Topic Editors

Department of Architecture, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
1. Balkan Energy AG, 4656 Starrkirch-Wil, Switzerland
2. Zurich Soft Robotics GmbH, 8005 Zurich, Switzerland
Faculty of Architecture, Technological University of Havana José Antonio Echeverría, Marianao, La Habana 19390, Cuba
Department of Architecture, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
Dr. Miljana Horvat
Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
Faculty of Forestry, University of Belgrade, 11030 Belgrade, Serbia
Dr. Silvia Domingo-Irigoyen
Institute of Building Technology and Energy, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, 6002 Luzern, Switzerland
Prof. Dr. Marija Todorović
1. School of Energy & Environment, Southeast University, Nanjing 214135, China
2. VEA–INVI. Ltd., Virtual Enineering & Art-Investment Vision, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Idiap Research Institute, 1920 Martigny, Switzerland
Dr. Kosa Golić
Faculty of Civil Engineering, University Union Nikola Tesla, 11158 Belgrade, Serbia
Dr. Ana Peric
Institute for Spatial and Landscape Development, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland

Sustainable Built Environment

Abstract submission deadline
closed (28 February 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (30 April 2023)
Viewed by
167438

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite submissions of original research papers on the Topic of the Sustainable Built Environment.

The built environment is a huge determinant of sustainability and, at the same time, a crucial element for the achievement of a truly sustainable society. The alarming challenges it faces, including climate change, energy consumption, rapid urbanization, social inequality, population aging, and deteriorating infrastructure, urgently invite rethinking of conventional planning, design, and construction practices. Well thought-through multidisciplinary and multidimensional approaches, strategies and tools, including all the relevant stakeholders at different urban levels (individual buildings, communities and whole cities) should first reverse the current trends with their adverse environmental, economic and social effects, and then enable and foster environmental, social and economic regenerative growth. The fight against climate change and reduction in carbon footprint should be primarily the key considerations, while enabling a high level of comfort and well-being for users.

For example, energy efficiency is the key factor at the building level, as buildings account for a significant share in the total energy consumption and offer large potential for energy savings. Specifically, at this level, the integration of renewable energy systems, such as photovoltaic and solar thermal systems, will play a vital role in achieving a green and efficient built environment. 

Furthermore, a sustainable built environment is associated with concepts and ideas such as integration of renewable energy systems, BIPV, zero-energy buildings, vertical farming, adaptive building skins, affordable housing, integrative open public spaces and landscapes, age-friendly built environments, etc. The mechanisms and actions entail a careful, simultaneous consideration of various aspects and complex processes related to the built environment and its users, including inevitable balancing between environmental, economic, social and cultural sustainability, while enabling appropriate connectedness and harmonization between micro, meso and macro urban levels. Keeping in mind the complex and dynamic nature of built environment and sustainable development goals, state-of-the-art technologies together with urban and building performance simulation, modelling, digitalization, informatics and artificial intelligence may facilitate addressing challenges and paving the road towards a sustainable built environment.

Therefore, the Editors of this Topic encourage submissions addressing, but not limited to, the following topics and issues—all in line with the Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Urban planning and processes for a sustainable development:
    • Sustainable urban–rural planning;
    • Urban policy and governance;
    • Smart cities: case studies, trends and challenges;
    • Urban farming;
    • Participatory and people-centered planning and design practices;
  • Affordable and clean energy:
    • Low- and zero-energy and carbon buildings;
    • Energy consumption and efficiency in building and urban design;
    • Integration of renewable energy technologies into the built environment;
    • Implementation of solar systems (photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal systems) into the built environment;
    • Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV);
    • Green building envelopes;
  • Net zero carbon and circular economy:
    • Economic sustainability;
    • Life cycle assessment (LCA);
    • Circular construction;
    • Sustainable renovation of existing buildings and districts;
    • Vertical farming;
    • Adaptable buildings;
  • Inclusive and healthy neighbourhoods and buildings:
    • Design for human health and well-being;
    • Age-friendly built environments: buildings, transportation and outdoor spaces;
    • Landscape and open public space design for sustainability;
    • Sustainable affordable housing;
    • Social sustainability;
  • Methods, strategies, tools and practices in delivering sustainable solutions:
    • Sustainable design and construction;
    • Design methods and strategies for environmental protection, pollution prevention, decarbonization and resilience;
    • Experimentation and pilot projects: case studies, real solutions, performance evaluation;
    • Urban and building performance simulation, informatics, digitalization, building information modelling (BIM), artificial intelligence;
    • Sustainability in decision making;
    • Multi-objective assessment and optimization for sustainable development;
    • Building and neighbourhood sustainability assessment tools, standards, certification;
    • Socio-economic challenges for delivery of sustainable solutions;
    • Barriers and drivers for sustainable development within built environment.

We encourage researchers and practitioners working in areas related to sustainable built environments to submit their research papers and help shed light on this topic from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Dr. Siu-Kit (Eddie) Lau
Dr. Vesna Kosorić
Dr. Abel Tablada
Dr. Zdravko Trivic
Dr. Miljana Horvat
Dr. Milena Vukmirović
Dr. Silvia Domingo-Irigoyen
Prof. Dr. Marija Todorović
Dr. Jérôme H. Kaempf
Dr. Kosa Golić
Dr. Ana Peric
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • built environment
  • climate change
  • cultural sustainability
  • decarbonization
  • energy consumption and efficiency
  • green building envelope
  • human health and well-being
  • life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • low- and zero-carbon buildings
  • multi-objective optimization and decision making
  • performance simulation
  • renewable energy sources
  • social sustainability
  • solar systems
  • sustainable urban planning, design and construction

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Sustainability
sustainability
3.9 5.8 2009 18.8 Days CHF 2400
Buildings
buildings
3.8 3.1 2011 14.6 Days CHF 2600
Energies
energies
3.2 5.5 2008 16.1 Days CHF 2600
Urban Science
urbansci
2.0 4.5 2017 23.7 Days CHF 1600
Environments
environments
3.7 5.9 2014 23.7 Days CHF 1800

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Published Papers (61 papers)

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16 pages, 7333 KiB  
Article
Rainwater Retention Test of Various Green Roofs: Influence on Membrane Temperatures and Evapotranspiration
by Peter Juras
Buildings 2023, 13(8), 2058; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13082058 - 12 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 811
Abstract
Green structures such as roofs or facades are great examples of ways to mitigate climate change, and they have multidisciplinary benefits. One of them is water retention during storms and high rainfalls. In this paper, the impact on the temperature of a membrane [...] Read more.
Green structures such as roofs or facades are great examples of ways to mitigate climate change, and they have multidisciplinary benefits. One of them is water retention during storms and high rainfalls. In this paper, the impact on the temperature of a membrane after excessive watering was investigated. The results of watered samples were compared to the non-watered ones. This test was carried out on five equal samples. The results showed that the actual foliage cover is very important. The worst results were obtained by the samples that did not have sufficient plant (foliage) cover. Notable differences in courses after watering reached up to 7 °C and lasted up to five days. Visible differences after watering were also exhibited by other samples. The type of drainage/retention layer also influenced the results, whereas the hard-profiled plastic board had high practical retention, which impacted temperatures over a long time period. The actual water content influenced and reduced the daily amplitude from 13 to 7 °C for at least five sunny days. This confirms the theoretical evapotranspiration calculations and actual water content in green roofs. In this case, the water content in the samples proves the cooling effect on the waterproofing membrane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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22 pages, 19637 KiB  
Article
Green Cities: Utopia or Reality? Evidence from Zurich, Switzerland
by Ana Perić, Yingying Jiang, Sacha Menz and Liana Ricci
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 12079; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151512079 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1757
Abstract
There is an overall scientific consensus that green spaces positively affect urban dwellers’ health and well-being. However, there is a gap between knowledge and policy objectives, and their translation into effective interventions to unleash the benefits of green spaces. Examining such ‘implementation gap’ [...] Read more.
There is an overall scientific consensus that green spaces positively affect urban dwellers’ health and well-being. However, there is a gap between knowledge and policy objectives, and their translation into effective interventions to unleash the benefits of green spaces. Examining such ‘implementation gap’ in Zurich is relevant due to the integration of the ‘green urban agenda’ in various Swiss policies. The research narrows its focus to district 9, including the Altstetten and Albisrieden neighborhoods, which contain diverse green spaces despite ongoing densification. The study further explores four green space clusters and their 400-m catchment areas within the district. The research applies a mixed-method approach at three analytical levels: (1) identification of the critical tenets associated with the ‘green urban agenda’ through a review of multi-scale national policies, (2) assessment of green spaces’ provision, types, size, and mutual connectivity in Zurich’s district 9 based on online available quantitative data and on-site observation, and (3) identification of the dominant activities in four green space clusters through on-site observation. Through critical mutual examination of the identified ‘green urban agenda’ principles in the national policies and green space attributes, the findings reveal the extent of the convergence or divergence between policy trends and their implementation in practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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14 pages, 3493 KiB  
Article
Thermodynamic Effect of High-Rise Reinforced Concrete Typology on Asian Cities: Effect of Socioeconomic Obsolescence Factors on Thermodynamic Complexity
by Keojin Jin
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 11483; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511483 - 25 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 693
Abstract
The construction of reinforced concrete (RC) apartments played a crucial role in accommodating the substantial increase in urban populations during the post-war period in Asian cities. However, the RC process in these regions exhibits limitations in terms of the building’s life cycle duration. [...] Read more.
The construction of reinforced concrete (RC) apartments played a crucial role in accommodating the substantial increase in urban populations during the post-war period in Asian cities. However, the RC process in these regions exhibits limitations in terms of the building’s life cycle duration. These limitations arise due to two main factors: the inherent hybrid nature of RC and the insufficient measures for addressing inner rebar corrosion, as well as the lack of adequate control over the management of the “structural class” amid rapid economic expansion. This study examines the impact of rapid urbanization and economic growth on the construction industry, with a specific focus on the utilization of concrete buildings. Drawing on Odum’s urban energetics theory, macroeconomic data are analyzed to investigate the patterns and implications of widespread concrete construction during the late 20th century, particularly in Asian countries. The findings are then compared with earlier periods of economic expansion in other countries, aiming to provide a comprehensive understanding of the interplay between urbanization, economic growth, and the use of concrete structures. The application of Odum’s theory enhances the analytical process, offering valuable insights into the dynamics of the macro urban energy system. In this assessment, four countries are selected based on the stage of their urban economic expansion. The selection is determined using the recent changes observed in three key factors: (1) urban concentration, (2) GDP growth rate, and (3) gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) on housing volume. The assessment identifies the point in time when production, represented by the GDP growth rate, surpasses consumption, represented by GFCF on housing volume. Through this assessment, it becomes possible to make macro-scaled predictions about the urban energy system, even with limited archival data available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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20 pages, 6040 KiB  
Article
Elderly Residents’ Uses of and Preferences for Community Outdoor Spaces during Heat Periods
by Xiaolin Yang, Yini Fan, Dawei Xia, Yukai Zou and Yuwen Deng
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 11264; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151411264 - 19 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1429
Abstract
The downtown cores of many cities are characterized by aged communities that tend to host a relatively high population of elderly retirement residents. The availability and usage of outdoor spaces within these communities play a crucial role in promoting active aging, providing essential [...] Read more.
The downtown cores of many cities are characterized by aged communities that tend to host a relatively high population of elderly retirement residents. The availability and usage of outdoor spaces within these communities play a crucial role in promoting active aging, providing essential locations for rest, activities, and social interaction among the elderly. However, in the planning and design of these spaces, attention is often focused on the safety and mobility requirements of the elderly population, while a lack of research is apparent in the area of elderly-specific preferences for spaces designed for relaxation and communication. In this study, we selected an aging community as the research target and conducted a detailed investigation of the outdoor spaces where the elderly residents gather and build up spontaneously in summer. Our objective was to evaluate the environmental factors influencing the selection of these outdoor spaces by the elderly for relaxation and communication. We analyzed the correlations between these factors and the number of occupants in these spaces and developed predictive models accordingly. The findings indicate that the environmental factors impacting the utilization of outdoor spaces by the elderly during heat periods within the community are, in order of importance: temperature, relative humidity, human traffic flow, and noise levels. These factors include physical and social aspects; temperature is a negative correlation factor affecting the use of outdoor space by the elderly, and the rest are positive correlation factors. This shows that the elderly like to gather and chat in a cool, crowded, and lively environment. Through the data analysis, it was determined that the random forest regression model was the most effective in predicting the number of residents remaining in these spaces. With a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.7958, the model can assist in community update planning and design, help in selecting outdoor spaces, and improve the quality of the outdoor environment. This study discusses the factors influencing the elderly’s use of community outdoor space from the physical and social levels, and the prediction model is significant for the optimization of spatial elements and spatial location. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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20 pages, 25894 KiB  
Article
Traditional Water Systems Informing Sustainable Contemporary Drylands Design: Documentation, Extraction, and Deployment
by Yuliang Jiang and Hadley Arnold
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 10966; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151410966 - 13 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1017
Abstract
Climate change has become a pressing issue in cities around the globe, especially those in dry regions. Despite these cities’ cultural vitality, water shortages are among the central problems impacting society. The aim of this study was to recapture, record, and rethink the [...] Read more.
Climate change has become a pressing issue in cities around the globe, especially those in dry regions. Despite these cities’ cultural vitality, water shortages are among the central problems impacting society. The aim of this study was to recapture, record, and rethink the world’s traditional water systems with two objectives. The first objective was to scrutinize the mechanics, social functions, and spatial organization of these systems. The second objective was to develop novel adaptations of these old technologies for new discourses and apply them to the water-stressed urban landscapes of Los Angeles. The intent was to build a greater capacity for resilient landscape and infrastructure design in a post-carbon world by constructing a more robust lexicon of pre-carbon drylands design. Notable similarities surfaced among the systems despite their distinct cultural backgrounds and historical origins, indicating commonalities across the evolution of water infrastructure in human history. The output of this study established the basis for a systematic drylands atlas as a resource for research-informed design of the built environment. The outcomes make fundamental water-centric climate change adaptation strategies accessible through visual communication techniques for professional practices and pedagogic purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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20 pages, 15289 KiB  
Article
Cashew Nut Shell Liquid as an Anticorrosive Agent in Ceramic Materials
by Kelson de Sousa Leite, Antônio Alves de Carvalho, Jr., Paulo Ronaldo Sousa Teixeira and José Milton Elias de Matos
Sustainability 2023, 15(11), 8743; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15118743 - 29 May 2023
Viewed by 1190
Abstract
One of the significant challenges of the ceramics industry is to increase the corrosion resistance of ceramic materials, and the study of this corrosion requires a detailed investigation using several characterization methods, such as the knowledge of technological properties including the absorption, apparent [...] Read more.
One of the significant challenges of the ceramics industry is to increase the corrosion resistance of ceramic materials, and the study of this corrosion requires a detailed investigation using several characterization methods, such as the knowledge of technological properties including the absorption, apparent porosity, and mechanical resistance of these ceramic materials. This corrosion resistance can be further improved by using a protective coating on the surface of ceramic materials, such as cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL), which has been used as a green, environmentally friendly corrosion inhibitor. This work investigated the inhibitory action of CNSL on the corrosion of ceramic materials. Clay from the Brazilian Northeast was used in a simulated seawater environment at room temperature for the immersion corrosion test. Sets of prismatic specimens bathed in CNSL were immersed in a corrosive solution and compared with other samples without CNSL immersed in a corrosive environment. At the end of 70 days in corrosive solution, the ceramic specimens without CNSL showed signs of wear on the surface, associated with an average mass loss of 20 mg and an average corrosive rate of 0.017 mm/year. On the other hand, the bodies bathed in CNSL showed no mass loss, reinforcing the potential of CNSL as a protective agent against corrosion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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20 pages, 1282 KiB  
Article
Urban Quality of Life: A Systematic Literature Review
by Josana Gabriele Bolzan Wesz, Luciana Inês Gomes Miron, Ioanni Delsante and Patricia Tzortzopoulos
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7020056 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4403
Abstract
The built environment has great influence over the sustainability of societies as well as over people’s quality of life. Quality of life (QoL) is a broad concept that has different definitions across diverse bodies of knowledge. The social–cultural environment and the characteristics of [...] Read more.
The built environment has great influence over the sustainability of societies as well as over people’s quality of life. Quality of life (QoL) is a broad concept that has different definitions across diverse bodies of knowledge. The social–cultural environment and the characteristics of the built environment influence people’s perception of QoL. This study aims to identify and analyse the factors that impact QoL and sustainable development in the urban context. A systematic literature review was developed to understand QoL concepts and to identify urban indicators that contribute to the multidimensional evaluation of urban QoL. The results include (1) a holistic overview of QoL concepts and indicators; (2) the proposal of a holistic urban QoL concept; (3) the identification of urban QoL dimensions and indicators that contribute to urban QoL evaluation. The main contribution of this study is its discussion of the multidimensional nature of QoL, including objective and subjective dimensions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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33 pages, 5239 KiB  
Article
A Platform of Critical Barriers to Socially Sustainable Residential Buildings: Experts’ Perspective
by Kosa Golić, Vesna Kosorić, Tatjana Kosić, Slavica Stamatović Vučković and Kosara Kujundžić
Sustainability 2023, 15(9), 7485; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15097485 - 02 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2237
Abstract
The concept of sustainable cities and communities is endorsed as one of the seventeen goals of sustainable development. Since buildings represent an essential element of the city, they play a primary role in achieving the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of cities. Previous [...] Read more.
The concept of sustainable cities and communities is endorsed as one of the seventeen goals of sustainable development. Since buildings represent an essential element of the city, they play a primary role in achieving the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of cities. Previous studies have pointed to the lack of emphasis on the social aspect of buildings. Aiming to fill the gap, this research is focused on identifying barriers that hinder the adoption of social sustainability (SS) measures and practices in residential buildings, as a first step in overcoming these barriers and enabling faster achievement of SS goals. The initial platform of barriers was derived from a comprehensive review of the published literature, international reports, and green building rating systems. For the selection of critical barriers, the Delphi method was used with the participation of 60 international experts. Of 58 barriers initially identified from the literature and experts’ suggestions, 29 were selected as important and classified into five groups. Further, in each of these groups three barriers were singled out, the overcoming of which would facilitate and speed up buildings’ SS to the greatest extent. These results provide insight into barriers to SS for policy makers, developers, and planners, invite further studies on this topic, and provide a starting point for other researchers to identify the most relevant barriers in different contexts, i.e., countries and regions with their specific characteristics. This will further create the conditions for the elimination of barriers to SS by focusing on the most critical issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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31 pages, 670 KiB  
Article
Strategies for Realization of Socially Sustainable Residential Buildings: Experts’ Perspectives
by Kosa Golić, Vesna Kosorić, Slavica Stamatovic Vuckovic and Kosara Kujundzic
Sustainability 2023, 15(9), 7227; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15097227 - 26 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1240
Abstract
Over the recent decades, the concept of social sustainability (SS) has been increasingly recognized as a key component of sustainable development incorporated in sustainable communities’ agendas. However, SS measures and practices have been insufficiently applied and underrepresented with regard to residential buildings. The [...] Read more.
Over the recent decades, the concept of social sustainability (SS) has been increasingly recognized as a key component of sustainable development incorporated in sustainable communities’ agendas. However, SS measures and practices have been insufficiently applied and underrepresented with regard to residential buildings. The aim of this paper is to employ experts’ perspectives to identify interdisciplinary, multilevel strategies/drivers for the integration of SS measures and practices into governmental and operational activities in relation to residential buildings. The selected strategies emerged from a detailed literature review and a two-round Delphi survey collecting responses from an expert panel, which were carried out in order to determine the relevancy of the proposed strategies. Of the 38 preselected strategies, 32 were deemed significant. In addition to a number of relevant strategies, the panelists especially recommended disseminating new concepts of growth that would contribute to breaking the link between materialism and social progress and to the adoption of new ways of life characterized by a more harmonious and healthy coexistence of people and the environment. They also suggested a gradual introduction of SS principles into value systems and their implementation in all aspects of personal and social life as an essential precondition for achieving the goals of sustainable development on a large scale. These results lay the groundwork for the incorporation and development of SS strategies by policy makers, developers, and planners and provide a starting point that will allow other researchers to identify the most relevant strategies in different contexts, i.e., countries and regions with their specific characteristics, which will further create the conditions for the more efficient implementation of SS measures and practices and contribute to the fulfilment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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30 pages, 102784 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Effect of Exhaust Configuration and Shape Parameters of Ventilation Windows on Microclimate in Round Arch Solar Greenhouse
by Zilong Fan, Yiming Li, Lingling Jiang, Lu Wang, Tianlai Li and Xingan Liu
Sustainability 2023, 15(8), 6432; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15086432 - 10 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1498
Abstract
The round-arch solar greenhouse (RASG) is widely used in the alpine and high latitude areas of China for its excellent performance. Common high temperature and high humidity environments have adverse effects on plants. It is extremely important to explore a reasonable and efficient [...] Read more.
The round-arch solar greenhouse (RASG) is widely used in the alpine and high latitude areas of China for its excellent performance. Common high temperature and high humidity environments have adverse effects on plants. It is extremely important to explore a reasonable and efficient ventilation system. A three-dimensional numerical simulation model of greenhouse ventilation considering crop canopy airflow disturbance was established. A robust statistical analysis to determine the validity of the model was calculated to thoroughly validate its overall performance. Microclimate distribution characteristics of nine kinds of exhaust configuration in greenhouse in summer were analyzed comparatively. It was determined that the highest ventilation efficiency could be achieved by adopting the combined configuration of rolling film at the south corner of the greenhouse and pivoting the window at the north side of the roof. In winter, the opening angle of ventilation window at the north side of the roof was less than 40° to ensure the rapid cooling of the interior of the greenhouse without the crops being affected by the cold environment. Through optimization analysis, the ventilation configuration with a deviation angle of 25° and a width of 900 mm is more reasonable (10 m span). The research results provide theoretical guidance for the design of the ventilation structure in RASG and further improve the sustainable development of the facility’s plant production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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20 pages, 5298 KiB  
Review
A Typology for Urban Landscape Progression: Toward a Sustainable Planning Mechanism in Kano Metropolis, Nigeria
by Danjuma Abdu Yusuf, Jie Zhu, Sadiq Abdullahi Nashe, Abdullahi Muhammad Usman, Abdullahi Sagir, Adamu Yukubu, Abdulmalik Sule Hamma, Namadi Sharif Alfa and Abubakar Ahmed
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7020036 - 30 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3149
Abstract
The significance of urban landscapes in the current era of concern for a sustainable built environment can never be overemphasized. The study explores the landscape features and typologies of some urban environments within Kano to understand the management effectiveness of urban landscapes in [...] Read more.
The significance of urban landscapes in the current era of concern for a sustainable built environment can never be overemphasized. The study explores the landscape features and typologies of some urban environments within Kano to understand the management effectiveness of urban landscapes in the Kano metropolitan area. At least two wards were purposively selected each from the eight metropolitan local government areas due to their urban landscape and land use. Focus group discussion (FGD) sessions were carried out through with prominent elders and “Masu Unguwanni” (village/ward heads) of each of the sampled wards as well as direct assessments of their physical characteristics to justify the general landscape progression in support of documentation for the present and future generation. The study unveils the layout typology, the scenic points and the ecological and cultural landscapes in the sampled districts. It further reveals that the historic urban forms in Kano are degrading with time, or rather not following the course of sustainability, as the physical surroundings satisfy the immediate needs of the communities. However, the study suggests increasing the awareness of Kano’s urban landscape preservation and the 2011 UNESCO proposal implementation on Historic Urban Landscapes (HUL). Then, the study discourages unhealthy developments within Kano Metropolis and the entire state. It also recommends landscape architects be part and parcel of planning schemes for controlling and regulating urban development via the formal practice of land allocation, land acquisition, building codes, design, planning and construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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24 pages, 3073 KiB  
Review
Linking Artificial Light at Night with Human Health via a Multi-Component Framework: A Systematic Evidence Map
by Yang Liu, Changda Yu, Keli Wang, Mei-Po Kwan and Lap Ah Tse
Environments 2023, 10(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments10030039 - 25 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3687
Abstract
The effects of artificial light at night (ALAN) on human health have drawn increased attention in the last two decades. Numerous studies have discussed the effects of ALAN on human health on diverse topics. A broader scope of how ALAN may affect human [...] Read more.
The effects of artificial light at night (ALAN) on human health have drawn increased attention in the last two decades. Numerous studies have discussed the effects of ALAN on human health on diverse topics. A broader scope of how ALAN may affect human health is thus urgently needed. This paper depicts a systematic evidence map in a multi-component framework to link ALAN with human health through a comprehensive literature review of English research articles in the past two decades. A three-phase systematic review was conducted after a generalized search of relevant articles from three publication databases, namely Scopus, the Web of Science, and PubMed. In total, 552 research articles were found in four categories and on numerous topics within our framework. We cataloged the evidence that shows direct and indirect as well as positive and negative effects of ALAN on human physical and mental health. We also summarized the studies that consider ALAN as a social determinant of human health. Based on our framework and the systematic evidence map, we also suggest several promising directions for future studies, including method design, co-exposure and exposome studies, and social and environmental justice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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17 pages, 2039 KiB  
Review
A Bibliometric Review of Research on the Perceptions of Campus Public Spaces
by Wei Dong, Jinxiu Wu, Yuzhen Chen and Xin Zhou
Buildings 2023, 13(2), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13020501 - 12 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1700
Abstract
With the rapid development of information and sensory technology, the construction mode of universities and the planning of campus public spaces are confronting great challenges and opportunities. It also brings about new perspectives for reconsidering the relationship between users’ perceptions and the campus [...] Read more.
With the rapid development of information and sensory technology, the construction mode of universities and the planning of campus public spaces are confronting great challenges and opportunities. It also brings about new perspectives for reconsidering the relationship between users’ perceptions and the campus environment. This paper reviews the research on the perception of university public spaces over the past 20 years and summarizes the research hotspots by using co-citation analysis, co-occurrence analysis, and burst detection analysis through CiteSpace software. The results demonstrate that the overall development of this field experienced three stages: the initial development stage (2000–2007), the rapid growth stage (2008–2017), and the stable development stage (2018–2021). In terms of research content, hotspot studies are emphasized from the perspectives of thermal perceptions, health impact perception, spatial configuration perception, and user activity perception of on-campus space. In addition, this literature review concluded the emerging research tendencies and new quantification methods in recent years, proposing an enormous potential for quantifying campus space research based on new perceptual technologies. It also encourages the research and optimal design of campus spaces for a more student-oriented campus environment based on the study of the student’s perception of the spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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27 pages, 10145 KiB  
Article
A Comparative Study on Architectural Design-Related Requirements of Green Building Rating Systems for New Buildings
by Yifan Song, Siu-Kit Lau, Stephen Siu Yu Lau and Dexuan Song
Buildings 2023, 13(1), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13010124 - 04 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4157
Abstract
Design teams’ work is greatly influenced by green building rating systems (GBRSs). Early GBRSs that had an energy- or resource-based hierarchy and prioritized mechanical components and active technologies were unable to adequately support the architectural design (AD). Due to the recent rise in [...] Read more.
Design teams’ work is greatly influenced by green building rating systems (GBRSs). Early GBRSs that had an energy- or resource-based hierarchy and prioritized mechanical components and active technologies were unable to adequately support the architectural design (AD). Due to the recent rise in awareness of the importance of AD in the creation of GBs, many GBRSs may now improve requirements pertaining to AD. However, it has not been examined in earlier studies. As a result, this study uses a comparative approach, content analysis, and significance evaluation to examine the effectiveness of six GBRSs as applied to AD in terms of significance, inclusiveness, comprehensiveness, and certainty. Six GBRSs include Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Assessment Standard for Green Building (ASGB), Green Mark (GM), WELL Building Standard (WELL), Assessment Standard for Healthy Building (ASHB), and Living Building Challenge (LBC). A heuristic theoretical evaluation framework (TEF) is developed with the goal of providing guidelines and references for the improvement of GBRSs and the strategic idea of AD. There are four key findings. Firstly, LBC assigns the highest and certain weight to AD, followed by LEED and ASGB, then ASHB, and finally GM and WELL. Secondly, green and regeneration GBRSs emphasize resource, environment, and physiological health, while wellbeing GBRSs emphasize physiological and psychological health. Thirdly, GM, ASGB, WELL, and ASHB are the most inclusive and comprehensive in process, resource, and environment, physiological health, and sociological and psychological health, respectively. Fourthly, LBC performs best in setting mandatory requirements in included aspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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17 pages, 4181 KiB  
Article
Swelling Behavior and Flow Rates of a Novel Hydrophilic Gasket Used in Composite Geomembrane Vertical Cutoff Walls and Infrastructures Exposed to Contaminated Groundwater
by Min Wang, Xianlei Fu, Zheyuan Jiang, Chi Che, Ningjun Jiang and Yanjun Du
Buildings 2022, 12(12), 2207; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12122207 - 13 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1322
Abstract
The swelling capacity of novel hydrophilic gaskets used in geomembrane cutoff walls and infrastructures is critical for decreasing the flow rates of contaminated groundwater. This study investigated the swelling behavior, relaxation characteristics, flow rates, and micro-morphology of a hydrophilic gasket with different testing [...] Read more.
The swelling capacity of novel hydrophilic gaskets used in geomembrane cutoff walls and infrastructures is critical for decreasing the flow rates of contaminated groundwater. This study investigated the swelling behavior, relaxation characteristics, flow rates, and micro-morphology of a hydrophilic gasket with different testing liquids. The radial swelling tests were performed using a device modified from single-lever consolidation instrument. A flow rates model apparatus was manufactured and employed to measure the flow rates of the poor-sealing hydrophilic gasket. According to the test results, the swelling ratio of the hydrophilic gaskets soaked in the DIW were the highest, followed by the NaCl solution, the MSW landfill leachate, and the CaCl2 solution. Relaxation phenomena appeared in all the specimens regardless of the testing liquids. The flow rates of the specimens penetrated with DIW, NaCl, and CaCl2 decreased to a stable state, and then increased extremely slowly to stable values. Moreover, self-healing of the hydrophilic gasket was observed. The micro-morphology indicated that sodium polyacrylate (PAAS) with insufficient expansion could separate from the matrix under high multivalent ionic strength or loading pressure conditions. Therefore, it is critical to develop the modified hydrophilic gasket with resistance to contaminated groundwater for a better barrier performance for use in contaminated sites and infrastructures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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13 pages, 1902 KiB  
Article
The Face Stability Analysis of Shield Tunnels Subjected to Seepage Based on the Variational Principle
by Zhihui Zhou, Tonghua Ling, Fu Huang and Min Zhang
Sustainability 2022, 14(24), 16538; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142416538 - 09 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 790
Abstract
The stability of tunnel face remains a great challenge for tunnel engineers, especially when excavation is in a complex stratum under the water table. This paper aims to investigate the stability of soil in the front of a shield tunnel face induced by [...] Read more.
The stability of tunnel face remains a great challenge for tunnel engineers, especially when excavation is in a complex stratum under the water table. This paper aims to investigate the stability of soil in the front of a shield tunnel face induced by the presence of insufficient cabin pressure under the water table, on the basis of a variational principle and an upper bound theorem. The analytical expression of the rupture surface for the tunnel face is obtained, and the shapes of the rupture surface are plotted. Comparisons are made to check the present approach against the solution provided by numerical simulation techniques in order to show that the proposed method is valid. The parameter analysis indicates that the groundwater seepage has a significant effect on the range of the rupture surface for the shield tunnel face. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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18 pages, 2502 KiB  
Article
Grid-Connected Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System for Covered Linkways
by Wendy Yiwen Kuang, Chethana Illankoon and Sadith Chinthaka Vithanage
Buildings 2022, 12(12), 2131; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12122131 - 05 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2169
Abstract
Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is a current trend worldwide, offering many environmental benefits. With the flagship SolarNova Programme in Singapore, solar PV has gained its momentum. However, it remains important to explore new avenues to introduce solar PV in the urban settings. The [...] Read more.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is a current trend worldwide, offering many environmental benefits. With the flagship SolarNova Programme in Singapore, solar PV has gained its momentum. However, it remains important to explore new avenues to introduce solar PV in the urban settings. The housing development board (HDB) green towns promote sustainable living. Therefore, introducing solar PV is essential. This research study aims to propose and conduct an economic evaluation on solar PV for the HDB’s covered linkways. HDB covered linkways connect buildings within the green towns. Hence, installing solar PV systems in covered linkways facilitates to self-produce required energy and export extra electricity to the grid. This research study used PVWatts calculator to calculate the power generation. A thin film solar PV is used for the study with fixed array type and azimuth is 180°. Four solar PV systems, namely (1) 4 kW, (2) 5 kW, (3)10 kW, and (4) 20 kW, were evaluated in this research study. The initial cost ranges from S$7000 to S$38,000 for the four types. For 4 kW and 5 kW systems, the payback period is 6.22 years. The highest payback period is for a 20-kW system, which is 7.4 years. The 10-kW system generates a significant portion of the electricity requirements, and the payback period is 6.04 years. This research contributes to the solar PV domain by proposing a novel grid-connected solar PV system for covered linkways while identifying the most cost-effective solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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22 pages, 4553 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Urban Form and Compactness: A Case Study of Multan, Pakistan
by Muhammad Nadeem, Nayab Khaliq, Naseem Akhtar, Muhammad Ahmad Al-Rashid, Muhammad Asim, Merve Kayaci Codur, Enea Mustafaraj, Muhammed Yasin Codur and Farrukh Baig
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 16066; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142316066 - 01 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2910
Abstract
Sustainable development has become an immense challenge, one further complicated by rapid population growth in developing countries. Therefore, analyzing the existing compactness of urban areas is essential for guiding future urban development. Most of the previous research on urban compactness has been conducted [...] Read more.
Sustainable development has become an immense challenge, one further complicated by rapid population growth in developing countries. Therefore, analyzing the existing compactness of urban areas is essential for guiding future urban development. Most of the previous research on urban compactness has been conducted in developed countries, whereas limited research has been conducted on urban compactness in developing countries. This study fills this research gap and contributes to the current body of knowledge by offering empirical evidence of compactness measurement based on the existing urban form using Multan city as its context. Multan is a metropolitan city in the growing phase, so measuring its compactness for the promotion of sustainable development is crucial. For this research study, various indicators are adopted from the literature, such as land cover changes, density, land use, road network, congestion index, walkability index, and shape performance index, in order to evaluate compactness. The above-mentioned indicators were analyzed using ArcMap and ERDAS IMAGINE software. This study concludes that Multan city presently lies between compactness and dispersion. To achieve full compactness, highly dense vertical development with a better public transport network should be encouraged. In addition, the prevailing building regulations should be revised to increase the floor area ratio, and incentives should be devised for developers to promote vertical infill development. Moreover, there is an emerging need to formulate and implement compact city policies. By retaining the compact character of Multan city, sustainable development will be promoted. Ultimately, this research study would be a valuable resource for urban planners, decision-makers, and relevant authorities in proposing future compactness policies for sustainable development. This research can be applied to other cities with similar demographic characteristics, population, area, geographical conditions, and structure to that of Multan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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24 pages, 4012 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Compact City Model Implementation as a Sustainable Urban Development Tool to Control Urban Sprawl in the City of Jeddah
by Hassan Shawly
Sustainability 2022, 14(20), 13218; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142013218 - 14 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3391
Abstract
Urban sprawl is one of the most challenging urban phenomena. Many urban planners believe that it is difficult to achieve sustainable development without managing undesired urban growth. Since the 1960s, a wide range of urban planning policies have been introduced to manage urban [...] Read more.
Urban sprawl is one of the most challenging urban phenomena. Many urban planners believe that it is difficult to achieve sustainable development without managing undesired urban growth. Since the 1960s, a wide range of urban planning policies have been introduced to manage urban sprawl. The concepts of New Urbanism, smart growth, and compact city started to be discussed and implemented in developed countries. Jeddah, as the second largest city in Saudi Arabia, is no exception. The planning authority has attempted to apply a compact city model to control urban sprawl. This study aims to evaluate the implementation of the compact city model in Jeddah by comparing the outcomes to what was expected. It presents the historical urban growth pattern and discusses in detail the effect of the policy implementation on both district and city growth level. The main study findings are as follows: (i) While the compact city model depends on encouraging people to live in high-density districts and mixed-use development to reduce commuting time and increase the efficiency of public transport, Jeddah failed to provide an efficient public transportation system to encourage investments in mixed-use real-estate projects. (ii) A higher population density was achieved (from 44 to 155 person per hectare), but it came with many other infrastructure, social, and economic issues. (iii) The implementation failed to control the sprawl as was anticipated. The city grew within the study area by about 20% and the price per square m was increased by 300%. Thus, the main finding of the study shows that to achieve noticeable sustainable urban development—in the case of Jeddah—the planning authority should aim for more regulation of flat urban development and promote a more realistic and sustainable intensification policy. A well-designed approach to guide future development and provide functional open spaces to enhance the sense of community, reducing automobile dependency and respecting all other local social, economic, and environmental aspects, could be more effective in reducing and controlling the rate of urban sprawl. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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25 pages, 401 KiB  
Review
Intended and Unintended Consequences of Two Paradigms of Urban Planning, and Their Social Justice and Human Health Impacts, in Portland, Oregon
by Steven A. Kolmes
Environments 2022, 9(10), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments9100130 - 12 Oct 2022
Viewed by 4476
Abstract
This article describes two contesting paradigms of urban planning employed successively in Portland, Oregon; (1) urban planning typical of the US in the first half of the 20th Century that was focused on traffic and infrastructure, and (2) progressive urban planning focused on [...] Read more.
This article describes two contesting paradigms of urban planning employed successively in Portland, Oregon; (1) urban planning typical of the US in the first half of the 20th Century that was focused on traffic and infrastructure, and (2) progressive urban planning focused on neighborhood livability and connections. It gives a history of their implementation in Portland, focusing on issues of racial and socioeconomic justice in the Albina neighborhood. Recent knowledge about air pollution’s impacts on human health, and infant and childhood development, are integrated into the discussion of urban planning. It describes racially and socioeconomically disproportionate access to urban green spaces, with the corresponding health implications. It also describes attempts to mitigate such health implications, sometimes resulting in “green gentrification” and displacement. The article asks if the results of the two paradigms of urban planning were objectively different from one another in terms of impacts on minority and disadvantaged communities. Future urban planning, and the need for human health concerns becoming central, are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
23 pages, 2695 KiB  
Review
Critical Review of Trends in Modular Integrated Construction Research with a Focus on Sustainability
by Truong Dang Hoang Nhat Nguyen, Hyosoo Moon and Yonghan Ahn
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12282; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912282 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3565
Abstract
Modular integrated construction (MiC) is an innovative technology that minimizes the adverse impacts of construction not only in terms of material resources, energy consumption and environmental issues but also by reducing construction times and costs. The widespread adoption of these practices could therefore [...] Read more.
Modular integrated construction (MiC) is an innovative technology that minimizes the adverse impacts of construction not only in terms of material resources, energy consumption and environmental issues but also by reducing construction times and costs. The widespread adoption of these practices could therefore contribute to the construction industry’s sustainable development. Despite the increasing public attention of MiC with a number of published works in various aspects, there is still a lack of systematic assessment of its sustainability performance. We therefore reviewed the published literature addressing the sustainability of MiC over the last two decades using a desktop research method integrating a bibliometric search with quantitative and qualitative analyses. Our objective was to investigate, evaluate, and summarize the ongoing research trends for sustainability-related studies in MiC published in leading construction journals to identify promising potential directions for future research. This research is intended to serve as a useful resource for practitioners and researchers seeking to better understand the significance of this outstanding technology as we strive to develop a more sustainable construction environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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17 pages, 829 KiB  
Article
Prioritizing Green Building Attributes on Conventional Office Building Rental Depreciation Using Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)
by Wan Norhishamuddin Wan Rodi, Adi Irfan Che-Ani, Norsafiah Norazman, Syahrul Nizam Kamaruzzaman and Afaq Hyder Chohan
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1169; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081169 - 05 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1942
Abstract
This paper explores the green building attributes that significantly influenced rental depreciation for conventional buildings from expert perspectives using Malaysia as a case study. The objectives of this study include: (1) identifying the green building attributes for rental depreciation and (2) prioritizing the [...] Read more.
This paper explores the green building attributes that significantly influenced rental depreciation for conventional buildings from expert perspectives using Malaysia as a case study. The objectives of this study include: (1) identifying the green building attributes for rental depreciation and (2) prioritizing the green attributes via the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) technique. To achieve these objectives, firstly the study identified the green building attributes from the literature and from green building guidelines. The attributes were then validated by expert valuers via a semi-structured interview. Secondly, the attributes were utilized to develop the AHP-designed questionnaire and used to gather feedback from real estate experts. Ten (10) responses were analyzed using the descriptive and AHP techniques. This study has identified the rank of prioritized green building attributes, where the findings suggest the central role of indoor environment quality (EQ), where it ranked the highest in contributing to conventional purpose-built office (PBO) rental depreciation, followed by energy efficiency (EE), green site planning and management (SM), materials and resources (MR), innovation (IN), and water efficiency (WE). The findings allow researchers and practitioners to create strategies for reducing the impact of conventional building rental depreciation and obsolescence due to green building attributes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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15 pages, 4310 KiB  
Article
Urban Heat Island Mitigation through Planned Simulation
by Paul Eduardo Vásquez-Álvarez, Carlos Flores-Vázquez, Juan-Carlos Cobos-Torres and Sandra Lucía Cobos-Mora
Sustainability 2022, 14(14), 8612; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14148612 - 14 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2100
Abstract
The urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon is caused by the anthropic alteration of the natural environment by urban expansion, its impermeable surfaces, and anthropic activities. In addition, urban morphology can also contribute to the increase in temperature in cities. The UHI effect can [...] Read more.
The urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon is caused by the anthropic alteration of the natural environment by urban expansion, its impermeable surfaces, and anthropic activities. In addition, urban morphology can also contribute to the increase in temperature in cities. The UHI effect can be described as an urban climate that is generally characterized by higher temperatures in densely built-up areas compared to surrounding areas. This effect impacts the environmental stress of the city and directly affects the health and quality of life of its inhabitants. Therefore, it is necessary to allocate resources to understand the UHI mechanism in cities in order to propose appropriate mitigation measures that will reduce energy consumption and improve living conditions. In this context, this research was aimed at analyzing the behavior of urban heat islands by replacing asphalt with cool paving materials (concrete) in roadways. Through computer simulations, using the ENVI-met software, the thermal variations of urban heat islands were examined. The city of Cuenca (Ecuador) was selected as the study area. The day of the analysis was 22 January 2020, which was recorded as the warmest day of the year, registering an average temperature of 16 °C. The findings of this research evidenced that, by replacing asphalt pavements with concrete pavements in the analyzed zones, land surface temperature (LST) could be reduced by 8 °C and the global LST of the studied areas could be reduced by approximately 3 °C. Consequently, the mean air temperature of the study areas reflected a decrease of up to 0.83 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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27 pages, 6859 KiB  
Review
A Study on Transformation of Housing Typology and Its Environmental and Social Effects on the Living Conditions of Residents in Planned Residential Neighborhoods of Kabul City
by Mohammad Ramin Amiryar and Junichiro Asano
Urban Sci. 2022, 6(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci6030045 - 05 Jul 2022
Viewed by 6034
Abstract
This study examines the transformation in housing typology from low-rise to apartment buildings in the formal neighborhood of Kabul city. These formal neighborhoods were developed according to plans from 1978. The majority of these neighborhoods were designed with detached houses that had courtyards. [...] Read more.
This study examines the transformation in housing typology from low-rise to apartment buildings in the formal neighborhood of Kabul city. These formal neighborhoods were developed according to plans from 1978. The majority of these neighborhoods were designed with detached houses that had courtyards. Literature reviews, field visits, opinions of residents, and a planning organization provided data for this study. In this study, the transformation of housing in planned neighborhoods is analyzed in relation to their social and environmental impacts. Researchers determined how varying housing typologies affected residents’ health and quality of life in these planned neighborhoods. Initially, we assessed the physical characteristics of the study area and evaluated how much transformation volume is present in the study area. Second, we examined residents’ views of residential development and its impacts, as well as their daily lives. In order to identify the relationship between these two aspects, the study examined the characteristics of the area (variables) from the perspectives of privacy, natural light, shading, sound pollution, air pollution, and energy use. We used several criteria to evaluate the accuracy of the physical characteristics and the respondents’ opinions. Lastly, we provided some recommendations and solutions to improve the current situation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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31 pages, 11819 KiB  
Article
Methodology to Determine Energy Efficiency Strategies in Buildings Sited in Tropical Climatic Zones; Case Study, Buildings of the Tertiary Sector in the Dominican Republic
by Joan Manuel Felix Benitez, Luis Alfonso del Portillo-Valdés, Rene Pérez and David Sosa
Energies 2022, 15(13), 4715; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15134715 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1651
Abstract
The application of energy-efficiency strategies in buildings is a hot topic around the world; in some countries, there are regulations with more or less degree of compliance, but in most countries located in the tropical zone, there are no regulations, and it is [...] Read more.
The application of energy-efficiency strategies in buildings is a hot topic around the world; in some countries, there are regulations with more or less degree of compliance, but in most countries located in the tropical zone, there are no regulations, and it is not easy to transfer regulations of countries outside of tropical zone. For countries located in tropical zones, the implementation of strategies to reduce the heat flow from outside to inside buildings is a key point. As a case study, the Dominican Republic (DR) was chosen, and during 2020, an analysis focusing on buildings of the tertiary level was carried out with the goal of using scientific methodology focused on tropical climates that allows for a significant reduction in energy consumption by implementing Energy Efficiency Strategies (EESs) that are available, with minimal intrusion into the building and low cost. The study includes, as parts of the proposed methodology, the characterization of building parks, including the climatic zonification of the country, an in-depth study of the building typologies in DR, and a massive survey around the country about the technical characteristics of air conditioning units and their usage; the election and characterization of buildings, including simulation and validation throughout the monitoring of eight different buildings; ananalysis of the measures of energy efficiency and implementation in the models, including the election of a demonstrative building, the election of the most convenient EESs, modeling of EESs, implementing EESs in the building, monitoring, and validation; and ananalysis of the impact of the measures at the region or country level, throughout which important conclusions can be obtained in order to reduce energy consumption in the country. The results show that this methodology is a valid tool for countries situated in tropical areas in order to reduce the energy consumption associated with air conditioning units with low cost, availability, and no intrusive EESs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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19 pages, 7690 KiB  
Article
Indoor Thermal Comfort and Adaptive Thermal Behaviors of Students in Primary Schools Located in the Humid Subtropical Climate of India
by Betty Lala, Solli Murtyas and Aya Hagishima
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7072; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127072 - 09 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2048
Abstract
This study investigated children’s perceptions and adaptive behaviors related to indoor thermal conditions of classrooms in primary schools with no air-conditioning systems during both summer and winter in Dehradun City, Uttarakhand, India. Responses were collected from 5297 school children aged 6–13 years. During [...] Read more.
This study investigated children’s perceptions and adaptive behaviors related to indoor thermal conditions of classrooms in primary schools with no air-conditioning systems during both summer and winter in Dehradun City, Uttarakhand, India. Responses were collected from 5297 school children aged 6–13 years. During the measurement periods, 100% and 94% of the samples were obtained under conditions outside an 80% thermally acceptable comfort range in winter and summer, respectively. The analysis using receiver operating characteristics suggested that the students had the least sensitivity to the temperature variation for all scales of the thermal sensation vote (TSV). Approximately 95.1% of students were “very satisfied”, “satisfied”, or “slightly satisfied” with the thermal conditions under the condition of “extreme caution” or “danger” of heat risk. In contrast, adaptive thermal behaviors, such as adjusting clothing insulation ensembles, opening or closing classroom windows and doors, and utilizing ceiling fans, were found to be the most affordable options for optimizing indoor thermal comfort. Children’s reports of thermal sensations and thermal satisfaction did not correspond to the actual physical environment. This draws attention to the adequacy of applying widely used methods of TSV-based identification of the thermal comfort range in classrooms for children, especially in hot environments. The findings of this study are expected to serve as an evidence-based reference for local governments and authorities to take appropriate measures to mitigate heat risks for schoolchildren in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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20 pages, 7965 KiB  
Article
Current Situation and Sustainable Renewal Strategies of Public Space in Chinese Old Communities
by Bowen Zhang, Weimin Guo, Zhaolian Xing and Ren Zhou
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6723; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116723 - 31 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2923
Abstract
Old community renovation is now gradually receiving attention in China's urban construction development, and how to make its public space sustainable has become a research topic. This paper conducts a study of the current situation of public space in old communities from the [...] Read more.
Old community renovation is now gradually receiving attention in China's urban construction development, and how to make its public space sustainable has become a research topic. This paper conducts a study of the current situation of public space in old communities from the surface to the deep through field research methods. This paper has summarized four spatial characteristics of public space in old communities, including the increase of boundary space; spatial function is polarized between context-specific user groups and complex but sustainable symbiotic systems. Based on these findings, this paper proposes three sustainable renovation considerations and strategies, which include respecting the rationales of the original space, stimulating the cooperation of stakeholders, and recreating the daily life of residents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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17 pages, 1666 KiB  
Review
Using Plastic Sand as a Construction Material toward a Circular Economy: A Review
by Mazen A. Al-Sinan and Abdulaziz A. Bubshait
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6446; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116446 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 10900
Abstract
Recently, research on innovative approaches to and practices for plastic waste management in a circular economy has gained momentum. Plastic waste pollution poses a serious environmental concern. At the same time, the cement industry is among the biggest sources of CO2 emissions, [...] Read more.
Recently, research on innovative approaches to and practices for plastic waste management in a circular economy has gained momentum. Plastic waste pollution poses a serious environmental concern. At the same time, the cement industry is among the biggest sources of CO2 emissions, which poses another environmental challenge. This makes plastic sand bricks an attractive alternative to concrete blocks and bricks. This paper looks at the recent studies regarding the development of plastic sand bricks and the different percentages of plastic and sand used in the bricks. The literature review reveals that there is a lack of studies that evaluate plastic sand construction materials from an economic perspective. Such studies are essential if the industry is to invest in and adopt this alternative construction material. Plastic sand bricks could be a workable solution for combating issues related to solid waste. The compressive strength decreased with increasing ratios of plastic to sand. Plastic sand bricks weighed less than the conventional bricks. Issues requiring further investigation include: dealing with varying proportions and types of plastic, the lack of understanding of the long-term performance of plastic sand bricks, the flammability and fire resistance of plastic sand bricks, and the absence of appropriate standards and regulations for recycling plastic into plastic sand bricks. This paper allows us to look ahead in terms of some specific technical needs, the translation of the emerging technology into practice, and new ideas to decrease plastic pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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23 pages, 2773 KiB  
Review
The Private Sector Role as a Key Supporting Stakeholder towards Circular Economy in the Built Environment: A Scientometric and Content Analysis
by Oluwatobi Mary Owojori and Chioma Okoro
Buildings 2022, 12(5), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12050695 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4044
Abstract
The United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda, borne from the most inclusive policy dialogue ever, emphasized partnerships built upon collaboration to achieve sustainable goals, as documented in SDG17. However, the building and construction sector has been experiencing sustainability issues, leading to several traditional government-led [...] Read more.
The United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda, borne from the most inclusive policy dialogue ever, emphasized partnerships built upon collaboration to achieve sustainable goals, as documented in SDG17. However, the building and construction sector has been experiencing sustainability issues, leading to several traditional government-led initiatives in the built environment. The private sector is critical to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda by interacting with societies, governments, and other actors for a circular built environment. The circular economy (CE) is a paradigm that is becoming increasingly popular to drive the movement to sustainability, requiring the partnership of the private sector to be implemented successfully. However, the application of CE initiatives in the private sector engagement has received less attention. Recognizing the interaction of multiple parties’ influence on the uptake of a CE, this study thus seeks to examine the participation of the private sector in the CE in the built environment using a mixed review approach (scientometric and content analysis). The findings reveal that the private sector faces barriers in terms of financial and economic, institutional and technological, and political and regulatory factors. This research also identified areas for greater private sector involvement in CE initiatives in the built environment, such as resource reduction, sharing, and the adaptive reuse of existing buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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22 pages, 6654 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Overheating Risk for Typical Dwellings and Passivhaus in the UK
by Jihoon Jang, Sukumar Natarajan, Joosang Lee and Seung-Bok Leigh
Energies 2022, 15(10), 3829; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15103829 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2121
Abstract
There is growing concern that airtight and well-insulated buildings designed to limit heat loss in temperate and cold climates could unintentionally elevate the risk of overheating in summers. Existing literature primarily uses dynamic simulation to investigate this problem due to the difficulty of [...] Read more.
There is growing concern that airtight and well-insulated buildings designed to limit heat loss in temperate and cold climates could unintentionally elevate the risk of overheating in summers. Existing literature primarily uses dynamic simulation to investigate this problem due to the difficulty of obtaining large-scale in-performance data. To address this gap, we undertake a meta-analysis of large-scale indoor air temperature data for 195 UK dwellings, as a study of performance in a temperate climate. Of these, 113 are baseline (i.e., typical existing dwellings) and the rest designed to the high-performance Passivhaus standard. Using both Passivhaus and the well-known CIBSE TM59 overheating standards, this study found that there were few overheated cases for any building type. However, the average summer nighttime temperature of Passivhaus bedrooms was 1.6 °C higher than baseline, with 20 out of 31 measured bedrooms exceeding the overheating criterion, and the average overheating hours constituting approximately 19% of the total summertime observation period. These findings suggest that bedrooms in highly insulated dwellings may pose an overheating risk although whole-dwelling overheating risk is low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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13 pages, 280 KiB  
Article
What Matters Most for Neighborhood Greenspace Usability and Satisfaction in Riyadh: Size or Distance to Home?
by Tahar Ledraa and Abdulaziz Aldegheishem
Sustainability 2022, 14(10), 6216; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14106216 - 20 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1903
Abstract
Much research work has been carried out on larger urban parks. Smaller neighborhood greenspaces have not received as much academic attention, particularly in sprawling large cities of the developing world. This paper examines the frequency of use and user satisfaction with smaller urban [...] Read more.
Much research work has been carried out on larger urban parks. Smaller neighborhood greenspaces have not received as much academic attention, particularly in sprawling large cities of the developing world. This paper examines the frequency of use and user satisfaction with smaller urban greenspaces within the residential neighborhoods of Riyadh metropolitan city, Saudi Arabia. To measure use frequency and satisfaction level differentials among neighborhood residents, gap analysis using paired samples t-test was performed to assess the differences between mean score ratings of expected (pre-use) and experienced (post-use) feelings of user satisfaction with local greenspace features. A five-point Likert scale questionnaire was used to measure user satisfaction. Pearson r correlation coefficient, chi-square test and F-test were also used to examine the relationships between dependent (usability and satisfaction) and independent variables. The findings show that smaller size, close-to-home neighborhood greenspaces in Riyadh fell short of drawing many users or meeting user expectations. Larger local greenspaces however, managed to attract much more users even from relatively far-away neighborhoods. Size rather than closeness to home is a much stronger determinant affecting use frequency and user satisfaction with local neighborhood green spaces. It is therefore recommended to amend the city’s planning codes and regulations that require the provision of local greens based on service or catchment areas of 500–800 m. They should insist instead on the need for a minimum area requirement of such facilities if their usability and user satisfaction are to be enhanced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
22 pages, 2151 KiB  
Article
Integrated Recreation Cities and Sustainable Development in Saudi Arabia: Contributions, Constraints, and Policies
by Tufail Alyousef, Faez Alshihri, Mahmoud Abdellatif, Tareq Alrawaf and Reham Abdellatif
Sustainability 2022, 14(10), 6182; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14106182 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2493
Abstract
Despite the importance of integrated recreation cities (IRC) to the wellbeing of individuals, families, and society, there is only one IRC which is under development in Saudi Arabia (KSA). This research aims to study the potential contributions of IRCs to sustainable development in [...] Read more.
Despite the importance of integrated recreation cities (IRC) to the wellbeing of individuals, families, and society, there is only one IRC which is under development in Saudi Arabia (KSA). This research aims to study the potential contributions of IRCs to sustainable development in KSA, the constraints facing them, and effectuation policies to support their applications. To achieve this goal, the research used a documentary inductive approach, which includes a review of related literature and an applied approach that includes field surveys of a random sample of 160 experts and officials. In addition to articulating the most significant contributions of IRCs and the most important constraints facing them, the research was able to provide a number of policies and measures useful in guiding the development of new IRCs in KSA and Dammam Metropolitan Area (DMA) in support of sustainable development. The contributions of this research are aligned with that put forward by the 2030 Vision of KSA, which considers the promotion of “recreational development” a necessary step to achieve environmental, economic, and social sustainability for the Saudi society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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21 pages, 4121 KiB  
Article
Recycling Potential Comparison of Mass Timber Constructions and Concrete Buildings: A Case Study in China
by Qiming Sun, Qiong Huang, Zhuocheng Duan and Anxiao Zhang
Sustainability 2022, 14(10), 6174; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14106174 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3566
Abstract
The recycling potential (RP) indicates the ability of building materials to form a closed-loop material flow, that is, the material efficiency during its whole life cycle. Mass timber constructions and concrete buildings vary widely in RP, but the differences are difficult to calculate. [...] Read more.
The recycling potential (RP) indicates the ability of building materials to form a closed-loop material flow, that is, the material efficiency during its whole life cycle. Mass timber constructions and concrete buildings vary widely in RP, but the differences are difficult to calculate. This paper proposed a level-based scheme to compare the RP of mass timber and concrete buildings, and a BIM-Eco2soft-MS Excel workflow coupling Material Cycle Database and digital design tools were established to obtain information on building materials, resource consumption, and environmental impact for the RP calculation. Taking a residential building as an example, the difference in RP between mass timber and concrete at the material-level is firstly discussed. Then at the component-level, the RP of the wood structure component and concrete component is compared, and the optimization methods are proposed. Finally, the difference in RP between the mass timber building and reinforced concrete building at the building-level are illustrated. The results show that the RP of mass timber building is higher, and the disassembly ability is better. Within a 100-year service life, the RP of mass timber buildings is 73% and that of the reinforced concrete building is 34%. The total amount of material consumption and waste of the Variant CLT is 837,030 kg and 267,237 kg respectively, which is less than one-third of that of concrete buildings (3,458,488 kg; 958,145 kg). The Global Warming potential (GWP) of these two variants is −174.0 kgCO2/m2 and 221.0 kgCO2/m2 separately, indicating that the Variant CLT can realize negative carbon emissions and gain ecological benefits. A sensitivity analysis is conducted to explore the potential impacts of certain parameters on GWP and RP of buildings. The research can provide the reference for material selection, component design, and RP optimization of mass timber buildings. In addition, new ideas for assessing the potential of circularity as a design tool are proposed to support the transition towards a circular construction industry and to realize carbon neutrality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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12 pages, 3703 KiB  
Article
Design of Constructed Wetland Treatment Measures for Highway Runoff in a Water Source Protection Area
by Guoping Qian, Chang Wang, Xiangbing Gong, Hongyu Zhou and Jun Cai
Sustainability 2022, 14(10), 5951; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14105951 - 13 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1875
Abstract
Road runoff contains high levels of pollutants, such as heavy metals and hydrocarbons. If they are directly discharged into sensitive water bodies, they will cause irreversible pollution and damage to the water environment. Furthermore, the leakage of hazardous chemicals into sensitive waters will [...] Read more.
Road runoff contains high levels of pollutants, such as heavy metals and hydrocarbons. If they are directly discharged into sensitive water bodies, they will cause irreversible pollution and damage to the water environment. Furthermore, the leakage of hazardous chemicals into sensitive waters will lead to serious consequences, so determining how to deal with road surface runoff has become an urgent problem. This research adopts a scheme for collecting and processing road runoff in a water source protection area using artificial wetlands. After optimizing and improving the general vertical flow of the wetland structure, a composite wetland structure and a relatively novel tandem wetland structure are proposed. An indoor model is established for experiments on various main wetland structure schemes. The results show that the two newly proposed wetland structures improve the possibility of water level control in general vertical flow structures. At the same time, the movement distance of the water flow in the wetland structure is changed to improve the treatment effect of runoff. The removal effect of composite and tandem wetland structures for heavy metals, petroleum substances, and COD (chemical oxygen demand) is significantly better than that of general vertical flow structures. Among them, the composite structure is better than the tandem structure at removing heavy metals, petroleum substances, and COD. However, due to the water discharge method of the structures, the latter has a better effect than the former in the treatment of suspended substances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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19 pages, 352 KiB  
Article
Industrial Sectors’ Perceptions about the Benefits of Implementing ISO 14001 Standard: MANOVA and Discriminant Analysis Approach
by Saleh Alsulamy, Shaik Dawood, Mohamed Rafik and Mohamed Mansour
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 5025; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095025 - 22 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2147
Abstract
The most frequent drawback of ISO 14001 observed in existing studies relates to the cost of certification and implementation process. This drawback requires scaling the benefits of adopting the standard to assign organizations limited resources based on each benefit scale. This paper reports [...] Read more.
The most frequent drawback of ISO 14001 observed in existing studies relates to the cost of certification and implementation process. This drawback requires scaling the benefits of adopting the standard to assign organizations limited resources based on each benefit scale. This paper reports the first research results that scale the benefits of adopting the standard. A quantitative method was adopted, where data were collected using a questionnaire survey. A total of 120 respondents were recruited from organizations operating in six industrial sectors to take part in the study. MANOVA and discriminant analysis methodologies were used to analyze the 14 most cited benefits in the literature on adopting the standard. A novel feature of our approach is the comprehensive statistical analysis of the collected data, which yields robust results due to assumption satisfaction. The results demonstrated that the mean vector of the benefits was not equal per each sector. Environmental management and indicator dimensions can discriminate sectors more than the environmental awareness dimension. This study provides insights into the necessity of assessing the benefits of ISO 14001 adaptation that helps organizations allocate their limited resources optimally and support the listing of standard key performance indicators in ISO 14001. In addition, it calls for combining ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, and ISO 45001:2018 in one standard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
13 pages, 4191 KiB  
Article
Physiological Indices and Subjective Thermal Perception of Heat Stress-Exposed Workers in an Industrial Plant
by Xiaojing Meng, Shukai Xue, Kangle An and Yingxue Cao
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 5019; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095019 - 22 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1743
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the thermal responses of acclimated workers exposed to heat stress in a real work environment. The physiological indices and subjective thermal perception of the 14 acclimated workers were measured in an industrial plant. The effects of wet bulb [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the thermal responses of acclimated workers exposed to heat stress in a real work environment. The physiological indices and subjective thermal perception of the 14 acclimated workers were measured in an industrial plant. The effects of wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) on physiological indices and subjective thermal perception were studied. The differences in thermal responses between the acclimated workers and unacclimated college students exposed to heat stress were compared and analyzed. The relationship between the mean skin temperature and the thermal sensation was revealed. The results show that the mean skin temperature, oral temperature, and heart rate of the acclimated workers increase with WBGT, while the blood pressure decreases with WBGT. Compared with the unacclimated college students, the acclimated workers felt more comfortable and tolerant under the same heat stress. The thermal neutral mean skin temperature of the acclimated workers is 32.3 °C, which is approximately 1.0 °C lower than that of the unacclimated college students. The results of this study can help ensure the occupational safety and health of heat stress-exposed workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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22 pages, 5062 KiB  
Article
Artificial Neural Network Modeling for Predicting and Evaluating the Mean Radiant Temperature around Buildings on Hot Summer Days
by Yuquan Xie, Wen Hu, Xilin Zhou, Shuting Yan and Chuancheng Li
Buildings 2022, 12(5), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12050513 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1979
Abstract
In recent years, the phenomenon of urban warming has become increasingly serious, and with the number of urban residents increasing, the risk of heatstroke in extreme weather has become higher than ever. In order to mitigate urban warming and adapt to it, many [...] Read more.
In recent years, the phenomenon of urban warming has become increasingly serious, and with the number of urban residents increasing, the risk of heatstroke in extreme weather has become higher than ever. In order to mitigate urban warming and adapt to it, many researchers have been paying increasing attention to outdoor thermal comfort. The mean radiant temperature (MRT) is one of the most important variables affecting human thermal comfort in outdoor urban spaces. The purpose of this paper is to predict the distribution of MRT around buildings based on a commonly used multilayer neural network (MLNN) that is optimized by genetic algorithms (GA) and backpropagation (BP) algorithms. Weather data from 2014 to 2018 together with the related indexes of the grid were selected as the input parameters for neural network training, and the distribution of the MRT around buildings in 2019 was predicted. This study obtained very high prediction accuracy, which can be combined with sensitivity analysis methods to analyze the important input parameters affecting the MRT on hot summer days (the days with the highest air temperature over 30 °C). This has significant implications for the optimization strategies for future building and urban designers to improve the thermal conditions around buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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20 pages, 10017 KiB  
Article
Research on Airflow Optimization and Infection Risk Assessment of Medical Cabin of Negative-Pressure Ambulance
by Shuwen Zhou and Liwei Zhang
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 4900; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14094900 - 19 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1635
Abstract
Medical cabins within negative-pressure ambulances currently only use the front air supply, which causes poor emission of infectious disease droplets. For this problem, based on the classification and design methods of airflow organization, the side and top supply airflow organization model has been [...] Read more.
Medical cabins within negative-pressure ambulances currently only use the front air supply, which causes poor emission of infectious disease droplets. For this problem, based on the classification and design methods of airflow organization, the side and top supply airflow organization model has been designed to study the influence of these airflow organization models on the spread of droplet particles. The distribution of droplet particles within airflow organization models, under conditions in which the patient is coughing and sneezing, is analyzed. According to the comparison and analysis of this distribution, the state of droplet particles, the emission efficiency, and the security coefficient are studied. The response surface method is used to optimize the emission efficiency and security coefficient of the airflow organization. According to the characteristics of the medical cabin within negative-pressure ambulances, a dose-response model is used to evaluate the infection risk of medical personnel and then the infection probability is obtained. These research results can be used to improve the ability of negative-pressure ambulances to prevent cross-infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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26 pages, 3489 KiB  
Article
Domestic Energy Efficiency Scenarios for Northern Ireland
by Oluwatobiloba Stephanie Ogunrin, Inna Vorushylo, Oghenovo Okpako and Neil Hewitt
Energies 2022, 15(9), 2985; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15092985 - 19 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2076
Abstract
Building fabric retrofitting is an important first step in improving building energy efficiency. The United Kingdom’s (UK) housing stock is one of the most inefficient in Europe, and Northern Ireland has the second-highest level of fuel poverty in the UK. This Northern Irish [...] Read more.
Building fabric retrofitting is an important first step in improving building energy efficiency. The United Kingdom’s (UK) housing stock is one of the most inefficient in Europe, and Northern Ireland has the second-highest level of fuel poverty in the UK. This Northern Irish case study developed three fabric retrofit scenarios that estimate potential demand reductions, CO2 emissions removals and retrofit costs. The first scenario reduces domestic demand by 10% and removes 6% of domestic emissions. The second scenario is more ambitious than the first, and results in an 18% reduction in demand and 12% of emissions removed. The third scenario proposes fabric retrofitting to PassivHaus standard and results in a 42% reduction in demand and 27% of emissions removed. Furthermore, retrofit schemes can provide up to approximately 350,000 jobs annually between 2022 and 2050 for the Northern Irish population. This study demonstrates how fabric retrofit scenarios can be streamlined to the unique features of a housing stock. It shows that fabric retrofit research is important for the formulation of energy efficiency policy and emphasises that domestic sector retrofitting will yield socioeconomic and environmental benefits locally and internationally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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23 pages, 2859 KiB  
Article
Assessing Carbon Pools of Three Indigenous Agroforestry Systems in the Southeastern Rift-Valley Landscapes, Ethiopia
by Hafte Mebrahten Tesfay, Mesele Negash, Douglas L. Godbold and Herbert Hager
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4716; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084716 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1934
Abstract
The role of agroforestry (AF) systems in providing ecosystem services is very crucial. The greatest considerable increase in carbon (C) storage is often attained by moving from lower biomass land-use systems to tree-based systems such as AF. However, for estimation of C stocks [...] Read more.
The role of agroforestry (AF) systems in providing ecosystem services is very crucial. The greatest considerable increase in carbon (C) storage is often attained by moving from lower biomass land-use systems to tree-based systems such as AF. However, for estimation of C stocks in indigenous AF systems of southeastern Rift-Valley landscapes, Ethiopia, the data are scarce. This study was aimed to investigate the biomass, biomass carbon (BC), and soil organic carbon (SOC) stock of Enset-based, Enset-Coffee-based, and Coffee-Fruit-tree-Enset based AF systems. Comparison of SOC stock of AF systems against their adjacent monocrop farms was also investigated. Research questions were initiated to answer whether C stocks among the three AF systems vary because of different management systems and how biomass C stock is influenced by species abundance, diversity, and richness in the AF systems. The study was carried out at three selected sites in the Dilla Zuria district of Gedeo zone. Twenty farms (total of 60) representative of each AF system were arbitrarily selected and inventoried, and the biomass C stocks estimated. Ten adjacent monocrop farms which were related to each AF system were selected in a purposive manner for comparison of SOC stock. Inventory and soil sampling were employed in the 10 × 10 m farm plot. The mean AGB ranged from 81.1 to 255.9 t ha−1 and for BGB from 26.9 to 72.2 t ha−1. The highest C stock was found in Coffee–Fruittree–Enset based (233.3 ± 81.0 t ha−1), and the lowest was in Coffee–Enset based AF system (190.1 ± 29.8 t ha−1). The result showed that SOC stocks were not statistically significant between the three AF systems, although they showed a significant difference in their BC stock. The C stocks of the investigated AF systems are considerably higher than those reported for some tropical forests and AF systems. The SOC of AF systems is significantly higher than the ones for the adjacent monocrop farms. Therefore, it can be understood that the studied AF systems are storing significant amounts of C in their biomass as well as in soil. This considerable C storage by these systems might contribute to climate change mitigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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24 pages, 6768 KiB  
Article
Heritage-Led Urban Regeneration in the Context of WH Listing: Lessons and Opportunities for the Newly Inscribed City of As-Salt in Jordan
by Bayan F. El Faouri and Magda Sibley
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4557; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084557 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2396
Abstract
The nomination of a city on the UNESCO WHL is usually followed by urban regeneration with emphasis on tourism development and the OUV assigned to the city. In doing so, other heritage values are likely to be excluded, while new urban challenges are [...] Read more.
The nomination of a city on the UNESCO WHL is usually followed by urban regeneration with emphasis on tourism development and the OUV assigned to the city. In doing so, other heritage values are likely to be excluded, while new urban challenges are unintentionally triggered such as gentrification, touristification, social exclusion, amongst others. Following the recent inscription of As-Salt City in Jordan on the UNESCO WHL in July 2021, this paper traces the urban regeneration initiatives in the city from the first attempt of its nomination on the WHL in 2014 to its inscription in 2021. Based on a survey of the local community members’ perceptions and priorities, conducted in November 2020, the paper highlights the opportunities and the challenges that have resulted from the urban transformations triggered by the WHL nomination processes of As-Salt. In addition, key lessons are drawn from the urban regeneration trajectories of world heritage cities in the MENA region that have been on the WHL for a number of decades. These lessons combined with the result of As-Salt community survey are used to develop a list of prioritized short, medium, and long-term recommendations for the city of As-Salt to address how the urban regeneration practices that have already started can be nudged to change to more sustainable trajectories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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18 pages, 2072 KiB  
Article
Enabling Sustainable Lifestyles in New Urban Areas: Evaluation of an Eco-Development Case Study in the UK
by Luka Oreskovic and Rajat Gupta
Sustainability 2022, 14(7), 4143; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14074143 - 31 Mar 2022
Viewed by 2272
Abstract
This study evaluated the actual environmental behaviours in an eco-development case study in the UK, which was designed to enable more sustainable lifestyles. Data analysis was based on the resident responses to a development-wide questionnaire survey (n = 89), household interviews ( [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the actual environmental behaviours in an eco-development case study in the UK, which was designed to enable more sustainable lifestyles. Data analysis was based on the resident responses to a development-wide questionnaire survey (n = 89), household interviews (n = 12) and waste measurements. Reported energy- and water-saving behaviours were fairly common. The mean waste recycling rates (45% to 60%) were similar to local and national averages, and were below the target of 80%. The mean rates of purchasing organic food (37%), growing food (31%) and meat consumption (in 36% of all meals) indicated that the food behaviours were not more pro-environmental. Car-based modes of transportation were used for 71% of all the reported trips on average, which was higher than the national average, and the target of 55%. Despite these reported behaviours, most of the residents regarded their new lifestyles as more sustainable. This was related to the notion of energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies, rather than changes in behaviour. The findings of this study and similar studies indicated that enabling environmental behaviours in new developments is challenging. New policies need to be more holistic and support the delivery of not only well-performing buildings, but also developments that make sustainable urban living a reality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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23 pages, 16933 KiB  
Article
Development of a New Residential Energy Management Approach for Retrofit and Transition, Based on Hybrid Energy Sources
by Khadidja Rahmani, Atef Ahriz and Nahla Bouaziz
Sustainability 2022, 14(7), 4069; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14074069 - 29 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3526
Abstract
The building sector contributes to a significant part of growing global energy demand. Improving the energy efficiency of the existing building stock is a crucial strategy. Adopting the best energy retrofit strategy in a specific building is a hard task due to the [...] Read more.
The building sector contributes to a significant part of growing global energy demand. Improving the energy efficiency of the existing building stock is a crucial strategy. Adopting the best energy retrofit strategy in a specific building is a hard task due to the multitude of possible combinations of retrofit measures and the management of different renewable energy sources in the building. However, significant efforts must be made to combine envelope retrofit with renewable energy to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings and minimize the energy payback period and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It also helps to achieve a successful transition to zero fossil fuel energy for houses and an existing housing stock free of greenhouse gas emissions. This paper is based on a systematic approach, which was applied to an Algerian case study “high-rise building/housing units” that represented southern Mediterranean countries. The percentage of energy consumption was identified; moreover, the performance of on-site hybrid exploitation of renewable energy systems such as photovoltaic cells, thermodynamic panels and small wind turbines was proven. Several actors have collaborated and a range of software types have been used (3D modelling, meteorological regeneration data, energy simulation of buildings, estimation of renewable energy production and statistical analysis). As a result, the building case study has become more efficient than before, whereas the payback time was 10 years. The economic and environmental analysis highlighted that it is possible to save energy demand by up to 51–75% for heating and up to 5–32% for cooling; electricity and hot water consumption was covered at 98% and 80%, respectively, whereas associated gas emissions are reduced by up to 252 tons per building, a reduction of 91%. The model of the platform designed is multi-disciplinary, facilitating collaboration with the various stakeholders to identify directions for successful interventions in pre-established cities. It is a solid framework for future research aimed at standardizing the approach to energy retrofitting and transitioning in existing buildings and is suitable for all types of residential buildings of the southern Mediterranean region such as Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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17 pages, 1226 KiB  
Review
A Review of Energy-Efficient and Sustainable Construction Scheduling Supported with Optimization Tools
by Borna Dasović and Uroš Klanšek
Energies 2022, 15(7), 2330; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15072330 - 23 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2548
Abstract
This article reviews the accomplishments of studies in which optimization tools were used to develop energy-efficient and sustainable construction schedules. With the increase in global awareness of environmental issues, the construction industry has been forced to explore innovative techniques to make the building [...] Read more.
This article reviews the accomplishments of studies in which optimization tools were used to develop energy-efficient and sustainable construction schedules. With the increase in global awareness of environmental issues, the construction industry has been forced to explore innovative techniques to make the building process more energy-efficient and sustainable. Project managers can use optimization tools in their scheduling procedures to address these issues in the early stages of the project. Therefore, this paper examines different optimization-based construction scheduling methods and their impact on schedule energy efficiency and the three key sustainability goals: economic viability, social equity, and environmental protection. Such a review has not yet been conducted to the best of our knowledge. This research aims to fill the gap and contribute to understanding advanced optimization tools that can pave the way to energy-efficient and sustainable scheduling practices. After a brief introduction, the background of optimization-based construction scheduling techniques that aim to improve construction management and incorporate these aspects into the decision-making process is explained. Then, these approaches are addressed in detail. It is determined for each study whether it adopted energy efficiency goals and which sustainability dimensions it considered within the proposed optimization model. The results of this study indicate a wide heuristic algorithms application for complex scheduling problems. Meanwhile, mathematical programming is still quite unexplored, especially methods that utilize algebraic modeling languages. This study provides a foundation for further research by addressing the current reach in development and possible knowledge gaps that could be researched in future studies. The paper also discusses the advantages and limitations of different approaches and illustrates the potential for utilizing these methods. Supported by the main review findings, conclusions and recommendations for further research are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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23 pages, 2697 KiB  
Article
Study on Influencing Factors and Simulation of Watershed Ecological Compensation Based on Evolutionary Game
by Quanxi Wang, Ni Wang, Haodong Wang and Yuan Xiu
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3374; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063374 - 13 Mar 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2318
Abstract
In the practice of watershed ecological compensation, due to the inconsistency between the interests of economic development and the objectives of ecological protection, there are typical game characteristics among the relevant stakeholders. Taking the ecological compensation between Henan and Shaanxi in the Yellow [...] Read more.
In the practice of watershed ecological compensation, due to the inconsistency between the interests of economic development and the objectives of ecological protection, there are typical game characteristics among the relevant stakeholders. Taking the ecological compensation between Henan and Shaanxi in the Yellow River Basin as an example, this paper constructs an evolutionary game model, obtains the external conditions for various stakeholders to achieve stable cooperation from the perspective of the government, and demonstrates the necessity of combining vertical and horizontal ecological compensation. The sensitivity of each party’s decision making to key elements is analyzed through a simulation. The results show that: (1) the optimal strategy is mainly affected by the initial willingness of the upstream government and the central government; the strong regulatory power of the central government can eliminate the influence of the initial will; (2) development opportunity costs and vertical fiscal transfer payments have the most obvious influence on upstream government decision-making; (3) the effect on optimal decision state of downstream paying upstream ecological compensation is higher than that of upstream paying downstream ecological compensation; (4) the punishment of the central government should ensure the binding force on the lower governments, and the revenue and expenditure under its supervision strategy should ensure the effectiveness of the supervision public power. The above conclusions provide support for improving the ecological compensation mechanism of transboundary basins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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18 pages, 2535 KiB  
Review
Review of Adoption Status of Sustainable Energy Technologies in the US Residential Building Sector
by Emily K. Schwartz and Moncef Krarti
Energies 2022, 15(6), 2027; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15062027 - 10 Mar 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3568
Abstract
In this paper, a review of the adoption status of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies is presented, specific to US residential buildings. Various technologies are reviewed and categorized as either their relative “higher adoption” or “lower adoption” rates within the US housing [...] Read more.
In this paper, a review of the adoption status of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies is presented, specific to US residential buildings. Various technologies are reviewed and categorized as either their relative “higher adoption” or “lower adoption” rates within the US housing stock. More importantly, the review analysis investigates the main factors associated with their high or low adoption rates. Specifically, the paper provides a background of the historical progression of energy efficiency programs as well as sustainability certifications and standards for buildings. The review then analyzes specific building energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies applied to US residential buildings and their adoption rates. The review analysis indicates that building technologies are more frequently adopted for multiple reasons including requirements by codes and standards, incentives through green certifications, low implementation costs, and acceptance and popularity by the public. In contrast, technologies with low adoption rates have higher payback periods, are not required or highly incentivized through codes and certifications, have limited promotion about their benefits, or are not compatible with existing systems. By determining the reasons for the high and low adoption rates, mitigation options can be identified to increase the application of sustainable energy technologies in designing and retrofitting buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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15 pages, 5602 KiB  
Article
Thermal Performance and Optimizing of Composite Trombe Wall with Temperature-Controlled DC Fan in Winter
by Yuewei Zhu, Tao Zhang, Qingsong Ma and Hiroatsu Fukuda
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 3080; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14053080 - 07 Mar 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2276
Abstract
This paper discusses an improved approach to the Trombe wall: an insulated panel is installed on the inner side, and vents are installed at the top and bottom to connect the outer and inner air layer with the interior. Direct current (DC) fans [...] Read more.
This paper discusses an improved approach to the Trombe wall: an insulated panel is installed on the inner side, and vents are installed at the top and bottom to connect the outer and inner air layer with the interior. Direct current (DC) fans are installed in the upper vents for stable control of the air circulation. The study first analyzed the thermal performance of this composite Trombe wall, for which the heat load was 27.3% less compared to the classic Trombe wall and 32.1% less compared to the case without the Trombe wall. However, its efficiency for heating the room temperature was not high without heating. Then, we optimized the ventilation efficiency, the proportion of the Trombe wall in the room, and the type of glazing. The highest heat load savings could be achieved when the ventilation openings used high ventilation with temperature-controlled fans and the Trombe wall about 3% of the house floor area. With the use of Low-e double-glazing, we were able to save nearly 41.3% of the heat load than that with the regular single-glazing. For the composite Trombe wall, after taking into account the optimization factors, the room temperature was significantly higher, and could save nearly 52.3% of energy compared to the pre-optimization period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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22 pages, 4225 KiB  
Article
Urban Densification Effect on Micrometeorology in Santiago, Chile: A Comparative Study Based on Chaos Theory
by Patricio Pacheco, Eduardo Mera and Giovanni Salini
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 2845; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052845 - 01 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2343
Abstract
The concentration distribution of anthropocentric pollutants is favored by urban densification, affecting the micrometeorology in big cities. To examine this condition, chaos theory was applied to time series of measurements of urban meteorology and pollutants of six communes of the Metropolitan Region of [...] Read more.
The concentration distribution of anthropocentric pollutants is favored by urban densification, affecting the micrometeorology in big cities. To examine this condition, chaos theory was applied to time series of measurements of urban meteorology and pollutants of six communes of the Metropolitan Region of Santiago de Chile, in two periods: 2010–2013 and 2017–2020. Each commune contributes, per period, six different time series: three for the meteorological variables (temperature, relative humidity, and magnitude wind speed) and three for the atmospheric pollutant concentrations (PM10, PM2.5, and CO). This qualitative study corroborates that each of the time series is chaotic through the calculation of chaotic parameters: Lyapunov exponent, correlation dimension, Hurst coefficient, correlation entropy, Lempel–Ziv complexity and fractal dimension. The variation in the chaotic parameters between the two periods can be interpreted in relation to the roughness change due to urban densification. More specific parameters, constructed from the Kolmogorov entropies and the fractal dimensions of the time series, show modifications due to the increase in the built surface in the most current period. This variation also extends to micrometeorology, as is clear from the Lempel–Ziv complexity and the Hurst coefficient. The qualitative picture constructed using chaos theory reveals that human interaction with nature affects diversity and sustainability and generates irreversible processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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30 pages, 1332 KiB  
Review
Benchmarking Approaches for Assessing the Performance of Building Control Strategies: A Review
by Clara Ceccolini and Roozbeh Sangi
Energies 2022, 15(4), 1270; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15041270 - 09 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2277
Abstract
In the last few decades, researchers have shown that advanced building controllers can reduce energy consumption without negatively impacting occupants’ wellbeing and help to manage building systems, which are becoming increasingly complex. Nevertheless, the lack of benefit awareness and demonstration projects undermines stakeholders’ [...] Read more.
In the last few decades, researchers have shown that advanced building controllers can reduce energy consumption without negatively impacting occupants’ wellbeing and help to manage building systems, which are becoming increasingly complex. Nevertheless, the lack of benefit awareness and demonstration projects undermines stakeholders’ trust, justifying the reluctance to approve new controls in the industry. Therefore, it is necessary to support the development of controls through solid arguments testifying to the performance gain that can be achieved. However, the absence of standardized and systematic testing methods limits the generalization of results and the ability to make fair cross-study comparisons. This study presents an overview of the different benchmarking approaches used to assess control performance. Our goal is to highlight trends, limitations, and controversies through analytics to support the definition of best practices, which remains a widely discussed topic in this research area. We aim to focus on simulation-based benchmarking, which is regarded as a promising solution to overcome the time and cost requirements related to field or hardware-in-the-loop testing. We identify and investigate four key steps relating to virtual benchmarking: defining the key performance indicators, specifying the reference control, characterizing the test scenarios, and post-processing the results. This work confirmed the expected heterogeneity, underlined recurrent features with the help of analytics, and recognized limits and open challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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19 pages, 1875 KiB  
Article
Sustainability Assessment of a Low-Income Building: A BIM-LCSA-FAHP-Based Analysis
by Marcus V. A. P. M. Filho, Bruno B. F. da Costa, Mohammad Najjar, Karoline V. Figueiredo, Marcos Barreto de Mendonça and Assed N. Haddad
Buildings 2022, 12(2), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12020181 - 05 Feb 2022
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3349
Abstract
The construction industry is one of the most significant consumers of environmental resources worldwide. Faced with the need to produce new buildings, but without further burdening the environment, attempts to improve social, economic, and environmental indicators have turned attention to building construction in [...] Read more.
The construction industry is one of the most significant consumers of environmental resources worldwide. Faced with the need to produce new buildings, but without further burdening the environment, attempts to improve social, economic, and environmental indicators have turned attention to building construction in recent decades. The objective of this research is to develop a novel framework to assess the most sustainable choice of materials applied to the construction of low-income buildings, according to the three pillars of the Triple Bottom Line (TBL). A BIM-LCSA-FAHP-based model was proposed with the creation of nine different scenarios, where the materials of the structure (precast concrete, cast-in-place concrete, and structural masonry), painting (PVA water-based and acrylic), and roofing (ceramic and fiber cement tiles) varied. The proposed procedure consists of the elaboration of a 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) model, for which the parameters described above were evaluated according to the Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA)-TBL-based criteria, divided into ten sub-criteria, that includes: (1) environmental (acidification, eutrophication, global warming, ozone depletion, smog formation, primary energy, non-renewable energy, and mass total), (2) economic (construction cost) and (3) socio-political issues (community impact). Finally, the Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used as a multi-criteria decision-making technique that helps in aggregating and classifying the impacts of each scenario in a sustainability index (SI). Regarding the best option for low-income construction, the results indicated that precast concrete when combined with acrylic paint and fiber cement tiles (scenario 3) proved to be the most advantageous and achieved first place in the sustainability index (SI) developed in this work. This methodology is replicable for different construction typologies and several categories of materials, making it a robust decision-aiding tool for engineers, architects, and decision makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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18 pages, 1872 KiB  
Article
Impact of Land Use Diversity on Daytime Social Segregation Patterns in Santiago de Chile
by Luis Fuentes, Ricardo Truffello and Mónica Flores
Buildings 2022, 12(2), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12020149 - 31 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2927
Abstract
Latin American cities are known for their high levels of marginality, segregation and inequality. As such, these issues have been the subject of substantial discussions in academia, with the predominant approach being the study of residential segregation, or what we call “nighttime segregation”. [...] Read more.
Latin American cities are known for their high levels of marginality, segregation and inequality. As such, these issues have been the subject of substantial discussions in academia, with the predominant approach being the study of residential segregation, or what we call “nighttime segregation”. Another dimension of urban sociability, related to labor, is what we call “daytime segregation”, which has been far less studied. This article makes an original methodological contribution to the measurement of non-residential or daytime segregation based on data from mobility surveys. It seeks to explain this segregation measurement according to the diversity and distribution of land uses, as well as other characteristics of the built stock, such as land price and built-up density. We measured daytime social mix in urban spaces, and we show how it highly relates to land use diversity in a Latin American megacity, such as Santiago, Chile. We found that land use diversity plays a key role in enhancing the daytime social diversity of urban spaces, contributing to generate a more heterogeneous city and social gatherings during working days. This research is not only a contribution to the understanding of sociability patterns in cities but is also a contribution to public policy and the work of urban planners, as it informs the development of more diverse and integrated cities, which is a key tool for strengthening democracy, the exchange of ideas, the economy and social welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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29 pages, 5022 KiB  
Article
Adapting Grounded Theory to Investigate Sustainability Heritage in Informal Settlements: Case Studies from Islamabad, Pakistan
by Ramisa Shafqat, Dora Marinova and Shahed Khan
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1515; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031515 - 28 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3578
Abstract
The paper investigates the sustainability potential of the intangible cultural heritage preserved in informal settlements seen as an extension of rurality in urban settings. It delves into this underexplored dimension of sustainability in the context of the Global South by analysing two informal [...] Read more.
The paper investigates the sustainability potential of the intangible cultural heritage preserved in informal settlements seen as an extension of rurality in urban settings. It delves into this underexplored dimension of sustainability in the context of the Global South by analysing two informal settlements in Islamabad, Pakistan, namely, France Colony and Mehr Abadi. The grounded theory is adapted by using semistructured interviews during transect walks through the informal settlements followed by a thematic analysis conducted of the experiences, memories, values, religious beliefs, and norms of the dwellers in the two case studies. Four themes are deduced that identify sustainability heritage: (a) values and social practices; (b) communal networks and relationships; (c) built environment and ecology; and (d) remnants of rurality. The study contends that informal settlements are reservoirs of vernacular sustainability elements, and their cultural heritage should be supported instead of imposing planning policies influenced by the North. Culturally specific solutions acceptable to the informal communities are needed to improve the liveability within the city and inform the policy-making process. This requires finding a mechanism for preserving the indigenous regional culture in the informal settlements, their rich heritage, and sustainability-oriented knowledge and practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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19 pages, 14654 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Outdoor Temperatures on the Efficacy of Natural Ventilation and Smoke Exhaust Systems
by Arleta Bogusławska and Dorota Brzezińska
Energies 2022, 15(3), 933; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030933 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2122
Abstract
Natural smoke control systems in staircases are one of the available systems used for the protection of escape routes from smoke and are one of the most utilised for medium to high rise buildings. However, their effectiveness (as well as other ventilation systems) [...] Read more.
Natural smoke control systems in staircases are one of the available systems used for the protection of escape routes from smoke and are one of the most utilised for medium to high rise buildings. However, their effectiveness (as well as other ventilation systems) is strongly dependent on the weather conditions, especially the outdoor temperature. This paper describes the results of real-scale experiments of the airflow in a staircase’s natural smoke exhaust system. The experimental staircase was localised in a medium-high building, “LabFactor” at the Lodz University of Technology in Poland. The experiments were performed over a period of six months, from February to July 2019, and included measurements of external and internal air temperature as well as the airflow through the staircase. The results obtained enabled an evaluation of the effectiveness of the ventilation and natural smoke exhaust system in the staircase, in relation to external temperatures. It was found that natural smoke exhaust systems could operate below an acceptable level of effectiveness for nearly 25% of the year. The experimental results were confirmed with CFD simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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13 pages, 3757 KiB  
Article
A Robotic Arm Based Design Method for Modular Building in Cold Region
by Zexin Sun, Hongyuan Mei, Wente Pan, Zhengwei Zhang and Jie Shan
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1452; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031452 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2814
Abstract
The robotic arm has emerged as an essential tool for the rapid construction of high-quality buildings due to its ability to repeat instructions, achieve precise positioning and fine operations. The robotic arm can also effectively replace workers to complete building construction under low [...] Read more.
The robotic arm has emerged as an essential tool for the rapid construction of high-quality buildings due to its ability to repeat instructions, achieve precise positioning and fine operations. The robotic arm can also effectively replace workers to complete building construction under low temperature and short daylight conditions. Thus, it can be forward-looking to construct modular buildings in cold region, but how to realize the construction of modular buildings through human-machine coordination and remote operation is a significant issue. This article discusses the feasibility of robotic arm assembly design methods in the field of architecture by simulating the complete design and construction process of modular buildings. According to parameterized module design, a three-dimensional computer model is transformed into an electronic file that directs the action of the robotic arm to complete assembly via a custom processing program. This article details a theoretical and practical exploration of the construction of modular manipulators and has certain guiding significance for the intelligent design and construction of future buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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14 pages, 13515 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Housing Densification on Shading Potential of Open Spaces: A Case Study
by Omar S. Asfour
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1294; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031294 - 24 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2779
Abstract
This study discusses housing densification as a sustainable housing strategy. Furthermore, it investigates how housing densification can improve the shading performance of open spaces with respect to row-house typology. The analysis considers a real-time case study of linear courtyards enclosed by row houses. [...] Read more.
This study discusses housing densification as a sustainable housing strategy. Furthermore, it investigates how housing densification can improve the shading performance of open spaces with respect to row-house typology. The analysis considers a real-time case study of linear courtyards enclosed by row houses. Urban analysis was followed by a numerical shading analysis to examine the impact of housing attachment method (aligned or stepped) on courtyard shading potential. Row houses were found to be an acceptable housing densification solution in Saudi Arabia, with well-integrated open spaces. The stepped-attached housing pattern showed a higher potential for urban shading (by ~55% with an east–west orientation of row houses) than that of the aligned–attached pattern. In addition, the stepped-attached housing pattern improved the visual quality and created a serial visual effect. This study recommends the promotion of compact housing patterns in Saudi Arabia to reduce the rapidly increasing domestic electrical-energy demand and improve urban shading. Housing densification is considered as an effective passive design and planning strategy for this purpose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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24 pages, 9379 KiB  
Article
Performance Assessment of a nZEB Carbon Neutral Living/Office Space and Its Integration into a District Energy-Hub
by Pietro Florio, Xavier Tendon, Jérémy Fleury, Carlotta Costantini, Andreas Schueler and Jean-Louis Scartezzini
Energies 2022, 15(3), 793; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030793 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2005
Abstract
The integrated performance assessment of buildings can orient their design in the early stages. Despite the wide availability of physics simulation-based, data-driven, and hybrid techniques, it is often difficult to rely on a single, appropriate technique to obtain reliable results. A set of [...] Read more.
The integrated performance assessment of buildings can orient their design in the early stages. Despite the wide availability of physics simulation-based, data-driven, and hybrid techniques, it is often difficult to rely on a single, appropriate technique to obtain reliable results. A set of methods, each featuring advantages and limitations, help to refine the performance assessment in an iterative comparative process until a comprehensive picture of the building is achieved. The approach was implemented on a nearly zero-energy building, recently built-up as a combined living and office space (e.g., the SolAce unit) on the NEST infrastructure in Dübendorf (Switzerland). The proposed approach showed that the unit reaches high energy performance accordingly requiring optimal cooling management, involving the control of the opening of blinds and windows. A sound convergence between the computer simulations and data-driven analysis were observed, attesting to the overall energy consumption, of around 26 kWh/m2year, in continuous decrease, aiming at an annual energy-positive balance. The unit was ranked first according to the dynamic energy exchange scheme of the energy trading hub within the NEST facility, which features high-level building modules as a testbed of future building technologies. Embodied energy is estimated at 39 kWh/m2year, which is below the commended limits of Swiss eco-building standards. By considering the carbon sequestration of the wood products during their lifespan, the unit is very close to carbon neutrality with the CO2 emitted annually by the unit over its lifetime being compensated by those stored within wood products during the same period. Highlights: An innovative combined living/office space is connected to an ‘Energy-hub’. The unit includes novel bioclimatic developments of the building industry. Energy performance is assessed in the concept phase, construction, and operation. Used and compared simulation vs data monitoring for energy and comfort assessment. High energy performance and neutral CO2 emission; plus-energy exported to the hub. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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22 pages, 4911 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Wall Thickness Based on a Comprehensive Evaluation Index of Thermal Mass and Insulation
by Shenwei Yu, Shimeng Hao, Jun Mu and Dongwei Tian
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1143; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031143 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2375
Abstract
The thermal performance of buildings in the south of China focuses on thermal mass design, while in the north it favors thermal insulation design, which makes it impossible to achieve a balance between the thermal mass and insulation. Here, a comprehensive evaluation index [...] Read more.
The thermal performance of buildings in the south of China focuses on thermal mass design, while in the north it favors thermal insulation design, which makes it impossible to achieve a balance between the thermal mass and insulation. Here, a comprehensive evaluation index is developed to measure the thermal performance of a building’s external envelope, which aims to find out the optimal range of the wall thickness under the influence of the thermal mass and insulation, and to seek the correct balance between a building’s energy consumption and the thermal performance of walls. In this paper, four dimensions, namely the heat transfer coefficient, thermal inertia index, attenuation degree, and delay time, are discussed, and the weight coefficients of each subfactor are calculated and isotropically treated to create comprehensive evaluation indicators. Then the distribution laws of the composite index values of common building materials in different climatic zones are examined. The result shows that the correlation coefficient (R2) between M and building energy consumption is about 0.7736–0.8215, which is higher than 0.3494–0.384, the heat transfer coefficient, and is more accurate in predicting building energy demands. Furthermore, through the analysis of the thermal improvement rate and the building energy-saving rate, the suitable wall thickness of commonly used building materials in different climate zones is determined, and the application prospects of the research results are described. With the above research findings, the thickness ranges of walls can be determined at the initial period of building design by combining regional environmental factors and material characteristics to provide a reference for building energy-saving design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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33 pages, 8317 KiB  
Article
GIS-Based Decision Support System for Safe and Sustainable Building Construction Site in a Mountainous Region
by Javed Mallick, Abdulaziz Awad Ibnatiq, Nabil Ben Kahla, Saeed Alqadhi, Vijay P. Singh, Pham Viet Hoa, Hoang Thi Hang, Nguyen Van Hong and Hoang Anh Le
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020888 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3200
Abstract
The site selection process for a building entails evaluating a variety of factors with varying degrees of importance or percentage influence. In order to ensure that critical site selection factors are not overlooked, a methodology for calculating a building’s safe site selection must [...] Read more.
The site selection process for a building entails evaluating a variety of factors with varying degrees of importance or percentage influence. In order to ensure that critical site selection factors are not overlooked, a methodology for calculating a building’s safe site selection must be developed. The study identified three broad aspects widely considered in site selection, namely environmental, physical, and socioeconomic criteria. To assess the safest site selection of residential building construction for sustainable urban growth, we used GIS-based multi-criteria decision-making approach that combined Fuzzy-AHP and weighted linear combination (WLC) aggregation method used to calculate the SSPZ. The final safe site suitability map was generated by aggregating all aspects such as geophysical, socio-economic and Geo-environmental thematic layers and their associated Fuzzy-AHP weights using the weighted linear combination method. The sites potential index’s mean value of 0.513 with standard deviation of 0.340, minimum and maximum GeoPhySSSI are 0.0 and 0.91, respectively, SSS index is classified into zones by histogram profile using natural breaks (jenks)” Subsequently, safe sites identified and divided into six classes namely no construction, very low suitable site low suitable site, moderate suitable site, high suitable site, and very high suitable site.“ According to the statistical analysis, 3.64% and 32.12% of the total area were under very high and high SSSZ, while 26.40% and 6.22% accounted to the moderate and low suitable potential, respectively Our findings suggest that integrating the fuzzy collection with AHP is highly desirable in terms of alternative and decision-making effectiveness. The study reveals that the areas of high and moderate suitability are located near existing habitant area, major roads, and educational and health services; they are not located in restricted/protected areas or are vulnerable to natural hazards. The findings indicate that unsuitable and less-suitable land uses such as vegetation, protected areas, and agriculture lands cover nearly one-third area of Abha-Khamis Mushyet regions, implying that using Fuzzy-AHP and GIS techniques will significantly aid in the conservation of the environment. This would significantly mitigate adverse effects on the ecosystem and climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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25 pages, 51709 KiB  
Case Report
An Investigation on the Thermal Environment of Residential Courtyards in the Cold Area of Western Sichuan Plateau
by Sheng Xu, Bin Cheng, Zefeng Huang and Chenyang Shen
Buildings 2022, 12(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010049 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1614
Abstract
Located on the east side of China’s Qinghai–Tibet Plateau is the Western Sichuan Plateau, the courtyard adopts a passive design to withstand the harsh climate in cold areas, and its internal thermal environment has a direct impact on the productivity and activities of [...] Read more.
Located on the east side of China’s Qinghai–Tibet Plateau is the Western Sichuan Plateau, the courtyard adopts a passive design to withstand the harsh climate in cold areas, and its internal thermal environment has a direct impact on the productivity and activities of the residents. This paper takes a plateau village (3500 m above sea level) beside the Sichuan–Tibet line as the research area, and selects four typical local courtyard layouts and an outdoor reference point for the measurement and comparison of the thermal environment. By comparing the measured parameters inside and outside the courtyard, and the correlation analysis, it was deduced as follows. (1) In the cold winter, traditional plateau residential courtyards can create a stable internal micro-climate, but the cold resistance of the courtyards is closely related to its layout. (2) Except for wind speed, other thermal environment parameters of the courtyard are all affected by solar radiation (3) The correlation analysis of the various environmental parameters and physiologically equivalent temperature (PET) showed that the correlation coefficient between the mean radiation temperature (Tmrt) and all courtyard PET values is <0.0001, showing a significant correlation. The indicators of mean temperature radiation are mainly affected by the temperature and the wind speed; furthermore, the temperature and solar radiation are positively correlated, which confirms that the solar radiation and wind speed within the courtyard are the main factors affecting the internal thermal environment in the courtyard. (4) Feedback the courtyard layout problems through the difference in the thermal environment parameters within different courtyards, and then determine some shortcomings in the current courtyard layout design. The inferences drawn from this work will provide a scientific basis for the design, layout, and construction of courtyards in other cold plateau areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Built Environment)
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