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Buildings, Volume 2, Issue 2 (June 2012), Pages 43-172

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Research

Open AccessArticle Tall-Building Projects Sustainability Indicator (TPSI): A New Design and Environmental Assessment Tool for Tall Buildings
Buildings 2012, 2(2), 43-62; doi:10.3390/buildings2020043
Received: 13 February 2012 / Revised: 21 March 2012 / Accepted: 9 April 2012 / Published: 16 April 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4456 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper presents the features of Tall-building Projects Sustainability Indicator (TPSI)—a “Sustainability Rating System” that specializes in tall-building projects. The system comprises two components; the “Technical Manual” in the form of a booklet and the “Calculator” in the form of an Excel [...] Read more.
The paper presents the features of Tall-building Projects Sustainability Indicator (TPSI)—a “Sustainability Rating System” that specializes in tall-building projects. The system comprises two components; the “Technical Manual” in the form of a booklet and the “Calculator” in the form of an Excel tool. It can be used as a “design tool” and/or as a “checklist” to compare and to improve the sustainable performance of tall-building design schemes. At the same time, the system can be used to evaluate the sustainability of existing tall-building projects. The first version of the TPSI rating system (TPSI 2012 Version) was released as an online tool (GreenLight) and thoroughly examined and validated by multiple parties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tall Buildings)
Open AccessArticle Seismic Analysis of Historic Masonry Buildings: The Vicarious Palace in Pescia (Italy)
Buildings 2012, 2(2), 63-82; doi:10.3390/buildings2020063
Received: 22 February 2012 / Revised: 1 April 2012 / Accepted: 11 April 2012 / Published: 24 April 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3994 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent Italian earthquakes have underlined the need for wide monitoring and safety assessment of architectonical heritage. This has emerged also from requirements of the new Italian Technical Recommendations for buildings. Within this subject the paper investigates the seismic vulnerability of a specific [...] Read more.
Recent Italian earthquakes have underlined the need for wide monitoring and safety assessment of architectonical heritage. This has emerged also from requirements of the new Italian Technical Recommendations for buildings. Within this subject the paper investigates the seismic vulnerability of a specific monumental masonry building: the Vicarious Palace (Palazzo del Vicario) in Pescia, a small town near Florence. The structural behavior of the Palace was investigated using a finite element model in which the non-linearities of the masonry were considered by proper constitutive assumptions. The seismic behavior was evaluated by the pushover method, according to the Italian Technical Recommendations. The results were compared with the ones obtained by a simplified approach based on the kinematic theorem of limit analysis. Comparisons of the expected seismic demand vs the seismic capacity of the Palace confirm the weakness of this type of building to suffer extensive damage under earthquakes, as frequently observed in similar construction typologies. Additionally, the comprehension of the structural behavior under seismic loading allows the identification of a proper retrofitting strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earthquake Resistant Buildings)
Open AccessArticle Client Briefing: Eliciting Design Preferences from Building Users with Communication Impairments
Buildings 2012, 2(2), 83-106; doi:10.3390/buildings2020083
Received: 2 February 2012 / Revised: 24 February 2012 / Accepted: 11 April 2012 / Published: 27 April 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (440 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reports on recent experience of engaging with building users who have communication difficulties, as a potential part of client briefing. The users were residents of a specialist Scottish Housing Association (HA) providing social housing and care services; the residents having [...] Read more.
This paper reports on recent experience of engaging with building users who have communication difficulties, as a potential part of client briefing. The users were residents of a specialist Scottish Housing Association (HA) providing social housing and care services; the residents having a wide range of complex needs, predominantly learning difficulties. Many of these residents have communication difficulties, ranging from mild to very severe. The challenge presented was to effectively engage with a representative sample of residents to ascertain how they value their living environment. The researchers’ involvement was based on prior research into how different participants engage in the architectural design process. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Introduction to the Methodology of Earthquake Resistant Structures of Uniform Response
Buildings 2012, 2(2), 107-125; doi:10.3390/buildings2020107
Received: 9 December 2011 / Revised: 22 March 2012 / Accepted: 24 April 2012 / Published: 2 May 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (279 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Structures of Uniform Response are special earthquake resistant frames in which members of similar groups such as beams, columns and braces of similar nature share the same demand-capacity ratios regardless of their location within the group. The fundamental idea behind this presentation [...] Read more.
Structures of Uniform Response are special earthquake resistant frames in which members of similar groups such as beams, columns and braces of similar nature share the same demand-capacity ratios regardless of their location within the group. The fundamental idea behind this presentation is that seismic structural response is largely a function of design and construction, rather than analysis. Both strength and stiffness are induced rather than investigated. Failure mechanisms and stability conditions are enforced rather than tested. Structures of Uniform Response are expected to sustain relatively large inelastic displacements during major earthquakes. A simple technique has been proposed to control and address the gradual softening of such structures due to local/partial instabilities and formation of plastic hinges. In structures of uniform response, the magnitude and shape of distribution of lateral forces affects the distribution of story stiffness in proportion with story moments, therefore affecting the dynamic behavior of the system as a whole. Simple closed form formulae describing the nonlinear behavior of moment frames of uniform response have been proposed. While the scope of this contribution is limited to moment frames, the proposed method can successfully be extended to all types of recognized earthquake resisting systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earthquake Resistant Buildings)
Open AccessArticle Design of A Sustainable Building: A Conceptual Framework for Implementing Sustainability in the Building Sector
Buildings 2012, 2(2), 126-152; doi:10.3390/buildings2020126
Received: 6 March 2012 / Revised: 11 April 2012 / Accepted: 30 April 2012 / Published: 4 May 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (346 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a conceptual framework aimed at implementing sustainability principles in the building industry. The proposed framework based on the sustainable triple bottom line principle, includes resource conservation, cost efficiency and design for human adaptation. Following a thorough literature review, each [...] Read more.
This paper presents a conceptual framework aimed at implementing sustainability principles in the building industry. The proposed framework based on the sustainable triple bottom line principle, includes resource conservation, cost efficiency and design for human adaptation. Following a thorough literature review, each principle involving strategies and methods to be applied during the life cycle of building projects is explained and a few case studies are presented for clarity on the methods. The framework will allow design teams to have an appropriate balance between economic, social and environmental issues, changing the way construction practitioners think about the information they use when assessing building projects, thereby facilitating the sustainability of building industry. Full article
Open AccessArticle Impact of Vibration Time on Compressive Strength of Hardened Sandcrete Building Blocks
Buildings 2012, 2(2), 153-172; doi:10.3390/buildings2020153
Received: 2 February 2012 / Revised: 9 March 2012 / Accepted: 30 April 2012 / Published: 9 May 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1278 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The majority of the sandcrete blocks used in the Nigerian building industry fall short of the minimum specification standards. There is evidence to suggest a wide variation in compressive strength from one block manufacturer to another and also within block samples from [...] Read more.
The majority of the sandcrete blocks used in the Nigerian building industry fall short of the minimum specification standards. There is evidence to suggest a wide variation in compressive strength from one block manufacturer to another and also within block samples from a single source. This problem has been attributed to poor quality control and substandard constituent materials. Also very alarming is the ignorance surrounding the usage and engineering properties of some of the widely used fine aggregate deposits. As a way forward, this paper aims to re-establish the impact of vibration time in sandcrete block production using six fine aggregate deposits found within Benin City (Midwestern Nigeria) and their various pair combinations. Some of the basic properties like silt content, grading parameters—co-efficient of uniformity (Cu), curvature co-efficient (Cc) and the fineness modulus (Fm)—of these fine aggregates were established by laboratory means. In addition, the wet and dry compressive strength of these sandcrete blocks made from these sands were established. A total of 1,080 block samples produced under very controlled conditions were used in this investigation. It was revealed that the utility value of sand can be improved when the weaker and commonly used sands were combined with those that are better, more expensive and less frequently used at different vibration periods and ratios. Findings further revealed that sand types and the sand combination approach adopted were very significant to grading parameters and strength; at a much higher vibration time the compressive strength and durability properties were also considerably improved. Full article

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