Architecture, Building and Planning - Research Publications

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    Inside the Front Door A seven-year longitudinal study of six high volume homelessness services in Melbourne
    Kavaarpuo, G ; Johnson, G ( 2024)
    Over the past two decades, homelessness has become an entrenched feature on Australia’s social landscape and pressure on homelessness services has continued to rise. While a great deal is known about who presents to homelessness services, much less is known about service utilisation patterns among households ‘at risk’ of homelessness and experiencing homelessness. Service utilisation patterns have been a foci of research studies in several areas, particularly public health and one particularly important strand focuses on ‘heavy service users’. Interest in heavy service users is largely motivated by the fact that despite typically accounting for approximately 10-20% of services users, heavy service users consume a disproportionate amount of resources. The identification of heavy service users and what contributes to heavy service use is therefore important information that policy makers and service providers can use to devise less expensive ways to meet their needs, optimise service design and improve service outcomes. Using a novel dataset that combined administrative records from six Initial Assessment and Planning (IAP) services across Metropolitan Melbourne, this report examines the characteristics and service utilisation patterns of 70,552 unique households over a 7-year period. The aim of the report was to determine if there are distinct patterns of service use, and whether different patterns of service use are associated with distinct household characteristics.
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    Comparing the life cycle costs of a traditional and a smart HVAC control system for Australian office buildings
    Gobinath, P ; Crawford, RH ; Traverso, M ; Rismanchi, B (Elsevier BV, 2024-08)
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    Assessing the social life cycle impacts of circular economy
    Luthin, A ; Traverso, M ; Crawford, RH (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2023-02-01)
    A transition to a circular economy (CE) affects different stakeholders – positively and negatively. Social aspects still receive little consideration in the context of CE, which is why the assessment and monitoring of the social impacts of CE still require further development and consideration in research. In this context, social circularity indicators and social life cycle assessment (S-LCA) are important tools that were examined in more detail in this study. This paper aimed to assess the current state of social circularity indicators in the literature, the implementation of S-LCA to assess CE concepts, and which additional indicators might be included in future S-LCA studies. Focus will be on the methodological approach of how to assess the social impacts of CE. A systematic literature review was conducted using Scopus Database, Google Scholar, and Web of Science. The search terms were derived from the aim of the study to identify the social impacts of CE in existing literature, to compile relevant social indicators in the context of CE, and to analyze the current role of S-LCA in the assessment of CE concepts. 97 papers were found. After excluding contributions that did not match the search criteria and adding new relevant contributions found through the analysis of the identified studies with the snowball sampling approach, 40 papers were considered in the review. 40 social impacts of CE were found within the literature. About half of them were positive and the other half negative. The authors found that positive impacts for some stakeholders could imply negative consequences for others, e.g., job creation in one region might lead to a decline in job opportunities in other regions. To assess CE, 104 single social indicators and 9 composed indicators were identified. Most of them could be linked to stakeholder groups and subcategories proposed in the UNEP S-LCA guidelines (UNEP, 2020). Training and education, job creation, as well as health and safety were relevant identified indicators in the context of CE. S-LCA has rarely been used in the assessment of CE strategies so far and needs to be standardized for application in the industry. Not all social impacts of CE are addressed by existing indicators. This, and the fact that not all circularity indicators that address social consequences of CE (social circularity indicators) are covered with S-LCA, reveals the need to suggest and harmonize additional subcategories that are especially relevant for CE. The authors propose to apply and integrate the identified social circularity (inventory) indicators in future S-LCA studies to assess CE concepts.
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    Fifth-generation district heating and cooling systems: A review of recent advancements and implementation barriers
    Gjoka, K ; Rismanchi, B ; Crawford, RH (PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2023-01)
    As global urbanisation levels continue to rise, supplying urban areas with low emissions energy becomes imperative in the fight against climate change. In areas with high demand density, district heating and cooling systems are generally a more efficient alternative compared to individual solutions, but current systems are mainly powered by fossil fuels and suffer from significant thermal losses due to high operating temperatures. Fifth-generation district heating and cooling systems (5GDHC) is a promising technology, able to address these drawbacks. 5GDHC systems operate at near ambient temperature, ensuring efficient integration of renewable energy sources and waste heat recovery potential. Their ability to provide simultaneous heating and cooling through the same pipeline and bidirectional energy flows allow for load balancing through the harvesting of demand synergies between different users. 5GDHC systems can play an important role in the energy transition but not much is known about their environmental performance over their life cycle and the novelty of the concept means that planning and design guidelines are scarcely present in the literature, hindering their development and further adoption. This study critically reviews recent advancements in the relevant literature as the 5GDHC technology transitions from research and development to the demonstration phase. Moreover, the paper addresses the design parameters and methodologies encountered in the literature for the modelling and operation of 5GDHC systems. Finally, the economic and environmental performance are discussed while presenting an overview of future developments and challenges related to full-scale deployment.
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    Integrating embodied greenhouse gas emissions assessment into the structural design of tall buildings: A framework and software tool for design decision-making
    Helal, J ; Stephan, A ; Crawford, RH (ELSEVIER SCIENCE SA, 2023-10-15)
    Urgent changes are needed in the construction industry to address the adverse effects of material production on the environment. The construction of tall buildings results in a high temporal and spatial concentration of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This is largely due to the compounding influence of wind and earthquake loads on structural material requirements. Thus, to meet short-term climate change mitigation goals, the structural design of tall buildings must consider and minimise the embodied GHG emissions of structural systems. This study aimed to develop a framework to inform the design of tall building structural systems in order to minimise their embodied GHG emissions. A software tool was developed to implement the framework and automate the design, analysis, and embodied GHG emissions assessment of structural systems for tall buildings. Approximately 1,000 building models were iteratively designed, analysed, and assessed using the software tool. Through regression analyses, the resulting dataset was used to construct predictive models for the embodied GHG emissions of 12 unique combinations of structural system typologies and materials. By applying the framework and software tool to a 52-storey case study building, it is estimated that optimising structural material choices and geometric design strategies could reduce the embodied GHG emissions of tall building structural systems by up to 20% compared to current practices. The developed framework and software tool allow designers to use environmental assessment as a design decision-making tool, rather than an appraisal method for evaluating completed buildings, helping to reduce the environmental effects associated with tall building construction.
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    Towards a holistic assessment of circular economy strategies: The 9R circularity index
    Muñoz, S ; Hosseini, MR ; Crawford, RH (Elsevier BV, 2024-06-01)
    Our planet faces mounting environmental burdens due to linear production and consumption. Circular economy strategies offer a promising alternative, but evaluating their effectiveness requires robust measurement tools. Existing approaches lack a comprehensive framework incorporating the hierarchical strategies proposed by the 9R framework and the butterfly diagram. Based on the current circular economy indicators, this study gathers a set of indicators designed to assess the efficacy of circular economy strategies, considering the hierarchical levels outlined in the 9R framework. Moreover, it leverages the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) fundamental scale as an integration tool to consolidate the suggested indicators into a unified metric termed the “9R circularity index”. This approach relies on a bottom-up approach to measure circular economy at various levels. The “9R circularity index” enhances the ability to compare results from a material flow analysis perspective. In addition, this paper presents a step-by-step approach and a supporting software tool that aims to facilitate the measurement, selection and comparison between circular and linear models. Ultimately, this proposed approach offers a workable, data-driven tool to support the transition towards a circular economy.
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    Performance of self-binding engineered panels made from sweet corn stalks (Zea mays L.) for furniture applications
    Astari, L ; Belleville, B ; Ozarska, B ; Umemura, K ; Crawford, R ; Kusumaningrum, WB ; Ismayati, M (Elsevier BV, 2024-02-01)
    Particleboard manufacturers face challenges with conventional adhesives and the shortage of wood particles. This research aims to offer an alternative to particleboard raw materials and investigates the physico-mechanical properties of particleboard made from sweet corn stalks (Zea mays L.) and citric acid (CA), with a focus on its suitability for furniture applications. The targeted density of particleboard was 0.7 g/cm3 and the CA solution addition was in the range of 0–25 wt%. The results show that the addition of 15 wt% CA increased the physico-mechanical properties of the panel. The physico-mechanical properties of particleboard with the addition of 25 wt% CA met the requirements of JIS A 5908 (2022). Py-GC/MS analysis of corn stalk particles shows 62 derivative compounds. The FTIR analysis confirms the formation of ester linkages between the carboxyl group of CA and hydroxyl groups of corn stalk.
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    The Impact of Work Desk Shapes on the Utilisation of an Activity-Based-Working Environment
    Stojanovic, D ; Vujovic, M ; Gocer, O ; Marzban, S ; Candido, C (MDPI AG, 2024)
    The design of Activity-Based Working (ABW) environments embraces workers’ continuous mobility enabled by technology and the mindset of seeking work zones that best support the task at hand. This paper focuses on aspects of workspace selection within a facility designed to support ABW, focusing on the overall occupancy dynamics, temporal context, and information capturing less-explored details of the physical environment. This study analyses the active use of a workspace in relation to work desk shapes, rectangular and trapezial. Drawing from a longitudinal dataset spanning 12 months from an ABW facility, capturing the active workstation usage of 964 occupants through individual computer logins, this study employs descriptive statistics to analyse the active use of workspace relative to total work hours over the year. Inferential statistical techniques are utilised to compare active use measurements between and within specific workspace areas, revealing significant differences and highlighting the importance of temporal and spatial contexts in workspace utilisation patterns. The presented results demonstrate both tendencies and statistically significant differences, confirming the relevance of the studied variables in examining workspace utilisation. The results show significant usage variations throughout the day across different zones of the observed workspace, with peak activity between 11:00 and 13:00 h for both work desk shapes. This study’s insights are relevant to improving the utilisation of facilities designed for ABW and contribute to a longstanding interest in designing and arranging workplaces to better fit the people who use them.
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    Day-ahead regional solar power forecasting with hierarchical temporal convolutional neural networks using historical power generation and weather data
    Perera, M ; De Hoog, J ; Bandara, K ; Senanayake, D ; Halgamuge, S (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2024-05-01)
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    Public support for proposed government policies to optimise the social benefits of autonomous vehicles
    Pettigrew, S ; Booth, L ; Farrar, V ; Brown, J ; Karl, C ; Godic, B ; Vidanaarachchi, R ; Thompson, J (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2024-04)