Impact Assessment of Climate Change on Buildings

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2020) | Viewed by 16820

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
RISCO, Civil Engineering Department, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: buildings’ condition assessment; energy retrofit; climate changes; buildings’ sustainability; buildings’ durability and maintenance; risk assessment in the built environment; heritage building refurbishment; BIM – building information modeling; HBIM – heritage building information modeling
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Guest Editor
Engineering and Geology Department, University G. d’Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, 42-65127 Pescara, Italy
Interests: climate change; buildings’ sustainability; nZEB design; renewable energies; cultural heritage preservation; buildings’ acoustics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the sequence of climate changes, the warmest years in history as a result of greenhouse gas emissions have been recorded recently. Globally, the energy sector is one of the main contributors to the emissions, and the buildings sector absorbs a large part of the final energy consumption. Nevertheless, the buildings sector has great potential to reduce its consumption through the implementation of measures aiming to improve its energy efficiency.

Most of the structures and infrastructures around the world have been built in the first half of the 20th century, therefore, their service life is currently at a critical stage from the durability and maintenance perspective. The growing problem of climate changes has caught the attention of its managers, and several studies have shown that the built environment can be affected by this phenomenon, manifesting a decrease of its durability and of its expected service life.

Considering the interest of this theme, we are organizing a Special Issue entitled “Impact Assessment of Climate Change on Buildings”, addressed to report the most recent findings from researchers and professionals of the AECO sector.

Original manuscripts covering the following broad themes are invited from researchers and agencies:

  • Degradation and durability of the built environment under the influence of climate changes
  • Risks caused by climate changes: built environment risk assessment
  • The impact of climate changes on the comfort: at building level
  • The impact of climate changes on the comfort: at city level
  • Climate changes impact on the energy efficiency of buildings
  • Climate changes impact on the durability of the built environment
  • Durability of energy retrofit interventions
  • Maintenance and refurbishment measures to avoid the impact of climate changes
  • BIM as a tool for built environment risk assessment
  • Sustainability with BIM methodology
  • Approaches for the simulation of climate impacts on the built environment
  • Case studies
  • Other related topics

Prof. Fernanda Rodrigues
Prof. Sergio Montelpare
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • structures
  • infrastructures
  • risks
  • durability
  • maintenance
  • assessment
  • climate changes

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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20 pages, 7689 KiB  
Article
Thermal Performance of a Massive Wall in the Mediterranean Climate: Experimental and Analytical Research
by Chiara Tribuiani, Luca Tarabelli, Serena Summa and Costanzo Di Perna
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(13), 4611; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10134611 - 03 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2722
Abstract
In the Mediterranean climate, indoor overheating and, thus, excessive use of cooling systems represents one of the main problems both for the occupants’ health and energy consumption. In order to limit this problem, an appropriate design or energy retrofitting of the building envelope [...] Read more.
In the Mediterranean climate, indoor overheating and, thus, excessive use of cooling systems represents one of the main problems both for the occupants’ health and energy consumption. In order to limit this problem, an appropriate design or energy retrofitting of the building envelope is of utmost importance. The predominance of massive buildings in the Italian territory and the need to comply with Italian regulations often leads technicians to not optimal energy saving solutions. To this purpose, this experimental research was conducted on a mockup building, located in Fabriano and characterized by high thermal mass walls (W0) and two different external insulating systems: Cork based lightweight plaster (W1) and Extruded polystyrene foam panel (XPS) (W2). Furthermore, a virtual model in TRNSYS, a transient simulation software, was used to compare analytical and simulated values. Results show that W2 undergoes a higher level of thermal stress than W1, due to higher peaks in the external surface temperature and larger fluctuations in daily temperature. Therefore, a high value of thermal resistance of the external insulation and low value of external areal heat capacity on a massive building causes external surface overheating problems, thus, not representing the optimal construction solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact Assessment of Climate Change on Buildings)
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24 pages, 6998 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Energy Consumption in Different European Cities: The Adaptive Comfort Control Implemented Model (ACCIM) Considering Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) Scenarios
by Daniel Sánchez-García, David Bienvenido-Huertas, Jesús A. Pulido-Arcas and Carlos Rubio-Bellido
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 1513; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10041513 - 23 Feb 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2002
Abstract
Reports of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have set various greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, through which the evolution of the temperature of the planet can be estimated throughout the 21st century. The reduction of the emissions from the different activities carried out by [...] Read more.
Reports of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have set various greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, through which the evolution of the temperature of the planet can be estimated throughout the 21st century. The reduction of the emissions from the different activities carried out by mankind is crucial to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. One of the most significant activities is users’ behaviour within buildings, particularly the use of Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning systems. Modifying users’ behaviour patterns to guarantee acceptable thermal conditions inside buildings could lead to considerable energy saving percentages, and adaptive thermal comfort models could be an opportunity to achieve important savings. For this reason, this study analyzes the potential to apply adaptive thermal comfort models to use artificial air-conditioning systems by modifying setpoint temperatures. The analysis was conducted in five major European cities (Barcelona, Berlin, Bern, Rome, and Vienna) and in five climate change scenarios in the year 2050. The results showed that, in general, the energy saving achieved by adaptive strategies was larger in the cities with a greater cooling demand. Also, in both Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) considered, the energy saving were decreased in the cities of Barcelona and Rome, with values lower than those of the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) scenarios considered, whereas in the cities of Berlin, Bern, and Vienna, the saving in the RCP scenarios is greater than those in the other scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact Assessment of Climate Change on Buildings)
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26 pages, 3064 KiB  
Article
A GHG Metric Methodology to Assess Onsite Buildings Non-Potable Water System for Outdoor Landscape Use
by Geraldine Seguela, John R. Littlewood and George Karani
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 1339; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10041339 - 16 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3527
Abstract
This paper documents a water:energy greenhouse gas (GHG) metric methodology for a decentralized non-potable water system that was developed as part of a Professional Doctorate in Engineering (DEng) research project by the first author. The project identified the need to investigate the challenges [...] Read more.
This paper documents a water:energy greenhouse gas (GHG) metric methodology for a decentralized non-potable water system that was developed as part of a Professional Doctorate in Engineering (DEng) research project by the first author. The project identified the need to investigate the challenges in changing the use of potable water to recycled water for landscape irrigation (LI) and for water features (WFs) at a medical facility case study (MFCS) in Abu Dhabi (AD) (the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The drivers for the research project were based on the need for AD to decrease desalinated potable water as well as reduce the environmental impact and operational costs associated with the processing and use of desalinated water. Thus, the aim of the research discussed and presented in this paper was to measure the impact of using recycled and onsite non-potable water sources at the MFCS to alleviate the use of desalinated potable water and reduce associated energy consumption, operational costs, and GHG emissions (latterly in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), for LI and WFs. The analysis of three case scenarios at the MFCS compared different approaches to alleviate energy use, costs, and GHG impacts for the use of recycled water in LI and WFs against a baseline. The findings led to a proposed sustainable water conservation and reuse (SWC) strategy, which helped save 50% desalinated potable water for LI use by soil improvement, building water system audits, and alternate non-potable water reuse. The recommendations for this paper are to develop a SWC strategy forming the basis for a water protocol by the competent authority for regional medical facilities including an assessment methodology for building decentralized non-potable water systems to measure their energy, GHG emissions and financial impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact Assessment of Climate Change on Buildings)
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33 pages, 4918 KiB  
Article
A Consistent Methodology to Evaluate Temperature and Heat Wave Future Projections for Cities: A Case Study for Lisbon
by Alfredo Rocha, Susana C. Pereira, Carolina Viceto, Rui Silva, Jorge Neto and Martinho Marta-Almeida
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 1149; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10031149 - 08 Feb 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3076
Abstract
Heat waves are large-scale atmospheric phenomena that may cause heat stress in ecosystems and socio-economic activities. In cities, morbidity and mortality may increase during a heat wave, overloading health and emergency services. In the face of climate change and associated warming, cities need [...] Read more.
Heat waves are large-scale atmospheric phenomena that may cause heat stress in ecosystems and socio-economic activities. In cities, morbidity and mortality may increase during a heat wave, overloading health and emergency services. In the face of climate change and associated warming, cities need to adapt and mitigate the effects of heat waves. This study suggests a new method to evaluate heat waves’ impacts on cities by considering some aspects of heat waves that are not usually considered in other similar studies. The method devises heat wave quantities that are easy to calculate; it is relevant to assessing their impacts and permits the development of adaptation measures. This study applies the suggested method to quantify various aspects of heat waves in Lisbon for future climate projections considering future mid-term (2046–2065) and long-term (2081–2100) climates under the RCP8.5 greenhouse emission scenario. This is achieved through the analysis of various regional climate simulations performed with the WRF model and an ensemble of EURO-CORDEX models. This allows an estimation of uncertainty and confidence of the projections. To evaluate the climate change properties of heat waves, statistics for future climates are compared to those for a reference recent climate. Simulated temperatures are first bias corrected to minimize the model systematic errors relative to observations. The temperature for mid and long-term futures is expected to increase relative to the present by 1.6 °C and 3.6 °C, respectively, with late summer months registering the highest increases. The number of heat wave days per year will increase on average from 10, in the present climate, to 38 and 63 in mid and long-term climates, respectively. Heat wave duration, intensity, average maximum temperature, and accumulated temperature during a heat wave will also increase. Heat waves account for an annual average of accumulated temperature of 358 °C·day in the present climate, while in the mid and long-term, future climates account for 1270 °C·day and 2078 °C·day, respectively. The largest increases are expected to occur from July to October. Extreme intensity and long-duration heat waves with an average maximum temperature of more than 40 °C are expected to occur in the future climates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact Assessment of Climate Change on Buildings)
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Review

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25 pages, 2269 KiB  
Review
Energy Efficiency Policies to Face Buildings’ Climate Change Effects in Paraguay
by Fabiana Silvero, Fernanda Rodrigues and Sergio Montelpare
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 3979; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10113979 - 08 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2689
Abstract
Nowadays, the importance of implementing energy efficiency (EE) measures is growing significantly worldwide, based on its potential to reduce energy demands and mitigate climate change effects. Paraguay is a developing country with the highest per capita hydroelectric energy generation in the world, but [...] Read more.
Nowadays, the importance of implementing energy efficiency (EE) measures is growing significantly worldwide, based on its potential to reduce energy demands and mitigate climate change effects. Paraguay is a developing country with the highest per capita hydroelectric energy generation in the world, but only 18% of local consumption is hydroelectric and 41% of its energy matrix corresponds to oil products. This paper aims to analyse the importance the Country places on EE as a strategy towards sustainable development and to highlight as EE is an effective pathway to mitigate the climate changes and contrast their effects. The authors initially provide an insight into the climate scenarios for Paraguay and underline the effects of the climate changes on the buildings’ comfort. Subsequently, the authors provide, by resourcing a bibliographic review, a description of the Paraguayan sectors of greater energy consumption, its policies and targets set for increasing EE. Besides, the main EE projects developed by other neighbouring South American countries are analysed to show the level of development of each one in the scope of EE and to offer a reference basis of potential virtuous solutions to be adopted in Paraguay. A focus on the building sector is also made to provide a foundation for policy analyses to enhance EE in this sector. As a result of this review, evidence that EE is beginning to take part in Paraguay’s public policies was found, with the leaders becoming aware of its importance. Nevertheless, many concrete results could not be achieved as of yet and overcoming these barriers still involve a great challenge. Regarding the building sector, few advances have been noticed regarding the regulations of buildings’ thermal performance, a reason for which the National objectives set need to be more specific to achieve greater collective awareness to enforce them. Finally, key actions are recommended for Paraguay aiming to improve EE levels to face the climate change phenomenon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact Assessment of Climate Change on Buildings)
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12 pages, 1330 KiB  
Review
Climate Change and Refrigerants: Thermodynamic Properties of Low-GWP Fluids for Domestic Applications and Binary Systems for Low-Temperature Options
by Mariano Pierantozzi, Sebastiano Tomassetti and Giovanni Di Nicola
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 2014; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10062014 - 16 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2079
Abstract
The most commonly used refrigerants are potent greenhouse gasses that can contribute to climate change. Hydro-Fluoro-Olefins are low Global Warming Potential fluids. A summary of our experimental research activity on the thermodynamic properties of two environmentally friendly Hydro-Fluoro-Olefins, namely R1234yf and R1234ze(E), is [...] Read more.
The most commonly used refrigerants are potent greenhouse gasses that can contribute to climate change. Hydro-Fluoro-Olefins are low Global Warming Potential fluids. A summary of our experimental research activity on the thermodynamic properties of two environmentally friendly Hydro-Fluoro-Olefins, namely R1234yf and R1234ze(E), is reported. In particular, the measurements were performed with an isochoric apparatus and the apparatus specifically built to reach temperatures down to about 100 K. The data elaboration confirms the validity of the choice and that R1234yf and R1234ze(E) can be adopted in many domestic applications. Moreover, considering the reduction of the flammability issues of R1234yf and R1234ze(E), the properties of binary systems containing these fluids and carbon dioxide were analyzed. The presented mixtures could be very interesting for low-temperature applications such as cascade cycles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact Assessment of Climate Change on Buildings)
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