Sustainable Cities and Society

Print ISSN: 2210-6707
Publications
The 2022 World Cup creates great opportunities for the country of Qatar, but also poses significant challenges. In this study the main challenge of maintaining thermal comfort conditions within the football arenas is presented, with respect to the heat stress index (HSI) and the aero-thermal comfort thresholds established for opened stadiums. Potential cooling strategies for delivering tolerant comfort levels are introduced, followed by their functional strengths and limitations for the hot-humid climate of Qatar. An estimation of the cooling load for semi-outdoor stadiums in Qatar is also presented. The results, produced by dynamic thermal modelling, indicated that a load of 115 MW h per game should be at least consumed in order to provide both indoor and outdoor thermal comfort conditions. Finally, the use of solar energy technologies for the generation of electricity and cooling are evaluated, based on their viability beyond the 2022 World Cup event, towards the nation's targets for sustainability and lasting legacy.
 
The purpose of this study is to evaluate and analyze the indoor daylight quality in Pediatrics Ward in King Abdullah University Hospital (KAUH). It conducts an investigative analyses associated with an evaluative approach for the daylight situation in patient rooms in the children sections in KAUH. A multi-method approach was undertaken including on-site measurements, and building simulation software (RADIANCE) to develop a framework for lighting design in Pediatrics Ward. Daylight conditions were assessed in the hospital site to investigate light quality. A patient room from the Pediatrics Ward in wing A in the hospital was selected. The study considered the following variables: the differences in daylight environments (illuminance, luminance level, and daylight factor), and the physical environment properties of patient rooms in the hospital. The study found that the indoor daylight performance in terms of illuminance, luminance level and daylight factor in patients rooms are higher than the recommended values by CIBSE. Therefore, attention must be paid to the effect of the surface characteristics, reflectance values of room surfaces, and the physical properties of glazing materials on daylight quality in the hospital. In addition, sun-shading elements must be provided in patients’ rooms, to avoid excessive glare and to guarantee a good level of visual comfort for patients and staff.
 
The increased rate of carbon dioxide sequestration (carbonation) is desired in many primary and secondary life applications of concrete in order to make the life cycle of concrete structures more carbon neutral. Most carbonation rate studies have focused on concrete exposed to air under various conditions. An alternative mechanism for accelerated carbon sequestration in concrete was investigated in this research based on the pH change of waters in contact with pervious concrete which have been submerged in carbonate laden waters. This may be pertinent for applications of concrete reuse in marine or other aqueous applications such as jetties and riprap. The results indicate that the concrete exposed to high levels of carbonate species in water may carbonate faster than when exposed to ambient air, and that the rate is higher with higher concentrations. Validation of increased carbon dioxide sequestration was also performed via thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). It is theorized that the proposed alternative mechanism reduces a limiting rate effect of carbon dioxide dissolution in water in the micro pores of the concrete.
 
Investigating the energy use of an economy in a resource-constrained world requires an understanding of the relationships of its economic, social, and energy-use elements. We introduce a novel whole-economy analytical framework which harmonises multiple national accounting procedures. The economic elements align with the International System of National Accounts. In a modular fashion, our framework curates and maintains disparate accounts (economic stocks and flows, energy use, employment, transport) in parallel, but retains each of their unique measurement unit and accounting requirements. We present the UK as a case study to demonstrate how the data organisation and conditioning procedures are generic and will allow model development for other countries. The framework is capable of exploiting time-series ratios between different measurement units to give key functional relationships that vary gradually over time, are robust and thus useful for analysing national policy complexities such as decarbonisation, employment, investment and balance of payments. We use novel Sankey diagrams to visualise snapshots of the whole system. The framework is neither an exclusively economic, physical, nor social model. It upholds the integrity of each world-view through retaining their unique time-series datasets. As this framework is agnostic to the way in which a nation organises its economy, it has the potential to reduce tension between competing models and philosophies of economic development, environmental refurbishment, and climate change mitigation.
 
This paper explores the concept of building adaptability with particular reference to its potential contribution to the sustainable construction agenda. It considers the drivers for adaptability, the characteristics of buildings and building processes that enable the adaptability of buildings, and the benefits associated with such buildings and technologies. Using systems dynamics techniques, a building adaptability system model is proposed as a way to rationalise adaptability in the construction sector. An adaptability intervention subsystem is proposed. It includes seven enablers for adaptability, categorised under design flexibility and process flexibility. The model characterises the relationships between different variables in an adaptable building system, and invites comment on the opportunities and challenges that must still be met to facilitate the exploitation and development of such a concept.
 
Big campuses resemble small cities in terms of populations and urban characteristics. Malaysia is a country that recognizes the concept of sustainable campus (SC) by ratifying Talloire Declaration. This country lacks a local assessment tool to assess the level of SC in its university campuses. An exploratory research inclusive of observation, interview and content analyses was conducted to identify the specific challenges of Malaysian universities in terms of the community and social aspects. The construct of those challenges and constructs of Campus Sustainability Assessment Framework (CSAF) was combined together and was proposed as a set of a questionnaire survey and distributed among the experts of four Malaysian research universities. The result of the survey indicated that majority of CSAF constructs in four categories of involvement and cohesion, diversity, services and program were accepted by Malaysian experts. However, some indicators such as “Graduate in the community” were not found out conducive for Malaysian context and some new indicators such as “Actions that bring different races together” were proposed as the new suitable indicators. The finding can function as a reference for Malaysian universities which aim to assess the level of their social sustainability in terms of community in their organization.
 
This paper examines recent literature on achieving sustainable cities that incorporate a combined mitigation–adaptation approach towards improved urban resilience as a way of future-proofing. A multidisciplinary approach, which integrates scientific as well as ecopolitical frameworks, is found to benefit this sustainability discourse.
 
Integrating sustainability in urban design is a prerequisite for adequately addressing the urban challenges related to climate change, resource availability, environmental degradation and energy consumption. For the integration to be well formulated, urban planners need comprehensive microclimatic information at adequate spatial and temporal scales so as to define the bioclimatic design targets of the urban area concerned. In this paper a medium size city (Acharnes, built at the southern foothills of Mt Parnitha, at a distance of 10 km north of Athens) is examined in terms of its thermal characteristics and the resulting thermal comfort conditions in municipal open spaces. Results show significant thermal loads for specific city areas as well as use of materials which result in adverse thermal conditions and in poor thermal comfort. On the basis of the results, specific guidelines are defined for the sustainable urbanization of the city of Acharnes, in particular for an urban regeneration project concentrated at the centre of the city. The approach reflects a pattern which may be well applied in cities of respective size and urban characteristics and in similar climatic zones.
 
In environmental security, Secured by Design (SBD) is one of the most important schemes which promote environmental sustainability in cities with prevention and reduction actions such as increase natural surveillance determine the specific definition of urban spaces and create a sense of ownership and responsibility in citizens. This paper discusses a model for evaluating environmental security from the perspective of SBD scheme and investigates the extent to which crime and fear of crime are integrated within environmental sustainability.For this purpose a hierarchical model with four levels suggested. This model decomposes the main principles of SBD scheme to localized criteria and sub criteria which influence it. These factors later prioritized using pairwise comparison logic and fuzzy group analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method and the relative importance of each factor on achieving environmental security determined.In addition the proposed model has been used to calculate the overall rating of quadratic areas in region 17 of Tehran based on their environmental sustainability. Also, using the calculation results, strategies were suggested separately for each SBD principle in order to reduce urban crime and improve the environmental sustainability of the studied area.Results showed that the area 4 and area 1 have the highest and lowest environmental security rate respectively. Finally this paper argues that SBD as an initiative is useful to assist in achieving environmental security and development of environmental sustainability.
 
The paper explores the theoretical and conceptual aspects of urban life quality (ULQ) synthesized in a model that includes the physical support of the cities, in our case of intermediate scales. This model considers the interactions between basic services, infrastructure and environmental aspects. Maps are shown which localize and define the state of basic needs in infrastructure, services and environment quality. The most vulnerable areas and trends in life quality are identified from the integration of different urban services and environmental aspects according to their consolidation. This allowed us to define homogeneous areas with significant differences in quality and singularities among urban services and environmental aspects. Finally, we make some methodological and operational considerations regarding advantages and limitations experienced in implementing the model.
 
Theoretical and practical evaluation of a naturally ventilated double skin façade has been undertaken. The study has shown that the double skin façade (DSF) system is capable of supplying adequate ventilation to various levels with little or no additional heating during winter thus saving the bulk percentage of the heating load on the building. However there was an element of overheating in the DSF which may have contributed to an additional cooling load on the building. Even though the operational strategy of mixing return air with trapped air in the cavity helped to minimise the overheating effect, there was still some considerable level of temperature increase in the DSF. Effective thermal management control strategies and systems are therefore encouraged in the design and operation of DSFs.
 
Buildings are major consumers of the world's energy. Optimizing energy consumption of buildings during operation can significantly reduce their impact on the global environment. Monitoring the energy usage and performance is expected to aid in reducing the energy consumption of occupants. In this regard, this paper describes a framework for sensor-based monitoring of energy performance of buildings under occupancy. Different types of sensors are installed at different locations in 12 apartment units in a building in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada to assess occupant energy usage, thermal performance of the building envelope, and indoor air quality (IAQ). The relationship between heating energy consumption and the thermal performance of building envelope and occupant comfort level is investigated by analyzing the monitoring data. The results show that the extent of heat loss, occupant comfort level, and appliance usage patterns have significant impacts on heating energy and electricity consumption. This study also identifies the factors influencing the poor IAQ observed in some case-study units. In the long term, it is expected that the extracted information acquired from the monitoring system can be used to support intelligent decisions to save energy, and can be implemented by the building management system to achieve financial, environmental, and health benefits.
 
Flowchart of the MATLAB code for heat pumps with inverter.
Heat pump COP data from the manufacturer.
FIGURES AND TABLES
A method for the hourly simulation of air-to-water heat pump systems working in heating mode is developed and implemented through MATLAB. The tool allows to consider both heat pumps with inverter and on-off ones, and takes into account the heat losses from the storage tank. The tool is applied to analyze the seasonal COP of a heat pump system located in Bologna (North-Center Italy), as a function of the bivalent temperature and of the storage volume. The results show that, in the case considered, the optimal value of the bivalent temperature is independent of the storage volume and is lower for heat pumps with inverter. With the optimal bivalent temperature, the highest seasonal COP is obtained without thermal storage.
 
Meteorological data collected from 26 fixed stations placed in the greater Athens area, have been used to investigate the human thermal comfort during the period of June–August of 2009. The two main parameters used in this analysis are the air temperature and the relative humidity. The city has been divided in five geographical zones (center of the city, northern, eastern, southern and western section) presenting different thermal balances, showing that the five areas of this analysis had definitely different temperature and discomfort conditions. The highest air temperature values were observed in the western section of the Greater area of Athens and the western parts of the southern section, while the lowest ones were detected in the northern section and the northern parts of the eastern section. The highest relative humidity values were observed in June and July in the southern section, while in August higher values occurred in the city's center. In this study, statistical methods have been used to calculate the distribution of Humidex (H) values, the spatial distribution of the probabilities of discomfort conditions (H > 30 and H > 40) and the persistence of hours with great or more discomfort conditions.
 
In recent years, the aviation industry has initiated new sustainability efforts as a response to society's greater needs for living in healthier and more sustainable environments. A significant amount of attention has been directed towards aircraft and their contribution to greenhouse gas emission. However, as we look at the aviation system more holistically, especially in the U.S., we discover that there is a lack of comprehensive research addressing sustainability evaluation standards in airports. Sustainability, in a system as complex as an airport, can encompass many different areas such as water conservation, design and construction techniques, and emissions reduction. Because sustainability can encompass so many different aspects in the design, master planning, operations, and maintenance of an airport, it can be difficult for airport managers to analyze how to most effectively plan for sustainability. As a response, this paper develops an evaluation process with the use of an influence matrix through which to determine effective sustainable practices at US airports. This evaluation method attempts to quantify and thus improve decision-making in airport sustainability. By using a case study, it also critically looks at airport emissions mitigation strategies that can be developed into a framework.
 
Electricity production is an important source of CO2 emissions in China. Using a multi-objective model and a fuzzy multi-objective optimization linger programming method, this paper analyzes different scenarios for optimal allocation of China's power system in 2020. The results suggest that under low CO2 reduction target, the fuel power plant should be highly developed besides coal-fired conventional plants, which in fact is impossible to form a fuel-driven power plant structure in China. When CO2 reduction target is increased, natural gas combined cycle power plants should be developed vigorously. The coal-fired conventional power plants, hydropower plants and fuel power plants should play a lesser role in electricity generation. It is noteworthy that higher emission reduction targets do not cause greater generating cost. It is necessary for China to adjust its power generation structure from traditional coal-driven power plants to a diverse generation mix especially the development of plants using clean energy such as natural gas and hydropower. With rapid economy growth, China's power industry must develop strict CO2 reduction targets, and emission reduction technology should be promoted in large-scale in China's electricity sector, as it does not lead to a higher increase in generating costs.
 
The aging population has a tremendous impact on our community and resources. Planning age-friendly cities is a sustainable solution towards healthy aging and health resources allocation. Our research team developed a framework to systematically evaluate the age-friendliness of cities. The framework encompasses multiple criteria and includes assessment using web-based Geographical Information System (GIS) tools. The analytical framework was applied to Palo Alto, California as an illustrative case study. The study site was chosen due to its unique characteristics (overall rich community but high income disparity; proportion of senior 30% higher than US average, 80% of whom expressed the desire to continue living in this community) and its proximity to the research team allowing easy site visits and data access. In this paper, we discuss the results of our analysis, as well as ongoing development and preliminary results of an Age-Friendly Cities Scorecard to translate WHO guidelines into tangible and measureable action items.
 
Solar energy technologies offer a clean, renewable and domestic energy source, and are essential components of a sustainable energy in the future. This paper presents the comparison of yearly mean daily solar radiation using temperatures of different cities in Andhra Pradesh, India from April 2010 to March 2012. The main objective of this paper is to comparing the potential of monthly solar radiation using air temperatures at three cities (Hyderabad-17.37° N, 78.43° E, Vishakhapatnam-17.7° N, 83.4° E and Anantapur-14.6° N, 77.6° E) of Andhra Pradesh, India. Solar radiation is the principal, fundamental and abundantly available energy for many physical, chemical and biological processes. However, it is measured at a very limited number of meteorological stations in the world. Proper and adequate information on solar radiation and its components at a given location is very essential in the design of solar energy systems. Since the temperature is probably the most registered meteorological variable, correlation models based on air temperature data are especially interesting to compare monthly average values of solar irradiation in countries with lack of direct measurements. The Hargreaves equation was used to estimate the solar radiation. Measured long-term monthly air temperatures including Tmax and Tmin, were gathered from meteorological stations and analyzed. Three combinations of air temperatures, namely Tmax, Tmin, and Tave were served as inputs. The approach in this present paper seems to be adequate to the data obtained from meteorological stations supported by organizations web site in India. The Vishakapatnam weather conditions are entirely different because of a diverse orography on the eastern Indian coast than other cities.
 
Green buildings are expected to require lower operating costs, provide better indoor environment and have a lower impact on the environment than conventional buildings. Consequently, if renting or buying green property is more beneficial, a customer may be willing to pay extra for green apartment. The aim of this paper is to study stated and rational willingness to pay for green apartments in Sweden. A database consisting of responses from 477 occupants living in green and conventional multi-family buildings was used to investigate the existence of WTP and to test the difference in opinion between respondents living in green or conventional buildings and condominiums or rental apartments. The responses indicate that people are prepared to pay more for very low-energy buildings but not as willing to pay for a building with an environmental certificate. It was found that interest in and the perceived importance of energy and environmental factors affect the stated WTP. The results indicate that a stated willingness to pay for low-energy buildings of 5% can be considered a rational investment decision.
 
An energy audit for one department at the faculty of Engineering and Technology at the University of Jordan has been conducted as a way to apply the concept of green building to an existing structure. According to the Jordanian green building code, a classification for the green building has been carried out according to its saving in energy and water in addition to the other factors such as indoor quality and material. The heating and cooling loads were calculated and the results were compared with the values for the same building after amendments to the windows and walls. The insulation for external walls of the building has been introduced in addition the double glazing instead of the current single glass windows for the building. The electricity for the lighting consumption of this building was obtained and analyzed and the potential of utilizing a lighting sensor for different halls and rooms was studied and analyzed. The boiler performance has been studied and an estimation of efficiency enhancement was proposed. It has been found that choosing a larger window area facing south, east and west can save more energy in winter and decreasing the heating costs using a certain types of double glazing, while decreasing the glazing area facing north can save money and energy. Also, it has been found that the payback period for the annual saving in fuel and electricity bills is less than 3 years. The needed investment for obtaining the energy saving is shown in the paper
 
Vulnerable societies are communities which are susceptible to damage when exposed to recurring triggers of natural disaster and/or socio-political conflicts, due to their geospatial and economic characteristics. It is proposed that additionally, access to sustainable energy influences the vulnerability of societies and vice versa. Although technological solutions exist, it is not sufficient to ensure access to sustainable energy systems. Political will and commitment has been identified as the corresponding measure. However, policy needs to know what it needs to do, thereby requiring the technical know-how and managerial capabilities in selecting the most appropriate energy generation, distribution, and utilisation technology for a given set of social, political, environmental, and economic circumstances. Hence, there is a clear need for technocrats and politicians to work on the same platform for a sustainable energy framework, more clearly so in the case of vulnerable societies. This paper aims to bridge the gap in theoretical and applied sustainable energy policies by constructing an interface between appropriate technology and energy policies, particularly within the context of vulnerable societies. Integration of historical perspectives, cultural standpoints, and local knowledge into policymaking and institutional development, directed towards technological independence, has been identified as the main foundation to this interface.
 
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has one of the most advanced and developed desalination systems in the world, mainly located along the shore. The aim of this study is to analyze the economic feasibility of incorporating the two most prominent types of desalination systems within the existing district cooling plants in the UAE by utilizing waste heat recovery. Mathematical models are established to compare reverse osmosis (RO) with multi-effect distillation (MED) technology coupled with district cooling in terms of capital and operational costs. Calculated power consumptions were 5.65 MW and 6.65 MW for reverse osmosis and multi-effect distillation respectively. Total capital expenditure during the system life-cycle of 15 years was estimated at US$3.3 million for reverse osmosis and US$3.9 million for multi-effect distillation technique, both in combination with district cooling. The results indicate that the multi-effect distillation technique integrated with district cooling consumes approximately 25% less operational costs than the reverse osmosis integrated district cooling over their life-cycle. On the other hand, thus highlighting the long-term viability of introducing the incorporation of multi-effect distillation technique with district cooling systems in the region.
 
The need of curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, especially those arising from operations in existing buildings, has been well recognized. Incessant hotel operations, in particular, result in significant GHG emissions. Given the limited in-depth findings about the emissions from hotels of different classes, a study was conducted to probe into the carbon footprints of three typical hotels in Hong Kong. Through face-to-face meetings, detailed and reliable data under scopes 1–3 of the GHG Protocol were collected for analysis. The emission levels, when normalized by number of guestrooms, were different from those normalized by floor area. Use of purchased electricity was the dominant contributor to the emissions; emissions from use of portable liquefied petroleum gas and emergency operation of power generator were negligible. Reference levels of emissions due to staff daily travels were determined. The hotels’ emissions bore a strongly positive correlation with outdoor air temperature rather than occupancy rate. Regression models that can estimate the hotels’ emissions with changes in outdoor temperature were developed. Recommendations were made to tackle the problems with recording the necessary data and mitigate the emissions from the hotels. Wider adoption of the methodology of this study can establish carbon emission benchmarks, which are essential for monitoring and optimizing the carbon footprints of hotels.
 
Photovoltaic systems are now widely used technologies that are utilised to enhance a building's energy performance. Among the photovoltaic cell types, semitransparent devices have recently found a broader field of application thanks to legislative actions that promote building integrated photovoltaic systems (BIPV).This paper presents a review of semitransparent photovoltaic devices and a case-study application, redefining an existing building envelope using a photovoltaic double-skin façade. The active and passive function of the new envelope, assisted by a mechanical ventilation system, allows the optimization of the energy demand.Results show consistent energy/environmental benefits achievable thanks to such system, and a preliminary economic analysis proves its sustainability.
 
Buildings account for almost 40% of the total energy usage and 30% of the total CO2 emissions in Europe. Environmental, legislative and economical drivers require more efficient and accurate energy management of buildings. Current building management systems do not have the capabilities of energy specific monitoring and management. In order to address these issues, in this paper, the Holistic Multi-Dimensional Information Management System will be described with its components: Data Warehouse Core, Extraction, Transformation and Loading (ETL) tool and Information Representation tools. The purpose of the developed system is to store, integrate, analyse complex data sets from multiple data and information sources such as wired/wireless sensing devices (e.g. sensor and meter readings) and Building Information Modelling (BIM) Tools (e.g. Autodesk Revit Architecture and MEP). The developed system is demonstrated and validated in the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) Building located on the campus of National University of Ireland-University College Cork.
 
While the quality of contemporary architecture and energy consumption is being criticized by many scholars and professionals in the world, traditional climate-responsive buildings seem to be good patterns. Using the technology and material of their own time, these buildings provided the users with environmental comfort conditions along with minimum energy consumption and ecological foot print. This article is an attempt to understand the solutions used in traditional architecture of Iran with an emphasis on dry and hot regions. Twenty traditional houses were studied and finally, two factors were found to be significant; first, constructional patterns based on climate considerations (such as basements, courtyards, wind-catchers, domical ceilings and porches) and second, the behavioral patterns as wide-ranging intelligent responses to climate (i.e. behavioral adaptations) seen in past lifestyles. Both factors are analyzed, since they are good evidences of the way lifestyle and knowledge have been used in order to overcome hot summers in considerable parts of the country. The main objective is to investigate how these solutions worked and how they can be used in low energy designs at present. It is not just to follow the formal elements, but to look at their thermal rules and take advantage of the logic behind them, which can be applied in current building methods. These results can help a better design to overcome today's global energy crisis.
 
Metering water consumption and innovative meter-based billing practices have been advocated by economists as essential ingredients for effective water management. The paper scrutinizes the process of introduction of metering for municipal water supply in Armenia. The primary objective is to analyze the transition to a water-metering based system, focusing on the associated transformations in the water governance and the effects of water metering on household consumers and operation of water companies. The paper reveals that within a short period of time the water metering reached a near-universal apartment rather than building block level metering makes it a unique case. Metering improved reliability of water supplies and increased water use efficiency. The water conservation effects of metering were higher during the initial period after installation of meters and the last period of 2009-2010 when the tariffs increased. In the short-run, a nearly four time decline in residential water demand was observed. However, substantial cuts in water bills observed by households and absence of price increase resulted in a rebound of consumption by up to 70%. In the long-run, metering was accompanied by a 48% reduction of residential water demand, even in view of improved water supply services, such as daily duration. Finally, simplification and clarification on meter testing and replacement procedures can be crucial for water loss prevention measures.
 
Nowadays, Chinese New Urbanization Construction is in its early stage, and one of the main requirements is to improve residential comfort based on sustainable development strategy. Chinese residences are precious heritages to mankind, which reserves several thousand years of historical cultural information. Therefore, we have to keep original style of Chinese residences in the process of green building design and green building retrofitting. In this article, authors briefly described the characteristics of Chinese residences. And then wind environment around Chinese residences in cold region was analyzed from the aspect of wind speed and wind pressure by CFD method. The advantages and disadvantages of Chinese residences adapting to the local wind environment were figured out. At last, some strategies for creating good environment are put forward. It will have important theoretical significance and practical value to green building design and retrofitting in China.
 
Sisal fabric reinforced polymer composite system was developed and its tensile and flexural behaviour was characterized and compared with that of carbon and glass fabric reinforced polymer composite. In the present work the efficacy of sisal fabric reinforced polymer composite (SFRP) was compared to carbon fabric reinforced polymer composite (CFRP) and glass fabric reinforced polymer composite (GFRP), by utilizing all the fabric composites for the flexural strengthening of reinforced concrete (RC) beams. The work carried out includes the study of failure modes, flexural strengthening effect on ultimate load carrying capacity and load deflection behaviour of RC beams bonded externally with SFRP, CFRP and GFRP, wrapped as U wraps in single layer, along entire length of the beam in two different wrapping techniques, i.e. full wrapping and strip wrapping technique. SFRC strengthening of RC beams showed good increase in its flexural strength and improvement in load deflection behaviour similar to CFRP and GFRP strengthening. The RC beam strengthened by SFRC showed highest amount of ductility, and also delayed the formation of cracks, without rupture failure of FRP as in the case of CFRP strengthened beams and also without debonding failure of FRP as in the case of GFRP strengthened beams. Therefore sisal fabric reinforced polymer composite system, with its various environmental benefits, being a natural fibre, could be used as alternate fabric reinforcement in FRP, for flexural strengthening of RC beams effectively.
 
There is an urgent need to limit greenhouse gas emissions from cities if ambitious mitigation targets are to be met. On the other hand the economic crisis and the ambiguous relationship of inequality with economic growth have raised the issue of energy poverty. The need to connect economic activity with employment, energy poverty, climate change is becoming increasingly recognised. This paper describes the socioeconomic–energy–environmental component of an urban integrated assessment facility developed by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, which simulates socio-economic change, energy demand, climate impacts and greenhouse gas emissions over the course of the twenty first century at the city scale. The research is focussed upon London, UK, a city that has taken a lead role in the UK and globally with respect to energy poverty and climate protection. The paper demonstrates, through the implementation of several scenarios, quantifiable synergies and conflicts between economic development, employment and energy poverty in order to improve decision making in achieving sustainable and equality outcomes for cities.
 
Stakeholders are concerned with increasing the sustainability of their existing buildings from social, environmental, economic, and technical perspectives. Several studies indicate that conflicting stakeholder requirements are a main barrier in implementing sustainable retrofits with the decision often made based purely on short-term economic grounds. However, most studies did not take into account the important role that different stakeholders can play in determining the type and extent of any retrofit measures, or develop methodologies that integrate social, environmental, economic, and technical concerns. In this research, a House of Quality (HOQ) model is developed that synthesizes differences among the stakeholders and integrates their competing objectives to establish hierarchy of retrofits that meet the stakeholder requirements in using the existing building. The developed model is tested on a decision to sustainably retrofit an existing US Navy case study building. The HOQ analysis revealed that the stakeholder type for this case study did not affect the ranking of their requirements, and in general, all 5 of the main groups of stakeholders involved in this study, agreed without persuasion that the primary reasons for implementing sustainable retrofits in each of the four main systems are to save energy, reduce costs, and adhere to policy.
 
A sustainable urban vision needs to reflect the distinctive qualities, characteristics and identities of each individual city. This vision is also an expression of the integrated values and perspectives the inhabitants of each city have for what should be sustained. This paper provides a spatial assessment framework for discussing a new model, with suggestions for sustainable design alternatives in relation to urban design principles and practices, focusing in particular on development within the Multifunctional Administrative City in South Korea.
 
An important amount of the environmental impacts based on building energy consumption in post-construction period is resulting from facade. Hence investigating these impacts and developing some measures are necessary to create a sustainable built environment. This issue is examined in a research project, which is being conducted to develop a sustainable building assessment method and sustainable renovation techniques for existing residential stock in Istanbul. To determine representative building types, field surveys were conducted, and the projects provided from the associated municipalities were analyzed. This study intends to investigate the effect of facade variations on post-construction period environmental sustainability of some determined building types. According to the results, the increase in the WWR slightly decreases the heating energy consumption, and consecutively the environmental impacts in the thermally not-insulated buildings, while it increases the heating energy consumption, and consecutively the environmental impacts in the thermally insulated buildings. Using thermal insulation, in both types of buildings, in all WWR's and orientations, is considerably effective for reducing both energy consumption and environmental impacts. Global warming potential (GWP) constitutes most of the environmental impacts resulting from building's heating energy consumption. Human toxicity, acidification, eutrophication and photochemical oxidation potentials are in negligible amounts when compared to GWP.
 
In the past decade, China's unprecedented urbanization has paralleled a 250% growth in primary energy demand and urban areas have emerged as the crux of energy and CO2 emissions reduction in China. In recognition of cities’ importance in mitigating future energy and CO2 emissions growth, the Chinese government launched a demonstration program of 5 low-carbon pilot provinces and 8 pilot cities in 2010 to promote low-carbon urban development. As one of the first national programs to promote low-carbon urban development, the recent plans and policies adopted by these 8 pilot low-carbon cities can shed light on if and how low-carbon cities can shape China's future energy and emission trajectories. This paper reviews the historical development and context for low-carbon urban development in China and then presents an ex-ante comparative assessment of the low-carbon development plans and supporting measures formulated for each of China's 8 pilot low-carbon cities. We find that while the 8 pilot cities have made progress in establishing low-carbon plans, key barriers such as a lack of explicit definition for low-carbon city, complexity and confusion resulting from several parallel programs, and insufficient supporting policies and market-based instruments may hinder urban development that is truly low carbon.
 
The selection of appropriate site for creation of new MSW disposal facility is an important task of waste management engineering. The ecological, social and economical issues pertaining to new project should be analyzed in order to measure the overall impact of the new waste disposal project. In this study Rapid Impact Assessment Matrix (RIAM) which comes under one of the options of Environmental impact assessment (EIA)was used to see the overall rating of the site to establish a possible new MSW disposal site for the city. The suitability of the site was evaluated considering ecological, social, cultural and economical as components in decision support system. Different components were used to produce a cumulative score, i.e. environmental score for each option of the site for the new project. Results suggests that RIAM can be a reliable tool to identify the suitability of the site for MSW disposal facility creation in accordance with ecological, physical, biological, social/cultural and economic quality of the project. In this city, for physical/chemical component the forest distribution was the major factor in site selection while biological/ecological components showed the negative impact of project in all sub-sectors. Socio-cultural and economical components showed the different ranges of ES. This study extends the possibility of utilizing RIAM as tool in decision supporting system for establishing MSW disposal facilities in any urban center
 
There is currently growing interest in quantifying the direct and indirect carbon emissions embodied in construction materials and their components production. Previous research shows that indirect emission could be higher than direct emission for energy intensity materials such as cement and steel reinforcement. Quantifying direct emissions alone would underestimate the carbon emissions associated with a material and in turn its environmental impact. The assessment of indirect emissions is a challenging task involving upstream processes of material production. This paper investigates the existing literature on the quantification of embodied carbon by both direct and indirect emissions as well as demonstrating the application of a hybrid life cycle assessment method in building construction. The focus of this paper is the Malaysian context however the principles apply universally. A typical 2-storey residential building has been investigated to determine the total carbon emissions when comparing two construction techniques: conventionally reinforced concrete and precast concrete panels. This paper demonstrates the application of hybrid life cycle assessment by expanding the boundaries of process methods and reducing the sensitivities of I–O life cycle assessment to the raw material price fluctuation for product manufacturing.
 
The variation of environmental impacts with the efficiency of a hydrogen plant and the thermal output of a nuclear plant are studied for nuclear-based hydrogen production using three-, four- and five-step Cu–Cl cycles for thermochemical water splitting (TWS). Results are presented, on the basis of 1 kg hydrogen production, for two impact categories: global warming potential (GWP) and acidification potential (AP). Environmental impacts are evaluated with several approaches. First, environmental effects are calculated by varying the thermal output ratio, which represents the thermal energy used in Cu–Cl cycle divided by the total thermal energy output of nuclear plant, from 0.1 to 1. The results show that GWP can be decreased from 3.32 to 0.346 kg CO2-eq for the five-step cycle. Second, the hydrogen plant efficiency is altered from 0.34 to 0.65 to examine the corresponding change in environmental impacts. Increasing the hydrogen plant efficiency to 0.65 decreases the GWP to 0.4 kg CO2-eq and the AP to 2.1 × 10−3 kg SO2-eq.
 
The need to protect the environment from the wanton ecological destruction of unfettered economic growth and conspicuous consumption is unquestionable. What is still in question, however, is how environmental assessment methods can be used as a means to evaluate the sustainability of urban development. For while the number of environmental assessment methods available to evaluate the sustainability of urban development has increased notably over the past decade, questions still remain as to the integrative and multi-scalar nature of their evaluations. At their most basic these controversies boil down to the question: is the logic of building assessment integrative and can the method(ology) it uses be scaled-up so as to ‘up-the-ante’ and offer city-wide evaluations of sustainable urban development? This paper reports on the work the BEQUEST network has undertaken to develop such an integrative and multi-scalar assessment methodology and sets out the types of assessment methods it is possible to use in ‘upping-the-ante’ and providing such city-wide evaluations.
 
Wind data basing on an analysis of the hourly mean wind speed with a 10-min time step provided by the NRG meteorological weather station in the central coast of the gulf of Tunis were used for statistical analysis to determine the wind energy characteristics. In order to identify the Weibull parameters, four different methods were applied. The investigation is focused on the determination of wind speed availability, wind rose and probability of wind power generation at different hub heights. The assessment of the electricity generation and the capacity factor for eight commercial turbines at different hub heights was made. The simulation shows the potential for wind power generation on the central coast of the gulf of Tunis.
 
As a kind of sustainable energy source, solar energy is becoming highly valued. Especially in extremely cold areas, the amount of energy consumed for space heating is huge, and the conventional coal heating has polluted the environment seriously, therefore solar heating is significant on both energy and environment conservation. In this study, a solar assisted heat pump (SAHP) system was investigated for space heating under extremely cold climatic condition. The system principle and operation modes was presented, and then the project profile and design procedure were introduced, and finally the system performance was evaluated by field test on typical winter days and modelling via TRNSYS simulation environment. The results show that the solar collector efficiency was 51%, and the solar fraction can reach 66% in December. Economic analysis was also performed and the heating expenses for the present SAHP system was 18 RMB/m2. Finally, the temperatures of solar energy for both direct heating and storage and only for direct heating (T1A and T1B) were simulated and optimized, which have important significance on the operation time of different operation modes.
 
This paper explores the business attractiveness of low carbon cities using a survey on cleantech firms. The results show that cleantech firms indicate neutral interest in developing physical presence in low carbon cities, even though they perceive positive effects of low carbon urban features on resident productivity and health. Business conditions that affect operating costs tend to have greater influences than market access factors, which are associated with the supply and demand of factor goods, on firms’ decisions to relocate to low carbon cities. Conventional policies such as intellectual property rights protection and the development of intellectual clusters remain critical in incentivizing research and development, a low carbon activity, in low carbon cities. In summary, the low carbon features of a city do not appear to have major advantages in attracting businesses. The diffusion of low carbon cities is likely to be driven by public environmental policies rather than corporate demand in the near future.
 
Nowadays, buildings are responsible for about 40% of the EU's total final energy consumption and greenhouses emissions, putting them among the largest end-use sectors globally. In this context, a number of studies exist in the international literature analyzing the importance of effective energy and environmental management of the buildings. With respect to the above, the main aim of the paper is to present a building automation and control tool for remote and real time monitoring of energy consumption in the building sector. Apart from analyzing the building's energy profile, the tool integrates control scenarios that minimizes the energy consumption and rationalizes the energy use in the highest degree. The proposed tool achieves significant decrease in the operating cost of active system in a tertiary sector building, while maintaining desirable comfort.
 
Top-cited authors
John Krogstie
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Fariborz Haghighat
  • Concordia University Montreal
Bhagya Nathali Silva
  • University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Bao-Jie He
  • Chongqing University
Prashant Kumar
  • University of Surrey