Architecture, Building and Planning - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 1237
Examining the Macroeconomic Determinants of Property Cycles in Australia
(Asian Real Estate Society, Global Chinese Real Estate Congress, 2021)
This paper identifies the impact of macroeconomic determinants of commercial property investment and development markets in Australia. A Hodrick-Prescott (HP) filter is used to filter the cyclical components of commercial property investment and development time series. In order to identify the long-run relationships and short-run dynamics, coupled with causality between these factors and property cycles, the investment and development property cycles are analyed with respect to the movement of nine macroeconomic factors by using time series data from 1987 to 2016. The empirical results suggest that the Australian commercial property market is often in an overdemand situation rather than oversupply, which can be explained by the different patterns of the property cycles on the demand and supply sides. Property investment cycles are shorter and more volatile than development cycles at around 8-10 years and more than 20 years, respectively, since there is a larger elasticity of the macroeconomic factors that underlie the investment market with short-term dynamics, while the development cycle is mainly affected by such factors moderately in the long run. Both the investment and development markets are intensively affected by financing related variables rather than market-sentiment and economic-cycle related variables.
Research Methods to Investigate Occupants’ Domestic Environmental Experiences for EXD Framework
(Smart Villages Lab, The University of Melbourne, 2020-12-21)
Occupant has holistic experiences in their domestic environments that may affect their health and wellbeing. Nowadays, various research methods are conducting to explore occupants' psychological issues in their living environments. Thus, occupants' domestic environmental experiences need to be examined into architectural design decisions to enhance their health and wellbeing. This study's primary objective is to explore the research methods to investigate occupants' environmental experiences in their domestic living. In this study, relevant literature reviews have been conducted to understand the research methods of exploring occupants' environmental experiences. A series of qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches (mixed-mode) have been considered to triangulate the correlation between occupants' subjective experiences and their wellbeing (i.e., comfortable feeling). Through these research methods, the correlation between environmental design factor (DF), spatial factor (SF) and user context (UC) have been explored in occupants' domestic settings. Structured questionnaire surveys, semi-structured interviews and photo survey techniques have been considered to explore occupants' domestic environmental experience (EXD). For the statistical data interpretations and correlational analysis, the 'Pearson' and 'Association Rules (Apriori)' algorithms have been identified for data mining using SPSS statistics. NVivo will be utilised for the content analysis and image coding to clarify the relationship between DF, SF and UC of occupants according to different domestic environments. Moreover, this methodological approach to exploring occupants' domestic environmental experiences may help develop the notion of domestic 'Environmental Experience Design (EXD)' framework.
Domestic Environmental Experience Design
(MDPI AG, 2021-06-21)
The term ‘domestic environmental experience’ was defined as users’ experiences of cognitive perceptions and physical responses to their domestic built environments. Domestic environments can be enriched through the implementation of environmental experience design (EXD) by combining users’ environmental, spatial and contextual factors that may accommodate occupants’ needs and demands as well as their health and wellbeing. Here, an EXD theoretical concept has been developed based on the ‘User-Centred Design’ thematical framework.
An adaptive thermal comfort model for naturally ventilated classrooms of technical institutions in Madurai
Purpose Occupants dwelling in hot climatic regions of India for a longer term are tolerable to high temperature levels than predicted by American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the thermal sensations (TS) and neutral temperature of the occupants in naturally ventilated (NV) and air-conditioned (AC) classrooms of two technical institutions located in the same premises in the suburbs of Madurai. The main focus of this study is to understand the occupants’ behaviour in response to the thermal conditions of the educational buildings particularly in the warm and humid climatic zone of Madurai. Design/methodology/approach This research collected data through field studies. The data included 383 survey questionnaires from NV classrooms and 285 from AC classrooms, as well as on-site measurements of interior and exterior weather conditions. The TS results show that the students preferred well-designed NV classrooms than AC classrooms. A new adaptive comfort equation derived from this study can be applied to NV classrooms in warm and humid climates where mean outdoor temperature exceeds 40°C. Findings The neutral temperature derived for NV classrooms in Madurai ranged from 29°C to 34°C. Thus, the occupants in the NV classrooms of the higher learning educational institutions in the warm and humid climatic region of Madurai can adapt well to higher indoor temperature levels than predicted by ASHRAE comfort levels with minimum adjustments. Research limitations/implications The study was limited to only occupants in two premier higher learning technical educational institutions located in Madurai region within 5–10 km within the city limits to understand the implications of microclimate with respect to the urban context. Thus, further research is required to examine the tendency under local conditions in other regions beyond those applied to this study. Social implications The findings of this study showed that occupants in higher learning educational intuitions in Madurai prefer NV classrooms than AC classrooms. Therefore, with rising demands of energy use for mechanical ventilation and the associated high cost for running AC buildings, architects should prioritize the design of energy efficient buildings through the optimal use of passive design strategies for ventilation and thermal comfort. This study gives a base data for architects to understand the adaptive limitations of occupants and design NV buildings that can promote natural ventilation and provide better thermal environments that can help increase the productivity of students. Originality/value This paper was an attempt to develop the adaptive comfort model for NV classrooms in Madurai regions. There has been no attempt to identify the adaptive comfort levels of occupants in higher learning technical educational institutions located in warm and humid climatic region of India.
Learning deficit in cognitively normal APOE epsilon 4 carriers with LOW beta-amyloid
Introduction: In cognitively normal (CN) adults, increased rates of amyloid beta (Aβ) accumulation can be detected in low Aβ (Aβ-) apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 carriers. We aimed to determine the effect of ε4 on the ability to benefit from experience (ie, learn) in Aβ- CNs. Methods: Aβ- CNs (n = 333) underwent episodic memory assessments every 18 months for 108 months. A subset (n = 48) completed the Online Repeatable Cognitive Assessment-Language Learning Test (ORCA-LLT) over 6 days. Results: Aβ- ε4 carriers showed significantly lower rates of improvement on episodic memory over 108 months compared to non-carriers (d = 0.3). Rates of learning on the ORCA-LLT were significantly slower in Aβ- ε4 carriers compared to non-carriers (d = 1.2). Discussion: In Aβ- CNs, ε4 is associated with a reduced ability to benefit from experience. This manifested as reduced practice effects (small to moderate in magnitude) over 108 months on the episodic memory composite, and a learning deficit (large in magnitude) over 6 days on the ORCA-LLT. Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related cognitive abnormalities can manifest before preclinical AD thresholds.
Towards an End-to-End Framework of CCTV-Based Urban Traffic Volume Detection and Prediction
Near real-time urban traffic analysis and prediction are paramount for effective intelligent transport systems. Whilst there is a plethora of research on advanced approaches to study traffic recently, only one-third of them has focused on urban arterials. A ready-to-use framework to support decision making in local traffic bureaus using largely available IoT sensors, especially CCTV, is yet to be developed. This study presents an end-to-end urban traffic volume detection and prediction framework using CCTV image series. The framework incorporates a novel Faster R-CNN to generate vehicle counts and quantify traffic conditions. Then it investigates the performance of a statistical-based model (SARIMAX), a machine learning (random forest; RF) and a deep learning (LSTM) model to predict traffic volume 30 min in the future. Tests at six locations with varying traffic conditions under different lengths of past time series are used to train the prediction models. RF and LSTM provided the most accurate predictions, with RF being faster than LSTM. The developed framework has been successfully applied to fill data gaps under adverse weather conditions when data are missing. It can be potentially implemented in near real time at any CCTV location and integrated into an online visualization platform.
Does Village Chicken-Keeping Contribute to Young Children's Diets and Growth? A Longitudinal Observational Study in Rural Tanzania
There is substantial current interest in linkages between livestock-keeping and human nutrition in resource-poor settings. These may include benefits of improved diet quality, through animal-source food consumption and nutritious food purchases using livestock-derived income, and hazards of infectious disease or environmental enteric dysfunction associated with exposure to livestock feces. Particular concerns center on free-roaming chickens, given their proximity to children in rural settings, but findings to date have been inconclusive. This longitudinal study of 503 households with a child under 24 months at enrolment was conducted in villages of Manyoni District, Tanzania between May 2014, and May 2016. Questionnaires encompassed demographic characteristics, assets, livestock ownership, chicken housing practices, maternal education, water and sanitation, and dietary diversity. Twice-monthly household visits provided information on chicken numbers, breastfeeding and child diarrhea, and anthropometry was collected six-monthly. Multivariable mixed model analyses evaluated associations between demographic, socioeconomic and livestock-associated variables and (a) maternal and child diets, (b) children's height-for-age and (c) children's diarrhea frequency. Alongside modest contributions of chicken-keeping to some improved dietary outcomes, this study importantly (and of substantial practical significance if confirmed) found no indication of a heightened risk of stunting or greater frequency of diarrhea being associated with chicken-keeping or the practice of keeping chickens within human dwellings overnight.
The chicken or the egg? Exploring bidirectional associations between Newcastle disease vaccination and village chicken flock size in rural Tanzania
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2017-11-16)
Newcastle disease (ND) is a viral disease of poultry with global importance, responsible for the loss of a potential source of household nutrition and economic livelihood in many low-income food-deficit countries. Periodic outbreaks of this endemic disease result in high mortality amongst free-ranging chicken flocks and may serve as a disincentive for rural households to invest time or resources in poultry-keeping. Sustainable ND control can be achieved through vaccination using a thermotolerant vaccine administered via eyedrop by trained "community vaccinators". This article evaluates the uptake and outcomes of fee-for-service ND vaccination programs in eight rural villages in the semi-arid central zone of Tanzania. It represents part of an interdisciplinary program seeking to address chronic undernutrition in children through improvements to existing poultry and crop systems. Newcastle disease vaccination uptake was found to vary substantially across communities and seasons, with a significantly higher level of vaccination amongst households participating in a longitudinal study of children's growth compared with non-participating households (p = 0.009). Two multivariable model analyses were used to explore associations between vaccination and chicken numbers, allowing for clustered data and socioeconomic and cultural variation amongst the population. Results demonstrated that both (a) households that undertook ND vaccination had a significantly larger chicken flock size in the period between that vaccination campaign and the next compared with those that did not vaccinate (p = 0.018); and (b) households with larger chicken flocks at the time of vaccination were significantly more likely to participate in vaccination programs (p < 0.001). Additionally, households vaccinating in all three vaccination campaigns held over 12 months were identified to have significantly larger chicken flocks at the end of this period (p < 0.001). Opportunities to understand causality and complexity through quantitative analyses are limited, and there is a role for qualitative approaches to explore decisions made by poultry-keeping households and the motivations, challenges and priorities of community vaccinators. Evidence of a bi-directional relationship, however, whereby vaccination leads to greater chicken numbers, and larger flocks are more likely to be vaccinated, offers useful insights into the efficacy of fee-for-service animal health programs. This article concludes that attention should be focused on ways of supporting the participation of vulnerable households in ND vaccination campaigns, and encouraging regular vaccination throughout the year, as a pathway to strengthen food security, promote resilience and contribute to improved human nutrition.
My home is making me sick! Implications of poor indoor environment quality on mould growth
It is estimated that 1 in 3 Australian homes displays excessive dampness and mould proliferation, representing a significant threat to human health (physical and psychological). This study aims to provide a snapshot of the current indoor air quality of Australian residential buildings regarding air pollutants and biological growth via a case study. Monitoring results indicate that buildings with a high concentration of fungal spores are also more likely to present poor indoor air quality levels, high concentrations of particulate matters (PM10 and PM2.5) and CO2. Further, it suggests that the extensive mould damage may go inviable for too long posing a significant health hazard on people. This research suggests the need for the development of early detection strategies that could minimize the health hazard to people, thereby preventing the need for a major renovation.
Systems Engineering as Engineering Philosophy
Studies into various aspects of systems engineering have emerged to broaden understanding of the discipline. However, consensus on the concept and purview of the field remains elusive. Viewing systems engineering as engineering philosophy can provide insight into these differing perspectives. This chapter discusses engineering philosophy and provides a brief historical overview of systems engineering. Some concepts in system engineering, such as system, complexity and emergence amongst others, are discussed. Systemic thinking as a precursory problem-solving strategy is highlighted. Thereafter, the various representations of systems engineering are used as examples of reflections within systems engineering, which can be characterised as engineering philosophy as distinguished from philosophy of engineering. Whilst the philosophy of engineering assesses engineering from the outside with the aid of concepts and methodologies of the discipline of philosophy, engineering philosophy involves philosophical thinking of engineering from within that sets a paradigm for understanding the world.
(Reaktion Books, 2021-11-11)
Extinct is filled with curious, half-remembered objects, each one evoking a future that never came to pass. It is also a visual treat, full of interest and delight.