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Article
Publication date: 19 May 2020

Sara Wilkinson, Nimish Biloria and Peter Ralph

As the impacts of climate change become more evident, the need to adopt new ways of constructing buildings becomes more urgent. The Earth has experienced hotter climates…

Abstract

Purpose

As the impacts of climate change become more evident, the need to adopt new ways of constructing buildings becomes more urgent. The Earth has experienced hotter climates globally for the last 70 years (NASA, 2019), and this has resulted in unprecedented levels of bushfire in Australia, flooding in the UK and drought in Africa in early 2020 (World Resources Institute, 2019). The predictions are for increased temperatures globally and increasing carbon emissions from fossil fuel consumption. There is a critical need to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels as a building energy source (WCED, 1987). Existing renewables focus on solar, wind and wave power, where technological improvements have increased efficiencies (Hinnells, 2008). Uptake of the technologies is variable depending on location and willingness to adopt renewables. As well as further uptake of existing renewable energy sources, we need to look wider and across traditional discipline groups, at new technologies such as biotechnologies. One potential energy source is biofuels. Biofuels are produced from biomass, which is algae. In 2016, the BIQ, a four-storey apartment building, was constructed in Hamburg, Germany. The BIQ features glazed façade panels filled with algae to produce biomass and solar thermal energy. Could algae building technology (ABT), in the form of façade panels, offer a new renewable energy source?

Design/methodology/approach

What are the technical issues associated with Algae building technology? This qualitative research sought to identify what technical issues likely to arise in terms of algae building construction, operation and maintenance. Semi-structured interviews with 24 experienced built environment professionals in Australia were undertaken in 2016 to assess the most likely issues that could arise with this new innovative technology.

Findings

As a result, a greater understanding of the range of technical issues related to design, construction, maintenance and operation were identified, as well as the perceived importance of those issues. It was possible to identify the top ten technical issues built environment professionals are concerned about with regard to ABT. The results can inform future designers of ABT.

Research limitations/implications

This research was restricted to the views of 24 experienced built environment practitioners in Sydney, Australia. None of whom had direct experience of Algae Building Technology. Though knowledgeable, a greater number of interviews may have identified other technical issues.

Practical implications

No guidelines exist for Algae Building Technology, and this research identifies a comprehensive range of technical issues that need to be considered for the technology to function at optimum levels. As such, this is a starting point for built environment professionals who may be asked to provide professional advice and guidance.

Originality/value

To date, no evaluation of Australian based built environment professionals has been conducted into the technical issues associated with Algae Building Technology.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 March 2021

Sara Wilkinson, Marc Carmichael and Richardo Khonasty

The UN forecast of a 3-degree Celsius global temperature increase by 2,100 will exacerbate excessive heat. Population growth, urban densification, climate change and…

Abstract

Purpose

The UN forecast of a 3-degree Celsius global temperature increase by 2,100 will exacerbate excessive heat. Population growth, urban densification, climate change and global warming contribute to heat waves, which are more intense in high-density environments. With urbanisation, vegetation is replaced by impervious materials which contribute to the urban heat island effect. Concurrently, adverse health outcomes and heat- related deaths are increasing, and heat stress affects labour productivity. More green infrastructure, such as green walls, is needed to mitigate these effects; however maintenance costs, OH&S issues and perceptions of fire risk inhibit take up. What if these barriers could be overcome by a green Wallbot? This research examines the feasibility of integrating smart technology in the form of a Wallbot.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design comprised two workshops with key stakeholders; comprising green wall designers and installers, green wall maintenance teams, project managers and building owners with green wall installations, horticulture scientists, designers and mechatronics engineers. The aim was to gain a deeper understanding of the issues affecting maintenance of green walls on different building types in New South Wales Australia to inform the design of a prototype robot to maintain green walls.

Findings

The Wallbot has great potential to overcome the perceived barriers associated with maintaining green walls and also fire risk and detection. If these barriers are addressed, other locations, such as the sides of motorways or rail corridors, could be used for more green wall installations thereby increasing mitigation of UHI. This innovation would be a welcome addition to smart building technology and property maintenance.

Research limitations/implications

This is a pilot study, and the sample of stakeholders attending the workshops was small, though experienced. The range of green walls is varied, and it was decided to focus initially on a specific type of green wall design for the prototype Wallbot. Therefore other types and sizes of green walls may suit other specifications of Wallbot design.

Practical implications

To date, no robot exists that maintains green walls, and this innovative research developed a prototype for trialling maintenance and inspection.

Originality/value

To date, no robot exists that maintains green walls. No study to date has assessed stakeholder perceptions and developed prototype Wallbot technology.

Details

Property Management, vol. 39 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 June 2018

Sara Wilkinson, Hera Antoniades and Dulani Halvitigala

Valuers face significant challenges as processes become automated and the role evolves to data handling and processing. To survive and thrive, valuers must respond to a…

Abstract

Purpose

Valuers face significant challenges as processes become automated and the role evolves to data handling and processing. To survive and thrive, valuers must respond to a changing market. The purpose of this paper is to examine the issues, threats and challenges facing the Australian profession, though the issues are global.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative research sought a deeper understanding of the threats, challenges and new areas of practice that Australian valuers were experiencing. A focus group approach was designed to collect data from practitioners in Sydney and Melbourne. The research aimed to identify new knowledge and skills for the future and emerging trends and practices.

Findings

The key issues, threats and challenges faced included increasing use of automated valuation models for low-risk residential valuations, valuers being unable to protect themselves against the banks, loss of control of the data and valuations. In total, 12 knowledge domains and skills required in the future were established and ten emerging trends and practices were identified.

Research limitations/implications

The key limitations were that participants were from Melbourne and Sydney in Australia only and the focus is NSW and Victoria centric, although many participants have international work experience. There was an under representation of rural valuers, of small valuation firms, of young, recently joined or qualified valuers and females.

Practical implications

The findings inform a manifesto for the future which sets out the practical implications for valuers and the professional body. This action plan sets the new knowledge domains, practices and trends that can be adopted by the profession and its members.

Originality/value

This is the original research and highlights some real threats, issues and challenges facing the Australian valuers. It complements work undertaken by legal and accounting professional bodies, which sense change affecting their membership and services. A manifesto for action has been outlined to address the changes that are coming and those already here.

Details

Property Management, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Sara Wilkinson

422

Abstract

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 34 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Sara Wilkinson

288

Abstract

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 September 2018

Sara Wilkinson and Paul Osmond

616

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Article
Publication date: 24 September 2018

Shabnam Yazdani Mehr and Sara Wilkinson

Adaptive reuse of heritage stock has several advantages: retention of culturally and socially significant buildings, as well as the opportunity to consider embodied…

Abstract

Purpose

Adaptive reuse of heritage stock has several advantages: retention of culturally and socially significant buildings, as well as the opportunity to consider embodied energy, energy efficiency retrofit measures and other environmental upgrades. The purpose of this paper is to identify the technical issues faced in the adaptive reuse of Australian heritage listed city halls and discuss sustainable strategies to enable further adaptations to be more energy efficient.

Design/methodology/approach

Adaptive reuse of a heritage building provides an opportunity to retain embodied energy, improve energy efficiency and enhance durability, which are important aspects of the technical lifecycle of a building. Using a case study methodology and a qualitative approach, this paper evaluates adaptations and the technical issues faced in three heritage city halls in Queensland, Australia.

Findings

The analysis shows that enhancing energy efficiency enables heritage buildings to reduce their climate change impacts. However, the installation of equipment for energy efficiency can pose technical issues for heritage buildings. The ownership of heritage building and interest of the local community affects the solutions that are viable. Solutions and further sustainable strategies are proposed through analysis of case studies.

Originality/value

City halls globally adopt different and varied architectural designs, features and scales. They are often heritage listed and locally significant landmarks that have undergone various adaptations; however, they have been overlooked in much adaptive reuse research, particularly in Australia. City halls differ from other heritage buildings in their collective sense of ownership which is important in regard to proposed changes, as citizens have an interest and hold opinions which may affect measures adopted. This paper contributes to the body of knowledge related to energy efficient technical adaptive reuse of city halls.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2018

Sara Wilkinson, Dulani Halvitigala and Hera Antoniades

Valuers face significant challenges as valuation becomes automated and the role evolves from economic analysis to data handling and processing. The purpose of this paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Valuers face significant challenges as valuation becomes automated and the role evolves from economic analysis to data handling and processing. The purpose of this paper is to identify new knowledge and skills Valuers will need in the future and the role of professional bodies and educators in meeting future challenges in Australia, although the issues are considered global.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative research sought a deeper understanding of the issues, threats, challenges, opportunities, new areas of practice and knowledge that Valuers were experiencing with a view to identifying the role of professional bodies, industry and educators to meet the challenges. A focus group approach was adopted to collect data from practitioners in Sydney and Melbourne.

Findings

The roles of the professional body the Australian Property Institute, industry/employers and educators to meet these future challenges were identified. Changes are required to degree programme content in respect of digital technologies and statistical knowledge and skills. Continuing professional development programmes are required to address knowledge and skills gaps in existing practitioners.

Research limitations/implications

In this study, key limitations were that focus group participants were from Melbourne and Sydney only, and the focus is NSW and Victoria centric, although many participants have international work experience. Overall there was under representation of rural Valuers, of small valuation firms, of young, recently joined or qualified Valuers and females.

Originality/value

This is original research and highlights some real threats, issues and challenges facing the Australian Valuers. It complements work undertaken by legal and accounting professional bodies who perceive change and uncertainty affecting membership and services. To address and where, appropriate, embrace the changes that are coming and those already here, a manifesto for action for educators and the professional body is established.

Details

Property Management, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 April 2020

Sara Jane Wilkinson and Sarah Sayce

About 27 per cent of the total UK carbon emissions are attributed to residential buildings; therefore, improvements to the energy efficiency of the stock offers great…

Abstract

Purpose

About 27 per cent of the total UK carbon emissions are attributed to residential buildings; therefore, improvements to the energy efficiency of the stock offers great potential. There are three main ways to achieve this. First is a mandatory approach, minimum energy efficiency standards are set and applied to new and existing buildings. Option 2 is voluntary, using energy ratings that classify performance to stimulate awareness and action. Third, financial measures, incentives and taxes, are applied to “nudge” behaviours. Most westernised countries have adopted a combination of Options 2 and 3, with the belief that the market will incentivize efficient properties. The belief is voluntary measures will stimulate demand, leading to value premiums. This paper aims to seek a deeper understanding of the relationship between energy efficiency and the value of residential property in Europe and, by so doing, to determine whether stronger policies are required to realise decarbonisation.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews the current academic literature and large-scale quantitative studies conducted in Europe, mostly using hedonic pricing analysis to seek a relationship between energy performance certificates (EPCs) and either capital or rental values. It compares these to the reported findings of three case study projects that take a variety of different research approaches, all of which have the ambition to understand market behaviours and stimulate occupier or/and owner demand for energy efficient buildings.

Findings

The large-scale academic study results generally show a positive relationship between observed market prices and EPCs, which are commonly taken as surrogates for efficiency; however, outcomes are variable. One large study found energy upgrades may increase value, but not to the point where costs outweigh the value gain. Other studies found high returns on investment in energy efficiency technologies. The case study projects, however, revealed a more nuanced set of arguments in terms of the relationship between energy efficiency and market behaviours. Whilst there is some evidence that energy efficiency is beginning to impact on value, it is small compared to other value drivers; other drivers, including health, well-being and private sector finance deals, may prove more powerful market drivers. Further, the empirical findings reported point towards the emergence of a “brown” discount being more likely to be the long-term trend than a green premium. It is concluded that the current levels of action are unlikely to deliver the levels of decarbonisation urgently needed.

Research limitations/implications

This is a desktop study of other European studies that may have collected data on slightly different variables.

Practical implications

This study shows that more action is required to realise decarbonisation in new and existing residential property in the European states considered. The sector offers potential for substantial reductions, and other mandatory approaches need to be considered.

Originality/value

This is a timely review of the current outcomes of European programmes (EPCs) adopted in several countries to increase energy efficiency in the residential sector through a voluntary mechanism. The results show that more action is needed.

Details

Journal of European Real Estate Research , vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-9269

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 August 2021

Mehmet Börühan Bulut, Sara Wilkinson, Aila Khan, Xiao-Hua Jin and Chyi Lin Lee

This study presents the results of empirical measurements of the thermal performance of retrofitted secondary glazed windows, involving installation of an additional…

Abstract

Purpose

This study presents the results of empirical measurements of the thermal performance of retrofitted secondary glazed windows, involving installation of an additional windowpane, in a residential context in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

In situ temperature measurements were collected from the surfaces of retrofitted secondary glazed windows in two residential buildings in the Australian Capital Territory. The heat loss savings and subsequently the electricity savings were calculated based on these temperature measurements.

Findings

Heat loss reductions of up to 60.8% and electricity savings of up to 9.96% could be achieved by retrofitting single glazed windows with secondary glazing. The findings suggest that the thermal performance of retrofitted secondary glazed windows is comparable to double glazed windows.

Practical implications

Multiple glazed windows provide better energy efficiency, thermal and acoustic performance compared to single glazed windows. It is estimated, however, that 85% Australian buildings still have single glazed windows. Secondary glazing has emerged as a cost-efficient and easier-to-install alternative to double glazed windows. The results of this research can contribute to a wider market uptake of secondary glazed windows in Australia by showing that they have similar thermal performance to double glazed windows.

Originality/value

This research is a first attempt to empirically measure the thermal performance of retrofitted secondary glazed windows with an additional windowpane in a residential setting in Australia. Secondary glazing is the provision of an additional windowpane to the original single glazed window. Previous studies in Australia have focused on performance of double glazed windows.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

1 – 10 of 158