Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 18

Civil, Environmental, Structural, Construction and Architectural Engineering

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  • 18
    Performance Assessment of the Gold Coast Desalination Plant Offshore Multiport Brine Diffuser during ‘Hot Standby’ Operation

    Alongside the rapid expansion of Seawater Reverse Osmosis technologies there is a concurrent increase in the production of hypersaline brine by-products. To minimize environmental impact, these by-products are commonly disposed into open-coastal environments via submerged diffuser systems as inclined dense jet outfalls. Despite the widespread implementation of this process, diffuser designs are typically based on small-scale laboratory experiments under idealistic quiescent conditions. Studies concerning diffuser performance in the field are limited. A set of experiments were conducted to assess the near field characteristics of brine disposal at the Gold Coast Desalination Plant offshore multiport diffuser. The aim of the field experiments was to determine the trajectory and dilution characteristics of the plume under various discharge configurations with production ranging 66 – 100% of plant operative capacity. The field monitoring system employed an unprecedented static array of temperature and electrical conductivity sensors in a three-dimensional grid surrounding a single diffuser port. Complimenting these measurements, Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers were also deployed to record current variability over the depth of the water column and wave characteristics. Recorded data suggested the open-coastal environment was highly active over the experimental duration with ambient velocities ranging 0.0 – 0.5 m∙s-1, with considerable variability over the depth of the water column observed. Variations in background electrical conductivity corresponding to salinity fluctuations of ± 1.7 g∙kg-1 were also observed. Increases in salinity were detected during plant operation and appeared to be most pronounced 10 – 30 m from the diffuser, consistent with trajectory predictions described by existing literature. Plume trajectories and respective dilutions extrapolated from salinity data are compared with empirical scaling arguments. Discharge properties were found to adequately correlate with modelling projections. Temporal and spatial variation of background processes and their subsequent influence upon discharge outcomes are discussed with a view to incorporating the influence of waves and ambient currents in the design of brine outfalls into the future.

    Identifying Dynamic Structural Parameters of Soil-Structure System Based on Data Recorded during Strong Earthquakes

    In many applied engineering problems, structural analysis is usually conducted by assuming a rigid bed, while imposing the effect of structure bed flexibility can affect significantly on the structure response. This article focuses on investigation and evaluation of the effects arising from considering a soil-structure system in evaluation of dynamic characteristics of a steel structure with respect to elastic and inelastic behaviors. The recorded structure acceleration during Taiwan’s strong Chi-Chi earthquake on different floors of the structure was our evaluation criteria. The respective structure is an eight-story steel bending frame structure designed using a displacement-based direct method assuring weak beam - strong column function. The results indicated that different identification methods i.e. reverse Fourier transform or transfer functions, is capable to determine some of the dynamic parameters of the structure precisely, rather than evaluating all of them at once (mode frequencies, mode shapes, structure damping, structure rigidity, etc.). Response evaluation based on the input and output data elucidated that the structure first mode is not significantly affected, even considering the soil-structure interaction effect, but the upper modes have been changed. Also, it was found that the response transfer function of the different stories, in which plastic hinges have occurred in the structure components, provides similar results.

    Evaluation of Applicability of High Strength Stirrup for Prestressed Concrete Members

    Recently, the use of high-strength materials is increasing as the construction of large structures and high-rise structures increases. This paper presents an analysis of the shear behavior of prestressed concrete members with various types of materials by simulating a finite element (FE) analysis. The analytical results indicated that the shear strength and shear failure mode were strongly influenced by not only the shear reinforcement ratio but also the yield strength of shear reinforcement and the compressive strength of concrete. Though the yield strength of shear reinforcement increased the shear strength of prestressed concrete members, there was a limit to the increase in strength because of the change of shear failure modes. According to the results of FE analysis on various parameters, the maximum yield strength of the steel stirrup that can be applied to prestressed concrete members was about 860 MPa.

    Influence of Local Soil Conditions on Optimal Load Factors for Seismic Design of Buildings

    Optimal load factors (dead, live and seismic) used for the design of buildings may be different, depending of the seismic ground motion characteristics to which they are subjected, which are closely related to the type of soil conditions where the structures are located. The influence of the type of soil on those load factors, is analyzed in the present study. A methodology that is useful for establishing optimal load factors that minimize the cost over the life cycle of the structure is employed; and as a restriction, it is established that the probability of structural failure must be less than or equal to a prescribed value. The life-cycle cost model used here includes different types of costs. The optimization methodology is applied to two groups of reinforced concrete buildings. One set (consisting on 4-, 7-, and 10-story buildings) is located on firm ground (with a dominant period Ts=0.5 s) and the other (consisting on 6-, 12-, and 16-story buildings) on soft soil (Ts=1.5 s) of Mexico City. Each group of buildings is designed using different combinations of load factors. The statistics of the maximums inter-story drifts (associated with the structural capacity) are found by means of incremental dynamic analyses. The buildings located on firm zone are analyzed under the action of 10 strong seismic records, and those on soft zone, under 13 strong ground motions. All the motions correspond to seismic subduction events with magnitudes M=6.9. Then, the structural damage and the expected total costs, corresponding to each group of buildings, are estimated. It is concluded that the optimal load factors combination is different for the design of buildings located on firm ground than that for buildings located on soft soil.

    Role of Facade in Sustainability Enhancement of Contemporary Iranian Buildings

    A growing demand for sustainability makes sustainability as one of the significant debates of nowadays. Energy saving is one of the main criteria to be considered in the context of sustainability. Reducing energy use in buildings is one of the most important ways to reduce humans’ overall environmental impact. Taking this into consideration, study of different design strategies, which can assist in reducing energy use and subsequently improving the sustainability level of today's buildings would be an essential task. The sustainability level of a building is highly affected by the sustainability performance of its components. One of the main building components, which can have a great impact on energy saving and sustainability level of the building, is its facade. The aim of this study is to investigate on the role of facade in sustainability enhancement of the contemporary buildings of Iran. In this study, the concept of sustainability in architecture, the building facades, and their relationship to sustainability are explained briefly. Following that, a number of contemporary Iranian buildings are discussed and analyzed in terms of different design strategies used in their facades in accordance to the sustainability concepts. The methods used in this study are descriptive and analytic. The results of this paper would assist in generating a wider vision and a source of inspiration for the current designers to design and create environmental and sustainable buildings for the future.

    Tactical Urbanism and Sustainability: Tactical Experiences in the Promotion of Active Transportation

    The overvaluation of the use of automobile has detrimentally affected the importance of pedestrians within the city and consequently its public spaces. As a way of treating contemporary urban paradigms, Tactical Urbanism aims to recover and activate spaces through fast and easily-applied actions that demonstrate the possibility of large-scale and long-term changes in cities. Tactical interventions have represented an important practice of redefining public spaces and urban mobility. The concept of Active Transportation coheres with the idea of sustainable urban mobility, characterizing the means of transportation through human propulsion, such as walking and cycling. This paper aims to debate the potential of Tactical Urbanism in promoting Active Transportation by revealing opportunities of transformation in the urban space of contemporary cities through initiatives that promote the protection and valorization of the presence of pedestrians and cyclists in cities, and that subvert the importance of motorized vehicles. In this paper, we present the character of these actions in two different ways: when they are used as tests for permanent interventions and when they have pre-defined start and end periods. Using recent initiatives to illustrate, we aim to discuss the role of small-scale actions in promoting and incentivizing a more active, healthy, sustainable and responsive urban way of life, presenting how some of them have developed through public policies. For that, we will present some examples of tactical actions that illustrate the encouragement of Active Transportation and trials to balance the urban opportunities for pedestrians and cyclists. These include temporary closure of streets, the creation of new alternatives and more comfortable areas for walking and cycling, and the subversion of uses in public spaces where the usage of cars are predominant.

    Numerical Solution of Manning's Equation in Rectangular Channels
    When the Manning equation is used, a unique value of normal depth in the uniform flow exists for a given channel geometry, discharge, roughness, and slope. Depending on the value of normal depth relative to the critical depth, the flow type (supercritical or subcritical) for a given characteristic of channel conditions is determined whether or not flow is uniform. There is no general solution of Manning's equation for determining the flow depth for a given flow rate, because the area of cross section and the hydraulic radius produce a complicated function of depth. The familiar solution of normal depth for a rectangular channel involves 1) a trial-and-error solution; 2) constructing a non-dimensional graph; 3) preparing tables involving non-dimensional parameters. Author in this paper has derived semi-analytical solution to Manning's equation for determining the flow depth given the flow rate in rectangular open channel. The solution was derived by expressing Manning's equation in non-dimensional form, then expanding this form using Maclaurin's series. In order to simplify the solution, terms containing power up to 4 have been considered. The resulted equation is a quartic equation with a standard form, where its solution was obtained by resolving this into two quadratic factors. The proposed solution for Manning's equation is valid over a large range of parameters, and its maximum error is within -1.586%.
    Mechanical Model of Gypsum Board Anchors Subjected Cyclic Shear Loading

    In this study, the mechanical model of various anchors embedded in gypsum board subjected cyclic shear loading were investigated. Shear tests for anchors embedded in 200 mm square size gypsum board were conducted to measure the load - load displacement curves. The strength of the gypsum board was changed for three conditions and 12 kinds of anchors were selected which were ordinary used for gypsum board anchoring. The loading conditions were a monotonous loading and a cyclic loading controlled by a servo-controlled hydraulic loading system to achieve accurate measurement. The fracture energy for each of the anchors was estimated by the analysis of consumed energy calculated by the load - load displacement curve. The effect of the strength of gypsum board and the types of anchors on the shear properties of gypsum board anchors was cleared. A numerical model to predict the load-unload curve of shear deformation of gypsum board anchors caused by such as the earthquake load was proposed and the validity on the model was proved.

    Variation of Quality of Roller-Compacted Concrete Based on Consistency

    Roller-compacted concrete (RCC) has been used for decades in many pavement applications due to its economic cost and high construction speed. However, due to the lack of deep researches and experiences, this material has not been widely employed. An RCC mixture with appropriate consistency can induce high compacted density, while high density can induce good aggregate interlock and high strength. Consistency of RCC is mainly known to define its constructability. However, it was not well specified how this property may affect other properties of a constructed RCC pavement (RCCP). This study suggested the possibility of an ideal range of consistency that may provide adequate quality of RCCP. In this research, five sections of RCCP consisted of both 13 mm and 19 mm aggregate sections were investigated. The effects of consistency on compacted depth, strength, international roughness index (IRI), skid resistance are examined. From this study, a new range of consistency is suggested for RCCP application.

    Optimal Maintenance Clustering for Rail Track Components Subject to Possession Capacity Constraints

    This paper studies the optimal maintenance planning of preventive maintenance and renewal activities for components in a single railway track when the available time for maintenance is limited. The rail-track system consists of several types of components, such as rail, ballast, and switches with different preventive maintenance and renewal intervals. To perform maintenance or renewal on the track, a train free period for maintenance, called a possession, is required. Since a major possession directly affects the regular train schedule, maintenance and renewal activities are clustered as much as possible. In a highly dense and utilized railway network, the possession time on the track is critical since the demand for train operations is very high and a long possession has a severe impact on the regular train schedule. We present an optimization model and investigate the maintenance schedules with and without the possession capacity constraint. In addition, we also integrate the social-economic cost related to the effects of the maintenance time to the variable possession cost into the optimization model. A numerical example is provided to illustrate the model.

    Economic Effects of Maritime Environmental Legislation in the North and Baltic Sea Area: An Exploratory Sequential Mixed Methods Approach

    Environmental legislation to protect North and Baltic Sea areas from harmful vessel-source emissions has received increased political attention in recent years. Legislative measures are expected to show positive effects on the health of the marine environment and society. At the same time, compliance might increase the costs to industry and have effects on freight rates and volumes shipped with potential negative repercussions on the environment. Building on an exploratory sequential mixed methods approach, this research project will study the economic effects of maritime environmental legislation in two phases. In Phase I, exploratory in-depth interviews were conducted with 12 experts from various stakeholder groups aiming at identifying variables influencing the relationship between environmental legislation, freight rates and volumes shipped. Influencing factors like compliance, enforcement and modal shift were identified and studied. Phase II will comprise of a quantitative study conducted with the aim of verifying the theory build in Phase I and quantifying economic effects of rules on shipping pollution. Research in this field might inform policy-makers about determinants of behaviour of ship operators in the face of the law and might further the development of a comprehensive legal system for marine environmental protection. At the present stage of research, first tentative results from the qualitative phase may be examined and open research questions to be addressed in the quantitative phase as well as possible research designs for phase II may be discussed. Input from other researchers will be highly valuable at this point.

    Best Combination of Design Parameters for Buildings with Buckling-Restrained Braces

    Buildings vulnerability due to seismic activity has been highly studied since the middle of last century. As a solution to the structural and non-structural damage caused by intense ground motions, several seismic energy dissipating devices, such as buckling-restrained braces (BRB), have been proposed. BRB have shown to be effective in concentrating a large portion of the energy transmitted to the structure by the seismic ground motion. A design approach for buildings with BRB elements, which is based on a seismic Displacement-Based formulation, has recently been proposed by the coauthors in this paper. It is a practical and easy design method which simplifies the work of structural engineers. The method is used here for the design of the structure-BRB damper system. The objective of the present study is to extend and apply a methodology to find the best combination of design parameters on multiple-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) structural frame – BRB systems, taking into account simultaneously: 1) initial costs and 2) an adequate engineering demand parameter. The design parameters considered here are: the stiffness ratio (α = Kframe/Ktotal), and the strength ratio (γ = Vdamper/Vtotal); where K represents structural stiffness and V structural strength; and the subscripts "frame", "damper" and "total" represent: the structure without dampers, the BRB dampers and the total frame-damper system, respectively. The selection of the best combination of design parameters α and γ is based on an initial costs analysis and on the structural dynamic response of the structural frame-damper system. The methodology is applied to a 12-story 5-bay steel building with BRB, which is located on the intermediate soil of Mexico City. It is found the best combination of design parameters α and γ for the building with BRB under study.

    A Causal Model for Environmental Design of Residential Community for Elderly Well-Being in Thailand

    This article is an extension of previous research presenting the relevant factors related to environmental perceptions, residential community, and the design of a healing environment, which have effects on the well-being and requirements of Thai elderly. Research methodology began with observations and interviews in three case studies in terms of the management processes and environment design of similar existing projects in Thailand. The interview results were taken to summarize with related theories and literature. A questionnaire survey was designed for data collection to confirm the factors of requirements in a residential community intended for the Thai elderly. A structural equation model (SEM) was formulated to explain the cause-effect factors for the requirements of a residential community for Thai elderly. The research revealed that the requirements of a residential community for Thai elderly were classified into three groups when utilizing a technique for exploratory factor analysis. The factors were comprised of (1) requirements for general facilities and activities, (2) requirements for facilities related to health and security, and (3) requirements for facilities related to physical exercise in the residential community. The results from the SEM showed the background of elderly people had a direct effect on their requirements for a residential community from various aspects. The results should lead to the formulation of policies for design and management of residential communities for the elderly in order to enhance quality of life as well as both the physical and mental health of the Thai elderly.

    Comparative Sulphate Resistance of Pozzolanic Cement Mortars

    This is report on experiment out to compare the sulphate resistance of sand mortar made with five different pozzolanic cement. The pozzolanic cement were prepared by blending powered burnt bricks from the Adamawa, Makurdi, Kano, Kaduna and Niger bricks factories with ordinary Portland cement in the ratio 1:4. Sand –pozzolanic cement mortars of mix ratio 1:6 and 1:3 with water-cement ratio of 0.65 and 0.40 respectively were used to prepare cubes and bars specimens. 150 mortar cubes of size 70mm x 70mm x 70mm and 35 mortar bars of 15mm x 15mm x 100mm dimensions were cast and cured for 28 days. The cured specimens then immersed in the solutions of K2SO4, (NH4)2SO4 and water for 28 days and then tested. The compressive strengths of cubes in water increased by 34% while those in the sulphate solutions decreased. Strength decreases of the cubes, cracking and warping of bars immersed in K2SO4 were less than those in (NH4)2SO4. Specimens made with Niger and Makurdi pulverized burnt bricks experienced less effect of the sulphates and can therefore be used as pozzolan in mortar and concrete to resist sulphate.

    Research on the Strategy of Whole-Life-Cycle Campus Design from the Perspective of Sustainable Concept: A Case Study on Hangzhou Senior High School in Zhejiang

    With the development of social economy and the popularization of quality education, the Chinese government invests more and more funding in education. Campus constructions are experiencing a great development phase. Under the trend of sustainable development, modern green campus design needs to meet new requirements of contemporary, informational and diversified education means and adapt to future education development. Educators, designers and other participants of campus design are facing new challenges. By studying and analyzing the universal unsatisfied current situations and sustainable development requirements of Chinese campuses, this paper summarizes the strategies and intentions of the whole-life-cycle campus design. In addition, a Chinese high school in Zhejiang province is added to illustrate the design cycle in an actual case. It is aimed to make all participants of campus design, especially the designers, to realize the importance of whole-life-cycle campus design and cooperate better. Sustainable campus design is expected to come true in deed instead of becoming a slogan in this way.

    Analysis on Urban Form and Evolution Mechanism of High-Density City: Case Study of Hong Kong

    Along with large population and great demands for urban development, Hong Kong serves as a typical high-density city with multiple altitudes, advanced three-dimensional traffic system, rich city open space, etc. This paper contributes to analyzing its complex urban form and evolution mechanism from three aspects of view, separately as time, space and buildings. Taking both horizontal and vertical dimension into consideration, this paper provides a perspective to explore the fascinating process of growing and space folding in the urban form of high-density city, also as a research reference for related high-density urban design.

    A Settlement Strategy for Health Facilities in Emerging Countries: A Case Study in Brazil
    A settlement strategy is to anticipate and respond the needs of existing and future communities through the provision of primary health care facilities in marginalized areas. Access to a health care network is important to improving healthcare coverage, often lacking, in developing countries. The study explores that a good sanitary system strategy of rural contexts brings advantages to an existing settlement: improving transport, communication, water and social facilities. The objective of this paper is to define a possible methodology to implement primary health care facilities in disadvantaged areas of emerging countries. In this research, we analyze the case study of Lauro de Freitas, a municipality in the Brazilian state of Bahia, part of the Metropolitan Region of Salvador, with an area of 57,662 km² and 194.641 inhabitants. The health localization system in Lauro de Freitas is an integrated process that involves not only geographical aspects, but also a set of factors: population density, epidemiological data, allocation of services, road networks, and more. Data were collected also using semi-structured interviews and questionnaires to the local population. Synthesized data suggest that moving away from the coast where there is the greatest concentration of population and services, a network of primary health care facilities is able to improve the living conditions of small-dispersed communities. Based on the health service needs of populations, we have developed a methodological approach that is particularly useful in rural and remote contexts in emerging countries.
    Heavy Metals in PM2.5 Aerosols in Urban Sites of Győr, Hungary

    Atmospheric concentrations of some heavy metal compounds (Pb, Cd, Ni) and the metalloid As were identified and determined in airborne PM2.5 particles in urban sites of Győr, northwest area of Hungary. PM2.5 aerosol samples were collected in two different sampling sites and the trace metal(loid) (Pb, Ni, Cd and As) content were analyzed by atomic absorption spectroscopy. The concentration of PM2.5 fraction was varied between 12.22 and 36.92 μg/m3 at the two sampling sites. The trend of heavy metal mean concentrations regarding the mean value of the two urban sites of Győr was found in decreasing order of Pb > Ni > Cd. The mean values were 7.59 ng/m3 for Pb, 0.34 ng/m3 for Ni and 0.11 ng/m3 for Cd, respectively. The metalloid As could be detected only in 3.57% of the total collected samples. The levels of PM2.5 bounded heavy metals were determined and compared with other cities located in Hungary.