Research towards the Green and Sustainable Buildings and Cities

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 September 2024 | Viewed by 3789

Special Issue Editors

School of Architecture, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
Interests: low-carbon building; energy efficiency; thermal comfort; overheating; bio-based material; phase change materials (PCM); sustainable city

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Guest Editor Assistant
School of Architecture, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
Interests: bio-based material; thermal comfort; overheating; traditional settlement; mass customized housing; computational design

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Our present era stands at a pivotal juncture, calling for a profound transformation in our approach to shaping the built environment. The intricate interplay of challenges encompasses a spectrum as diverse as global climate change, the depletion of finite energy resources, the escalating emission of greenhouse gases, and the multifaceted demands of sustainable development within traditional architecture. This dynamic landscape underscores the imperative to reimagine our architectural paradigms, a call that resonates robustly and finds consensus in the growing acknowledgment of the pivotal significance of embracing energy-efficient, environmentally conscious, and sustainable building practices.

Emerging technologies such as green building techniques, artificial intelligence, and digital twins are redefining sustainable architecture. They empower us to design and operate eco-friendly buildings in ways previously unimaginable. In parallel, the preservation of architectural heritage and culture introduces added complexity. Revitalizing traditional methodologies, safeguarding cultural heritage, and renewing communities together shape the essence of sustainable building. These initiatives harmoniously blend tradition with modern innovation.

These imperatives underscore the compelling need for multidisciplinary collaboration and innovative solutions. Embracing these challenges presents a unique opportunity to guide our architectural future towards sustainability. This transformation transcends mere environmental concerns; it encompasses heritage preservation, community enhancement, and the exploration of new frontiers in sustainable architecture.

Dr. Haibo Guo
Guest Editor

Bolun Zhao
Guest Editor Assistant

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

Keywords

  • green building technologies
  • sustainable urban development
  • residential sustainability
  • healthy building
  • ecological village
  • traditional settlement revival
  • architectural heritage conservation
  • computational design
  • resource metabolism
  • inclusive development

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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24 pages, 10493 KiB  
Article
Evaluation Model of Distributed Photovoltaic Utilization in Urban Built-Up Area
by Siyuan Chen, Zao Zhang, Cheng Wang, Lifeng Tan, Huanjie Liu, Hong Yuan, Rui Zhang and Rui Hu
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14040943 - 29 Mar 2024
Viewed by 471
Abstract
Photovoltaic (PV) power generation is emerging as a key aspect of the global shift towards a more sustainable energy mix. Nevertheless, existing assessment models predominantly concentrate on predicting the overall capacity of PV power generation, often neglecting temporal dynamics. Drawing upon the urban [...] Read more.
Photovoltaic (PV) power generation is emerging as a key aspect of the global shift towards a more sustainable energy mix. Nevertheless, existing assessment models predominantly concentrate on predicting the overall capacity of PV power generation, often neglecting temporal dynamics. Drawing upon the urban energy substitution rate, utilization rate, and power supply stability, this study has devised a comprehensive evaluation model for the utilization of distributed photovoltaic systems (SUS). This model integrates the quantification of spatio-temporal features inherent in urban settings and buildings. Using Hohhot city as a case study, this study conducted simulations to analyze how the installation of PV systems affects the electricity consumption patterns across different land plots within the urban core. The study additionally examines how urban planning influences the adoption of PV power, taking into account both the timing of PV power usage and the stage of PV technology development. The evaluation model surpasses the constraints of current urban PV assessments, which primarily emphasize enhancing power generation potential without adequately quantifying supply–demand dynamics or spatial and temporal variations. This breakthrough significantly improves the precision and reliability of assessing the efficiency of distributed PV systems. Its implications extend widely to subsequent comprehensive evaluations of urban PV applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research towards the Green and Sustainable Buildings and Cities)
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15 pages, 4056 KiB  
Article
Field Investigation of Water Infiltration into a Three-Layer Capillary Barrier Landfill Cover System Using Local Soils and Construction Waste
by Yuedong Wu, Jincheng Ren and Jian Liu
Buildings 2024, 14(1), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14010139 - 5 Jan 2024
Viewed by 595
Abstract
In response to the rapid urban expansion and the burgeoning number of landfill sites, managing water infiltration in these areas has become a critical challenge, especially in cities like Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Singapore where traditional cover materials such as silt, clayey gravel, [...] Read more.
In response to the rapid urban expansion and the burgeoning number of landfill sites, managing water infiltration in these areas has become a critical challenge, especially in cities like Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Singapore where traditional cover materials such as silt, clayey gravel, and sand are scarce. A three-layer (silt/gravelly sand/clay) capillary barrier cover system has been proposed to address this issue in humid climates. As an alternative to scarce traditional materials, using local soils and construction waste (CW) for this system presents a viable solution. However, the real-world performance of this adapted three-layer system, constructed with local soils and CW under natural rainfall conditions, remains to be fully evaluated. This paper presents a field test evaluating the water infiltration behavior of a three-layer capillary barrier landfill cover system under natural conditions. The tri-layered system is comprised of a 0.6 m loose local unscreened soil layer, covered by a 0.4 m CW layer and topped by a 0.8 m heavily compacted local screened soil layer. Monitoring findings reveal that, during the wet season, infiltration through the top two layers was staved off until the third rainfall, after which these layers retained moisture until 15 September 2016. The fluctuation in pore water pressure in the topmost layers showed each rainfall was contingent not only on the day’s precipitation but also the hydraulic state. Beyond the hydraulic state’s influence, a deeper tensiometer showed resulted in a diminished correlation between the surge in pore water pressure and daily rainfall. This declining correlation with depth can be attributed to the capillary effect and the reduced permeability of the screened soil layer. Rainfall patterns significantly affect percolation, with the combination of a short-duration, intense rainfall and prolonged weak rainfall resulting in a marked increase in percolation. In the foundational screened soil layer, the pore water pressure remained relatively low, with the cumulative percolation over six months (June to December) registering approximately 10 mm. These findings suggest a promising performance of the three-layer capillary barrier cover system, integrating local soils and CW, in the year of the study conducted in a humid environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research towards the Green and Sustainable Buildings and Cities)
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20 pages, 46305 KiB  
Article
Towards an Evaluation System of Disabled Individuals’ Friendly Communities from the Perspective of Inclusive Development—A Case Study in Jinan
by Yaqi Wen, Yuyao Li, Yang Yang and Jiang Wang
Buildings 2023, 13(11), 2715; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13112715 - 27 Oct 2023
Viewed by 843
Abstract
The quality of travel for residents has improved in China’s urban renewal development, but there are still barriers to the activities of disadvantaged groups like people with disabilities in the city, including challenges with accessible travel and a lack of accessible design. All [...] Read more.
The quality of travel for residents has improved in China’s urban renewal development, but there are still barriers to the activities of disadvantaged groups like people with disabilities in the city, including challenges with accessible travel and a lack of accessible design. All urban people should have access to services and be guaranteed equal rights, according to the inclusive development theory. This study examines the travel requirements and behavioural patterns of the barrier-free groups to safeguard the right of underprivileged groups to participate equally in the urban space. It also determines the impact of various types of urban land use and service facilities on the distribution of barrier-free facilities. An evaluation system based on the needs of the disabled group is established to evaluate the degree of barrier-free facilities in the surveyed areas, summarise the problems shown by the evaluation scores, and propose improvement strategies for the shortcomings of accessibility to residential areas and the controversy through web data crawling and a geographically weighted analysis. From the standpoint of inclusive development, the goal is to lessen the travel issues faced by underprivileged groups and to improve their capacity to take advantage of opportunities and have access to resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research towards the Green and Sustainable Buildings and Cities)
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16 pages, 43267 KiB  
Article
A Rule-Based Design Approach to Generate Mass Housing in Rural Areas of the North China Plain
by Jiang Wang, Wei Fan, Bolun Zhao, Yang Yang and Zhijun Zhang
Buildings 2023, 13(10), 2539; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13102539 - 8 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 786
Abstract
Affected by the development strategy of Rural Space Reconstruction in China, the demand for rural mass housing has peaked in the North China Plain in the past 20 years. However, due to the inefficiency of conventional design methods, the rural houses built appear [...] Read more.
Affected by the development strategy of Rural Space Reconstruction in China, the demand for rural mass housing has peaked in the North China Plain in the past 20 years. However, due to the inefficiency of conventional design methods, the rural houses built appear to have a noticeable trend of urbanization and homogeneity. To propose a more effective design approach to change the hitherto unsuccessful homogenized phenomenon of rural design, the study is based on investigating the composition, configuration and characteristics of the dwellings in some traditional villages of the eastern Shandong Province, and it compares and analyzes the differences between conventional methods and generation methods through three design tests: Test 1 is for the reappearance of a general mode of planning, Test 2 is based on the definition of shape-grammar-based rules and Test 3 is mainly used for the optimizing and programming of rules. Furthermore, based on the three prototypes of homestead combination, three-level rules are determined through the three tests mentioned above: Level-1 describes the housing prototype consisting of four homesteads, which generates a variety of spatial relations through the translation of homesteads. Level-2 describes a neighborhood prototype consisting of 16 homesteads, which generates various samples through splitting prototypes and expanding homesteads. Level-3 describes a block prototype consisting of 64 homesteads, which controls open space and identifies a given base during sample filling. Through the analysis of the tests results, the rationality and feasibility of the generative design approach are verified, proving that this approach effectively solves the design monotony problem that commonly exists in rural mass housing in the North China Plain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research towards the Green and Sustainable Buildings and Cities)
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Review

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26 pages, 5521 KiB  
Review
Promoting Circular Economy of the Building Industry by the Use of Straw Bales: A Review
by An Li, Chong Guo, Jian Gu, Yanyuan Hu, Zhaoyang Luo and Xunzhi Yin
Buildings 2024, 14(5), 1337; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14051337 - 8 May 2024
Viewed by 397
Abstract
Over the past decade, the concept of a circular economy has increasingly gained attention as a framework for guiding businesses and policymakers. Given its significant environmental impact, the building industry plays a pivotal role in the transition toward a circular economy. To address [...] Read more.
Over the past decade, the concept of a circular economy has increasingly gained attention as a framework for guiding businesses and policymakers. Given its significant environmental impact, the building industry plays a pivotal role in the transition toward a circular economy. To address this, our review proposes a bio-based building material, specifically straw bale, which elaborates on the circularity of bio-based buildings based on the 3R principles of a circular economy: reduce, reuse, and recycle. In terms of the “reduce” principle, straw-bale buildings can reduce construction waste, the environmental impact, energy requirements, and carbon emissions. Regarding the “reuse” principle, straw-bale buildings utilize agricultural waste resources and are easily disassembled due to their prefabrication. As for the “recycle” principle, straw-bale buildings can undergo physical, biological, and biochemical conversion processes (thermochemical conversion), yielding both wooden composite boards and potential biogas and biomass fuels for electricity and heating. This study evaluates the contribution of straw packaging construction and the use of straw as a raw material, using the 3R principles to determine future research opportunities for the construction industry to achieve a circular economy. The results of this study offer circular economy solutions and interdisciplinary research insights for researchers and practitioners interested in the building environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research towards the Green and Sustainable Buildings and Cities)
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