Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 1224

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Closing the Loop between Building Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement: Case Study of an Australian University
Rapid population growth and urbanization is creating pressure throughout the world. This has a dramatic effect on a lot of elements which include water, food, transportation, energy, infrastructure etc. as few of the key services. Built environment sector is growing concurrently to meet the needs of urbanization. Due to such large scale development of buildings, there is a need for them to be monitored and managed efficiently. Along with appropriate management, climate adaptation is highly crucial as well because buildings are one of the major sources of greenhouse gas emission in their operation phase. Buildings to be adaptive need to provide a triple bottom approach to sustainability i.e., being socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. Hence, in order to deliver these sustainability outcomes, there is a growing understanding and thrive towards switching to green buildings or renovating new ones as per green standards wherever possible. Academic institutions in particular have been following this trend globally. This is highly significant as universities usually have high occupancy rates because they manage a large building portfolio. Also, as universities accommodate the future generation of architects, policy makers etc., they have the potential of setting themselves as a best industry practice model for research and innovation for the rest to follow. Hence their climate adaptation, sustainable growth and performance management becomes highly crucial in order to provide the best services to users. With the objective of evaluating appropriate management mechanisms within academic institutions, a feasibility study was carried out in a recent 5-Star Green Star rated university building (housing the School of Construction) in Victoria (south-eastern state of Australia). The key aim was to understand the behavioral and social aspect of the building users, management and the impact of their relationship on overall building sustainability. A survey was used to understand the building occupant’s response and reactions in terms of their work environment and management. A report was generated based on the survey results complemented with utility and performance data which were then used to evaluate the management structure of the university. Followed by the report, interviews were scheduled with the facility and asset managers in order to understand the approach they use to manage the different buildings in their university campuses (old, new, refurbished), respective building and parameters incorporated in maintaining the Green Star performance. The results aimed at closing the communication and feedback loop within the respective institutions and assist the facility managers to deliver appropriate stakeholder engagement. For the wider design community, analysis of the data highlights the applicability and significance of prioritizing key stakeholders, integrating desired engagement policies within an institution’s management structures and frameworks and their effect on building performance
Effect of Cavities on the Behaviour of Strip Footing Subjected to Inclined Load

One of the important concerns within the field of geotechnical engineering is the presence of cavities in soils. This present work is an attempt to understand the behaviour of strip footing subjected to inclined load and constructed on cavitied soil. The failure mechanism of strip footing located above such soils was studied analytically. The capability of analytical model to correctly expect the system behaviour is assessed by carrying out verification analysis on available studies. The study was prepared by finite element software (PLAXIS) in which an elastic-perfectly plastic soil model was used. It was indicated, from the results of the study, that the load carrying capacity of foundation constructed on cavity can be analysed well using such analysis. The research covered many foundation cases, and in each foundation case, there occurs a critical depth under which the presence of cavities has shown minimum impact on the foundation performance. When cavities are found above this critical depth, the load carrying capacity of the foundation differs with many influences, such as the location and size of the cavity and footing depth. Figures involving the load carrying capacity with the affecting factors studied are presented. These figures offer information beneficial for the design of strip footings rested on underground cavities. Moreover, the results might be used to design a shallow foundation constructed on cavitied soil, whereas the obtained failure mechanisms may be employed to improve numerical solutions for this kind of problems.

Dynamic Shear Energy Absorption of Ultra-High Performance Concrete

The exemplary mechanical performance and durability of ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) has led to its rapid emergence as an advanced cementitious material. The uncharacteristically high mechanical strength and ductility of UHPC makes it a promising potential material for defense structures which may be subject to highly dynamic loads like impact or blast. However, the mechanical response of UHPC under dynamic loading has not been fully characterized. In particular, there is a need to characterize the energy absorption of UHPC under high-frequency shear loading. This paper presents preliminary results from a parametric study of the dynamic shear energy absorption of UHPC using the Charpy impact test. UHPC mixtures with compressive strengths in the range of 100-150 MPa exhibited dynamic shear energy absorption in the range of 0.9-1.5 kJ/m. Energy absorption is shown to be sensitive to the water/cement ratio, silica fume content, and aggregate gradation. Energy absorption was weakly correlated to compressive strength. Results are highly sensitive to specimen preparation methods, and there is a demonstrated need for a standardized test method for high frequency shear in cementitious composites.

Seismic Base Shear Force Depending on Building Fundamental Period and Site Conditions: Deterministic Formulation and Probabilistic Analysis

The aim of this paper is to investigate the effect of the building fundamental period of reinforced concrete buildings of (6, 9, and 12-storey), with different floor plans: Symmetric, mono-symmetric, and unsymmetric. These structures are erected at different epicentral distances. Using the Boumerdes, Algeria (2003) earthquake data, we focused primarily on the establishment of the deterministic formulation linking the base shear force to two parameters: The first one is the fundamental period that represents the numerical fingerprint of the structure, and the second one is the epicentral distance used to represent the impact of the earthquake on this force. In a second step, with a view to highlight the effect of uncertainty in these parameters on the analyzed response, these parameters are modeled as random variables with a log-normal distribution. The variability of the coefficients of variation of the chosen uncertain parameters, on the statistics on the seismic base shear force, showed that the effect of uncertainty on fundamental period on this force statistics is low compared to the epicentral distance uncertainty influence.

Self-Healing Performance of Heavyweight Concrete with Steam Curing

In this study, the crack self-healing performance of the heavyweight concrete used in the walls of containers and structures designed to shield radioactive materials was investigated. A steam curing temperature that preserves self-healing properties and demolding strength was identified. The presented simultaneously mixing method using the expanding material and the fly ash in the process of admixture can maximize the self-curing performance. Also adding synthetic fibers in the heavyweight concrete improved the self-healing performance.

Probability-Based Damage Detection of Structures Using Model Updating with Enhanced Ideal Gas Molecular Movement Algorithm
Model updating method has received increasing attention in damage detection structures based on measured modal parameters. Therefore, a probability-based damage detection (PBDD) procedure based on a model updating procedure is presented in this paper, in which a one-stage model-based damage identification technique based on the dynamic features of a structure is investigated. The presented framework uses a finite element updating method with a Monte Carlo simulation that considers the uncertainty caused by measurement noise. Enhanced ideal gas molecular movement (EIGMM) is used as the main algorithm for model updating. Ideal gas molecular movement (IGMM) is a multiagent algorithm based on the ideal gas molecular movement. Ideal gas molecules disperse rapidly in different directions and cover all the space inside. This is embedded in the high speed of molecules, collisions between them and with the surrounding barriers. In IGMM algorithm to accomplish the optimal solutions, the initial population of gas molecules is randomly generated and the governing equations related to the velocity of gas molecules and collisions between those are utilized. In this paper, an enhanced version of IGMM, which removes unchanged variables after specified iterations, is developed. The proposed method is implemented on two numerical examples in the field of structural damage detection. The results show that the proposed method can perform well and competitive in PBDD of structures.
Stress Variation of Underground Building Structure during Top-Down Construction
In the construction of a building, it is necessary to minimize construction period and secure enough work space for stacking of materials during the construction especially in city area. In this manner, various top-down construction methods have been developed and widely used in Korea. This paper investigates the stress variation of underground structure of a building constructed by using SPS (Strut as Permanent System) known as a top-down method in Korea through an analytical approach. Various types of earth pressure distribution related to ground condition were considered in the structural analysis of an example structure at each step of the excavation. From the analysis, the most high member force acting on beams was found when the ground type was medium sandy soil and a stress concentration was found in corner area.
Mechanical Strengths of Self-Compacting Mortars Prepared with the Pozzolanic Cement in Aggressive Environments

The objective of this research is to study the physical and mechanical properties and durability of self-compacting mortars prepared by substituting a part of cement up to a percentage of 30% pozzolan according to different Blaine specific surface area (SSB1=7000 cm2/g and SSB=9000 cm2/g)). Order to evaluate durability, mortars were subjected to chemical attacks in various aggressive environments, a solution of a mixture of nitric acid and ammonium nitrate (HNO3 + NH4NO3) and a magnesium sulfate salt solution (MgSO4)) with a concentration of 10%, for a period of one month. This study is complemented by a comparative study of the durability of mortars elaborated with sulphate resistant cement (SRC). The results show that these mortars develop long-term, mechanical and chemical resistance better than mortars based Portland cement with 5% gypsum (CEM 1) and SRC. We found that the mass losses are lowest in mortars elaborated with pozzolanic cement (30% substitution with SSB2) in both of chemical attack solutions (3.28% in the solution acid and 1.16% in the salt solution) and the compressive strength gains of 14.68% and 8.5% respectively in the two media. This is due to the action of pozzolan which fixes portlandite to form hydrated calcium silicate (CSH) from the hydration of tricalcic silicate (C3S).

Speeding up Nonlinear Time History Analysis of Base-Isolated Structures Using a Nonlinear Exponential Model

The nonlinear time history analysis of seismically base-isolated structures can require a significant computational effort when the behavior of each seismic isolator is predicted by adopting the widely used differential equation Bouc-Wen model. In this paper, a nonlinear exponential model, able to simulate the response of seismic isolation bearings within a relatively large displacements range, is described and adopted in order to reduce the numerical computations and speed up the nonlinear dynamic analysis. Compared to the Bouc-Wen model, the proposed one does not require the numerical solution of a nonlinear differential equation for each time step of the analysis. The seismic response of a 3d base-isolated structure with a lead rubber bearing system subjected to harmonic earthquake excitation is simulated by modeling each isolator using the proposed analytical model. The comparison of the numerical results and computational time with those obtained by modeling the lead rubber bearings using the Bouc-Wen model demonstrates the good accuracy of the proposed model and its capability to reduce significantly the computational effort of the analysis.

Basic Research on Applying Temporary Work Engineering at the Design Phase

The application of constructability is increasingly required not only in the construction phase but also in the whole project stage. In particular, the proper application of construction experience and knowledge during the design phase enables the minimization of inefficiencies such as design changes and improvements in constructability during the construction phase. In order to apply knowledge effectively, engineering technology efforts should be implemented with design progress. Among many engineering technologies, engineering for temporary works, including facilities, equipment, and other related construction methods, is important to improve constructability. Therefore, as basic research, this study investigates the applicability of temporary work engineering during the design phase in the building construction industry. As a result, application of temporary work engineering has a greater impact on construction cost reduction and constructability improvement. In contrast to the existing design-bid-build method, the turn-key and CM (construct management) procurement methods currently being implemented in Korea are expected to have a significant impact on the direction of temporary work engineering. To introduce temporary work engineering, expert/professional organization training is first required, and a lack of client awareness should be preferentially improved. The results of this study are expected to be useful as reference material for the development of more effective temporary work engineering tasks and work processes in the future.

Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis of Base-Isolated Structures Using a Mixed Integration Method: Stability Aspects and Computational Efficiency
In order to reduce numerical computations in the nonlinear dynamic analysis of seismically base-isolated structures, a Mixed Explicit-Implicit time integration Method (MEIM) has been proposed. Adopting the explicit conditionally stable central difference method to compute the nonlinear response of the base isolation system, and the implicit unconditionally stable Newmark’s constant average acceleration method to determine the superstructure linear response, the proposed MEIM, which is conditionally stable due to the use of the central difference method, allows to avoid the iterative procedure generally required by conventional monolithic solution approaches within each time step of the analysis. The main aim of this paper is to investigate the stability and computational efficiency of the MEIM when employed to perform the nonlinear time history analysis of base-isolated structures with sliding bearings. Indeed, in this case, the critical time step could become smaller than the one used to define accurately the earthquake excitation due to the very high initial stiffness values of such devices. The numerical results obtained from nonlinear dynamic analyses of a base-isolated structure with a friction pendulum bearing system, performed by using the proposed MEIM, are compared to those obtained adopting a conventional monolithic solution approach, i.e. the implicit unconditionally stable Newmark’s constant acceleration method employed in conjunction with the iterative pseudo-force procedure. According to the numerical results, in the presented numerical application, the MEIM does not have stability problems being the critical time step larger than the ground acceleration one despite of the high initial stiffness of the friction pendulum bearings. In addition, compared to the conventional monolithic solution approach, the proposed algorithm preserves its computational efficiency even when it is adopted to perform the nonlinear dynamic analysis using a smaller time step.
An Advanced Exponential Model for Seismic Isolators Having Hardening or Softening Behavior at Large Displacements
In this paper, an advanced Nonlinear Exponential Model (NEM), able to simulate the uniaxial dynamic behavior of seismic isolators having a continuously decreasing tangent stiffness with increasing displacement in the relatively large displacements range and a hardening or softening behavior at large displacements, is presented. The mathematical model is validated by comparing the experimental force-displacement hysteresis loops obtained during cyclic tests, conducted on a helical wire rope isolator and a recycled rubber-fiber reinforced bearing, with those predicted analytically. Good agreement between the experimental and simulated results shows that the proposed model can be an effective numerical tool to predict the force-displacement relationship of seismic isolation devices within the large displacements range. Compared to the widely used Bouc-Wen model, unable to simulate the response of seismic isolators at large displacements, the proposed one allows to avoid the numerical solution of a first order nonlinear ordinary differential equation for each time step of a nonlinear time history analysis, thus reducing the computation effort. Furthermore, the proposed model can simulate the smooth transition of the hysteresis loops from small to large displacements by adopting only one set of five parameters determined from the experimental hysteresis loops having the largest amplitude.
Influence of Displacement Amplitude and Vertical Load on the Horizontal Dynamic and Static Behavior of Helical Wire Rope Isolators
In this paper, the results of experimental tests performed on a Helical Wire Rope Isolator (HWRI) are presented in order to describe the dynamic and static behavior of the selected metal device in three different displacements ranges, namely small, relatively large, and large displacements ranges, without and under the effect of a vertical load. A testing machine, allowing to apply horizontal displacement or load histories to the tested bearing with a constant vertical load, has been adopted to perform the dynamic and static tests. According to the experimental results, the dynamic behavior of the tested device depends on the applied displacement amplitude. Indeed, the HWRI displays a softening and a hardening stiffness at small and relatively large displacements, respectively, and a stronger nonlinear stiffening behavior at large displacements. Furthermore, the experimental tests reveal that the application of a vertical load allows to have a more flexible device with higher damping properties and that the applied vertical load affects much less the dynamic response of the metal device at large displacements. Finally, a decrease in the static to dynamic effective stiffness ratio with increasing displacement amplitude has been observed.
Simulation of Dynamic Behavior of Seismic Isolators Using a Parallel Elasto-Plastic Model
In this paper, a one-dimensional (1d) Parallel Elasto- Plastic Model (PEPM), able to simulate the uniaxial dynamic behavior of seismic isolators having a continuously decreasing tangent stiffness with increasing displacement, is presented. The parallel modeling concept is applied to discretize the continuously decreasing tangent stiffness function, thus allowing to simulate the dynamic behavior of seismic isolation bearings by putting linear elastic and nonlinear elastic-perfectly plastic elements in parallel. The mathematical model has been validated by comparing the experimental force-displacement hysteresis loops, obtained testing a helical wire rope isolator and a recycled rubber-fiber reinforced bearing, with those predicted numerically. Good agreement between the simulated and experimental results shows that the proposed model can be an effective numerical tool to predict the forcedisplacement relationship of seismic isolators within relatively large displacements. Compared to the widely used Bouc-Wen model, the proposed one allows to avoid the numerical solution of a first order ordinary nonlinear differential equation for each time step of a nonlinear time history analysis, thus reducing the computation effort, and requires the evaluation of only three model parameters from experimental tests, namely the initial tangent stiffness, the asymptotic tangent stiffness, and a parameter defining the transition from the initial to the asymptotic tangent stiffness.
Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis of Base-Isolated Structures Using a Partitioned Solution Approach and an Exponential Model

The solution of the nonlinear dynamic equilibrium equations of base-isolated structures adopting a conventional monolithic solution approach, i.e. an implicit single-step time integration method employed with an iteration procedure, and the use of existing nonlinear analytical models, such as differential equation models, to simulate the dynamic behavior of seismic isolators can require a significant computational effort. In order to reduce numerical computations, a partitioned solution method and a one dimensional nonlinear analytical model are presented in this paper. A partitioned solution approach can be easily applied to base-isolated structures in which the base isolation system is much more flexible than the superstructure. Thus, in this work, the explicit conditionally stable central difference method is used to evaluate the base isolation system nonlinear response and the implicit unconditionally stable Newmark’s constant average acceleration method is adopted to predict the superstructure linear response with the benefit in avoiding iterations in each time step of a nonlinear dynamic analysis. The proposed mathematical model is able to simulate the dynamic behavior of seismic isolators without requiring the solution of a nonlinear differential equation, as in the case of widely used differential equation model. The proposed mixed explicit-implicit time integration method and nonlinear exponential model are adopted to analyze a three dimensional seismically isolated structure with a lead rubber bearing system subjected to earthquake excitation. The numerical results show the good accuracy and the significant computational efficiency of the proposed solution approach and analytical model compared to the conventional solution method and mathematical model adopted in this work. Furthermore, the low stiffness value of the base isolation system with lead rubber bearings allows to have a critical time step considerably larger than the imposed ground acceleration time step, thus avoiding stability problems in the proposed mixed method.

Experimental Investigations on Nanoclay (Cloisite-15A) Modified Bitumen
This study investigated the influence of Cloisite-15A nanoclay on the physical, performance, and mechanical properties of bitumen binder. Cloisite-15A was blended in the bitumen in variegated percentages from 1% to 9% with increment of 2%. The blended bitumen was characterized using penetration, softening point, and dynamic viscosity using rotational viscometer, and compared with unmodified bitumen equally penetration grade 60/70. The rheological parameters were investigated using Dynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR), and mechanical properties were investigated by using Marshall Stability test. The results indicated an increase in softening point, dynamic viscosity and decrease in binder penetration. Rheological properties of bitumen increase complex modulus, decrease phase angle and improve rutting resistances as well. There was significant improvement in Marshall Stability, rather marginal improvement in flow value. The best improvement in the modified binder was obtained with 5% Cloisite-15A nanoclay.
Applicability of Overhangs for Energy Saving in Existing High-Rise Housing in Different Climates
Upgrading the thermal performance of building envelope of existing residential buildings is an effective way to reduce heat gain or heat loss. Overhang device is a common solution for building envelope improvement as it can cut down solar heat gain and thereby can reduce the energy used for space cooling in summer time. Despite that, overhang can increase the demand for indoor heating in winter due to its function of lowering the solar heat gain. Obviously, overhang has different impacts on energy use in different climatic zones which have different energy demand. To evaluate the impact of overhang device on building energy performance under different climates of China, an energy analysis model is built up in a computer-based simulation program known as DesignBuilder based on the data of a typical high-rise residential building. The energy simulation results show that single overhang is able to cut down around 5% of the energy consumption of the case building in the stand-alone situation or about 2% when the building is surrounded by other buildings in regions which predominantly rely on space cooling though it has no contribution to energy reduction in cold region. In regions with cold summer and cold winter, adding overhang over windows can cut down around 4% and 1.8% energy use with and without adjoining buildings, respectively. The results indicate that overhang might not an effective shading device to reduce the energy consumption in the mixed climate or cold regions.
Investigation of Building Loads Effect on the Stability of Slope

In big cities, construction on sloping land (landslide) is becoming increasingly prevalent due to the unavailability of flat lands. This has created a major challenge for structural engineers with regard to structure design, due to the difficulties encountered during the implementation of projects, both for the structure and the soil. This paper analyses the effect of the number of floors of a building, founded on isolated footing on the stability of the slope using the computer code finite element PLAXIS 2D v. 8.2. The isolated footings of a building in this case were anchored in soil so that the levels of successive isolated footing realize a maximum slope of base of three for two heights, which connects the edges of the nearest footings, according to the Algerian building code DTR-BC 2.331: Shallow foundations. The results show that the embedment of the foundation into the soil reduces the value of the safety factor due to the change of the stress state of the soil by these foundations. The number of floors a building has also influences the safety factor. It has been noticed from this case of study that there is no risk of collapse of slopes for an inclination between 5° and 8°. In the case of slope inclination greater than 10° it has been noticed that the urbanization is prohibited.

Self-Help Adaptation to Flooding in Low-Income Settlements in Chiang Mai, Thailand

This study aimed to determine low-income housing adaptations for flooding, which causes living problems and housing damage, and the results from improvement. Three low-income settlements in Chiang Mai which experienced different flood types, i.e. flash floods in Samukeepattana, drainage floods in Bansanku, and river floods in Kampangam, were chosen for the study. Almost all of the residents improved their houses to protect the property from flood damage by changing building materials to flood damage resistant materials for walls, floors, and other parts of the structure that were below the base of annual flood elevation. They could only build some parts of their own homes, so hiring skilled workers or contractors was still important. Building materials which have no need for any special tools and are easy to access and use for construction, as well as low cost, are selected for construction. The residents in the three slums faced living problems for only a short time and were able to cope with them. This may be due to the location of the three slums near the city where assistance is readily available. But the housing and the existence in the slums can endure only the regular floods and residence still have problems in unusual floods, which have been experienced 1-2 times during the past 10 years. The residents accept the need for evacuations and prepare for them. When faced with extreme floods, residence have evacuated to the nearest safe place such as schools and public building, and come back to repair the houses after the flood. These are the distinguishing characteristics of low-income living which can withstand serious situations due to the simple lifestyle. Therefore, preparation of living areas for use during severe floods and encouraging production of affordable flood resistant materials should be areas of concern when formulating disaster assistance policies for low income people.

Current Deflecting Wall: A Promising Structure for Minimising Siltation in Semi-Enclosed Docks
Many estuarine harbours in the world are facing the problem of siltation in docks, channel entrances, etc. The harbours in India are not an exception and require maintenance dredging to achieve navigable depths for keeping them operable. Hence, dredging is inevitable and is a costly affair. The heavy siltation in docks in well mixed tide dominated estuaries is mainly due to settlement of cohesive sediments in suspension. As such there is a need to have a permanent solution for minimising the siltation in such docks to alter the hydrodynamic flow field responsible for siltation by constructing structures outside the dock. One of such docks on the west coast of India, wherein siltation of about 2.5-3 m/annum prevails, was considered to understand the hydrodynamic flow field responsible for siltation. The dock is situated in such a region where macro type of semi-diurnal tide (range of about 5m) prevails. In order to change the flow field responsible for siltation inside the dock, suitability of Current Deflecting Wall (CDW) outside the dock was studied, which will minimise the sediment exchange rate and siltation in the dock. The well calibrated physical tidal model was used to understand the flow field during various phases of tide for the existing dock in Mumbai harbour. At the harbour entrance where the tidal flux exchanges in/out of the dock, measurements on water level and current were made to estimate the sediment transport capacity. The distorted scaled model (1:400 (H) & 1:80 (V)) of Mumbai area was used to study the tidal flow phenomenon, wherein tides are generated by automatic tide generator. Hydraulic model studies carried out under the existing condition (without CDW) reveal that, during initial hours of flood tide, flow hugs the docks breakwater and part of flow which enters the dock forms number of eddies of varying sizes inside the basin, while remaining part of flow bypasses the entrance of dock. During ebb, flow direction reverses, and part of the flow re-enters the dock from outside and creates eddies at its entrance. These eddies do not allow water/sediment-mass to come out and result in settlement of sediments in dock both due to eddies and more retention of sediment. At latter hours, current strength outside the dock entrance reduces and allows the water-mass of dock to come out. In order to improve flow field inside the dockyard, two CDWs of length 300 m and 40 m were proposed outside the dock breakwater and inline to Pier-wall at dock entrance. Model studies reveal that, during flood, major flow gets deflected away from the entrance and no eddies are formed inside the dock, while during ebb flow does not re-enter the dock, and sediment flux immediately starts emptying it during initial hours of ebb. This reduces not only the entry of sediment in dock by about 40% but also the deposition by about 42% due to less retention. Thus, CDW is a promising solution to significantly reduce siltation in dock.
Pervious Concrete for Road Intersection Drainage
Road performance and traffic safety are highly influenced by improper water drainage system performance, particularly within intersection areas. So, the aim of the presented paper is the evaluation of pervious concrete made with two types and two aggregate fractions for potential utilization in intersection drainage areas. Although the studied pervious concrete mixtures achieved proper drainage but lower strength characteristics, this pervious concrete has a good potential for enhancing pavement drainage systems if it is embedded on limited intersection areas.
Resources and Strategies towards the Development of a Sustainable Construction Materials Industry in Botswana
The economy of Botswana has increased extensively since its independence. In contrast to this increase, the construction industry which is one of the key indicators of a developing nation continues to be highly dependent on imported building material products from the neighbouring countries of South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Only two companies in the country currently blend cement. Even then, the overwhelming majority of raw materials used in the blends are imported. Furthermore, there are no glass manufacturers in Botswana. The ceramic industry is limited to the manufacture of clay bricks notwithstanding a few studios on crockery and sanitary ware which nonetheless use imported clay. This paper presents natural resources and industrial waste products in Botswana that can be used for the development of sustainable building materials. It also investigates at the distribution and cost of other widely used building materials in the country. Finally, the present paper looks at projects and national strategies aimed at a country-wide development of a sustainable building materials industry together with their successes and hitches.
Elaboration and Characterization of Self-Compacting Mortar Based Biopolymer
Lignin is a molecule derived from wood and also generated as waste from the paper industry. With a view to its valorization and protection of the environment, we are interested in its use as a superplasticizer-type adjuvant in mortars and concretes to improve their mechanical strengths. The additives of the concrete have a very strong influence on the properties of the fresh and / or hardened concrete. This study examines the development and use of industrial waste and lignin extracted from a renewable natural source (wood) in cementitious materials. The use of these resources is known at present as a definite resurgence of interest in the development of building materials. Physicomechanical characteristics of mortars are determined by optimization quantity of the natural superplasticizer. The results show that the mechanical strengths of mortars based on natural adjuvant have improved by 20% (64 MPa) for a W/C ratio = 0.4, and the amount of natural adjuvant of dry extract needed is 40 times smaller than commercial adjuvant. This study has a scientific impact (improving the performance of the mortar with an increase in compactness and reduction of the quantity of water), ecological use of the lignin waste generated by the paper industry) and economic reduction of the cost price necessary to elaboration of self-compacting mortars and concretes).
Long-Term Durability of Roller-Compacted Concrete Pavement

Roller-compacted concrete pavement (RCCP), an environmental friendly pavement of which load carry capacity benefitted from both hydration and aggregate interlock from roller compacting, demonstrated a superb structural performance for a relatively small amount of water and cement content. Even though an excellent structural performance can be secured, it is required to investigate roller-compacted concrete (RCC) under environmental loading and its long-term durability under critical conditions. In order to secure long-term durability, an appropriate internal air-void structure is required for this concrete. In this study, a method for improving the long-term durability of RCCP is suggested by analyzing the internal air-void structure and corresponding durability of RCC. The method of improving the long-term durability involves measurements of air content, air voids, and air-spacing factors in RCC that experiences changes in terms of type of air-entraining agent and its usage amount. This test is conducted according to the testing criteria in ASTM C 457, 672, and KS F 2456. It was found that the freezing-thawing and scaling resistances of RCC without any chemical admixture was quite low. Interestingly, an improvement of freezing-thawing and scaling resistances was observed for RCC with appropriate the air entraining (AE) agent content; Relative dynamic elastic modulus was found to be more than 80% for those mixtures. In RCC with AE agent mixtures, large amount of air was distributed within a range of 2% to 3%, and an air void spacing factor ranging between 200 and 300 μm (close to 250 μm, recommended by PCA) was secured. The long-term durability of RCC has a direct relationship with air-void spacing factor, and thus it can only be secured by ensuring the air void spacing factor through the inclusion of the AE in the mixture.

Utilizing Fly Ash Cenosphere and Aerogel for Lightweight Thermal Insulating Cement-Based Composites

Thermal insulating composites help to reduce the total power consumption in a building by creating a barrier between external and internal environment. Such composites can be used in the roofing tiles or wall panels for exterior surfaces. This study purposes to develop lightweight cement-based composites for thermal insulating applications. Waste materials like silica fume (an industrial by-product) and fly ash cenosphere (FAC) (hollow micro-spherical shells obtained as a waste residue from coal fired power plants) were used as partial replacement of cement and lightweight filler, respectively. Moreover, aerogel, a nano-porous material made of silica, was also used in different dosages for improved thermal insulating behavior, while poly vinyl alcohol (PVA) fibers were added for enhanced toughness. The raw materials including binders and fillers were characterized by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), X-Ray Fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis techniques in which various physical and chemical properties of the raw materials were evaluated like specific surface area, chemical composition (oxide form), and pore size distribution (if any). Ultra-lightweight cementitious composites were developed by varying the amounts of FAC and aerogel with 28-day unit weight ranging from 1551.28 kg/m3 to 1027.85 kg/m3. Excellent mechanical and thermal insulating properties of the resulting composites were obtained ranging from 53.62 MPa to 8.66 MPa compressive strength, 9.77 MPa to 3.98 MPa flexural strength, and 0.3025 W/m-K to 0.2009 W/m-K as thermal conductivity coefficient (QTM-500). The composites were also tested for peak temperature difference between outer and inner surfaces when subjected to heating (in a specially designed experimental set-up) by a 275W infrared lamp. The temperature difference up to 16.78 oC was achieved, which indicated outstanding properties of the developed composites to act as a thermal barrier for building envelopes. Microstructural studies were carried out by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) for characterizing the inner structure of the composite specimen. Also, the hydration products were quantified using the surface area mapping and line scale technique in EDS. The microstructural analyses indicated excellent bonding of FAC and aerogel in the cementitious system. Also, selective reactivity of FAC was ascertained from the SEM imagery where the partially consumed FAC shells were observed. All in all, the lightweight fillers, FAC, and aerogel helped to produce the lightweight composites due to their physical characteristics, while exceptional mechanical properties, owing to FAC partial reactivity, were achieved.

Artificial Neural Network Modeling and Genetic Algorithm Based Optimization of Hydraulic Design Related to Seepage under Concrete Gravity Dams on Permeable Soils
Hydraulic structures such as gravity dams are classified as essential structures, and have the vital role in providing strong and safe water resource management. Three major aspects must be considered to achieve an effective design of such a structure: 1) The building cost, 2) safety, and 3) accurate analysis of seepage characteristics. Due to the complexity and non-linearity relationships of the seepage process, many approximation theories have been developed; however, the application of these theories results in noticeable errors. The analytical solution, which includes the difficult conformal mapping procedure, could be applied for a simple and symmetrical problem only. Therefore, the objectives of this paper are to: 1) develop a surrogate model based on numerical simulated data using SEEPW software to approximately simulate seepage process related to a hydraulic structure, 2) develop and solve a linked simulation-optimization model based on the developed surrogate model to describe the seepage occurring under a concrete gravity dam, in order to obtain optimum and safe design at minimum cost. The result shows that the linked simulation-optimization model provides an efficient and optimum design of concrete gravity dams.
Effects of Free-Hanging Horizontal Sound Absorbers on the Cooling Performance of Thermally Activated Building Systems
Thermally Activated Building Systems (TABS) have proven to be an energy-efficient solution to provide buildings with an optimal indoor thermal environment. This solution uses the structure of the building to store heat, reduce the peak loads, and decrease the primary energy demand. TABS require the heated or cooled surfaces to be as exposed as possible to the indoor space, but exposing the bare concrete surfaces has a diminishing effect on the acoustic qualities of the spaces in a building. Acoustic solutions capable of providing optimal acoustic comfort and allowing the heat exchange between the TABS and the room are desirable. In this study, the effects of free-hanging units on the cooling performance of TABS and the occupants’ thermal comfort was measured in a full-scale TABS laboratory. Investigations demonstrate that the use of free-hanging sound absorbers are compatible with the performance of TABS and the occupant’s thermal comfort, but an appropriate acoustic design is needed to find the most suitable solution for each case. The results show a reduction of 11% of the cooling performance of the TABS when 43% of the ceiling area is covered with free-hanging horizontal sound absorbers, of 23% for 60% ceiling coverage ratio and of 36% for 80% coverage. Measurements in actual buildings showed an increase of the room operative temperature of 0.3 K when 50% of the ceiling surface is covered with horizontal panels and of 0.8 to 1 K for a 70% coverage ratio. According to numerical simulations using a new TRNSYS Type, the use of comfort ventilation has a considerable influence on the thermal conditions in the room; if the ventilation is removed, then the operative temperature increases by 1.8 K for a 60%-covered ceiling.
Simulation of the Visco-Elasto-Plastic Deformation Behaviour of Short Glass Fibre Reinforced Polyphthalamides
The importance of fibre reinforced plastics continually increases due to the excellent mechanical properties, low material and manufacturing costs combined with significant weight reduction. Today, components are usually designed and calculated numerically by using finite element methods (FEM) to avoid expensive laboratory tests. These programs are based on material models including material specific deformation characteristics. In this research project, material models for short glass fibre reinforced plastics are presented to simulate the visco-elasto-plastic deformation behaviour. Prior to modelling specimens of the material EMS Grivory HTV-5H1, consisting of a Polyphthalamide matrix reinforced by 50wt.-% of short glass fibres, are characterized experimentally in terms of the highly time dependent deformation behaviour of the matrix material. To minimize the experimental effort, the cyclic deformation behaviour under tensile and compressive loading (R = −1) is characterized by isothermal complex low cycle fatigue (CLCF) tests. Combining cycles under two strain amplitudes and strain rates within three orders of magnitude and relaxation intervals into one experiment the visco-elastic deformation is characterized. To identify visco-plastic deformation monotonous tensile tests either displacement controlled or strain controlled (CERT) are compared. All relevant modelling parameters for this complex superposition of simultaneously varying mechanical loadings are quantified by these experiments. Subsequently, two different material models are compared with respect to their accuracy describing the visco-elasto-plastic deformation behaviour. First, based on Chaboche an extended 12 parameter model (EVP-KV2) is used to model cyclic visco-elasto-plasticity at two time scales. The parameters of the model including a total separation of elastic and plastic deformation are obtained by computational optimization using an evolutionary algorithm based on a fitness function called genetic algorithm. Second, the 12 parameter visco-elasto-plastic material model by Launay is used. In detail, the model contains a different type of a flow function based on the definition of the visco-plastic deformation as a part of the overall deformation. The accuracy of the models is verified by corresponding experimental LCF testing.
Experimental Study of Local Scour Depth around Cylindrical Bridge Pier

The failure of bridges due to excessive local scour during floods poses a challenging problem to hydraulic engineers. The failure of bridges piers is due to many reasons such as localized scour combined with general riverbed degradation. In this paper, we try to estimate the temporal variation of scour depth at nonuniform cylindrical bridge pier, by experimental work conducted in hydraulic laboratories of Gaziantep University Civil Engineering Department on a flume having dimensions of 8.3 m length, 0.8 m width and 0.9 m depth. The experiments will be carried on 20 cm depth of sediment layer having d50=0.4 mm. Three bridge pier shapes having different scaled models will be constructed in a 1.5m of test section in the channel.

Waterproofing Agent in Concrete for Tensile Improvement

In construction, concrete is one of the materials that can commonly be used as for structural elements. Concrete consists of cement, sand, aggregate and water. Concrete can be added with admixture in the wet condition to suit the design purpose such as to prolong the setting time to improve workability. For strength improvement, concrete is being added with other hybrid materials to increase strength; this is because the tensile strength of concrete is very low in comparison to the compressive strength. This paper shows the usage of a waterproofing agent in concrete to enhance the tensile strength. High tensile concrete is expensive because the concrete mix needs fiber and also high cement content to be incorporated in the mix. High tensile concrete being used for structures that are being imposed by high impact dynamic load such as blast loading that hit the structure. High tensile concrete can be defined as a concrete mix design that achieved 30%-40% tensile strength compared to its compression strength. This research evaluates the usage of a waterproofing agent in a concrete mix as an element of reinforcement to enhance the tensile strength. According to the compression and tensile test, it shows that the concrete mix with a waterproofing agent enhanced the mechanical properties of the concrete. It is also show that the composite concrete with waterproofing is a high tensile concrete; this is because of the tensile is between 30% and 40% of the compression strength. This mix is economical because it can produce high tensile concrete with low cost.

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