Energy Efficiency and Carbon Neutrality in Buildings

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: 23 July 2024 | Viewed by 6462

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Construction Management, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 351610, USA
Interests: sustainability issues in the built environment; green and net zero carbon built environment; project management; digital technologies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge of our time. A major source of this challenge is the buildings and construction sector, which represents an estimated 37% of global operational energy use and process-related carbon emissions, making it the biggest global climate offender. To address the critical global climate change challenge, we need to improve and transform the energy and carbon performance of the buildings and construction sector to secure a future that is energy efficient, resilient, and has net zero carbon emissions. However, the recently published 2022 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction sends a strong signal that the sector is not on track to address this challenge. An important call has been made for “concrete actions” now if we are to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change. This Special Issue calls on researchers who are working on topics relevant to energy efficiency and carbon neutrality (i.e., net zero carbon emissions) in the buildings and construction sector to share their latest accomplishments and research findings. The goal is to facilitate knowledge dissemination in promoting the energy efficiency and carbon neutrality transformation of the buildings and construction sector towards addressing climate change. Both review and original papers are welcomed. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Energy efficient and net zero carbon emissions focused planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition of buildings.
  • Energy and carbon management and mitigation in buildings and construction.
  • Digital solutions to save energy and carbon in buildings and construction.
  • Assessing, monitoring, and reducing energy demand and consumption, and the carbon emissions of buildings and construction.
  • In-use energy consumption estimating, monitoring, and reduction.
  • Building energy modeling and simulation.
  • Renewable energy generation and utilization.
  • Carbon offsetting.
  • Energy efficient and net zero carbon building materials.
  • Energy efficiency and net zero carbon focused retrofitting.
  • Net zero project management.
  • Building energy efficiency and net zero carbon policies and frameworks.
  • Challenges, opportunities, and strategies for delivery energy efficiency and net zero.
  • Occupant behavior, comfort, health, wellbeing, and quality of life.
  • Economic, environmental, and social aspects in energy efficiency and carbon neutrality.

Dr. Amos Darko
Guest Editor

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

  • climate change
  • energy efficiency
  • carbon neutrality
  • net zero carbon
  • resilience
  • buildings and construction
  • sustainable built environment

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

27 pages, 2703 KiB  
Article
Determinants of Urban Residential Electricity Consumption in Burkina Faso: A Study of Dwelling, Household, Socio-Economic and Appliance-Related Factors
by Komlan Hector Seth Tete, Yrébégnan Moussa Soro, Samir Franck Amadou Coulibaly, Rory Victor Jones and Sayon dit Sadio Sidibé
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030683 - 5 Mar 2024
Viewed by 655
Abstract
This study analyses the dwelling, household, socio-economic and appliance-related determinants of urban domestic electricity use in Burkina Faso. A survey of 387 households in Ouagadougou was conducted and combined with their electricity use, collected from energy bills. To the authors’ knowledge, this is [...] Read more.
This study analyses the dwelling, household, socio-economic and appliance-related determinants of urban domestic electricity use in Burkina Faso. A survey of 387 households in Ouagadougou was conducted and combined with their electricity use, collected from energy bills. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first large-scale, city-wide household electricity study undertaken in Burkina Faso. Linear regression models were applied to the data to assess the influence of household, dwelling, socio-economic and appliance-related factors on electricity use. Significant and unambiguous predictors of urban domestic electricity use included household income, dwelling tenure type and ownership, and use of lighting fixtures, television sets, fridges, fans, freezers and air conditioners. Dwelling, household and socio-economic factors explained 70.2% and 70.5% of the variance in electricity use, respectively, when combined with appliance ownership and use factors. This study provides an understanding of the driving factors of domestic electricity use and discusses the implications and applications of this research for a range of stakeholders in the electricity sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency and Carbon Neutrality in Buildings)
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28 pages, 6592 KiB  
Article
Demand-Side Management Method for Households with Self-Generation and Storage of Electricity
by Vicente León-Martínez, Clara Andrada-Monrós, Elisa Peñalvo-López and Juan Ángel Saiz-Jiménez
Buildings 2024, 14(1), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14010276 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 662
Abstract
The main objective is to propose a calculation method for assessing the benefits of individual domestic prosumers in self-consumption and economic savings when managing their own energy resources. The paper applies the demand-side management concept in the residential sector from the individual domestic [...] Read more.
The main objective is to propose a calculation method for assessing the benefits of individual domestic prosumers in self-consumption and economic savings when managing their own energy resources. The paper applies the demand-side management concept in the residential sector from the individual domestic perspective so that customers can understand the value of their own sustainable energy resources, conducting self-generation and demand management. The novelty lies in allowing the prosumer to manage their own energy resources to their benefit at a reasonable cost, instead of participating in automated large residential demand-side-management programmes that respond to the means of the grid system operator or other energy service companies, such as aggregators. A methodology for calculating the self-consumption rate and the economic benefit for the consumer is proposed, including three different cases: consumer demand is higher than self-generation, and consumer demand is equal to self-generation, and consumer demand is lower than self-generation. The methodology is validated with actual data from a household in Valencia (Spain) during a complete year, obtaining an average reduction in the annual electricity bill of 70% and a demand coverage with the self-renewable system reaching values of 80% throughout the year. The significance of this methodology goes beyond the economic revenue of the individual consumer; it also aims to guide consumers towards efficient practices in the use of their available energy resources and raise awareness on their energy behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency and Carbon Neutrality in Buildings)
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20 pages, 2904 KiB  
Article
CO2 Emission Allocation for Urban Public Buildings Considering Efficiency and Equity: An Application at the Provincial Level in China
by Zhidong Zhang, Yisheng Liu and Zhuoqun Du
Buildings 2023, 13(6), 1570; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13061570 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 943
Abstract
China is currently recognized as the leading global energy consumer and CO2 emitter. A significant amount of carbon emissions can be attributed to urban public buildings. Establishing an equitable and efficient carbon emission allocation mechanism is a crucial step to meeting the [...] Read more.
China is currently recognized as the leading global energy consumer and CO2 emitter. A significant amount of carbon emissions can be attributed to urban public buildings. Establishing an equitable and efficient carbon emission allocation mechanism is a crucial step to meeting the ambitious targets in China’s 2030 carbon peak plan. In this study, we estimate the total amount of CO2 emissions from urban public buildings by 2030 and propose a preliminary scheme of carbon quota assignment for each province. By means of applying the zero-sum gains data envelopment analysis (ZSG-DEA) model, the carbon emission quotas allocation of urban public buildings in China’s 30 provinces is proposed, and the corresponding pressure to reduce provincial carbon emissions is analyzed. The results indicate that Qinghai has the lowest carbon emission rate (0.01%) for urban public buildings, while Guangdong has the highest (9.06%). Among the provinces, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, and Tianjin face the least pressure in reducing carbon emissions from urban public buildings. On the other hand, Hebei, Beijing, and Anhui are under great pressure to decrease carbon emissions. Notably, Hebei is predicted to have the highest emission reduction requirement of 95.66 million tons. In terms of pressures on carbon emissions reduction for urban public buildings, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, and Tianjin exhibit the least pressure. Hebei, Beijing, and Anhui are facing intense pressure to decrease carbon emissions. These findings offer policymakers valuable insights into developing a fair and efficient carbon allowance allocation strategy, while also contributing to China’s efforts to mitigate carbon emissions and combat climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency and Carbon Neutrality in Buildings)
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33 pages, 14496 KiB  
Article
Building Energy Performance Modeling through Regression Analysis: A Case of Tyree Energy Technologies Building at UNSW Sydney
by Faham Tahmasebinia, Ruihan He, Jiayang Chen, Shang Wang and Samad M. E. Sepasgozar
Buildings 2023, 13(4), 1089; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13041089 - 20 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2536
Abstract
Addressing clients’ demands, designers have become increasingly concerned about the operation phases of buildings and, more specifically, energy consumption. This issue has become more prominent as people realize that the Earth’s resources are limited and depleted, and buildings are major energy consumers. Building [...] Read more.
Addressing clients’ demands, designers have become increasingly concerned about the operation phases of buildings and, more specifically, energy consumption. This issue has become more prominent as people realize that the Earth’s resources are limited and depleted, and buildings are major energy consumers. Building Information Modelling (BIM) has gained popularity in recent years and is now widely used by architects, engineers, and construction teams to collaborate and provide a comprehensive design that follows a sustainable strategy. The objective of this research is to examine how building variables are linked to energy consumption in various building shapes, achieved by building prototypes. The accuracy of the regression models is evaluated by undergoing a validation process. Consequently, this study created building information models of selected education facility office rooms and used Autodesk Insight 360 and Green Building Studio (GBS) to perform energy simulations. A 6 Green Star education building in Australia is chosen as the case study of this paper. Thirteen variables related to building internal design were examined, and five were found to endure a substantial effect on building energy consumption. The study also looked at the window-to-wall ratio (WWR), which was analyzed by multi-linear regression; however, the results showed that the model did not fit well, and the error obtained during the validation process ranged from 1.0% to 26.0%, which is unacceptable for this research. These findings highlight some limitations in using BIM tools and linear regression methods and discuss some potential improvements that can be achieved in future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency and Carbon Neutrality in Buildings)
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