Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Architectural engineering


myGenomeBrowser is a web-based environment that provides biologists with a way to build, query and share their genome browsers. This tool, that builds on JBrowse, is designed to give users more autonomy while simplifying and minimizing intervention from system administrators. We have extended genome browser basic features to allow users to query, analyze and share their data.

Concepts: World Wide Web, Web browser, Building, Fire protection, Architectural engineering


A presentation of acoustical terminology and concepts that relate directly to the design and construction of an architectural space, non-technical explanations, descriptions, and examples. Architectural acoustics can be defined as the study and application of acoustic principles as they are applied to the inside of a building or structure. Usually, these are buildings that will be used for a live performance or the presentation of other useful information. This paper is written with the architect in mind; to help define and explain some of the most basic concepts relating to architectural acoustics. In today’s pro/commercial audio marketplace, architectural acoustics must play a significant role in the design process for any programmed meeting or entertainment space. This work puts essential terms and concepts into the hands of the architect, owner, or anyone else who would like to have a better understanding of this topic. Contents: What is Sound? Sound Propagation Three Acoustical Tools Where Does All the Unused Sound Go After it’s Been Heard? Audio Volume Changes-What Do the Numbers Mean? The Inverse Square Law Room Geometry-The Good, Bad, and Ugly Reverberation and Echo Speech Intelligibility Noise Internal vs External Noise Room Modes Variable Acoustics Psychoacoustics Conclusion.

Concepts: Acoustics, Sound, Sound pressure, Construction, Psychoacoustics, Architectural engineering, Architect, Inverse-square law


Bird-window collisions cause an estimated one billion bird deaths annually in the United States. Building characteristics and surrounding habitat affect collision frequency. Given the importance of collisions as an anthropogenic threat to birds, mitigation is essential. Patterned glass and UV-reflective films have been proven to prevent collisions. At Duke University’s West campus in Durham, North Carolina, we set out to identify the buildings and building characteristics associated with the highest frequencies of collisions in order to propose a mitigation strategy. We surveyed six buildings, stratified by size, and measured architectural characteristics and surrounding area variables. During 21 consecutive days in spring and fall 2014, and spring 2015, we conducted carcass surveys to document collisions. In addition, we also collected ad hoc collision data year-round and recorded the data using the app iNaturalist. Consistent with previous studies, we found a positive relationship between glass area and collisions. Fitzpatrick, the building with the most window area, caused the most collisions. Schwartz and the Perk, the two small buildings with small window areas, had the lowest collision frequencies. Penn, the only building with bird deterrent pattern, caused just two collisions, despite being almost completely made out of glass. Unlike many research projects, our data collection led to mitigation action. A resolution supported by the student government, including news stories in the local media, resulted in the application of a bird deterrent film to the building with the most collisions: Fitzpatrick. We present our collision data and mitigation result to inspire other researchers and organizations to prevent bird-window collisions.

Concepts: Causality, United States, Pattern, North Carolina, Building, Result, Architectural engineering, Collision


Architects are enthusiastic about “bioinformed design” as occupant well-being is a primary measure of architectural success. However, architects are also under mounting pressure to create more sustainable buildings. Scientists have a critical opportunity to make the emerging field of microbiology of the built environment more relevant and applicable to real-world design problems by addressing health and sustainability in tandem. Practice-based research, which complements evidence-based design, represents a promising approach to advancing knowledge of the indoor microbiome and translating it to architectural practice.

Concepts: Ecology, Natural environment, Sustainability, Construction, Architecture, Environmental movement, Architectural engineering, Sustainable architecture


Occupying new, active design office buildings designed for health promotion and connectivity provides an opportunity to evaluate indoor environment effects on healthy behaviour, sedentariness and workplace perceptions.

Concepts: Nursing, Architectural engineering


The high pollution levels in our cities are producing a significant increase of dust on buildings. An application of photoactive coatings on building materials can produce buildings with self-cleaning surfaces. In this study, we have developed a simple sol-gel route for producing Au-TiO₂/SiO₂ photocatalysts with application on buildings. The gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) improved the TiO₂ photoactivity under solar radiation because they promoted absorption in the visible range. We varied the content of AuNPs in the sols under study, in order to investigate their effect on self-cleaning properties. The sols obtained were sprayed on a common building stone, producing coatings which adhere firmly to the stone and preserve their aesthetic qualities. We studied the decolourization efficiency of the photocatalysts under study against methylene blue and against soot (a real staining agent for buildings). Finally, we established that the coating with an intermediate Au content presented the best self-cleaning performance, due to the role played by its structure and texture on its photoactivity.

Concepts: Ultraviolet, Nanoparticle, Developed country, Nanomaterials, Gold, House, Real estate, Architectural engineering


At present, the domotization of homes and public buildings is becoming increasingly popular. Domotization is most commonly applied to the field of energy management, since it gives the possibility of managing the consumption of the devices connected to the electric network, the way in which the users interact with these devices, as well as other external factors that influence consumption. In buildings, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems have the highest consumption rates. The systems proposed so far have not succeeded in optimizing the energy consumption associated with a HVAC system because they do not monitor all the variables involved in electricity consumption. For this reason, this article presents an agent approach that benefits from the advantages provided by a Multi-Agent architecture (MAS) deployed in a Cloud environment with a wireless sensor network (WSN) in order to achieve energy savings. The agents of the MAS learn social behavior thanks to the collection of data and the use of an artificial neural network (ANN). The proposed system has been assessed in an office building achieving an average energy savings of 41% in the experimental group offices.

Concepts: Psychology, Electricity, Artificial intelligence, Neural network, HVAC, Sensor, Architectural engineering, Wireless sensor network


In the following we present a new non-invasive methodology aimed at the diagnosis of stone building materials used in historical buildings and architectural elements. This methodology consists of the integrated sequential application of in situ proximal sensing methodologies such as the 3D Terrestrial Laser Scanner for the 3D modelling of investigated objects together with laboratory and in situ non-invasive multi-techniques acoustic data, preceded by an accurate petrographical study of the investigated stone materials by optical and scanning electron microscopy. The increasing necessity to integrate different types of techniques in the safeguard of the Cultural Heritage is the result of the following two interdependent factors: 1) The diagnostic process on the building stone materials of monuments is increasingly focused on difficult targets in critical situations. In these cases, the diagnosis using only one type of non-invasive technique may not be sufficient to investigate the conservation status of the stone materials of the superficial and inner parts of the studied structures 2) Recent technological and scientific developments in the field of non-invasive diagnostic techniques for different types of materials favors and supports the acquisition, processing and interpretation of huge multidisciplinary datasets.

Concepts: Scientific method, Electron, Greek loanwords, Cultural studies, Scanning electron microscope, Construction, Architectural engineering, Building material


The energy sector is closely interconnected with the building sector and integrated Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) solutions for effective energy management supporting decision-making at building, district and city level are key fundamental elements for making a city Smart. The available systems are designed and intended exclusively for a predefined number of cases and systems without allowing for expansion and interoperability with other applications that is partially due to the lack of semantics. This paper presents an advanced Internet of Things (IoT) based system for intelligent energy management in buildings. A semantic framework is introduced aiming at the unified and standardised modelling of the entities that constitute the building environment. Suitable rules are formed, aiming at the intelligent energy management and the general modus operandi of Smart Building. In this context, an IoT-based system was implemented, which enhances the interactivity of the buildings' energy management systems. The results from its pilot application are presented and discussed. The proposed system extends existing approaches and integrates cross-domain data, such as the building’s data (e.g., energy management systems), energy production, energy prices, weather data and end-users' behaviour, in order to produce daily and weekly action plans for the energy end-users with actionable personalised information.

Concepts: Semantics, Standardization, Energy development, Building, Modus operandi, Architectural engineering, Interoperability, Energy management system


Triazoliptycene fluorophores have been designed and synthesized, in which a three-dimensional propeller-like iptycene motif is employed to suppress intermolecular π-π stacking in the solid state. Key to the success of this modular synthesis is a stereoelectronic bias imposed by the iptycene scaffold, which assists the desired regioselectivity in the C-N cross-coupling step as the last-stage structure diversification from a common precursor.

Concepts: Chemical synthesis, Synthesis, Architectural engineering