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Sustainable Building and Sustainable Indoor Environmental Quality (Second Volume)

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2024) | Viewed by 16017

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Building Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Interests: air cleaning; indoor air quality; catalytic oxidation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 5, DK2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
Interests: air cleaning; ventilation; indoor air quality
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A sustainable building encompasses both the structure and the use of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout buildings’ lifecycle. It covers energy use, water use, indoor environmental quality, material selection, stormwater infiltration and the building energy management. That includes design and construction, maintenance, and renovation, and continues through to demolition.

Sustainable indoor environmental quality refers to the conditions inside a building, i.e., air quality, lighting, thermal conditions, ergonomics and their effects on occupants or residents.

This Special Issue focuses on, but is not limited to the research works of the following topics:

  • A combined evaluation of indoor environmental quality and well-being for occupants. The well-being of people is defined in terms of their health, comfort, and happiness;
  • Sustainable indoor environmental quality with a holistic perspective and the evaluation of both individual and combined parameters within the indoor air quality, thermal comfort, visual comfort, and acoustical quality, with a focus on the combined effects and evaluation of more than one parameter at a time;
  • New knowledge within social sustainability and influence on the overall assessment of sustainable buildings;
  • Energy-saving and energy flexibility in buildings and clusters of buildings;
  • Sustainable renewable energy and energy storage systems.

Volume One can be found here:
https://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability/special_issues/bul_ind

Prof. Dr. Alireza Afshari
Prof. Dr. Jinhan Mo
Prof. Dr. Matthew Johnson
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 building
  • indoor environmental quality
  • ventilation
  • energy storage
  • air quality
  • filtration
  • air cleaning
  • energy saving

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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25 pages, 17491 KiB  
Article
Comparing Design Schemes and Infection Risk Assessment of Negative Pressure Isolation Cabin
by Shuwen Zhou, Yixin Zan and Xiaolong Liu
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 12780; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151712780 - 23 Aug 2023
Viewed by 669
Abstract
At present, various public health emergencies have forced a deeper study of measures to prevent infectious diseases. To prevent the spread of infectious diseases on large cruise ships, the use of negative pressure isolation cabins is an effective method. However, existing cruise ships [...] Read more.
At present, various public health emergencies have forced a deeper study of measures to prevent infectious diseases. To prevent the spread of infectious diseases on large cruise ships, the use of negative pressure isolation cabins is an effective method. However, existing cruise ships rarely use negative pressure isolation cabins or use them with shortcomings such as unreasonable layout of air inlets, which do not effectively reduce the risk of infection for medical staff while isolating patients. To solve this problem, first, the method of active air interference and the principle of proximity of the fresh air outlet were examined in this paper, and four groups of optimization schemes were designed. Second, by analyzing the diffusion of droplets in three breathing modes (coughing, sneezing, and talking while wearing or not wearing a mask), the direction of droplets and the efficiency of pollutant discharge under the condition of coughing were compared. Finally, in this paper, the infection risk of contact transmission and aerosol transmission was optimized by using the linear quantitative evaluation method and MSDR method, respectively. The results showed that the auxiliary air intake layout of optimal scheme 2 can effectively reduce the risk of infection for medical personnel in negative pressure isolation cabins. This study provides a useful reference for the design and optimization of negative pressure isolation cabins in future cruise ships. Full article
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14 pages, 3147 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Elastic Filament Velocimetry (EFV) Sensor in Ventilation Systems: An Experimental Study
by Athanasia Keli, Samira Rahnama, Göran Hultmark, Marcus Hultmark and Alireza Afshari
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 1955; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15031955 - 19 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1000
Abstract
Determination of airflow rates is an inevitable part of the energy-efficient control of ventilation systems. To achieve efficient control, the flowmeters used must be suitably accurate and create minimum disturbance to the airflow. In this study, we evaluate the quantitative performance characteristics of [...] Read more.
Determination of airflow rates is an inevitable part of the energy-efficient control of ventilation systems. To achieve efficient control, the flowmeters used must be suitably accurate and create minimum disturbance to the airflow. In this study, we evaluate the quantitative performance characteristics of an innovative micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) flowmeter, a so-called Elastic Filament Velocimetry (EFV), in ventilation ducts. Two versions of the EFV-sensor, i.e., an 11-nanoribbon and a 22-nanoribbon variety, were evaluated in laboratory studies. The results indicate that the 11-nanoribbon sensor is more suitable for air velocity measurements in ducts than the 22-nanoribbon sensor. The 11-nanoribbon sensor can measure air velocities from 0.3 m/s. The maximum variation of the sensor-output is 3% for velocities over 0.5 m/s. Calibration models have been developed for the 11-nanoribbon sensor. The error due to model calibration is lower than ±5% for velocities over 0.6 m/s. Moreover, laboratory studies were performed to investigate the airflow disturbance in a duct system due to the EFV sensor. The results were compared with the corresponding disturbance caused by two different types of self-averaging probes. At a bulk velocity of 3 m/s, the self-averaging probes introduced a greater pressure drop by at least 50% compared to the EFV-sensor. Full article
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17 pages, 3637 KiB  
Article
Indoor Occupancy Detection Based on Environmental Data Using CNN-XGboost Model: Experimental Validation in a Residential Building
by Abolfazl Mohammadabadi, Samira Rahnama and Alireza Afshari
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 14644; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142114644 - 07 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1993
Abstract
Indoor occupancy prediction can play a vital role in the energy-efficient operation of building engineering systems and maintaining satisfactory indoor climate conditions at the lowest possible energy use by operating these systems on the basis of occupancy data. Many methods have been proposed [...] Read more.
Indoor occupancy prediction can play a vital role in the energy-efficient operation of building engineering systems and maintaining satisfactory indoor climate conditions at the lowest possible energy use by operating these systems on the basis of occupancy data. Many methods have been proposed to predict occupancy in residential buildings according to different data types, e.g., digital cameras, motion sensors, and indoor climate sensors. Among these proposed methods, those with indoor climate data as input have received significant interest due to their less intrusive and cost-effective approach. This paper proposes a deep learning method called CNN-XGBoost to predict occupancy using indoor climate data and compares the performance of the proposed method with a range of supervised and unsupervised machine learning algorithms plus artificial neural network algorithms. The comparison is performed using mean absolute error, confusion matrix, and F1 score. Indoor climate data used in this work are CO2, relative humidity, and temperature measured by sensors for 13 days in December 2021. We used inexpensive sensors in different rooms of a residential building with a balanced mechanical ventilation system located in northwest Copenhagen, Denmark. The proposed algorithm consists of two parts: a convolutional neural network that learns the features of the input data and a scalable end-to-end tree-boosting classifier. The result indicates that CNN-XGBoost outperforms other algorithms in predicting occupancy levels in all rooms of the test building. In this experiment, we achieved the highest accuracy in occupancy detection using inexpensive indoor climate sensors in a mechanically ventilated residential building with minimum privacy invasion. Full article
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16 pages, 8213 KiB  
Article
A Numerical Parametric Study of a Double-Pipe LHTES Unit with PCM Encapsulated in the Annular Space
by Evdoxia Paroutoglou, Peter Fojan, Leonid Gurevich, Simon Furbo, Jianhua Fan, Marc Medrano and Alireza Afshari
Sustainability 2022, 14(20), 13317; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142013317 - 17 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1215
Abstract
Latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) with Phase Change Materials (PCM) represents an interesting option for Thermal Energy Storage (TES) applications in a wide temperature range. A tubular encapsulation model of an LHTES with PCM was developed, and the calculated data were analyzed. [...] Read more.
Latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) with Phase Change Materials (PCM) represents an interesting option for Thermal Energy Storage (TES) applications in a wide temperature range. A tubular encapsulation model of an LHTES with PCM was developed, and the calculated data were analyzed. In addition, a parametric analysis for the preferable system geometry is presented. Organic paraffin RT18 with a melting point of 18 °C was utilized as PCM for different geometries of LHTES, and the addition of internal and external fins and their influence on LHTES thermal conductivity was investigated. One-step heat exchange from outdoor air to PCM and from PCM to water characterizes the LHTES system in solidification and melting processes, respectively. A 2D axisymmetric model was developed using Comsol Multiphysics 6.0. The LHTES unit performance with PCM organic paraffin RT18 encapsulated in electrospun fiber matrices was analyzed. The study results show that longer internal fins shorten the melting and solidification time. Direct contact of PCM electrospun fiber matrix with 23 °C water showed instant melting, and the phase change process was accelerated by 99.97% in the discharging cycle. Full article
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18 pages, 5869 KiB  
Article
Precision Ventilation for an Open-Plan Office: A Study of Variable Jet Interaction between Two Active Chilled Beams
by Haider Latif, Samira Rahnama, Alessandro Maccarini, Craig R. Bradshaw, Goran Hultmark, Peter V. Nielsen and Alireza Afshari
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11466; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811466 - 13 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1293
Abstract
Precision ventilation is developed to achieve thermal comfort for occupants in an office by creating micro-climate zones. The present study aims to achieve individual thermal comfort for occupants with different metabolic rates by using higher airspeeds for enhancing heat transfer. The variable jet [...] Read more.
Precision ventilation is developed to achieve thermal comfort for occupants in an office by creating micro-climate zones. The present study aims to achieve individual thermal comfort for occupants with different metabolic rates by using higher airspeeds for enhancing heat transfer. The variable jet interaction between two ACBs with JetCone adjustments cause higher velocity jets to reach different regions of the occupied zone. The colliding jets from the center of a thermal isolated room were moved towards different zones in an office configuration with a constant room temperature of 23 °C. This study was conducted for five different cases in a room divided into four zones according to occupants’ metabolic rates. The experimental and CFD results show that occupants facing symmetrical airflow distribution and with a constant 1.2 metabolic rate (Case 1) had a similar predicted mean vote (PMV) index. The zones with higher-metabolic-rate occupants, i.e., 1.4 met and 1.6 met in cases 2 and 3 were exposed to air velocities up to 0.4 and 0.5 m/s, respectively. In case 4, the air velocity in the single zone with 1.6 met occupants was raised to 0.6 m/s by targeted airflow distribution achieved by adjusting JetCones. These occupants with higher metabolic rates were kept thermally neutral, in the −0.5 to +0.5 PMV range, by pushing the high velocity colliding jets from the center towards them. In case 5, the results showed that precision ventilation can maintain the individual thermal comfort of up to three different zones (in the same office space) by exposing the occupants with metabolic rates of 1.2, 1.4, and 1.6 met to airspeeds of 0.15, 0.45, and 0.55 m/s, respectively. Full article
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20 pages, 11602 KiB  
Article
Thermal Properties of Novel Phase-Change Materials Based on Tamanu and Coconut Oil Encapsulated in Electrospun Fiber Matrices
by Evdoxia Paroutoglou, Peter Fojan, Leonid Gurevich and Alireza Afshari
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7432; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127432 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1874
Abstract
The accumulation of thermal energy in construction elements during daytime, and its release during a colder night period is an efficient and green way to maintain a comfortable temperature range in buildings and vehicles. One approach to achieving this goal is to store [...] Read more.
The accumulation of thermal energy in construction elements during daytime, and its release during a colder night period is an efficient and green way to maintain a comfortable temperature range in buildings and vehicles. One approach to achieving this goal is to store thermal energy as latent heat of the phase transition using the so-called phase-change materials (PCMs). Vegetable oils came recently into focus as cheap, widely available, and environmentally friendly PCMs. In this study, we report the thermal properties of PCMs based on tamanu and coconut oils in three configurations: pure, emulsion, and encapsulated forms. We demonstrate the encapsulation of pure coconut- and tamanu-oil emulsions, and their mixtures and mixtures with commercial PCM paraffins in fiber matrices produced by a coaxial electrospinning technique. Polycaprolactone (PCL) was used as a shell, the PCM emulsion was formed by the studied oils, and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) were used as emulsifiers. The addition of commercially available paraffin RT18 into a 70/30 mixture of coconut and tamanu oil, successfully encapsulated in the core of a PCL shell, demonstrated latent heats of melting and solidification of 63.8 and 57.6 kJ/kg, respectively. Full article
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18 pages, 3394 KiB  
Article
New Calculation Technique for Assessment of Smoke Layer Interface in Large Buildings in Connection with the Design of Buildings in the Czech Republic
by Marek Podkul, Jiri Pokorny, Lenka Brumarova, Dagmar Dlouha, Zuzana Heinzova, Katerina Kubricka, Dawid Szurgacz and Miroslav Fanta
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6445; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116445 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1404
Abstract
The sustainability of the indoor environment of buildings is also related to the conditions that arise in the case of fires. Fires in buildings are characterized by the formation of combustion products, which can significantly endanger the life and health of people. One [...] Read more.
The sustainability of the indoor environment of buildings is also related to the conditions that arise in the case of fires. Fires in buildings are characterized by the formation of combustion products, which can significantly endanger the life and health of people. One of the major sources of danger is smoke. If there is no smoke exhaust into the outside environment during the development of the fire, the building is gradually filled with smoke. The important characteristic of the smoke layer is the level of the smoke layer, which changes over time. Several methods have been derived for determining the descent of the smoke layer in an enclosed area of space, which mainly differ in terms of the application area and limits of use. The methods used in the Czech Republic for the assessment of smoke layer descent in the case of fires do not have a clear rationale and in many cases lead to completely misleading results. For this reason, in connection with the standards for the assessment of the buildings in the Czech Republic, a new calculation technique (CSN) has been derived, which has been compared with the selected simple calculation techniques in large buildings. The deviations between the results have been evaluated by the percentage bias method (PBIAS), while the largest deviation, compared to the ISO standard technique, did not exceed 20%. The CSN calculation technique shows a favourable compliance with the technique presented by the ISO standard, where the deviation did not exceed 1.6%. In response to the proposed standards in the Czech Republic, the CSN calculation technique enables the assessment of safe evacuation in relation to the smoke layer interface and can be a considered perspective. Full article
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24 pages, 7499 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Various Trombe Wall Geometries with CFD Study
by Dimitrios Fidaros, Catherine Baxevanou, Michalina Markousi and Aris Tsangrassoulis
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 4877; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14094877 - 19 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1786
Abstract
An investigation of the optimal geometric configuration of a Trombe wall is presented with simulation of the transfer phenomena, that take place during its operation, using computational fluid dynamics. A numerical model is developed for a 2D steady-state simulation of a Trombe wall [...] Read more.
An investigation of the optimal geometric configuration of a Trombe wall is presented with simulation of the transfer phenomena, that take place during its operation, using computational fluid dynamics. A numerical model is developed for a 2D steady-state simulation of a Trombe wall cross-section operation, and it is validated against an energy balance model’s results. Then the developed model is used for the evaluation of 10 different geometrical configurations examining various air gap widths, storage wall thicknesses, ventilation slots distances, and ventilation slots diameters. The examined geometries were evaluated with respect to the achieved temperature at the air gap exit and at the room facing storage wall surface, the achieved mass air flow in the air gap, and the ability of warm air stream from the gap to enter the test room. The aim was to ventilate the whole space without leaving large areas where the air just recirculates unaffected by the Trombe wall operation. According to the above-described criteria, optimum solution is an air gap width of 5 to 8 cm with increased distance between ventilation slots and a configuration of upper ventilation slot with an inclination of 30 degrees. Full article
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17 pages, 5877 KiB  
Article
Precision Ventilation in an Open-Plan Office: A New Application of Active Chilled Beam (ACB) with a JetCone Feature
by Haider Latif, Samira Rahnama, Alessandro Maccarini, Goran Hultmark, Peter V. Nielsen and Alireza Afshari
Sustainability 2022, 14(7), 4242; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14074242 - 02 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1640
Abstract
Mixing ventilation systems effectively improves thermal comfort in open-spaces due to adequate turbulent mixing of the cold stream with ambient air. This study introduces the concept of precision ventilation for achieving local thermal comfort in a mixing ventilation system. This precision ventilation system [...] Read more.
Mixing ventilation systems effectively improves thermal comfort in open-spaces due to adequate turbulent mixing of the cold stream with ambient air. This study introduces the concept of precision ventilation for achieving local thermal comfort in a mixing ventilation system. This precision ventilation system provides asymmetrical airflows from an active chilled beam (ACB) to each of the office occupants. These ACBs provide air velocities with different magnitudes and directions. To achieve different magnitudes and directions, JetCones are used to vary the airflow in different parts of the ACB. The performance of the precision ventilation system was analyzed using full-scale laboratory experiments and computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations. The full-scale laboratory experiments were conducted in a 4.2 m × 3 m × 2.8 m (L × W × H) thermal isolated room with an open-plan dual desk-chair setup. The jet-cones in the ACB unit were adjusted to throw the required amount of flow to the occupants. The occupants had different metabolic rates of 1.2, 1.4, and 1.6 in a warm office space. The room set point temperatures varied between 23 and 26 °C. The experimental and CFD results show that occupants facing symmetrical airflow distribution and with a constant 1.2 metabolic rate had a similar PMV index. The occupants with 1.2, 1.4, and 1.6 metabolic rate were exposed to asymmetrical airflows, i.e., 30%, 58%, and 70% of the total airflow. Occupants with higher metabolic rates were kept thermally neutral, in the −0.5 to +0.5 PMV range, by increasing the air velocity and room temperature to 0.4 m/s and 25 °C, respectively. Full article
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Review

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15 pages, 586 KiB  
Review
A Review on Trombe Wall Technology Feasibility and Applications
by Aleksejs Prozuments, Anatolijs Borodinecs, Guna Bebre and Diana Bajare
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 3914; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15053914 - 21 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2051
Abstract
The current global energy challenges require strategies to increase energy-independence across regions and individual countries in order to facilitate and foster the utilization of passive energy sources. As such, solar energy utilization for covering and offsetting building heating loads is a sustainable way [...] Read more.
The current global energy challenges require strategies to increase energy-independence across regions and individual countries in order to facilitate and foster the utilization of passive energy sources. As such, solar energy utilization for covering and offsetting building heating loads is a sustainable way to reduce energy consumption (electricity, gas etc.) for space heating. Trombe wall technology is a passive building solar heating system that can be modified and applied to mild and cold regions. This work presents a review of Trombe wall system’s feasibility and applications across different climatic regions. Trombe wall systems are applicable as a secondary space heating source in mid-sunshine and cold regions. However, a number of design and structural aspects must be thoroughly considered, including the incorporation of PCMs, and the integration of PV/BIPV elements and other performance-improving aspects to enhance the system’s thermal performance and output. The findings of this work can be used in potential future assessments of the Trombe wall system’s technology in different climatic regions. Full article
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