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Environmentally Adaptive Architecture and Eco Technologies

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 10951

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Architecture and the Built Environment, Faculty of Environment and Technology, University of the West of England, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK
Interests: adaptive architectural design; environmental building systems; biomimetics; responsive building envelopes; climate change adaptation
School of Architecture, Design and Planning, The University of Sydney, Darlington, NSW 2008, Australia
Interests: biomimetic architecture; adaptive facades; climate adaptive building design; façade engineering; environmentally sustainable design; high-performance buildings

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Traditional design and construction methods have led to inefficient buildings and technologies that account for a major part of the global energy consumption in developed countries. With the ever-increasing need to mitigate the negative impact on the environment, it is essential that we develop more adaptive solutions and ecologically friendly technologies.

This Special Issue will investigate how environmentally adaptive solutions can be developed for the design of sustainable and resilient buildings and technologies. How can we create buildings and technologies that respond and adapt to changing conditions? How can we design buildings that minimize impact on the environment? How can we inform our design decisions by environmental and ecological dynamics? How can buildings coexist with nature and nourish biodiversity? How can we meet the varying functional requirements and reduce energy demands to improve user comfort?

We invite architects, designers, and scientists to reimagine architectural solutions and technologies by submitting inspiring and thought-provoking original research, case studies, and articles that pave the way to a resilient life in a changing climate.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Lidia Badarnah
Dr. Aysu Kuru
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

  • environmentally adaptive architecture
  • ecotechnology
  • sustainable design
  • climate change adaptation

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

36 pages, 7265 KiB  
Article
The Potential of Co-Designing with Living Organisms: Towards a New Ecological Paradigm in Architecture
by Natasha Chayaamor-Heil, Thibaut Houette, Özge Demirci and Lidia Badarnah
Sustainability 2024, 16(2), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16020673 - 12 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1382
Abstract
Living organisms have been progressively used by designers to propose alternative design outcomes aiming towards more ecological aspects. The design development and manufacturing of new materials or design components from living organisms are more achievable in textile, fashion, or product design than in [...] Read more.
Living organisms have been progressively used by designers to propose alternative design outcomes aiming towards more ecological aspects. The design development and manufacturing of new materials or design components from living organisms are more achievable in textile, fashion, or product design than in architecture and construction due to the scale, multi-layer constraints, and requirements. The aim of this paper is to investigate the interdisciplinary framework, the opportunities, and limitations of introducing living organisms into the design process, including the implementation from the design ideas to prototyping until commercialization. In this paper, we focus on three types of living organisms: algae, bacteria, and fungi. Firstly, we overviewed and studied existing projects and experimentations to understand the design process and fabrication of living organisms in other domains in comparison to architecture. Secondly, we selected three case studies in architecture for each organism to analyze. We collected the data and conducted interviews with multidisciplinary experts involved in each case. Our findings show a better understanding of the potential to integrate living organisms in architectural design, the advantages, and the difficulties towards ecological awareness. The results from the interview and a comparative analysis show the advantages and constraints of each case. The future outlooks towards the use of living organisms as part of design in architecture are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Adaptive Architecture and Eco Technologies)
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15 pages, 12261 KiB  
Article
Bamboo Construction Inspired by Vernacular Techniques for Reducing Carbon Footprint: A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
by Carlos Eduardo Rincón, Jorge Augusto Montoya and Hector F. Archila
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16893; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416893 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1902
Abstract
Whilst upcoming innovations on digital technology and renewable energy can have a significant impact on the reduction of operational carbon emissions in the construction industry, readily available fast-growing building materials like bamboo are already proving reductions in the embodied carbon of dwellings above [...] Read more.
Whilst upcoming innovations on digital technology and renewable energy can have a significant impact on the reduction of operational carbon emissions in the construction industry, readily available fast-growing building materials like bamboo are already proving reductions in the embodied carbon of dwellings above 60% when compared to traditional brickwork in Colombia. This paper presents a like-by-like comparison of the environmental impact of a conventional clay brick house (CBH) and a bamboo house for social housing in Colombia, which was built using adapted vernacular technologies. The bamboo house uses bamboo species Guadua angustifolia Kunth as the main structural support for the light cement bamboo frame (LCBF) system, a.k.a. ‘cemented bahareque’, whilst the CBH combines clay bricks and steel for the load-bearing walls. Traditionally built Guadua angustifolia Kunth bahareque (GaKB) houses are a key part of the vernacular architecture in the ‘coffee cultural landscape of Colombia’ (CCLC) recognised by UNESCO. A life cycle assessment (LCA) was performed to calculate the carbon footprint of the houses following four phases: (1) definition of objective and scope; (2) inventory analysis; (3) impact assessment; and (4) interpretation of results. The results show that the carbon footprint of the GaKB house accounts for about 40% of the CBH, i.e., the GaKB generates a carbon footprint of 107.17 CO2-eq/m2 whilst the CBH results in a carbon footprint of 298.44 kg CO2-eq/m2. Furthermore, from a carbon balance calculation, the carbon footprint of the GaKB house is further reduced to about 36% of the CSB house. LCA results for the built GaKB house demonstrate that vernacular housing projects that preserve cultural heritage can also be resilient and climate-neutral. This paper sets a precedent for the establishment of targeted government policies and industry practices that preserve the cultural heritage and vernacular technologies in the CCLC region and in other emergent economies worldwide whilst promoting future-proof and net-zero carbon construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Adaptive Architecture and Eco Technologies)
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13 pages, 4598 KiB  
Article
Process-Oriented Design Methodologies Inspired by Tropical Plants
by Elizabeth L. McCormick, Elizabeth A. Cooper, Mahsa Esfandiar, MaryGrayson Roberts and Lindsay Shields
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16119; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216119 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 680
Abstract
In light of the escalating climate crisis, there is a pressing need for a significant shift in how we design the built environment to effectively confront global challenges. Natural systems have inspired scientists, architects, and engineers for centuries; however, conventional biomimetic approaches often [...] Read more.
In light of the escalating climate crisis, there is a pressing need for a significant shift in how we design the built environment to effectively confront global challenges. Natural systems have inspired scientists, architects, and engineers for centuries; however, conventional biomimetic approaches often focus on superficial aspects, disregarding the underlying complexities. While this approach may lead to a more efficient outcome, it operates under the assumption that the organism functions exclusively within the confines of human knowledge, which are inherently limited by established epistemological and technological systems. This study advocates for a departure from conventional biomimetic approaches and asks the mechanisms of the biological system to inform the process of translation, as opposed to simply defining the outcome. By relinquishing control to material properties and dynamic processes of the biological analog, this study explores the generation of novel, bio-inspired dynamic formworks through non-linear fabrication processes. Specifically, it investigates the thermal properties of accessible building materials, enabling them to respond to environmental conditions without sophisticated technology or human intervention. By embracing chance and unpredictability, translated behaviors are granted the same influence as human intervention. Drawing inspiration from adaptive plant physiology, this research seeks to inspire innovative, climate-responsive methodological practices within broader architectural systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Adaptive Architecture and Eco Technologies)
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21 pages, 10708 KiB  
Article
Redesigning for Disassembly and Carbon Footprint Reduction: Shifting from Reinforced Concrete to Hybrid Timber–Steel Multi-Story Building
by Mauricio Morales-Beltran, Pınar Engür, Ömer Asım Şişman and Gizem Nur Aykar
Sustainability 2023, 15(9), 7273; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15097273 - 27 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3557
Abstract
To reduce carbon emissions, holistic approaches to design, plan, and build our environment are needed. Regarding multi-story residential buildings, it is well-known that (1) material choices and construction typologies play a fundamental role in the reduction of carbon footprint, (2) shifting from concrete [...] Read more.
To reduce carbon emissions, holistic approaches to design, plan, and build our environment are needed. Regarding multi-story residential buildings, it is well-known that (1) material choices and construction typologies play a fundamental role in the reduction of carbon footprint, (2) shifting from concrete to timber will reduce significantly the carbon footprint, and (3) a building designed to be disassembled will increase the potential of achieving zero-carbon emissions. However, little has been said about the consequences of such shifts and decisions in terms of building architecture and structural design, especially in seismic-prone regions. In this study, an existing 9-story reinforced concrete (RC) multi-story residential building is redesigned with cross-laminated timber floors and glue-laminated timber frames for embodied carbon reduction purposes. Firstly, the reasons behind design decisions are addressed in terms of both architecture and structure, including the incorporation of specially steel concentrically braced frames for seismic-resistance. Then, the outcomes of life cycle assessments and pushover analyses show that the RC residential building emits two times more carbon than the hybrid steel-timber residential building, and that while the hybrid building’s lateral load-capacity is less than in the RC building, its deformation capacity is higher. These results highlight the relevance of considering the carbon footprint in combination with the design decisions, which seems to be the key to introducing circular projects in seismic-prone areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Adaptive Architecture and Eco Technologies)
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15 pages, 2990 KiB  
Article
Investigation of Compression Strength and Heat Absorption of Native Rice Straw Bricks for Environmentally Friendly Construction
by Suchat Tachaudomdach and Sakda Hempao
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12229; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912229 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1990
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare the efficiency of native rice straw mixed bricks, prototype bricks and brick blocks that are sold in the market. The comparison looked at four aspects, as follows: (1) compression strength, (2) heat absorption, (3) weight [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to compare the efficiency of native rice straw mixed bricks, prototype bricks and brick blocks that are sold in the market. The comparison looked at four aspects, as follows: (1) compression strength, (2) heat absorption, (3) weight of the brick and (4) price. In this study, the native rice straw species from the Pa Pae sub-district, Mae Sariang District, Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand, were used to replace cement, sand and stone in 200, 300, 400 and 500 g amounts. The ingredients were then mixed and put into a hand-pounded mold. When the extrusion was finished, it was removed from the mold and cured for 7, 14 or 28 days. Brick block performance was then tested. The results showed that 200 g of native rice straw mixed with cement brick had the best performance in all four aspects. The 200 g native rice straw mixed with cement brick was able to bear the weight of 1.26 kg/cm2. It had the best heat transfer and was able to reduce the temperature inside the brick-block construction by 10 degrees Celsius. Its weight per brick was 7.59 kg and the price was only 3.17 baht ($0.09 USD) per brick. In conclusion, the native rice straw mixed bricks had low thermal conductivity, are attractive for energy saving when used as wall insulation and are suitable for environmentally friendly construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Adaptive Architecture and Eco Technologies)
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