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TOPICAL ISSUE: Assessment, Diagnosis, Energy Efficiency and Building Refurbishment for Sustainability

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Prof. João Carlos Lanzinha, Civil Engineering and Architecture Department, C-made - Centre of Materials and Building Technologies, Faculty of Engineering, University of Beira Interior, Portugal


The future sustainability of our cities and communities especially when related to the energy efficiency, depends largely on the performance of new and existing buildings. Different statistics and technical reports show that buildings represent the largest energy-consuming sector of economy, with over one-third of all final energy and half of global electricity consumed. As a result they are also responsible for approximately one-third of global carbon emissions to atmosphere.
Nowadays, in developed countries, the new buildings are subjected to strong restrictions on design and have to comply with mandatory public policies including standards and labelling certificates.
In future, we want to ensure or increase the actual living standards but this issue has to be concerted with real actions to improve efficiency and guarantee the evolution to zero-energy new buildings, integrating renewable energies with advanced holistic building design concepts.
Nevertheless, there’s a lot of work to extend the concerns of energy efficiency to existing building stock. While the efficiency of new buildings has improved over time, for example, most of Europe’s existing building stock – over 90% of the total – has yet to be intervened, improving in future the external envelope’s performance, implementing high-performance equipment, new accessibilities to elderly or disabled people or to guarantee the passive and active fire security in building. Usually it is really difficult to get detailed and reliable information on construction elements and systems and other important aspects that cannot be readily observed in a simple visual inspection.
One of the big differences between the two approaches (new/existing) is that during the definition of rehabilitation, retrofit or refurbishment options, the existing building structure and components needs to be assessed, inspected and studied in detail and surely this actions will introduce a whole set of severe constraints to designers. When working with an existing building, the need to understand and turn compatible the occupancy patterns, ventilation, basic infrastructures, energy use of the building and its thermal performance, existing equipment and controls schedules, lighting and other systems, are constant concerns. The same design strategies will apply to both, but designers will not have as much possibilities to reshape in fact an existing building turning it in new.
This special issue aims to encourage the research in the different areas of assessment tools, diagnosis procedures and energy efficiency of buildings and to discuss and disseminate the principles, best strategies and actions for successful building refurbishment based in sustainability achievements. 

Aims and Scope:

  • Technical inspection methods and diagnosis procedures for existing buildings
  • Principles, strategies and actions for efficient building refurbishment
  • Advanced building design concepts for sustainability
  • Renovation of different building infrastructures and systems 
  • Energy efficiency of existing buildings
  • Building/rebuilding for sustainability
  • New design concepts for nearly zero energy buildings 


Before submission authors should carefully read the Instructions for Authors, which are located here. All submissions to the Special Issue must be made electronically at via online submission system Editorial Manager.
All manuscripts will go through the Open Engineering high standards, quick, fair and comprehensive peer-review procedure. When entering your submission via online submission system please choose the type article Topical Issue on Assessment, Diagnosis, Energy Efficiency and Building Refurbishment for Sustainability.
The deadline for the submissions is 30th November 2017, but individual papers will be reviewed and published online as they arrive.
Please note that the journal has publication fees (APCs - Article Processing Charges) which apply after the acceptance of papers (there are no submission charges). The standard APC is 1000 euro per paper, regardless of its length. But we are able to give 50% discounts to authors from Topical Issue Topical Issue on Assessment, Diagnosis, Energy Efficiency and Building Refurbishment for Sustainability.

Contributors to the Topical Issue will benefit from:

  • fair and constructive peer review provided by recognized experts in the field,
  • Open Access to your article for all interested readers,
  • fast online publication of articles,
  • online submission and tracking system,
  • free language assistance for authors from non-English speaking regions;
  • increased visibility and readership
  • increased and accelerated citations
  • no space constraints
  • extensive promotion of best articles

The deadline for the submissions is 30th June 2018, but individual papers will be reviewed and published online as they arrive.

We are looking forward to your submission. If you have any question, please contact us:
Managing Editor: Natalia.Pierunek@degruyteropen.com