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Optimal Planning of Sustainable Buildings

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Green Building".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2022) | Viewed by 9408

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Genoa, I-16145 Italy
Interests: Climate Change; Ecodesign; Life Cycle Assessment; Circular Economy; Sustainability

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Genoa, I-16145 Italy
Interests: Climate Change; Ecodesign; Life Cycle Assessment; Circular Economy; Sustainability;

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable buildings are designed to help to reduce the overall impact on the environment and human health along their lifecycle. This is accomplished by preserving and protecting the natural resources that surround the project site, reducing waste, pollution, and degradation of the environment when the building in under construction, using energy, water, and other resources in an efficient way, and protecting the health of residents. In particular, as one of the most important challenges to improving sustainability and to tackling climate change at global level is the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, and given the important role that the building sector will have to play in any low-carbon transformation, this Special Issue aims to attract works of scientific interest to deepen our understanding of these fields with different approaches. Therefore, research activities on different strategies for optimal planning of sustainable buildings are welcome, and a multidisciplinary approach is foreseen in order to address this issue from the viewpoints of decision makers, public bodies, business, cities, universities, and citizens.

The following list, while far from being exhaustive, provides an illustrative set of topics:

  • Planning and design of sustainable building;
  • Sustainable building materials;
  • Building and living environment;
  • Bio and healthy building research;
  • Energy use and climate;
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC);
  • Sustainable urban development.

And paper types suitable for this Special Issue include:

  • Methodological papers;
  • Conceptual papers;
  • Case studies;
  • Systematic literature reviews.

Prof. Adriana Del Borghi
Prof. Luca Moreschi
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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2400 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

  • Sustainable buildings
  • Nearly-zero energy buildings
  • Optimization
  • Decision support system
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Carbon footprint and energy efficiency
  • Nearly (or net) zero-energy buildings (nZEBs)
  • Zero carbon buildings (ZCBs), carbon-neutral buildings (CNBs)
  • Energy-related carbon emissions reduction
  • Renewable energy
  • Energy efficiency enhancement

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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22 pages, 4917 KiB  
Article
Economic and Environmental Evaluation of a Single-Story Steel Building in Its Life Cycle: A Comprehensive Analysis
by Silvia Vela, Chiara Calderini, Paolo Rosasco and Carlo Strazza
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 14638; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142114638 - 07 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1178
Abstract
In this study, the possibility of applying the Life Cycle Thinking approach to structural design, considering all aspects and phases of the structure’s life, is investigated. The idea is to develop a procedure for the analysis of the economic and environmental impacts of [...] Read more.
In this study, the possibility of applying the Life Cycle Thinking approach to structural design, considering all aspects and phases of the structure’s life, is investigated. The idea is to develop a procedure for the analysis of the economic and environmental impacts of structures in their life cycle, including not only ordinary costs along life cycle phases but also the extraordinary costs resulting from damage and anticipated end-of-life caused by unexpected natural hazards. The building performance under extraordinary conditions is calculated according to a time-based Loss Assessment Analysis. Such analysis provides the probable performance of a building and its components over a given period of time, considering all the hazardous events that can occur in that period, the probability of occurrence of each event, and the related effects. The outlined approach is applied to a case study of a single-story steel office building located in Italy. Two LC scenarios, having a duration of 2 years and 50 years, are considered. Results show that contributions of environmental impacts and benefits related to end-of-life management and economic losses for natural hazards are significant and not negligible. It is highlighted that the greatest challenge faced when using such a comprehensive approach is represented by data availability and representativeness that deeply limits the possibility of its implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimal Planning of Sustainable Buildings)
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14 pages, 20176 KiB  
Article
Environmental Adaptations for Achieving Sustainable Regeneration: A Conceptual Design Analysis on Built Heritage Fujian Tulous
by Yuan Sun, Zhu Wang and Yuan Zheng
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11467; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811467 - 13 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1810
Abstract
Environmental adaptation is essential for maintaining a building’s indoor environmental quality and performance. This paper is focused on heritage regeneration research of the sustainable paradigm of Fujian Tulous in China. These earthen dwellings were built hundreds of years ago and were proven to [...] Read more.
Environmental adaptation is essential for maintaining a building’s indoor environmental quality and performance. This paper is focused on heritage regeneration research of the sustainable paradigm of Fujian Tulous in China. These earthen dwellings were built hundreds of years ago and were proven to be conventional green buildings today. However, few researchers have clarified or specified regenerative approaches for Tulous in response to realistic demands and sustainable concerns. Our study surveyed 10 non-world-heritage Tulou cases in Nanjing County, Fujian Province, China. Environmental adaptation in the Tulou archetype was analysed through an intensive review and field investigation to explain how they interacted with local climatic conditions. This article analysed the green effects of building components on five passive design strategies—thermal comfort, solar shading, natural lighting, ventilation, and waterproofing—and then proposed conceptual design strategies based on three aspects: reshaping building envelopes, reorganising spatial layouts, and using innovative construction materials and techniques. The conclusions indicated that, to realise the sustainable generation goals of non-world-heritage Tulous, environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural issues have to be considered, among which environmental adaptation should be a primary approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimal Planning of Sustainable Buildings)
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16 pages, 976 KiB  
Article
Carbon-Neutral-Campus Building: Design Versus Retrofitting of Two University Zero Energy Buildings in Europe and in the United States
by Adriana Del Borghi, Thomas Spiegelhalter, Luca Moreschi and Michela Gallo
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9023; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169023 - 12 Aug 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3246
Abstract
Carbon-neutral design is pivotal for achieving the future energy performance targets of buildings. This paper shows research projects that promote the environmental sustainability of university campuses at the international level. GHG accounting methods and operational strategies adopted by the University of Genoa (UNIGE), [...] Read more.
Carbon-neutral design is pivotal for achieving the future energy performance targets of buildings. This paper shows research projects that promote the environmental sustainability of university campuses at the international level. GHG accounting methods and operational strategies adopted by the University of Genoa (UNIGE), Italy, and the Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, USA, are compared, with both universities striving to make buildings and campus facilities benchmarked and carbon neutral in the near future. Our comparative research includes analyzing campus buildings at both universities and their attempts to design, retrofit, and transform these buildings into carbon neutral buildings. Two case studies were discussed: the Smart Energy Building (SEB) in the Savona Campus of the UNIGE, and the Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture (PCA) Building of the FIU. The SEB’s construction reduced emissions by about 86 tCO2/y, whereas the PCA’s retrofitting reduced GHG emissions by 30%. Other operational strategies, including energy efficiency and energy generation, allowed the UNIGE to reduce their overall Scope 1 + 2 GHG emissions by 25% from 2013 to 2016. Globally, FIU Scope 1 + 2 GHG emissions per person were found to result in more than three times the UNIGE’s emissions, and 2.4 times if evaluated per square meter. The results were compared with GHG emissions and operational strategies from other universities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimal Planning of Sustainable Buildings)
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Review

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18 pages, 710 KiB  
Review
A Review of Numerical Simulation as a Precedence Method for Prediction and Evaluation of Building Ventilation Performance
by Ardalan Aflaki, Masoud Esfandiari and Saleh Mohammadi
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12721; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212721 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2517
Abstract
Natural ventilation has been used widely in buildings to deliver a healthy and comfortable indoor environment for occupants. It also reduces the consumption of energy in the built environment and dilutes the concentration of carbon dioxide. Various methods and techniques have been used [...] Read more.
Natural ventilation has been used widely in buildings to deliver a healthy and comfortable indoor environment for occupants. It also reduces the consumption of energy in the built environment and dilutes the concentration of carbon dioxide. Various methods and techniques have been used to evaluate and predict indoor airspeed and patterns in buildings. However, few studies have been implemented to investigate the relevant methods and tools for the evaluation of ventilation performance in indoor and outdoor spaces. The current study aims to review available methods, identifying reliable ones to apply in future research. This study investigates scientific databases and compares the advantages and drawbacks of methods including analytical models, empirical models, zonal models, and CFD models. The findings indicated the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model is the most relevant method because of cost-effectiveness, informative technique, and proficiency to predict air velocity patterns and ratios in buildings. Finally, widely used CFD codes and tools are compared considering previous studies. It is concluded the application of codes for research is subject to the complexity and characteristics of a studied model, the area and field of study, the desired turbulence model, and the user interface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimal Planning of Sustainable Buildings)
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