Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 223

Architectural and Environmental Engineering

A Settlement Strategy for Health Facilities in Emerging Countries: A Case Study in Brazil
A settlement strategy is to anticipate and respond the needs of existing and future communities through the provision of primary health care facilities in marginalized areas. Access to a health care network is important to improving healthcare coverage, often lacking, in developing countries. The study explores that a good sanitary system strategy of rural contexts brings advantages to an existing settlement: improving transport, communication, water and social facilities. The objective of this paper is to define a possible methodology to implement primary health care facilities in disadvantaged areas of emerging countries. In this research, we analyze the case study of Lauro de Freitas, a municipality in the Brazilian state of Bahia, part of the Metropolitan Region of Salvador, with an area of 57,662 km² and 194.641 inhabitants. The health localization system in Lauro de Freitas is an integrated process that involves not only geographical aspects, but also a set of factors: population density, epidemiological data, allocation of services, road networks, and more. Data were collected also using semi-structured interviews and questionnaires to the local population. Synthesized data suggest that moving away from the coast where there is the greatest concentration of population and services, a network of primary health care facilities is able to improve the living conditions of small-dispersed communities. Based on the health service needs of populations, we have developed a methodological approach that is particularly useful in rural and remote contexts in emerging countries.
Research on the Strategy of Whole-Life-Cycle Campus Design from the Perspective of Sustainable Concept: A Case Study on Hangzhou Senior High School in Zhejiang

With the development of social economy and the popularization of quality education, the Chinese government invests more and more funding in education. Campus constructions are experiencing a great development phase. Under the trend of sustainable development, modern green campus design needs to meet new requirements of contemporary, informational and diversified education means and adapt to future education development. Educators, designers and other participants of campus design are facing new challenges. By studying and analyzing the universal unsatisfied current situations and sustainable development requirements of Chinese campuses, this paper summarizes the strategies and intentions of the whole-life-cycle campus design. In addition, a Chinese high school in Zhejiang province is added to illustrate the design cycle in an actual case. It is aimed to make all participants of campus design, especially the designers, to realize the importance of whole-life-cycle campus design and cooperate better. Sustainable campus design is expected to come true in deed instead of becoming a slogan in this way.

Optimal Maintenance Clustering for Rail Track Components Subject to Possession Capacity Constraints

This paper studies the optimal maintenance planning of preventive maintenance and renewal activities for components in a single railway track when the available time for maintenance is limited. The rail-track system consists of several types of components, such as rail, ballast, and switches with different preventive maintenance and renewal intervals. To perform maintenance or renewal on the track, a train free period for maintenance, called a possession, is required. Since a major possession directly affects the regular train schedule, maintenance and renewal activities are clustered as much as possible. In a highly dense and utilized railway network, the possession time on the track is critical since the demand for train operations is very high and a long possession has a severe impact on the regular train schedule. We present an optimization model and investigate the maintenance schedules with and without the possession capacity constraint. In addition, we also integrate the social-economic cost related to the effects of the maintenance time to the variable possession cost into the optimization model. A numerical example is provided to illustrate the model.

Role of Facade in Sustainability Enhancement of Contemporary Iranian Buildings

A growing demand for sustainability makes sustainability as one of the significant debates of nowadays. Energy saving is one of the main criteria to be considered in the context of sustainability. Reducing energy use in buildings is one of the most important ways to reduce humans’ overall environmental impact. Taking this into consideration, study of different design strategies, which can assist in reducing energy use and subsequently improving the sustainability level of today's buildings would be an essential task. The sustainability level of a building is highly affected by the sustainability performance of its components. One of the main building components, which can have a great impact on energy saving and sustainability level of the building, is its facade. The aim of this study is to investigate on the role of facade in sustainability enhancement of the contemporary buildings of Iran. In this study, the concept of sustainability in architecture, the building facades, and their relationship to sustainability are explained briefly. Following that, a number of contemporary Iranian buildings are discussed and analyzed in terms of different design strategies used in their facades in accordance to the sustainability concepts. The methods used in this study are descriptive and analytic. The results of this paper would assist in generating a wider vision and a source of inspiration for the current designers to design and create environmental and sustainable buildings for the future.

Influence of Orientation in Complex Building Architecture in Various Climatic Regions in Winter

It is architecturally accepted that building form and design is considered as one of the most important aspects in affecting indoor temperature. The total area of building plan might be identical, but the design will have a major influence on the total area of external walls. This will have a clear impact on the amount of heat exchange with outdoor. Moreover, it will affect the position and area of glazing system. This has not received enough consideration in research by the specialists, since most of the publications are highlighting the impact of building envelope in terms of physical heat transfer in buildings. This research will investigate the impact of orientation of various building forms in various climatic regions. It will be concluded that orientation and glazing to wall ratio were recognized to be the most effective variables despite the shape of the building. However, linear ad radial forms were found more appropriate shapes almost across the continent.

Disidentification of Historical City Centers: A Comparative Study of the Old and New Settlements of Mardin, Turkey

Mardin is one of the unique cities in Turkey with its rich cultural and historical heritage. Mardin’s traditional dwellings have been affected both by natural data such as climate and topography and by cultural data like lifestyle and belief. However, in the new settlements, housing is formed with modern approaches and unsuitable forms clashing with Mardin’s culture and environment. While the city is expanding, traditional textures are ignored. Thus, traditional settlements are losing their identity and are vanishing because of the rapid change and transformation. The main aim of this paper is to determine the physical and social data needed to define the characteristic features of Mardin’s old and new settlements. In this context, based on social and cultural data, old and new settlement formations of Mardin have been investigated from various aspects. During this research, the following methods have been utilized: observations, interviews, public surveys, literature review, as well as site examination via maps, photographs and questionnaire methodology. In conclusion, this paper focuses on how changes in the physical forms of cities affect the typology and the identity of cities, as in the case of Mardin.

From Vertigo to Verticality: An Example of Phenomenological Design in Architecture

Architects commonly attempt a depiction of organic forms when their works are inspired by nature, regardless of the building site. Nevertheless it is also possible to try matching structures with natural scenery, by applying a phenomenological approach in terms of spatial operations, regarding perceptions from nature through architectural aspects such as protection, views, and orientation. This method acknowledges a relationship between place and space, where intentions towards tangible facts then become design statements. Although spaces resulting from such a process may present an effective response to the environment, they can also offer further outcomes beyond the realm of form. The hypothesis is that, in addition to recognising a bond between architecture and nature, it is also plausible to associate such perceptions with the inner ambient of buildings, by analysing features such as daylight. The case study of a single-family house in a rainforest near Valdivia, Chilean Patagonia is presented, with the intention of addressing the above notions through a discussion of the actual effects of inhabiting a place by way of a series of insights, including a revision of diagrams and photographs that assist in understanding the implications of this design practice. In addition, figures based on post-occupancy behaviour and daylighting performance relate both architectural and environmental issues to a decision-making process motivated by the observation of nature.

Impact of Flexibility on Residential Buildings in Egypt

There is a critical thin line between freedom of choice and randomness. The distance between imagination and perception and between perception and execution varies depending on numerous factors. While in developed areas residents have the opportunity and abilities to build flexible homes, residents in developing areas create their own dwellings in informal settlements, even though none of them is comfortable at home in the long run. This paper explores three factors: What residents really need, what they do with limited flexibility, and what they do when there are no limits, as in the case of informal settlements. This paper studies alteration to residential buildings and how they connect to the changes in people’s lifecycle in all past cases. This study also examines all approaches to flexibility, focusing on a social approach. The results of this study are based on three practical studies: Interviews with residents in an informal settlement (Eshash Mahfouz in Minya in Egypt), a civil study of buildings in a middle-class district, and a survey of residents from many countries, including Egypt, and interviews with a number of them to determine residents’ needs and the extent of renovations they made or would like to make to their homes.

The Potential of ‘Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency for Cities’ in Developing Country: Evidence of Myanmar

The growing cities of the developing country are characterized by rapid growth and poor infrastructure management inviting and accelerating relative environmental problems. Even though the movements of the sustainability had already been developed around the world, it is still increasing in the developing countries to plant sustainable practices. Aligned with the sustainable development actions, many sustainable assessment tools are also developed to rate and evaluate the sustainability performances through the building to community level. Among them, CASBEE is developed by Japanese organizations and is recognized as one of the international well-known assessment tools. The main purpose of the study is to find out the potential of CASBEE tool reflecting sustainability city level performances in developing countries. The research framework was designed with three major phases: Quantitative Approach, Qualitative Approach and Evaluation Reflection. The first two approaches were based on the investigation of tool’s contents and indicators by means of three sustainable dimensions and sustainability categories. To know the reality and reflection on developing country, Pathein City from Myanmar was selected and evaluated by 2012 version of CASBEE for Cities. The evaluation practices went through assigned indicators and the evaluation outcome presents the performances of Pathein city’s environmental efficiency as a very good in current conditions. The results of this study indicate that the indicators of this tool have balance coverage among three dimensions of sustainability but it has not yet counted enough for some indicators like location, infrastructure and institution which are relative to society dimension. In the developing countries’ cities, the most critical issues on development such as affordable housing and heritage preservation which are already planted in Pathein City but the tool does not account for those issues. Moreover, in some of the indicators, the benchmark and the weighting coefficient are strongly linked to the system birth region. By means of this study, it can be stated that CASBEE for Cities would be potential for delivering sustainable city level development in developing country especially in Myanmar along with further inclusion of the indicators.

Urban Big Data: An Experimental Approach to Building-Value Estimation Using Web-Based Data
Current real-estate value estimation, difficult for laymen, usually is performed by specialists. This paper presents an automated estimation process based on big data and machine-learning technology that calculates influences of building conditions on real-estate price measurement. The present study analyzed actual building sales sample data for Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea, measuring the major influencing factors among the various building conditions. Further to that analysis, a prediction model was established and applied using RapidMiner Studio, a graphical user interface (GUI)-based tool for derivation of machine-learning prototypes. The prediction model is formulated by reference to previous examples. When new examples are applied, it analyses and predicts accordingly. The analysis process discerns the crucial factors effecting price increases by calculation of weighted values. The model was verified, and its accuracy determined, by comparing its predicted values with actual price increases.
Kinetic Façade Design Using 3D Scanning to Convert Physical Models into Digital Models

In designing a kinetic façade, it is hard for the designer to make digital models due to its complex geometry with motion. This paper aims to present a methodology of converting a point cloud of a physical model into a single digital model with a certain topology and motion. The method uses a Microsoft Kinect sensor, and color markers were defined and applied to three paper folding-inspired designs. Although the resulted digital model cannot represent the whole folding range of the physical model, the method supports the designer to conduct a performance-oriented design process with the rough physical model in the reduced folding range.

Investigation on the Physical Conditions of Façade Systems of Campus Buildings by Infrared Thermography Tests

Campus buildings are educational facilities where various amount of energy consumption for lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation occurs. Some of the new universities in Turkey, where this investigation takes place, still continue their educational activities in existing buildings primarily designed for different architectural programs and converted to campus buildings via changes of function, space organizations and structural interventions but most of the time without consideration of appropriate micro climatic conditions. Reducing energy consumption in these structures not only contributes to the national economy but also mitigates the negative effects on environment. Furthermore, optimum thermal comfort conditions should be provided during the refurbishment of existing campus structures and their building envelope. Considering this issue, the first step is to investigate the climatic performance of building elements regarding refurbishment process. In the context of the study Kocaeli University, Faculty of Design and Architecture building constructed in 1980s in Anıtpark campus located in the central part of Kocaeli, Turkey was investigated. Climatic factors influencing thermal conditions; the deteriorations on building envelope; temperature distribution; heat losses from façade elements observed by thermography were presented in order to improve strategies for retrofit process for the building envelope. Within the scope of the survey, refurbishment strategies towards providing optimum climatic comfort conditions, increasing energy efficiency of building envelope were proposed.

Material Analysis for Temple Painting Conservation in Taiwan

For traditional painting materials, the artisan used to combine the pigments with different binders to create colors. As time goes by, the materials used for painting evolved from natural to chemical materials. The vast variety of ingredients used in chemical materials has complicated restoration work; it makes conservation work more difficult. Conservation work also becomes harder when the materials cannot be easily identified; therefore, it is essential that we take a more scientific approach to assist in conservation work. Paintings materials are high molecular weight polymer, and their analysis is very complicated as well other contamination such as smoke and dirt can also interfere with the analysis of the material. The current methods of composition analysis of painting materials include Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), mass spectrometer, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction spectroscopy (XRD), each of which has its own limitation. In this study, FT-IR was used to analyze the components of the paint coating. We have taken the most commonly seen materials as samples and deteriorated it. The aged information was then used for the database to exam the temple painting materials. By observing the FT-IR changes over time, we can tell all of the painting materials will be deteriorated by the UV light, but only the speed of its degradation had some difference. From the deterioration experiment, the acrylic resin resists better than the others. After collecting the painting materials aging information on FT-IR, we performed some test on the paintings on the temples. It was found that most of the artisan used tune-oil for painting materials, and some other paintings used chemical materials. This method is now working successfully on identifying the painting materials. However, the method is destructive and high cost. In the future, we will work on the how to know the painting materials more efficiently.

Dynamic High-Rise Moment Resisting Frame Dissipation Performances Adopting Glazed Curtain Walls with Superelastic Shape Memory Alloy Joints
This paper summarizes the results of a survey on smart non-structural element dynamic dissipation when installed in modern high-rise mega-frame prototypes. An innovative glazed curtain wall was designed using Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) joints in order to increase the energy dissipation and enhance the seismic/wind response of the structures. The studied buildings consisted of thirty- and sixty-storey planar frames, extracted from reference three-dimensional steel Moment Resisting Frame (MRF) with outriggers and belt trusses. The internal core was composed of a CBF system, whilst outriggers were placed every fifteen stories to limit second order effects and inter-storey drifts. These structural systems were designed in accordance with European rules and numerical FE models were developed with an open-source code, able to account for geometric and material nonlinearities. With regard to the characterization of non-structural building components, full-scale crescendo tests were performed on aluminium/glass curtain wall units at the laboratory of the Construction Technologies Institute (ITC) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), deriving force-displacement curves. Three-dimensional brick-based inelastic FE models were calibrated according to experimental results, simulating the fac¸ade response. Since recent seismic events and extreme dynamic wind loads have generated the large occurrence of non-structural components failure, which causes sensitive economic losses and represents a hazard for pedestrians safety, a more dissipative glazed curtain wall was studied. Taking advantage of the mechanical properties of SMA, advanced smart joints were designed with the aim to enhance both the dynamic performance of the single non-structural unit and the global behavior. Thus, three-dimensional brick-based plastic FE models were produced, based on the innovated non-structural system, simulating the evolution of mechanical degradation in aluminium-to-glass and SMA-to-glass connections when high deformations occurred. Consequently, equivalent nonlinear links were calibrated to reproduce the behavior of both tested and smart designed units, and implemented on the thirty- and sixty-storey structural planar frame FE models. Nonlinear time history analyses (NLTHAs) were performed to quantify the potential of the new system, when considered in the lateral resisting frame system (LRFS) of modern high-rise MRFs. Sensitivity to the structure height was explored comparing the responses of the two prototypes. Trends in global and local performance were discussed to show that, if accurately designed, advanced materials in non-structural elements provide new sources of energy dissipation.
Assessment of Rehabilitation Possibilities in Case of Budapest Jewish Quarter Building Stock
The dense urban fabric of the Budapest 7th district is known as the former Jewish Quarter. The majority of the historical building stock contains multi-story tenement houses with courtyards, built around the end of the 19th century. Various rehabilitation and urban planning attempt occurred until today, mostly left unfinished. Present paper collects the past rehabilitation plans, actions and their effect which took place in the former Jewish District of Budapest. The authors aim to assess the boundaries of a complex building stock rehabilitation, by taking into account the monument protection guidelines. As a main focus of the research, structural as well as energetic rehabilitation possibilities are analyzed in case of each building by using Geographic Information System (GIS) methods.
Energy Intensity of a Historical Downtown: Estimating the Energy Demand of a Budapest District

The dense urban fabric of the 7th district of Budapest -known as the former Jewish Quarter-, contains mainly historical style, multi-story tenement houses with courtyards. The high population density and the unsatisfactory energetic state of the buildings result high energy consumption. As a preliminary survey of a complex rehabilitation plan, the authors aim to determine the energy demand of the area. The energy demand was calculated by analyzing the structure and the energy consumption of each building by using Geographic Information System (GIS) methods. The carbon dioxide emission was also calculated, to assess the potential of reducing the present state value by complex structural and energetic rehabilitation. As a main focus of the survey, an energy intensity map has been created about the area.

A Biomimetic Structural Form: Developing a Paradigm to Attain Vital Sustainability in Tall Architecture
This paper argues for sustainability as a necessity in the evolution of tall architecture. It provides a different mode for dealing with sustainability in tall architecture, taking into consideration the speciality of its typology. To this end, the article develops a Biomimetic Structural Form as a paradigm to attain Vital Sustainability. A Biomimetic Structural Form, which is derived from the amalgamation of biomimicry as an approach for sustainability defining nature as source of knowledge and inspiration in solving humans’ problems and a Structural Form as a catalyst for evolving tall architecture, is a dynamic paradigm emerging from a conceptualizing and morphological process. A Biomimetic Structural Form is a flow system whose different forces and functions tend to be “better”, more "fit", to “survive”, and to be efficient. Through geometry and function—the two aspects of knowledge extracted from nature—the attributes of the Biomimetic Structural Form are formulated. Vital Sustainability is the survival level of sustainability in natural systems through which a system enhances the performance of its internal working and its interaction with the external environment. A Biomimetic Structural Form, in this context, is a medium for evolving tall architecture to emulate natural models in their ways of coexistence with the environment. As an integral part of this article, the sustainable super tall building 3Ts is discussed as a case study of applying Biomimetic Structural Form.   
Sustaining the Social Memory in a Historic Neighborhood: The Case Study of Uch Dukkan Neighborhood in Ardabil City in Azerbaijani Region of Iran

Conservation of historical urban patterns in the traditional neighborhoods is a part of creating integrated urban environments that are socially more sustainable. Urbanization reflects on life conditions and social, physical, economical characteristics of the society. In this regard, historical zones and traditional regions are affected by dramatic interventions on these characteristics. This article focuses on the Uch Dukkan neighborhood located in Ardabil City in Azarbaijani region of Iran, which has been up to such interventions that leaded its transformation from the past to the present. After introducing a brief inventory of the main elements of the historical zone and the neighborhood; this study explores the changes and transformations in different periods; and their impacts on the quality of the environment and its social sustainability. The survey conducted in the neighborhood as part of this research study revealed that the Uch Dukkan neighborhood and the unique architectural heritage that it possesses have become more inactive physically and functionally in a decade. This condition requires an exploration and comparison of the present and the expected transformations of the meaning of social space from the most private unit to the urban scale. From this token, it is argued that an architectural point of view that is based on space order; use and meaning of space as a social and cultural image, should not be ignored. Based on the interplay between social sustainability, collective memory, and the urban environment, study aims to make the invisible portion of ignorance clear, that ends up with a weakness in defining the collective meaning of the neighborhood as a historic urban district. It reveals that the spatial possessions of the neighborhood are valuable not only for their historical and physical characteristics, but also for their social memory that is to be remembered and constructed further.

Adaptive Design of Large Prefabricated Concrete Panels Collective Housing

More than half of the urban population in Romania lives today in residential buildings made out of large prefabricated reinforced concrete panels. Since their initial design was made in the 1960’s, these housing units are now being technically and morally outdated, consuming large amounts of energy for heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting, while failing to meet the needs of the contemporary life-style. Due to their widespread use, the design of a system that improves their energy efficiency would have a real impact, not only on the energy consumption of the residential sector, but also on the quality of life that it offers. Furthermore, with the transition of today’s existing power grid to a “smart grid”, buildings could become an active element for future electricity networks by contributing in micro-generation and energy storage. One of the most addressed issues today is to find locally adapted strategies that can be applied considering the 20-20-20 EU policy criteria and to offer sustainable and innovative solutions for the cost-optimal energy performance of buildings adapted on the existing local market. This paper presents a possible adaptive design scenario towards sustainable retrofitting of these housing units. The apartments are transformed in order to meet the current living requirements and additional extensions are placed on top of the building, replacing the unused roof space, acting not only as housing units, but as active solar energy collection systems. An adaptive building envelope is ensured in order to achieve overall air-tightness and an elevator system is introduced to facilitate access to the upper levels.

Comparison of Traditional and Green Building Designs in Egypt: Energy Saving

This paper describes in details a commercial green building that has been designed and constructed in Marsa Matrouh, Egypt. The balance between homebuilding and the sustainable environment has been taken into consideration in the design and construction of this building. The building consists of one floor with 3 m height and 2810 m2 area while the envelope area is 1400 m2. The building construction fulfills the natural ventilation requirements. The glass curtain walls are about 50% of the building and the windows area is 300 m2. 6 mm greenish gray tinted temper glass as outer board lite, 6 mm safety glass as inner board lite and 16 mm thick dehydrated air spaces are used in the building. Visible light with 50% transmission, 0.26 solar factor, 0.67 shading coefficient and 1.3 W/m2.K thermal insulation U-value are implemented to realize the performance requirements. Optimum electrical distribution for lighting system, air conditions and other electrical loads has been carried out. Power and quantity of each type of the lighting system lamps and the energy consumption of the lighting system are investigated. The design of the air conditions system is based on summer and winter outdoor conditions. Ventilated, air conditioned spaces and fresh air rates are determined. Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) is the air conditioning system used in this building. The VRF outdoor units are located on the roof of the building and connected to indoor units through refrigerant piping. Indoor units are distributed in all building zones through ducts and air outlets to ensure efficient air distribution. The green building energy consumption is evaluated monthly all over one year and compared with the consumed energy in the non-green conditions using the Hourly Analysis Program (HAP) model. The comparison results show that the total energy consumed per year in the green building is about 1,103,221 kWh while the non-green energy consumption is about 1,692,057 kWh. In other words, the green building total annual energy cost is reduced from 136,581 $ to 89,051 $. This means that, the energy saving and consequently the money-saving of this green construction is about 35%. In addition, 13 points are awarded by applying one of the most popular worldwide green energy certification programs (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design “LEED”) as a rating system for the green construction. It is concluded that this green building ensures sustainability, saves energy and offers an optimum energy performance with minimum cost.

Designing for Sustainable Public Housing from Property Management and Financial Feasibility Perspectives

Many public housing properties developed by local governments in Taiwan in the 1980s have deteriorated severely as these rental apartment buildings aged. The lack of building maintainability considerations during project design phase as well as insufficient maintenance funds have made it difficult and costly for local governments to maintain and keep public housing properties in good shape. In order to assist the local governments in achieving and delivering sustainable public housing, this paper intends to present a developed design evaluation method to be used to evaluate the presented design schemes from property management and financial feasibility perspectives during project design phase of public housing projects. The design evaluation results, i.e. the property management and financial implications of presented design schemes that could occur later during the building operation and maintenance phase, will be reported to the client (the government) and design schemes revised consequently. It is proposed that the design evaluation be performed from two main perspectives: (1) Operation and property management perspective: Three criteria such as spatial appropriateness, people and vehicle circulation and control, property management working spaces are used to evaluate the ‘operation and PM effectiveness’ of a design scheme. (2) Financial feasibility perspective: Four types of financial analyses are performed to assess the long term financial feasibility of a presented design scheme, such as operational and rental income analysis, management fund analysis, regular operational and property management service expense analysis, capital expense analysis. The ongoing Chung-Li Public Housing Project developed by the Taoyuan City Government will be used as a case to demonstrate how the presented design evaluation method is implemented. The results of property management assessment as well as the annual operational and capital expenses of a proposed design scheme are presented.

Development of Energy Benchmarks Using Mandatory Energy and Emissions Reporting Data: Ontario Post-Secondary Residences
Governments are playing an increasingly active role in reducing carbon emissions, and a key strategy has been the introduction of mandatory energy disclosure policies. These policies have resulted in a significant amount of publicly available data, providing researchers with a unique opportunity to develop location-specific energy and carbon emission benchmarks from this data set, which can then be used to develop building archetypes and used to inform urban energy models. This study presents the development of such a benchmark using the public reporting data. The data from Ontario’s Ministry of Energy for Post-Secondary Educational Institutions are being used to develop a series of building archetype dynamic building loads and energy benchmarks to fill a gap in the currently available building database. This paper presents the development of a benchmark for college and university residences within ASHRAE climate zone 6 areas in Ontario using the mandatory disclosure energy and greenhouse gas emissions data. The methodology presented includes data cleaning, statistical analysis, and benchmark development, and lessons learned from this investigation are presented and discussed to inform the development of future energy benchmarks from this larger data set. The key findings from this initial benchmarking study are: (1) the importance of careful data screening and outlier identification to develop a valid dataset; (2) the key features used to develop a model of the data are building age, size, and occupancy schedules and these can be used to estimate energy consumption; and (3) policy changes affecting the primary energy generation significantly affected greenhouse gas emissions, and consideration of these factors was critical to evaluate the validity of the reported data.
The Use of Network Theory in Heritage Cities
This paper aims to demonstrate how the use of Network Theory can be applied to a very interesting and complex urban situation: The parts of a city which may have some patrimonial value, but because of their lack of relevant architectural elements, they are not considered to be historic in a conventional sense. In this paper, we use the suburb of La Villaflora in the city of Quito, Ecuador as our case study. We first propose a system of indicators as a tool to characterize and quantify the historic value of a geographic area. Then, we apply these indicators to the suburb of La Villaflora and use Network Theory to understand and propose actions.
Experimental and Numerical Analysis of a Historical Bell Tower
In this paper, a procedure for the evaluation of seismic behavior of slender masonry structures (towers, bell towers, chimneys, minarets, etc.) is presented. The presented procedure is based on a full three-dimensional modal analyses and frequency measurements. As well-known, masonry is a composite material formed by bricks, or stone blocks, and mortar arranged more or less regularly and adopted for many centuries as structural material. Dynamic actions may represent the major risk of collapse of brickworks, and despite the progress achieved so far in science and mechanics; the assessment of their seismic performance remains a challenging task. Then, reliable physical and numerical models are worthy of recommendation. In this paper, attention is paid to the historical bell tower of the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari - usually called Frari - one of the greatest churches in Venice, Italy.
Retrofitting Measures for Existing Housing Stock in Kazakhstan

Residential buildings fund of Kazakhstan was built in the Soviet time about 35-60 years ago without considering energy efficiency measures. Currently, most of these buildings are in a rundown condition and fail to meet the minimum of hygienic, sanitary and comfortable living requirements. The paper aims to examine the reports of recent building energy survey activities in the country and provide a possible solution for retrofitting existing housing stock built before 1989 which could be applicable for building envelope in cold climate. Methodology also includes two-dimensional modeling of possible practical solutions and further recommendations.

A Traditional Settlement in a Modernized City: Yanbu, Saudi Arabia
Transition in the urban configuration of Arab cities has never been as radical and visible as it has been since the turn of the last century. The emergence of new cities near historical settlements of Arabia has spawned a series of developments in and around the old city precincts. New developments are based on advanced technology and conform to globally prevalent standards of city planning, superseding the vernacular arrangements based on traditional norms that guided so-called ‘city planning’. Evidence to this fact are the extant Arab buildings present at the urban core of modern cities, which inform us about intricate spatial organization. Organization that subscribed to multiple norms such as, satisfying gender segregation and socialization, economic sustainability, and ensuring security and environmental coherence etc., within settlement compounds. Several participating factors achieved harmony in such an inclusive city—an organization that was challenged and apparently replaced by the new planning order in the face of growing needs of globalized, economy-centric and high-tech models of development. Communities found it difficult to acclimatize with the new western planning models that were implemented at a very large scale throughout the Kingdom, which later experienced spatial re-structuring to suit users’ needs. A closer look the ancient city of Yanbu, now flanked with such new developments, allows us to differentiate and track the beginnings of this unprecedented transition in settlement formations. This paper aims to elaborate the Arabian context offered to both the ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ planning approaches, in order to understand challenges and solutions offered by both at different times. In the process it will also establish the inconsistencies and conflicts that arose with the shift in planning paradigm, from traditional-'cultural norms’, to modern-'physical planning', in the Arabian context. Thus, by distinguishing the two divergent planning philosophies, their impact of the Arabian morphology, relevance to lifestyle and suitability to the biophysical environment, it concludes with a perspective on sustainability particularly for in case of Yanbu.
Analytical Investigation of Replaceable Links with Reduced Web Section for Link-to-Column Connections in Eccentrically Braced Frames

The use of eccentrically braced frame (EBF) is increasing day by day as EBF possesses high elastic stiffness, stable inelastic response under cyclic lateral loading, and excellent ductility and energy dissipation capacity. The ductility and energy dissipation capacity of EBF depends on the active link beams. Recently, there are two types EBFs; these are conventional EBFs and EBFs with replaceable links. The conventional EBF has a disadvantage during maintenance in post-earthquake. The concept of removable active link beam in EBF is developed to overcome the limitation of the conventional EBF in post-earthquake. In this study, a replaceable link with reduced web section is introduced and design equations are suggested. In addition, nonlinear finite element analysis was conducted in order to evaluate the proposed links.

Congolese Wood in the Antwerp Interwar Interior
During the interwar period artificial materials were often preferred, but many Antwerp architects relied on the application of wood for most of the interior finishing works and furnishings. Archival, literature and on site research of interwar suburban townhouses and the Belgian wood and furniture industry gave a new insight to the application of wood in the interwar interior. Many interwar designers favored the decorative values in all treatments of wood because of its warmth, comfort, good-wearing, and therefore, economic qualities. For the creation of a successful modern interior the texture and surface of the wood becomes as important as the color itself. This aesthetics valuation was the result of the modernization of the wood industry. The development of veneer and plywood gave the possibility to create strong, flat, long and plain wooden surfaces which are capable of retaining their shape. Also the modernization of cutting machines resulted in high quality and diversity in texture of veneer. The flat and plain plywood surfaces were modern decorated with all kinds of veneer-sliced options. In addition, wood species from the former Belgian Colony Congo were imported. Limba (Terminalia superba), kambala (Chlorophora excelsa), mubala (Pentaclethra macrophylla) and sapelli (Entandrophragma cylindricum) were used in the interior of many Antwerp interwar suburban town houses. From the thirties onwards Belgian wood firms established modern manufactures in Congo. There the local wood was dried, cut and prepared for exportation to the harbor of Antwerp. The presence of all kinds of strong and decorative Congolese wood products supported its application in the interwar interior design. The Antwerp architects combined them in their designs for doors, floors, stairs, built-in-furniture, wall paneling and movable furniture.
Acoustic Absorption of Hemp Walls with Ground Granulated Blast Slag
Unwanted sound reflection can create acoustic discomfort and lead to problems of speech comprehensibility. Contemporary building techniques enable highly finished internal walls resulting in sound reflective surfaces. In contrast, sustainable construction materials using natural and vegetal materials, are often more porous and absorptive. Hemp shiv is used as an aggregate and when mixed with lime binder creates a low-embodied-energy concrete. Cement replacements such as ground granulated blast slag (GGBS), a byproduct of other industrial processes, are viewed as more sustainable alternatives to high-embodied-energy cement. Hemp concretes exhibit good hygrothermal performance. This has focused much research attention on them as natural and sustainable low-energy alternatives to standard concretes. A less explored benefit is the acoustic absorption capability of hemp-based concretes. This work investigates hemp-lime-GGBS concrete specifically, and shows that it exhibits high levels of sound absorption.
An Exploration of the Provision of Government-Subsidised Housing without Title Deeds: A Recipient’s Interpretation of Security of Tenure
Low-income households earning less than 3,500 ZAR (about 175 GBP) per month can apply to the South African government, through the National Housing Subsidy, for fully subsidised houses. An objective of this subsidy is to enable low-income households’ participation in the formal housing market; however, the beneficiaries received houses without title deeds. As such, if the beneficiaries did not have a secured tenure at the time of their death then surviving family may face possible eviction. Therefore, an aim of this research was to determine how these beneficiaries interpret tenure security. The research focused on government subsidised housing in the Dithlake settlement of a rural hamlet named Koffiefontein, in the Letsemeng Local Municipality of South Africa. Quantitative data on the beneficiaries were collected from the local municipality, while qualitative data were collected from a sample of 45 beneficiaries.
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