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Buildings, Volume 14, Issue 3 (March 2024) – 298 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Accurately simulating concrete cracking in large structures is challenging. An Adaptive Static Condensation (ASC) method concentrates computational efforts on damaged areas, addressing localized nonlinearities. However, its efficiency is limited due to a non-evolving mesh. To overcome this, a novel approach employing evolutionary mesh with refinement is proposed. Demonstrated on a notched bending beam, it maintains ASC accuracy while enhancing computational efficiency. For a reinforced concrete vessel under pressure, significant computational time improvement—14-fold with refinement versus 5-fold without—is shown. This enhancement allows finer discretization in previously inaccessible zones, surpassing traditional ASC or direct numerical simulation strategies. View this paper
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29 pages, 6992 KiB  
Review
Wireless Sensor Placement Optimization for Bridge Health Monitoring: A Critical Review
by Gang Chen, Weixiang Shi, Lei Yu, Jizhuo Huang, Jiangang Wei and Jun Wang
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 856; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030856 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 731
Abstract
In recent years, wireless sensors have progressively supplanted conventional limited sensors owing to their attributes of small size, low cost, and high accuracy. Consequently, there has been a growing interest in leveraging wireless sensor networks for bridge structural health monitoring applications. By employing [...] Read more.
In recent years, wireless sensors have progressively supplanted conventional limited sensors owing to their attributes of small size, low cost, and high accuracy. Consequently, there has been a growing interest in leveraging wireless sensor networks for bridge structural health monitoring applications. By employing wireless sensor nodes to gather data from various segments of the bridge, information is relayed to a signal-receiving base station. Subsequently, the health status of the bridge is inferred through specific data processing and analysis, aiding monitoring personnel in making informed decisions. Nonetheless, there are limitations in this research, particularly pertaining to power consumption and efficiency issues in data acquisition and transmission, as well as in determining the appropriate wireless sensor types and deployment locations for different bridge configurations. This study aims to comprehensively examine research on the utilization of wireless sensor networks in the realm of bridge structural health monitoring. Employing a systematic evaluation methodology, more than one hundred relevant papers were assessed, leading to the identification of prevalent sensing techniques, data methodologies, and modal evaluation protocols in current use within the field. The findings indicate a heightened focus among contemporary scholars on challenges arising during the data acquisition and transmission processes, along with the development of optimal deployment strategies for wireless sensor networks. In continuing, the corresponding technical challenges are provided to address these concerns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart and Digital Construction in AEC Industry)
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20 pages, 2334 KiB  
Article
Resistance Factor Spectra for the Ultimate Limit State of the National Building Code of Canada
by Sami W. Tabsh and Moussa Leblouba
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 855; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030855 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 419
Abstract
Over the years, structural engineering codes and specifications in Canada and elsewhere have moved from an allowable stress design (ASD) approach to a load and resistance factor design (LRFD) philosophy. LRFD methodology takes better account of the inherent variability in both loading and [...] Read more.
Over the years, structural engineering codes and specifications in Canada and elsewhere have moved from an allowable stress design (ASD) approach to a load and resistance factor design (LRFD) philosophy. LRFD methodology takes better account of the inherent variability in both loading and resistance by providing different factors of safety for loads of distinct natures with regard to their probability of overload, frequency of occurrences and changes in point of application. The method also results in safer structures because it considers the behavior at collapse. While resistance factors for traditional construction materials based on LRFD in the National Building Code (NBC) of Canada are available, they cannot be used for non-conventional ones. This is because the resistance of such materials due to various load effects has unique bias factors (λR) and coefficients of variation (VR), which greatly impact their reliability index (β). In this study, relationships between the resistance factor ϕ and critical load effects from the NBC load combinations at ultimate limit states are developed for a wide range of resistance bias factors and coefficients of variation. The relationships are presented in the form of charts that are useful for researchers and code-writing professionals who have expertise in the various fields of structural engineering but lack proper background in reliability theory. The developed spectra showed that for the same ϕ, β increases with an increase in the live-to-dead load (L/D) ratio until it reaches 1; thereafter, the shape of the relationship will depend on the statistics of the resistance as well as on the magnitude of ϕ. For a small ϕ and VR, β will keep increasing with an increase in the L/D ratio from 1 until 3, albeit at a lesser rate. For L/D > 3, the relationship between the critical β and applied load is just about constant. This finding is also true for load combinations involving snow and wind. Application of the method is illustrated by a practical example involving the shear strength of a corrugated web steel beam. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete Structural Safety and Health Monitoring)
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13 pages, 5799 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on the Mechanical Properties of Rock–Concrete Composite Specimens under Cyclic Loading
by Hongjun Li, Baoyun Zhao, Zhengjun Hou and Hongyao Min
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 854; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030854 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 390
Abstract
The foundations of bridges and other tall buildings are often subjected to cyclic loads. Therefore, it is essential to investigate the mechanical properties of rock–concrete composite foundations under cyclic loads. In this paper, uniaxial cyclic loading and unloading tests were conducted on rock–concrete [...] Read more.
The foundations of bridges and other tall buildings are often subjected to cyclic loads. Therefore, it is essential to investigate the mechanical properties of rock–concrete composite foundations under cyclic loads. In this paper, uniaxial cyclic loading and unloading tests were conducted on rock–concrete composite specimens using the TFD-2000 microcomputer servo-controlled rock triaxial testing machine. The stress–strain curves, elastic modulus variation, and energy dissipation were analyzed. The results showed that the stress–strain curves of composite specimens under uniaxial cyclic loading and unloading conditions formed hysteresis loops. The hysteresis loop exhibited a sparse–dense–sparse pattern under the upper stress of 27.44 MPa, which was 90% of the uniaxial strength. The elastic modulus, as well as the dissipated energy, decreased rapidly in the first few cycles and then gradually decreased at a constant rate, with the upper stress increasing to 27.44 MPa. Both the elastic modulus and the dissipated energy exhibited an accelerated stage before specimen failure. The primary failure mode of the composite specimen was split failure from concrete to sandstone. A damage variable was derived to better reflect the laws governing the damage evolution of the composite under cyclic loads. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Foundation Analysis: Soil–Structure Interaction)
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18 pages, 5187 KiB  
Article
Strategic Design Approaches for Eliciting the Perception of ‘Prestige’ in Housing Consumers
by Antoni Montañana, María Luisa Nolé and Carmen Llinares
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 853; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030853 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 445
Abstract
In the current real estate landscape, there is a growing trend to focus on adding value to products to address the customer’s affective/emotional perspective, his/her perceptions of the ‘Prestige’ of properties being crucial for his/her final assessments of the products. This study delves [...] Read more.
In the current real estate landscape, there is a growing trend to focus on adding value to products to address the customer’s affective/emotional perspective, his/her perceptions of the ‘Prestige’ of properties being crucial for his/her final assessments of the products. This study delves into the design elements that shape perceptions of ‘Prestige’ using Kansei engineering in 235 participants who evaluated various real estate promotions through: (1) a set of 60 adjectives and (2) reason for purchase (residence or investment). A first factor analysis of the set of adjectives yielded 15 independent axes. A subsequent linear regression indicated that the ‘Prestige’ axis was among the four most important factors in/drivers of property purchase decisions. In the second phase, 62 design elements (and their respective categories) of real estate promotions were identified to establish 16 groups. A linear regression determined that Information presentation and Building were the groups of elements with the greatest impact on subjects’ perceptions of ‘Prestige’. A subsequent Univariate General Linear Model analysis identified the design elements significant for each group, such as Development type and Building shape, respectively. Finally, a Bonferroni post hoc test identified the important categories in each identified design element as Facing blocks and Stepped. Full article
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29 pages, 8849 KiB  
Article
Novel Instance-Based Transfer Learning for Asphalt Pavement Performance Prediction
by Jiale Li, Jiayin Guo, Bo Li and Lingxin Meng
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 852; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030852 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 480
Abstract
The deep learning method has been widely used in the engineering field. The availability of the training dataset is one of the most important limitations of the deep learning method. Accurate prediction of pavement performance plays a vital role in road preventive maintenance [...] Read more.
The deep learning method has been widely used in the engineering field. The availability of the training dataset is one of the most important limitations of the deep learning method. Accurate prediction of pavement performance plays a vital role in road preventive maintenance (PM) and decision-making. Pavement performance prediction based on deep learning has been widely used around the world for its accuracy, robustness, and automation. However, most of the countries in the world have not built their pavement performance historical database, which prevents preventive maintenance using the deep learning method. This study presents an innovative particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm-enhanced two-stage TrAdaBoost.R2 transfer learning algorithm, which could significantly increase the pavement performance prediction database. The Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) database is used as the source domain data, and one of the highways in China is chosen as the target domain to predict pavement performance. The results show that the proposed PSO-Two-stage TrAdaBoost.R2 model has the highest accuracy compared with AdaBoost.R2 model and traditional regression decision tree model. The validation case study shows significant consistency between the predicted International Roughness Index (IRI) and the whole-year measurement data with an R2 of 0.7. This study demonstrates the great potential of the innovative instance-based transfer learning method in pavement performance prediction of a region’s lack of data. This study also contributes to other engineering fields that could greatly increase the universality of deep learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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16 pages, 4959 KiB  
Article
Comparing Differences in Jogging Support across Various Land Use Types in Urban Built-Up Areas Using User-Recommended Routes
by Li Tan, Jiayi Jiang, Meng Guo and Yujia Zhong
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 851; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030851 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 465
Abstract
Land use types other than specialized athletic fields provide a variety of jogging environments, addressing the shortage of urban fitness facilities and promoting urban health as well as sustainability. Currently, there is limited research comparing the differences in jogging support among various land [...] Read more.
Land use types other than specialized athletic fields provide a variety of jogging environments, addressing the shortage of urban fitness facilities and promoting urban health as well as sustainability. Currently, there is limited research comparing the differences in jogging support among various land use types, which can assist decision-makers in setting priorities and targeted strategies for urban renewal, especially in urban built-up areas with limited land resources. Initially, spatial information, statistical data, and recommendation reason text were extracted from recommended routes in mobile fitness apps and categorized into six land use types. Subsequently, spatial potential was measured through descriptive statistics, buffer area analysis, spatial autocorrelation analysis, and line density analysis. Environmental preferences were gauged by text analysis using jieba word segmentation and grouped word frequency calculation. Finally, the measurement results of different land uses were compared, including scale differences, spatial differentiation, environmental perception, and environmental elements. The research found that streets, residential areas, campuses, parks, and greenways possess significant potential to support jogging, particularly streets. These types of land use exhibit varying spatial potentials and attractions in environmental preferences. Targeted recommendations have been proposed to support the renewal of urban built-up areas and research in related fields. Full article
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14 pages, 8216 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study of a New Self-Centering BRB and Its Application in Seismic Resistance of Frame Structure
by Yourong Lin, Zhi Zhou, Maoyu Shen, Jili Liu and Wei Huang
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 850; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030850 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 464
Abstract
In order to enhance the self-centering capacity of steel frame structures after earthquakes and reduce the tubes of traditional double-tube or triple-tube SC-BRB, an innovative single-tube self-centering buckling restrained brace (ST-SC-BRB) is proposed in this paper. Firstly, the structural configuration of the ST-SC-BRB [...] Read more.
In order to enhance the self-centering capacity of steel frame structures after earthquakes and reduce the tubes of traditional double-tube or triple-tube SC-BRB, an innovative single-tube self-centering buckling restrained brace (ST-SC-BRB) is proposed in this paper. Firstly, the structural configuration of the ST-SC-BRB component was described. Then, cyclic tests were conducted on one small-scaled BRB and one ST-SC-BRB with the same core steel plate. The test results indicate that the ST-SC-BRB specimen exhibits an excellent self-centering ability compared to the conventional BRB. However, their energy-dissipation capacities are still determined by the core steel plate. In addition, time–history analyses were conducted to evaluate the seismic performance of steel frame structures with BRBs and ST-SC-BRBs. The results suggest that the ST-SC-BRBs can effectively reduce the residual deformation of steel frame structures after earthquakes and contribute to the self-centering capacity of the steel frame structures. Finally, the influence of design parameters of ST-SC-BRB components on the seismic performance of steel frame structures was discussed. It is confirmed that the initial stiffness of the ST-SC-BRB component significantly influences the seismic response of the structure, while the self-centering ratio of the ST-SC-BRB component is a crucial factor in determining the residual deformations of the structure. Full article
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25 pages, 10760 KiB  
Article
Model Test Study on the Vertical Uplift Bearing Characteristics of Soil Continuous Solidified Pile Group Foundations
by Tao Sun, Fakai Yang, Xinzhuang Cui, Zhaochao Huang, Xianzhou Lyu, Ruijin Ma, Yujun Chang, Shengmei Liu, Chen Wang, Zhiyuan Lin and Xiaoning Zhang
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 849; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030849 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 406
Abstract
To solve the problem of the high bearing capacity of structures in deep and weak soil layers, we invented a new type of pile group foundation in which the soil was continuously solidified between piles (hereinafter referred to as the SCS pile group [...] Read more.
To solve the problem of the high bearing capacity of structures in deep and weak soil layers, we invented a new type of pile group foundation in which the soil was continuously solidified between piles (hereinafter referred to as the SCS pile group foundation). Considering the two key factors of pile spacing and CSM depth, the antipulling load characteristics of SCS pile group foundations in dry sand were studied via indoor half-model tests and numerical simulations. The results showed that the ultimate uplift capacity of the SCS pile group foundation with a 2D–6D CSM depth was about 2–3 times that of the traditional pile group. When the stiffness of the CSM is so large that its effect can be ignored, the greater the pile spacing is, the greater the ultimate uplift capacity is. For the same pile spacing, the greater the depth of the CSM is, the greater the ultimate uplift bearing capacity is. When the CSM depth is greater than 10D, the uplift effect of the CSM can be effectively exerted, and the antipulling advantage of the SCS pile group foundation can be fully utilized. This study provided a reference for the antipulling design of SCS pile foundations. Full article
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28 pages, 19045 KiB  
Review
A Review of Waterborne Polymer–Cementitious Composite Repair Materials for Application in Saline Soil Environments: Properties and Progress
by Yan’e Yang, Bo Pang, Yunsheng Zhang, Minghui Wang, Gaixia Miao and Aoxiang Zhou
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 848; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030848 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 449
Abstract
The properties of a large number of concrete infrastructures in China are deteriorating year by year, raising the need for repairing and strengthening these infrastructures. By introducing waterborne polymers into a cement concrete system, brittle cracks and easy bonding performance defects of concrete [...] Read more.
The properties of a large number of concrete infrastructures in China are deteriorating year by year, raising the need for repairing and strengthening these infrastructures. By introducing waterborne polymers into a cement concrete system, brittle cracks and easy bonding performance defects of concrete can be compensated for to form a long-life, semi rigid, waterborne polymer-modified cementitious repair material with a promising development prospect. This paper investigates the modification effect of polymer emulsions on ordinary cement mortar. Our research mainly focused on the physical and mechanical properties, durability, microstructure and application status of waterborne polymer-modified cementitious composites. Literature studies show that with the increase in waterborne polymer content (0 wt%~20 wt%), the performance of cement mortar significantly improves, which in turn expands its application range. Compared with ordinary cement mortar, the introduction of waterborne polymers blocks some of the pores in the cement to a certain extent, thus improving its permeability, freeze–thaw resistance and durability. Finally, this paper describes the application of waterborne polymer–cementitious composites in western saline soil environments, as well as discusses the prospects of their development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Approaches to Building Repair)
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20 pages, 11810 KiB  
Article
Exhibition Space Circulation in Museums from the Perspective of Pedestrian Simulation
by Yuzhe Liu, Libo Chen, Yusu Xu and Jingqiu Yang
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 847; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030847 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 619
Abstract
Contemporary studies largely concentrate on the physical aspects of architecture, yet within the sphere of design, the gap between user experience and the designer’s intention is an undeniable fact. This gap, illustrating the contrast between the spatial perception and the actual physical space, [...] Read more.
Contemporary studies largely concentrate on the physical aspects of architecture, yet within the sphere of design, the gap between user experience and the designer’s intention is an undeniable fact. This gap, illustrating the contrast between the spatial perception and the actual physical space, to some degree, mirrors preferences in human spatial behavior. It accentuates the complex relationship between human cognitive functions and spatial layout, underlining the critical role of spatial perception in architectural design and planning. This prompts the question of whether perceptions of internal traffic flow within buildings also suffer from spatial distortions. Focusing on museums, and by examining circulation paths and spatial features, a virtual museum model is devised. The research employs a holistic and reductionist approach (complex systems theory) to forge a link between circulation components and the spatial experience of architecture. Utilizing agent-based modeling tools for simulating pedestrian movements, it investigates how different circulation patterns and spatial relationships influence pedestrian behavior. The study proposes a museum circulation optimization strategy, grounded in quantifying spatial experience through Anylogic software analysis. This strategy is aimed at enhancing the design of internal traffic flows in future museum projects, offering fresh insights into museum design research, and probing into new possibilities for using pedestrian simulation software. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Architectural Design, Urban Science, and Real Estate)
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16 pages, 5735 KiB  
Article
Behavior of Concrete-Filled Steel Tube Columns with Multiple Chambers and Round-Ended Cross-Sections under Axial Loading
by Jing Liu, Tao Zhang, Zhicheng Pan and Fanjun Ma
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 846; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030846 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 444
Abstract
Concrete-filled round-ended steel tubes (CFRTs) are a unique type of composite stub columns, which have the advantage of aesthetics and a well-distributed major–minor axis. Thus, the structure has been widely employed as piers and columns in bridges. To improve the mechanical performance of [...] Read more.
Concrete-filled round-ended steel tubes (CFRTs) are a unique type of composite stub columns, which have the advantage of aesthetics and a well-distributed major–minor axis. Thus, the structure has been widely employed as piers and columns in bridges. To improve the mechanical performance of CFRTs with a large length–width ratio and to enhance the restraint effect of steel tubes on concrete, this study investigates the compressive property of multi-chamber, concrete-filled, round-ended steel tubular (M-CFRT) stub columns using a combination of experimental and numerical analyses. A detailed compression test on eight specimens is conducted to examine the compressive property of M-CFRT stub columns. The study focuses on understanding the influence of some key parameters on ultimate bearing capacity, failure stage, damage modes, and ductility. Additionally, the accuracy of the finite element modeling method in simulating the ultimate bearing capacity of the structure is verified. Finally, the calculating formula for the ultimate bearing capacity of M-CFRT stub columns is proposed on the basis of the experimental and numerical findings. Results of the formula calculation are consistent with the experimental data. These research findings serve as a valuable reference for designing similar structures in engineering practice. Full article
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16 pages, 3902 KiB  
Article
Research on Temperature Field of Cement-Mixing Pile-Reinforced Soft Soil Foundation
by Zhe Wang, Weisheng Xu, Qing Xu, Yangming Wang and Yingna Zhu
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 845; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030845 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 363
Abstract
To investigate the mechanism of reinforcing soft soil with cement-mixing pile, based on ABAQUS secondary development, a numerical simulation study of the hydration reaction of cement-mixing piles was conducted. In this study, the influence of ground temperature variations on the distribution patterns of [...] Read more.
To investigate the mechanism of reinforcing soft soil with cement-mixing pile, based on ABAQUS secondary development, a numerical simulation study of the hydration reaction of cement-mixing piles was conducted. In this study, the influence of ground temperature variations on the distribution patterns of the temperature field in and around the pile was also considered. The temperature field of the pile–soil model can be primarily divided into two stages: the temperature rise stage (0~5 d) and the temperature decrease stage (5~90 d). The following observations were made: (1) The temperature of the pile body rapidly increased within the first 5 days, dissipating heat to the surrounding soil, leading to an elevation of the temperature in the soil around the pile and a decrease in soil moisture content. Around the 5th day, the temperature reached its maximum value, and the heat release rate of the pile body was higher than that of the surrounding soil. (2) With a 15% cement admixture, under the influence of 425# cement hydration, the temperature inside the pile increased by 5 °C, and the temperature in the soil around the pile increased by 4.2 °C. After considering the ground temperature, the temperature in the soil around the pile increased by 4.6 °C. (3) The maximum temperature generated during the hydration of 425# Portland cement is higher than that of 525#; the temperature of the soil around piles made with 425# cement is consistently higher than that made with 525#. (4) The hydration temperature of piles with a 10% cement admixture increased by 4.4 °C; for piles with a 15% cement admixture, the hydration temperature increased by 6.6 °C; and for piles with a 20% cement admixture, the hydration temperature increased by 9.1 °C. The temperature field of this structure gradually stabilizes after 7 days with increasing time and cement admixture. The results indicate that the hydration of cement-mixing piles raises the temperature of the soil around the piles. Additionally, the temperature resulting from the hydration of cement-mixing pile increases with the addition of cement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation)
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26 pages, 7227 KiB  
Review
Digital Technologies for Quality Assurance in the Construction Industry: Current Trend and Future Research Directions towards Industry 4.0
by Frank Ato Ghansah and David John Edwards
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 844; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030844 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 675
Abstract
Despite the growing rich and fragmented literature focusing on quality assurance (QA) and Industry 4.0, the implementation of associated individual digital technologies has not been fully evaluated and synthesised to achieve adequate QA in the construction industry; hence, it has received limited focus. [...] Read more.
Despite the growing rich and fragmented literature focusing on quality assurance (QA) and Industry 4.0, the implementation of associated individual digital technologies has not been fully evaluated and synthesised to achieve adequate QA in the construction industry; hence, it has received limited focus. This study, thus, aimed to organise, evaluate, and synthesise the current literature on individual digital technology applications in QA in the construction industry and propose future research directions. A literature review approach was adopted for this study along with Deming’s cycle framework to address four research questions: (1) What is the status of the state-of-the-art in the literature? (2) What digital technologies have been applied for QA in the construction industry? (3) Which areas in QA processes have experienced digital technology applications, and what are the applications? (4) What are the limitations of the existing studies and future research directions of digital technologies for QA in the construction industry? The findings showed an increasing trend of research on digital technology for QA in construction since 2017. This cuts across 23 countries with six different research methods published across 18 different publication sources. Four categories of digital technologies were revealed to have been adopted for QA in construction based on the functionality of the technologies: data collection technologies, decision-oriented technologies, collaborative technologies, and transparency and security-related technologies. Evaluation with Deming’s cycle framework revealed that digital technologies have a high level of application at the “do” phase, improving the quality management process during construction towards achieving pre-stated quality requirements. This includes mostly collaborative technologies, consisting of BIM technologies. Limitations of the existing studies were further identified, and this led to five research directions: interoperability of technology development, integrated digital technologies for QA of prefabricated and modular construction, integrated digital technologies for QA of cross-border construction logistics and supply chain, digital innovation for sustainable QA, and moving beyond the technical solution. The study showed a significant contribution to both academia and the industry in the built environment. Full article
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20 pages, 164434 KiB  
Article
Integrating an Image-Generative Tool on Creative Design Brainstorming Process of a Safavid Mosque Architecture Conceptual Form
by Aref Maksoud, Aya Elshabshiri, Amani Saeed Hilal Humaid Alzaabi and Aseel Hussien
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 843; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030843 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 605
Abstract
The study aims to understand to what extent employing A.I. image-generative tools in architectural concept brainstorming demonstrates effectiveness, accuracy, and adherence to text and image inputs, and evaluate the utilization of A.I. image-generative tools in the architectural ideation phase, considering factors such as [...] Read more.
The study aims to understand to what extent employing A.I. image-generative tools in architectural concept brainstorming demonstrates effectiveness, accuracy, and adherence to text and image inputs, and evaluate the utilization of A.I. image-generative tools in the architectural ideation phase, considering factors such as speed, creativity, and accuracy. Thus, this study will investigate using an A.I. image-generative tool, Midjourney, in the creative brainstorming stage for a Safavid mosque architectural form design process. The study will quantitatively evaluate the form proportions of mosques generated by Midjourney based on certain criteria as they pertain to the Shah Mosque as the inspiration for the design as it encompasses many of the Safavid Mosque’s typical elements and characteristics. The most matching form will then be found. The findings are that Midjourney is reliable in terms of its speed and creativity; however, it lacks accuracy and adherence to inputs. This study is essential as limited literature exists on A.I. image-generative tools in the brainstorming process of architectural projects, particularly mosque architecture. It also provides architects and designers with a framework and the pros and cons of the use of A.I. generative tools, such as Midjourney, in the ideation process for an architectural project. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Creativity in Architecture)
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29 pages, 10527 KiB  
Article
The Amazonian Architecture and Challenges Faced in Socio-Spatial Transformation Processes—Shuar and Achuar, Ecuador
by David Eduardo Morocho Jaramillo, Camilla Mileto and Fernando Vegas López-Manzanares
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 842; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030842 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 739
Abstract
This article explores the ties between vernacular architecture, culture and identity in a context of sociocultural change in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The text addresses the loss of a collective cultural identity from a historical, socio-spatial and descriptive perspective. Beliefs and traditions act as [...] Read more.
This article explores the ties between vernacular architecture, culture and identity in a context of sociocultural change in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The text addresses the loss of a collective cultural identity from a historical, socio-spatial and descriptive perspective. Beliefs and traditions act as a “social glue“ uniting societies around common values, goals and norms, whose disappearance could cause this society to veer off course or to even become fragmented. Fieldwork carried out further supports these data, showcasing cultural changes which are worsened by globalization and contribute to the erosion of common beliefs. Although challenging, this also provides the opportunity to reassess values in search of new forms of local identity and significance. The article highlights the fragmentation between tradition and the beliefs concerning settlements which had been introduced by colonization through an understanding of construction processes and their spatial logic. The transformation of socio-spatial dynamics highlights the challenges faced by the Amazon, as well as attempts to strike a balance between tradition and progresses, without neglecting environmental culture or integrity due to the pressures of globalization. Therefore, understanding the different relationship systems found within a given ecosystem can provide clues on how to aid their preservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Technologies for Regenerative Built Environments)
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25 pages, 12878 KiB  
Article
Effect of Precursor Blending Ratio and Rotation Speed of Mechanically Activated Fly Ash on Properties of Geopolymer Foam Concrete
by Xuan Liu, Tao Jiang, Chenglong Li, Mingyu Wan, Wenzhu Xuan and Xingfu Wang
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 841; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030841 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 623
Abstract
This research used fly ash and slag to create geopolymer foam concrete. They were activated with an alkali, resulting in a chemical reaction that produced a gel that strengthened the concrete’s structural integrity. The experimental approach involved varying the fly ash content in [...] Read more.
This research used fly ash and slag to create geopolymer foam concrete. They were activated with an alkali, resulting in a chemical reaction that produced a gel that strengthened the concrete’s structural integrity. The experimental approach involved varying the fly ash content in the precursors at incremental percentages (10%, 30%, 50%, 70% and 90%) and subjecting the fly ash to mechanical activation through a planetary ball mill at distinct rotational speeds (380, 400, 420 and 440 rpm). The investigation discerned that the fly ash content and particle structure exert a discernible influence on macroscopic properties, including flowability, air generation height, compressive strength, dry density and microstructural characteristics such as pore distribution and hydration product arrangement in the geopolymer foam concrete. Employing analytical techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), it was deduced that diminishing the fly ash content correlates with an enhancement in compressive strength. Furthermore, the specific strength of the geopolymer foam concrete reached a peak of 0.041 when the activated fly ash in the planetary ball mill rotated at 420 rpm, manifesting a lightweight and high-strength outcome. Full article
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21 pages, 2040 KiB  
Review
Embodied Carbon Inventories for the Australian Built Environment: A Scoping Review
by Josephine Vaughan, Rebecca Evans and Willy Sher
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 840; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030840 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 711
Abstract
Accounting for the embodied carbon in construction materials and calculating the carbon footprint of entire construction projects in life-cycle assessments is a rapidly developing area in the construction industry. Carbon emission accounting relies on inventories that claim to represent the values of carbon [...] Read more.
Accounting for the embodied carbon in construction materials and calculating the carbon footprint of entire construction projects in life-cycle assessments is a rapidly developing area in the construction industry. Carbon emission accounting relies on inventories that claim to represent the values of carbon contained in materials. However, these values vary between different carbon inventories. This scoping review identifies academic research on the carbon inventories used in Australia, as well as the methods used to compare these inventories. The study was conducted in accordance with the JBI methodology for scoping reviews. We identified 182 papers and narrowed these down to 11 that complied with the objectives of this study. Data for a range of construction materials were compared in these papers, as were the methods used to calculate the values. While some carbon inventories were used frequently, no clear preference for the method of calculating carbon values was apparent. The system boundaries also varied between publications, and a range of functional units was used. There was agreement that the variables involved in calculating carbon values for building materials are compounded by the practical issues of extracting and manufacturing materials in different regional or local conditions, cultures, and technological situations. It is therefore understandable that different inventories store different values when so many factors need to be considered. There is thus a clear need for agreement to be reached about standardisation of the processes involved. If the trustworthiness of the data stored in carbon inventories is questionable, so too are the outcomes of subsequent activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Net Zero Carbon (NZC) Building Design and Construction)
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20 pages, 4156 KiB  
Article
Analytical Solution for the Ultimate Compression Capacity of Unbonded Steel-Mesh-Reinforced Rubber Bearings
by Han Li, Shengze Tian and Xinzhi Dang
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 839; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030839 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 384
Abstract
Unbonded steel-mesh-reinforced rubber bearings (USRBs) have been proposed as an alternative isolation bearing for small-to-medium-span highway bridges. It replaces the steel plate reinforcement of common unbonded laminated rubber bearings (ULNR) with special steel wire meshes, resulting in improved lateral properties and seismic performance. [...] Read more.
Unbonded steel-mesh-reinforced rubber bearings (USRBs) have been proposed as an alternative isolation bearing for small-to-medium-span highway bridges. It replaces the steel plate reinforcement of common unbonded laminated rubber bearings (ULNR) with special steel wire meshes, resulting in improved lateral properties and seismic performance. However, the impact of this novel steel wire mesh reinforcement on the ultimate compression capacity of USRB has not been studied. To this end, theoretical and experimental analysis of the ultimate compression capacity of USRBs were carried out. The closed-form analytical solution of the ultimate compression capacity of USRBs was derived from a simplified USRB model employing elasticity theory. A parametric study was conducted considering the geometric and material properties. Ultimate compression tests were conducted on 19 USRB specimens to further calibrate the analytical solution, considering the influence of the number of reinforcement layers. An efficient solution for USRBs’ ultimate compression capacity was obtained via multilinear regression of the calibrated analytical results. The efficient solution can simplify the estimation of USRBs’ ultimate compression capacity while maintaining the same accuracy as the calibrated solution. Based on the efficient solution, the design process of a USRB with a specific ultimate compression capacity was illustrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study of Material Technology in Structural Engineering)
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20 pages, 6934 KiB  
Article
Research on the System Design and Target Recognition Method of the Rebar-Tying Robot
by Ruocheng Feng, Youquan Jia, Ting Wang and Hongxiao Gan
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 838; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030838 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 442
Abstract
In the construction industry, the construction process of rebar tying is highly dependent on manual operation, which leads to a wide range of work areas, high labor intensity, and limited efficiency. Therefore, robot technology for automatic rebar tying has become an inevitable trend [...] Read more.
In the construction industry, the construction process of rebar tying is highly dependent on manual operation, which leads to a wide range of work areas, high labor intensity, and limited efficiency. Therefore, robot technology for automatic rebar tying has become an inevitable trend in on-site construction. This study aims to develop a planar rebar-tying robot that can achieve autonomous navigation, precise positioning, and efficient tying on a plane rebar mesh without boundaries. Our research covers the overall design of the robot control systems, the selection of key hardware, the development of software platforms, and the optimization of core algorithms. Specifically, to address the technical challenges of accurately recognizing the tying position and status, we propose an innovative two-stage identification method that combines a depth camera and an industrial camera to obtain image information about the area to be tied. The effectiveness of the planar rebar-tying robot system, including the recognition method proposed in this study, was verified by experiments on a rebar mesh demonstration platform. The following application of our robot system in the field of the Shenyang Hunnan Science and Technology City Phase IV project achieved satisfactory performance. It is shown that this research has made a unique and significant innovation in the field of automatic rebar tying. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robotics, Automation and Digitization in Construction)
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36 pages, 4790 KiB  
Review
A Review of Levitation Control Methods for Low- and Medium-Speed Maglev Systems
by Qi Zhu, Su-Mei Wang and Yi-Qing Ni
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 837; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030837 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 623
Abstract
Maglev transportation is a highly promising form of transportation for the future, primarily due to its friction-free operation, exceptional comfort, and low risk of derailment. Unlike conventional transportation systems, maglev trains operate with no mechanical contact with the track. Maglev trains achieve levitation [...] Read more.
Maglev transportation is a highly promising form of transportation for the future, primarily due to its friction-free operation, exceptional comfort, and low risk of derailment. Unlike conventional transportation systems, maglev trains operate with no mechanical contact with the track. Maglev trains achieve levitation and guidance using electromagnetic forces controlled by a magnetic levitation control system. Therefore, the magnetic levitation control system is of utmost importance in maintaining the stable operation performance of a maglev train. However, due to the open-loop instability and strong nonlinearity of the control system, designing an active controller with self-adaptive ability poses a substantial challenge. Moreover, various uncertainties exist, including parameter variations and unknown external disturbances, under different operating conditions. Although several review papers on maglev levitation systems and control methods have been published over the last decade, there has been no comprehensive exploration of their modeling and related control technologies. Meanwhile, many review papers have become outdated and no longer reflect the current state-of-the-art research in the field. Therefore, this article aims to summarize the models and control technologies for maglev levitation systems following the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) criteria. The control technologies mainly include linear control methods, nonlinear control methods, and artificial intelligence methods. In addition, the article will discuss maglev control in other scenarios, such as vehicle–guideway vibration control and redundancy and fault-tolerant design. First, the widely used maglev levitation system modeling methods are reviewed, including the modeling assumptions. Second, the principle of the control methods and their control performance in maglev levitation systems are presented. Third, the maglev control methods in other scenarios are discussed. Finally, the key issues pertaining to the future direction of maglev levitation control are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Health Monitoring and Vibration Control)
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20 pages, 7616 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Evidence-Based Design Approaches for Built Environment Professional Education: A Case Study on an Urban Design Studio
by Shulin Shi
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 836; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030836 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 560
Abstract
Urban built environment professions are facing challenges due to the less predictable future of cities, as well as the increasing expectations from clients and the general public. It is crucial to support and inform these professions with sound evidence in order to promote [...] Read more.
Urban built environment professions are facing challenges due to the less predictable future of cities, as well as the increasing expectations from clients and the general public. It is crucial to support and inform these professions with sound evidence in order to promote the sustainability of cities. However, there have been few efforts to introduce evidence-based design (EBD) theories and frameworks into built environment professional education. This study presents an EBD framework for an undergraduate urban design studio. The effectiveness and long-term impact of EBD approaches and the framework presented were examined via learning outcomes, student reflections, and guest comments across two rounds of studio delivery. The reflections and comments were coded and analyzed using NVivo 11. The effectiveness of the EBD approach is confirmed for the premises, development, and effectiveness of urban design proposals that align with the concerns and expectations of professional guests. The wide range of evidence and techniques also fosters cross-disciplinary collaborations. This study sheds light on education in the built environment disciplines, which would further enhance the strength of relevant professions, ultimately contributing to the sustainability of society. Full article
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21 pages, 2617 KiB  
Systematic Review
Advancing Urban Life: A Systematic Review of Emerging Technologies and Artificial Intelligence in Urban Design and Planning
by Wei He and Mingze Chen
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 835; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030835 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 777
Abstract
The advancement of cutting-edge technologies significantly transforms urban lifestyles and is indispensable in sustainable urban design and planning. This systematic review focuses on the critical role of innovative technologies and digitalization, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), in urban planning through geo-design, aiming to enhance [...] Read more.
The advancement of cutting-edge technologies significantly transforms urban lifestyles and is indispensable in sustainable urban design and planning. This systematic review focuses on the critical role of innovative technologies and digitalization, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), in urban planning through geo-design, aiming to enhance urban life. It begins with exploring the importance of AI and digital tools in revolutionizing contemporary urban planning practices. Through the methodology based on the Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocol, this review sifts through relevant literature over the past two decades by categorizing artificial intelligence technologies based on their functionalities. These technologies are examined for their utility in urban planning, environmental modeling, and infrastructure development, highlighting how they contribute to creating smarter and more livable cities. For instance, machine learning techniques like supervised learning excel in forecasting urban trends, whereas artificial neural networks and deep learning are superior in pattern recognition and vital for environmental modeling. This analysis, which refers to the comprehensive evaluation conducted in this Systematic Review, encompasses studies based on diverse data inputs and domains of application, revealing a trend toward leveraging AI for predictive analytics, decision-making improvements, and the automation of complex geospatial tasks in urban areas. The paper also addresses the challenges encountered, including data privacy, ethical issues, and the demand for cross-disciplinary knowledge. The concluding remarks emphasize the transformative potential of innovative technologies and digitalization in urban planning, advocating for their role in fostering better urban life. It also identifies future research avenues and development opportunities. In light of our review findings, this study concludes that AI technologies indeed hold transformative promise for the field of geo-design and urban planning. They have proven instrumental in advancing predictive analytics, refining decision-making, and streamlining complex geospatial tasks. The AI’s capacity to process expansive datasets and improve urban planning accuracy has facilitated more sustainable urban development and enhanced the resilience of urban environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Trends in Urban Planning for Building Urban Resilience)
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23 pages, 3087 KiB  
Article
A Heat Loss Sensitivity Index to Inform Housing Retrofit Policy in the UK
by Christopher Tsang, James Parker and David Glew
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 834; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030834 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 636
Abstract
A substantial number of dwellings in the UK have poor building fabric, leading to higher carbon emissions, fuel expenses, and the risk of cold homes. To tackle these challenges, domestic energy efficiency policies are being implemented. One effective approach is the use of [...] Read more.
A substantial number of dwellings in the UK have poor building fabric, leading to higher carbon emissions, fuel expenses, and the risk of cold homes. To tackle these challenges, domestic energy efficiency policies are being implemented. One effective approach is the use of energy models, which enable sensitivity analysis to provide valuable insights for policymakers. This study employed dynamic thermal simulation models for 32 housing archetypes representative of solid-walled homes in the UK to calculate the heat loss and the sensitivity coefficient per building fabric feature, after which a metric Heat Loss Sensitivity (HLS) index was established to guide the selection of retrofit features for each archetype. The building fabric features’ inputs were then adjusted to establish both lower and upper bounds, simulating low and high performance levels, to predict the how space heating energy demand varies. The analysis was extended by replicating the process with various scenarios considering climates, window-to-wall ratios, and overshadowing. The findings highlight the external wall as the primary consideration in retrofitting due to its high HLS index, even at high window-to-wall ratios. It was also established that dwelling type is important in retrofit decision-making, with floor and loft retrofits having a high HLS index in bungalows. Furthermore, the analysis underlines the necessity for Standard Assessment Procedure assessors to evaluate loft U-value and air permeability rates prior to implementing retrofit measures, given the significance of these factors in the lower and upper bounds analysis. Researchers globally can replicate the HLS index approach, facilitating the implementation of housing retrofit policies worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Methods in Building Energy Efficiency Research)
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24 pages, 9128 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Modeling of Heat Exchangers Based on Mechanism and Reinforcement Learning Synergy
by Hao Sun, Zile Jia, Meng Zhao, Jiayuan Tian, Dan Liu and Yifei Wang
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 833; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030833 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 492
Abstract
The current lack of a high-precision, real-time model applicable to the control optimization process of heat exchange systems, especially the difficulty in determining the overall heat transfer coefficient K of heat exchanger operating parameters in real time, is a prominent issue. This paper [...] Read more.
The current lack of a high-precision, real-time model applicable to the control optimization process of heat exchange systems, especially the difficulty in determining the overall heat transfer coefficient K of heat exchanger operating parameters in real time, is a prominent issue. This paper mainly unfolds the following work: 1. We propose a dynamic model for the control and optimization of the heat exchanger operation. By constructing a system to collect real-time operating data on the flow rates and temperatures on both sides of the heat exchanger, the parameter identification of the overall heat transfer coefficient K is performed. Subsequently, by combining this with mechanistic equations, a novel heat exchanger model is established based on the fusion of mechanistic principles and reinforcement learning. 2. We validate the new model, where the average relative error between the model’s temperature output values and the actual measured values is below 5%, indicating the high identification accuracy of the model. Moreover, under variations in the temperature and flow rate, the overall heat transfer coefficient K demonstrates the correct patterns of change. 3. To further enhance the model’s identification accuracy, a study on the reward functions in reinforcement learning is conducted. A model with the Logarithmic Mean Temperature Difference (LMTD) as the reward function exhibits a high identification accuracy. However, upon comparison, a model using the Arithmetic Mean Temperature Difference (AMTD) for relative error as the reward function shows an even higher identification accuracy. The model is validated under various operating conditions, such as changes in the flow rate on the hot side, demonstrating good scalability and applicability. This research contributes to providing a high-precision dynamic parameter basis for the precise control of heat exchange systems, offering significant guidance for the control optimization of actual heat exchange system operations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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34 pages, 16902 KiB  
Article
A Community Information Model and Wind Environment Parametric Simulation System for Old Urban Area Microclimate Optimization: A Case Study of Dongshi Town, China
by Yanyan Huang, Ruixin Tu, Wutikeer Tuerxun, Xudong Jia, Xu Zhang and Xiaokang Chen
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030832 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 647
Abstract
In the context of an increasingly extreme climate, Urban Heat Island (UHI) mitigation of communities through ventilation has recently attracted more attention. To explore the impact mechanisms of different morphological renovation schemes on its wind and thermal environment, this paper selected the Laozheng [...] Read more.
In the context of an increasingly extreme climate, Urban Heat Island (UHI) mitigation of communities through ventilation has recently attracted more attention. To explore the impact mechanisms of different morphological renovation schemes on its wind and thermal environment, this paper selected the Laozheng Community as a case study and: (1) analyzed measured data to quantitatively investigate the UHI within the community; (2) established the CIM-WTEPS system to construct community information models and to conduct wind environment parametric simulation for seven micro-renovation schemes across three levels; (3) performed correlation analyses between morphology indicators and wind environment indicators; (4) conducted the thermal environment parametric simulation of the community under different schemes. The results reveal that: (1) the Laozheng Community exhibits the Urban Heat Island Intensity (UHII) of up to 6 °C; (2) apart from the “ Hollowing “ scheme, which deteriorates the community wind environment, all other schemes optimize it, potentially increasing the average wind speed by up to 0.03m/s and in the renovated area by up to 0.42 m/s; (3) building density is highly correlated with the average wind speed and the proportion of calm wind area, with correlation coefficients of −0.916 (p < 0.01) and 0.894 (p < 0.01), respectively; (4) the adding of shading facilities can enhance the proportion of areas with lower Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) without adversely affecting the optimization effects of the wind environment, achieving an maximum increase of 3.1%. This study provides a reference for optimizing the community’s microclimate through morphological micro-renovations and detailed operations, aiding designers in better controlling community morphology for in future community renewal and design planning, thereby creating a more hospitable outdoor environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Climate Change on Buildings and Urban Thermal Environments)
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14 pages, 3203 KiB  
Article
Investigating Vibration Characteristics of Cross-Laminated Timber Panels Made from Fast-Grown Plantation Eucalyptus nitens under Different Support Conditions
by Yingwei Liang, Assaad Taoum, Nathan Kotlarewski, Andrew Chan and Damien Holloway
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 831; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030831 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 485
Abstract
The mechanical properties of fibre-managed Eucalyptus nitens (E. nitens) cross-laminated timber (CLT) have previously been extensively studied, proving the material to be structurally safe and reliable. However, the vibration performance of CLT manufactured from this relative new construction species is not [...] Read more.
The mechanical properties of fibre-managed Eucalyptus nitens (E. nitens) cross-laminated timber (CLT) have previously been extensively studied, proving the material to be structurally safe and reliable. However, the vibration performance of CLT manufactured from this relative new construction species is not yet fully understood, especially under different support conditions. In this study, three types of support conditions, including roller–roller, bearer–bearer and clamp–bearer support conditions, were examined under vibration impulse-response testing performed using a simple but effective and repeatable excitation method consisting of a basketball dropped from a known height and an accelerometer. Six three-ply E. nitens CLT panels considered to have different moduli of elasticity in different layers and one strength-class C24 spruce CLT as a controlled reference were included in this study. The results suggest that the fundamental frequency values can effectively reflect the inherent characteristics of CLT panels (bending stiffness and density); however, no obvious relationship was observed between damping ratios and these inherent properties. The values of frequency constant λ1 were determined to analyse the effect of different support conditions on the values of fundamental frequency. The average values of λ1 for the roller–roller (9.6) and bearer–bearer (10.1) supports align with the theoretical values (9.87) for simply support (S-S) conditions. However, when clamping loads were applied at one edge of the bearer support, the average values of λ1 increased up to 10.8 but remained far below the theoretical values for clamped–pinned (C-S) support (15.4). Full article
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31 pages, 4705 KiB  
Review
Incorporation of Waste in Thermal Mortars—A Literature Review
by Amanda Barros, Eva Barreira, Lino Maia and Maria Lurdes Lopes
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 830; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030830 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 509
Abstract
Innovation in construction plays a fundamental role in helping us face current challenges, namely the reduction in energy consumption, the mitigation of the effects of climate change, the depletion of resources, and the generation of waste. Regarding the built environment, improving the thermal [...] Read more.
Innovation in construction plays a fundamental role in helping us face current challenges, namely the reduction in energy consumption, the mitigation of the effects of climate change, the depletion of resources, and the generation of waste. Regarding the built environment, improving the thermal properties of the building envelope is one of the growing needs to reduce energy consumption in the building sector. In this context, thermal mortars have been a trend in the construction industry in recent years due to their ability in reducing heat transfer through the building envelope. On the other hand, the addition of waste has been studied as an alternative to improve the thermal properties of mortars and reduce the consumption of primary materials in the construction sector. This work aims to carry out a detailed review regarding the incorporation of waste in thermal mortars through the application of scientometric data analysis and a systematic literature review. To this end, the different residues incorporated into thermal mortars and the various percentages and forms of incorporation were identified throughout the publications gathered in this review. The most studied properties regarding the thermal mortars with the addition of waste were also the subject of study. A comprehensive database of thermal mortars with the incorporation of waste is presented, in which the objectives of the studies, the wastes and forms of incorporation and the measured properties are highlighted. The main results of the analysed researches are deeply discussed and the gaps in this area of the knowledge are identified to point out new directions and possible perspectives for future studies in the field of thermal mortars incorporating waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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27 pages, 10272 KiB  
Review
Enhancing Sustainable Railway Station Design in Tropical Climates: Insights from Thailand’s Architectural Theses and Case Studies
by Suppapon Tetiranont, Wannapol Sadakorn, Napong Tao Rugkhapan and Lapyote Prasittisopin
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 829; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030829 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 739
Abstract
An environmentally conscious architectural design of a railway station can have a substantial influence on government spending. Nevertheless, an extensive collection of guidelines for using sustainable design principles in the construction of a railway station can provide several advantages. The goal is to [...] Read more.
An environmentally conscious architectural design of a railway station can have a substantial influence on government spending. Nevertheless, an extensive collection of guidelines for using sustainable design principles in the construction of a railway station can provide several advantages. The goal is to review design visions for railway stations in Thailand, as reflected in student theses and government proposals, from 1983 to 2022 for sustainable design aspects in tropical climates. We perform an analysis of architectural design aspects including service areas, shape, entrances, roofing, style, and development in order to uncover design trends and possible areas that may be enhanced. Station designs are mostly characterized by curved and gable roofs, with 3D curved buildings being the next most common feature. High speed rail (HSR) stations stress local cultural elements in their major entrances while also improving passenger flow. Public buildings frequently employ curved or gabled porticos to achieve a majestic look. Although university theses place a high importance on conceptual design and functionality, it is essential to also consider cost-effectiveness. Key design considerations for future railway stations are transparency, connection, efficient mobility, and cost–time efficiency. The research uncovers deficiencies in user-centered design for thermal comfort and inclusiveness (design-for-all) in Thailand’s tropical environment. Addressing these aspects is critical for future sustainable railway station design evaluations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Creativity in Architecture)
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14 pages, 3068 KiB  
Article
Study on the Ultimate Load-Bearing Capacity of Disc Buckle Tall Formwork Support Considering Uncertain Factors
by Hua Huang, Zhenfeng Peng, Jinkun Hou, Xudong Zheng, Yuxi Ding and Han Wu
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030828 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 427
Abstract
Disc buckle steel pipe brackets are widely used in building construction due to the advantages of its simple structure, large-bearing capacity, rapid assembling and disassembling, and strong versatility. In complex construction projects, the uncertainties affecting the stability of disc buckle steel pipe support [...] Read more.
Disc buckle steel pipe brackets are widely used in building construction due to the advantages of its simple structure, large-bearing capacity, rapid assembling and disassembling, and strong versatility. In complex construction projects, the uncertainties affecting the stability of disc buckle steel pipe support need to be considered to ensure the safety of disc buckle steel pipe supports. A surrogate model based on a deep neural network is built and trained to predict the ultimate load-carrying capacity of a stent. The results of the finite element model calculations are used to form the sample set of the surrogate model. Then, we combined the computationally efficient DNN surrogate model with the Monte Carlo method to consider the distribution of the ultimate load capacity of the disc buckle bracket under the uncertainties of the bracket node pin wedge tightness, the wall thickness of the steel pipe, and the connection of the connecting wall member. At the same time, based on the DNN model, the SHapley Additive exPlanations (SHAP) interpretability analysis method was used to study the degree of influence of various uncertainty factors on the ultimate bearing capacity of the stent. In practical engineering, the stability analysis of a disc buckle tall formwork support has shown that a surrogate model based on a deep neural network is efficient in predicting the buckling characteristic value of the support. The error rate of the prediction is less than 2%. The buckling characteristic values of the bracket vary in the range of 17–25. Among the various factors that influence the buckling characteristic value of the bracket, the joint wedge tightness has the greatest impact, followed by the bottom and top wall-connecting parts. Full article
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21 pages, 1207 KiB  
Article
Towards the Uptake of Digital Technologies for Construction Information Management: A Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling Approach
by Peter Adekunle, Clinton Aigbavboa, Opeoluwa Akinradewo, Matthew Ikuabe and Kenneth Otasowie
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030827 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 548
Abstract
The primary objective of this study survey is to close knowledge gaps by measuring the responses from construction experts and investigating the significant effects of using digital technologies in construction information management (CIM). This is attributed to the lack of thorough knowledge among [...] Read more.
The primary objective of this study survey is to close knowledge gaps by measuring the responses from construction experts and investigating the significant effects of using digital technologies in construction information management (CIM). This is attributed to the lack of thorough knowledge among construction professionals on the implications and efficacy of incorporating digital tools in construction information management. A thorough analysis of the literature on the use of digital technologies revealed outcomes related to digitized ways of managing construction information, which were then contextually tailored through a pilot study and presented in the form of a postulated model. A total of 257 stakeholders in the building industry were given questionnaire surveys to complete in order to gather primary data. The final model of the result of adopting digital technology was statistically validated using partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM). By concentrating on the quantitative contribution of the most important result to the adoption of digital technologies throughout the process of CIM, this study closes this knowledge gap. The three primary benefits that digital technologies have the most influence on are communication, operational efficiency, and market intelligence, according to this paper’s conclusions. The research showed that encouraging relationships that enable the use of digital technologies should be promoted between technology providers and construction companies. In order to adopt and improve digital solutions, construction firms and technology providers will be able to collaborate in an ecosystem. By shedding light on the implementation and impact of digital technologies in the construction sector, the study helps to close this knowledge gap. The study offers valuable information for upcoming initiatives that support digital transformation through construction methods. The results serve as instructions for the government authorities to help them focus their efforts and distribute their resources more effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Twins in the Building Industry)
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