Regenerative Design and Simulation for Future Carbon-Negative Districts

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309). This special issue belongs to the section "Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2024 | Viewed by 537

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Guest Editor
School of Energy and Power Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China
Interests: boiling; bubbles; colloids; contact angle; heat transfer; surface tension; surfactants; two-phase flow

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Guest Editor
School of Electrical Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
Interests: control; planning and operation; distributed control and optimization of new power system connected with new energy grid
College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
Interests: green building; thermal comfort; occupants behavior

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School of Architecture and Environment, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
Interests: phase change material (pcm); microencapsulated phase change material (MEPCM); thermal properties; flow characteristic; stability

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College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
Interests: district energy planning; sustainable buildings
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AEE—Institute for Sustainable Technologies, Gleisdorf, Austria
Interests: sustainable energy systems; district heating and cooling; modeling and simulation of energy systems; (GIS-based) planning tools and concepts; urban resource cycles
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School of Industrial Technology and Business Studies, Dalarna University, Falun Borlänge, Sweden
Interests: positive energy district; solar energy; urban energy system
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The urban system faces challenges related to climate change, war, financial crises, environmental challenges, and pandemics. The future carbon-negative districts (CNDs) are a key building block for future urban energy paradigm and carbon-neutral cities. CND integrates renovation, regeneration and planning (RRP) processes.

Regenerative design and simulation for future carbon-negative districts involve innovative approaches to urban transition with a primary focus on environmental sustainability and carbon neutrality. The goal is to create urban spaces that not only minimize their carbon footprint but actively contribute to the regeneration of ecosystems and the reduction in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

This Special Issue aims to provide an opportunity to the scientists investigating the following topics to share their insights:

Holistic Design: Regenerative design takes a holistic approach, considering the entire life cycle of a district, from construction to daily operations and eventual decommissioning. It involves integrating various disciplines such as architecture, urban planning, landscape design, and renewable energy engineering to create synergies that enhance sustainability.

Carbon-Negative Strategies: The emphasis is on going beyond carbon-neutral (zero emissions) to actively sequester and reduce carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It also includes the integration of carbon-negative technologies, such as carbon capture and storage, afforestation, and sustainable building materials, to achieve this goal.

Renewable Energy Integration: Districts are designed to maximize the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, to meet energy demands sustainably. Smart grid systems and energy storage technologies are often employed to optimize energy usage and minimize waste.

Green Infrastructure: Incorporating green spaces, permeable surfaces, and biodiversity into the urban fabric helps enhance ecological resilience. Green roofs, vertical gardens, and urban farming contribute to carbon sequestration and provide additional environmental and social benefits.

Simulation and Modeling: Advanced simulation tools and modeling techniques are utilized to optimize the flexibility and resilience of design choices. This includes predicting energy usage, carbon emissions, and the overall ecological footprint of the district before it is built, allowing for iterative design improvements.

Community Engagement: Regenerative design emphasizes community involvement and education to foster a sense of ownership and responsibility among residents. Social sustainability is considered alongside environmental factors, promoting inclusivity and well-being.

Adaptive Design: The designs adapt to changing environmental conditions, future technological advancements, and evolving community needs. Flexibility and resilience are key aspects to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of regenerative districts.

By combining these principles, regenerative design and simulation aim to create urban districts that actively contribute to the regeneration of ecosystems, enhance environmental quality, and serve as models for sustainable living in a carbon-constrained world. 

Dr. Zicheng Hu
Dr. Zhiyuan Tang
Dr. Jindong Wu
Dr. Wei Zhang
Dr. Shuqin Chen
Dr. Ingo Leusbrock
Prof. Dr. Xingxing Zhang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • climate neutrality
  • regenerative design
  • holistic design
  • carbon-negative strategies
  • renewable energy integration
  • green infrastructure
  • simulation and modeling
  • community engagement
  • adaptive design

Published Papers (1 paper)

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28 pages, 9563 KiB  
Characteristics and Application Analysis of a Novel Full Fresh Air System Using Only Geothermal Energy for Space Cooling and Dehumidification
by Yuchen Han, Wanfeng Li, Zicheng Hu, Haiyan Zhang, Xingxing Zhang, Hany S. El-Mesery, Yibo Guo and Hao Huang
Buildings 2024, 14(5), 1312; - 7 May 2024
Viewed by 317
To effectively reduce building energy consumption, a novel full fresh air system with a heat source tower (HST) and a borehole heat exchanger (BHE) was proposed for space cooling and dehumidification in this paper. The cooling system only adopts geothermal energy to produce [...] Read more.
To effectively reduce building energy consumption, a novel full fresh air system with a heat source tower (HST) and a borehole heat exchanger (BHE) was proposed for space cooling and dehumidification in this paper. The cooling system only adopts geothermal energy to produce dry and cold fresh air for space cooling and dehumidification through the BHE and HST, which has the advantage of non-condensate water compared to BHE systems integrated with a fan coil or chilled beam. Based on the established mathematical model of the cooling system, this paper analyzed the system characteristics, feasibility, operation strategy, energy performance, and cost-effectiveness of the proposed model in detail. The results show that the mathematical model has less than 10% error in estimating the system performance compared to the practical HST–BHE experimental set up. Under the specific boundary conditions, the cooling and dehumidification capacity of this system increases with the decrease in the air temperature, air moisture content, and inlet water temperature of the HST. The optimal cooling capacity and the system COP can be achieved when the air–water flow ratio is at 4:3. A case study was conducted in a residential building in Shenyang with an area of about 1800 m2. It was found that this system can fully meet the cooling and dehumidification demand in such a residential building. The operation strategy of the cooling system can be optimized by adjusting the air–water flow ratio from 4:3 to 3:2 during the early cooling season (7 June–1 July) and end cooling season (3 August–1 September). As a result, the average COP of the cooling system during the whole cooling season can be improved from 6.1 to 8.7. Compared with the air source heat pump (ASHP) and the ground source heat pump (GSHP) for space cooling, the proposed cooling system can achieve an energy saving rate of 123% and 26%, respectively. Considering that the BHE of the GSHP can be part of the proposed HST–BHE cooling system, the integration of the HST and GHSP for space cooling (and heating) is strongly recommended in actual applications. Full article
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