Low-Carbon Buildings and Urban Energy Systems

A topical collection in Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309). This collection belongs to the section "Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems".

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Editors

Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Central Ave, Hong Kong
Interests: green building; thermal comfort; natural ventilation; heat pump; renewable energy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
College of Civil Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
Interests: urban building energy modeling; building retrofit analysis; building energy efficiency; occupant behavior
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
School of Energy and Safety Engineering, Tianjin Chengjian University, Tianjin 300384, China
Interests: C language; air conditioning; building management systems; buildings (structures); cold storage; compressors; computational fluid dynamics; costing; digital simulation; dynamic programming; energy conservation; frequency control; ground source heat pumps; heat exchangers; heat pumps; heat transfer; ice; load forecasting; numerical analysis; optimal control; pipelines; power consumption; power system economics; refrigeration; solar power
Faculty of Engineering, School of Architecture & Built Environment, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane City, QLD 4000, Australia
Interests: clustering; data analysis; energy forecast; energy management; energy investment planning; local energy market; model predictive control; sustainable buildings

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

An increasing carbon footprint of buildings is an urgent environmental, social, and economic issue requiring a holistic solution involving advanced architectural designs, green constructions, efficient building services systems, renewable applications, control technologies and management strategies. To fulfil carbon neutrality targets around the world, it is necessary to integrate a sustainable built environment with efficient conversion, conservation, and storage technologies in urban energy systems via smart utility grids. Given the complicated interaction among buildings, the environment, and urban energy systems, a synergy of urban planning, architectural design, building engineering, as well as energy systems should be achieved to incorporate feasible innovative technologies to reduce carbon emissions from buildings and urban communities. In particular, emerging green material, digital design, artificial intelligence, and automatic control technologies can be applied to optimize the stability, reliability, and resilience of the urban energy distribution network (e.g., buildings, communities, transportation and utilities) and reduce its lifecycle environmental impact.

This Special Issue therefore intends to provide a platform for high-quality original research works addressing the technical, environmental, and economic performances of the building sector and urban energy systems to achieve a low-carbon built environment, including but not limited to:

  • Urban energy planning;
  • Energy efficient systems in buildings;
  • Low-carbon architectural design and materials;
  • Green building rating systems;
  • Building information modeling;
  • Lifecycle impact assessment;
  • Grid integrated green transportation;
  • Renewable energy systems;
  • Building automation and smart grid;
  • Energy storage and management.

Dr. Xi Chen
Prof. Dr. Yixing Chen
Prof. Dr. Chunmei Guo
Dr. Aaron Liu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • low-energy buildings
  • carbon emissions
  • LCA
  • digital technologies
  • energy conservation
  • renewable energy
  • design optimization
  • urban planning
  • green transportation
  • low-carbon materials
  • energy storage
  • energy management
  • smart grid
  • intelligent control

Published Papers (13 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022, 2021

23 pages, 5814 KiB  
Article
Timber Buildings Deconstruction as a Design Solution toward Near Zero CO2e Emissions
by Giacomo Di Ruocco, Roberta Melella and Laura Sabatano
Buildings 2023, 13(1), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13010157 - 7 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1981
Abstract
The overall reduction in the environmental impacts of the construction industry is a complex process that requires methodological and applicative studies on the evaluation of the sustainability of the life cycle, related to both individual product and of the building system as a [...] Read more.
The overall reduction in the environmental impacts of the construction industry is a complex process that requires methodological and applicative studies on the evaluation of the sustainability of the life cycle, related to both individual product and of the building system as a whole. In this context, with reference to the end-of-life phase of the building, the management of the disassembly and selective demolition plan of the building, allowing the reuse or recycling of the materials as well as of the building components and prefabricated elements used is fundamental. This research aimed to develop a methodology, applied to timber building systems, to mitigate CO2e emissions during the decommissioning and disposal of the building. The quantitative model developed considers the rates of the CO2e emissions involved in C (end-of-life) and D (benefits and loads beyond the system boundary) phases of building sustainability assessment. The model was applied to two wooden buildings: one with an XLAM structure and another one with a framed structure. In both cases, from the perspective of reusing the wood components for a subsequent life cycle, C and D phases of the process achieved an overall negative CO2e emission rate thanks to the offsetting from the carbon storage property of wood. This research has thus demonstrated the possibility of making the wood construction process circular through a zero-emission approach. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2023, 2021

18 pages, 6203 KiB  
Article
Indoor Thermal and Ventilation Indicator on University Students’ Overall Comfort
by Lin-Rui Jia, Qing-Yun Li, Xi Chen, Chi-Chung Lee and Jie Han
Buildings 2022, 12(11), 1921; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12111921 - 8 Nov 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1757
Abstract
Thermal comfort (TC) and CO2 concentration significantly influence the overall indoor comfort sensations of building occupants. However, few studies have focused on educational buildings regarding both TC and CO2 concentration in tropical regions, and they also lack guidelines for short-term evaluation, [...] Read more.
Thermal comfort (TC) and CO2 concentration significantly influence the overall indoor comfort sensations of building occupants. However, few studies have focused on educational buildings regarding both TC and CO2 concentration in tropical regions, and they also lack guidelines for short-term evaluation, which is essential for university classrooms. In this study, a mechanically ventilated university classroom was selected to investigate the 5 min-averaged comfort ranges for indoor parameters and the impacts of TC and variation of CO2 on student overall comfort. The real-time indoor environmental parameters were monitored, including indoor air temperature (Ta), mean radiant temperature (Tm), relative humidity (RH) and CO2 and air velocity (va); the operative temperature (Top) was calculated. Moreover, an online-based questionnaire survey related to thermal sensation (TS) and CO2-related air sensation (AS) was carried out. Linear and nonlinear regression models of comfort sensation predictions were obtained based on the questionnaires and corresponding measured indoor environmental data. The 5 min-averaged comfort ranges for Top, CO2 and RH are 21.5–23.8 °C, <1095 ppm and 47–63.5%, respectively. The comfort range of the TS and AS are 2.3–3.1 and 1–1.55, respectively. The result shows that students prefer a relatively cold indoor environment, as this improves their ability to tolerate bad indoor air quality (IAQ) with high CO2. A regression analysis indicated that AS is the most critical aspect, with a weight of 0.32, followed by TS, with 0.18. Finally, it was also found that individual weighting coefficients were not equivalent and differed across geographical locations and building types. Thus, obtaining the prediction models for a particular building is necessary. The results can give meaningful suggestions to adopt the appropriate operations for HVAC and improve indoor environmental quality in university buildings in tropical regions. Full article
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18 pages, 2426 KiB  
Article
A Fairer Renewable Energy Policy for Aged Care Communities: Data Driven Insights across Climate Zones
by Aaron Liu, Wendy Miller, Tan Yigitcanlar, Sherif Zedan, Yang Yang, James Chiou, James Mantis and Michael O’Sullivan
Buildings 2022, 12(10), 1631; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12101631 - 8 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1829
Abstract
Communal living for older people exists in many different forms, such as suburban communities, lifestyle communities, retirement villages and residential aged care communities (RAC) where electricity is supplied via a main gate meter to the whole community. Australia’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme incentivizes [...] Read more.
Communal living for older people exists in many different forms, such as suburban communities, lifestyle communities, retirement villages and residential aged care communities (RAC) where electricity is supplied via a main gate meter to the whole community. Australia’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme incentivizes individuals and businesses to install renewable energy systems up to 100 kW peak. A system of this size, however, may not meet a community’s energy needs or sustainability goals. In contrast, other residential dwellings are allowed to install a minimum solar inverter of 5 kW. Therefore, this paper investigates small-scale renewable energy targets on a per bed basis for RACs and the impact of a change from the current 100 kW peak small-scale renewable energy policy. A data driven clustering-based method has been implemented to identify financially optimal photovoltaic (PV) system ratings for ten RACs across four climate zones. Explored are 100 kW peak PV and net zero electricity scenarios. Results show RACs with 5 kW PV per bed can move closer to a net zero electricity goal and generate 800 to 1400 GWh of renewable electricity each year with significant financial savings. A fairer renewable policy, based on kilowatts per bed, is advocated to improve communities’ energy resilience, financial sustainability, and environmental sustainability. Full article
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27 pages, 6425 KiB  
Article
Carbon Sequestration and Habitat Provisioning through Building-Integrated Vegetation: A Global Survey of Experts
by Kamiya Varshney, Maibritt Pedersen Zari and Nilesh Bakshi
Buildings 2022, 12(9), 1458; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12091458 - 15 Sep 2022
Viewed by 2554
Abstract
Carbon sequestration (CS) and habitat provisioning (HP) through building-integrated vegetation are interlinked approaches that could potentially reduce climate change and biodiversity loss attributed to the built environment. However, a practical approach is required to integrate CS and HP into building design. A two-stage [...] Read more.
Carbon sequestration (CS) and habitat provisioning (HP) through building-integrated vegetation are interlinked approaches that could potentially reduce climate change and biodiversity loss attributed to the built environment. However, a practical approach is required to integrate CS and HP into building design. A two-stage approach was undertaken in this research; firstly, preparing a conceptual framework from an extensive literature review and, secondly, gauging the perspective of building industry experts on that framework through a survey. The survey was designed to determine expert opinion related to establishing the data gathering approaches, progressing to identifying strategies and methods to quantify them, and finally, monitoring performance indicators for achieving CS and HP goals. The results of descriptive analyses performed after data collection indicate a notable difference in opinions between built environment professionals (group A) and environmental scientists and researchers (group B). The findings indicate that respondents emphasized maintaining vegetation in order to maximize CS rates and biodiversity levels. Moreover, spatial ecology considerations, including landscape-level parameters (vegetative area coverage, habitat availability, quality, and connectivity) and species-specific parameters (species selection based on their CS rates and habitat requirements for keystone species), must be analyzed while designing buildings for vegetation-based CS and HP. Full article
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35 pages, 13070 KiB  
Review
Factors That Influence the Quantification of the Embodied Carbon Emission of Prefabricated Buildings: A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis and the Way Forward
by Yuan Chen, Yuwei Zhou, Weimin Feng, Yuan Fang and Anqi Feng
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1265; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081265 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2695
Abstract
Prefabricated buildings and off-site construction are increasingly adopted in modern construction. As one of the most concerning environmental impacts, the embodied carbon emission of prefabricated buildings has been extensively investigated in recent years. Due to the various influencing factors of carbon quantification, such [...] Read more.
Prefabricated buildings and off-site construction are increasingly adopted in modern construction. As one of the most concerning environmental impacts, the embodied carbon emission of prefabricated buildings has been extensively investigated in recent years. Due to the various influencing factors of carbon quantification, such as building characteristics, quantification boundary, emission sources, and quantification methods, no consensus has been reached so far. The impacts of the influencing factors on carbon quantification remain unclear. To fill this gap, this paper provides a systematic review and meta-analysis to comprehensively evaluate the recent research concerning the quantification of the embodied carbon emission of prefabricated buildings. In total, 43 peer-reviewed articles (96 building cases) were screened and analyzed. Twelve influencing factors of embodied carbon quantification have been identified and analyzed to give rise to a synthesized conclusion. The results of the meta-analysis indicated that the embodied carbon emission of prefabricated buildings varied significantly from 26.6 to 1644.4 kgCO2e/m2 in the reviewed literature. The results showed that some of the quantification factors could significantly influence the quantification results, such as the building structure forms, level of prefabrication, type of greenhouse gas considered, and data sources, while some factors have a lesser impact on carbon quantification results, such as the function of the building, quantification methods adopted, quantification tools/software used, and carbon inventory databases applied. The findings of this research provide readers with an in-depth and critical understanding of the quantification of the embodied carbon emission of prefabricated buildings. Research gaps and suggestions for future research are also provided based on the results of this work. Full article
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13 pages, 2961 KiB  
Article
Energy Analysis and Forecast of a Major Modern Hospital
by Aaron Liu, Yunlong Ma, Wendy Miller, Bo Xia, Sherif Zedan and Bruce Bonney
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1116; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081116 - 28 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2345
Abstract
Healthcare buildings often have high energy use intensity, which is potentially influenced by a few factors, such as occupancy and climate. A suite of data analysis methods, including principal component analysis and regressions, is applied to analyse monthly electricity data of a modern [...] Read more.
Healthcare buildings often have high energy use intensity, which is potentially influenced by a few factors, such as occupancy and climate. A suite of data analysis methods, including principal component analysis and regressions, is applied to analyse monthly electricity data of a modern major hospital in subtropical Australia. The analysis shows that occupancy is not highly correlated with the hospital’s electricity use, nor is it important for building energy modelling. However, outdoor environment temperature is highly correlated with the hospital’s electricity use. Then, the hospital’s electricity uses in 2030 to 2090 scenarios are forecast with future climate files. The impacts are analysed in terms of bill increases and renewable capacity needed to offset the increased electricity use. This study has established a process to predict future hospital energy use using data-driven energy modelling. This succinct article provides vital evidence to support the healthcare sector to continuously improve energy efficiency for health buildings, which is a major asset to adapt to the changing climate. Full article
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16 pages, 643 KiB  
Article
Climate Mitigation in the Swedish Single-Family Homes Industry and Potentials for LCA as Decision Support
by Johanna Brismark, Tove Malmqvist and Sara Borgström
Buildings 2022, 12(5), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12050588 - 2 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1816
Abstract
Decision support tools for incentivizing environmentally sound decisions in building design, such as LCA (life cycle assessment), have been highlighted as an essential feature for enhancing the realization of more sustainable buildings. Nevertheless, the use of LCA to support decisions in building design [...] Read more.
Decision support tools for incentivizing environmentally sound decisions in building design, such as LCA (life cycle assessment), have been highlighted as an essential feature for enhancing the realization of more sustainable buildings. Nevertheless, the use of LCA to support decisions in building design is still limited in practice. A better understanding of the social dynamics and detailed contexts of the decisions leading up to a final building design is therefore critical for better integration of LCA-based information in the decision-making processes. This paper reports a qualitative, semi-structured interview study of single-family home producers in Sweden and their decision-making in relation to climate mitigation, with a particular focus on embodied carbon mitigation. By studying a specific branch of the building and construction sector, a more in-depth record can be obtained of the particularities of implementation contexts and decision-making situations in which LCA may, or may not, have a role in driving climate mitigation. Four primary decision contexts in which LCA may have an influential role to drive embodied carbon reduction include: (1) the development of building systems, (2) development and offering of house models, (3) the selection of construction products for the building system as well as for the offer of add-on products to customers, and (4) the dialogues in the individual house-buyer projects. Decision-making that affects sustainable outcomes in this part of the sector is very much dependent on a supporting regulatory context. Over the years, using building LCA in early design stages, for optimization towards low-impact final buildings, has been a repeatedly promoted recommendation both in academia and practice. This study, however, reveals that such a conclusion is too simplistic. The different overarching decision contexts identified for this particular branch display the variety of needs for life cycle-based information. Full article
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13 pages, 12364 KiB  
Article
Study of Building Demand Response Method Based on Indoor Temperature Setpoint Control of VRV Air Conditioning
by Jing Kang, Shengjie Weng, Yutong Li and Tao Ma
Buildings 2022, 12(4), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12040415 - 29 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2600
Abstract
Demand response has been attracting increasing attention due to the promotion of renewable energy applications and the benefits of carbon emission reduction it brings for the utility grid. The development of the smart grid pays great attention to investigating reliable demand response technologies [...] Read more.
Demand response has been attracting increasing attention due to the promotion of renewable energy applications and the benefits of carbon emission reduction it brings for the utility grid. The development of the smart grid pays great attention to investigating reliable demand response technologies provided by energy users. Buildings are energy users with high-level load regulation capacity and energy flexibility, which indicates they have the potential to conduct demand response services to achieve power regulation targets for the grid. This paper presents the latest investigation of a building demand response method based on indoor temperature setpoint control of air conditioning systems. The proposed method can be adopted for all air conditioning systems with basic feedback control functions and communication protocol in buildings. A load prediction model which considers impacts of temperatures and building thermal characteristics is developed. An on-site test in an office building is implemented to validate the effects of the proposed method in a temporary demand response case. Results show that about 40% of the air conditioning rated load is reduced while 26.8% of the energy consumption is saved during the demand response event, which earns substantial economic benefits for building users. Full article
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23 pages, 6333 KiB  
Article
Study of an Integrated Control Method for Heating Substations Based on Prediction of Water-Supply Temperature and Indoor Temperature
by Xiaoyu Gao, Meng Jia, Shanshan Cao and Chengying Qi
Buildings 2022, 12(3), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12030351 - 14 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2325
Abstract
The refined control of heating substations is of great significance for on-demand heating provision and for the efficient operation of district heating systems (DHSs). This paper proposes an integrated control strategy for substations based on the prediction of the water-supply temperature and indoor [...] Read more.
The refined control of heating substations is of great significance for on-demand heating provision and for the efficient operation of district heating systems (DHSs). This paper proposes an integrated control strategy for substations based on the prediction of the water-supply temperature and indoor temperature. Firstly, online sequential extreme learning machine (OS-ELM) is used to predict the water-supply temperature. Then, a linear prediction model is established to predict the indoor temperature. Finally, the integrated regulation strategy is established with the goal of minimizing operational costs, aiming at ensuring heating quality and meeting the limits of the flow rate and of the supply- and return-water temperatures. The heat-saving rate, power-saving rate and indoor-temperature satisfactory rate are introduced to evaluate the regulation effect of the proposed method. The field study results show that the performance index of operation executed with the regulation strategy proposed in this paper is 9.31%, 16.33% and 20.87% higher than that without our energy-saving regulation strategy respectively. The fluctuations in the water-supply pressure and differential pressure of the secondary network are significantly reduced, and the energy-saving effect is obvious. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2023, 2022

23 pages, 7580 KiB  
Article
Two-Stage Lifecycle Energy Optimization of Mid-Rise Residential Buildings with Building-Integrated Photovoltaic and Alternative Composite Façade Materials
by Mark Kyeredey Ansah, Xi Chen and Hongxing Yang
Buildings 2021, 11(12), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11120642 - 12 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3050
Abstract
Reducing the lifecycle energy use of buildings with renewable energy applications has become critical given the urgent need to decarbonize the building sector. Multi-objective optimizations have been widely applied to reduce the operational energy use of buildings, but limited studies concern the embodied [...] Read more.
Reducing the lifecycle energy use of buildings with renewable energy applications has become critical given the urgent need to decarbonize the building sector. Multi-objective optimizations have been widely applied to reduce the operational energy use of buildings, but limited studies concern the embodied or whole lifecycle energy use. Consequently, there are issues such as sub-optimal design solutions and unclear correlation between embodied and operational energy in the current building energy assessment. To address these gaps, this study integrates a multi-objective optimization method with building energy simulation and lifecycle assessment (LCA) to explore the optimal configuration of different building envelopes from a lifecycle perspective. Major contributions of the study include the integrated optimization which reflects the dynamics of the whole lifecycle energy use. Insights from the study reveal the optimal configuration of PV and composite building façades for different regions in sub-Saharan Africa. The lifecycle energy use for the optimized building design resulted in 24.59, 33.33, and 36.93% energy savings in Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria, respectively. Additionally, PV power generation can efficiently cover over 90% of the total building energy demand. This study provides valuable insights for building designers in sub-Saharan Africa and similar areas that minimize lifecycle energy demand. Full article
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17 pages, 4993 KiB  
Article
Use of AI Algorithms in Different Building Typologies for Energy Efficiency towards Smart Buildings
by Ali Bagheri, Konstantinos N. Genikomsakis, Sesil Koutra, Vasileios Sakellariou and Christos S. Ioakimidis
Buildings 2021, 11(12), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11120613 - 5 Dec 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4159
Abstract
Buildings’ heating and cooling systems account for an important part of total energy consumption. The EU’s directives and engagements motivate building owners and relevant stakeholders in the energy and construction sectors towards net zero energy buildings by maximizing the use of renewable energy [...] Read more.
Buildings’ heating and cooling systems account for an important part of total energy consumption. The EU’s directives and engagements motivate building owners and relevant stakeholders in the energy and construction sectors towards net zero energy buildings by maximizing the use of renewable energy sources, ICT, and automation systems. However, the high costs of investment for the renovation of buildings, in situ use of renewable energy production, and installation of expensive ICT infrastructure and automation systems in small–medium range buildings are the main obstacles for the wide adoption of EU building directives in small- and medium-range buildings. On the other hand, the concept of sharing computational and data storage resources among various buildings can be an alternative approach to achieving smart buildings and smart cities where the main control power resides on a server. Unlike other studies that focus on the implementation of AI techniques in a building or separated buildings with local processing resources and data storage, in this work a corporate server was employed to control the heating systems in three building typologies and to examine the potential benefits of controlling existing buildings in a unified energy-savings platform. The key finding of this work is that the AI algorithms incorporated into the proposed system achieved significant energy savings in the order of 20–40% regardless of building typology, building functionality, and type of heating system, despite the COVID-19 measures for frequent ventilation of the buildings, even in cases with older-type heating systems. Full article
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30 pages, 2432 KiB  
Review
Interaction between Thermal Comfort, Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation Energy Consumption of Educational Buildings: A Comprehensive Review
by Lin-Rui Jia, Jie Han, Xi Chen, Qing-Yun Li, Chi-Chung Lee and Yat-Hei Fung
Buildings 2021, 11(12), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11120591 - 28 Nov 2021
Cited by 44 | Viewed by 10185
Abstract
Thermal comfort and indoor air quality (IAQ) of educational buildings can affect students’ academic performance and well-being and are closely related to ventilation energy consumption. Demands of the indoor environmental quality within the classroom generally vary with the education levels and result in [...] Read more.
Thermal comfort and indoor air quality (IAQ) of educational buildings can affect students’ academic performance and well-being and are closely related to ventilation energy consumption. Demands of the indoor environmental quality within the classroom generally vary with the education levels and result in ventilation energy consumption accounting for a considerable proportion of the total energy use in bulk educational buildings. Its huge energy-saving potential is attracting worldwide attention from scholars and governments. Therefore, appropriate operation strategies of ventilation systems should be adopted to effectively reduce energy consumption without sacrificing thermal comfort and IAQ. However, the absence of relevant standards and guidelines for designing a quality classroom environment considering the special features of educational buildings remains an important research question. This study conducts a comprehensive review to determine research gaps and identify future directions for the interaction between thermal comfort, IAQ and ventilation energy consumption for educational buildings. The review results show that: (1) The thermal comfort prediction model should consider the influences of genders, ages and socioeconomic backgrounds; (2) The mixed-mode ventilation coupling the natural and mechanical approaches is preferred given its advantage of lower energy consumption and improved thermal comfort, but its control strategies need further exploration; (3) Optimizing passive design parameters of buildings (e.g., window to wall ratios, window orientations and sun shading installations) can significantly reduce the ventilation demands while maintaining indoor thermal comfort; (4) More studies are required for investigating thermal comfort in educational buildings during the heating period; and (5) IAQ of university buildings clearly requires further studies, especially on bacterial and fungal aerosol pollutants, for a more comprehensive assessment of the built environment. Full article
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17 pages, 2766 KiB  
Article
Aged Care Energy Use and Peak Demand Change in the COVID-19 Year: Empirical Evidence from Australia
by Aaron Liu, Wendy Miller, James Chiou, Sherif Zedan, Tan Yigitcanlar and Yuemin Ding
Buildings 2021, 11(12), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11120570 - 23 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2045
Abstract
Aged care communities have been under the spotlight since the beginning of 2020. Energy is essential to ensure reliable operation and quality care provision in residential aged care communities (RAC). The aim of this study is to determine how RAC’s yearly energy use [...] Read more.
Aged care communities have been under the spotlight since the beginning of 2020. Energy is essential to ensure reliable operation and quality care provision in residential aged care communities (RAC). The aim of this study is to determine how RAC’s yearly energy use and peak demand changed in Australia and what this might mean for RAC design, operation and energy asset investment and ultimately in the healthcare plan for elderly residents. Five years of electricity demand data from four case study RACs in the same climate zone are analyzed. Statistical tools are used to analyze the data, and a clustering algorithm is used to identify typical demand profiles. A number of energy key performance indicators (KPIs) are evaluated, highlighting their respective benefits and limitations. The results show an average 8% reduction for yearly energy use and 7% reduction for yearly peak demands in the COVID-19 year compared with the average of the previous four years. Typical demand profiles for the four communities were mostly lower in the pandemic year. Despite these results, the KPI analysis shows that, for these four communities, outdoor ambient temperature remains a very significant correlation factor for energy use. Full article
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