concrete model was modeled by controlling four parameters (distribution probability, growth probability, probability density, and porosity) with clear physical meanings using a quartet structure generation set (QSGS) along with the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) to investigate permeability. The rationality of the numerical model was verified through Poiseuille flow theory. The results showed that the QSGS model exhibited varied pore shapes and disordered distributions, resembling real porous concrete. Seepage velocity distribution showed higher values in larger pores, with flow rates reaching up to 0.012 lattice point velocity. The permeability–porosity relationship demonstrated high linearity (the Pearson correlation coefficient is 0.92), consistent with real porous concrete behavior. The integration of QSGS-LBM represents a novel approach, and the research results can provide new ideas and new means for subsequent research on the permeability of porous concrete or similar porous medium materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foundation Treatment and Building Structural Performance Enhancement)
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28 pages, 8014 KiB  
Review
Scientometric Analysis and Visualization of Carbon Emission Studies in the Construction Industry
by Qiming Luo, Depo Yang, Lepeng Huang, Lin Chen, Diyuan Luo, Kang Cheng and Fan Yang
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1181; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041181 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 524
Abstract
The field of carbon emissions in the construction industry has drawn extensive attention from researchers and practitioners due to the issue of global warming. In this study, an in-depth analysis of the research status, trends, and frontiers in the field of carbon emissions [...] Read more.
The field of carbon emissions in the construction industry has drawn extensive attention from researchers and practitioners due to the issue of global warming. In this study, an in-depth analysis of the research status, trends, and frontiers in the field of carbon emissions in the construction industry was carried out. The CiteSpace tool was used to visualize and analyze relevant papers from 1985 to 2023, to describe the overall knowledge structure in the field of carbon emissions in the construction industry using dual-map overlay analysis, journal co-citation network analysis, and keyword co-occurrence network analysis, to apply cluster analysis and burst detection to identify research trends in the field and the frontiers, and to analyze the scientific collaborations in the field. Further, the core issues in the field of carbon emissions in the construction industry were explored and relevant recommendations were proposed. The results are of great significance in identifying and analyzing knowledge systems and research patterns in the field of carbon emissions in the construction industry and help us to discover and understand the current deficiencies, trends, and frontiers in this field, thus providing useful suggestions and reflections for policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and other stakeholders. Full article
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17 pages, 5106 KiB  
Article
The Extraction of Roof Feature Lines of Traditional Chinese Village Buildings Based on UAV Dense Matching Point Clouds
by Wenlong Zhou, Xiangxiang Fu, Yunyuan Deng, Jinbiao Yan, Jialu Zhou and Peilin Liu
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1180; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041180 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 540
Abstract
Traditional Chinese buildings serve as a carrier for the inheritance of traditional culture and national characteristics. In the context of rural revitalization, achieving the 3D reconstruction of traditional village buildings is a crucial technical approach to promoting rural planning, improving living environments, and [...] Read more.
Traditional Chinese buildings serve as a carrier for the inheritance of traditional culture and national characteristics. In the context of rural revitalization, achieving the 3D reconstruction of traditional village buildings is a crucial technical approach to promoting rural planning, improving living environments, and establishing digital villages. However, traditional algorithms primarily target urban buildings, exhibiting limited adaptability and less ideal feature extraction performance for traditional residential buildings. As a result, guaranteeing the accuracy and reliability of 3D models for different types of traditional buildings remains challenging. In this paper, taking Jingping Village in Western Hunan as an example, we propose a method that combines multiple algorithms based on the slope segmentation of the roof to extract feature lines. Firstly, the VDVI and CSF algorithms are used to extract the building and roof point clouds based on the MVS point cloud. Secondly, according to roof features, village buildings are classified, and a 3D roof point cloud is projected into 2D regular grid data. Finally, the roof slope is segmented via slope direction, and internal and external feature lines are obtained after refinement through Canny edge detection and Hough straight line detection. The results indicate that the CSF algorithm can effectively extract the roofs of I-shaped, L-shaped, and U-shaped traditional buildings. The accuracy of roof surface segmentation based on slope exceeds 99.6%, which is significantly better than the RANSAC algorithm and the region segmentation algorithm. This method is capable of efficiently extracting the characteristic lines of roofs in low-rise buildings within traditional villages. It provides a reference method for achieving the high-precision modeling of traditional village architecture at a low cost and with high efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Structures)
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14 pages, 6648 KiB  
Article
Study of Fatigue Performance of Ultra-Short Stud Connectors in Ultra-High Performance Concrete
by Ran An, You-Zhi Wang, Mei-Ling Zhuang, Zhen Yang, Chang-Jin Tian, Kai Qiu, Meng-Ying Cheng and Zhao-Yuan Lv
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1179; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041179 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 597
Abstract
Steel–UHPC composite bridge decking made of ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) has been progressively employed to reinforce historic steel bridges. The coordinated force and deformation between the steel deck and UHPC are therefore greatly influenced by the shear stud connectors at the shear interface. [...] Read more.
Steel–UHPC composite bridge decking made of ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) has been progressively employed to reinforce historic steel bridges. The coordinated force and deformation between the steel deck and UHPC are therefore greatly influenced by the shear stud connectors at the shear interface. Four fatigue push-out specimens of ultra-short studs with an aspect ratio of 1.84 in UHPC were examined to investigate the fatigue properties of ultra-short studs with an aspect ratio below 2.0 utilized in UHPC reinforcing aged steel bridges. The test results indicated that three failure modes—fracture surface at stud shank, fracture surface at steel flange, and fracture surface at stud cap—were noted for ultra-short studs in UHPC under various load ranges. The fatigue life decreased from 1287.3 × 104 to 24.4 × 104 as the shear stress range of the stud increased from 88.2 MPa to 158.8 MPa. The UHPC can ensure that the failure mode of the specimens was stud shank failure. Based on the test and literature results, a fatigue strength design S–N curve for short studs in UHPC was proposed, and calculation models for stiffness degradation and plastic slip accumulation of short studs in UHPC were established. The employment of ultra-short studs in the field of UHPC reinforcing aging steel bridges can be supported by the research findings. Full article
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19 pages, 6134 KiB  
Article
Feasibility of Recycled Aggregate Concrete in a Novel Anchoring Connection for Beam-to-Concrete-Filled Steel Tube Joints
by Jianhua Su, Qian Zhao, Li’ao Cai, Xiaohui Li, Hongyin Pu, Wei Dai, Jian Zhang, Deng Lu and Feng Liu
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1178; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041178 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 567
Abstract
Owing to the substantial benefits in environmental protection and resource saving, recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) is increasingly used in civil engineering; among the different types, RAC-filled steel tubes are an efficient structural form utilizing the advantages of concrete and steel tubes. This paper [...] Read more.
Owing to the substantial benefits in environmental protection and resource saving, recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) is increasingly used in civil engineering; among the different types, RAC-filled steel tubes are an efficient structural form utilizing the advantages of concrete and steel tubes. This paper proposed a novel full-bolted beam-to-concrete-filled steel tube (CFST) joint and investigated the anchoring behavior of the steel plates embedded in RAC-filled steel tubes, which represents the behavior of the tensile zone in this joint, to demonstrate the feasibility of utilizing RAC in composite structures. The specimen consisted of a CFST and a connecting plate embedded in the CFST. In total, 18 specimens were tested to study the effects of concrete type (i.e., recycled aggregate concrete and natural aggregate concrete), anchoring type (i.e., plate with holes, notches, and rebars), and plate thickness on the pullout behavior, such as anchorage strength, load–displacement response, and ductility. Based on experimental results, the aggregate type of the concrete does not affect the pullout behavior obviously but the influence of anchoring type is significant. Among the three anchoring methods, the plate with rebars exhibits the best performance in terms of anchorage strength and ductility, and is recommended for the beam-to-CFST joint. In addition, plate thickness obviously affects the behavior of plates with holes and notches, the bearing area of which is proportional to the thickness, whereas the pullout behavior of the plates with rebars is independent of thickness. Finally, design formulas are proposed to estimate the anchorage strength of the connecting plates, and their reasonability is validated using the experimental results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Concrete Materials: Performance Analysis and Research)
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23 pages, 6329 KiB  
Article
Automated Quality Inspection of Formwork Systems Using 3D Point Cloud Data
by Keyi Wu, Samuel A. Prieto, Eyob Mengiste and Borja García de Soto
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041177 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 574
Abstract
Ensuring that formwork systems are properly installed is essential for construction safety and quality. They have to comply with specific design requirements and meet strict tolerances regarding the installation of the different members. The current method of quality control during installation mostly relies [...] Read more.
Ensuring that formwork systems are properly installed is essential for construction safety and quality. They have to comply with specific design requirements and meet strict tolerances regarding the installation of the different members. The current method of quality control during installation mostly relies on manual measuring tools and inspections heavily reliant on the human factor, which could lead to inconsistencies and inaccurate results. This study proposes a way to automate the inspection process and presents a framework within which to measure the spacing of the different members of the formwork system using 3D point cloud data. 3D point cloud data are preprocessed, processed, and analyzed with various techniques, including filtering, downsampling, transforming, fitting, and clustering. The novelty is not only in the integration of the different techniques used but also in the detection and measurement of key members in the formwork system with limited human intervention. The proposed framework was tested on a real construction site. Five cases were investigated to compare the proposed approach to the manual and traditional one. The results indicate that this approach is a promising solution and could potentially be an effective alternative to manual inspections for quality control during the installation of formwork systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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19 pages, 10959 KiB  
Article
Seismic Isolation of Fragile Pole-Type Structures by Rocking with Base Restraints
by Sheng Li, Yao Hu, Zhicheng Lu, Bo Song and Guozhong Huang
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041176 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 562
Abstract
Pole-type structures are vulnerable to earthquake events due to their slender shapes, particularly porcelain cylindrical equipment in electrical substations, which has inherent fragility and low strength in its materials. Traditional base isolation designs configure the bottom of the pole-type equipment as hinges with [...] Read more.
Pole-type structures are vulnerable to earthquake events due to their slender shapes, particularly porcelain cylindrical equipment in electrical substations, which has inherent fragility and low strength in its materials. Traditional base isolation designs configure the bottom of the pole-type equipment as hinges with restraints. It fully relies on the restrainers to re-center the pole-type equipment, posing a risk of tilting and functionality failure after earthquakes. This study proposes a solution to this challenge by introducing a restrained rocking mechanism at the base of the structure. The design leverages the self-centering nature of rocking motion and uses restrainers to control the amplitude of rotation. Hence, it can effectively avoid tilting of the pole-type structures after earthquakes. Experimental investigations conducted on a 1:1 full-scale specimen revealed that the proposed restrained rocking design can achieve a reduction in seismic internal forces of over 50% while maintaining equipment in an upright position. Furthermore, an analytical model for the proposed isolation system of pole structures was developed and validated through comparison with experimental results. This paper introduces a novel solution for seismic isolation of pole-type structures through restrained rocking, specifically addressing the research gap regarding a reliable self-centering mechanism under seismic excitation. This advancement significantly enhances the seismic resilience of fragile pole-type structures and provides practical design methodologies for the seismic isolation of slender structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Applications in Structural Vibration Control)
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19 pages, 740 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Building Information Modeling Technology on Cost Management of Civil Engineering Projects: A Case Study of the Mombasa Port Area Development Project
by Allan Nsimbe and Junzhen Di
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041175 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 881
Abstract
Introduction: This study examines the impact of building information modeling on the cost management of engineering projects, focusing specifically on the Mombasa Port Area Development Project. The objective of this research is to determine the mechanisms through which building information modeling facilitates [...] Read more.
Introduction: This study examines the impact of building information modeling on the cost management of engineering projects, focusing specifically on the Mombasa Port Area Development Project. The objective of this research is to determine the mechanisms through which building information modeling facilitates stakeholder collaboration, reduces construction-related expenses, and enhances the precision of cost estimation. Furthermore, this study investigates barriers to execution, assesses the impact on the project’s transparency, and suggests approaches to maximize resource utilization. Methodology: This study employed a mixed-method research design comprising document reviews and surveys. During the document review, credible databases including ScienceDirect and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Xplore were explored. The survey included 69 professionals, among which were project managers, cost estimators, and building information modeling administrators. The mixed-methods approach prioritized ethical considerations and the statistical Package for the Social Sciences and Microsoft Excel were used in the analysis. Results: The results show that building information modeling is a valuable system for organizations looking to reduce project costs. The results note that the technology improves cost estimation accuracy, facilitates the identification of cost-related risks, and promotes collaborative decision-making. Conclusions: Building information modeling is an effective cost-estimating technology that positively impacts additional project aspects such as decision-making, collaboration, performance, and delivery time. Therefore, the Mombasa Port Area Development Project should inspire other stakeholders in engineering and construction to embrace building information modeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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33 pages, 12127 KiB  
Review
Seismic Assessment of Large-Span Spatial Structures Considering Soil–Structure Interaction (SSI): A State-of-the-Art Review
by Puyu Zhan, Suduo Xue, Xiongyan Li, Guojun Sun and Ruisheng Ma
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1174; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041174 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 698
Abstract
Soil–structure interaction (SSI), which characterizes the dynamic interaction between a structure and its surrounding soil, is of great significance to the seismic assessment of structures. Past research endeavors have undertaken analytical, numerical, and experimental studies to gain a thorough understanding of the influences [...] Read more.
Soil–structure interaction (SSI), which characterizes the dynamic interaction between a structure and its surrounding soil, is of great significance to the seismic assessment of structures. Past research endeavors have undertaken analytical, numerical, and experimental studies to gain a thorough understanding of the influences of SSI on the seismic responses of a wide array of structures, including but not limited to nuclear power plants, frame structures, bridges, and spatial structures. Thereinto, large-span spatial structures generally have much more complex configurations, and the influences of SSI may be more pronounced. To this end, this paper aims to provide a state-of-the-art review of the SSI in the seismic assessment of large-span spatial structures. It begins with the modelling of soil medium, followed by the research progress of SSI in terms of numerical simulations and experiments. Subsequently, the focus shifts towards high-lighting advancements in understanding the seismic responses of large-span spatial structures considering SSI. Finally, some discussions are made on the unresolved problems and the possible topics for future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Vibration and Soil Dynamics)
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17 pages, 5059 KiB  
Article
Understanding Penetration Attenuation of Permeable Concrete: A Hybrid Artificial Intelligence Technique Based on Particle Swarm Optimization
by Fei Zhu, Xiangping Wu, Yijun Lu and Jiandong Huang
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041173 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 588
Abstract
Permeable concrete is a type of porous concrete with the special function of water permeability, but the permeability of permeable concrete will decrease gradually due to the clogging behavior arising from the surrounding environment. To reliably characterize the clogging behavior of permeable concrete, [...] Read more.
Permeable concrete is a type of porous concrete with the special function of water permeability, but the permeability of permeable concrete will decrease gradually due to the clogging behavior arising from the surrounding environment. To reliably characterize the clogging behavior of permeable concrete, particle swarm optimization (PSO) and random forest (RF) hybrid artificial intelligence techniques were developed in this study to predict the permeability coefficient of permeable concrete and optimize the aggregate mix ratio of permeable concrete. Firstly, a reliable database was collected and established to characterize the input and output variables for the machine learning. Then, PSO and 10-fold cross-validation were used to optimize the hyperparameters of the RF model using the training and testing datasets. Finally, the accuracy of the developed model was verified by comparing the predicted value with the actual value of the permeability coefficients (R = 0.978 and RMSE = 1.3638 for the training dataset; R = 0.9734 and RMSE = 2.3246 for the testing dataset). The proposed model can provide reliable predictions of the clogging behavior that permeable concrete may face and the trend of its development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation)
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21 pages, 55594 KiB  
Article
Spatial Silhouette: A Study on the Creation Strategy of Strong Bamboo Architecture with “Negative Space” as the Main Feature—A Case Study of Phu Quoc Island Visitor Centre, Vietnam
by Chaoxian Li, Jiaojiao Ma and Xiaoming Gao
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041172 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 568
Abstract
The Gestalt theory of mental completeness in architecture gave rise to the ideas of “positive space” and “negative space”. This research digs into the sturdy structural building process of bamboo architecture, which is essentially distinguished by “negative space”. It examines how bamboo is [...] Read more.
The Gestalt theory of mental completeness in architecture gave rise to the ideas of “positive space” and “negative space”. This research digs into the sturdy structural building process of bamboo architecture, which is essentially distinguished by “negative space”. It examines how bamboo is articulated in architectural space, while attempting to establish a balance between form and structure, with the goal of discovering the current value and spiritual position that bamboo in architecture represents. Using the Phu Quoc Island Visitor Center in Vietnam as an example, we introduce the strong structure concept and examine its design process in terms of spatial operation technique and strong structural expression logic. The fundamental strategy for creating bamboo architecture under this concept is to take the lead in negative space design and use the material capabilities of bamboo to build structural space prototypes. This further encourages the use of green building materials and offers architects working with bamboo a reference. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Creativity in Architecture)
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19 pages, 7957 KiB  
Article
A Field Investigation to Quantify the Correlation between Local and Overall Thermal Comfort in Cool Environments
by Xiaohong Liang, Yingdong He, Nianping Li, Yicheng Yin and Jinhua Hu
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1171; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041171 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 424
Abstract
The thermal comfort of local body parts is the essential factor that affects people’s health and comfort as well as a buildings’ energy. This study aims to (1) investigate the characteristics of the local thermal comfort of different body parts of occupants in [...] Read more.
The thermal comfort of local body parts is the essential factor that affects people’s health and comfort as well as a buildings’ energy. This study aims to (1) investigate the characteristics of the local thermal comfort of different body parts of occupants in real buildings in winter, (2) quantify the correlation between the amount of local body parts with coolness or discomfort and the overall subjective thermal responses, and (3) validate an easy-to-use local–overall thermal comfort model. A field investigation in the office and study rooms of a university was conducted in winter. The results indicate that the top five percentages of local coolness appeared in the feet (41.02%), the hands (26.58%), the calves (25.18%), the thighs (13.99%), and the head (9.72%) and that the top five percentages of local discomfort appeared in the feet (44.99%), the palms (28.2%), the calves (24.74%), the head (19.66%), and the thighs (16.35%). Moreover, when the whole body felt cool, at least four local body parts had cool sensations; when the whole body felt thermally uncomfortable, at least three local body parts had cool sensations; and when the whole body felt that the ambient environment was thermally unacceptable, at least seven local body parts had cool sensations. Meanwhile, the correlation between local discomfort and whole-body responses was different: when the whole body felt thermal uncomfortable, at least three local body parts had discomfort; and when the whole body felt that the ambient environment was thermally unacceptable, at least four local body parts had discomfort. Further, the local–overall thermal comfort model proposed by the authors exerted high accuracy in predicting overall thermal comfort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Comfort in Built Environment: Challenges and Research Trends)
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21 pages, 8987 KiB  
Article
Volume Stability and Mechanical Properties of Cement Paste Containing Natural Fibers from Phragmites-Australis Plant at Elevated Temperature
by Hassan Ghanem, Rawan Ramadan, Jamal Khatib and Adel Elkordi
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1170; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041170 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 422
Abstract
The utilization of bio-fiber materials in building components has become imperative for improving sustainability, controlling global warming, addressing environmental concerns, and enhancing concrete properties. This study is part of a wide-range investigation on the use of Phragmites-Australis (PhA) fibers in construction and building [...] Read more.
The utilization of bio-fiber materials in building components has become imperative for improving sustainability, controlling global warming, addressing environmental concerns, and enhancing concrete properties. This study is part of a wide-range investigation on the use of Phragmites-Australis (PhA) fibers in construction and building materials. In this paper, the volume stability and mechanical properties of paste containing PhA fibers and exposed to high temperatures were investigated. Four mixes were made with 0, 0.5, 1, and 2% fibers by volume. To evaluate the volume stability and mechanical properties, the chemical shrinkage, autogenous shrinkage, drying shrinkage, expansion, ultrasonic pulse velocity, compressive strength, and flexural strength were tested. The curing duration and temperature were 180 days and 45 °C, respectively. The results indicated that an addition of PhA fibers of up to 2% resulted in a reduction in all the shrinkage parameters at 180 days. The presence of PhA fibers in the paste tended to reduce the compressive strength, with the lowest value observed at 2%. Apart from the values at 90 days, the optimal flexural strength seemed to be achieved by the paste with 1% PhA fibers. To further elucidate the experimental results, a hyperbolic model was employed to predict the variation in the length change as a function of the curing age with a high accuracy. Based on the results obtained, PhA fibers can play a crucial role in mitigating the shrinkage parameters and enhancing the mechanical properties of cement paste. Full article
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16 pages, 3672 KiB  
Article
Unveiling Gender-Based Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Construction Industry: A Comprehensive Analysis
by Suresh Kumar Paramasivam, Kanitha Mani and Balamurugan Paneerselvam
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1169; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041169 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 443
Abstract
Without physically intensive building, modern infrastructure development would be impossible. Musculoskeletal diseases (MSDs) and other occupational health issues may arise in such a demanding environment. Construction workers often develop MSDs from repeated actions, uncomfortable postures, and heavy lifting. Musculoskeletal disorders may damage muscles, [...] Read more.
Without physically intensive building, modern infrastructure development would be impossible. Musculoskeletal diseases (MSDs) and other occupational health issues may arise in such a demanding environment. Construction workers often develop MSDs from repeated actions, uncomfortable postures, and heavy lifting. Musculoskeletal disorders may damage muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, etc. The effect of MSDs is well known; occupational health studies increasingly include gender-specific aspects. Despite being in the minority, the number of female construction employees is growing. However, physiological variations and occupational activities and environments may provide distinct obstacles. Thus, identifying gender-specific MSDs in construction is essential for worker safety. This research proposes a gender-specific machine learning (ML)-based musculoskeletal disorder detection framework (GS-ML-MSD2F) in the construction industry. A simple random selection procedure chose 250 female and 250 male rebar workers with at least six months of experience for the dataset. In January and June 2023, face-to-face interviews and ergonomic evaluations were undertaken. The data were analyzed using different machine learning methods, and the effectiveness of the methods was studied. The data showed that 60% of female rebar workers had MSD symptoms. The lower back and shoulders accounted for 40% of cases. Multiple machine learning methods revealed two significant factors related to musculoskeletal disorders: lengthy working hours and uncomfortable postures, and long working hours had an adjusted odds ratio of 8.5%, whereas awkward posture had an adjusted odds ratio of 42.5%. These results emphasize the relevance of working hours and posture in MSD prevention for female rebar workers in the construction sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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15 pages, 4452 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on Erosion Modeling of Architectural Red Sandstone under the Action of the Natural Environment
by Shuisheng Zeng, Jun Zhang, Huanlin Zhang, Rutian Li, Tao Ao and Kunpeng Cao
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1168; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041168 - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 396
Abstract
When buildings are exposed to erosion from the natural environment, erosion behaviors such as surface damage and structural instability occur, which greatly affect the aesthetic value and service life of the buildings. The study of erosion behaviors and the establishment of a suitable [...] Read more.
When buildings are exposed to erosion from the natural environment, erosion behaviors such as surface damage and structural instability occur, which greatly affect the aesthetic value and service life of the buildings. The study of erosion behaviors and the establishment of a suitable erosion model are constructive references for the protection and restoration of buildings. In order to establish a suitable erosion model for architectural red sandstone, two types of red sandstone specimens were selected in this paper to carry out dry and wet cycle tests. Combining the theoretical analysis and the actual erosion situation, a unidirectional corrosion model is proposed to describe the erosion of buildings by the natural environment. In this model, it is assumed that only the outer surface of the building is in contact with external erosion factors for a long period of time, so this situation can be considered a unidirectional erosion process. The paper uses XRD, SEM, and ultrasonic methods to record changes in the properties of the red sandstone samples. Finally, the rationality of the unidirectional erosion model was verified numerically. The test results show that the red sandstone specimens subjected to erosion by the natural environment will be accompanied by the development of defects, such as cracks, fissures, and holes, as well as the generation of fresh material. The demarcation point of different erosion stages exists in both the in-service red sandstone specimens and the fresh red sandstone specimens, which is consistent with the results of the unidirectional erosion model. In this paper, a calculation model for the demarcation point of different erosion stages is established, and the model estimation shows that the demarcation point of different erosion stages of the in-service red sandstone sample is 1.1528 cm from the erosion surface, and the demarcation point of different erosion stages of the fresh red sandstone sample is 1.67 cm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Structures)
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23 pages, 12699 KiB  
Article
Automated Reinforcement during Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing: Structural Assessment of a Dual Approach
by Hassan Ahmed, Ilerioluwa Giwa, Daniel Game, Gabriel Arce, Hassan Noorvand, Marwa Hassan and Ali Kazemian
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1167; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041167 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 632
Abstract
Automated and seamless integration of reinforcement is one of the main unresolved challenges in large-scale additive construction. This study leverages a dual-reinforcement solution consisting of high-dosage steel fiber (up to 2.5% by volume) and short vertical reinforcements as a complementary reinforcement technique for [...] Read more.
Automated and seamless integration of reinforcement is one of the main unresolved challenges in large-scale additive construction. This study leverages a dual-reinforcement solution consisting of high-dosage steel fiber (up to 2.5% by volume) and short vertical reinforcements as a complementary reinforcement technique for 3D-printed elements. The mechanical performance of the printing material was characterized by measuring the compressive, flexural, and uniaxial tensile strengths of mold-cast specimens. Furthermore, the flexural performance of the plain and fiber-reinforced 3D-printed beams was evaluated in the three main loading directions (X, Y, and Z-directions in-plane). In addition, short vertical threaded reinforcements were inserted into the fiber-reinforced 3D-printed beams tested in the Z-direction. The experimental results revealed the superior flexural performance of the fiber-reinforced beams loaded in the longitudinal directions (X and Y). Moreover, the threaded reinforcement significantly increases the flexural strength and ductility of beams loaded along the interface, compared to the control. Overall, the proposed dual-reinforcement approach, which exhibited notably less porosity compared to the mold-cast counterpart, holds great potential as a reinforcement solution for 3D-printed structures without the need for manual operations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the 3D Printing of Concrete)
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19 pages, 5630 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Properties of Fire-Damaged RC Beams Reinforced with Carbon Fiber Mesh
by Jinsheng Cheng, Hao Wang, Zhisong Xu, Guanglin Yuan and Qingtao Li
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1166; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041166 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 353
Abstract
The bearing capacity of reinforced concrete (RC) beam will be weakened by fire. It is necessary to strengthen RC beams after fire. The carbon fiber mesh (CFM) can be used to reinforce RC beams. In this paper, RC beams were exposed to varying [...] Read more.
The bearing capacity of reinforced concrete (RC) beam will be weakened by fire. It is necessary to strengthen RC beams after fire. The carbon fiber mesh (CFM) can be used to reinforce RC beams. In this paper, RC beams were exposed to varying temperatures, followed by reinforcement with varying layers of CFM. The influence of the heating temperature and the number of CFM layers on the flexural performance of RC beams was investigated. The results indicated that the cracking loads of RC beams were 18.2, 16.4, 16.3, and 15.5 kN when the RC beams were subjected to room temperatures, 150, 350, and 550 °C. Compared to the unreinforced beams at room temperature, the cracking loads of the RC beams were reduced by 9.89%, 10.44%, and 14.84%. As the quantity of CFM reinforcement layers rises, so does the ultimate bearing capacity. For example, when the temperature was 150 °C, the ultimate loads of the beams with one and three layers of CFM were increased by 20% and 31.76% compared to the reference beam. When the temperature was 350 °C, the ultimate loads of the beams with one and three layers of CFM were increased by 19.51% and 28.04% compared to the RC beam without CFM. When the temperature was 550 °C, the ultimate loads of the beams with one and three layers of CFM were increased by 20% and 26.67% compared to the RC beam without CFM. Fire-damaged RC beams can be strengthened by one layer of CFM and mortar if the temperature was below 350 °C. Fire-damaged RC beams can be strengthened by three layers of CFM and mortar if the temperature was below 550 °C. The mechanical properties can be obviously enhanced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation)
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18 pages, 1259 KiB  
Review
Systematic Mapping of Circular Economy in Structural Engineering
by Hanne Rangnes Seeberg, Sverre Magnus Haakonsen and Marcin Luczkowski
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1165; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041165 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Facing increasing sustainability demands, the construction industry is at a turning point where the implementation of circular economy (CE) strategies plays an essential role in driving the necessary transformation aimed at reducing the environmental impact. To facilitate this shift, structural engineering must effectively [...] Read more.
Facing increasing sustainability demands, the construction industry is at a turning point where the implementation of circular economy (CE) strategies plays an essential role in driving the necessary transformation aimed at reducing the environmental impact. To facilitate this shift, structural engineering must effectively integrate circular principles into building design. With the exponential growth of research articles within this field, it is crucial to map the evolution of the research area. The objective of this study is to detail the trends with, challenges to, and research contributions, integration, and material applications of CE principles within structural engineering. Consequently, a systematic mapping of the CE within the field of structural engineering has been conducted in this study. Initially, the mapping process began with the identification of relevant keywords, followed by searches across four databases. Each resulting article was carefully screened against content criteria, culminating in 91 publications that were thoroughly evaluated. The publications were then categorized and analyzed based on attributes such as research type, circular design, materials, and applications. The results are presented through informative figures and tables. The analysis of the research indicates a predominant focus on technical solutions for structural systems, with demountable connections designed to facilitate the future reuse of materials representing more than half of the literature reviewed. A significant portion of the literature also addresses designing from reclaimed elements; these articles reflect a transformation in engineering approaches, incorporating computational design and innovative methodologies. The focus on steel as a structural material is prominent in the reviewed literature. However, there is an increasing focus on timber, which signals a definitive shift toward sustainable structural systems. Recurring challenges identified in the literature regarding the transition to a circular economy (CE) in the construction industry include the need for industry-wide adoption, precise standardization, the integration of digital tools, and the overcoming of related obstacles in policy and market acceptances. Furthermore, the literature demonstrates a significant research gap: the absence of a comprehensive digital framework enabling an effective digital circular structural design workflow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Structures)
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16 pages, 3801 KiB  
Article
Numerical Analysis of the Ultimate Bearing Capacity of Strip Footing Constructed on Sand-over-Clay Sediment
by Shaziya Banu, Mousa Attom, Farid Abed, Ramesh Vandanapu, Philip Virgil Astillo, Naser Al-Lozi and Ahmed Khalil
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1164; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041164 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 437
Abstract
This paper analyzes the bearing capacity of two-layered soil medium using finite element (FE) software ABAQUS/CAE 2023. Although geotechnical engineers design foundations for layered soil, majorly current geotechnical studies emphasize single homogenous soil. So, this research has significant novelty as it focuses on [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the bearing capacity of two-layered soil medium using finite element (FE) software ABAQUS/CAE 2023. Although geotechnical engineers design foundations for layered soil, majorly current geotechnical studies emphasize single homogenous soil. So, this research has significant novelty as it focuses on layered soil and adds to the current literature. A nonlinear FE model was prepared and analyzed to determine the ultimate bearing capacity of two-layered soil (sandy soil over clayey soil). The Drucker–Prager and Mohr–Coulomb models were used to represent sandy soil and clayey soil layers, respectively. Strip footing material properties were considered isotropic and linearly elastic. This study performed parametric studies to understand the effects of thickness, unit weight, and the modulus of the elasticity of sandy soil on the ultimate soil bearing capacity. Additionally, it also analyzed the effect of the cohesive strength of clayey soil on layered soil bearing capacity. Results showed that an increase in sandy soil layer thickness strengthens the layered soil, and thus, improves the bearing capacity of soil. Increasing the sandy soil layer thickness over footing width (h1/B) ratio from 0.15 to 2.0 improved the ultimate bearing capacities with elastic settlements of 350 mm and 250 mm by 145.62% and 101.66%, respectively. Additionally, for a thicker sandy soil layer, an increase in the unit weight and modulus of the elasticity of sandy soil led to higher ultimate bearing capacity. Furthermore, it was concluded that an increase in clayey soil’s cohesive strength from 20 kPa to 30 kPa resulted in a 24.31% and 3.47% increase in soil bearing capacity for h1/B = 0.15 and h1/B = 2.0, respectively. So, the effect of cohesion is prevalent in the case of a thicker clayey soil layer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Soil-Structure Interaction in Construction)
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20 pages, 5981 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Low-Carbon Pilot Policies on the Land Green Use Efficiency in Adjacent Non-Pilot Cities: An Empirical Study Based on 257 Prefecture-Level and above Cities in China
by Xinle Li, Yangyang Shi, Xin Li and Xiang Luo
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1163; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041163 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 338
Abstract
In the context of global climate change, the low-carbon city pilot policy has become an important strategy to promote green development. Based on the panel data from 257 prefecture-level and above cities in China, this study utilized the Super-Efficiency SBM (Slacks-Based Measure) to [...] Read more.
In the context of global climate change, the low-carbon city pilot policy has become an important strategy to promote green development. Based on the panel data from 257 prefecture-level and above cities in China, this study utilized the Super-Efficiency SBM (Slacks-Based Measure) to measure the land green use efficiency and analyzes the impact of the policy on adjacent non-pilot cities using a difference-in-differences model. The findings indicate that the implementation of low-carbon pilot policies can significantly improve the land green use efficiency in adjacent non-pilot cities, which can be primarily ascribed to the spillover effect and catfish effect. A heterogeneity analysis further revealed the positive effects of the policies in the eastern region and non-resource-based cities. This study provides valuable references for relevant legal provisions on environmental regulation and for continuously monitoring and evaluating the policy effects to achieve sustainable development goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable City Development: Urban Planning and Housing Management)
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21 pages, 3188 KiB  
Review
A Science Mapping Approach-Based Review of Construction Workers’ Safety-Related Behavior
by Jing Feng, Xin Gao, Hujun Li, Baijian Liu and Xiaoying Tang
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1162; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041162 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 322
Abstract
Promoting safe behaviors among construction workers and mitigating unsafe behaviors is an effective approach to enhancing safety performance in the construction industry. Although progress has been made, the research themes concerning construction workers’ safety-related behaviors (CWSRB) and the detailed progress of [...] Read more.
Promoting safe behaviors among construction workers and mitigating unsafe behaviors is an effective approach to enhancing safety performance in the construction industry. Although progress has been made, the research themes concerning construction workers’ safety-related behaviors (CWSRB) and the detailed progress of each theme remain unclear due to differences in review perspectives and conceptual scopes. This study utilized CiteSpace software (V6.2R3 version) to conduct an analysis of co-authorship networks, co-word networks, and co-citations on 563 published articles in this field from 2013 to 2023. This study’s outcomes highlight several key insights: (1) journals such as Safety Science play a pivotal role in the domain; (2) institutions such as the City University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, along with prolific authors like Li, are major contributors to the field; (3) the focus of research has evolved from early organizational factors towards a more diverse range of topics, with deep learning emerging as a significant current research hotspot; (4) this study has identified high-cited literature and 11 primary clusters within the field. Current research focuses on five areas: safety-related behavior concepts, influencing factors and consequences, formation mechanisms, interventions, and applications of new technologies. Establishing clear classification criteria for unsafe behaviors, comprehensively understanding the formation mechanisms of safety-related behaviors, evaluating the effectiveness of intervention strategies, and exploring the practical applications of new technologies are future research directions. This study provides researchers with a holistic view of the present state of research and potential avenues for future exploration, thereby deepening the knowledge and comprehension of stakeholders within this domain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligence and Automation in Construction Industry)
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34 pages, 17517 KiB  
Article
A Numerical Investigation of the Influence of Humid Environments on the Thermal Performance of a Phase Change Thermal Storage Cooling System in Buildings
by Xiangkui Gao, Qing Sheng and Na Li
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041161 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 336
Abstract
Phase change thermal energy storage (PCTES) technology has garnered significant attention in addressing thermal management challenges in building HVAC systems. However, the cooling performance of PCTES systems in humid scenarios remains unexplored, which is crucial in subtropical regions, high-humidity underground areas, and densely [...] Read more.
Phase change thermal energy storage (PCTES) technology has garnered significant attention in addressing thermal management challenges in building HVAC systems. However, the cooling performance of PCTES systems in humid scenarios remains unexplored, which is crucial in subtropical regions, high-humidity underground areas, and densely populated spaces. Taking the mine refuge chamber (MRC) as an example, this study focuses on a passive temperature and humidity control system by employing cold storage phase change plates (PCPs) for 96 h. First, an improved and simplified full-scale numerical model including PCPs and MRC parts is established. Then, the model is validated through the experimental results and solved using a numerical method. Finally, the influence of various factors within the system is investigated and an optimization method involving batch operation is proposed. The results indicate that (1) within 40 h, the use of cold storage PCPs leads to an indoor temperature reduction of 4.8 °C and a 7% decrease in relative humidity; (2) the PCPs show asynchronous states in sensible and latent heat transfer rates; (3) for every 50 additional PCPs, the average indoor temperature increases by 0.6 °C and the relative humidity decreases by 1.5%; (4) implementing batch operation of PCPs ensures that the indoor Heat Index drops by 10 °C, which is vital for human survival. The findings will play a crucial role in the global expansion and application (including geographical and functional aspects) of phase change thermal storage technology. Full article
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19 pages, 3901 KiB  
Article
Why Are PPP Projects Stagnating in China? An Evolutionary Analysis of China’s PPP Policies
by Yougui Li, Erman Xu, Zhuoyou Zhang, Shuxian He, Xiaoyan Jiang and Martin Skitmore
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041160 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 415
Abstract
The Public–Private Partnership (PPP) model has significantly contributed to global infrastructure and public service provision. The evolution of the PPP model closely aligns with policy directives. China’s PPP policy evolution has included five stages: budding (1986–2000), fluctuating (2001–2008), steady (2009–2012), expanding (2013–2018), and [...] Read more.
The Public–Private Partnership (PPP) model has significantly contributed to global infrastructure and public service provision. The evolution of the PPP model closely aligns with policy directives. China’s PPP policy evolution has included five stages: budding (1986–2000), fluctuating (2001–2008), steady (2009–2012), expanding (2013–2018), and stagnating (2019–present). This study employs bibliometric analysis and co-word analysis to examine 407 policies enacted by the Chinese government from 1986 to 2018. By extracting policy text keywords at various stages and constructing a co-word network matrix, this study delineates the distinctive characteristics of Chinese PPP policies across different epochs. It can be found that critical areas such as “government credit”, “contract spirit”, and “power supervision” are still underappreciated. The challenges confronting China’s PPP model are multifaceted, stemming from policy gaps that have led to substantial project difficulties. Although the government proposed a new mechanism for franchising in 2023, the new mechanism is only for new PPP projects, and the difficulties of existing PPP projects have not been solved. This study advocates for enhancements in project bankability, regulatory clarity, institutional environment improvement, contract spirit defense, and the development of the PPP-REITs model to address these issues. Full article
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18 pages, 13111 KiB  
Article
Field Testing of an Acoustic Method for Locating Air Leakages in Building Envelopes
by Björn Schiricke, Markus Diel and Benedikt Kölsch
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1159; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041159 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 367
Abstract
Maintaining the airtightness of building envelopes is critical to the energy efficiency of buildings, yet leak detection remains a significant challenge, particularly during building refurbishment. This study addresses the effectiveness of the acoustic beamforming measurement method in identifying leaks in building envelopes. For [...] Read more.
Maintaining the airtightness of building envelopes is critical to the energy efficiency of buildings, yet leak detection remains a significant challenge, particularly during building refurbishment. This study addresses the effectiveness of the acoustic beamforming measurement method in identifying leaks in building envelopes. For this reason, an in-field study employing the acoustic beamforming measurement method was conducted. The study involved testing over 30 rooms across three different multi-story office buildings of varying ages and heterogeneous envelope structures. Numerous leaks were located in the façades, which were subsequently visually confirmed or even verified with smoke sticks. The data, captured using an acoustic camera (a microphone ring array), revealed distinct spectra that indicate the method’s potential for further research. The basic functionality and the significant potential of this methodology for localizing leakages in large buildings were proven. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on the Airtightness of Buildings)
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25 pages, 9755 KiB  
Article
Rotational Stiffening Performance of Roof Folded Plates in Torsion Tests and the Stiffening Effect of Roof Folded Plates on the Lateral Buckling of H Beams in Steel Structures
by Yuki Yoshino and Yoshihiro Kimura
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1158; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041158 - 19 Apr 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 434
Abstract
Non-structural members, such as roofs and ceilings, become affixed to main beams that are known as structural members. When such main beams experience bending or compressive forces that lead to lateral buckling, non-structural members may act to restrain the resulting lateral buckling deformation. [...] Read more.
Non-structural members, such as roofs and ceilings, become affixed to main beams that are known as structural members. When such main beams experience bending or compressive forces that lead to lateral buckling, non-structural members may act to restrain the resulting lateral buckling deformation. Nevertheless, neither Japanese nor European guidelines advocate for the utilization of non-structural members as lateral buckling stiffeners for beams. Additionally, local buckling ensues near the bolt apertures in the beam–roof folded plate connection due to the torsional deformation induced by the lateral buckling of the H beam, thereby reducing the rotational stiffness of the roof folded plate to a percentage of its ideal stiffness. This paper conducts torsional experiments on roof folded plates, and with various connection methods between these plates and the beams, to comprehend the deformation mechanism of roof folded plates and the relationship between their rotational stiffness and the torsional moment. Then, the relationship between the demand values against restraining the lateral buckling of the main beam and the experimentally determined bearing capacity of the roof folded plate is elucidated. Results indicate the efficacy of utilizing the roof folded plate as a continuous brace. The lateral buckling design capacity of H beams that are continuously stiffened by roof folded plates is elucidated via application of a connection method that ensures joint stiffness between the roof folded plate and the beam while using Japanese and European design codes. Full article
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20 pages, 6816 KiB  
Article
Energy Performance and Comfort Analysis of Three Glazing Materials with Distinct Thermochromic Responses as Roller Shade Alternative in Cooling- and Heating-Dominated Climates
by Thilhara Tennakoon, Yin-Hoi Chan, Ka-Chung Chan, Chili Wu, Christopher Yu-Hang Chao and Sau-Chung Fu
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041157 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 450
Abstract
Thermochromic (TC) smart windows are a leading passive building design strategy. Vanadium dioxide (VO2), hydrogel and TC-Perovskite glazing, which constitute the main categories of TC materials, modulate different wavelength regions. Although numerous studies have reported on these TC glazings’ energy-saving potential [...] Read more.
Thermochromic (TC) smart windows are a leading passive building design strategy. Vanadium dioxide (VO2), hydrogel and TC-Perovskite glazing, which constitute the main categories of TC materials, modulate different wavelength regions. Although numerous studies have reported on these TC glazings’ energy-saving potential individually, there is a lack of data comparing their energy efficiencies. Moreover, their suitability as an alternative to dynamic solar shading mechanisms remains unexplored. Using building energy simulation, this study found that a hydrogel glazing with broadband thermochromism can save more energy (22–24% savings on average) than opaque roller shades (19–20%) in a typical office in both New York and Hong Kong. VO2 glazing performed comparably to translucent roller shades (14–16% savings), except when used in poorly daylit conditions. TC-Perovskite was a poor replacement for roller shades (~2% savings). The window-to-wall ratio (WWR) that allowed both energy savings and optimal natural light penetration was also identified for each glazing. Hydrogel glazing demonstrated both energy and daylight efficiency in Hong Kong’s cooling-dominated climate when used in 40–50% WWR configurations. In New York’s colder conditions, VO2 glazing did so for higher WWRs (50–70%). Roller shades could also achieve simultaneous energy savings and visual comfort, but only for highly glazed facades (up to 80%). Full article
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18 pages, 7966 KiB  
Article
Influence of Specimen Size on the Compressive Strength of Wood
by Chuan Zhao, Degui Liu, Chuntao Zhang, Yanyan Li and Yuhao Wang
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041156 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 410
Abstract
This study aimed to discuss the influence of specimen sizes on the compressive strength parameters of wood, specifically focusing on their compression strength, elastic modulus, and Poisson’s ratio. Therefore, three different-sized specimens (20 mm × 20 mm × 30 mm, 40 mm × [...] Read more.
This study aimed to discuss the influence of specimen sizes on the compressive strength parameters of wood, specifically focusing on their compression strength, elastic modulus, and Poisson’s ratio. Therefore, three different-sized specimens (20 mm × 20 mm × 30 mm, 40 mm × 40 mm × 60 mm, 60 mm × 90 mm × 90 mm) were manufactured and tested in the longitudinal, radial, and tangential directions, following the standard testing method for acquiring the compressive strength of wood. Subsequently, based on the experimental results, compressive parameters, failure mechanisms, load–displacement curves, and stress–strain relationships were systematically analyzed for the three different-sized specimens. Meanwhile, the influence of specimen size on the compressive strength parameters of wood was also evaluated through finite element numerical simulations, utilizing the obtained mechanical parameters. The results revealed a significant correlation between compressive strength and specimen size, indicating a decrease in compressive strength with an increasing specimen size. Conversely, the elastic modulus and Poisson’s ratio exhibited less sensitivity to specimen size changes. Notably, the compressive strength parameters derived from small-sized specimens (20 mm × 20 mm × 30 mm) exhibited a lack of rationality, while those obtained from medium-sized (40 mm × 40 mm × 60 mm), and large-sized specimens (60 mm × 90 mm × 90 mm) demonstrated greater reliability, providing precise results in finite element numerical simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Seismic Performance of Timber/Bamboo Buildings)
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