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Special Issue "Energy Efficient Building Design"

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A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Stephen Treado (Website)

Department of Architectural Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, 104 Engineering Unit A, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Interests: building automation; control systems; distributed generation; optimization; renewable energy; sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Efforts to make the built environment more energy efficient continue unabated in the quest to reduce energy consumption, costs and environmental impacts. The concept of high performance buildings incorporates both energy efficiency and thermal performance, a blended goal that requires a high degree of integrated building design and operation. One additional layer is the relationship between individual buildings, groups of buildings, communities and the utility grid. Transforming the building stock from its current status as the largest energy consuming sector into an efficient, effective and sustainable entity will entail a radical rethinking of the methods currently used to provide necessary building services, such as space conditioning, illumination, electricity and water. Many efforts are currently underway to address these challenges and develop cost-effective solutions in the form of new building materials, components and systems. Related efforts are aimed at the improvement of design and construction methods.  A third critical area includes building operating strategies. Indeed, most of the potential for near-term improvement in the energy performance of buildings is associated with tight integration of building systems coupled with distributed power generation and dynamic control. Managing the energy flows within a building to meet the needs of the occupants when and where required is essential for obtaining optimal performance.

Dr. Stephen Treado
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • adaptive control
  • automation
  • building information model
  • energy efficiency
  • high performance buildings
  • integrated design
  • sustainable design
  • thermal performance
  • zero-energy-buildings

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Wind Tunnel Studies of a Pedestrian-Level Wind Environment in a Street Canyon between a High-Rise Building with a Podium and Low-Level Attached Houses
Energies 2015, 8(10), 10942-10957; doi:10.3390/en81010942
Received: 3 July 2015 / Revised: 19 September 2015 / Accepted: 21 September 2015 / Published: 29 September 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1321 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The pedestrian-level wind environment quality in street canyons formed by high-rise buildings and other low-level buildings could be affected by multiple factors, such as the height and geometry of the surrounding buildings, street width, wind direction, and wind speed. This study conducted [...] Read more.
The pedestrian-level wind environment quality in street canyons formed by high-rise buildings and other low-level buildings could be affected by multiple factors, such as the height and geometry of the surrounding buildings, street width, wind direction, and wind speed. This study conducted wind tunnel experiments to determine the characteristics of the pedestrian-level wind environment in street canyons under different conditions, including different street widths, podium heights, and approaching wind directions. The experimental results revealed that the effects of the street canyon width on the pedestrian-level wind in a street canyon can be categorized into three different flow regimes. A higher podium creates stronger wind speeds of the flow within the street canyon, and different approaching wind directions change the high-wind-speed zone within the street canyon accordingly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficient Building Design)
Open AccessArticle Parametric Study of Thermodynamics in the Mediterranean Courtyard as a Tool for the Design of Eco-Efficient Buildings
Energies 2012, 5(7), 2381-2403; doi:10.3390/en5072381
Received: 19 March 2012 / Revised: 29 May 2012 / Accepted: 26 June 2012 / Published: 10 July 2012
PDF Full-text (4811 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Traditionally, people in the Mediterranean region knew that the temperatures in their courtyards were cooler in summer than outside temperature. This paper provides a quantitative study on the usefulness of Mediterranean courtyards as passive energy saving systems. This work is based on [...] Read more.
Traditionally, people in the Mediterranean region knew that the temperatures in their courtyards were cooler in summer than outside temperature. This paper provides a quantitative study on the usefulness of Mediterranean courtyards as passive energy saving systems. This work is based on the creation of a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) numerical model developed using the open source Freefem++ language. In this work, first the numerical model is tested using simplified-shape courtyards which have been previously studied both physically under controlled parameters, and mathematically through numerical simulations. We also study the most appropriate depth ratio for a courtyard, based on these simplified shapes, depending on the climate. Secondly, we apply the numerical model in a real geometry, the Monte Málaga hotel. We compare the numerical results with the monitored data of the temperature in the courtyard of the hotel. The numerical model takes into account precomputed solar radiation in the walls of the courtyard, the predominant wind and buoyancy effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficient Building Design)
Open AccessArticle Ground Thermal Inertia for Energy Efficient Building Design: A Case Study on Food Industry
Energies 2012, 5(2), 227-242; doi:10.3390/en5020227
Received: 9 November 2011 / Revised: 13 January 2012 / Accepted: 20 January 2012 / Published: 2 February 2012
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (5882 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The search for energy efficient construction solutions is still pending in the agro-food industry, in which a large amount of energy is often consumed unnecessarily when storing products. The main objective of this research is to promote high energy efficiency built environments, [...] Read more.
The search for energy efficient construction solutions is still pending in the agro-food industry, in which a large amount of energy is often consumed unnecessarily when storing products. The main objective of this research is to promote high energy efficiency built environments, which aim to reduce energy consumption in this sector. We analyze the suitability of using the thermal inertia of the ground to provide an adequate environment for the storage and conservation of agro-food products. This research compares different construction solutions based on the use of ground thermal properties, analyzing their effectiveness to decrease annual outdoor variations and provide adequate indoor conditions. The analysis undertaken is based on over five million pieces of data, obtained from an uninterrupted four year monitoring process of various constructions with different levels of thermal mass, ranging from high volume constructions to others lacking this resource. It has been proven that constructive solutions based on the use of ground thermal inertia are more effective than other solutions when reducing the effects of outdoor conditions, even when these have air conditioning systems. It is possible to reach optimal conditions to preserve agro-food products such as wine, with a good design and an adequate amount of terrain, without having to use air conditioning systems. The results of this investigation could be of great use to the agro-food industry, becoming a reference when it comes to the design of energy efficient constructions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficient Building Design)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Efficiency Analysis of Independent and Centralized Heating Systems for Residential Buildings in Northern Italy
Energies 2011, 4(11), 2115-2131; doi:10.3390/en4112115
Received: 8 September 2011 / Revised: 29 September 2011 / Accepted: 21 November 2011 / Published: 24 November 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (816 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The primary energy consumption in residential buildings is determined by the envelope thermal characteristics, air change, outside climatic data, users’ behaviour and the adopted heating system and its control. The new Italian regulations strongly suggest the installation of centralized boilers in renovated [...] Read more.
The primary energy consumption in residential buildings is determined by the envelope thermal characteristics, air change, outside climatic data, users’ behaviour and the adopted heating system and its control. The new Italian regulations strongly suggest the installation of centralized boilers in renovated buildings with more than four apartments. This work aims to investigate the differences in primary energy consumption and efficiency among several independent and centralized heating systems installed in Northern Italy. The analysis is carried out through the following approach: firstly building heating loads are evaluated using the software TRNSYS® and, then, heating system performances are estimated through a simplified model based on the European Standard EN 15316. Several heating systems have been analyzed, evaluating: independent and centralized configurations, condensing and traditional boilers, radiator and radiant floor emitters and solar plant integration. The heating systems are applied to four buildings dating back to 2010, 2006, 1960s and 1930s. All the combinations of heating systems and buildings are analyzed in detail, evaluating efficiency and primary energy consumption. In most of the cases the choice between centralized and independent heating systems has minor effects on primary energy consumption, less than 3%: the introduction of condensing technology and the integration with solar heating plant can reduce energy consumption by 11% and 29%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficient Building Design)
Open AccessArticle Energy-Saving Potential of Building Envelope Designs in Residential Houses in Taiwan
Energies 2011, 4(11), 2061-2076; doi:10.3390/en4112061
Received: 3 September 2011 / Revised: 4 November 2011 / Accepted: 5 November 2011 / Published: 23 November 2011
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (1220 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The key factors in the energy-saving design of a building’s exterior in Taiwan are the thermal performance of the roof and window glazing. This study used the eQUEST software to investigate how different types of roof construction, window glasses and sunshield types [...] Read more.
The key factors in the energy-saving design of a building’s exterior in Taiwan are the thermal performance of the roof and window glazing. This study used the eQUEST software to investigate how different types of roof construction, window glasses and sunshield types affect the energy consumption in residential buildings under common scenarios. The simulation results showed that the use of an appropriate window glass significantly reduced the annual energy consumption, followed by the shading device, whereas the roof construction produced less of an energy-efficiency benefit. By using a low-E glass and a 1.5 × 1.5 m box shading (e.g., balcony), this could save approximately 15.1 and 13.6% of the annual electricity consumption of air conditioners, respectively. Therefore, having control over the dominant factors in the building envelope is indeed an important step in the path to achieving energy savings and carbon reduction in residential houses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficient Building Design)

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