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ISSN (Print) 1869-1978 - ISSN (Online) 1869-1986
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2469 journals]
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 567: Megaproject Management Research: The Status
           Quo and Future Directions

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      Authors: Hongping Yuan, Wenbo Du, Zeyu Wang, Xiangnan Song
      First page: 567
      Abstract: Megaproject practices worldwide have triggered increasing research in megaproject management issues and led to an increasing number of papers being published during the last decade. However, it is demonstrated by the literature that there is no systematic examination on research development in the discipline of megaproject management, and consequently it is very difficult for scholars to quickly understand and grasp the research trend. Therefore, a research question naturally comes out, i.e., what is the status quo of megaproject management research and what are the research directions worthy of further investigation' This study aims to answer the question by conducting a systematic examination of the research development in the discipline of megaproject management. A total of 117 relevant articles, identified from six major international journals between 2009 and 2021, were analyzed based on the number of papers published annually, main author contributions, citations, categorization of the research methods and data analysis methods adopted, and research topics covered. The results indicated that developed countries, such as Australia, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, have enjoyed significant advantages in terms of megaproject management research. It also revealed that more sophisticated views and theory have been used effectively, rather than only basic qualitative methods, in a number of studies on megaproject management. Future studies on megaproject management will be led globally, where megaprojects will remain designed and built to better built environments. In addition, continuous in-depth research on related topics can promote innovation in megaproject management to achieve sustainable megaproject development. Megaproject management will continue to be a hot research topic in the future; in particular, megaproject investment and finance management have emerged as new challenging topics. The findings can be valuable for both industry practitioners and researchers to gain deeper understanding of the current status and future directions of megaproject management research.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-23
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120567
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 568: Moisture Accumulation in Building
           Façades Exposed to Accelerated Artificial Climatic Ageing—A
           Complementary Analysis to NT Build 495

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      Authors: Silje Kathrin Asphaug, Berit Time, Tore Kvande
      First page: 568
      Abstract: Building façades must endure severe climatic exposure throughout their lifetimes. To prevent damage and expensive repairs, ageing tests are used in durability assessments. The NT Build 495 describes an artificial ageing procedure to address building material and component resistance to ultraviolet (UV) light, heat, water, and frost using a climate simulator. The test has been used for decades to investigate exterior surface materials and façade products but has only recently been adopted for multi-layered systems. This study investigates moisture accumulation in a façade system for retrofitting based on concrete and thermal insulation. Hygrothermal simulations of the façade system subjected to ageing were conducted. Moisture accumulation was considered theoretically for the current test procedure and compared to a modified setup in which the interior climate was controlled at 21 °C. Physical measurements were performed in the climate simulator to determine the boundary conditions. Results showed that moisture accumulation in the thermal insulation was largely affected by the type of concrete, that applying a water-repellent surface treatment reduced moisture accumulation, and that the current setup resulted in less moisture accumulation compared to the modified setup. The latter implicates accelerated degradation with the modified setup.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-23
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120568
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 569: Core Elements Underlying Supply Chain
           Management in the Construction Industry: A Systematic Literature Review

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      Authors: Walter Puppo Studer, Luiz Carlos Brasil De Brito Mello
      First page: 569
      Abstract: The relevance of supply chain management (SCM) is being increasingly recognized in the construction industry. However, its implementation has been limited and is still challenging for researchers and practitioners. An adequate and systematic understanding of context-specific core concepts and practices are considered fundamental to foster its implementation. This paper aims to provide a holistic look into the existing research on elements underlying SCM in the construction industry. It adopts a systematic literature review method to examine almost two decades of publications and uses a comprehensive SCM framework to synthesize the findings. The results revealed a set of 19 core elements clustered in five subject areas (i.e., ‘strategic management’, ‘logistics’, ‘relationships’, ‘best practices’ and ‘organizational behavior’) that have a prominent role in construction SCM. Every core element was analyzed in detail and the results were discussed in the context of other evidence. This study produced the first comprehensive picture of the current state of knowledge, providing relevant contributions to enhance the understanding and implementation of SCM within the construction industry.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-23
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120569
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 570: Aged Care Energy Use and Peak Demand Change
           in the COVID-19 Year: Empirical Evidence from Australia

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      Authors: Aaron Liu, Wendy Miller, James Chiou, Sherif Zedan, Tan Yigitcanlar, Yuemin Ding
      First page: 570
      Abstract: Aged care communities have been under the spotlight since the beginning of 2020. Energy is essential to ensure reliable operation and quality care provision in residential aged care communities (RAC). The aim of this study is to determine how RAC’s yearly energy use and peak demand changed in Australia and what this might mean for RAC design, operation and energy asset investment and ultimately in the healthcare plan for elderly residents. Five years of electricity demand data from four case study RACs in the same climate zone are analyzed. Statistical tools are used to analyze the data, and a clustering algorithm is used to identify typical demand profiles. A number of energy key performance indicators (KPIs) are evaluated, highlighting their respective benefits and limitations. The results show an average 8% reduction for yearly energy use and 7% reduction for yearly peak demands in the COVID-19 year compared with the average of the previous four years. Typical demand profiles for the four communities were mostly lower in the pandemic year. Despite these results, the KPI analysis shows that, for these four communities, outdoor ambient temperature remains a very significant correlation factor for energy use.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-23
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120570
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 571: The Effect of Atmospheric Corrosion on
           Steel Structures: A State-of-the-Art and Case-Study

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      Authors: Di Sarno, Majidian, Karagiannakis
      First page: 571
      Abstract: Atmospheric corrosion can seriously affect the performance of steel structures over long periods of time; thus, it is essential to evaluate the rate of corrosion and subsequent modification of dynamic properties of a structure over different time periods. Standards and codes represent the general guidelines and suggest general protection techniques to prevent structures from corrosion damage. The available models in the literature propose the thickness reduction method that accounts for the exposure time of structures in corrosive environments. The purpose of this study is to review the existing corrosion models in the literature and report as well as compare their effectiveness in low (C2 level), medium (C3 level) and high (C4 level) corrosivity class in accordance with the ISO standard. Furthermore, the influence of corrosion loss during the lifetime of a structure is studied through a realistic case study model using FEM (finite element method) in both linear and nonlinear regions. The results showed that the corrosion can considerably affect the dynamic characteristics of the structure. For instance, the vibration period rose up to 15% for the C4 class and 100-year lifespan. Additionally, the corroded structure presented higher acceleration and drift demand, and the base reaction forces were reduced up to 60% for the same class and time period.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-23
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120571
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 572: The Influence of Learning Styles on
           Perception and Preference of Learning Spaces in the University Campus

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      Authors: Wang, Han
      First page: 572
      Abstract: Good academic performance will occur when learning spaces match or support individual preference and needs. This effect depends on environmental characteristics and individual attributes. Learning styles (LSs) have been used as a tool to capture the behavioral and psychological characteristics of learners in the process of learning activities, which provide instructions to address their learning needs. However, few have focused on the perceptual characteristics of learning space from the view of distinct learning styles. The research aims to identify which kinds of learning spaces in university campus have been preferred by students with different learning styles respectively and the spatial characteristics which have significant influence on the distinct evaluation results; the research consists of 178 college students’ LSs measurement conducted by the Index of Learning Styles questionnaire and their subjective assessment to five typical learning spaces obtained by 5-point Likert-type scale. Then, the key spatial influencing factors were identified by the focus group interviews; the results firstly ranked the learning spaces according to their satisfaction evaluation and restorative potential. The self-study rooms are rated highest, followed by professional classroom, traditional classroom, and multimedia classroom. Then, two dimensions of learning styles were proved as having considerable effects on perception. Specifically, there are significant differences between visual and verbal learners’ evaluations of multimedia classrooms and traditional classrooms, and between global and sequential learners’ evaluations of multimedia classrooms, informal learning spaces, and learning buildings. The other two dimensions including perceiving and remembering have no obvious impacts on learners’ perception of any learning spaces. At last, the important influence factors of perceptions of five typical learning spaces were identified, respectively, and their different effects on various groups were discussed. For example, the serious atmosphere in traditional classrooms was regarded as a motivation for sensing learners but a stress for intuitive learners. The studies emphasize the perceptual difference on learning space in terms of students’ unique learning styles and key points for each kind of learning space with regard to satisfaction of personalized needs. However, before it can be used by designers as tools, more research is needed.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-23
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120572
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 573: Use of Underground Constructions Enhanced
           with Evaporative Cooling to Improve Indoor Built Environment in Hot
           Climate

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      Authors: Mamdooh Alwetaishi
      First page: 573
      Abstract: Underground constructions (UGCs) have been used globally to accommodate a wide range of building usage, such as offices and shopping malls. Most of these constructions suffer from a lack of natural ventilation as well as daylight, as they are completely built under the surface of the earth. This has caused many issues related to discomfort, impacting the activity and the productivity of users. This study aimed to analyse the effect of the use of UGCs in hot regions, enhanced by partly elevated external walls which reach aboveground to ensure natural ventilation and daylight, with relatively small amounts of glazing to minimise the influence of solar heat gain. The study used a real built underground room with field measurements for indoor temperature and relative humidity. Moreover, the study used the computer tool EDSL TAS to simulate the performance of the model throughout the year after a field validation. It was concluded that the use of UGCs in hot climates should be encouraged as natural ventilation and daylight can decrease temperatures by 3 °C in summer, and the utilisation of evaporative cooling can cool the indoor environment by nearly 12 °C. Furthermore, heat transfer was highly affected by the external environment. It was found that the amount of heat transfer doubled in comparison between under and aboveground constructions. The use of small windows for ventilation caused high humidity, even in hot regions, during summer.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-23
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120573
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 574: Effect of Seasonal Ambient Temperature on
           Sleep and Thermal Comfort in Older People Living in Public Elderly
           Facilities

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      Authors: Kazuyo Tsuzuki, Tomonori Sakoi, Yoko Sakata
      First page: 574
      Abstract: This study aimed to investigate the thermal environment and thermal comfort of elderly occupants living in elder care facilities and to compare the quality of sleep, in all four seasons, of these elderly occupants. A total of 16 healthy participants with a mean age of 80 ± 5 years (range, 70–87 years) were recruited in two elderly facilities, of which, 13 participated in all four measurements. The sleep parameter was measured by a wrist actigraph which the participants were requested to wear and analyzed with commercial software using the Cole–Kripke algorithm, to assign scores for sleeping and waking patterns. Both ambient temperature (Ta) and relative humidity (Rh) levels were found to be lower in the winter and higher in the summer. The Ta in the summer and Rh in the winter were not within the scope of the Japanese Standard for Maintenance of Sanitation in Buildings, as the central HVAC and air conditioners were turned off due to the absence of facility managers. More than 50% of the elderly occupants used fans and increased airflow by opening windows during the summer nights as an adaptive thermal approach. The slope of the relationship between prevailing mean outdoor temperature and indoor Ta determined in this study was similar to the adaptive model and the regression line lies over the upper limits of the adaptive model. No significant difference was found in the sleep parameter among the four seasons; however, a sex difference was found in the sleep latency and length of waking period during the sleep. The sleep parameters such as sleep efficiency indexes were significantly better for elderly women than men. The adaptive approach is not enough to improve the sleep efficiency of sleeping elderly people even within the acceptable temperature range based on the thermal comfort, especially for elderly men.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-23
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120574
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 575: Local Retrofit of Reinforced Concrete
           Structures by the ACM System

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      Authors: Stefano Sorace, Gloria Terenzi, Elena Fuso
      First page: 575
      Abstract: During the last decades, low architectural impact strategies have been increasingly adopted in the seismic retrofit of reinforced concrete structures. Among the emerging technologies in this field, the active lateral confinement of columns, beams, and beam-to-column joints is gaining growing attention thanks to the localization of the interventions only on the members in unsafe conditions, the resulting small increase in size, and the limited demolition required for installation. The study presented herein is focused on the application of a highly performing confinement technology, named as ACM (Active Confinement of Masonry), which was conceived more than twenty years ago in Italy for masonry structures, and then successfully applied to reinforced concrete ones. A representative case study is examined in detail herein, i.e., a school built in the early 1960s in the Friuli Venezia Giulia area in Italy. A seismic assessment analysis of the building is carried out in its current state, also supported by preliminary diagnostic investigations, which highlights several seismic deficiencies, especially in terms of shear response of columns and beams. Thus, a retrofit hypothesis based on the installation of the ACM system is proposed, which allows attaining a substantial improvement in the seismic response capacities, while maintaining limited architectural intrusion. A detailed description of the case study characteristics and a synthesis of the time-history seismic analyses developed in original conditions are presented in this article, along with the design criteria, drawings of the interventions, and an evaluation of the resulting performance enhancement in retrofitted configuration.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120575
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 576: Shear Behavior of Reinforced Post-Filling
           

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      Authors: Jinqing Jia, Qi Cao, Lihua Zhang, Yulong Hu, Zihan Meng
      First page: 576
      Abstract: Different from the traditional concrete mixing procedure, the innovative post-filling coarse aggregate concrete (PFCC) reduces the cost of pumping concrete by increasing the coarse aggregate content and reducing the usage of cement. Previous studies have shown that PFCC enhances the compressive strength, elastic modulus, and flexural strength of concrete. In this paper, the shear behavior of 13 post-filling coarse aggregate concrete beams and 3 control beams was tested to determine the relationships between the shear performance of the beam and the post-filling coarse aggregate ratio, concrete strength grade, shear span ratio and stirrup reinforcement ratio. The results showed that the ultimate shear capacity of beam specimen increases first and then decreases with the increase in post-filling coarse aggregate ratio, reaching the maximum at 15% post-filling ratio. The results also indicated that the ultimate shear capacity of the beam increases with the increase in concrete strength grade and stirrup ratio. However, experimental results exhibited that the ultimate shear capacity decreases as the shear span ratio increases. This study provides a reference for the application of post-filling coarse aggregate concrete in engineering practice.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120576
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 577: Dynamic Quality Monitoring System to Assess
           the Quality of Asphalt Concrete Pavement

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      Authors: Ziyuan Ma, Jingxiao Zhang, Simon P. Philbin, Hui Li, Jie Yang, Yunlong Feng, Pablo Ballesteros-Pérez, Martin Skitmore
      First page: 577
      Abstract: With the rapid development of new technologies, such as big data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and intelligent sensing, the traditional asphalt pavement construction quality evaluation method has been unable to meet the needs of road digital construction. At the same time, the development of such technologies enables a new management system for asphalt pavement construction. In this study, firstly, the dynamic quality monitoring system of asphalt concrete pavement is established by adopting the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, intelligent sensing, the IoT and 5G technology. This allows key technical indicators to be collected and transmitted for the whole process of asphalt mixture, which includes the mixing plant, transport vehicle, paving and compaction. Secondly, combined with AHP and the entropy weight (EW) method, the index combination weight is calculated. The comprehensive index for the pavement digital construction quality index (PCQ) is proposed to reflect the impact of monitoring indicators on pavement quality. An expert decision-making model is formed by using the improved particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm coupled with radial basis function neural network (RBF). Finally, the digital monitoring index and pavement performance index are connected to establish a full-time and multi-dimensional digital construction quality evaluation model. This study is verified by a database created from the digital monitoring data of pavement construction collected from a highway construction project. The system proposed in this study can accurately reflect the quality of pavement digital construction and solve the lag problem existing in the feedback of construction site.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120577
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 578: Active Thermal Method Applied to the In
           Situ Characterization of Insulating Materials in a Wall

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      Authors: Elorn Biteau, Didier Defer, Franck Brachelet, Laurent Zalewski
      First page: 578
      Abstract: An in situ estimation of the thermal properties of bio-sourced building wall insulation components is of critical importance in improving both the energy efficiency of buildings and the development of construction materials with a smaller environmental footprint. Depending on weather conditions, passive methods are not always feasible; they require time to conduct lengthy testing and may lead to significant uncertainties. This article presents an active method based on power dissipation via flat electrical resistance. The method can be implemented regardless of outdoor weather conditions and is suitable for walls with high overall thermal resistance for which the small average component of the through flow is difficult to estimate. Measurements are conducted of both wall input flows and temperatures. An inverse method, derived from a finite difference model of 1D transfers along with a multi-objective approach, enables the characteristics of a two-material assembly to be identified. A multi-objective method was chosen to solve the problems of high correlation between the thermal parameters of the model. However, the method requires the use of two temperature sensors integrated inside the wall. Following a laboratory validation phase on a PVC/plasterboard assembly, the method is implemented on an actual wall. A coating/hemp concrete assembly is also characterized as part of this work program. The thermal conductivity of the hemp concrete block was estimated at 0.12 W m−1 K−1 and is consistent with values found in the literature.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120578
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 579: Integration of Smart Pavement Data with
           Decision Support Systems: A Systematic Review

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      Authors: Margarida Amândio, Manuel Parente, José Neves, Paulo Fonseca
      First page: 579
      Abstract: Nowadays, pavement management systems (PMS) are mainly based on monitoring processes that have been established for a long time, and strongly depend on acquired experience. However, with the emergence of smart technologies, such as internet of things and artificial intelligence, PMS could be improved by applying these new smart technologies to their decision support systems, not just by updating their data collection methodologies, but also their data analysis tools. The application of these smart technologies to the field of pavement monitoring and condition evaluation will undoubtedly contribute to more efficient, less costly, safer, and environmentally friendly methodologies. Thus, the main drive of the present work is to provide insight for the development of future decision support systems for smart pavement management by conducting a systematic literature review of the developed works that apply smart technologies to this field. The conclusions drawn from the analysis allowed for the identification of a series of future direction recommendations for researchers. In fact, future PMS should tend to be capable of collecting and analyzing data at different levels, both externally at the surface or inside the pavement, as well as to detect and predict all types of functional and structural flaws and defects.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-25
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120579
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 580: Seismic Resistance of Timber Frames with
           Mud and Stone Infill Walls in a Chinese Traditional Village Dwelling

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      Authors: Yinlan Shen, Xingchen Yan, Piyong Yu, Hui Liu, Guofang Wu, Wei He
      First page: 580
      Abstract: Traditional Chinese wood residences consist of timber frames with masonry infill walls or other types of infill, representing valuable heritage. A field investigation of traditional village dwellings in northern China consisting of timber frames with mud and stone infill walls was conducted. Their construction characteristics are reported, and static cyclic tests were performed on two full-size wood-stone hybrid walls with different configurations (exterior transverse wall and internal transverse wall) and no openings (doors or windows). Their failure mechanics and seismic capacity, i.e., the strength, stiffness, ductility, and energy dissipation, were investigated. The results are compared with a previous experimental study of two full-size timber frames with the same traditional structure but no infill to determine the effect of the mud and stone infill on the lateral resistance. The experimental results indicate that the stone infill has a critical influence on the lateral performance of traditional village buildings, resulting in a high lateral stiffness, high strength (>20 kN), and a high ductility ratio (>10). An increase in the vertical load leads to an increase in the lateral resistance of the timber frame with infill walls, larger for the internal transverse wall than the external gable wall. The incompatibility of the deformation between the timber frame and stone infill is the main failure reason, resulting in falling stones and collapse with undamaged timber frames. Suggestions are provided for the protection and repair of traditional wood residences in northern China.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-25
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120580
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 581: Design Framework and Principles for
           Learning Environment Co-Design: Synthesis from Literature and Three
           Empirical Studies

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      Authors: Tiina Mäkelä, Teemu Leinonen
      First page: 581
      Abstract: The need for environments conducive to learning and wellbeing has been broadly recognised. Considering particularly learner perceptions in the learning environment design is known to improve both their learning and wellbeing. There are no, however, shared theoretical frameworks guiding the learning environment co-design from the learner perspective. As a response to this challenge, a learning environment design (LED) framework was developed based on the literature and co-design involving learners aged 7 to 19 (n = 342) in Finland (n = 266) and Spain (n = 76). The LED framework entails 53 characteristics grouped under seven constructs. It draws attention to the importance of balancing communality with individuality, comfort with health, and novelty with conventionality. Flexibility and functionality are recognised as central enablers for a quality learning environment. The study suggests a design framework and principles for learning environment co-design. They can serve as a research-based introduction to the topic after which priorities can be defined based on the concrete design target and goals, and concrete design solutions can be created in the participatory design involving learners and other key stakeholders.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-25
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120581
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 582: Bond of Ribbed Steel Bar in
           High-Performance Steel Fiber Reinforced Expanded-Shale Lightweight
           Concrete

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      Authors: Zhao, Liu, Liu, Zhang, Shi, Zhao
      First page: 582
      Abstract: For the structural application of high-performance Steel Fiber Reinforced Expanded-shale Lightweight Concrete (SFRELC), a reliable bond of ribbed steel bar should be ensured. In this paper, an experimental study was carried out on the bond properties of ribbed steel bar embedded in SFRELC by the direct pull-out test. The SFRELC was produced with a strength grade of 35 MPa and a volume fraction of steel fiber as 0%, 0.8%, 1.2%, 1.6% and 2.0%, respectively. Fifteen groups of specimens were made with a central placed steel bar with diameter of 14 mm, 20 mm and 28 mm, respectively. Complete bond stress-slip curves were determined for each group of specimens, and the characteristic values of bond-stress and slip at key points of the curves were ascertained. Results show that the bond strength, peak-slip and residual bond strength increased with the increase of the volume fraction of steel fiber. With the increase of steel bar diameter, bond strength decreased while the peak-slip increased, and the descending curves became sharp with a decreased residual bond strength. Formulas for calculating the bond strength and peak-slip were proposed. The relationships were determined for the splitting bond strength, residual bond strength with the bond strength, the splitting bond slip and residual bond slip with the peak-slip. Combined with rational fitting analyses of bond strength and slip, a constitutive model was selected for predicting the bond stress-slip of ribbed steel bar in SFRELC.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-25
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120582
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 583: Exploring Natural Language Processing in
           Construction and Integration with Building Information Modeling: A
           Scientometric Analysis

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      Authors: Mirko Locatelli, Elena Seghezzi, Laura Pellegrini, Lavinia Chiara Tagliabue, Giuseppe Martino Di Giuda
      First page: 583
      Abstract: The European Union (EU) aims to increase the efficiency and productivity of the construction industry. The EU suggests pairing Building Information Modeling with other digitalization technologies to seize the full potential of the digital transition. Meanwhile, industrial applications of Natural Language Processing (NLP) have emerged. The growth of NLP is affecting the construction industry. However, the potential of NLP and the combination of an NLP and BIM approach is still unexplored. The study tries to address this lack by applying a scientometric analysis to explore the state of the art of NLP in the AECO sector, and the combined applications of NLP and BIM. Science mapping is used to analyze 254 bibliographic records from Scopus Database analyzing the structure and dynamics of the domain by drawing a picture of the body of knowledge. NLP in AECO, and its pairing with BIM domain and applications, are investigated by representing: Conceptual, Intellectual, and Social structure. The highest number of NLP applications in AECO are in the fields of Project, Safety, and Risk Management. Attempts at combining NLP and BIM mainly concern the Automated Compliance Checking and semantic BIM enrichment goals. Artificial intelligence, learning algorithms, and ontologies emerge as the most widespread and promising technological drivers.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-25
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120583
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 584: Thermal Performance Assessment of a Wall
           Made of Lightweight Concrete Blocks with Recycled Brick and Ground
           Polystyrene

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      Authors: Hrvoje Krstić, Ivana Miličević, Damir Markulak, Mihaela Domazetović
      First page: 584
      Abstract: Hollow concrete masonry blocks made of low strength self-compacting concrete with recycled crushed brick and ground polystyrene as an aggregate (RBC-EP blocks), and their expected structural role as masonry infill in steel frames, has been confirmed in previous research studies, thus the extensive investigation of thermal properties is presented in this paper to fully approve their potential application in practice. The Heat Flow and Temperature Based Method was used to conduct in-situ measurements of the wall thermal transmittance (U-value). The experimental U-values of the wall without insulation varied from 1.363 to 1.782 W/m2·K, and the theoretical value was calculated to be 2.01 W/m2·K. Thermal conductivity of the material used for making RBC-EP blocks was measured in a laboratory by using a heat flow meter instrument. To better understand the thermal performance characteristics of a wall constructed from RBC-EP blocks, a comparison with standard materials currently used and found on the market was performed. Walls constructed from RBC-EP blocks show an improvement of building technology and environmentally based enhancement of concrete blocks, since they use recycled materials. They can replace standard lightweight concrete blocks due to their desired mechanical properties, as well as the better thermal performance properties compared to commonly used materials for building walls.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-25
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120584
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 585: Commercial Buildings in Town. The Influence
           of Discount Shops on the Trade Structure of a Small Town

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      Authors: Agnieszka Szumilas, Pawel Pach
      First page: 585
      Abstract: Changes taking place in the spatial structure of trade in cities have been very dynamic in recent decades. The goal of the research was to determine the dynamics and direction of changes in shaping the traditional commercial structure of small towns, in the context of discount shops location. The subject matter of the research constituted more than ten towns in southern Poland. Traditional shops located there were analysed in terms of their location, the profile and length of their activity. Studies on global trade development processes are available, as well as detailed research results on individual trade assumptions. On the other hand, there is a research gap regarding studies involving the location of commercial buildings, especially in small towns. The research results are a valuable source of information for representatives of various scientific disciplines as well as city authorities. The presented research provides knowledge and constitutes the basis for further research for representatives of various research fields. The areas with the most intensive commercial activity in the last 30 years were correlated with the number of inhabitants. For a selected group of towns, their binding urban planning documentation was verified with respect to specifications facilitating or excluding the establishment of discount shops. The conclusions reached on the basis of the research do not confirm a popular view that discount shops have a negative effect on urban space. The performed analyses indicate that there is no simple relation between a discount shop location and the decreasing number of traditional shops in the investigated cities. The presented research results gain an additional advantage—they form an archive of the development of commerce structure in towns in the period starting with the fall of the centrally planned economy and finishing with the COVID–19 pandemic. The presented material forms a basis for further urban studies which will use the experience gained at this stage
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-26
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120585
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 586: Experimental Investigation of Unconfined
           Compressive Properties of Artificial Ice as a Green Building Material for
           Rinks

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      Authors: Wenyuan Zhang, Junxing Li, Baojiang Yuan, Lin Wang, Qiyong Yang
      First page: 586
      Abstract: The construction of a prefabricated ice rink has recently attracted considerable interest owing to its detachability, short building period, and high cooling efficiency, among other benefits. Characterizing the compressive properties of an artificial ice sheet is crucial in the design, operation, and maintenance stages of the rink. Several uniaxial compressive tests were conducted in the present work to better understand the mechanical behavior of artificial ice in winter sports rinks. The artificial ice was produced using homemade equipment to simulate the real ice-making conditions in the rink. Comprehensive conditions such as strain rate, ice temperature, ice-making method, water quality, air temperature and humidity were considered in the experiments. The obtained results show that the compressive behavior of artificial ice is considerably affected by the strain rate and ice temperature, and slightly affected by the ice-making method and water quality, whereas the effects of air temperature and humidity are inconclusive. The identified range of strain rate for ductile-brittle transition was within 8.3 × 10−5 s–1 and 8.3 × 10−4 s−1, in which the strength reaches a maximum value at 1.7 × 10–4 s−1. The influencing factors on the compressive strength and effective modulus were analyzed based on the experimental observations, and fitting functions were established to describe the relationships. The results of this study will hopefully provide a reference for the design and optimization of ice rinks, particularly for prefabricated rinks.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-26
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120586
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 587: Effects of Wall-to-Wall Supported Ceilings
           on Impact Sound Insulation for Use in Residential Buildings

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      Authors: Kim, Cho, Kim
      First page: 587
      Abstract: In Korean residential buildings, floor impact sounds were reduced over the past few decades mainly through a floating floor system. However, ceiling constructions for impact sound reduction have not been applied actively because of a lack of useful information. This study focuses on the effects of wall-to-wall supported ceilings (WSC), which are designed with construction discontinuities between concrete slabs and ceilings, and the damping caused by porous absorbers for impact sound insulation. To examine the impact sound insulation according to ceiling conditions, measurements were performed in 25 floor–ceiling assemblies. The results indicate that ceiling treatment is mostly useful in reducing the floor impact sound. The floor impact sound owing to the WSC decreased by 2–7 dB and 2–8 dB in terms of the single number quantity for the tapping machine and rubber balls, respectively, compared with representative existing housing constructions wherein ceilings were attached on wooden sticks. Furthermore, the reduction effect of the WSC appeared to be more profound when it was applied to the floor–ceiling assembly with poor impact sound insulation. Thus, the WSC can be used to enhance the impact of sound insulation of existing housings without major repairs of floor structural layers.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-26
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120587
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 588: Seismic Vulnerability Assessment for
           Masonry Churches: An Overview on Existing Methodologies

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      Authors: Zizi, Rouhi, Chisari, Cacace, De Matteis
      First page: 588
      Abstract: The present manuscript deals with the seismic vulnerability assessment of existing masonry churches, which is a fundamental process for risk and consequent prioritization analyses, as well as application of effective retrofitting strategies. In the past, different approaches with various levels of accuracy and application ranges have been developed to assess the vulnerability to damage of such structures in case of seismic events. Based on the classification provided in the Italian Guidelines for the Cultural Heritage, in this paper a review of seismic vulnerability assessment methodologies for existing masonry churches is presented. The main goal of the current study is to provide a critical comparative overview about these procedures, highlighting the main issues related to the application of each detail level. Moreover, particular attention is focused on the applications present in literature, allowing for the definition of a potential systematic procedure for smart management policy aimed at preserving cultural, architectural and historical heritage.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-26
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120588
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 589: Plan for the Sustainability of Public
           Buildings through the Energy Efficiency Certification System: Case Study
           of Public Sports Facilities, Korea

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      Authors: Baek
      First page: 589
      Abstract: This study examines strategies for energy efficiency in public buildings in Korea and the implementation of certification systems. It also identifies the actual plan status and discusses improvements at the institutional level. The target is the national sports centers, where the discussion on energy efficiency has been assiduous, as they have recently expanded regionally in Korea. Among the 541 national sports centers in Korea, 90 facilities for which a preliminary review was performed on the plan by the National Public Building Center were analyzed. The energy efficiency plan is realized through Building Energy Efficiency, Zero Energy Building, and Green Standard for Energy and Environmental Design certifications. As a result of analyzing the plan status, omissions or errors in certification were confirmed in about 10% of each, even though more than 80% of the facilities were subject to mandatory application. In Korea’s condition, to revitalize the practice of the system, it is necessary to expand the government’s publicity and support initiatives, use differential application of evaluation items, and strengthen incentives. This study provides meaningful results and suggestions for implementing an energy efficiency system at the national level under similar conditions in the future.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-26
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120589
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 590: Analysis of Tram Traffic-Induced Vibration
           Influence on Earthquake Damaged Buildings

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      Authors: Ivo Haladin, Marijan Bogut, Stjepan Lakušić
      First page: 590
      Abstract: The Zagreb 2020 earthquake severely damaged the historic centre of the city. Most of the damage occurred on historic masonry residential buildings, many of which are situated very close to the tram track. Although traffic-induced vibrations generally do not affect surrounding buildings, they can be harmful to buildings damaged by a previous earthquake. Vibrations could contribute to the further propagation of existing cracks. The effect of vibrations depends on many factors, one of the most important being the distance between the track and the building. The vibrations are highest at the source, and the energy loss occurs due to transfer through the soil to the recipients. The impact of tram-induced vibrations on earthquake-damaged buildings in the city of Zagreb is investigated in this paper. The analysis is conducted on a tramway network scale to identify critical locations by performing continuous monitoring on the tramway network and risk analysis based on the distance of buildings from the track, vibration amplitude at source, and building damage. Further investigation is based on the level of buildings to evaluate the influence of vibrations on actual buildings damaged in the Zagreb earthquake. Based on detailed signal analysis, the vibration characterization is performed, and the influence on damaged masonry buildings is evaluated.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120590
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 591: Interaction between Thermal Comfort, Indoor
           Air Quality and Ventilation Energy Consumption of Educational Buildings: A
           Comprehensive Review

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      Authors: Lin-Rui Jia, Jie Han, Xi Chen, Qing-Yun Li, Chi-Chung Lee, Yat-Hei Fung
      First page: 591
      Abstract: Thermal comfort and indoor air quality (IAQ) of educational buildings can affect students’ academic performance and well-being and are closely related to ventilation energy consumption. Demands of the indoor environmental quality within the classroom generally vary with the education levels and result in ventilation energy consumption accounting for a considerable proportion of the total energy use in bulk educational buildings. Its huge energy-saving potential is attracting worldwide attention from scholars and governments. Therefore, appropriate operation strategies of ventilation systems should be adopted to effectively reduce energy consumption without sacrificing thermal comfort and IAQ. However, the absence of relevant standards and guidelines for designing a quality classroom environment considering the special features of educational buildings remains an important research question. This study conducts a comprehensive review to determine research gaps and identify future directions for the interaction between thermal comfort, IAQ and ventilation energy consumption for educational buildings. The review results show that: (1) The thermal comfort prediction model should consider the influences of genders, ages and socioeconomic backgrounds; (2) The mixed-mode ventilation coupling the natural and mechanical approaches is preferred given its advantage of lower energy consumption and improved thermal comfort, but its control strategies need further exploration; (3) Optimizing passive design parameters of buildings (e.g., window to wall ratios, window orientations and sun shading installations) can significantly reduce the ventilation demands while maintaining indoor thermal comfort; (4) More studies are required for investigating thermal comfort in educational buildings during the heating period; and (5) IAQ of university buildings clearly requires further studies, especially on bacterial and fungal aerosol pollutants, for a more comprehensive assessment of the built environment.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120591
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 592: An Assessment Methodology for the
           Evaluation of the Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Italian Housing
           Market Demand

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      Authors: Francesco Tajani, Felicia Di Liddo, Maria Rosaria Guarini, Rossana Ranieri, Debora Anelli
      First page: 592
      Abstract: Due to the forced changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has had in many aspects of ordinary life (working, social life, training and learning in schools etc.), the characteristics of domestic spaces have significantly modified buying, selling and renting decisions in the real estate market. The aim of this research was to structure a methodology, articulated into four steps, to assess the variation that has occurred in residential market demand as a result of COVID-19 anti-contagion measures, with regard to six metropolitan Italian cities. We considered two samples of properties for each city, the first referencing the pre-COVID-19 pandemic spread and the second collected in the current situation. Consequently, we were able to determine variations in residential market appreciations through the application of a regressive econometric technique. The obtained results highlighted the relevance assumed by indoor acoustic and thermal comfort property factors, compared with the pre-COVID-19 condition. The proposed methodology could be useful to support the public and private entities involved in urban investment decision-making processes, allowing us to identify the most appreciated factors of the residential real estate market demand, in order to improve the conditions of existing and future assets and reduce the related risk levels.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120592
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 593: Derivation of Kinematic Equations Based on
           Full-Scale Racking Tests for Seismic Performance Evaluation of Unitized
           Four-Sided Structural Sealant Glazing Curtain Wall Systems

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      Authors: Ali M. Memari, Nicholas Simmons, Ryan L. Solnosky
      First page: 593
      Abstract: Curtain wall glazing systems are a major part of a building due to the multiple roles they have, including occupant protection against environmental effects and the transfer of loads to the structural system. From a structural perspective, limited analytical guidelines and methods exist to aid designers in their determination of the curtain wall performance without extensive simulation or laboratory testing. This study takes experimental data from full-scale, “unitized”, four-sided structural sealant glazing (4SSG) curtain wall system mockups featuring a re-entrant corner subjected to cyclic racking displacements in accordance with the American Architectural Manufacturers Association AAMA 501.6 protocol to derive and establish equations that predict the relative displacements of the glass relative to the glazing frame, based on the amount of inter-story drift. Through derivation and testing, sealant cohesive failure and glass cracking were identified as limit states and corresponding drift levels were determined to control many of the equations. Displacements from the newly derived equations were correlated to the effective shear strain value experienced by the structural silicone in the mockup concurrently with the curtain wall’s drift capacity. This paper provides detailed derivation of the kinematic equations for possible use by glazing design professionals. Such equations can help designers to more easily predict the drifts that cause damage to such systems by manual calculations without the need for expensive mockup testing or time-intensive computer models.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120593
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 594: BIM Requirements in the Spanish Public
           Tender—Analysis of Adoption in Construction Contracts

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      Authors: Ana Pérez-García, Norena Martín-Dorta, José Ángel Aranda
      First page: 594
      Abstract: The use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) is increasingly widespread within the Architecture, Engineering, Construction & Operations (AECO) sector. BIM allows the construction of a digital scale model of the asset to be built, ensuring the early detection of conflicts and interferences, enabling communication between the different participant agents, and facilitating the processes in the maintenance and management phase. Studies on the subject are many and varied. However, very few works refer to the inclusion of BIM in the public procurement stage, one of the most complex and competitive stages within the asset’s life cycle. A bibliographic review has been conducted about the BIM situation in the AECO sector contracts, the existing problems and the possible solutions to implement. In the specific field of public procurement, Spain has made great progress, especially at the regional level. During 2020, a total of 440 tenders with BIM requirements were published, with an investment volume of EUR 752 million, which represents an increase of 230% compared to 2017. The aim of this research is to analyze the Spanish public procurement, highlighting the progress made so far in the implementation of this technology, as well as to develop a proposal of BIM requirements that, in general, could be used as a reference for tenders of the AECO sector in the country. With this objective, a selection of twenty relevant public tenders is made, covering both the building and infrastructure fields. The requirements address areas such as: BIM uses, BIM deliverables, model structure, Level of Development, Common Data Environment, classification systems, standards or quality control.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120594
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 595: Effects of Climate Change on Thermal
           Comfort and Energy Demand in a Single-Family House in Poland

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      Authors: Joanna Ferdyn-Grygierek, Izabela Sarna, Krzysztof Grygierek
      First page: 595
      Abstract: In regions with temperate climates, the thermal insulation of buildings is increased to reduce the need for heating. It might significantly reduce human thermal comfort in the summer period. The problem can increase with global warming. The aim of the paper is to analyze the heating and cooling demand, as well as thermal comfort in a single-family house located in Poland for three climate scenarios (typical, real, and future weather data) and for two types of thermal insulation of external walls. In the study, two ways of cooling the building were taken into account: using split air conditioners and using fresh airflow provided through the opening of windows. The open area and the temperatures for opening windows have been optimized using a two-criteria function. The energy simulation was carried out in EnergyPlus 9.4 software. The multi-zone model was validated on the basis of the temperature measurement. The results showed that there will be a problem with ensuring thermal comfort in the future, especially in well-insulated buildings. The energy demand for cooling will be greater than the demand for heating. The use of passive cooling is a good solution for residential buildings in these regions, and the number of discomfort hours is small (max 5%).
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120595
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 596: Challenges of Spatial Planning in Poland in
           the Context of Global Climate Change—Selected Issues

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      Authors: Anna Katarzyna Andrzejewska
      First page: 596
      Abstract: Contemporary spatial planning struggles with many difficulties resulting from, inter alia, ongoing climate change. Ongoing environmental transformations pose many challenges for spatial policy across the entire globe. The aim of this paper is to analyse the effects of climate change on urban spaces in Poland and to answer the question of whether planning practice promotes adaptation to climate change and, if so, to what extent. This paper uses a descriptive and comparative research methodology to interpret planning provisions used in selected local spatial development plans in terms of the arrangements that aim to prevent the negative consequences of climate change. The subject of the analysis is the content of general and detailed plans defined in the texts of the examined resolutions of applicable local plans in the Lower Silesia and Greater Poland voivodeships. This study assessed the validity of applying specific planning provisions. This interpretation was determined on the basis of a review of the current provisions in the Polish law, literature on the subject, as well as the author’s own professional experience in the field of spatial planning. The quantitative and qualitative research results are summarized in a table and also examined and described in detail. Examples of planning records that were used in the analysis of local plans are cited and compared. Finally, the adaptation challenges posed to spatial planning in Poland at the local level (communal) based on the obtained quantitative data on the issues were studied.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120596
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 597: Developing FEM Procedures for Four-Sided
           Structural Sealant Glazing Curtain Wall Systems with Reentrant Corners

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      Authors: Ali M. Memari, Nicholas Simmons, Ryan L. Solnosky
      First page: 597
      Abstract: In the cyclic racking evaluation of curtain wall systems, physical testing with instrumentation is the standard method for collecting performance data by most design professionals. The resulting testing of full-scale mockups can provide many types of data, including load and displacement values at different stages of loading through failure. While this type of data is valuable for product/system development/fabrication and design, such data can also provide a means for simulation validation of the curtain wall cyclic performance under simulated earthquake loading. Once the simulation study is validated using the test results, then parametric studies by designers can be conducted with greater ease, ideally with commercial software packages, without the need for testing. For the results of this research study, a practical industry formulated finite element modeling (FEM) approach was used to predict the performance of the curtain wall mockups. Here, unitized four-sided structural sealant glazing (4SSG) curtain wall system mockups that incorporate a re-entrant corner were subjected to cyclic racking displacements per the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 501.6 Structural Sealant protocol. System performances, including displacements, were obtained from the FEM study and used to calculate the effective shear strain of the structural silicone and the drift capacity of the system. This paper describes the details of the techniques developed for FEM, the analysis results, and shows an example application of the numerical modeling approach for mockups with racking test results available. The goal of this modeling approach was to create and test methods that practicing consulting engineers can quickly conduct in their offices on common commercially available software often available to them.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120597
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 598: Experimental Investigation and Design of
           Hollow Section, Centrifugal Concrete-Filled GFRP Tube Columns

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      Authors: Bing Feng, Ya-Hui Zhu, Fang Xie, Ju Chen, Cheng-Bin Liu
      First page: 598
      Abstract: The compressive response of hollow section, centrifugal concrete-filled GFRP tube (HS-CFGT) members is examined experimentally and reported analytically in this paper. A total of 17 specimens separated into two groups were tested; the specimens in each group were of four different lengths and included thirteen straight columns and four tapered columns. The details of the test rigs, procedures as well as key test observations composed of ultimate-moment capacities, load-displacement curves, and failure modes were truthfully reported. The test results were analyzed to evaluate the influence of initial eccentricity on the structural performance. Therefore, the aim of this paper is: (1) to propose a proper coefficient, φe, reflecting the effect of initial eccentricity based on the Chinese design code; and (2) to determine a new confinement coefficient, kcc = 1.10, for centrifugal concrete confined by GFRP tubes. Comparisons of the present design codes and specifications of confined concrete members with test results on 17 full-scale tube columns are also presented. Accordingly, new design equations, whose predictions generally agree well with the test results, are recommended to estimate the compressive capacity of the proposed HS-CFGT columns.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120598
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 599: Current Trends and Future Directions in
           Knowledge Management in Construction Research Using Social Network
           Analysis

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      Authors: Sepani Senaratne, Muhandiramge Nimashi Navodana Rodrigo, Xiaohua Jin, Srinath Perera
      First page: 599
      Abstract: The growing interest in Knowledge Management (KM) has led to increased attention to Social Network Analysis (SNA) as a tool to map the relationships in networks. SNA can be used to evaluate knowledge flows between project teams, contributing to collaborative working and improved performance. Similarly, it has the potential to be used for construction projects and organisations. This paper aims at identifying current trends and future research directions related to using SNA for KM in construction. A systematic review and thematic analysis were used to critically review the existing studies and identify potential research areas in construction specifically related to research approaches and explore the possibilities for extension of SNA in KM. The findings revealed that there are knowledge gaps in research approaches with case study-based research involving external stakeholders, collaborations, development of communication protocols, which are priority areas identified for future research. SNA in KM related to construction could be extended to develop models that capture both formal and informal relationships as well as the KM process in pre-construction, construction, and post-construction stages to improve the performance of projects. Similarly, SNA can be integrated with methodological concepts, such as Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), knowledge broker, and so forth, to improve KM processes in construction. This study identifies potential research areas that provide the basis for stakeholders and academia to resolve current issues in the use of SNA for KM in construction.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120599
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 600: Robot-Inclusive False Ceiling Design
           Guidelines

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      Authors: Matthew S. K. Yeo, S. M. Bhagya P. Samarakoon, Qi Boon Ng, Yi Jin Ng, M. A. Viraj J. Muthugala, Mohan Rajesh Elara, Raymond W. W. Yeong
      First page: 600
      Abstract: False ceilings are often utilised in residential and commercial spaces as a way to contain and conceal necessary but unattractive building infrastructure, including mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services. Concealing such elements has made it difficult to perform periodic inspection safely for maintenance. To complement this, there have been increasing research interests in mobile robots in recent years that are capable of accessing hard-to-reach locations, thus allowing workers to perform inspections remotely. However, current initiatives are met with challenges arising from unstructured site conditions that hamper the robot’s productivity for false ceiling inspection. The paper adopts a top-down approach known as “Design for Robots”, taking into account four robot-inclusive design principles: activity, accessibility, safety, observability. Falcon, a class of inspection robots, was used as a benchmark to identify spatial constraints according to the four principles. Following this, a list of false ceiling design guidelines for each category are proposed.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120600
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 601: The Impact of Temporary Means of Access on
           Buildings Envelope’s Maintenance Costs

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      Authors: Cláudia Ferreira, Ilídio S. Dias, Ana Silva, Jorge de Brito, Inês Flores-Colen
      First page: 601
      Abstract: Accessibility to buildings’ envelope depends on efficient inspection and other maintenance actions of their components. When access to these components is not planned, special means of access are required to carry out the maintenance work. Means of access, besides having a fundamental role on the quality of maintenance works of building envelope components, also represents a considerable part of the maintenance costs. Thus, to optimize costs and resources in maintenance plans, assessment of the impact of the means of access on maintenance costs is crucial. For works in height, there are several alternative means of access. The choice of the most adequate solution is strongly linked to the characteristics (e.g., architecture, height) and constraints (e.g., users, surrounding space) of each building, the maintenance needs of the envelope, and the time and funds available for the intervention. Therefore, in this study, a sensitivity analysis to understand how the cost of means of access can influence the maintenance costs is carried out. Moreover, the optimisation of maintenance activities in façade claddings is also analysed. This study intends to assess whether it is advantageous to consider permanent means of access during the design phase or opt for temporary means of access. In a first stage, the impact of six temporary means of access (supported and suspended scaffolds; articulated booms; telescopic booms; scissor lifts; and rope access) on the maintenance plans developed for the six types of claddings (ceramic tiling systems—CTS, natural stone claddings—NSC, rendered façades—RF, painted surfaces—PS, external thermal insulation composite systems—ETICS, and architectural concrete façades—ACF) is examined. The impact is estimated through a stochastic maintenance model based on Petri nets. After that, a sensitivity analysis and a multi-criteria decision analysis are performed. Based on the results, general recommendations are presented concerning the maintenance strategies to adopt in the cladding solutions analysed. The results reveal that planning the means of access during the design stage can be economically beneficial for all buildings’ envelope components.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120601
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 602: The Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for
           Dynamic Site Layout Planning in Large-Scale Construction Projects

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      Authors: Ahmed W. A. Hammad, Bruno B. F. da Costa, Carlos A. P. Soares, Assed N. Haddad
      First page: 602
      Abstract: Construction sites are increasingly complex, and their layout have an impact on productivity, safety, and efficiency of construction operations. Dynamic site layout planning (DSLP) considers the adjustment of construction facilities on-site, on an evolving basis, allowing the relocation of temporary facilities according to the stages of the project. The main objective of this study is to develop a framework for integrating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and their capacity for effective photogrammetry with site layout planning optimisation and Building Information Modelling (BIM) for automating site layout planning in large construction projects. The mathematical model proposed is based on a mixed integer programming (MIP) model, which was employed to validate the framework on a realistic case study provided by an industry partner. Allocation constraints were formulated to ensure the placement of the facilities in feasible regions. Using information from the UAV, several parameters could be considered, including proximity to access ways, distances between the facilities, and suitability of locations. Based on the proposed framework, a layout was developed for each stage of the project, adapting the location of temporary facilities according to current progress on-site. As a result, the use of space was optimised, and internal transport costs were progressively reduced.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120602
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 603: Characterization of Existing Steel Racks
           via Dynamic Identification

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      Authors: Claudio Bernuzzi, Claudia Pellegrino, Marco Simoncelli
      First page: 603
      Abstract: Steel storage racks are widely used in logistics for storing materials and goods. Rack design is carried out by adopting the so-called design-assisted-by-testing procedure. In particular, experimental analyses must be carried out by rack producers on the key structural components in order to adopt the design approach proposed for the more traditional carpentry frames. For existing racks, i.e., those in-service for decades, it is required to evaluate the load carrying capacity in accordance with the design provisions currently in use. The main problem in several cases should be the appraisal of the key component performance, owing to the impossibility to obtain specimens from in-service racks without reduction or interruption of the logistic flows. To overcome this problem, a quite innovative procedure for the identification of the structural unknowns of existing racks has been proposed in the paper. The method is based on in-situ modal identification tests combined with extensive numerical analyses. To develop the procedure, cheap measurement systems are required, and they could be immediately applied to existing racks. A real case study is discussed, showing the efficiency of the procedure in the evaluation of the effective elastic stiffness of beam-to-column joints and base plate connections, that are parameters which remarkably affect the rack performance. The structural unknowns have been determined based on four sets of modal tests (two configurations on the longitudinal direction and two in the transversal direction) plus 9079 iterative structural analyses. The results obtained were then directly compared with experimental component tests, showing differences lower than 9%.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120603
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 604: Optimizing Seismic Capacity of Existing
           Masonry Buildings by Retrofitting Timber Floors: Wood-Based Solutions as a
           Dissipative Alternative to Rigid Concrete Diaphragms

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      Authors: Michele Mirra, Geert Ravenshorst
      First page: 604
      Abstract: The inadequate seismic performance of existing masonry buildings is often linked to the excessively low in-plane stiffness of timber diaphragms and the poor quality of their connections to the walls. However, relevant past studies and seismic events have also shown that rigid diaphragms could be detrimental for existing buildings and do not necessarily lead to an increase in their seismic performance. Therefore, this work explores the opportunity of optimizing the retrofitting of existing timber floors by means of a dissipative strengthening option, consisting of a plywood panel overlay. On the basis of past experimental tests and previously formulated analytical and numerical models for simulating the in-plane response of these retrofitted diaphragms, in this work nonlinear incremental dynamic analyses were performed on three case–study buildings. For each structure three configurations were analyzed: an as-built one, one having floors retrofitted with concrete slabs and one having dissipative diaphragms strengthened with plywood panels. The results showed that the additional beneficial hysteretic energy dissipation of the optimized diaphragms is relevant and can largely increase the seismic performance of the analyzed buildings, while rigid floors only localize the dissipation in the walls. These outcomes can contribute to an efficient seismic retrofitting of existing masonry buildings, demonstrating once more the great potential of wood-based techniques in comparison to the use of reinforced concrete for creating rigid diaphragms.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120604
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 605: Implementation of Open Data Exchange
           between Architectural Design and Structural Analysis Models

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      Authors: Goran Sibenik, Iva Kovacic, Valentinas Petrinas, Wendelin Sprenger
      First page: 605
      Abstract: Building information modelling promises model-based collaboration between stakeholders in the project design stage. However, data exchange between physical and analytical building models used for architectural design and structural analysis respectively rarely takes place due to numerous differences in building element representation, especially the representation of geometry. This paper presents the realization of a novel data exchange framework between architectural design and structural analysis building models, based on open interpretations on central storage. The exchange is achieved with a new system architecture, where the program redDim was developed to perform the interpretations, including the most challenging transformations of geometry. We deliver a proof of concept for the novel framework with a prototype building model and verify it on two further building models. Results show that structural-analysis models can be correctly automatically created by reducing dimensionality and reconnecting building elements. The proposed data exchange provides a base for missing standardization of interpretations, which facilitates the non-proprietary automated conversion between physical and analytical models. This research fills the gap in the existing model-based communication that could lead to a seamless data exchange.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120605
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 606: An Efficient Reliability-Based Approach for
           Evaluating Safe Scaled Distance of Steel Columns under Dynamic Blast Loads
           

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      Authors: Momeni, Bedon, Hadianfard, Baghlani
      First page: 606
      Abstract: Damage to building load-bearing members (especially columns) under explosions and impact are critical issues for structures, given that they may cause a progressive collapse and remarkably increase the number of potential victims. One of the best ways to deal with this issue is to provide values of safe protective distance (SPD) for the structural members to verify, so that the amount of damage (probability of exceedance low damage) cannot exceed a specified target. Such an approach takes the form of the so-called safe scaled distance (SSD), which can be calculated for general structural members but requires dedicated and expensive studies. This paper presents an improved calculation method, based on structural reliability analysis, to evaluate the minimum SSD for steel columns under dynamic blast loads. An explicit finite element (FE) approach is used with the Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) method to obtain the SSD, as a result of damage probability. The uncertainties associated with blast and material properties are considered using statistical distributions. A parametric study is thus carried out to obtain curves of probability of low damage for a range of H-shaped steel columns with different size and boundaries. Finally, SSD values are detected and used as an extensive databank to propose a practical empirical formulation for evaluating the SSD of blast loaded steel columns with good level of accuracy and high calculation efficiency.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120606
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 607: Explicit Dynamic Analysis by a Rigid
           Body-Spring Model of Impact Loads of Artillery on Middle Age
           Fortifications

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      Authors: Vito Tateo, Siro Casolo
      First page: 607
      Abstract: The development of artillery in Europe at the end of the Middle Ages brought a necessary change in military architecture. This change was a radical rethinking of the entire geometry and architectural design of city walls which required an increase in thickness to resist repeated artillery strikes. The damage due to the impact loads on Middle Age fortification walls is analyzed herein with explicit dynamic analyses. This study was developed both with finite element models and an innovative rigid body-spring model with diagonal springs (RBSM), showing the different peculiarities of these two different approaches and how their results can be integrated. The numerical models clearly showed that the presence of an inner core of softer material tends to modify the impact effects by reducing the degree of damage at the expense of an extension of the damaged area.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120607
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 608: Blockchain and Information Integration:
           Applications in New Zealand’s Prefabrication Supply Chain

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      Authors: Ehsan Bakhtiarizadeh, Wajiha Mohsin Shahzad, Mani Poshdar, Malik Khalfan, James Olabode Bamidele Rotimi
      First page: 608
      Abstract: New Zealand’s rising demand for new and affordable homes is driving innovative and effective methods for project delivery. Prefabrication or off-site construction is considered an innovative approach to project delivery that eliminates the limitations of traditional construction methods. However, the prefabrication industry struggles with several challenges, including poor coordination and low supply chain integration amongst its partner organisations. There has been previous literature on improving the prefabrication supply chain integration, but few studies about the role of technology in this sector. Therefore, this article provides intuitions into the applicability and benefits of advanced technologies, namely blockchain, for improving supply chain integration in the context of prefabrication in New Zealand. A questionnaire survey was used to identify the channels used for information exchange between clients and contractors. Moreover, the questionnaire ascertained the positive effects of blockchain on enhancing supply chain integration between the two partners. Blockchain has proven to be a secure information integration instrument that can improve the integration of the prefabrication supply chain by fostering collaboration between organisations.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120608
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 609: Effects of Different Surface Heat Transfer
           Coefficients on Predicted Heating and Cooling Loads towards Sustainable
           Building Design

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      Authors: Yanwen Wu, Wenna Jian, Liu Yang, Tengyue Zhang, Yan Liu
      First page: 609
      Abstract: The transfer of surface heat between a building and the outdoor environment is the energy transfer channel and it is important for the energy efficiency of buildings. Early stage building design is a critical stage and it can directly determine the energy consumption by a building. Therefore, selecting appropriate surface heat transfer coefficients (SHTCs) is a key issue in building energy consumption prediction. In this study, EnergyPlus was employed to investigate the building load in Chinese cities with different SHTCs: (1) constant SHTCs based on national standards; and (2) dynamically changing SHTCs based on the Thermal Analysis Research Program (TARP). Based on investigations of the hourly load, daily cumulative load in a typical day, and annual cumulative load with different SHTCs, corrections for the annual cumulative load were obtained according to the relative deviations between the results produced with the TARP model and traditional SHTCs. The greatest relative deviations were 67.5% and 25.3% for the building shape factor φ = 0.49 and 0.29 in Lhasa. The relative deviations were 13.3% and 12.0% for φ = 0.49 in Xi’an and Beijing, respectively. Corrections were not essential for other conditions because the relative deviations were lower than 5.0%. Considering the current characteristics of engineering calculations and the need to obtain more accurate design results, dynamically changing SHTCs should be applied. These correction factors can obtain more accurate results for the current building energy efficiency system with traditional SHTCs.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120609
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 610: Evaluation of Non-Autoclaved Aerated
           Concrete for Energy Behaviors of a Residential House in Nur-Sultan,
           Kazakhstan

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      Authors: Chang-Seon Shon, Inzhu Mukangali, Dichuan Zhang, Anuar Ulykbanov, Jong Kim
      First page: 610
      Abstract: Autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) is commonly used as a modern, energy-efficient construction material in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan—the second-coldest national capital in the world after Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The autoclave curing method used to manufacture the AAC has potential risks and is environmentally costly because of its high-pressure and -temperature operation. Therefore, for phase I and II studies, non-autoclaved aerated concrete (NAAC) was cast, and its properties were evaluated in terms of compressive strength, density, porosity, and thermal conductivity. Moreover, the thermal conductivity prediction model of NAAC was successfully developed. In this Phase III study, the energy behavior of the NAAC was evaluated by energy simulation for a typical two-story residential house model in Kazakhstan. Different wall materials, such as fired brick and normal concrete, were adapted to compare the energy performance of NAAC. Finally, the annual heat loss and amount of heat transferred through the wall of the house were calculated to cross-check the energy-saving effect of NAAC. It was found that the NAAC conserved energy, because the heating and cooling loads, annual heat loss, and amount of heat transfer of NACC were lower than those of fired brick and normal concrete.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120610
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 611: Numerical Investigation on Energy
           Efficiency of Heat Pump with Tunnel Lining Ground Heat Exchangers under
           Building Cooling

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      Authors: Xiaohua Liu, Chenglin Li, Guozhu Zhang, Linfeng Zhang, Bin Wei
      First page: 611
      Abstract: For mountain tunnels, ground heat exchangers can be integrated into the tunnel lining to extract geothermal energy for building heating and cooling via a heat pump. In recent decades, many researchers only focused on the thermal performance of tunnel lining GHEs, ignoring the energy efficiency of the heat pump. A numerical model combining the tunnel lining GHEs and heat pump was established to investigate the energy efficiency of the heat pump. The inlet temperature of an absorber pipe was coupled with the cooling load of GHEs in the numerical model, and the numerical results were calibrated using the in situ test data. The energy efficiency ratio (EER) of the heat pump was calculated based on the correlation of the outlet temperature and EER. The heat pump energy efficiencies under different pipe layout types, pipe pitches and pipe lengths were evaluated. The coupling effect of ventilation and groundwater flow on the energy efficiency of heat pump was investigated. The results demonstrate that (i) the absorber pipes arranged along the axial direction of the tunnel have a greater EER than those arranged along the cross direction; (ii) the EER increases exponentially with increasing absorber pipe pitch and length (the influence of the pipe pitch and length on the growth rate of EER fades gradually as wind speed and groundwater flow rate increase); (iii) the influence of groundwater conditions on the energy efficiency of heat pumps is more obvious compared with ventilation conditions. Moreover, abundant groundwater may lead to a negative effect of ventilation on the heat pump energy efficiency. Hence, the coupling effect of ventilation and groundwater flow needs to be considered for the tunnel lining GHEs design.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120611
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 612: Quantification of the Absorption and
           Scattering Effects of Diffusers in a Room with Absorbent Ceiling

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      Authors: Emma Arvidsson, Erling Nilsson, Delphine Bard Hagberg, Ola J. I. Karlsson
      First page: 612
      Abstract: In ordinary public rooms, such as classrooms and offices, an absorbent ceiling is the typical first acoustic action. This treatment provides a good acoustic baseline. However, an improvement of specific room acoustic parameters, operating for specific frequencies, can be needed. It has been seen that diffusing elements can be effective additional treatment. In order to choose the right design, placement, and quantity of diffusers, a model to estimate the effect on the acoustics is necessary. This study evaluated whether an SEA model could be used for that purpose, particularly for the cases where diffusers are used in combination with an absorbent ceiling. It was investigated whether the model could handle different quantities of diffusing elements, varied diffusion characteristics, and varied installation patterns. It was found that the model was sensitive to these changes, given that the output from the model in terms of acoustic properties will be reflected by the change of diffuser configuration design. It was also seen that the absorption and scattering of the diffusers could be quantified in a laboratory environment: a reverberation chamber. Through the SEA model, these quantities could be transformed to a full-scale room for estimation of the room acoustic parameters.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120612
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 613: Use of AI Algorithms in Different Building
           Typologies for Energy Efficiency towards Smart Buildings

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      Authors: Ali Bagheri, Konstantinos N. Genikomsakis, Sesil Koutra, Vasileios Sakellariou, Christos S. Ioakimidis
      First page: 613
      Abstract: Buildings’ heating and cooling systems account for an important part of total energy consumption. The EU’s directives and engagements motivate building owners and relevant stakeholders in the energy and construction sectors towards net zero energy buildings by maximizing the use of renewable energy sources, ICT, and automation systems. However, the high costs of investment for the renovation of buildings, in situ use of renewable energy production, and installation of expensive ICT infrastructure and automation systems in small–medium range buildings are the main obstacles for the wide adoption of EU building directives in small- and medium-range buildings. On the other hand, the concept of sharing computational and data storage resources among various buildings can be an alternative approach to achieving smart buildings and smart cities where the main control power resides on a server. Unlike other studies that focus on the implementation of AI techniques in a building or separated buildings with local processing resources and data storage, in this work a corporate server was employed to control the heating systems in three building typologies and to examine the potential benefits of controlling existing buildings in a unified energy-savings platform. The key finding of this work is that the AI algorithms incorporated into the proposed system achieved significant energy savings in the order of 20–40% regardless of building typology, building functionality, and type of heating system, despite the COVID-19 measures for frequent ventilation of the buildings, even in cases with older-type heating systems.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120613
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 614: Structural Vibration Control with the
           Implementation of a Tuned Mass Rocking Wall System

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      Authors: Wei Lin, Andong Wang, Shanghong Chen, Ai Qi, Zhonggao Su
      First page: 614
      Abstract: A tuned mass rocking wall (TMRW)-frame structure system is proposed to improve the energy dissipation ability of the traditional rocking wall-frame system. Based on the energy dissipation principle of the traditional tuned mass damper (TMD), a TMRW is designed with proper mass and stiffness according to the dynamic characteristic of the host structure. Firstly, considering the presence of inherent structural damping, the dynamic amplification factor of the main mass was derived from the dynamic equations of the TMRW mechanism. A practical design table was then obtained after parameter study. Secondly, by taking a six-story frame structure as an example, the dynamic time-history analysis was conducted to study TMRW’s seismic performance. The inter-story drift ratios of the TMRW-frame, the traditional rocking wall-frame, and the frame structures were compared, and the seismic responses of the controlled and uncontrolled structures were also compared. The results demonstrate that the TMRW can effectively reduce the inter-story displacement of the host structure, and the lateral deformation mode of the host structure tends to be more uniform. However, compared with the traditional rocking wall-frame system, the proposed TMRW has less ability on coordinating deformation.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120614
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 615: Impact of Environmental Exposure on the
           Service Life of Façade Claddings—A Statistical Analysis

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      Authors: Joana Barrelas, Ilídio S. Dias, Ana Silva, Jorge de Brito, Inês Flores-Colen, António Tadeu
      First page: 615
      Abstract: Façade claddings, as the outer protection layer of the building’s envelope, are directly exposed to environmental degradation agents. The façades’ orientation and their distance from the sea, among other location and protection-related factors, influence their vulnerability to climate loads, in particular wind and air humidity. These loads, as well as exposure to air pollution, affect the degradation process of claddings and the durability of façades. Therefore, studying the impact of the environmental exposure conditions on the service life of different external claddings provides useful information on their performance over time, which can support (i) decision-makers in the selection of the best façade cladding solutions and (ii) further research on the impact of climate change on building components. This study covers six types of cladding: rendered façades (R), natural stone cladding (NSC), ceramic tiling system (CTS), painted surfaces (PS), external thermal insulation composite systems (ETICS), and architectural concrete façades (ACF). Three hundred façades located in Portugal are analysed according to three main groups of variables, which characterize (i) the façades, (ii) their degradation condition, and (iii) the environmental deterioration loads and context. The statistical analysis results reveal that the environmental variables affect the cladding degradation process. South-oriented façades present lower degradation conditions than façades facing north. The distance from the sea and high exposure to pollutants add to the degradation conditions, reducing the expected service life of façades. The results reveal that claddings can be organized according to two main groups: the most durable (CTS, NSC, and ACF) and the least durable (R, PS, and ETICS) systems. This study enables a comprehensive analysis of the data, useful to draw conclusions about the influence of environmental exposure conditions on the degradation and service life of façade claddings.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120615
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 616: Factors Driving BIM Learning Performance:
           Research on China’s Sixth National BIM Graduation Design Innovation
           Competition of Colleges and Universities

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      Authors: Yibin Ao, Yunhong Liu, Liyao Tan, Ling Tan, Maoqiu Zhang, Qiqi Feng, Jinglin Zhong, Yan Wang, Liang Zhao, Igor Martek
      First page: 616
      Abstract: With the popularization and rise in BIM technology usage, BIM education for undergraduate students in architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) related disciplines has emerged as a priority. This study assesses the BIM learning outcomes of students participating in the National BIM Graduation Design Innovation Competition of Colleges and Universities. In total, 2777 valid questionnaire responses were obtained for this study. The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient method and principal component factor analysis method were used to verify the reliability of the data set (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.962, KMO = 0.965). The t-test (ANOVA) was used to verify that gender, school type, major, grade, study duration and use BIM related software, as well as other demographic attributes, displayed significant inter-group differences. Seven common factors affecting BIM learning performance were obtained by exploratory factor analysis: (1) ability of the instructor, (2) school (college) atmosphere, (3) teamwork, (4) individual ability, (5) understanding of BIM industry applications, (6) social environment incentives, and (7) achievement demand. Finally, the results of an ordered logistic regression revealed that the demographic attributes of participants, the comprehensive ability of the instructor, teamwork, individual ability, and achievement demand significantly affects BIM learning performance. Based on these findings, this paper puts forward suggestions for improving BIM learning performance and provides theoretical support for BIM education and learning in AEC related undergraduate majors.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120616
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 617: Quarantine Hotels: The Adaptation of Hotels
           for Quarantine Use in Australia

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      Authors: Demet Dincer, Ozgur Gocer
      First page: 617
      Abstract: The COVID-19 global health crisis has spatial implications concerning social isolation to control the spread of the virus. The preventive measures require travelers to stay in mandatory quarantine for 14 days upon arrival from another country. Due to a shortage of government facilities, more hotels have started to function as quarantine facilities. This research focuses on quarantine hotels in Australia, as one of the first countries to implement an international border restriction, to evaluate the spatial needs of users and what see outcomes can be identified. By primarily focusing on hotel users’ well-being during the isolation period, this paper responds to an information gap regarding the quarantine hotel system by providing user opinions on the negative and positive factors affecting their well-being. A survey with multiple-choice and open-ended questionnaire items was conducted with 54 participants to investigate their experiences in quarantine hotels. Among the nine key sources of well-being, the three highest-scored responses were an operable window (4.7), ventilation (4.5), and natural lighting (4.3). Access to the outdoor environment via a balcony or operable window was an acute and fundamental requirement for guests. Additionally, participants mentioned that they are unwilling to return to the hotel where they spent their quarantine, which raises issues regarding the future of hotels.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120617
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 618: Analysis of Formwork System Selection
           Criteria for Building Construction Projects: A Comparative Study

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      Authors: Taylan Terzioglu, Gul Polat, Harun Turkoglu
      First page: 618
      Abstract: The formwork system (FWS) in reinforced concrete (RC) construction is a critical component. The appropriate FWS is selected based on a number of conflicting and compromising criteria, and the selection of the FWS is carried out by construction professionals with different technical and/or administrative backgrounds. The perspectives and perceptions of construction professionals and companies involved in the FWS selection process may vary depending on their motives. In addition, some building structural parameters may have a significant impact on the FWS selection criteria. Most of the former studies investigated the FWS selection criteria from only the perspective of contractors and neglected the potential differences in the perspectives and perceptions of different construction professionals (i.e., owners (CO), project managers (PM), construction managers (CM), site engineers (SE), planning engineers (PL), procurement engineers (PR), technical office engineers (TO), and formwork design and/or formwork sales engineers (FD/FSL)) and companies specialized in different fields (i.e., project management service (PMS), engineering and design (ENG/DSG), formwork and scaffolding (FW/SCF), and general and/or sub-contractor (GC/SC)) regarding this issue. Moreover, the impact of building structural parameters on the FWS selection criteria has not been investigated. This study aims to fill this knowledge gap through analysing the FWS selection criteria for building construction projects while comparing the perspectives and perceptions of different groups of construction professionals and companies and investigating how FWS selection criteria are affected by the building structural parameters. Based on a comprehensive literature review, 35 FWS selection criteria were identified and a questionnaire was developed. The questionnaire data obtained from 222 Turkish construction professionals were statistically analysed using mean score analysis, the Kruskal–Wallis test, and the Mann–Whitney U test. According to the study’s findings, the FD/FSL group presented significant statistical differences regarding the FWS selection criteria as compared to the CO, PM/CM/SE, and PL/PR/TO groups. Moreover, the total area of building construction and total building height significantly affected the FWS selection criteria. This study serves to underscore the perspectives of various groups of construction professionals and the critical connection between the structural parameters and FWS selection criteria. The findings of this study may guide construction professionals to select the appropriate FWS for their building construction projects.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120618
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 619: Design of Cold-Mixed High-Toughness
           Ultra-Thin Asphalt Layer towards Sustainable Pavement Construction

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      Authors: Jiangmiao Yu, Nikun Yang, Fuda Chen, Yanlin Chen, Zhuohan Lin, Huayang Yu
      First page: 619
      Abstract: Ultra-thin asphalt overlay has become the mainstream measure of road preventive maintenance due to its good economic benefits and road performance. However, hot mix asphalt concrete technology is widely used at present, which is not the most ideal way to promote energy saving and emission reduction in the field of road maintenance. At the same time, the ultra-thin friction course based on cold mix technology, such as slurry seal layer, micro-surface, and other technologies, are still far behind the hot mix friction course in terms of crack resistance. In this research, by establishing an integrated design of materials and structures, a cold paving technology called “high-toughness cold-mixed ultra-thin pavement (HCUP)” is proposed. The high-viscosity emulsified bitumen prepared by using high-viscosity and high-elasticity modified bitumen is used as the binder and sticky layer of HCUP. The thickness of HCUP is 0.8–2.0 cm, the typical thickness is 1.2 cm, and the nominal maximum size of the coarse aggregate is 8 mm. Indoor tests show that HCUP-8 has water stability, anti-skid performance, high temperature performance, peeling resistance, and crack resistance that are not weaker than traditional hot-mixed ultra-thin wear layers such as AC-10, Novachip, and GT-8. At the same time, the test road paving further proved that HCUP-8 has excellent road performance with a view to providing new ideas for low-carbon and environmentally friendly road materials.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120619
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 620: Behaviour of Lightweight Concrete Wall
           Panel under Axial Loading: Experimental and Numerical Investigation toward
           Sustainability in Construction Industry

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      Authors: Muhammad Ekhlasur Rahman, Timothy Zhi Hong Ting, Hieng Ho Lau, Brabha Nagaratnam, Keerthan Poologanathan
      First page: 620
      Abstract: Awareness of sustainability in construction has led to the utilization of waste material such as oil palm shell (OPS) in concrete production. The feasibility of OPS as alternative aggregates in concrete has been widely studied at the material level. Meanwhile, nonlinear concrete material properties are not taken into account in the conventional concrete wall design equations, resulting in underestimation of lightweight concrete’s wall axial capacity. Against these sustainability and technical contexts, this research investigated the buckling behavior of OPS-based lightweight self-compacting concrete (LWSCC) wall. Failure mode, load-deflection responses, and ultimate strength were assessed experimentally. Numerical models have been developed and validated against experimental results. Parametric studies were conducted to study the influence of parameters like slenderness ratio, eccentricity, compressive strength, and elastic modulus. The results showed that the axial strength of concrete wall was very much dependent on these parameters. A generalized semi-empirical design equation, based on equivalent concrete stress block and modified by mathematical regression, has been proposed. The ratio of average calculated results to test results of the proposed equation, when compared to ACI 318, AS 3600, and Eurocode 2 equations, are respectively improved from 0.36, 0.31, and 0.42 to 0.97. This research demonstrates that OPS-based LWSCC concrete can be used for structural axial components and that the equation developed can serve a good guideline for its design, which could encourage automation and promote sustainability in the construction industry.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120620
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 621: Thermal Performance of LSF Wall Systems
           with Vacuum Insulation Panels

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      Authors: Heshachanaa Rajanayagam, Irindu Upasiri, Keerthan Poologanathan, Perampalam Gatheeshgar, Paul Sherlock, Chaminda Konthesingha, Brabha Nagaratnam, Dilini Perera
      First page: 621
      Abstract: Lightweight Steel Frames (LSF) in building construction are becoming more popular due to their fast, clean, and flexible constructability. Typical LSF wall panels are made of cold-formed and thin-walled steel lipped channel studs with plasterboard linings. Due to the high thermal conductivity of steel, these LSF components must be well engineered and covered against unintended thermal bridges. Therefore, it is essential to investigate the heat transfer of the LSF wall of different configurations and reduce heat loss through walls by lowering the thermal transmittance, which would ultimately minimise the energy consumption in buildings. The effect of novel thermal insulation material, Vacuum Insulation Panels (VIP), their position on the LSF wall configuration, and Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and plasterboard’s effect on the thermal transmittance of LSF walls were investigated through numerical analysis. A total of 56 wall configurations and 112 finite element models were analysed and compared with the minimum U-value requirements of UK building regulations. Numerical model results exhibited that using plasterboards instead of OSB has no considerable effect on the U-value of the LSF walls. However, 77% (4 times) of U-value reduction was exhibited by introducing the 20 mm VIP. Moreover, the position of the VIP to the U-value of LSF was negligible. Based on the results, optimum LSF wall configurations were proposed by highlighting the construction methods. Additionally, this study, through literature, seeks to identify other areas in which additional research can be conducted to achieve the desired thermal efficiency of buildings using LSF wall systems.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-07
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120621
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 622: Quantifying Advantages of Modular
           Construction: Waste Generation

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      Authors: Loizos Loizou, Khalegh Barati, Xuesong Shen, Binghao Li
      First page: 622
      Abstract: The construction industry is a significant source of waste generation in any economy, producing various greenhouse gases, releasing harmful substances into the natural environment, and requiring large areas of land for processing, treatment, and landfilling. The emerging field of off-site prefabrication and assembly is perceived as a viable method to reduce waste and improve sustainability. However, there is a lack of quantifiable research into the difference between off-site prefabrication and on-site, conventional construction for numerous sustainability criteria. This paper focuses on modular construction as an off-site production system, where a framework to compare waste generation of modular and conventional, in-situ construction methods is proposed. This paper aims to quantify these differences. The framework relies on a comprehensive literature review to estimate the waste rates of building materials, which are then applied to realistic case studies in order to determine the differences in waste generation. Overall, modular construction reduces the overall weight of waste by up to 83.2%, for the cases considered. This corresponds to a 47.9% decrease in the cost of waste for large structures. Care must be taken to keep modular wastage as low as possible for a reduced cost of waste to be also present in smaller structures. This reduces the research gap of quantifying the waste differences between conventional and modular construction, and provides thoroughly researched waste rates for future research, while also improving the knowledge of industry stakeholders, informing them of the benefits of modular construction. This allows stakeholders to make more informed decisions when selecting an appropriate construction method.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-07
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120622
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 623: Assessing Surface Texture Features of
           Asphalt Pavement Based on Three-Dimensional Laser Scanning Technology

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      Authors: Bo Chen, Chunlong Xiong, Weixiong Li, Jiarui He, Xiaoning Zhang
      First page: 623
      Abstract: Pavement surface texture features are one of key factors affecting the skid resistance of pavement. In this study, a set of stable and reliable texture measurement equipment was firstly assembled by using the linear laser ranging sensor, control system and data acquisition system. Secondly, the equipment was calibrated, and the superposition error of sensor and control system was tested by making a standard gauge block. Thirdly, four different kinds of asphalt mixture were designed, and their surface texture features were obtained by leveraging a three-dimensional laser scanner. Therefore, the surface texture features were characterized as one-dimensional profile features and three-dimensional surface features. At the end of this study, a multi-scale texture feature characterization method was proposed. Results demonstrate that the measurement accuracy of the laser scanning system in the x-axis direction can be controlled ranging from −0.01 mm to 0.01 mm, the resolution in the XY plane is 0.05 mm, and the reconstructed surface model of surface texture features can achieve a good visualization effect. They also show that the root mean square deviation of surface profiles of different asphalt pavements fluctuates greatly, which is mainly affected by the nominal particle size of asphalt mixture and the proportion of coarse aggregate, and the non-uniformity of pavement texture distribution makes it difficult to characterize the roughness of asphalt pavement effectively by a single pavement surface profile. This study proposed a texture section method to describe the 3D distribution of road surface texture at different depths. The macrotexture of the road surface gradually changes from sparse to dense starting from the shallow layer. The actual asphalt pavement texture can be characterized by a simplified combination model of “cone + sphere + column”. By calculating the surface area distribution of macro and microtextures of different asphalt pavements, it was concluded that the surface area of asphalt pavement under micro scale is about 1.8–2.2 times of the cutting area, and the surface area of macrotexture is about 1.4 times of the cutting area. Moreover, this study proposed texture distribution density to characterize the roughness of asphalt pavement texture at different scales. The SMA index can represent the macroscopic structure level of different asphalt pavements to a certain extent, and the SMI index can well represent the friction level of different asphalt pavements.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-07
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120623
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 624: Experimental Study on the Behavior of
           Steel–Concrete Composite Decks with Different Shear Span-to-Depth
           Ratios

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      Authors: Sayan Sirimontree, Chanachai Thongchom, Suraparb Keawsawasvong, Peem Nuaklong, Pitcha Jongvivatsakul, Warayut Dokduea, Linh Van Hong Bui, Ehsan Noroozinejad Farsangi
      First page: 624
      Abstract: This paper presents the results of an experimental study on the mechanical behaviors of steel‒concrete composite decks with different shear span-to-depth ratios. Herein, four composite decks categorized into two types with shear span-to-depth ratios of 2.5 and 4.6 are designed for an experimental program. The decks then undergo the four-point bending tests until failure to investigate the structural responses, such as the load, displacement, crack mechanism, and failure mode. Conventional section analysis is used to derive the flexural strength of composite decks in comparison with the test results. Additionally, the ductility of the composite decks is assessed based on the displacement indices. The analysis results demonstrate that the stiffness and capacity of the composite deck increase with the decrease in the shear span length. However, the ductility of the composite slabs increases with the shear span length. The flexural strengths predicted by section analysis overestimate the actual test results. The shear span-to-depth ratio affects the crack mechanism of the composite decks.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-08
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120624
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 625: Hybrid Ventilation in an Air-Conditioned
           Office Building with a Multistory Atrium for Thermal Comfort: A Practical
           Case Study

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      Authors: Hsu, Chiang, Huang
      First page: 625
      Abstract: This study involved a series of computational fluid dynamics simulations to evaluate the effectiveness of stack and displacement ventilation in providing better thermal comfort in an air-conditioned office building. To reduce energy consumption, the public area of the studied building is cooled by air from air-conditioned rooms with lower temperatures. The air, which is driven by buoyancy, then, flows outside through the multistory atrium. The simulation results indicated that displacement ventilation provides superior thermal comfort performance relative to stack ventilation. A design with a higher ceiling, a higher heat source and a lower inlet with cold air can substantially enhance the efficiency of displacement ventilation. Furthermore, handrails near the atrium play a crucial role because they help to retain cold air in the public space for a longer period, thereby contributing to a better predicted mean vote value.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-08
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120625
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 626: Project Data Categorization, Adoption
           Factors, and Non-Functional Requirements for Blockchain Based Digital
           Twins in the Construction Industry 4.0

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      Authors: Teisserenc, Sepasgozar
      First page: 626
      Abstract: As key technologies of the fourth industrial revolution, blockchain and digital twins have great potential to enhance collaboration, data sharing, efficiency, and sustainability in the construction industry. Blockchain can improve data integrity and enhance trust in the data value[ chain throughout the entire lifecycle of projects. This paper aims to develop a novel theoretical framework for the adoption of environmentally sustainable blockchain-based digital twins (BCDT) for Construction Industry (CI) 4.0. The paper identifies which key data from construction projects lifecycle should be anchored in BCDTs to benefit CI 4.0 and the environment. The paper also identifies key factors and non-functional requirements necessary for the adoption of BCDTs in a decentralized and sustainable CI 4.0. At first, a content analysis of the literature allowed the identification of which data from projects lifecycle would benefit from blockchain technology (BCT) adoption and what the key factors and non-functional requirements necessary for the adoption of BCDT in the CI4.0 are. Furthermore, the analysis of structured interviews and online survey permitted to firstly validate the hypotheses raised from the literature and to offer a novel framework for BCDT of CI 4.0 in the context of the circular economy (CE). The findings are that (1) the key project lifecycle data relevant for BCDTs relate to the BIM dimensions (3D, 4D, 5D, 6D, 7D, and 8D) and a new dimension called the contractual dimension (cD) is also proposed. (2) Ecosystems of BCDTs should embrace a novel form of collaboration that is decentralized and presented as Level 4 maturity for BCDTs. This new level of maturity leverages distributed blockchain networks to enhance collaboration, processes automation with smart contracts, and data sharing within a decentralized data value chain. Finally (3), the main non-functional requirements for BCDTs are security, privacy, interoperability, data ownership, data integrity, and the decentralization and scalability of data storage. With the proposed framework including the BCDT dimensions, the Maturity Level 4, and the key non-functional requirements, this paper provides the building blocks for industry practitioners to adopt BCDTs. This is promising for CI 4.0 to embrace a paradigm shift towards decentralized ecosystems of united BCDTs where trust, collaboration, data sharing, information security, efficiency, and sustainability are improved throughout the lifecycle of projects and within a decentralized CE (DCE).
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-08
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120626
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 627: Window View Access in Architecture: Spatial
           Visualization and Probability Evaluations Based on Human Vision Fields and
           Biophilia

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      Authors: Parsaee, Demers, Potvin, Hébert, Lalonde
      First page: 627
      Abstract: This paper presents a computational method for spatial visualization and probability evaluations of window view access in architecture based on human eyes’ vision fields and biophilic recommendations. Window view access establishes occupants’ visual connections to outdoors. Window view access has not, yet, been discussed in terms of the typical vision fields and related visual experiences. Occupants’ views of outdoors could change from almost blocked and poor to good, wide, and immersive visions in relation to the binocular focus to monocular (far-) peripheral sights of human eyes. The proposed methodological framework includes spatial visualizations and cumulative distribution functions of window view access based on visual experiences of occupants. The framework is integrated with biophilic recommendations and existing rating systems for view evaluations. As a pilot study, the method is used to evaluate occupants’ view access in a space designed with 15 different configurations of windows and overhangs. Results characterize likelihood of experiencing various field of views (FOVs) in case studies. In particular, window-to-wall-area ratios of between 40% and 70% offer optimum distributions of view access in space by offering 75% likelihoods of experiencing good to wide views and less than 25% probabilities of exposing to poor and almost blocked views. Results show the contribution of the proposed method to informative decision-making processes in architecture.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-12-08
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11120627
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 528: Assessment of Timber Roof Structures before
           and after Earthquakes

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      Authors: Nikola Perković, Mislav Stepinac, Vlatka Rajčić, Jure Barbalić
      First page: 528
      Abstract: The global objective of sustainable development has been greatly directed toward the preservation of existing structures. Therefore, condition assessment and reconstruction of existing timber structures have been gaining importance in recent times. This is particularly evident on timber roofs whose elements are exposed to degradation, either because of rheological effects or due to the direct influence of moisture and biological factors. In case of accidental events, such as an earthquake, the question of the structure’s condition is essential for the condition of the entire building. In order to prove the load-bearing capacity and serviceability of existing structures, as well as to check the need for reconstruction, it is necessary to define crucial parameters that are influencing the condition of materials, elements, and systems. Although there are many non destructive testing methods, the frequency and scope of their use, as well as the decision-making approach, have not been defined. In the paper, non-destructive and semi-destructive methods frequently used for timber structures are explained. A systematic review of criteria to be used in the assessment of load-bearing timber structures in a seismic active area was the main objective of this paper as well as the illustration of non-destructive and semi-destructive test methods through a case study involving roof construction of a hundred-year-old building in Zagreb, Croatia. Pre- and post-earthquake inspection was made. The overall condition of the roof structure after two significant earthquakes can be assessed as satisfactory given that the observed system is a large-span and massive roof structure. The presented results and identification of typical damages after the earthquake are presented in order to facilitate policy makers and for the future implementation of development strategies in the renovation of the city.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-10
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110528
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 529: Cost Modeling from the Contractor
           Perspective: Application to Residential and Office Buildings

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      Authors: Francisco Pereira Monteiro, Vitor Sousa, Inês Meireles, Carlos Oliveira Cruz
      First page: 529
      Abstract: For the majority of the contractual arrangements used in construction projects, the owner is not responsible for the cost deviations due to the variability of labor productivity or material price, amongst many other aspects. Consequently, the cost performance of a project may be entirely distinct for the owner and the contractor. Since the majority of quantitative research on cost estimation and deviation found in the literature adopts the owners’ perspective, this research provides a contribution towards modeling costs and cost deviation from a contractor’s perspective. From an initial sample of 13 residential buildings and 10 office building projects, it was possible to develop models for cost estimation at the early stage of development, including both endogenous and exogenous variables. Although the sample is relatively small, the authors were able to fully analyze all the cost data, using no secondary sources of data (which is very frequent in cost modeling studies). The statistically significant variables in the cost estimation models were the areas above and below ground and the years following the 2008 financial crisis, including the international bailout (2011–2014) period. For estimating the unit cost, a nonlinear model was obtained with the number of underground and total floor, the floor ratio, and the years following the 2008 financial crisis, including the international bailout (2011–2014) period as predictors. For the office buildings, a statistically significant correlation was also found between the cost deviation and number of underground floors.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-10
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110529
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 530: The Influence of Casein Protein Admixture
           on Pore Size Distribution and Mechanical Properties of Lime-Metakaolin
           Paste

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      Authors: Przemysław Brzyski, Zbigniew Suchorab, Grzegorz Łagód
      First page: 530
      Abstract: Biopolymers based on proteins are applied in the building materials technology to modify and improve their selected properties. These polymers are designed as natural admixtures that improve the workability of materials. Casein is an example of a protein-based organic polymer. It is a protein obtained from cow’s milk. The paper aimed at investigating the prospects of enhancing the strength properties of a binder prepared on a basis of metakaolin and hydrated lime. The mix was modified with powdered technical casein at 0.5%, 1%, 3%, and 5% as a partial replacement for the binder mix by mass. The study involved investigating the effect of the applied natural admixture on the flexural and compressive strengths, as well as pore size distribution. The average pore diameter decreased in the recipes with casein in the amount of 0.5% and 1%, while it increased when the amount of casein equaled 3% and 5%. Only the 0.5% casein admixture caused a decrease in the total porosity. The results show a clear dependence of the strength parameters on porosity. The admixture of casein significantly increased the flexural strength of the pastes, and decreased the compressive strength. The highest increase in flexural strength (by 205.7%) was caused by the admixture of 0.5% casein, while the greatest decrease in compressive strength (by 28%) was caused by the 3% casein admixture. The flexural strength was enhanced, i.a., due to the improved adhesion and mutual bonding of lime particles, resulting from the application of a sticky admixture. No notable difference was indicated during carbonation by the phenolphthalein test. The lime binder is characterized by a slow setting process and low mechanical strength. The results of the research showed the possibility of improving the flexural strength using small amounts of natural admixture, which may broaden the scope of application of this binder.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-10
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110530
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 531: A Conceptual Framework for Modeling Social
           Risk Tolerance for PPP Projects: An Empirical Case of China

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      Authors: Weiyan Jiang, Jingshu Lei, Meiyue Sang, Yinghui Wang, Kunhui Ye
      First page: 531
      Abstract: Public–private partnerships (PPPs) are a useful approach that allows the public sector to collaborate with private investors in financing, implementing, and operating public sector facilities. Over the past few decades, the occurrence of social risks and the vulnerability of PPP projects to these risks have caused numerous project failures. While practitioners claim to manage the social risks of PPP projects, little effort has been made to explore the proper ways of doing this. In this study, we present a social risk tolerance (SRT) concept and propose a model to quantify the tolerance of PPP projects to social risks. One hundred and twenty-three PPP projects were collected from China for model validation. The results indicate a positive relationship between SRT values and project size and that the SRT has diminishing marginal values. This paper presents a new concept in PPP research and provides an appropriate approach for managing the social risks of PPP projects. The research findings can help both the public and private sectors understand the social risks associated with PPP projects and determine effective countermeasures to control these risks.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-10
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110531
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 532: Geopolymers as Sustainable Material for
           Strengthening and Restoring Unreinforced Masonry Structures: A Review

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      Authors: Anabel B. Abulencia, Ma. Beatrice D. Villoria, Roneh Glenn D. Libre, Pauline Rose J. Quiatchon, Ithan Jessemar R. Dollente, Ernesto J. Guades, Michael Angelo B. Promentilla, Lessandro Estelito O. Garciano, Jason Maximino C. Ongpeng
      First page: 532
      Abstract: Unreinforced masonry (URM) structures are vulnerable to earthquakes; thus, materials and techniques for their strengthening and restoration should be developed. However, the materials used in some of the existing retrofitting technologies for URM and the waste produced at its end-of-life are unsustainable. The production of ordinary Portland cement (OPC) worldwide has enormously contributed to the global carbon footprint, resulting in persistent environmental problems. Replacing OPC with geopolymers, which are more sustainable and environmentally friendly, presents a potential solution to these problems. Geopolymers can replace the OPC component in engineering cementitious composites (ECC), recommended to strengthen and restore URM structures. In the present paper, the state-of-the-art knowledge development on applying geopolymers in URM structures is discussed. The discussion is focused on geopolymers and their components, material characterization, geopolymers as a strengthening and restoration material, and fiber-reinforced geopolymers and their application to URM structures. Based on this review, it was found that the mechanical properties of geopolymers are on par with that of OPC; however, there are few studies on the mentioned applications of geopolymers. The characterization of geopolymers’ mechanical and physical properties as a restoration material for URM structures is still limited. Therefore, other properties such as chemical interaction with the substrate, workability, thixotropic behavior, and aesthetic features of geopolymers need to be investigated for its wide application. The application method of geopolymer-based ECC as a strengthening material for a URM structure is by grouting injection. It is also worth recommending that other application techniques such as deep repointing, jacketing, and cement-plastering be explored.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-11
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110532
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 533: The Function and Potential of Innovative
           Reinforced Concrete Prefabrication Technologies in Achieving Residential
           Construction Goals in Germany and Poland

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      Authors: Paweł Kirschke, Sietko Dagmara
      First page: 533
      Abstract: This paper presents the role and potential of housing built using innovative reinforced concrete prefabrication technologies. The subject was presented by investigating the share of such buildings in the achievement of housing goals in Germany and Poland, where they currently constitute one of the most dynamically developing housing sector branches. The phenomenon has been presented via comparative analyses of selected designs by manufacturers from the sector and development companies. Prefabrication is essentially based on optimising architectural and structural solutions and leads to lowering financial and material cost; decreasing project completion time. At present, these goals are achieved by systematising the design and construction process and using the potential offered by building information modelling technology (BIM). This enables coordination between design specialisations and reduces the number of errors, increasing manufacturing and assembly efficiency. Innovative prefabricated technologies are solutions that are either new or are considerably improved in terms of technical specifications, components and materials, that use the latest software, are easy to assemble, durable, energy efficient, can be disassembled and reused and have a low carbon footprint and can be considered aesthetically pleasing. Contemporary prefabricated housing architecture is a combination of innovative technological solutions that enables constructing sustainable architecture and emphasizes the aesthetic features of structural solutions and solutions.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-11
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110533
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 534: New Dimension to Green Buildings: Turning
           Green into Occupant Well-Being

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      Authors: Yang Fu, Hongdi Wang, Wen Sun, Xiaoling Zhang
      First page: 534
      Abstract: A series of international conferences and initiatives, such as the Habitat III New Urban Agenda and UN Sustainable Development Goals, have urged industry, scholars, and policymakers to create an inclusive and sustainable built environment for all in the coming era of cities. Green building schemes, which have been gaining momentum over recent decades, are one of the most influential measures that have been taken to promote urban sustainability. However, due to disciplinary characteristics, most current studies share a techno-engineering focus. Seldom do they answer the question: will green buildings make a difference to the occupants' This paper explains how, and to what extent, green features and design contribute to different dimensions of occupant well-being by conducting a systematic and comprehensive review of current journal articles and industrial reports. It provides an alternative, occupant-oriented perspective to the conventional discourse. A conceptual framework is developed, revealing that green building aspects are linked to six dimensions (three subjective and three objective) of occupant well-being. It further shows how different green features are linked with these dimensions through a detailed examination of the literature. Finally, suggestions are provided based on the research findings for the direction of future green building development and empirical research.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-11
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110534
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 535: Interconnections: An Analysis of
           Disassemblable Building Connection Systems towards a Circular Economy

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      Authors: Timothy M. O’Grady, Roberto Minunno, Heap-Yih Chong, Greg M. Morrison
      First page: 535
      Abstract: This study investigates the interconnection methods used to create a circular economy building featuring modularity and designed for disassembly and relocation. Designing modular buildings for disassembly and reuse can decrease waste production and material depletion, in line with the circular economy framework. Disassemblable buildings require connections to be easily accessible. Visible connections may be unpopular features; however, concealing these, yet leaving these accessible, presents a substantial design challenge. This study demonstrates solutions to this challenge by analyzing a purposely designed case study: the Legacy Living Lab. The challenges of disguising and sealing, such as by waterproofing, two types of connections are analysed: structural and non-structural. This study details the materials and connections used across the two analyzed connection types and compares the weights and reusability of components. Thus, a necessary case study is provided for practitioners to advance circular economy theory in the building industry. Notably, all connections in the Legacy Living Lab can be easily accessed with standard building tools, facilitating its disassembly and fostering component reusability.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110535
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 536: Evaluating the Vertical Extension Module of
           a Building with Installed Rotary Dampers at Joints

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      Authors: Seokjae Heo, Seunguk Na, Moo-Won Hur, Sanghyun Lee
      First page: 536
      Abstract: In this study, the shape of a vertical expansion module with a rotary-type damping device is proposed. The external energy dissipation capacity is confirmed through experiments and the performance of the module is simulated. It can be easily applied to high-rise structures, as the module is directly supported by the bearing walls without the need for a separate base system. Additionally, as the damper can be replaced, it is possible to enhance seismic performance even after construction. The simulation results show that the rotary-type damper is more effective in reducing the displacement, shear force, and moment than free and fixed joints. In the pushover analysis of a system modeled using the moment hinge of the rotary damper of the joint, the best response reduction effect is obtained when the yield moment of the hinge is defined as 1% of the frame plastic moment. As a result of the analysis of the multi-degree-of-freedom system considering a harmonic load, we determined that it is efficient for the hinge to yield after the displacement, and the acceleration response of the resonant structure reaches steady state during the installation. In the multi-degree-of-freedom system with slab joints added to the analytical model, the displacement response decreased gradually as the natural period of the structure decreased and the joint increased. This provides evidence that the damper does not affect the overall behavior of the structure. The most important design factor of the rotary-type friction damper, shown through the experiment, is the relationship between the frictional surface and the tightening force of the bolt.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-13
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110536
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 537: Fire Resistance of Steel Structures with
           Epoxy Fire Protection under Cryogenic Exposure

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      Authors: Marina Gravit, Boris Klementev, Daria Shabunina
      First page: 537
      Abstract: Cases of fire with highly flammable, combustible liquids and combustible gases with high potential heat emission at oil and gas facilities are assumed to develop as a hydrocarbon fire, which is characterized by the temperature rising rapidly up to 1093 ± 56 °C within five minutes from the test start and staying within the same range throughout the test, as well as by overpressure being generated. Although various fireproof coating systems are commonly used to protect steel structures from high temperatures, a combination of fire protection and cryogenic spillage protection, i.e., protection from liquefied natural gas (LNG), is rather an international practice novelty regulated by standards ISO 20088. Thanks to their outstanding features, i.e., ability to sustain chemical and climatic impact, these epoxy-based materials are able to ensure positive fireproof performance for steel structures in the case of potential cryogenic impact. The article discusses tests on steel structures coated with epoxy fireproof compounds, specifically PREGRAD-EP, OGRAX-SKE and Chartek 2218. The test records show the time from the start of cryogenic exposure to the said sample reaching the limit state, as well as the time from the start of heat impact to the sample reaching the limit state in case of hydrocarbon fire temperature.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-14
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110537
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 538: Influence of the Visitor Walking on Airflow
           and the Bioaerosol Particles in Typical Open Tomb Chambers: An
           Experimental and Case Study

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      Authors: Zhijian Liu, Minnan Wu, Hongwei Cao, Yongxin Wang, Rui Rong, Hangyao Zhu
      First page: 538
      Abstract: Effective maintenance of ancient buildings is paid more and more attention worldwide. Many ancient buildings with high inheritance value were gradually destroyed, especially for murals in the open tombs. The bioaerosol particles (BPs) are the major source of contamination in murals and visitor walking could increase this hazard. In order to study the impact of visitors walking on the air flow and the distribution of BPs in the typical tomb chambers, the k-ε and Lagrangian discrete phase model were adopted. The walking visitor was described by the dynamic mesh, and the concentration of BPs in the simulation was verified by experimental sampling. The distribution and migration mechanism of contamination in the chamber were dynamically analyzed. The results indicate that the denser vortex generated when a visitor was walking, and the concentration of BPs changed obviously. Therefore, the number of BPs deposited on some precious murals increased and the contamination location shifted in the direction of visitor walking. In addition, the deposition time of BPs was lagging which would cause potential risk. This research can provide scientific basis for reducing murals contamination during visitor visiting and a reference for the maintenance of ancient buildings.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-14
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110538
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 539: Experimental Investigation of Two Test
           Setups on Straw Bales Used as Load-Bearing Elements of Buildings

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      Authors: Lehner, Horňáková, Vlček, Teslík
      First page: 539
      Abstract: The importance of green and sustainable materials in civil engineering is undeniable. Alongside modern practices that improve the properties of standard building materials, there are ways to revive forgotten techniques, including straw bale buildings. Straw bales are load-bearing structures, which are applied based on handed-down experience and lack standard approaches in testing, design, and application. Therefore, a goal ahead is to describe every aspect of the process in technical detail. The objective of this paper is to highlight practical ideas for testing straw bales on a hydraulic press machine and to provide a basic statistical investigation of the results obtained. Two basic series were prepared, one without a side barrier and the other with a side barrier. The reason for this was to delineate the limits of the real behaviour of the straw bale on the load bearing wall of the house. Due to the assumed slight embedment of adjacent bales, the real result were within these limits. The experimental plan, basic results, simplified correlations, and statistical evaluation are presented. Recommendations for a further testing and evaluation are provided. As expected, the results with and without the lateral barrier differ by almost 18% for the true strain.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-14
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110539
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 540: Stress Distribution in Microregion of
           Core–Shell Structure Lightweight Aggregate Concrete

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      Authors: Meng Zhu, Lihua Zhang, Weilong Wang, Hongping Zhang, Wenjin Xing
      First page: 540
      Abstract: An in-depth understanding of the effect of cordierite/belite core–shell structure lightweight aggregate (CSLWA) on the mechanical performance of LWA concrete (LWAC) is critical for improving the failure resistance of LWAC. In this study, the stress distribution of the microregion in CSLWA was systematically investigated via a finite element analysis to explore its effect on the mechanical properties of LWAC. In detail, the material components, core–shell thickness ratio, porosity and width of interfacial transition zone (ITZ), and absence or presence of interfacial bonding zone (IBZ) were considered during the stress distribution analysis of the microregion of LWAC. The results showed that a reduction in the material components, with a high-elastic modulus in the core, a decrease in the core–shell thickness ratio, and the formation of the core–shell IBZ are beneficial for optimizing the stress distribution of the microregion and alleviating the stress concentration phenomenon of LWAC. Moreover, due to the continuous hydration of belite shell, the ITZ of CSLWA becomes increasingly dense, thus the stress distribution is more uniform than that of ordinary LWAC, indicating that CSLWA exhibits the potential to improve the failure resistance of LWAC. This study helps to develop an understanding of the role played by the core–shell structure in improving the toughness of LWAC, and provides a new solution and methodology for improving the brittleness of LWAC.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110540
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 541: Digital Simulation for Buildings’ Outdoor
           Thermal Comfort in Urban Neighborhoods

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      Authors: Yingyi Zhang, Chang Liu
      First page: 541
      Abstract: Buildings’ outdoor thermal comfort influences environment quality and human behavior in urban neighborhoods. The Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) has been broadly applied to the study of buildings’ outdoor thermal comfort in urban areas. However, complex environmental conditions in climate-sensitive urban areas can make UTCI assessment complicated and ineffective. This paper introduces digital techniques into buildings’ outdoor thermal comfort analysis for the improvement of the urban habitant environment. A digital simulation system is generated to facilitate the analysis procedure for buildings’ outdoor thermal comfort assessment in urban neighborhoods. The analysis addresses the research question: “Can digital simulation techniques provide a modeling system to assess buildings’ outdoor thermal comfort continuously and effectively'” Methods include a case study of neighborhoods in Beijing, qualitative and quantitative analysis based on digital processes, and parametric modeling. The results indicate that digital simulation techniques and tools have the capability to support the analysis of buildings’ outdoor thermal comfort by providing three-dimensional models, algorithm-based analysis, and visual simulation. The findings include a critique of digital simulation as applied to architecture study and insights on potentially improving buildings’ outdoor thermal comfort through human–computer interactions.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110541
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 542: Developing a Risk Management Process for
           General Contractors in the Bidding Stage for Design–Build Projects in
           Vietnam

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      Authors: Duy-Hoang Pham, Dang-Huy Ly, Ngoc-Khue Tran, Yong-Han Ahn, Hyeongjae Jang
      First page: 542
      Abstract: Design–build (DB) projects have become increasingly popular for construction projects in developing countries due to the cost and scheduling advantages and their design optimization ability. As a result, much research has been conducted on improving DB efficiency in terms of cost, scheduling, risk management, etc. However, the existing studies have mainly focused on the owner’s roles, whereas general contractors (GCs) must also take many risks on behalf of owners in DB projects. The adequate identification and assessment of risks before engaging a contractor can increase the likelihood of a project’s success, at least from a DB contractor’s perspective. Therefore, this study interviewed procurement experts to conduct a survey at the local level, then analyzed, developed, and proposed an additional risk management process (RMP) for use by GCs during the bidding process of DB projects. A case study was conducted with a large Vietnamese GC to evaluate the effectiveness of the process and find ways to optimize it in the future. The results of the study showed that risk management during a DB project is imperative. Nevertheless, preparing bids is time-consuming and increases the contingency costs, reducing the competitiveness of the bid prices for contractors. Therefore, depending on the specific project and risk management objectives, an RMP is recommended for adjusting the risk management target to reduce the risk, while still maintaining the competitiveness of the bid prices.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110542
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 543: On the Use of Perforated Sound Absorption
           Systems for Variable Acoustics Room Design

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      Authors: Andreia Pereira, Anna Gaspar, Luís Godinho, Paulo Amado Mendes, Diogo Mateus, Jesus Carbajo, Jaime Ramis, Pedro Poveda
      First page: 543
      Abstract: An important challenge for acoustic engineers in room acoustics design is related to the acoustic performance of multi-purpose auditoriums, which are typically designed to suit several performance requirements. With this intent, the analysis of several scenarios is usually performed individually, and then an acceptable solution, that may be adapted to several situations, is selected. One way of providing a more appropriate acoustic performance for each function of the auditorium is using variable sound absorption techniques to control reverberation and other relevant acoustic phenomena associated to sound perception. In this paper, the acoustic behavior of a perforated system that may be suitable for achieving a variable acoustic solution for room acoustic design is addressed. In the design of a cost-effective solution, the surface appearance is kept unchanged, while variable acoustic behavior is achieved either by closing the holes in the back face of the perforated panel or by placing a porous material in varying positions inside the backing cavity, thus accomplishing different acoustic requirements within a multipurpose auditorium. An analytical approach, based on the transfer matrix method is employed for preliminary acoustic sound absorption assessment provided by the system and to develop optimized solutions. Diffuse sound absorption is then computed and used to simulate, by the ray-tracing method, the acoustic behavior of a multipurpose auditorium to demonstrate efficient acoustic performance for different types of use.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110543
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 544: Evaluating Experiential Qualities of
           Historical Streets in Nanxun Canal Town through a Space Syntax Approach

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      Authors: Yabing Xu, John Rollo, Yolanda Esteban
      First page: 544
      Abstract: Many studies have been conducted to measure the experiential qualities of historical streets using the standards and principles released by many global organizations. However, little attention has been paid to the effect of spatial characteristics of historical heritage. This study proposes a space syntax-based methodology, first developed by Bill Hillier and Julienne Hanson with colleagues from the Bartlett School of Architecture, while introducing factors such as complexity, coherence, ‘mystery’, and legibility from the work of environmental psychologist Stephen Kaplan and the urban designer Gordon Cullen. Our intention is to help inform urban designers in understanding people’s spatial cognition of historical streets, and thereby assist designers and managers in identifying where cognitive experiences can be improved. The proposed method is applied to Nanxun, which is a developed canal town currently in decline in Zhejiang Province, China. This will be treated as the case study in order to explore the implication of the space syntax analysis. The impact from spatial characteristics on the evaluation is indirect and largely determined by the road-network of the canal town. As for Nanxun, the findings of this research suggest that the government’s priority is to solve current negative tourist perception based on a conservation restoration plan. The findings of this research provide a reference for policymakers to better understand the experiential qualities of historical streets in townscapes.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110544
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 545: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Soil
           Treatment Using Calcium Carbonate Precipitation from Cultivated and
           Lyophilized Bacteria in Soil’s Compaction Water

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      Authors: Miguel Valencia-Galindo, Esteban Sáez, Carlos Ovalle, Francisco Ruz
      First page: 545
      Abstract: Microbial-induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) is a bio-inspired solution where bacteria metabolize urea to precipitate. This carbonate acts as a bio-cement that bonds soil particles. The existing framework has focused mainly on applying MICP through infiltration of liquid bacterial solutions in existing soil deposits. However, this technique is inefficient in soils with high fines content and low hydraulic conductivity, and thus few studies have focused on the use of MICP in fine soils. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of MICP applied to compaction water in soils containing expansive clays and sandy silts. This approach searches for a better distribution of bacteria, nutrients, and calcium sources and is easy to apply if associated with a compaction process. In soils with expansive minerals, the effect of MICP in swelling potential was explored at laboratory and field scales. In sandy silts, the evolution of the stiffness and strength were studied at the laboratory scale. The treatment at the laboratory scale reduced the swelling potential; nevertheless, no significant effect of MICP was found in the field test. In sandy silts, the strength and stiffness increased under unsaturated conditions; however, subsequent saturation dissolved the cementation and the improvement vanished.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-16
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110545
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 546: Visualizing a New Sustainable World: Toward
           the Next Generation of Virtual Reality in the Built Environment

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      Authors: Dragana Nikolić, Jennifer Whyte
      First page: 546
      Abstract: What is the future of virtual reality (VR) in the built environment' As work becomes increasingly distributed across remote and hybrid forms of organizing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to rethink how we use the set of collaborative technologies to move toward a sustainable world. We propose a new vision of VR as a discipline-agnostic platform for an interdisciplinary integration of the allied design, social, and environmental disciplines to address emerging challenges across the building sectors. We build this contribution through the following steps. First, we contextualize VR technologies within the changing digital landscape and underlying tensions in the built environment practices. Second, we characterize the difficulties that have arisen in using them to address challenges, illustrating our argument with leading examples. Third, we conceptualize VR configurations and explore underlying assumptions for their use across disciplinary scenarios. Fourth, we propose a vision of VR as a discipline-agnostic platform that can support built environment users in visualizing preferred futures. We conclude by providing directions for research and practice.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-16
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110546
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 547: Validation of the Low-Frequency Procedure
           for Field Measurement of Façade Sound Insulation

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      Authors: Jinyu Liu, Naohisa Inoue, Tetsuya Sakuma
      First page: 547
      Abstract: In the ISO 16283 series for field measurement of sound insulation, a low-frequency procedure is specified for determining indoor average sound pressure level, which is the so-called corner method. In the procedure, additional measurements are required in the corners in addition to the default measurements in the central zone, and the indoor average level is corrected with the highest level in the corners. However, this procedure was empirically proposed, and its validity is not fully examined for façade sound insulation. In this paper, detailed experiments were performed in a mock lightweight wooden house for validating the low-frequency procedure for façade sound insulation measurement. The results suggest that a correction with energy-averaging level of all corners is more reliable than with the maximum level, and the uncertainty in the default procedure is sufficiently improved with additional measurements in four non-adjacent corners. Moreover, the effect of the detailed position of the microphone around the corner was clarified for a more specific instruction.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-16
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110547
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 548: Deep Reinforcement Learning for Autonomous
           Water Heater Control

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      Authors: Kadir Amasyali, Jeffrey Munk, Kuldeep Kurte, Teja Kuruganti, Helia Zandi
      First page: 548
      Abstract: Electric water heaters represent 14% of the electricity consumption in residential buildings. An average household in the United States (U.S.) spends about USD 400–600 (0.45 ¢/L–0.68 ¢/L) on water heating every year. In this context, water heaters are often considered as a valuable asset for Demand Response (DR) and building energy management system (BEMS) applications. To this end, this study proposes a model-free deep reinforcement learning (RL) approach that aims to minimize the electricity cost of a water heater under a time-of-use (TOU) electricity pricing policy by only using standard DR commands. In this approach, a set of RL agents, with different look ahead periods, were trained using the deep Q-networks (DQN) algorithm and their performance was tested on an unseen pair of price and hot water usage profiles. The testing results showed that the RL agents can help save electricity cost in the range of 19% to 35% compared to the baseline operation without causing any discomfort to end users. Additionally, the RL agents outperformed rule-based and model predictive control (MPC)-based controllers and achieved comparable performance to optimization-based control.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-16
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110548
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 549: Pareto-Based Bi-Objective Optimization
           Method of Sensor Placement in Structural Health Monitoring

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      Authors: Shaoxiao Nong, Donghui Yang, Tinghua Yi
      First page: 549
      Abstract: For a practical structural health monitoring (SHM) system, the traditional single objective methods for optimal sensor placement (OSP) cannot always obtain the optimal result of sensor deployment without sacrificing other targets, which creates obstacles to the efficient use of the sensors. This study mainly focuses on establishing a bi-objective optimization method to select the sensor placement positions. The practical significance of several single-objective criteria for OSP is firstly discussed, based on which a novel bi-objective optimization method is proposed based on the Pareto optimization process, and the corresponding objective functions are established. Furthermore, the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm is introduced to obtain a series of the Pareto optimal solutions, from which the final solution can be determined based on a new defined membership degree index. Finally, a numerical example of a plane truss is applied to illustrate the proposed method. The Pareto optimization-based bi-objective OSP framework presented in this study could be well suited for solving the problem of multi-objective OSP, which can effectively improve the efficiency of the limited sensors in SHM system.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-16
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110549
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 550: Numerical Simulation of Single-Point Mount
           PZT-Interface for Admittance-Based Anchor Force Monitoring

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      Authors: Trung-Hau Nguyen, Thi Tuong Vy Phan, Thanh-Cao Le, Duc-Duy Ho, Thanh-Canh Huynh
      First page: 550
      Abstract: This study investigates the dynamic characteristics of a smart PZT interface mounted on a prestressed anchorage to verify the numerical feasibility of the admittance-based anchor force monitoring technique. Firstly, the admittance-based anchor force monitoring technique through a single-mount PZT interface is outlined. The admittance response of the PZT interface-anchorage system is theoretically derived to show the proof-of-concept of the technique for anchor force monitoring. Secondly, a finite element model corresponding to a well-established experimental model in the literature is constructed. The effect of anchor force is equivalently treated by the contact stiffness and damping parameters at the bottom surface of the anchorage. Thirdly, the admittance and the impedance responses are numerically analyzed and compared with the experimental data to evaluate the accuracy of the numerical modelling technique. Fourthly, the local dynamics of the PZT interface are analyzed by modal analysis to determine vibration modes that are sensitive to the change in the contact stiffness (i.e., representing the anchor force). Finally, the admittance responses corresponding to the sensitive vibration modes are numerically analyzed under the change in the contact stiffness. The frequency shift and the admittance change are quantified by statistical damage indices to verify the numerical feasibility of the anchor force monitoring technique via the smart PZT interface. The study is expected to provide a reference numerical model for the design of the single-point mount PZT interface.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-16
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110550
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 551: Experimental Investigation of Adaptive
           Thermal Comfort in French Healthcare Buildings

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      Authors: El Akili, Bouzidi, Merabtine, Polidori, Chkeir
      First page: 551
      Abstract: The thermal comfort requirements of disabled people in healthcare buildings are an important research topic that concerns a specific population with medical conditions impacted by the indoor environment. This paper experimentally investigated adaptive thermal comfort in buildings belonging to the Association of Parents of Disabled Children, located in the city of Troyes, France, during the winter season. Thermal comfort was evaluated using subjective measurements and objective physical parameters. The thermal sensations of respondents were determined by questionnaires adapted to their disability. Indoor environmental parameters such as relative humidity, mean radiant temperature, air temperature, and air velocity were measured using a thermal microclimate station during winter in February and March 2020. The main results indicated a strong correlation between operative temperature, predicted mean vote, and adaptive predicted mean vote, with the adaptive temperature estimated at around 21.65 °C. These findings highlighted the need to propose an adaptive thermal comfort strategy. Thus, a new adaptive model of the predicted mean vote was proposed and discussed, with a focus on the relationship between patient sensations and the thermal environment.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110551
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 552: Life Cycle Assessment of Different
           Prefabricated Rates for Building Construction

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      Authors: Wang, Sinha
      First page: 552
      Abstract: In recent years, Sweden has promoted prefabricated buildings supporting the increasing of prefabricated rates in buildings with precast components, in order to reduce the environmental problems caused by the construction sector. This study, focusing on the construction activities, examines how the increasing prefabricated rate could influence the environmental impacts of the construction sector. This study conducts a cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment (LCA) of a reference building with a prefabricated rate of 26% in the Stockholm Royal Seaport, and compares nine scenarios with prefabricated rates, ranging from 6% to 96%. The results indicate the water footprint decreases, but the total energy footprint and carbon footprint increase as the prefabricated rate increases. Among other impacts, terrestrial ecotoxicity shows the biggest increase with an increase of the prefabricated rate. This study reveals that material extraction is the largest influencing factor, causing a water footprint when the prefabricated rate increases. The impact changes in the energy footprint, carbon footprint, and terrestrial ecotoxicity, and are primarily determined by transport and are sensitive to transport distance and vehicle types.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110552
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 553: Analysing Gender Issues in the Australian
           Construction Industry through the Lens of Empowerment

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      Authors: Cynthia Changxin Wang, Eveline Mussi, Riza Yosia Sunindijo
      First page: 553
      Abstract: Gender equality at work in male-dominated industries is conditioned by intrinsic systemic issues which established policies have, to a significant extent, failed to address, as women’s participation remains under-represented. This study argues for the reappraisal of the issue through a different lens and carries out a systematic and thematic review of the literature on women in construction in Australia through a women’s empowerment framework. Despite its usual application in gender inequality at work in development studies, the concept of empowerment lacks attention in the context of developed countries, particularly regarding the construction industry. Empowerment has been proved a useful overarching framework to analyse personal, relational, and environmental factors affecting women’s ability to be or do. In the examined studies, there is significant focus on external barriers to women in construction, such ‘organisational practices’ (environmental), ‘support’ and ‘others’ attitudes and behaviour’ (relational). There is, however, limited attention to more active stances of power, such as one’s attitude (personal), control and capacity, in shifting power dynamics. The paper draws seven major findings, covering personal, relational and environmental dimensions, supported and supplemented by some international studies, and suggests the way forward for empowering women in construction.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-18
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110553
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 554: Incremental Digital Twin Conceptualisations
           Targeting Data-Driven Circular Construction

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      Authors: Pedro Mêda, Diego Calvetti, Eilif Hjelseth, Hipólito Sousa
      First page: 554
      Abstract: The construction industry faces multiple challenges, where transition to circular production is key. Digitalisation is a strategy to increase the sector’s productivity, competitiveness, and efficiency. However, digitalisation also impacts environmental goals, such as those concerning more eco-friendly solutions, energy efficiency, products recycling, and sustainability certifications. These strategies rely on data, understood as digital, interoperable, incremental and traceable. Data related concepts, such as digital data templates (DDT) and digital building logbooks (DBL), contribute to “good data”. Despite some research focused on each one, little importance has yet been given to their combination. Relevant relationships and overlaps exist, as they partially share the exact same data through the built environment life cycle. This research aims to provide improved understanding on the role of these concepts and their contribution to a more circular industry. The review develops conceptualisations where DDT and DBL are complementary and framed within an incremental digital twin construction (DTC). Misconceptions or confrontations between these three solutions can therefore stand down, for the benefit of a data-driven priority. To increase understanding and reduce misconceptions, our study developed the “Digital data-driven concept” (D3c). This concept contribution is the ability to structure, store, and trace data, opening way to streamlined digital transformation impacting circular built environment concerns.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-18
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110554
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 555: Preparation and Properties Study of
           Cementitious Grouts Containing Crumb Rubber

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      Authors: Yuan, Yang, Yu, Zhou, Cui, Kang, Yao
      First page: 555
      Abstract: This article aims to improve the toughness of pre-packaged grouts (PPG) by incorporating crumb rubber. The mechanism for toughness of PPG with crumb rubber was analyzed based on the uniaxial compression model. Crumb rubber with surfaces treated by different methods (NaOH solutions or microwave treatment) was observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The effects of mesh sizes, amounts, surface-treated methods of crumb rubber, and mixing procedures on the PPG’s mechanical strength and rheological properties were investigated. The results showed that, firstly, the addition of crumb rubber improves the PPG’s toughness, while its mechanical strength is reduced. Adding NaOH solutions or microwave-treated crumb rubber into PPG can weaken the negative effects of crumb rubber on the PPG’s mechanical strength; however, this function is limited. Secondly, the crumb rubber grouts’ rheological properties can be fully exploited by increasing the stirring rate and time so that the fluidity of crumb rubber grouts is improved, which fulfils the characteristics of no bleeding and micro-expansion. Finally, the optimal formula and mixing technique of crumb rubber grouts were proposed in this paper.The results of this paper can provide a significant reference for the application of scrap tires.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-18
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110555
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 556: Towards Meaningful University Space:
           Perceptions of the Quality of Open Spaces for Students

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      Authors: Alnusairat, Ayyad, Al-Shatnawi
      First page: 556
      Abstract: This study investigated students’ attitudes towards the use of outdoor open space in universities, identifying the most comfortable conditions and favourable factors, including urban layout, physical features, and outdoor thermal conditions, as well as the students’ needs and behaviour. A quasi-experiment was used to assess the quality of the outdoor spaces. Three outdoor open spaces on the university’s campus were used for the case study. A spatial analysis employing space syntax was used to determine the integration, agent, and connection factors. For the microclimate conditions, simulations were conducted. The students’ actions were recorded, and a questionnaire concerning their preferences was disseminated. According to the respondents, the key advantages of campus open spaces are that they provide places in which to socialise and rest and to pass by. The data revealed a correlation between microclimate conditions and the use of outdoor spaces. However, the students use outdoor venues even in unfavourable microclimates. The visual factor and spatial configuration of the site have a significant impact on the use of open spaces; hence, visibility is an important feature in campus layouts. This study established a baseline of data to integrate social and contextual factors for the creation of meaningful spaces in universities.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-18
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110556
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 557: Filtration Performance of Ultrathin
           Electrospun Cellulose Acetate Filters Doped with TiO2 and Activated
           Charcoal

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      Authors: Roberta Orlando, Yilun Gao, Peter Fojan, Jinhan Mo, Alireza Afshari
      First page: 557
      Abstract: Air filters are crucial components of a building ventilation system that contribute to improving indoor air quality, but they are typically associated with relatively high pressure drops. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the effect of additives on ultrathin electrospun filters, the pressure drop, and the particle removal efficiency of uniformly charged particles. The fibres were electrospun under optimised conditions that resulted in a fast-fabricating process due to the properties of the cellulose acetate solution. Different ultrathin electrospun fibre filters based on cellulose acetate (CA) were fabricated: a pure CA electrospun fibre filter, two filters based on CA fibres separately doped with activated charcoal (AC) and titanium dioxide (TiO2), respectively, and a composite filter where the two additives, AC and TiO2, were embedded between two CA fibres layers. The ultrathin filters exhibited a low pressure drop of between 63.0 and 63.8 Pa at a face velocity of 0.8 m s−1. The filtration performance of uniformly charged particles showed a removal efficiency above 70% for particle sizes between 0.3 and 0.5 μm for all filters, rising above 90% for larger particles between 1 and 10 μm, which translates to the average sizes of pollens and other allergenic contaminant particles. Due to the positive impact on the fibre morphology caused by the additives, the composite filter showed the highest filtration performance among the produced filters, reaching 82.3% removal efficiency towards smaller particles and a removal of up to 100% for particle sizes between 5 and 10 μm. Furthermore, cellulose acetate itself is not a source of microparticles and is fully biodegradable compared to other polymers commonly used for filters. These ultrathin electrospun filters are expected to be practical in applications for better building environments.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-18
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110557
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 558: Fundamental Issues in the Qualification of
           Smart and Intelligence in Building Materials Discourse: A Systematic
           Review

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      Authors: Ikechukwu Ogwu, Zhilin Long, Deuckhang Lee, Xuhui Zhang, Wei Zhang, Moses Okonkwo
      First page: 558
      Abstract: The fundamental notion of ‘smart’ in building materials discourse is responsiveness—the ability of materials to react to environmental stimuli by manifesting a noticeable physical change when there is a difference in the conditions of their immediate surroundings. This notion, however, is also interchanged with ‘intelligence’, which involves an array of control protocols. Notwithstanding, both notions are used synonymously and as occupant comfort and energy efficiency strategies in buildings. The current study aimed to underscore the fundamental issues in the conceptualization of both notions in building materials colloquy by systematic review of published literature following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) 2020 checklist. The review revealed that while smart responses are direct, predictable and reversible, requiring no external control system, computer systems and networks which require a constant supply of energy are essential for intelligence. In fact, the relationship between intelligent systems, energy efficiency and occupant comfort depends on external computer control and machine components of learning, resulting in complex systems with longer payback times, whereas smart materials and systems respond directly and immediately without additional energy or occupant control. The discussions present an attempt towards promoting zero additional energy demand for buildings using smart materials.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-18
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110558
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 559: Assessment of Selected Models for
           FRP-Retrofitted URM Walls under In-Plane Loads

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      Authors: Marijana Hadzima-Nyarko, Stanko Čolak, Borko Đ. Bulajić, Naida Ademović
      First page: 559
      Abstract: One way to improve a structure’s total load-bearing capacity during an earthquake is to apply fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP) to unreinforced walls. The study discusses the use of FRP to strengthen unreinforced masonry (URM) structures. Although, many studies were conducted on the FRP strengthening of URM buildings, most of them were experiments to investigate the success of retrofitting approaches, rather than developing a successful design model. A database of 120 FRP-reinforced wall samples was created based on the current literature. Various approaches for calculating the bearing capacity of FRP-reinforced masonry are presented and detailed. The findings of the experiments, which were compiled into a database, were compared to those derived using formulas from the literature and/or building codes, and the model’s limitations are discussed.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-19
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110559
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 560: Blockchain-Based Trusted Property
           Transactions in the Built Environment: Development of an Incubation-Ready
           Prototype

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      Authors: Srinath Perera, Amer A. Hijazi, Geeganage Thilini Weerasuriya, Samudaya Nanayakkara, Muhandiramge Nimashi Navodana Rodrigo
      First page: 560
      Abstract: Blockchain can be introduced to use cases in the built environment where reliability of transaction records is paramount. Blockchain facilitates decentralised, cryptographically secure, trustworthy, and immutable recordkeeping of transactions. However, more research is urgently required to understand the process and complications in implementing blockchain solutions in the built environment. This paper demonstrates a methodology for developing a blockchain system starting from problem analysis, selection of blockchain platform, system modelling, prototype development, and evaluation. The evolutionary prototyping model was selected as the software development methodology for the use case of property transactions. A systematic process protocol involving the multi-criteria decision-making method, Simple Multi Attribute Rating Technique (SMART), was used to select Hyperledger Fabric as the most suitable blockchain platform for the prototype. The system architecture facilitates a simplified, lean property transaction process implemented through chaincode (smart contract) algorithms and graphical user interfaces. System evaluation through test cases allowed iterative improvements, leading to an incubation-ready software prototype. The contribution to knowledge of this paper is in the demonstration of the process to follow to implement a blockchain solution for a specific domain. The findings provide the foundation for developing proofs of concept for other potential applications of blockchain in the built environment.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-20
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110560
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 561: VR and AR Restoration of Urban Heritage: A
           Virtual Platform Mediating Disagreement from Spatial Conflicts in Korea

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      Authors: Hyun-Chul Youn, Seong-Lyong Ryoo
      First page: 561
      Abstract: This study sought to uncover (1) the disagreement of spatial conflict between urban heritage and surrounding urban structure using two case studies from Korea—the main gate of the royal palace (Gwanghwamun) and the urban park containing celebrity graves (Hyoch’ang Park)—and (2) whether digital heritage restoration may mediate spatial conflict. A historical literature review and field surveys were conducted, with three main findings. First, the place identity of Gwanghwamun and Hyoch’ang Park, rooted in the Josŏn Dynasty, was seriously damaged during the Japanese colonial period. Although there were national attempts to recover the place identities of these sites during the modern period, limitations existed. Second, the restoration of Gwanghwamun’s Wŏltae (podium) and the relocation of Ŭiyŏlsa (the shrine of Hyoch’ang Park), which involved spatial transformation based on heritage, emerged in conflict with their surrounding urban structures—we identify a spatial conflict between local residents and stakeholders’ memories and the histories of these sites. Third, Donŭimun (the west gate of the city wall of the Josŏn Dynasty) digital restoration is a case mediating the conflict by restoring a sense of place in a virtual space and activating the cultural memory of the public by showcasing properties.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-20
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110561
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 562: Nonlinear Numerical Assessment of Exterior
           Beam-Column Connections with Low-Strength Concrete

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      Authors: Basem S. Abdelwahed, Mosbeh R. Kaloop, Waleed E. El-Demerdash
      First page: 562
      Abstract: The ductility and capacity of reinforced concrete beam-column connections depend mainly on the concrete’s strength and the provided reinforcements. This study investigates numerically the role of low-strength concrete in beam-column joints utilizing ABAQUS software. In this simulation, a newly developed stress-inelastic strain relationship for both confined and unconfined low-strength concrete is used. This study recommended a specific value of the concrete dilation angle for both substandard and standard joints. Also, stirrups’ yield strength value was found to play an insignificant role in improving the shear resistance of such joints with low-strength. In addition, the joint shear strength prediction using empirical models that implicitly consider the stirrups contribution in improving joint resistance was found to be better than the prediction of other models that explicitly consider the stirrups’ presence. The numerical results also showed that the use of a diagonal steel haunch as a joint retrofitting technique significantly increases the joint shear capacity and changes its brittle shear failure into a ductile beam flexural failure.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-21
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110562
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 563: Influence of Compressive Strength of
           Concrete on Shear Strengthening of Reinforced Concrete Beams with Near
           Surface Mounted Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Polymer

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      Authors: Ma’en Abdel-Jaber, Mu’tasim Abdel-Jaber, Hasan Katkhuda, Nasim Shatarat, Rola El-Nimri
      First page: 563
      Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of using near-surface mounted carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (NSM-CFRP) on the shear strengthening of rectangle beams with low strength concrete (f′c = 17 MPa), medium strength concrete (f′c = 32 MPa), and high strength concrete (f′c = 47 MPa). The experimental program was performed by installing NSM-CFRP strips vertically in three different configurations: aligned with the internal stirrups, one vertical NSM-CFRP strip between every two internal stirrups, and two vertical NSM-CFRP strips between every two internal stirrups. All tested beams were simply supported beams and tested under a three-point loading test. The experimental results were compared with the theoretical capacities that were calculated according to the ACI 440.2R-17 and finite element analysis (FEA) that was conducted using ABAQUS software to simulate the behavior of all beams. The experimental results indicated that using NSM-CFRP limited the failure mode of all beams to pure shear failure with no debonding or rapture of the carbon strips. Moreover, the use of NSM-CFRP proved its efficiency by increasing the shear capacity of all beams by a range of 4% to 66%, in which the best enhancement was recorded for the case of using two unaligned NSM-CFRP strips. In general, the experimental shear capacities increased with the increase in the compressive strength of all beams. On the other hand, the ACI 440.2R-17 was conservative in predicting the theoretical shear capacities, and the FEA results agreed well with the experimental results.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-21
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110563
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 564: FRP Pedestrian Bridges—Analysis of
           Different Infill Configurations

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      Authors: Lucija Stepinac, Ana Skender, Domagoj Damjanović, Josip Galić
      First page: 564
      Abstract: The main aim of this study is to analyze fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) bridge decks according to their material, cross-section, and shape geometry. Infill cell configurations of the decks (rectangular, triangular, trapezoidal, and honeycomb) were tested based on the FRP cell units available in the market. A comparison was made for each cell configuration in flat and curved bridge shapes. Another comparison was made between the material properties. Each model was computed for a composite layup material and a quasi-isotropic material. The quasi-isotropic material represents chopped fibers within a matrix. FE (finite element) analysis was performed on a total of 24 models using Abaqus software. The results show that the bridge shape geometry and infill configuration play an important role in increasing the stiffness, more so than improving the material properties. The arch shape of the bridge deck with quasi-isotropic material and chopped fibers was compared to the cross-ply laminate material in a flat bridge deck. The results show that the arch shape of the bridge deck contributed to the overall stiffness by reducing the deformation by an average of 30–40%. The results of this preliminary study will provide a basis for future research into form finding and laboratory testing.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-22
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110564
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 565: Sustainability Identification of Steel and
           Concrete Construction Frames with Respect to Triple Bottom Line

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      Authors: Oladazimi, Mansour, Hosseinijou, Majdfaghihi
      First page: 565
      Abstract: As one of the most prominent industries in developed and developing countries, the construction industry has had substantial impacts on different aspects of the environment, society, and economy. In recent years, sustainable construction has been introduced as an approach to evaluate the various construction phases based on environmental, economic, and social dimensions, also known as the triple bottom line (TBL). To conduct a sustainability analysis of the buildings in Tehran, the capital city of Iran, two conventional construction frames were selected, namely steel frame and concrete frame. In this research, three conventional approaches for the evaluation of the TBL, namely the life cycle assessment (LCA), life cycle cost (LCC), and social life cycle assessment (SLCA), were, respectively, used for the study of environmental, economic, and social impacts. The main results of the study are summarized as the following: Overall, based on the LCA results, the concrete frame led to almost 38% more environmental pollution than steel frame. In terms of the total prices of the buildings, considering their LCC and with respect to the present value (PV) method, the steel frame was almost 152,000 USD more expensive than the concrete frame. The quantified results of the social dimension by the SLCA method showed that concrete and steel buildings had a score of 0.199 and 0.189, respectively, which indicates that concrete had a slightly better social performance based on expert opinions. A multi-criteria assessment and sensitivity analysis of the results were conducted by a graphical tool, namely the mixing triangle, and showed that the overall preference of each alternative depends mainly on the importance weights given to each aspect of the assessment. However, one of the main findings of the research was that overall, giving a high importance weight to environmental dimension leads to sustainability preference of steel over concrete frame, while giving high importance weights to economic or social dimensions leads to sustainability preference of concrete over steel frame. Findings of the study are beneficial to decision-makers in the construction industry since they can decide on the best alternative among concrete and steel frames based on their strategies.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-22
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110565
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
  • Buildings, Vol. 11, Pages 566: Unlocking Household Electricity Consumption
           in Pakistan

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      Authors: Amber, Ahmad, Farmanbar, Bashir, Mehmood, Khan, Saeed
      First page: 566
      Abstract: In Pakistan, data for household electricity consumption are available in the form of monthly electricity bills only, and, therefore, are not helpful in establishing appliance-wise consumption. Further, it does not help in establishing the relationship among the household electricity consumption and various driving factors. This study aimed to unlock the household electricity consumption in Pakistan by analyzing electricity bills and investigating the impact of various socioeconomic, demographic, and dwelling parameters and usage of different appliances. The methodology adopted in this study was survey-based data collection of the residential sector. For this purpose, data were collected from 523 dwellings through surveys and interviews in Mirpur city. The results of the data analysis revealed that the average household electricity consumption is 2469 kWh/year with an average family size of seven and an average floor area of 78.91 m2. Based on possession of various appliances, the households were categorized into four types and their consumption patterns were established and compared. Air Conditioned (AC) houses consume 44% more electricity compared to the non-AC houses, whereas an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) consumes electricity equivalent to an AC. The research findings are useful for policy makers and building designers and are discussed in the conclusion section.
      Citation: Buildings
      PubDate: 2021-11-22
      DOI: 10.3390/buildings11110566
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2021)
       
 
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