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Zero to Plus Energy Buildings: Innovation in Technologies and Methodologies for New Buildings and Deep Renovation

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 April 2022) | Viewed by 7792

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Architecture, Construction Engineering and Built Environment, Polytechnic University of Milan, 20133 Milan, Italy
Interests: energy efficiency in buildings; zero energy building design; passive heating and cooling systems; innovative materials for buildings; building energy simulation and monitoring
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Environmental, Architectural Engineering and Mathematics, University of Brescia, 25123 Brescia, Italy
Interests: building engineering; construction technologies; performance building design with user-centric approach; building energy modeling; sustainability and resilience assessment with life cycle approach; open innovation approach for the construction sector; building data management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Institute for Renewable Energy, Eurac Research, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
Interests: energy efficient building; regenerative indoor environment; building technology assessment; building performance measurement and verification
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Energy efficiency in buildings is recognized as a key factor for improving the existing building stock and contributes to paving the way for a decarbonized and clean energy system. Only 1–2% of buildings undergo energy-efficient renovation every year, so effective and multiple actions are needed to make the European climate neutral by 2050. Currently, at least 75% of the building stock is energy-inefficient, yet almost 85–95% of today’s buildings will still be in use in 2050. New highly energy-efficient buildings and energy renovation of both public and private buildings is an essential measure in this context and has been singled out in the European Green Deal as a key initiative to drive energy efficiency in the sector.  While the recast Energy Performance Building Directive (EPBD) has mandated that all new buildings should be nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEBs) by 2020, many researchers are investigating the concept of Plus Energy Building (PEB) as further step, for which there is no definition at the EU level. Currently, there are several interpretations that derive both from EU research projects and from practical applications. Following the NZEB target, Plus Energy Building (PEB) can be defined as “a building that produces more energy from renewable energy sources (RES) than it imports over a year”. The aim of this Special Issue is to collect and present innovative results, methodologies, and advancements in designing new and renovated buildings toward a PEB target characterized by superior thermal comfort for occupants. In this context, this Special Issue aims at collecting contributions that:

  • Investigate the current practices for designing PEBs;
  • Investigate the most cost-effective technologies to achieve the PEB standard;
  • Collect and analyze methodologies and approaches for new and renovated buildings.

Prof. Graziano Salvalai
Dr. Marta Maria Sesana
Dr. Roberto Lollini
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

  • plus energy buildings
  • deep renovation
  • innovative building technology
  • innovative construction process
  • building simulation
  • building performance

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 11026 KiB  
Article
Construction Solutions and Materials to Optimize the Energy Performances of EPS-RC Precast Bearing Walls
by Albina Scioti, Mariella De Fino, Silvia Martiradonna and Fabio Fatiguso
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3558; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063558 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2140
Abstract
The design and employment of envelope components showing high thermal performances for new buildings and deep renovations must take into account the overall impact of the production process in terms of environmental sustainability. To this end, precast construction solutions and secondary raw materials [...] Read more.
The design and employment of envelope components showing high thermal performances for new buildings and deep renovations must take into account the overall impact of the production process in terms of environmental sustainability. To this end, precast construction solutions and secondary raw materials provide added value to the energy quality of building products. With regard to the abovementioned issues, the paper is focused on the performance optimization of expanded polystyrene-reinforced concrete (EPS-RC) precast bearing walls, already developed and patented within a previous research project entitled “HPWalls. High Performance Wall Systems”, and herein improved according to two complementary requirements: on the one hand, the addition of recycled EPS particles to the concrete mixtures and, thus, the assessment by lab tests of the correlation between the thermal and mechanical properties for several mix-design specimens; on the other hand, a study using analytical simulations of the most suitable joint solutions among modular panels in order to prevent thermal bridges. The achieved results validate the proposed optimization strategies and provide reliable data for market applications in the building sector. Full article
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20 pages, 2010 KiB  
Article
De-Risking the Energy Efficient Renovation of Commercial Office Buildings through Technical-Financial Risk Assessment
by Annalisa Andaloro, Graziano Salvalai, Gabriele Fregonese, Linda Tso and Giulia Paoletti
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14021011 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2037
Abstract
Energy efficiency in the building sector plays a key role in supporting European and global commitments against the current climate crisis. A massive adoption of deep renovation measures would allow a global reduction of energy need up to 36%, based on estimations. However, [...] Read more.
Energy efficiency in the building sector plays a key role in supporting European and global commitments against the current climate crisis. A massive adoption of deep renovation measures would allow a global reduction of energy need up to 36%, based on estimations. However, the market for building renovation is still limited, due to uncertainties associated with risk evaluation. This paper aims to suggest a method to evaluate the financial impacts of technical risks related to energy efficiency investments. Key performance indicators (KPIs) necessary to evaluate the investment risk associated with energy renovation have been defined based on an analysis of the correlation between technical and financial risks, and their originating factors or root causes. The evaluation has been carried out thanks to the EEnvest tool: a web-based search and match platform, developed within the EEnvest collaborative research project funded by the European Commission (EC). This evaluation methodology has then been applied to a case study, an office building located in Rome, for whom an energy efficient renovation project was already in place to reduce energy needs. The investment risk of the renovation project is calculated for two different scenarios: with and without risk mitigation measures being applied during the design, installation and operation phases. The results show the different technical and financial risk trends of these two scenarios, highlighting the benefits obtained by the implementation of mitigation measures. Full article
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20 pages, 4977 KiB  
Article
Multi-Criteria Decision Making Optimisation Framework for Positive Energy Blocks for Cities
by Maurizio Sibilla and Fonbeyin Henry Abanda
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010446 - 1 Jan 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2416
Abstract
The Positive Energy Block (PEBlock) is a new paradigm towards low-carbon cities. However, there is a paucity of literature about methods and tools to develop PEBlocks in practice. This study proposes a multi-criteria decision making optimisation framework for PEBlocks for cities. It explores [...] Read more.
The Positive Energy Block (PEBlock) is a new paradigm towards low-carbon cities. However, there is a paucity of literature about methods and tools to develop PEBlocks in practice. This study proposes a multi-criteria decision making optimisation framework for PEBlocks for cities. It explores PEBlock scenarios based on adaptable criteria and actions applied to a block composed of three school buildings, where only one acts as a positive node of the future energy network. Findings point out the flexibility of PEBlock scenarios; firstly, selecting a list of 21 potential positive energy scenarios among 300 possible combinations concerning the block analysed, secondly, individuating the optimal solution and finally, comparing it with others based on the weight assigned to the criteria. This study contributes to understanding the emerging properties concerning PEBlocks, discussing their features and stressing main peculiarities compared to other models (e.g., positive energy districts). It also emphasises the PEBlock as a feasible and reliable energy infrastructure to support new urban organisations (e.g., self-organised energy communities), drawing future developments and implications. Limitations associated with this study are also stressed in the conclusion. Full article
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