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Buildings, Volume 12, Issue 8 (August 2022) – 225 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Rheology of fresh concrete is a key concept which governs a successful 3D concrete printing process. Therefore, the proper characterization of rheology is a must in 3D concrete printing. Due to the very stiff nature of the material used in 3D concrete printing, both standardized and non-standardized methods are used frequently for rheology measurements. This study reviews previous work, analyses the pros and cons of each test method, and assesses when to use and what to expect from the test methods. Additionally, experimental studies were conducted to critically analyse the above-mentioned facts. Therefore, this paper will be a useful guidance for someone to select a proper rheology testing method. View this paper
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25 pages, 10076 KiB  
Article
Analyses of Structural Robustness of Prefabricated Modular Buildings: A Case Study on Mid-Rise Building Configurations
by Thisari Munmulla, Satheeskumar Navaratnam, Julian Thamboo, Thusiyanthan Ponnampalam, Hidallana-Gamage Hasitha Damruwan, Konstantinos Daniel Tsavdaridis and Guomin Zhang
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1289; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081289 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3308
Abstract
The limited knowledge of the behaviour of modular buildings subjected to different loading scenarios and thereby lack of design guidelines hinder the growth of modular construction practices despite its widespread benefits. In order to understand the robustness of modular building systems, a case [...] Read more.
The limited knowledge of the behaviour of modular buildings subjected to different loading scenarios and thereby lack of design guidelines hinder the growth of modular construction practices despite its widespread benefits. In order to understand the robustness of modular building systems, a case study was carried out using the numerical analysis method to evaluate the robustness of ten-storey braced frame modular buildings with different modular systems. Two types of modules with different span lengths were used in the assessments. Then, three different column removal scenarios involving (1) removal of a corner column, (2) an edge column, and (3) an interior column were employed to assess the robustness of modular building cases considered. The forces generated in the elements in close proximity to the removed column were verified to assess the robustness of each building case analysed. The results showed that the change in damping ratio from 1% to 5% has no significant influence on the robustness of the modular building cases considered, where the zero-damping leads to collapse. Corner column removal has not considerably affected the robustness of the braced modular building cases studied. The axial capacity ratio of columns is 0.8 in dynamic column removal in the building subjected to corner column removal, while in interior column removal capacity ratio reached up to 1.2, making it the most vulnerable failure scenario. Doubling the span of the modules (from 2.5 m to 5 m) has influenced the robustness of the buildings by increasing the axial forces of columns up to 30% in the interior column removal scenario. Thus, this study highlights that proper guidelines should be made available to assess the robustness of modular building systems to effectively design against progressive collapse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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18 pages, 3638 KiB  
Article
Improving Data-Driven Infrastructure Degradation Forecast Skill with Stepwise Asset Condition Prediction Models
by Kurt R. Lamm, Justin D. Delorit, Michael N. Grussing and Steven J. Schuldt
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1288; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081288 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1596
Abstract
Organizations with large facility and infrastructure portfolios have used asset management databases for over ten years to collect and standardize asset condition data. Decision makers use these data to predict asset degradation and expected service life, enabling prioritized maintenance, repair, and renovation actions [...] Read more.
Organizations with large facility and infrastructure portfolios have used asset management databases for over ten years to collect and standardize asset condition data. Decision makers use these data to predict asset degradation and expected service life, enabling prioritized maintenance, repair, and renovation actions that reduce asset life-cycle costs and achieve organizational objectives. However, these asset condition forecasts are calculated using standardized, self-correcting distribution models that rely on poorly-fit, continuous functions. This research presents four stepwise asset condition forecast models that utilize historical asset inspection data to improve prediction accuracy: (1) Slope, (2) Weighted Slope, (3) Condition-Intelligent Weighted Slope, and (4) Nearest Neighbor. Model performance was evaluated against BUILDER SMS, the industry-standard asset management database, using data for five roof types on 8549 facilities across 61 U.S. military bases within the United States. The stepwise Weighted Slope model more accurately predicted asset degradation 92% of the time, as compared to the industry standard’s continuous self-correcting prediction model. These results suggest that using historical condition data, alongside or in-place of manufacturer expected service life, may increase the accuracy of degradation and failure prediction models. Additionally, as data quantity increases over time, the models presented are expected to improve prediction skills. The resulting improvements in forecasting enable decision makers to manage facility assets more proactively and achieve better returns on facility investments. Full article
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17 pages, 2616 KiB  
Article
Application of the Hazardous Waste Vitreous Enamel Generated in the Production Process of Heating Devices as a Partial Replacement for Cement
by Milan Kragović, Marija Stojmenović, Nenad Ristić, Sonja Milićević, Sanja Živković, Shanke Liu and Jelena Gulicovski
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1287; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081287 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1478
Abstract
Solving problems with hazardous waste materials is of crucial importance today. In the presented study, the application of waste vitreous enamel as a cement replacement up to 30% in mortar and concrete production was investigated. The chemical and physical-chemical characterization of the starting [...] Read more.
Solving problems with hazardous waste materials is of crucial importance today. In the presented study, the application of waste vitreous enamel as a cement replacement up to 30% in mortar and concrete production was investigated. The chemical and physical-chemical characterization of the starting material was performed, as well as a leaching test and physical-mechanical characterization of mortar and concrete mixes. Obtained results showed that, due to its chemical composition, the vitreous enamel used must be classified as hazardous waste. At the same time, it possesses pozzolanic properties and satisfies minimal criteria for use as a cement replacement. Testing mortars and concrete mixes indicate that waste vitreous enamel can be applied as a construction material for cement replacement in the maximal amount of 20%. The leaching test was performed in accordance with international standard EN 12457-2 on hardened mortar with a maximal cement replacement of 20%. The results showed that there was no significant release of toxic elements, i.e., that the practical application of hazardous waste vitreous enamel in the construction industry may be fully in line with environmental standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation)
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23 pages, 39018 KiB  
Article
A New Framework for Isolating Sensor Failures and Structural Damage in Noisy Environments Based on Stacked Gated Recurrent Unit Neural Networks
by Bo Liu, Qiang Xu, Jianyun Chen, Jing Li and Mingming Wang
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1286; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081286 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1613
Abstract
To address the problem of sensor faults and measurement noise being misinterpreted as structural damage in structural health monitoring (SHM), this paper proposes a new framework for distinguishing sensor faults and structural damage based on stacked gated recurrent neural networks (S-GRU NN) that [...] Read more.
To address the problem of sensor faults and measurement noise being misinterpreted as structural damage in structural health monitoring (SHM), this paper proposes a new framework for distinguishing sensor faults and structural damage based on stacked gated recurrent neural networks (S-GRU NN) that considers measurement noise. In this framework, the sensor signal reconstruction model was constructed by learning and training the S-GRU NN. The sensor fault threshold was determined based on a statistical analysis of the response reconstruction error between the true and reconstruction values. The sensor fault and structural damage are then distinguished by the fact that the sensor fault is independent and the structural damage is global. The framework is compared with other isolation frameworks based on traditional deep learning models through numerical simulations of a three-span continuous beam and laboratory steel frame experiments. The results show that the S-GRU NN has better reconstruction effect and isolation performance of sensor faults and structural damage in noisy environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Structures)
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22 pages, 9202 KiB  
Article
Synchro-Squeezed Adaptive Wavelet Transform-Based Optimized Multiple Analytical Mode Decomposition: Parameter Identification of Cable-Stayed Bridge under Earthquake Input
by Hongya Qu, An Chang, Tiantian Li and Zhongguo Guan
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1285; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081285 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1790
Abstract
Deriving critical parametric information from recorded signals for system identification is critical in structural health monitoring and damage detection, while the time-varying nature of most signals often requires significant processing efforts due to structural nonlinearity. In this study, synchro-squeezed adaptive wavelet transform-based optimized [...] Read more.
Deriving critical parametric information from recorded signals for system identification is critical in structural health monitoring and damage detection, while the time-varying nature of most signals often requires significant processing efforts due to structural nonlinearity. In this study, synchro-squeezed adaptive wavelet transform-based optimized multiple analytical mode decomposition (SSAWT-oMAMD) is proposed. The SSAWT algorithm acts as the preprocessing algorithm for clear signal component separation, high temporal and frequency resolution, and accurate time–frequency representation. Optimized MAMD is then utilized for signal denoising, decomposition, and identification, with the help of AWT for bisecting frequency determination. The SSAWT-oMAMD is first verified by the analytical model of two Duffing systems, where clear separation of the two signals is presented and identification of complex time-varying stiffness is achieved with errors less than 2.9%. The algorithm is then applied to system identification of a cable-stayed bridge model subjected to earthquake loading. Based on both numerical and experimental results, the proposed method is effective in identifying the structural state and viscous damping coefficient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Health Monitoring of Buildings, Bridges and Dams)
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29 pages, 1346 KiB  
Review
Building Energy Prediction Models and Related Uncertainties: A Review
by Jiaqi Yu, Wen-Shao Chang and Yu Dong
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1284; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081284 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 4356
Abstract
Building energy usage has been an important issue in recent decades, and energy prediction models are important tools for analysing this problem. This study provides a comprehensive review of building energy prediction models and uncertainties in the models. First, this paper introduces three [...] Read more.
Building energy usage has been an important issue in recent decades, and energy prediction models are important tools for analysing this problem. This study provides a comprehensive review of building energy prediction models and uncertainties in the models. First, this paper introduces three types of prediction methods: white-box models, black-box models, and grey-box models. The principles, strengths, shortcomings, and applications of every model are discussed systematically. Second, this paper analyses prediction model uncertainties in terms of human, building, and weather factors. Finally, the research gaps in predicting building energy consumption are summarised in order to guide the optimisation of building energy prediction methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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20 pages, 6513 KiB  
Article
Prediction of Rubble-Stone Masonry Walls Response under Axial Compression Using 2D Particle Modelling
by Nuno Monteiro Azevedo, Fernando F. S. Pinho, Ildi Cismaşiu and Murilo Souza
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1283; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081283 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1716
Abstract
To predict the structural behaviour of ancient stone masonry walls is still a challenging task due to their strong heterogeneity. A rubble-stone masonry modeling methodology using a 2D particle model (2D-PM), based on the discrete element method is proposed given its ability to [...] Read more.
To predict the structural behaviour of ancient stone masonry walls is still a challenging task due to their strong heterogeneity. A rubble-stone masonry modeling methodology using a 2D particle model (2D-PM), based on the discrete element method is proposed given its ability to predict crack propagation by taking directly into account the material structure at the grain scale. Rubble-stone (ancient) masonry walls tested experimentally under uniaxial compression loading conditions are numerically evaluated. The stone masonry numerical models are generated from a close mapping process of the stone units and of the mortar surfaces. A calibration procedure for the stone-stone and mortar-mortar contacts based on experimental data is presented. The numerical studies show that the 2D-PM wall models can predict the formation and propagation of cracks, the initial stiffness and the maximum load obtained experimentally in traditional stone masonry walls. To reduce the simulation times, it is shown that the wall lateral numerical model adopting a coarser mortar discretization is a viable option for these walls. The mortar behaviour under compression with lateral confinement is identified as an important micro-parameter, that influences the peak strength and the ductility of rubble-masonry walls under uniaxial loading. Full article
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14 pages, 3073 KiB  
Article
Impact of Temperature and Relative Humidity on Reverberation Time in a Reverberation Room
by Artur Nowoświat
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1282; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081282 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2419
Abstract
Changes in acoustic parameters measured in a room may depend on the location and orientation of the sound source and microphones or on the reverberation conditions of the room. As was found in the research presented in this publication, reverberation in a room [...] Read more.
Changes in acoustic parameters measured in a room may depend on the location and orientation of the sound source and microphones or on the reverberation conditions of the room. As was found in the research presented in this publication, reverberation in a room is also influenced by thermo-hygrometric conditions. The article presents an experimental analysis involving the impact of temperature and relative air humidity in a room on reverberation time. Since it is very difficult to control the temperature and relative humidity in real conditions, the tests were carried out both in laboratory conditions and with the use of simulations. For this purpose, the results of the reverberation time measurements in the reverberation chamber for various thermo-hygrometric conditions were obtained. Then, the reverberation chamber was modeled in the ODEON Version 11.0 program, and after the validation of the model, a series of simulations were performed, demonstrating the changes in the reverberation time as a function of temperature and relative air humidity. The results are presented in both a two-dimensional and three-dimensional version, i.e., the dependence of the reverberation time as a function of two variables: air temperature and relative humidity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustics of Buildings)
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25 pages, 6227 KiB  
Article
An Evolutionary Neuro-Fuzzy-Based Approach to Estimate the Compressive Strength of Eco-Friendly Concrete Containing Recycled Construction Wastes
by Ali Ashrafian, Naser Safaeian Hamzehkolaei, Ngakan Ketut Acwin Dwijendra and Maziar Yazdani
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1280; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081280 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1987
Abstract
There has been a significant increase in construction and demolition (C&D) waste due to the growth of cities and the need for new construction, raising concerns about the impact on the environment of these wastes. By utilising recycled C&D waste, especially in concretes [...] Read more.
There has been a significant increase in construction and demolition (C&D) waste due to the growth of cities and the need for new construction, raising concerns about the impact on the environment of these wastes. By utilising recycled C&D waste, especially in concretes used in construction, further environmental damage can be prevented. By using these concretes, energy consumption and environmental impacts of concrete production can be reduced. The behaviour of these types of concrete in laboratories has been extensively studied, but reliable methods for estimating their behaviour based on the available data are required. Consequently, this research proposes a hybrid intelligent system, Fuzzy Group Method of Data Handling (GMDH)–Horse herd Optimisation Algorithm (HOA), for predicting one of the most important parameters in concrete structure design, compressive strength. In order to avoid uncertainty in the modelling process, crisp input values were converted to Fuzzy values (Fuzzification). Next, using Fuzzy input variables, the group method of data handling is used to predict the compressive strength of recycled aggregate concrete. The HOA algorithm is one of the newest metaheuristic algorithms being used to optimise the Fuzzy GMDH structure. Several databases containing experimental mix design records containing mixture components are gathered from published documents for compressive strength to assess the accuracy and reliability of the proposed hybrid Fuzzy-based model. Compared to other original approaches, the proposed Fuzzy GMDH model with the HOA optimiser outperformed them in terms of accuracy. A Monte Carlo simulation is also employed for uncertainty analysis of the empirical, standalone, and hybridised models in order to demonstrate that the evolutionary Fuzzy-based approach has less uncertainty than the standalone methods when simulating compressive strength. Full article
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16 pages, 2141 KiB  
Article
Exploring Guardians’ Perceptions towards Edutainment Environments: The Case of Kidzania, Cairo, Egypt
by Mennatalla Mostafa A. Salama, Manal S. Abou El-Ela and Marwa H. Khalil
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1281; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081281 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2759
Abstract
Over the last few decades, the concept of combining education and entertainment has become increasingly popular. Edutainment (education and entertainment) environments started appearing in 1970 and have expanded, ever since, across the globe. This study seeks to explore the perception of guardians towards [...] Read more.
Over the last few decades, the concept of combining education and entertainment has become increasingly popular. Edutainment (education and entertainment) environments started appearing in 1970 and have expanded, ever since, across the globe. This study seeks to explore the perception of guardians towards the edutainment experience and its impact on their children, with special reference to Kidzania’s branch in Cairo, Egypt. The study adopted an interpretive qualitative approach that combines different data gathering methods, including informal discussions, in-depth semi-structured interviews, on-site sketches, observation, field notes, photographs, and archival sources. The number of guardians involved in the study was 12, accompanying 23 children. A thematic analysis of the data revealed two important overarching themes: qualities of the edutainment environment, and the factors affecting the interaction between guardians and children. The first theme, qualities of the edutainment environment, includes three categories: safe environment, exploratory environment, and well-maintained environment. The second theme, factors affecting the interaction between guardians and children, encompasses three categories: physical proximity, visual connectivity, and provision of basic amenities. The findings of the study were discussed in light of relevant previous accounts and studies. In its conclusion, the study confirms that such edutainment environments can be considered as significant informal educational play settings in which children learn valuable life skills, complementing those learned in formal learning environments. Such findings are expected to provide useful insights that could inform different initiatives aiming to create thriving edutainment centers and engaging informal learning environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Architectural Design, Urban Science, and Real Estate)
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15 pages, 4606 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Settlement Prediction of Ground Reinforcement Foundation Using a Deep Cement Mixing Method in Reclaimed Land
by Haksung Lee, Seok-Jae Kim, Bang-Hun Kang and Kwang-Seung Lee
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1279; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081279 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2196
Abstract
The greenhouse foundation method requires a lower allowable bearing capacity compared to general buildings, but the high-spec and expensive prestressed high-strength concrete (PHC) pile reinforcement method is mainly applied. Therefore, the deep cement mixing (DCM) method, which is one of the ground reinforcement [...] Read more.
The greenhouse foundation method requires a lower allowable bearing capacity compared to general buildings, but the high-spec and expensive prestressed high-strength concrete (PHC) pile reinforcement method is mainly applied. Therefore, the deep cement mixing (DCM) method, which is one of the ground reinforcement foundations that replaces the PHC piles and secures structural safety suitable for the greenhouse foundation, was considered. To verify the structural safety of the DCM method, a geotechnical survey and soil test were conducted, and a long-term settlement monitoring system was established. The specifications of the DCM foundation were designed to be 0.8 m in diameter, 3 m × 3 m in width and length, and 3 m in depth. Based on the settlement monitoring data, long-term settlement was predicted considering the greenhouse durability of 15 years. For long-term settlement prediction, the Log S–T, hyperbolic, Asaoka method, Schmertmann theory, and the finite element method (FEM) analysis were performed. In the case of the Log S–T, hyperbolic, and Asaoka method based on actual measurement data, the settlement amount was predicted to be 12.18~20.43 mm, and in the case of the Schmertmann empirical formula, it was predicted to be 19.66 m. The FEM analysis result was 8.89 mm. As the most conservative result, the DCM foundation method designed in this paper had an allowable bearing capacity of 310 kN/m2 and a long-term settlement of 20.43 mm. This is the result of satisfying both the allowable bearing capacity of 100 kN/m2 and the allowable settlement range of 25.4 mm as a foundation. Through this study, it was proven that long-term structural safety can be sufficiently secured when the DCM foundation is constructed on a soft ground through a design that considers the required service life and allowable bearing capacity of the structure. In addition, it was confirmed that the Hyperbolic, Asaoka, and FEM analysis method adopted in this paper can be applied to the long-term settlement behavior analysis of the DCM foundation method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength and Performance of Building Materials)
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26 pages, 24419 KiB  
Article
International Survey of the Usage of Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment Software
by Thais Sartori, Robin Drogemuller, Sara Omrani and Fiona Lamari
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1278; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081278 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1683
Abstract
The pressure to reduce the environmental impacts of buildings over their lifetime has driven certification bodies and the government to require a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). However, LCA is a data-intensive and time-consuming process which complicates design activities, especially when performing a Whole [...] Read more.
The pressure to reduce the environmental impacts of buildings over their lifetime has driven certification bodies and the government to require a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). However, LCA is a data-intensive and time-consuming process which complicates design activities, especially when performing a Whole Building LCA (WBLCA). Software tools can simplify the assessment by providing information more aligned with the users’ needs. This research surveyed 178 building designers who utilise WBLCA software as a decision-making tool. The aim was to identify patterns in the usage of the software and provide guidance to WBLCA software developers. For this purpose, statistical analyses identified the software preferences within each group of users, e.g., the users’ geographical location, professional background and years of WBLCA experience, among others. The results identified challenges faced by the construction industry, such as the need for more efficient communication among stakeholders. Therefore, attributes that allow designers to share information were rated as the most valuable. Two main groups of users were identified, and guidelines were drawn based on the profiles of the groups. Improving software support to designers will enable WBLCA to be integrated more efficiently with BPP by improving the users’ experience and their ability to make more informed decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment of Buildings)
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26 pages, 7328 KiB  
Article
Physical, Mechanical, and Durability Properties of Concrete Containing Wood Chips and Sawdust: An Experimental Approach
by Sara Dias, António Tadeu, João Almeida, Pedro Humbert, Julieta António, Jorge de Brito and Pedro Pinhão
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1277; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081277 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3386
Abstract
With a circular economy in the spotlight, wood waste has emerged as an important secondary raw material. Bearing this in mind, a comprehensive experimental study was carried out to evaluate the feasibility of using concrete compositions containing wood chips and sawdust for structural [...] Read more.
With a circular economy in the spotlight, wood waste has emerged as an important secondary raw material. Bearing this in mind, a comprehensive experimental study was carried out to evaluate the feasibility of using concrete compositions containing wood chips and sawdust for structural and non-structural building applications. First, the mineral and wood aggregates used in the composite design were fully characterized. Twelve compositions containing varying types of wood particles in different amounts were then produced and characterized in terms of physical and mechanical performance (e.g., mass density, compressive strength, modulus of elasticity, and flexural strength). Subsequently, two compositions with optimized features (mass density below 2125 kg/m3, compressive strength above 25 MPa, and maximum volume content of wood) were selected to undergo additional experimental tests. These included microstructural characterization, as well as the evaluation of relevant durability (e.g., wetting–drying, freeze–thaw, and thermal shock cycles) and hygrothermal (e.g., thermal conductivity, water absorption, and shrinkage and expansion) properties. All compositions showed compressive strength above 30 MPa. The durability assessment of selected compositions further showed that compressive strength after relevant artificial aging was still higher than the predefined criteria. Promising hygrothermal properties (minimal water absorption and low thermal conductivity) were also recorded. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Advances in Sustainable Building Materials and Construction)
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25 pages, 6937 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Integrated Solutions for the Combined Energy Efficiency Improvement and Seismic Strengthening of Existing URM Buildings
by Maria-Victoria Requena-Garcia-Cruz, Julia Díaz-Borrego, Emilio Romero-Sánchez, Antonio Morales-Esteban and Miguel-Angel Campano
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1276; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081276 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2057
Abstract
The European building stock is an aging infrastructure, mainly built prior to building codes. Furthermore, 65% of these buildings are located in seismic regions, which need to be both energetic and seismically retrofitted to comply with performance targets. Given this, this manuscript presents [...] Read more.
The European building stock is an aging infrastructure, mainly built prior to building codes. Furthermore, 65% of these buildings are located in seismic regions, which need to be both energetic and seismically retrofitted to comply with performance targets. Given this, this manuscript presents integrated constructive solutions that combine both energy efficiency improvement and seismic strengthening. The goal and novelty is to design and to evaluate one-shot, compatible, noninvasive, and complementary solutions applied to the façades of buildings with a minimum cost. To do so, different constraints have been borne in mind: the urban environment, achievable seismic and energy performance targets, and reduced construction costs. The method was applied to an old Spanish neighbourhood constructed in the 1960s. Different retrofitting packages were proposed for an unreinforced masonry case study building. A sensitivity analysis was performed to assess the effects of each configuration. A benefit/cost ratio was proposed to comparatively assess and to rank the solutions. The results of the seismoenergetic performance assessment showed that improving the behaviour of walls leads to higher benefit ratios than improving the openings. However, this latter strategy generates much lower construction costs. Integrating seismic into energetic retrofitting solutions supposes negligible additional costs but can improve the seismic behaviour of buildings by up to 240%. The optimal solution was the addition of higher ratios of steel grids and intermediate profiles in openings while adding thermal insulation in walls and renovating the window frames with PVC and standard 4/6/4 double glazing. Full article
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21 pages, 5174 KiB  
Article
Impact of a Warming Climate on Hospital Energy Use and Decarbonization: An Australian Building Simulation Study
by Yunlong Ma, Sherif Zedan, Aaron Liu and Wendy Miller
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1275; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081275 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2490
Abstract
The high energy use of hospitals and healthcare facilities globally contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, a large percentage of this energy use is attributed to space heating, cooling and ventilation, and is hence correlated to the climate. While the [...] Read more.
The high energy use of hospitals and healthcare facilities globally contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, a large percentage of this energy use is attributed to space heating, cooling and ventilation, and is hence correlated to the climate. While the energy performance of Australian hospitals at the design stage is evaluated using historical weather data, the impact of the warming climate on Australian hospitals into the future remains unknown. The research question addressed is: What is the impact of future climates on the energy use of Australian hospitals built with the current design conditions? Two archetype hospital models were developed (a small single-story healthcare facility and a large multi-story hospital). DesignBuilder was used to simulate the performance of these models in 10 locations, ranging from the tropics to cool temperate regions in Australia. Current (1990–2015) and future climate files (2030, 2050, 2070 and 2090) were used. The results show that with the warming climate, the heating demand decreased, while the cooling demand increased for both hospital models for all sites. Cooling dominated climates, such as Darwin and Brisbane, were significantly impacted by the changing climates due to a substantial increase in cooling energy use. Heating based climates, such as Hobart and Canberra, resulted in an overall small reduction in total building energy use. In addition, the single-story facility was more impacted by the change in climate (in terms of energy use intensity) than the multi-story facility. The study highlights the importance of future climate files in building simulation and decarbonization planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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20 pages, 6418 KiB  
Article
“In-Between Area” Design Method: An Optimization Design Method for Indoor Public Spaces for Elderly Facilities Evaluated by STAI, HRV and EEG
by Haining Wang, Keming Hou, Zhe Kong, Xi Guan, Songtao Hu, Mingli Lu, Xun Piao and Yuchong Qian
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1274; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081274 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2224
Abstract
The indoor public spaces of most elderly facilities in China have a monotonous space form, which, thus, causes low comprehensive performance and is less likely to satisfy participants’ various requirements. This study proposes an optimization design method of “In-Between Area” for a space [...] Read more.
The indoor public spaces of most elderly facilities in China have a monotonous space form, which, thus, causes low comprehensive performance and is less likely to satisfy participants’ various requirements. This study proposes an optimization design method of “In-Between Area” for a space form operation to improve the performance of indoor public spaces. First, two models were established: Model A to reflect current indoor public spaces and Model B to represent the indoor public spaces designed by using the “In-Between Area” method. Second, a walk-through video was created from each model, with a duration of 196 s. Subjective assessment (STAI) data and objective physiological data (HRV and EEG), were collected from 40 participants while they were watching walk-through videos. The comparison analysis showed statistically significant differences between Model A and Model B. The results of STAI, HRV and EEG proved that the “In-Between Area” method, as an optimization design method, created a more pleasant and comfortable environment for the elderly and improved the overall efficiency of the indoor space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Environmental Quality and Occupant Comfort)
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26 pages, 6525 KiB  
Article
Use of Industrial Silica Sand as a Fine Aggregate in Concrete—An Explorative Study
by Ramalingam Malathy, Sellamuthu Ramachandran Rajagopal Sentilkumar, Annamalai Rangasamy Prakash, B. B. Das, Ill-Min Chung, Seung-Hyun Kim and Mayakrishnan Prabakaran
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1273; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081273 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 10781
Abstract
Industrial silica sand is a by-product obtained from the industries like paint, paper, rubber etc. It has a similar property with river sand and& M sand. This study explores the effect of high content of silica sand as a partial replacement for fine [...] Read more.
Industrial silica sand is a by-product obtained from the industries like paint, paper, rubber etc. It has a similar property with river sand and& M sand. This study explores the effect of high content of silica sand as a partial replacement for fine aggregate for concrete making in construction purpose. In this present research four types of silica sand from two different industrial units (coarser silica sand (VC and TC) and finer silica sand (VF and TF)) were used. The physical classification and morphology observation of silica sand through scanning electron microscope (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray (EDAX), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is examined. Fresh and hardened concrete properties were performed for the six sand samples, with two grades (M20 and M30) of concrete. No new compositions or phases were identified in silica sand concrete. Both fine and coarse silica sands were finer than river sand and M sand, as evaluated from the physical classification. The workability of silica sand mix at a fresh state improves the concrete performance up to 40%. The mix, which contains 80% coarser silica sand (TC) with 20% river sand, attained the maximum compressive strength of 34.5 Mpa and tensile strength of 3.5 Mpa at 28 days, which was the greatest of all the mixes. The combination of silica sand and river sand or M sand showed the superior impact of the concrete over the discrete concrete. SEM images showed the well-developed hydrated products like calcium silicate hydrate (CSH), calcium hydroxide (CH) and ettringite in all concrete mixes. It was observed from the XRD pattern that all concrete mixes containing silica sand have a high peak of quartz (SiO2), and calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) exhibits the formation of hydration products in the concrete. Similar stretching and bending patterns of silica sand concrete relates the pattern of nominal sand concrete as observed from Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation)
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22 pages, 18293 KiB  
Article
Bearing Capacity of UHPC-Filled High-Strength Elliptical Steel Tube Composite Columns with Encased High-Strength H-Shape Steel Subjected to Eccentrical Load
by Jing Ji, Weichen Wang, Liangqin Jiang, Hongguo Ren, Qingqin Wang, Wenyu Xuan and Yingchun Liu
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1272; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081272 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1719
Abstract
In order to investigate the bearing capacity of composite columns composed of ultra-high performance concrete, (UHPC)-filled high-strength elliptical steel tube with encased high-strength H-shape steel (HUCFESTCs) were subjected to eccentric load. Forty-four HUCFESTCs were designed with varying parameters: yield strength of the steel [...] Read more.
In order to investigate the bearing capacity of composite columns composed of ultra-high performance concrete, (UHPC)-filled high-strength elliptical steel tube with encased high-strength H-shape steel (HUCFESTCs) were subjected to eccentric load. Forty-four HUCFESTCs were designed with varying parameters: yield strength of the steel tube (fy), yield strength of the H-shape steel (fy1), concrete-cube compressive strength (fcu), steel tube thickness (t), eccentricity (e), slenderness ratio (λ), the section area of the H-shape steel (AHS), and long–short axis ratio (ψ). Based on a bilinear elastic–plastic constitutive model of steel that considered stress hardening and a nonlinear constitutive model of UHPC, 44 HUCFESTCs models were established by ABAQUS software. The influence of different parameters on the ultimate bearing capacity of the HUCFESTCs was analyzed. The whole process of HUCFESTCs under eccentric load was studied, and the typical failure modes of HUCFESTCs are described. The results show that the main failure mode of the HUCFESTCs subjected to eccentrical load is bulging outward of the steel tube, the buckling of the H-shape steel, and crushing of the concrete in the middle part of the column and the inner part of the H-shape steel. The stiffness of HUCFESTCs increases gradually with the increase in fy, t, and e. The ultimate eccentrical compression bearing capacity of HUCFESTCs improves gradually with increases in fy, t, fy1, AHS, ψ, and fcu, but it decreases gradually with increases in λ and e. By using statistical regression and introducing the reduction coefficient of eccentricity, the calculation formula for the eccentric bearing capacity of HUCFEST columns is developed, which can provide a basis for the application of HUCFESTCs in practical engineering. Full article
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22 pages, 2728 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Life-Cycle Energy Costs of Heritage Buildings
by Abobakr Al-Sakkaf, Ashutosh Bagchi and Tarek Zayed
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081271 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2290
Abstract
After the sustainability of heritage buildings (HBs) has been evaluated and it is determined that rehabilitation is needed, then the life-cycle cost (LCC) of energy for HBs can be analyzed. The objective of this research was to evaluate the LCC of energy for [...] Read more.
After the sustainability of heritage buildings (HBs) has been evaluated and it is determined that rehabilitation is needed, then the life-cycle cost (LCC) of energy for HBs can be analyzed. The objective of this research was to evaluate the LCC of energy for HBs and develop a comprehensive life-cycle model that will aid in expenditure planning and budget allocation. This study was validated through the weighted sums method and two case studies—Murabba Palace (MP), Saudi Arabia; and Grey Nuns Building (GN), Canada—were evaluated. For any HB, the project life cycle includes planning, manufacturing, transportation, construction, operation, and maintenance phases. Saudi Arabian and Canadian experts completed questionnaires to attribute a percentage of importance of each of the aforementioned phases with respect to energy consumption. The findings from this study will enable facility managers to make effective rehabilitation decisions. The operation phase has the highest impact on the energy consumption, gas consumption, and cost of the building in both case studies. Moreover, the findings from this study can be used to establish cost-effective intervention strategies. Their responses were employed in the development of a life-cycle model. Excel® and Minitab® were used to calculate Cronbach’s alpha values for data reliability, and the project LCC of energy for the two case studies was studied. The operation phase appeared to be the most energy-consuming phase in both case studies, contributing the most to the cost of the building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Sustainable Vertical Urbanism)
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15 pages, 451 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Key Hindering Factors and Mechanism of BIM Applications Based on Social Network Analysis
by Zezhou Wu, Yun Lu, Qiufeng He, Qing Hong, Changhong Chen and Maxwell Fordjour Antwi-Afari
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1270; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081270 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1951
Abstract
China’s construction industry is an important driving force for the development of society. Nevertheless, with the recent new normal of economic development, traditional construction approaches cannot meet the requirements of socialist modernization and sustainable construction. As such, the development of the construction industry [...] Read more.
China’s construction industry is an important driving force for the development of society. Nevertheless, with the recent new normal of economic development, traditional construction approaches cannot meet the requirements of socialist modernization and sustainable construction. As such, the development of the construction industry needs to match the recent developmental concept of green environmental protection. Therefore, China’s construction industry needs to explore innovative development paths of transformation and upgrading. Recently, the Chinese government has been vigorously promoting building information modeling (BIM) applications. However, in the real-world construction process, BIM applications have not achieved their expected impacts. To satisfy the practical demands, this research uses the social network analysis method to analyze the key hindering factors in order to clarify the significance and influencing mechanism of each factor. The current study identified 12 key hindering factors that impede the development of BIM applications in China’s construction industry. The results show that a lack of policy guidance and the restriction of relevant laws are the most critical hindering factors. This research contributes to the research of the hindering factors of BIM applications in China and can assist decision makers in formulating appropriate strategies to promote the application and development of information BIM technology in China’s construction industry. Full article
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24 pages, 10854 KiB  
Article
An Air Conditioning Design Strategy of the Stepped Hall Based on Building Performance Simulation
by Ruijun Chen, Yu-Tung Liu and Yaw-Shyan Tsay
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081269 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2986
Abstract
This study proposed an improved air conditioning design strategy based on building performance simulation for a stepped hall. The air velocity and air change rate of the case were measured on-site, which were compared with the simulation data to verify the reliability of [...] Read more.
This study proposed an improved air conditioning design strategy based on building performance simulation for a stepped hall. The air velocity and air change rate of the case were measured on-site, which were compared with the simulation data to verify the reliability of the building simulation model. Then, the fully mixing ventilation scheme and the design schemes proposed in this study were simulated. Finally, the building simulation results were summarized to confirm the applicability of the air conditioning design strategy. The building performance results showed that the air distribution performance index (ADPI) value was 76.95% in the original case. Nevertheless, the effective draft temperature (EDT) in the middle seat area exceeded the standard value, indicating that a local cold shock would occur. Moreover, its scale for ventilation efficiency (SVE6) in the residential area was 2.54. However, the SVE6s in the other schemes were between 0.89 and 0.92. It means that the proposed schemes only needed to take one-third of the time to exhaust air. These three indicators’ visualization results can analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each scheme. Therefore, the improved building performance simulation strategy could inspect the design effect and give suggestions quickly for air conditioning design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Performance Simulation)
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20 pages, 5918 KiB  
Article
Platform Development of BIM-Based Fire Safety Management System Considering the Construction Site
by Yapin Yang, Ying Sun, Mingsi Chen, Yuekuan Zhou, Ran Wang and Zhengxuan Liu
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081268 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2925
Abstract
Fire at a construction site usually results in serious accidents. Therefore, fire management at the construction site is critical to decreasing possible accidents. However, conventional fire safety management can be problematic in many aspects, such as visualization, multi-stage alarm systems, and dynamic escape [...] Read more.
Fire at a construction site usually results in serious accidents. Therefore, fire management at the construction site is critical to decreasing possible accidents. However, conventional fire safety management can be problematic in many aspects, such as visualization, multi-stage alarm systems, and dynamic escape route optimization. To solve these issues, this paper develops a platform for a BIM-based fire safety management system that considers the construction site. The developed platform contains four subsystems: a remote monitoring subsystem, a fire visualization subsystem, a multi-stage fire alarm subsystem, and an escape route optimization subsystem. It detects the fire hazard in the early stage of the fire by the remote monitoring subsystem and transmits this information to the fire visualization subsystem for displaying. Furthermore, the multi-stage fire alarm subsystem sends warnings or alarms based on the fire’s severity. Moreover, the escape route optimization subsystem dynamically optimizes the evacuation routes by considering the actual number of people at the construction site and the potential crowding as people pass through the escapeway. Results show that this system can provide informative and on-time fire protection measures to different participants at the construction site. This study can also serve as a solution to improve fire safety management at the construction site. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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15 pages, 3054 KiB  
Article
Study on the Relationship between Restoration Benefit and Visual Satisfaction of LONG-PLAN’s Indoor Vertical Greenery
by Lei Xiao, Ruoyu Wu, Juqing Huang, Xing Yang and Anjiang Xu
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081267 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
This study investigates the psychological restorative benefits of indoor vertical greenery and its relationship with visual satisfaction. Taking the Solar Decathlon China 2018 champion project “LONG-PLAN” as the experimental field, we conducted a questionnaire survey to evaluate the effect of indoor vertical greenery [...] Read more.
This study investigates the psychological restorative benefits of indoor vertical greenery and its relationship with visual satisfaction. Taking the Solar Decathlon China 2018 champion project “LONG-PLAN” as the experimental field, we conducted a questionnaire survey to evaluate the effect of indoor vertical greenery on creating a restorative environment. Then we further studied the relationship between the restorative environmental factors and visual satisfaction of indoor vertical greenery. The results show that: (1) Indoor vertical greenery has a positive impact on the subjective restoration of respondents (the average value of PRS = 4.150). (2) The three factors of “being away,” “fascination and compatibility,” and the “extent” of environmental restoration have a significant positive correlation with the visual satisfaction of indoor vertical greenery (the correlation coefficient values are 0.403, 0.627, and 0.425, respectively, p < 0.01). (3) In the stepwise regression analysis of the three factors and the visual satisfaction of indoor vertical greenery, only “fascination and compatibility” show a significant positive correlation (the regression coefficient = 0.753, p < 0.01). (4) The visual satisfaction of indoor vertical greenery has a significantly positive impact on environmental recovery (the regression coefficient = 0.459, p < 0.01). The study shows that indoor vertical greenery improves visual satisfaction and contributes to a restorative environment. In addition, the study provides further evidence of the mutual facilitation between restorative benefits and visual satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Architectural Design, Urban Science, and Real Estate)
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18 pages, 443 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Message Framing on Project Managers’ Behavioral Intentions Regarding Construction Waste Reduction
by Lianying Yao, Yulu Liang, Xiangyu Li, Zhimin Wang, Shuli Jiang and Cheng Yan
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1266; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081266 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1697
Abstract
Construction waste reduction (CWR) is an important approach to tackling the environmental problems resulting from increasing construction and demolition activities. Existing studies have explored various factors influencing construction stakeholders’ behavior or behavior intention regarding CWR mainly in terms of individual traits and environmental [...] Read more.
Construction waste reduction (CWR) is an important approach to tackling the environmental problems resulting from increasing construction and demolition activities. Existing studies have explored various factors influencing construction stakeholders’ behavior or behavior intention regarding CWR mainly in terms of individual traits and environmental issues. With the advancement of information society, message framing has been explored as an emerging low-cost nudge approach for promoting pro-environment behavior or behavior intention in various research fields. Yet, few studies have investigated the influence of message framing on project managers’ behavior intentions regarding CWR. This study explores the relationship between project managers’ behavior intentions regarding CWR and message framing of CWR in terms of economic benefit vs. environmental benefit and small scale vs. large scale. A questionnaire experiment with 120 randomly selected project managers was conducted in Hangzhou. Two-way ANOVA and linear regression were performed to test the hypotheses. The results show that environmental benefit information has a higher impact on project managers’ behavior intentions regarding CWR than economic benefit information, while scale framing has an insignificant influence. The findings provide an alternative approach to increasing project managers’ awareness of CWR and further improve construction waste management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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35 pages, 13070 KiB  
Review
Factors That Influence the Quantification of the Embodied Carbon Emission of Prefabricated Buildings: A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis and the Way Forward
by Yuan Chen, Yuwei Zhou, Weimin Feng, Yuan Fang and Anqi Feng
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1265; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081265 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2765
Abstract
Prefabricated buildings and off-site construction are increasingly adopted in modern construction. As one of the most concerning environmental impacts, the embodied carbon emission of prefabricated buildings has been extensively investigated in recent years. Due to the various influencing factors of carbon quantification, such [...] Read more.
Prefabricated buildings and off-site construction are increasingly adopted in modern construction. As one of the most concerning environmental impacts, the embodied carbon emission of prefabricated buildings has been extensively investigated in recent years. Due to the various influencing factors of carbon quantification, such as building characteristics, quantification boundary, emission sources, and quantification methods, no consensus has been reached so far. The impacts of the influencing factors on carbon quantification remain unclear. To fill this gap, this paper provides a systematic review and meta-analysis to comprehensively evaluate the recent research concerning the quantification of the embodied carbon emission of prefabricated buildings. In total, 43 peer-reviewed articles (96 building cases) were screened and analyzed. Twelve influencing factors of embodied carbon quantification have been identified and analyzed to give rise to a synthesized conclusion. The results of the meta-analysis indicated that the embodied carbon emission of prefabricated buildings varied significantly from 26.6 to 1644.4 kgCO2e/m2 in the reviewed literature. The results showed that some of the quantification factors could significantly influence the quantification results, such as the building structure forms, level of prefabrication, type of greenhouse gas considered, and data sources, while some factors have a lesser impact on carbon quantification results, such as the function of the building, quantification methods adopted, quantification tools/software used, and carbon inventory databases applied. The findings of this research provide readers with an in-depth and critical understanding of the quantification of the embodied carbon emission of prefabricated buildings. Research gaps and suggestions for future research are also provided based on the results of this work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Low-Carbon Buildings and Urban Energy Systems)
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17 pages, 14535 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on the Shear Behavior of Reinforced Highly Ductile Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Beams with Stirrups
by Min Zhang, Mingke Deng, Jiasheng Yang and Yangxi Zhang
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1264; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081264 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1587
Abstract
The aim of this study is to improve the shear behavior of reinforced concrete (RC) beams with stirrups by using highly ductile fiber-reinforced concrete (HDC), which is a fiber-reinforced cement-based composite material with tensile-strain-hardening properties. Twelve reinforced HDC (RHDC) beams and three RC [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to improve the shear behavior of reinforced concrete (RC) beams with stirrups by using highly ductile fiber-reinforced concrete (HDC), which is a fiber-reinforced cement-based composite material with tensile-strain-hardening properties. Twelve reinforced HDC (RHDC) beams and three RC beams with stirrups were tested under a concentrated load. The experimental parameters involved the shear span to effective depth ratio, stirrup ratio, and longitudinal reinforcement ratio. The results revealed that the mode of failure of RHDC beams, which exhibited better ductility than RC beams, included diagonal compression, shear compression, diagonal tension, and flexural shear failure. RHDC beams exhibited stable multiple crack propagation behavior and satisfactory integrity, thus showing that HDC effectively restricted the development of shear cracks and improved the damage resistance of beams. Compared with RC beams, the shear strength, displacement ductility factor, and deflection-clear span ratios corresponding to the peak load and ultimate deflection increased by up to 30.5%, 44.9%, 150.0%, and 148.0%, respectively. RHDC beams exhibited higher residual strength and deformation capacity than RC beams, thus indicating that HDC significantly improved the brittle shear failure mode. Specimens H-1 and H-2 exhibited the largest improvement in shear strength and displacement ductility factor, respectively, compared with RC beams. The shear strength of RHDC beams increased as the shear span to effective depth ratio decreased. For RHDC beams with the same shear span to effective depth ratio, the shear strength increased with the increase in the longitudinal reinforcement ratio and stirrup ratio under shear compression failure. Full article
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30 pages, 5772 KiB  
Review
From Trees to Skyscrapers: Holistic Review of the Advances and Limitations of Multi-Storey Timber Buildings
by Marcelo González-Retamal, Eric Forcael, Gerardo Saelzer-Fuica and Mauricio Vargas-Mosqueda
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1263; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081263 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3580
Abstract
Products derived from trees have been used by mankind for thousands of years, where timber has a long tradition as an ecological construction material. There is currently an increasing trend in multi-storey timber buildings, because of the projected growth in the demand for [...] Read more.
Products derived from trees have been used by mankind for thousands of years, where timber has a long tradition as an ecological construction material. There is currently an increasing trend in multi-storey timber buildings, because of the projected growth in the demand for housing in urban areas between now and 2050, along with the urgent need for a more sustainable and productive construction industry. The construction of these buildings is now possible thanks to the new advances in architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) and the new technological developments around timber construction. Its industrialization requirements imply a paradigm shift for the construction industry, which requires, among other aspects, the early and collaborative integration of stakeholders in its design and construction process. According to this, the objective of this review article is to determine the main advances and limitations related to the design and construction of multi-storey timber buildings, categorizing them in aspects such as sustainability, engineering and construction sciences, and collaborative design. The methodology of this article was based on the review of 266 articles published in Web of Science (WoS), as indexed scientific journals, between 2017 and mid-2022, performing a comparative and cooccurrence analysis of the contents. The results evidenced that 73% of the articles showed advances and limitations corresponding to the engineering and construction sciences category, 23% to sustainability, and the remaining 4% to collaborative design. The main advances in the development of multi-storey timber buildings are related to seismic analysis, connections design, fire performance, and fire design. While the main limitations are related to social sustainability, the results are not conclusive due to the low number of publications that support them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Timber Structures: Latest Developments, Challenges, and Perspectives)
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16 pages, 5415 KiB  
Article
Current Issues and Questionnaire Survey of Cold Weather Concreting in Mongolia
by Bayarjavkhlan Narantogtokh, Tomoya Nishiwaki and Dinil Pushpalal
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1262; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081262 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1893
Abstract
Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is the coldest capital city in the world with limited available time for executing concrete works due to the cold climate. The cold season raises not only technical issues, but also socio-economic issues, for example, loss of production [...] Read more.
Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is the coldest capital city in the world with limited available time for executing concrete works due to the cold climate. The cold season raises not only technical issues, but also socio-economic issues, for example, loss of production stability, and unemployment during the winter. Along with the development of modern concrete technology, the properties and advantages of concrete have been studied in many ways depending on cold climatic conditions. However, while inappropriate construction works during the winter season can be frequently observed in Mongolia, the background has not been fully investigated. In this study, the current situation of concrete works during winter in Mongolia and the standard specifications were investigated. In addition, a questionnaire survey of construction personnel was conducted. A questionnaire survey on cold weather concreting in Mongolia revealed that the current norms do not cover the requirements for planning, preparation, curing, and preventing methods from early age freezing; and quality control during the cold season. In total, 71% of respondents answered that they execute concrete works during the winter season, even ambient air temperature is between −10 and −20 °C. However, 53% of them thought that current Mongolian norms are not sufficient for the cold weather concreting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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16 pages, 3421 KiB  
Article
Cementitious Insulated Drywall Panels Reinforced with Kraft-Paper Honeycomb Structures
by Sepideh Shahbazi, Nicholas Singer, Muslim Majeed, Miroslava Kavgic and Reza Foruzanmehr
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1261; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081261 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2715
Abstract
Standard building practices commonly use gypsum-based drywall panels on the interior wall and ceiling applications as a partition to protect the components of a wall assembly from moisture and fire to uphold the building code and ensure safety standards. Unfortunately, gypsum-based drywall panels [...] Read more.
Standard building practices commonly use gypsum-based drywall panels on the interior wall and ceiling applications as a partition to protect the components of a wall assembly from moisture and fire to uphold the building code and ensure safety standards. Unfortunately, gypsum-based drywall panels have poor resistance to water and are susceptible to mold growth in humid climates. Furthermore, the accumulation of drywall in landfills can result in toxic leachate impacting the surrounding environment. A proposed solution to the pitfalls of gypsum-based drywall arises in its substitution with a new lightweight composite honeycomb sandwich panel. This study aimed to develop sandwich panels with improvements in flexural strength and thermal insulating properties through the combined use of cementitious binder mix and kraft-paper honeycomb structures. The proposed alternative is created by following standard practices outlined in ASTM C305 to create cement panels and experimenting with admixtures to improve the material performance in order to cater to a drywall panel application. The kraft-paper honeycomb structure is bonded to cured cementitious panels to create a composite “sandwich panel” assembly. The results indicate that the sample flexural strength performed well after 7 days and exhibited superior flexural strength at 28 days, while providing a substantial increase in R-value of 5.84 m2K/W when compared to gypsum-based panels, with an R-value of 5.41 m2K/W. In addition, the reinforced kraft-paper honeycomb with a thick core and addition of flax fibres to the cementitious boards possesses better thermal conductivity, with a reduction of 42%, a lower density, and a lower water vapour transmission in comparison to the thin kraft-paper honeycomb sandwich panel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Scientific Developments in Building Envelope Materials)
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31 pages, 3475 KiB  
Article
Power Plant Construction Projects Risk Assessment: A Proposed Method for Temporary Systems of Commissioning
by José Ignacio Sánchez Colmenarejo, Felipe Morales Camprubí, Cristina González-Gaya and Alberto Sánchez-Lite
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081260 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 5074
Abstract
The identification of hazards and risk assessment are key factors in the safety of the industries, including power plants. This paper contains an original risk analysis method that increases the level of safety in commissioning and start-up operations. With the proposed method, which [...] Read more.
The identification of hazards and risk assessment are key factors in the safety of the industries, including power plants. This paper contains an original risk analysis method that increases the level of safety in commissioning and start-up operations. With the proposed method, which has been tested in real industrial facilities, it has been possible to increase the safety of the system and reduce the likelihood of incidents and accidents in one of the most dangerous stages of project construction activities. This paper also gives an overview of the processes and procedures used in the construction of power plants compared to other industry sectors, proposing some areas for potential improvement. It has been verified that temporary systems used during commissioning apply risk evaluation techniques that do not consider some aspects related to process hazards, something that can be important for the prevention of accidents that historically happen at this stage. Analysis of the data has determined that, in these stages, there have been incidents and accidents, some of them severe. Thus, in this paper, a methodology is proposed. The method allows addressing the particularities of the execution of temporary systems in a safe way by putting into practice an agile and flexible method that can be applied to these particular systems, so that the risk levels can be reduced. The method was applied to one real application representative of this kind of system and yielded excellent results. The proposed methodology is highly recommended as an improvement for the power industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Construction Scheduling, Quality and Risk Management)
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