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Jan, 01 2023 (v1) Journal article Open Access

A sub-assembly based technique for calibration of numerical models of infilled r.c. frames according to experimental tests

Barattucci, Samuel; Barbagallo, Francesca; Marino, Edoardo M.; Mazzotti, Claudio; Pozza, Luca; Tardo, Carola;

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Most existing buildings in the Mediterranean area suffer from structural deficiencies and need to be retrofitted. However, a proper selection of the seismic upgrading technique stems from a reliable assessment of seismic response based on accurate numerical models. Furthermore, it is widely accepted that the effect of infill panels  should be considered to properly reproduce the seismic response of buildings with r.c. framed structure. Indeed, several studies have demonstrated that infill panels significantly increase the lateral stiffness of the frame and influence its dissipative capacity and collapse mechanism. Unfortunately, despite all buildings are endowed with infill panels, the contribution of these non-structural elements to the structural response has been often “conservatively” neglected, in favour of computational simplicity. In this framework, this paper presents a technique for calibration of the finite element numerical model of r.c. frames with infill panels based on the results of a quasi-static cyclic experimental test of a prototype infilled frame. The proposed technique is based on a sub-assembly approach and relies of the fact that (1) the response of the system is mainly governed by the infill panel for small amplitude displacements, while (2) it becomes coincident with that of the bare r.c. frame for large amplitude  displacements. Hence, the mechanical properties of the bare frame and those of the infill panel could be separately extracted from the same cyclic response of the
infilled frame. This technique has been here applied for the calibration of the numerical model of a one-bay one-storey r.c. frame with infill panel. A full-scale cyclic test of the infilled frame is also executed and the obtained structural response is assumed as target to be fitted.

Dec, 20 2022 (v1) Journal article Open Access

Technological analysis of a prefabricated timber-based system for the integrated renovation of RC framed buildings


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Most of the building stock in European seismic countries is highly energy-intensive and earthquake-prone since it was built before the enforcement of effective energy and seismic codes. Renovation actions that synergically integrate both energy-efficient and anti-seismic interventions are strongly needed in these countries. However, the  implementation of such interventions is currently limited by barriers that are mostly related to the high cost and invasiveness of traditional seismic retrofit techniques.
A new holistic design approach to the building renovation is required to overcome these barriers. This should result in innovative and integrated retrofit interventions able to specifically meet the needs of cost-effectiveness, quick installation, reduced users’ disruption, and low environmental impact.
In this framework, the use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) has been recently investigated for retrofit purposes in light of its good mechanical and physical performance.
In this research context, this paper illustrates a novel timber-based retrofit technology for RC framed buildings developed within the e-SAFE H2020 project. This technology consists of cladding the external building envelope with a new prefabricated timber-based shell that acts as seismic-resistant and energy-efficient skin, also contributing to renovating the architectural image of the building. The new skin combines structural CLT-based panels – equipped with novel devices for seismic energy dissipation – with non-structural wooden-framed panels. Specifically, this paper presents a construction analysis of the proposed retrofit technology, investigating its technical feasibility,  versatility, and potentialities, as well as possible application limits.

Dec, 15 2023 (v1) Other Open Access

6th e-SAFE Newsletter

Barret, Margaux; Milne, Caroline;

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In this newsletter you will read about many highlights that happened in the last6 months. Early October, e-SAFE hosted a public event in Athens, with speakersfrom leading Greek institutions. This was the opportunity to highlight howcrucial it is to combine seismic safety with energy renovations, and to have afruitful exchange with Greek stakeholders on how they are currentlyaddressing seismic issues, and how e-SAFE could benefit them.
You will also find in this issue some updates on the e-SAFE pilots. In Bucharest,e-SAFE partners will meet with residents in January to discuss together anddecide on an energy efficient and seismic proof renovation solution thatmatches their needs. More on this below.
e-SAFE partners are keeping busy too, spreading the word about the projectduring various events in Brussels and elsewhere. e-SAFE is an active partner ofthe Built4People partnership, which brings together the whole value chain toaccelerate people-centric innovation for a sustainable built environment. Youwill find more about what we’ve been up to below.

Mar, 21 2023 (v1) Conference paper Open Access

Energetic Optimisation of the Domestic Hot Water System in a Residential Building by Means of Dynamic Simulations


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The present study deals with the energetic optimisation of Domestic Hot Water (DHW) system in a residential building located in Catania, Italy. Each dwelling is equipped with a specific decentralised tank with an internal heat exchanger which is connected to a 2-pipe hot water network system for tank charging. The technical water is produced by an Electrical Heat Pump (EHP) coupled to a central storage tank. The energy performance analysis of the DHW model is evaluated by means of dynamic simulations under three different scenarios of charging the decentralised storage tanks by circulating pump unit: Pump activated during daytime, activated twice a day, and activated three times per day. The results obtained allow an evaluation of the DHW consumption profile, temperature variation in central storage and decentralised tanks,  and the annual electrical/thermal energy analysis. The results indicate that the activation of the circulating pump during the day leads to an achievement of the highest amount of thermal energy, as well as having minimum temperature oscillation in both central storage and decentralised tanks. However, these advantages are at the cost of consuming much more electrical energy by the heat pump and up to 29 % higher emissions of CO2. The best scenario in terms of energy-saving and CO2 emission is
the case in which the circulating pump works twice a day, consuming annually 5,832 kWh less electrical energy, compared to the case of an activated pump during the day.

Jul, 04 2023 (v1) Journal article Open Access

Techno-economic analysis of a novel retrofit solution for the domestic hot water system: A comparative study

Jahanbin, Aminhossein; SEMPRINI, GIOVANNI; Goni, Maurizio;

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The retrofit solution for domestic hot water (DHW) system in existing buildings requires to ensure the long-term energy security and efficiency as well as to minimise occupants’ disturbance, construction works and installation costs. In this regard, the present study performs a techno-economic evaluation on a novel retrofit solution for
DHW production in a pilot building. The proposed solution appoints a substantial role to the thermal energy storage through a 2-pipe hot water network utilisable for both DHW and heating purposes. The first storage level is provided by a centralised buffer storage supplied by a PV-BESS-driven heat pump while the second level consists of decentralised modular tanks installed in each dwelling for the production and storage of hot water.
Firstly, experimental thermal performance of the proposed decentralised storages is investigated. By developing a dynamic simulation code, the energy efficiency of the proposed solution is compared to that of the existing system in the pilot building as well to that of a typical centralised system as a benchmark solution. Finally, economic analysis of the retrofit solution is performed to address capital expenditures of the system, including purchasing and installation costs, as well as its life cycle cost (LCC). The obtained results indicate that the proposed system reduces the annual energy consumption for DHW production more than 7,200 kWh, with respect to the existing DHW system. Furthermore, it is shown that, in the proposed system, the fraction of thermal loss from piping network decreases by 31.5%, compared to a typical DHW centralised system. Economic assessment of the proposed solution implies that this system, in terms of both mechanical and electrical components, requires 13.7% lower initial investment than a typical centralised system. However, the cost of control systems in this system is higher since it is inherently a control-based system.

May, 19 2023 (v1) Journal article Open Access

Multi-objective study on an innovative system for domestic hot water production: A pilot building in Southern Europe


Jun, 08 2023 (v1) Other Open Access

e-SAFE 5th Newsletter

Moverim; BPIE;

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The local pilot activities are now in full swing!

In Timișoara, e-SAFE partners worked closely with the students and teachers of Liceul Sportiv Banatul to deliver a detailed renovation project through a co-design process. Ending on a high note, the renovation plan was unveiled during a public event at Politehnica University of Timișoara, with a special feature on Romanian TV.

Nov, 18 2022 (v1) Journal article Open Access

Moisture-Related Risks in Wood-Based Retrofit Solutions in a Mediterranean Climate: Design Recommendations

Urso Alessandra; Costanzo Vincenzo; Nocera Francesco; Evola Gianpiero;

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Nowadays, advanced hygrothermal simulation tools are available and they are widely used
to predict moisture-related risks in building components, such as mold growth and increased conductive
heat losses. This paper takes advantage of these capabilities to analyze moisture-related risks
in the innovative wood-based retrofit solutions, developed in the ongoing H2020 “e-SAFE” project.
In particular, simulations carried out through the Delphin software for the warm Mediterranean climate of Catania (Italy) allowed assessing the effectiveness of several insulating materials used in the wall assembly and the moisture-related performance determined by adopting either a waterproof membrane or a vapor barrier in convenient positions. The results show that the solutions with highly permeable and highly moisture-capacitive insulation (e.g., wood fiber) are mold free, but at the expense of increased heat losses by up to 12%, compared to dry materials). In some circumstances, foam glass or extruded polyurethane could be preferable, due to their high resistance to mold growth and their flat sorption curve. The vapor-open waterproof membrane applied to the outer side of the insulation is suggested, while a vapor barrier on the outer side of the existing wall worsens mold-related issues.

Nov, 01 2022 (v1) Journal article Open Access

Probabilistic friction model for aluminium–steel Asymmetric Friction Connections (AFC)

Aloisio, Angelo; Contento, Alessandro; Boggian, Francesco; Tomasi, Roberto;

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Multiple physical variables potentially affect the friction coefficient of Asymmetric Friction Connections (AFC). This paper discusses the cyclic response of a class of AFC subjected to repeated load protocols. Two phenomena are observed. First, the friction coefficient, initially higher due to wear phenomena and moment-axial force shear force interaction, stabilizes after multiple cycles. Second, the test repetitions on the same specimen show that the friction coefficient at the beginning of the loading protocol is higher than that observed at the end of the antecedent load protocol. The experimental data prove that the dissipated energy during the current load test, temperature, and the specimen’s history affect the friction coefficient. This paper presents two probabilistic friction models calibrated using a Bayesian approach. The first engineering-oriented model is dependent on the dissipated hysteretic energy. The second includes the measured temperature as a model regressor to estimate its possible role in the response. The proposed probabilistic models can be used to predict with satisfactory accuracy the friction coefficient in Coulomb-like hysteresis models of AFCs.

Aug, 23 2022 (v2) Project deliverable Open Access

Deliverable D4.4 - e-SAFE BEMS early version

Yümlü M. Serdar; Tosunoğlu Caner; Misafir Levent; Yantaç Berk; Güreken Cenk;

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This Deliverable corresponds to the first and early version of the e-BEMS (Building Energy Management System). The present document contains the collection of all the developments carried out in Task 4.3. It contains the definition of the BEMS as an ICT solution for monitoring purposes and for managing the energy systems.
The objective of this deliverable is to provide the first version of the e-BEMS system that will monitor and partly control the building's mechanical and electrical equipment within Task 4.3.

The document first analyzes the BEMS scope and provides some examples of BEMS frameworks that are suitable for the project purposes. e-BEMS is then analyzed from the end-user’s perspective through user stories, and functional and non-functional requirements within e-SAFE project are considered. Probes for indoor and outdoor comfort, energy production and consumption, and also thermal system probes, are presented in this first version.
Moreover, the first version of the e-BEMS is provided with its main features and components. Supported data communication and exchange protocols, the data model of the e-BEMS environment and user interfaces are provided as the base platforms.