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Resilient Built Environment and Public Health

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Pollution Prevention, Mitigation and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2024) | Viewed by 6241

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
Interests: built environment and infection transmission; air pollution control technologies; fate and transport of contaminants in built environments; computational fluid dynamics; environmental fluid mechanics; neural networks for environmental health and health care

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Guest Editor
Division of Environmental Health Sciences, College of Public Health, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Interests: quantitative microbial risk assessment; complex systems modeling and analytics; health effect optimization through environmental and engineering controls; water treatment technology and policy; uncertainty in decision analyses

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Guest Editor
Department of Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Interests: risk assessment; decision analysis; Bayesian statistics; dose-response and exposure modeling; risk management and environmental policy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19, more frequent extreme weather events, climate change and increasing energy demands have made the requirements of a resilient built environment multi-faceted and urgent. The built environment needs to adapt to stresses, both intensified current stresses and new ones, all of which are induced from multiple fronts. This will require changes in infrastructure ranging from transportation to homes, offices, utilities and health care facilities, as well as the social infrastructure supporting these systems. Even more significant, a resilient built environment must anticipate, respond and adapt to emerging risks. To do so there is a need to understand the fundamental physics governing the heat and mass transfer of outdoor/indoor environments, and their interaction with the surroundings. It is essential to identify, measure and correlate the associated risks for the different stressors. These will require assessment tools ranging from field measurements to full-scale and reduced-scale laboratory measurements as well as numerical methods. Gaining insight into how the range of factors play a central role in designing and implementing a resilient built environment can help inform public policy, which can shape better decisions and responses for the next adverse event beyond the pandemic.

The Special Issue aims to summarize the latest ideas and visions that will shape a built environment that is resilient and ensures the health and well-being of the occupants and users of the environment.  

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Aerosols and built environment;
  • Indoor air quality and risk assessment;
  • Natural hazards and their impact on sustainable building design;
  • Health, wellness and infection transmission in built environments;
  • Assessment of building design supporting the health of occupants;
  • Materials for building construction that is adaptive to climate change;
  • Smart innovations for resilient built environment;
  • Exposure assessment of occupants in green buildings;
  • Balance of economic, environmental and health sustainability.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Shamia Hoque
Dr. Mark H. Weir
Dr. Jade M. Mitchell
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

  • building ventilation
  • recuperators
  • air filters
  • heat pumps
  • building energy simulation
  • system sizing
  • system optimization

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 3978 KiB  
Article
Bentonite Clays from Southeastern Spain as Sustainable Natural Materials for the Improvement of Cements, Mortars and Concretes
by Jorge L. Costafreda, Domingo A. Martín, Miguel Ángel Sanjuán and Jorge L. Costafreda-Velázquez
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16710; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416710 - 10 Dec 2023
Viewed by 939
Abstract
The effects of global climate change are becoming more evident and accelerating at an unprecedented pace. For this reason, human activities urgently need a paradigm shift to stop this entropic process before the consequences become irreversible. In this sense, the use of highly [...] Read more.
The effects of global climate change are becoming more evident and accelerating at an unprecedented pace. For this reason, human activities urgently need a paradigm shift to stop this entropic process before the consequences become irreversible. In this sense, the use of highly eco-efficient materials aimed at conveniently neutralizing CO2 greenhouse gas emissions entering into the atmosphere can contribute significantly to mitigating and reversing this process. This work aims to demonstrate the positive effects obtained when Portland cement is partially replaced by bentonite clays of volcano-sedimentary origin. The samples were initially characterized by various methods, such as Thin-Section Petrographic Study (TSP) and the analysis of mineral phases with XRD, chemical composition was determined via XRF, and morphological analysis was determined via scanning electron microscopy (SEM). To determine the technical properties of the samples, a qualitative chemical analysis (QCA) was performed, as well as a chemical analysis of pozzolanicity (CAP) at 8 and 15 days, respectively, and a study of the mechanical compressive strengths at 2, 7, 28 and 90 days. Characterization studies using TSP, DRX, FRX and SEM established that these bentonite clays have a complex mineralogical variety, composed mainly of smectite, mordenite, plagioclase and biotite, as well as altered volcanic glass and sericite. The results of the qualitative chemical analysis establish that more than 93% of the SiO2 present in the samples is reactive. Chemical analysis of pozzolanicity (CAP) showed significant pozzolanic behavior in all samples analyzed at both 8 and 15 days, while mechanical tests highlighted significant increases in mechanical strengths, with maximum values varying between 52.2 and 70.6 MPa at 90 days. These results show that the materials can be used as quality pozzolans for the manufacture of cements, mortars and concretes, which could be considered as a favorable factor and, therefore, relevant in the management and control of greenhouse gas emissions responsible for the deterioration of the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Built Environment and Public Health)
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17 pages, 1721 KiB  
Article
Conceptualising a Model to Assess the Optimum Water Flow of Industrial Symbiosis (IS)
by Harshini Mallawaarachchi, Gayani Karunasena, Yasangika Sandanayake and Chunlu Liu
Sustainability 2023, 15(11), 8627; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15118627 - 25 May 2023
Viewed by 905
Abstract
Industrial Symbiosis (IS) has obtained worldwide concern as a new initiative for achieving collaborative benefits through the exchange of resources including water among industries. Even though these initiatives became prominent as successful projects in the early stages, many of them have resulted in [...] Read more.
Industrial Symbiosis (IS) has obtained worldwide concern as a new initiative for achieving collaborative benefits through the exchange of resources including water among industries. Even though these initiatives became prominent as successful projects in the early stages, many of them have resulted in failures in the long term due to the absence of the prior evaluation and optimisation of identified water synergies in IS planning. Further, the main attention has been given to achieving cost reductions in individual plants rather than analysing the environmental benefits of IS networks that can be achieved through the maximum recovery of wastewater. The existing evaluation emphasises the need to have a standardised way to assess the optimum water flow of IS. Thus, the purpose is to conceptualise a model to assess the optimum water flow of IS based on secondary data analysis. A desk study and a detailed literature review were selected as suitable methods for reviewing the existing literature relating to water exchange in IS networks, water input and output flow, and optimisation methodologies. As the key findings derived through analysis, water inputs and outputs, a boundary for the selection of industrial entities, typical water synergies, and optimisation formulas were established. Finally, a conceptual model was developed to assess the optimum water flow of IS, which was evaluated through expert interviews to identify further improvements. The developed model forms a unique foundation for assessing the optimum water flow of IS, applying in any context subject to context-specific enhancements. Most importantly, the novelty can be highlighted as the consideration given to maximum wastewater recovery in achieving the reduction in the freshwater utilisation of industrial entities within the IS network. Nevertheless, this conceptual model is still at its early development stage, and it is subjected to more empirical testing and research for its practicality and further refinement as a way forward for the research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Built Environment and Public Health)
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14 pages, 4361 KiB  
Article
Climate Change and Building Renovation: Effects on Energy Consumption and Internal Comfort in a Social Housing Building in Northern Italy
by Manzan Marco, Atlas Ramezani, Alex Buoite Stella and Amedeo Pezzi
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 5931; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15075931 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1031
Abstract
Climate change is becoming a crucial factor to consider within human activities and the building sector is particularly influenced by aspects of internal comfort and energy. In Italy, great attention has been paid to the energy refurbishment of buildings. However, such interventions are [...] Read more.
Climate change is becoming a crucial factor to consider within human activities and the building sector is particularly influenced by aspects of internal comfort and energy. In Italy, great attention has been paid to the energy refurbishment of buildings. However, such interventions are mostly focused on reducing heating energy consumption, thus neglecting summer season performance. Moreover, climate change is barely considered during the design phase. This issue is addressed in this work which analyzes some of the most common refurbishment interventions applied to a social housing building in Trieste, while also considering internal comfort during the summer season. A dynamic analysis of the building-plant system is carried out using EnergyPlus. Fanger, UTCI and the adaptive comfort models were used to represent internal health, while three TRY data sets were generated using two GCM–RCM projections to evaluate the influence of climate change. The results show that both building insulation and climatic change affect heating consumption reaching a 70% reduction. However, building insulation does not greatly affect internal comfort, although different models show different behavior to protect against external temperatures. On the contrary, climatic change influences the percentage of hours of discomfort, with a 20% increase for all of the models. The final consideration is that people’s internal health should always be considered when carrying out refurbishment activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Built Environment and Public Health)
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24 pages, 5621 KiB  
Article
Energy Cost Assessment and Optimization of Post-COVID-19 Building Ventilation Strategies
by Antiopi-Malvina Stamatellou, Olympia Zogou and Anastassios Stamatelos
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3422; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043422 - 13 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1198
Abstract
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic puts stress on the requirements of indoor air quality. Significant improvements in the design of building ventilation systems have become necessary, as this allows for the supply of higher quantities of outdoor air in buildings. Additional capital [...] Read more.
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic puts stress on the requirements of indoor air quality. Significant improvements in the design of building ventilation systems have become necessary, as this allows for the supply of higher quantities of outdoor air in buildings. Additional capital investment is necessary for increases in the size of ventilation fans and ducts, as well as for the installation of efficient air-to-air recuperators, to recover the enthalpy of the rejected air. To address the increased operation costs, smart strategies are necessary to make rational use of the ventilation system. The required modifications are studied in the example of an 18-zone office building located in Volos, Greece. The building’s energy performance is studied by means of transient simulation. Operation of the ground-coupled heat pump, the upgraded ventilation system and the high-performance recuperators and filters’ interactions is presented in detail at various time scales. The results show the effect of increased ventilation requirements of new and renovated office and commercial buildings in the post-COVID era. The added capital equipment and operation costs must be met with a strong and sustained engineering effort. Especially in the case of nZEB buildings, the protection of public health must be attained, with reduction of the added electricity consumption penalties, in order to keep the nZEB character of the building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Built Environment and Public Health)
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12 pages, 7167 KiB  
Article
The Rising Damp in Venetian Masonry: Preliminary Results Comparing Laboratory Tests and Dynamic Simulations
by Erika Guolo, Piercarlo Romagnoni, Tiziano Dalla Mora and Fabio Peron
Sustainability 2023, 15(1), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15010076 - 21 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1314
Abstract
The control of moisture in the building sector represents a widespread issue and research topic, in terms of improving the quality of indoor space healthiness and energy performance. In Venice, rising damp and moisture phenomena are very diffused and difficult to solve, due [...] Read more.
The control of moisture in the building sector represents a widespread issue and research topic, in terms of improving the quality of indoor space healthiness and energy performance. In Venice, rising damp and moisture phenomena are very diffused and difficult to solve, due to building structures and specific environmental conditions. All of the buildings and artefacts in the city are presently wall structures filled with bricks, which lean on relatively permeable soil, are exposed to an environment rich in saline aerosols, and are continuously lapped by floods and brackish water. The aim of this research was to analyze typical Venetian masonry walls affected by rising damp through the application of non-destructive methods, in order to understand and assess the behavior of construction materials in specific boundary conditions. The data given by non-destructive monitoring in mock-up masonries were compared with dynamic simulations to estimate the hygrothermal behavior and analyze the effect on different parameters, such as the physical properties of new and historical materials (i.e., density, thermal conductivity, etc.), the presence and type of plasters, and the kinds of traditional treatment applications. The evaluation of experimental data, supported by simulations provides to the literature an empirical comprehension of rising damp phenomena in real masonry toward careful heritage conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Built Environment and Public Health)
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