Utilization of phase change materials (PCMs) in building enclosures as thermal energy storage systems (TES) has become a re-appearing topic within the research community in recent years. PCMs represent an innovative solution that can contribute to the improvement of energy efficiency and thermal performance of buildings. This paper aims to present results of experimental investigations regarding the effectiveness and differences of PCM positioning within building enclosures in terms of energy performance and thermal comfort.

In high-performing building enclosures, the reduction of heat losses can lead to higher accumulations of moisture from condensation and vapor diffusion phenomena, which in turn can lead to rot, corrosion, mold, and overall deterioration of buildings. Building construction professionals have the unique opportunity to catch design and construction errors, which if unattended will lead to costly repairs down the road. New materials, frequent change orders on site, or process changes can have a lasting and expensive impact on functionality and durability of enclosure systems.


Resilient and sustainable multi-hazard building design can significantly benefit from a holistic approach that considers hazards in the context of the full building life-cycle. Sustainability of a building is dependent not only on well-defined impacts from initial design, construction, and operation, but also those associated with uncertain future hazards.


There are probably more than a million fume hoods operated in laboratories throughout the United States. Most of these fume hoods still run under more or less continuous conditions and thus consume an enormous amount of energy per year. There seems to be a significant savings potential if the total exhausted volumes could be reduced while all safety requirements are met. Researchers have meanwhile developed and identified high-performance fume hood solutions that could facilitate a reduction of up to 75% of the consumed energy required to condition make-up air.


Tobacco curing is an energy intensive process that has made some progress in automation, but overall has not significantly changed over the past decades. In this report the authors evaluated the most practical and also typical retrofit scenarios, such as envelope improvements and the installation of an automated control systems. In terms of their anticipated impact on energy savings the different opportunities ranged from around 6% for added control strategies to around 12% for typical standard envelope improvements.


This work is part of a regional initiative to build training and employment services into a career pathways system for the green building industry sector, with a particular focus on construction and retrofitting towards more energy-efficient buildings, and installation of alternative energy systems. It addressed the challenges of collecting and disseminating relevant information for innovative technologies and sustainability in a format that supports systems integration. The research team developed a collaborative content authoring and dissemination portal as part of an U.S.


This paper presents a numerical model to predict the vibro-acoustic responses at low frequencies of simplified residential structures exposed to sonic booms. The model is validated experimentally in a companion paper. The dynamics of the fluid-structure system, including their interaction, is computed in the time domain using a modal-decomposition approach. In the dynamic equations of the system, the structural displacement is expressed in terms of summations over the “in vacuo” modes of vibration.

Structural modal properties of single-room and two-room rectangular structures built with typical residential construction are extracted using only the vibration responses to (1) a sonic boom simulated with a linear distribution of detonating cord and (2) ambient excitation. Then, the acoustic modal properties of the cavities enclosed by the residential structures are extracted using the pressure responses to the same two types of excitation.


Experiments performed to validate a model used to predict the transmission of weak sonic booms into a residential building are discussed in detail. The experimental effort encompassed the construction of a simple structure that retains the essential characteristics of a residential building, the instrumentation of this structure, and the production of a realistic simulated sonic boom with the use of detonating cord. Vibro-acoustic data were collected using the simulated sonic boom as excitation.

As a first step in the development of a model for predicting the noise transmission of sonic booms inside buildings, a numerical solution for the transmission of a shock wave with an arbitrary time history into a rectangular room with a plaster-wood wall is investigated. The dynamics of this fluid-structure system, including their interaction, is computed in the time domain using a modal-interaction method. The formulation of the problem, illustrative numerical results, and a parametric study are presented.