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Buildings, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2014), Pages 60-265

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Optimal Volume for Concert Halls Based on Ando’s Subjective Preference and Barron Revised Theories
Buildings 2014, 4(2), 60-68; doi:10.3390/buildings4020060
Received: 21 January 2014 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 18 March 2014 / Published: 27 March 2014
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Abstract
The Ando-Beranek’s model, a linear version of Ando’s subjective preference theory, obtained by the authors in a recent work, was combined with Barron revised theory. An optimal volume region for each reverberation time was obtained for classical music in symphony orchestra concert halls.
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The Ando-Beranek’s model, a linear version of Ando’s subjective preference theory, obtained by the authors in a recent work, was combined with Barron revised theory. An optimal volume region for each reverberation time was obtained for classical music in symphony orchestra concert halls. The obtained relation was tested with good agreement with the top rated halls reported by Beranek and other halls with reported anomalies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural, Urban and Natural Soundscapes)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Access to Parks for Youth as an Environmental Justice Issue: Access Inequalities and Possible Solutions
Buildings 2014, 4(2), 69-94; doi:10.3390/buildings4020069
Received: 17 January 2014 / Revised: 2 April 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2014 / Published: 14 April 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (3557 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although repeated contact with nature helps foster mental and physical health among young people, their contact with nature has been diminishing over the last few decades. Also, low-income and ethnic minority children have even less contact with nature than white middle-income children. In
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Although repeated contact with nature helps foster mental and physical health among young people, their contact with nature has been diminishing over the last few decades. Also, low-income and ethnic minority children have even less contact with nature than white middle-income children. In this study, we compared accessibility to play in parks for young people from different income and racial backgrounds in Denver, Colorado. Park access for children and youth was measured using a geographic information system (GIS). Each neighborhood was classified according to income level, residential density, and distance from downtown; and then each park was classified based on formal and informal play, and level of intimacy. Comparisons between neighborhoods show that that low-income neighborhoods have the lowest access and high-income neighborhoods have the highest access to parks, and that differences are even higher for parks with play amenities and high levels of intimacy. To overcome this issue, the paper proposes a framework for action to improve access to parks for low-income children and youth and to help planners, decision makers and advocacy groups prioritize park investments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designing Spaces for City Living)
Open AccessArticle Optimum Envelope of a Single-Family House Based on Life Cycle Analysis
Buildings 2014, 4(2), 95-112; doi:10.3390/buildings4020095
Received: 26 February 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 21 April 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (402 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper describes the methodology used for the life cycle cost (LCC) and life cycle energy (LCE) analyses of the case study house in Quebec, Canada. The TRNSYS energy analysis program is coupled with GenOpt, a general purpose optimization program, for the purpose
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This paper describes the methodology used for the life cycle cost (LCC) and life cycle energy (LCE) analyses of the case study house in Quebec, Canada. The TRNSYS energy analysis program is coupled with GenOpt, a general purpose optimization program, for the purpose of this study. The particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm is used for the search for the optimum solution. Results show that the optimum levels of insulation should be higher than the reference values, even for the case of LCC analysis. The results are for the most part still valid if electricity costs are assumed to increase below the inflation rate for the duration of the study period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Performance Analysis and Simulation)
Open AccessArticle Integrating Real-Time Room Acoustics Simulation into a CAD Modeling Software to Enhance the Architectural Design Process
Buildings 2014, 4(2), 113-138; doi:10.3390/buildings4020113
Received: 14 February 2014 / Revised: 3 March 2014 / Accepted: 3 April 2014 / Published: 21 April 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (16755 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For architects, real-time 3D visual rendering of CAD-models is a valuable tool. The architect usually perceives the visual appearance of the building interior in a natural and realistic way during the design process. Unfortunately this only emphasizes the role of the visual appearance
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For architects, real-time 3D visual rendering of CAD-models is a valuable tool. The architect usually perceives the visual appearance of the building interior in a natural and realistic way during the design process. Unfortunately this only emphasizes the role of the visual appearance of a building, while the acoustics often remain disregarded. Controlling the room acoustics is not integrated into most architects’ workflows—due to a lack of tools. The present contribution describes a newly developed plug-in for adding an adequate 3D-acoustics feedback to the architect. To present intuitively the acoustical effect of the current design project, the plug-in uses real-time audio rendering and 3D-reproduction. The room acoustics of the design can be varied by modifying structural shapes as well as by changing the material selection. In addition to the audio feedback, also a visualization of important room acoustics qualities is provided by displaying color-coded maps inside the CAD software. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural, Urban and Natural Soundscapes)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of a Virtual Urban Soundscape
Buildings 2014, 4(2), 139-154; doi:10.3390/buildings4020139
Received: 24 January 2014 / Revised: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 8 May 2014 / Published: 15 May 2014
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Abstract
The main research question addressed in this article is to find out to what extent it is possible to predict statistical noise levels such as L5 and L95 on an urban public square, based on the information about the square’s functionality,
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The main research question addressed in this article is to find out to what extent it is possible to predict statistical noise levels such as L5 and L95 on an urban public square, based on the information about the square’s functionality, the activities going on, and the architecture of the surrounding buildings. The same information is also exploited to auralize the soundscape on the virtual square, in order to assess the disturbance perceived by people of the traffic noise by means of laboratory listening tests, which are based on binaural sound recordings acquired in situ and incorporated in simulations to evoke typical acoustical situations. Auralizations were carried out by two calculation algorithms (ray-tracing and image source method) and two acoustic scenarios (an anechoic situation and a virtually reconstructed square in Odeon®). The statistical noise levels, calculated from the auralized soundscapes, compare well with measurements in situ. The listening test results also show that there are significant differences in people’s perception of traffic noise, depending on their origin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architectural, Urban and Natural Soundscapes)
Open AccessArticle Fourth World Theory: The Evolution of . . .
Buildings 2014, 4(2), 155-194; doi:10.3390/buildings4020155
Received: 21 January 2014 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 22 April 2014 / Published: 21 May 2014
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Abstract
Fourth World theory is a methodology for examining and developing greater understanding of the extent of the distress and abandonment commonly found in the cores of American cities resulting from de-industrialization, historic segregation and discrimination patterns, suburban sprawl, erosion of a viable tax
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Fourth World theory is a methodology for examining and developing greater understanding of the extent of the distress and abandonment commonly found in the cores of American cities resulting from de-industrialization, historic segregation and discrimination patterns, suburban sprawl, erosion of a viable tax base, racism, inability to embrace the concept of desegregation and civil rights legislation, fear, despair, crumbling infrastructure systems, disinvestment in urban school systems, and environmental justice issues. This article uses the analytical lens of Fourth World theory to examine how such structural and cultural forces contributed to the severely distressed conditions now found in the city of Gary, Indiana. Tracking its one-hundred-year history, from its founding as an industrial town through its post-industrial decline occurring during the city’s first African-American mayor’s five terms in office, the methodology clearly demonstrates how the social construction of race has systematically undermined every aspect of Gary’s overall quality of life. To illustrate that this city is not an anomaly but rather reflects a typical pattern of disparity and uneven development arising from racist practices, Gary is compared to other cities of similar size and also to the much larger Detroit. The article triangulates academic literature, news media archives, and an oral history provided by the mayor to show how Gary evolved from being a model industrial city to a cauldron of racial disparity. The paper concludes by arguing that continued absence of reflection on the nation’s historical racialization of place threatens not just impoverished communities of color, but also the sustainability of the entire nation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designing Spaces for City Living)
Open AccessArticle GIS Modeling of Solar Neighborhood Potential at a Fine Spatiotemporal Resolution
Buildings 2014, 4(2), 195-206; doi:10.3390/buildings4020195
Received: 13 March 2014 / Revised: 11 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 May 2014 / Published: 21 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2931 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research presents a 3D geographic information systems (GIS) modeling approach at a fine spatiotemporal resolution to assess solar potential for the development of smart net-zero energy communities. It is important to be able to accurately identify the key areas on the facades
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This research presents a 3D geographic information systems (GIS) modeling approach at a fine spatiotemporal resolution to assess solar potential for the development of smart net-zero energy communities. It is important to be able to accurately identify the key areas on the facades and rooftops of buildings that receive maximum solar radiation, in order to prevent losses in solar gain due to obstructions from surrounding buildings and topographic features. A model was created in ArcGIS, in order to efficiently compute and iterate the hourly solar modeling and mapping process over a simulated year. The methodology was tested on a case study area located in southern Ontario, where two different 3D models of the site plan were analyzed. The accuracy of the work depends on the resolution and sky size of the input model. Future work is needed in order to create an efficient iterative function to speed the extraction process of the pixelated solar radiation data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Performance Analysis and Simulation)
Open AccessArticle A Comparative Study of the Brazilian Energy Labelling System and the Passivhaus Standard for Housing
Buildings 2014, 4(2), 207-221; doi:10.3390/buildings4020207
Received: 11 March 2014 / Revised: 4 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 May 2014 / Published: 23 May 2014
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Abstract
The ever-increasing energy demand of the residential sector has required the adoption of tighter energy standards, aiming for high energy efficiency in dwellings. In Brazil, 24 million new residential buildings are planned to be delivered by 2022 through social housing programs, which could
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The ever-increasing energy demand of the residential sector has required the adoption of tighter energy standards, aiming for high energy efficiency in dwellings. In Brazil, 24 million new residential buildings are planned to be delivered by 2022 through social housing programs, which could greatly impact on the country’s energy consumption. In an attempt to minimize this impact, the Brazilian Labelling Scheme for Residential Buildings (RTQ-R label) was launched in 2010 as a voluntary standard for the evaluation of housing energy efficiency. The RTQ-R label focuses on building fabric and hot water systems performances, and generates a score based on the building’s energy efficiency levels. The Passivhaus standard, developed in Germany, is one of the most stringent standards and is also the fastest growing energy performance standard in the world with more than 30,000 buildings certified to date. It also focuses on building fabric but establishes a maximum energy consumption target. In this work, the authors developed a comparative review of the RTQ-R label and the Passivhaus standard as means to inform a broader debate about building codes in the context of the current calls by governments for increased energy efficiency. The findings highlighted the different nature of the standards’ requirements and targets adopted, and the benefits and constraints of both. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Housing Design: Selected Papers from 2013 PLEA Conference)
Open AccessArticle Challenges in Getting Building Performance Monitoring Tools for Everyday Use: User Experiences with A New Tool
Buildings 2014, 4(2), 222-243; doi:10.3390/buildings4020222
Received: 27 February 2014 / Revised: 1 April 2014 / Accepted: 21 May 2014 / Published: 27 May 2014
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Abstract
There is a need for building performance monitoring because it is common that buildings do not perform as intended. A number of advanced tools for the purpose have been developed within the last tens of years. However, these tools have not been widely
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There is a need for building performance monitoring because it is common that buildings do not perform as intended. A number of advanced tools for the purpose have been developed within the last tens of years. However, these tools have not been widely adopted in real use. A new tool presented here utilizes building automation data and transforms the data into a set of performance metrics, and is capable of visualizing building performance from energy, indoor conditions, and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system perspectives. The purpose of this paper is to study the users’ perceptions of the use of tool. The research method was semi-structured interviews. Although the users were satisfied with the solution in general, it was not taken into operative use. The main challenges with the use of the solution were related to accessibility, trust, and management practices. The interviewees were struggling to manage with numerous information systems and therefore had problems in finding the solution and authenticating to it. All the interviewees did not fully trust the solution, since they did not entirely understand what the performance metrics meant or because the solution had limitations in assessing building performance. Management practices are needed to support the performance measurement philosophy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Automation Systems)
Open AccessArticle Lifting Wing in Constructing Tall Buildings —Aerodynamic Testing
Buildings 2014, 4(2), 245-265; doi:10.3390/buildings4020245
Received: 23 December 2013 / Revised: 17 February 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 28 May 2014
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Abstract
This paper builds on previous research by the authors which determined the global state-of-the-art of constructing tall buildings by surveying the most active specialist tall building professionals around the globe. That research identified the effect of wind on tower cranes as a highly
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This paper builds on previous research by the authors which determined the global state-of-the-art of constructing tall buildings by surveying the most active specialist tall building professionals around the globe. That research identified the effect of wind on tower cranes as a highly ranked, common critical issue in tall building construction. The research reported here presents a design for a “Lifting Wing,” a uniquely designed shroud which potentially allows the lifting of building materials by a tower crane in higher and more unstable wind conditions, thereby reducing delay on the programmed critical path of a tall building. Wind tunnel tests were undertaken to compare the aerodynamic performance of a scale model of a typical “brick-shaped” construction load (replicating a load profile most commonly lifted via a tower crane) against the aerodynamic performance of the scale model of the Lifting Wing in a range of wind conditions. The data indicate that the Lifting Wing improves the aerodynamic performance by a factor of up to 50%. Full article

Other

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Open AccessCorrection Correction: Sidawi, B. The Impact of Social Interaction and Communications on Innovation in the Architectural Design Studio. Buildings 2012, 2, 203-217
Buildings 2014, 4(2), 244; doi:10.3390/buildings4020244
Received: 15 May 2014 / Accepted: 16 May 2014 / Published: 28 May 2014
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Abstract The author wishes to make the following corrections to [1].  [...] Full article

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