Buildings for the 21st Century

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: 20 December 2024 | Viewed by 1726

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Sustainable Engineering Group, School of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia
Interests: sustainable engineering; life cycle assessment; waste management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
School of Science and Engineering, Curtin University Dubai, Dubai 345031, United Arab Emirates
Interests: manufacturing practices; machine design; optimization techniques; engineering sustainable development; renewable energy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Currently, we are consuming more than 1.7 times the Earth's total capacity to provide renewable and non-renewable resources to humanity (GFN, 2023). If no technological and policy changes are introduced, we will need almost three planets by 2050 to meet the demand of 9.6 billion people (GFN, 2023). Building construction industries are resource-intensive as they consume 25% of virgin wood and 40% of non-renewable resources, including raw stone, gravel, and sand, globally each year for cement, aggregates, and pavement production (Kedir, 2020). These non-renewable resources will become scarce with the rapid growth of population and the economy. Buildings alone are responsible for 39% of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, of which, 28% is operational energy produced from the combustion of fossil fuels, and the remaining 11% is produced by the manufacturing of materials and construction activities (WGBC, 2023). Without implementing further environmental policy, the energy used in buildings could increase by 46–73% compared to its 2019 level by 2050; this will be driven by population growth, greater diffusion, and the utilization of energy-intensive devices, and enhanced living standards in developing countries (Camarasa et al. 2022). The United Nations estimates that 68% of the world's population will live in urban areas by 2050 (Peña et al. 2021). This will extend the impact of urban heat islands as structures such as buildings, roads, and other infrastructure will absorb and re-emit the sun’s heat more than forests and water bodies (USEPA, 2022).  

This Special Issue (SI) aims to publish a wide range of articles that address topics including innovative building design, energy efficiency/efficient end-use appliances, resource conservation, alternative construction materials, innovative or smart building management, sustainability assessment tools, green energy, and the urban micro-climate; these contributions will address the sustainability challenges of building industries in the 21st century.  

The top five papers of the International Conference on Innovation, Sustainability and Applied Sciences (ICISAS 2023) at Curtin University, Dubai, that are relevant to at least one of the following topics will obtain a full fee waiver for publishing in this Special Issue. The next five papers will be offered a 50% discount. MDPI, the publisher of this Special Issue, will review the papers before assigning the discounts.

This Special Issue aims to address the following topics:

  • Environmental impacts of building materials
  • Building energy and environments
  • Life cycle assessment and green buildings
  • Environmentally friendly construction practices
  • Prefabricated/modular buildings
  • Passive design
  • Building-integrated photovoltaics
  • Net-zero energy buildings (NZEBS)
  • A new generation of stronger, lighter and more sustainable building materials
  • Application of LCA/EPD in sustainable construction
  • Intelligent Building Management System for reducing UHI
  • Modification of building envelopes for reducing UHI
  • Demand-side management and UHI
  • Life-cycle sustainability assessment

References

Camarasa, C., Mata, É., Navarro, J.P.J. et al. (2022). A global comparison of building decarbonization scenarios by 2050 towards 1.5–2 °C targets. Nat Commun 13, 3077.

GFN (Global Footprint Network) (2023). Ecological Footprints. https://www.footprintnetwork.org/our-work/ecological-footprint/.

Kedir, F., Hall, D. (2020). Resource efficiency in industrialized housing construction – A systematic review of current performance and future opportunities. Journal of Cleaner Production. 125443.

Peña, M., Vahdatikhaki, F., Santos, J., Hammad, A., Dorée, A. (2021). How to bring UHI to the urban planning table? A data-driven modeling approach. Sustainable Cities and Society. 71, 102948.

USEPA (2022). Learn About Heat Islands. https://www.epa.gov/heatislands/learn-about-heat-islands.

WGBC (World Green Building Council) (2023). Achieving Net Zero.  https://worldgbc.org/advancing-net-zero/embodied-carbon/#:~:text=Buildings%20are%20currently%20responsible%20for,11%25%20from%20materials% 20and%20construction.

Dr. Wahidul K. Biswas
Prof. Dr. Chithirai Pon Selvan
Guest Editors

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.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

28 pages, 2730 KiB  
Article
Towards Extensive Definition and Planning of Energy Resilience in Buildings in Cold Climate
by Hassam ur Rehman, Mohamed Hamdy and Ala Hasan
Buildings 2024, 14(5), 1453; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14051453 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 277
Abstract
The transition towards a sustainable future requires the reliable performance of the building’s energy system in order for the building to be energy-resilient. “Energy resilient building in cold climates” is an emerging concept that defines the ability to maintain a minimum level of [...] Read more.
The transition towards a sustainable future requires the reliable performance of the building’s energy system in order for the building to be energy-resilient. “Energy resilient building in cold climates” is an emerging concept that defines the ability to maintain a minimum level of indoor air temperature and energy performance of the building and minimize the occupant’s health risk during a disruptive event of the grid’s power supply loss in a cold climate. The aim is to introduce an extensive definition of the energy resilience of buildings and apply it in case studies. This article first reviews the progress and provides an overview of the energy-resilient building concept. The review shows that most of the relevant focus is on short-term energy resilience, and the serious gap is related to long-term resilience in the context of cold regions. The article presents a basic definition of energy resilience of buildings, a systematic framework, and indicators for analyzing the energy resilience of buildings. Terms such as active and passive habitability, survivability, and adaptive habitable conditions are defined. The energy resilience indicators are applied on two simulated Finnish case studies, an old building and a new building. By systematic analysis, using the defined indicators and thresholds, the energy resilience performance of the buildings is calculated and compared. Depending on the type of the building, the results show that the robustness period is 11 h and 26 h for the old building and the new building, respectively. The old building failed to provide the habitability conditions. The impact of the event is 8.9 °C, minimum performance (Pmin) is 12.54 °C, and degree of disruption (DoD) is 0.300 for the old building. The speed of collapse (SoC) is 3.75 °C/h, and the speed of recovery (SoR) is 0.64 °C/h. On the other hand, the new building performed better such that the impact of the event is 4 °C, Pmin is 17.5 °C, and DoD is 0.138. The SoC is slow 3.2 °C/h and SoR is fast 0.80 °C/h for the new building. The results provide a pathway for improvements for long-term energy resilience. In conclusion, this work supports society and policy-makers to build a sustainable and resilient society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings for the 21st Century)
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20 pages, 4130 KiB  
Article
Appraising the Feasibility of 3D Printing Construction in New Zealand Housing
by Mohammad Khan, Aflah Alamsah Dani, James B. P. Lim and Krishanu Roy
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1084; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041084 - 12 Apr 2024
Viewed by 790
Abstract
The construction industry in New Zealand is significantly impacted by the importance of housing, particularly as urbanisation continues to grow in major cities. Modern construction methods, such as offsite construction and building automation, evolving into digital manufacturing and construction in the industry, have [...] Read more.
The construction industry in New Zealand is significantly impacted by the importance of housing, particularly as urbanisation continues to grow in major cities. Modern construction methods, such as offsite construction and building automation, evolving into digital manufacturing and construction in the industry, have become prominent. Despite the global recognition of 3D printing technology, its adoption in the construction industry in New Zealand is still relatively limited. This study aims to examine the feasibility of 3D printing construction in response to current market challenges, innovation, and the 2050 net-zero carbon goal. Utilising Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approaches, this study investigated the environmental impacts of three housing types: 3D printing (3DP), light steel framed (LSF), and timber. This study used cradle-to-cradle as the system boundary. The results indicate that the 3DP house emits 20% fewer carbon emissions than the traditional timber house and 25% less than the LSF house. Additionally, the 3DP house exhibits a 19% lower annual electric energy consumption than the timber house. Therefore, in response to the growing housing demand in New Zealand, the construction industry must innovate and embrace digital and advanced construction methods, including the adoption of 3D printing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings for the 21st Century)
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