Buildings Research Briefs

Browse all of our buildings related research briefs below, or explore by topic via the links in the right side bar (on desktop browsers) or at the bottom of this page (on mobile browsers).

CSHub researchers are mdeling how shear walls and sprinkler systems can mitigate hazard damage.
Research Brief: Molecular Dynamics-based Resilience Assessment of Structures
May 18, 2021

As climate change exacerbates natural hazards, the need to predict hazard damage has increased. Resilience assessment tools, however, remain time and resource-intensive.


Research Brief: Early-Stage Building Lifecycle Optimization of Cost & Carbon Impact
April 21, 2021

Conventional building LCA tools generally require highly specified building models, which can prove challenging during the early design phase. To give designers and architects more flexibility,...

Communities in South Florida may be underestimating hurricane damages by overlooking the layout of communities, according to research from the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub
Research Brief: Incorporating Neighborhood Texture Into Hurricane Loss Estimation
March 10, 2021

While the need for hurricane resilience has become increasingly urgent, current tools still underestimate how the arrangement of structures may exacerbate wind-related losses....

MIT Researchers are studying how to model floods in urban environments
Research Brief: Precipitation Flooding in Urban Environments
March 1, 2021

Though cities have become increasingly vulnerable to floods, flooding maps remain time- and resource-intensive to generate. CSHub Ph.D. candidate Elli Vartziotis is developing a statistical...

Topic Summary: Adding Environmental Impacts into the Procurement of Building Products
January 13, 2021

Over the last two decades, governments have implemented procurement policies to ensure that the most sustainable materials are selected for construction projects. However, one tool of procurement...

A model of mass points and connections used to generate fragility curves.
Research Brief: Generating Component-level Building-specific Fragility Curves
November 20, 2020

Fragility curves allow engineers to capture a building’s risk of damage at different loads. ...

Research Brief: Mitigation Solutions for GHG Emissions in New Construction
August 10, 2020

Between 2016 and 2050, the U.S. will experience unprecedented construction—enough to build New York City twenty times over. Yet, to meet emissions goals the building sector must also radically...

Research Brief: Molecular Dynamics-based Resilience Assessment of Structures
July 10, 2020

To streamline the fire resilience assessments of structures, CSHub research assistant Kostas Keremidis has developed a model inspired by the molecular complexity of materials....

Passive houses and zero-energy buildings may be cheaper to build.
Research Brief: Affordability of Passive Houses and Zero-Energy Buildings
May 19, 2020

Developed in the 1970s, the passive house standard dramatically reduces a building’s energy consumption through elements like improved insulation, layout, and design. Zero-energy buildings, on the...

Urban Canyon Credit: Minesweeper / Creative Commons
Topic Summary: City Texture and Urban Resilience
March 12, 2020

To protect buildings and their occupants from hazards like hurricanes, governments implement building codes—or minimum construction standards. Current building codes, however, don’t adequately...