Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 19

Civil, Environmental, Structural, Construction and Architectural Engineering

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  • 19
    A Fuzzy Control System for Reducing Urban Stormwater Runoff by a Stormwater Storage Tank

    Stormwater storage tank (SST) is a popular low impact development technology for reducing stormwater runoff in the construction of sponge city. At present, it is difficult to perform the automatic control of SST for reducing peak flow. In this paper, fuzzy control was introduced into the peak control of SST to improve the efficiency of reducing stormwater runoff. Firstly, the design of SST was investigated. A catchment area and a return period were assumed, a SST model was manufactured, and then the storage capacity of the SST was verified. Secondly, the control parameters of the SST based on reducing stormwater runoff were analyzed, and a schematic diagram of real-time control (RTC) system based on peak control SST was established. Finally, fuzzy control system of a double input (flow and water level) and double output (inlet and outlet valve) was designed. The results showed that 1) under the different return periods (one year, three years, five years), the SST had the effect of delayed peak control and storage by increasing the detention time, 2) rainfall, pipeline flow, the influent time and the water level in the SST could be used as RTC parameters, and 3) the response curves of flow velocity and water level fluctuated very little and reached equilibrium in a short time. The combination of online monitoring and fuzzy control was feasible to control the SST automatically. This paper provides a theoretical reference for reducing stormwater runoff and improving the operation efficiency of SST.

    Construction 4.0: The Future of the Construction Industry in South Africa

    The construction industry is a renowned latecomer to the efficiency offered by the adoption of information technology. Whereas, the banking, manufacturing, retailing industries have keyed into the future by using digitization and information technology as a new approach for ensuring competitive gain and efficiency. The construction industry has yet to fully realize similar benefits because the adoption of ICT is still at the infancy stage with a major concentration on the use of software. Thus, this study evaluates the awareness and readiness of construction professionals towards embracing a full digitalization of the construction industry using construction 4.0. The term ‘construction 4.0’ was coined from the industry 4.0 concept which is regarded as the fourth industrial revolution that originated from Germany. A questionnaire was utilized for sourcing data distributed to practicing construction professionals through a convenience sampling method. Using SPSS v24, the hypotheses posed were tested with the Mann Whitney test. The result revealed that there are no differences between the consulting and contracting organizations on the readiness for adopting construction 4.0 concepts in the construction industry. Using factor analysis, the study discovers that adopting construction 4.0 will improve the performance of the construction industry regarding cost and time savings and also create sustainable buildings. In conclusion, the study determined that construction professionals have a low awareness towards construction 4.0 concepts. The study recommends an increase in awareness of construction 4.0 concepts through seminars, workshops and training, while construction professionals should take hold of the benefits of adopting construction 4.0 concepts. The study contributes to the roadmap for the implementation of construction industry 4.0 concepts in the South African construction industry.

    Effect of Using Crumb Rubber with Warm-Mix-Asphalt Additive in Laboratory and Field Aging

    Using a waste material such as crumb rubber (CR) obtained by waste tires has become an important issue in respect to sustainability. However, the CR modified mixture also requires high manufacture temperature as a polymer modified mixture. For this reason in this study, it is intended to produce a CR modified mixture with warm mix asphalt additives in the same mixture. Asphalt mixtures produced by pure, 10%CR, 10%CR+3% Sasobit and 10%CR+0.7% Evotherm were subjected to aging procedure in the laboratory and the field. The indirect tensile repeated tests were applied to aged and original specimens. It was concluded that the fatigue life of the mixtures increased significantly with the increase of aging time. CR+Sasobit modified mixture aged at the both field and laboratory gave the highest load cycle among the mixtures.

    Study on the Impact of Size and Position of the Shear Field in Determining the Shear Modulus of Glulam Beam Using Photogrammetry Approach
    The shear modulus of a timber beam can be determined using torsion test or shear field test method. The shear field test method is based on shear distortion measurement of the beam at the zone with the constant transverse load in the standardized four-point bending test. The current code of practice advises using two metallic arms act as an instrument to measure the diagonal displacement of the constructing square. The size and the position of the constructing square might influence the shear modulus determination. This study aimed to investigate the size and the position effect of the square in the shear field test method. A binocular stereo vision system has been employed to determine the 3D displacement of a grid of target points. Six glue laminated beams were produced and tested. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was performed on the acquired data to evaluate the significance of the size effect and the position effect of the square. The results have shown that the size of the square has a noticeable influence on the value of shear modulus, while, the position of the square within the area with the constant shear force does not affect the measured mean shear modulus.
    Analysis and Prediction of the Behavior of the Landslide at Ain El Hammam, Algeria Based on the Second Order Work Criterion
    The landslide of Ain El Hammam (AEH) is characterized by a complex geology and a high hydrogeology hazard. AEH's perpetual reactivation compels us to look closely at its triggers and to better understand the mechanisms of its evolution in mass and in depth. This study builds a numerical model to simulate the influencing factors such as precipitation, non-saturation, and pore pressure fluctuations, using Plaxis software. For a finer analysis of instabilities, we use Hill's criterion, based on the sign of the second order work, which is the most appropriate material stability criterion for non-associated elastoplastic materials. The results of this type of calculation allow us, in theory, to predict the shape and position of the slip surface(s) which are liable to ground movements of the slope, before reaching the rupture given by the plastic limit of Mohr Coulomb. To validate the numerical model, an analysis of inclinometer measures is performed to confirm the direction of movement and kinematic of the sliding mechanism of AEH’s slope.
    Microstructure, Compressive Strength and Transport Properties of High Strength Self-Compacting Concretes Containing Natural Pumice and Zeolite

    Due to the difficult placement and vibration between reinforcements of reinforced concrete and the defects that it may cause, the use of self-compacting concrete (SCC) is becoming more widespread. Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) is the most widely used binder in the construction industry. However, the manufacture of this cement results in a significant amount of CO2 being released, which is detrimental to the environment. Thus, an alternative to reduce the cost of SCC is the use of more economical and environmental mineral additives in partial or total substitution of Portland cement. Our study is in this context and aims to develop SCCs both economic and ecological. Two natural pozzolans such as pumice and zeolite are chosen in this research. This research tries to answer questions including the microstructure of the two types of natural pozzolan and their influence on the mechanical properties as well as on the transport property of SCC. Based on the findings of this study, the studied zeolite is a clinoptilolite that presents higher pozzolan activity compared to pumice. However, the use of zeolite decreases the compressive strength of SCC composites. On the contrary, the compressive strength in SCC containing of pumice increases at both early and long term ages with a remarkable increase at long term. A correlation is obtained between the compressive strength with permeable pore and capillary absorption. Also, the results concerning compressive strength and transport property are well justified by evaporable and non-evaporable water content measurement. This paper shows that the substitution of Portland cement by 15% of pumice or 10% of zeolite in HSSCC is suitable in all aspects. 

    Resistance to Sulfuric Acid Attacks of Self-Consolidating Concrete: Effect Metakaolin and Various Cements Types

    Due to their fluidity and simplicity of use, self-compacting concretes (SCCs) have undeniable advantages. In recent years, the role of metakaolin as a one of pozzolanic materials in concrete has been considered by researchers. It can modify various properties of concrete, due to high pozzolanic reactions and also makes a denser microstructure. The objective of this paper is to examine the influence of three type of Portland cement and metakaolin on fresh state, compressive strength and sulfuric acid attacks in self- consolidating concrete at early age up to 90 days of curing in lime water. Six concrete mixtures were prepared with three types of different cement as Portland cement type II, Portland Slag Cement (PSC), Pozzolanic Portland Cement (PPC) and 15% substitution of metakaolin by every cement. The results show that the metakaolin admixture increases the viscosity and the demand amount of superplasticizer. According to the compressive strength results, the highest value of compressive strength was achieved for PSC and without any metakaolin at age of 90 days. Conversely, the lowest level of compressive strength at all ages of conservation was obtained for PPC and containing 15% metakaolin. According to this study, the total substitution of PSC and PPC by Portland cement type II is beneficial to the increasing in the chemical resistance of the SCC with respect to the sulfuric acid attack. On the other hand, this increase is more noticeable by the use of 15% of metakaolin. Therefore, it can be concluded that metakaolin has a positive effect on the chemical resistance of SCC containing of Portland cement type II, PSC, and PPC.

    Influence of Metakaolin and Cements Types on Compressive Strength and Transport Properties of Self-Consolidating Concrete

    The self-consolidating concrete (SCC) performance over ordinary concrete is generally related to the ingredients used. The metakaolin can modify various properties of concrete, due to high pozzolanic reactions and also makes a denser microstructure. The objective of this paper is to examine the influence of three types of Portland cement and metakaolin on compressive strength and transport properties of SCC at early ages and up to 90 days. Six concrete mixtures were prepared with three types of different cements and substitution of 15% metakaolin. The results show that the highest value of compressive strength was achieved for Portland Slag Cement (PSC) and without any metakaolin at age of 90 days. Conversely, the lowest level of compressive strength at all ages of conservation was obtained for Pozzolanic Portland Cement (PPC) and containing 15% metakaolin. As can be seen in the results, compressive strength in SCC containing Portland cement type II with metakaolin is higher compared to that relative to SCC without metakaolin from 28 days of age. On the other hand, the samples containing PSC and PPC with metakaolin had a lower compressive strength than the plain samples. Therefore, it can be concluded that metakaolin has a negative effect on the compressive strength of SCC containing PSC and PPC. In addition, results show that metakaolin has enhanced chloride durability of SCCs and reduced capillary water absorption at 28, 90 days.

    Resistance to Chloride Penetration of High Strength Self-Compacting Concretes: Pumice and Zeolite Effect
    This paper aims to contribute to the characterization and the understanding of fresh state, compressive strength and chloride penetration tendency of high strength self-compacting concretes (HSSCCs) where Portland cement type II is partially substituted by 10% and 15% of natural pumice and zeolite. First, five concrete mixtures with a control mixture without any pozzolan are prepared and tested in both fresh and hardened states. Then, resistance to chloride penetration for all formulation is investigated in non-steady state and steady state by measurement of chloride penetration and diffusion coefficient. In non-steady state, the correlation between initial current and chloride penetration with diffusion coefficient is studied. Moreover, the relationship between diffusion coefficient in non-steady state and electrical resistivity is determined. The concentration of free chloride ions is also measured in steady state. Finally, chloride penetration for all formulation is studied in immersion and tidal condition. The result shows that, the resistance to chloride penetration for HSSCC in immersion and tidal condition increases by incorporating pumice and zeolite. However, concrete with zeolite displays a better resistance. This paper shows that the HSSCC with 15% pumice and 10% zeolite is suitable in fresh, hardened, and durability characteristics.
    Third Places for Social Sustainability: A Planning Framework Based on Local and International Comparisons

    Social sustainability, as an independent perspective of sustainable development, has gained some acknowledgement, becoming an important aspect in sustainable urban planning internationally. However, limited research aiming at promoting social sustainability within urban areas exists within the South African context. This is mainly due to the different perspectives of sustainable development (e.g., Environmental, Economic, and Social) not being equally prioritized by policy makers and supported by implementation strategies, guidelines, and planning frameworks. The enhancement of social sustainability within urban areas relies on urban dweller satisfaction and the quality of urban life. Inclusive cities with high-quality public spaces are proposed within this research through implementing the third place theory. Third places are introduced as any place other than our homes (first place) and work (second place) and have become an integrated part of sustainable urban planning. As Third Places consist of every place 'in between', the approach has taken on a large role of the everyday life of city residents, and the importance of planning for such places can only be measured through identifying and highlighting the social sustainability benefits thereof. The aim of this research paper is to introduce third place planning within the urban area to ultimately enhance social sustainability. Selected background planning approaches influencing the planning of third places will briefly be touched on, as the focus will be placed on the social sustainability benefits provided through third place planning within an urban setting. The study will commence by defining and introducing the concept of third places within urban areas as well as a discussion on social sustainability, acting as one of the three perspectives of sustainable development. This will gain the researcher an improved understanding on social sustainability in order for the study to flow into an integrated discussion of the benefits Third places provide in terms of social sustainability and the impact it has on improved quality of life within urban areas. Finally, a visual case study comparison of local and international examples of third places identified will be illustrated. These international case studies will contribute towards the conclusion of this study where a local gap analysis will be formulated, based on local third place evidence and international best practices in order to formulate a strategic planning framework on improving social sustainability through third place planning within the local South African context.

    Quality Function Deployment Application in Sewer Pipeline Assessment

    Infrastructure assets are essential in urban cities; their purpose is to facilitate the public needs. As a result, their conditions and states shall always be monitored to avoid any sudden malfunction. Sewer systems, one of the assets, are an essential part of the underground infrastructure as they transfer sewer medium to designated areas. However, their conditions are subject to deterioration due to ageing. Therefore, it is of great significance to assess the conditions of pipelines to avoid sudden collapses. Current practices of sewer pipeline assessment rely on industrial protocols that consider distinct defects and grades to conclude the limited average or peak score of the assessed assets. This research aims to enhance the evaluation by integrating the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and the Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) methods in assessing the condition of sewer pipelines. The methodology shall study the cause and effect relationship of the systems’ defects to deduce the relative influence weights of each defect. Subsequently, the overall grade is calculated by aggregating the WHAT’s and HOW’s of the House of Quality (HOQ) using the computed relative weights. Thus, this study shall enhance the evaluation of the assets to conclude informative rehabilitation and maintenance plans for decision makers.

    Influence of Recycled Concrete Aggregate Content on the Rebar/Concrete Bond Properties through Pull-Out Tests and Acoustic Emission Measurements

    Substituting natural aggregate with recycled aggregate coming from concrete demolition represents a promising alternative to face the issues of both the depletion of natural resources and the congestion of waste storage facilities. However, the crushing process of concrete demolition waste, currently in use to produce recycled concrete aggregate, does not allow the complete separation of natural aggregate from a variable amount of adhered mortar. Given the physicochemical characteristics of the latter, the introduction of recycled concrete aggregate into a concrete mix modifies, to a certain extent, both fresh and hardened concrete properties. As a consequence, the behavior of recycled reinforced concrete members could likely be influenced by the specificities of recycled concrete aggregates. Beyond the mechanical properties of concrete, and as a result of the composite character of reinforced concrete, the bond characteristics at the rebar/concrete interface have to be taken into account in an attempt to describe accurately the mechanical response of recycled reinforced concrete members. Hence, a comparative experimental campaign, including 16 pull-out tests, was carried out. Four concrete mixes with different recycled concrete aggregate content were tested. The main mechanical properties (compressive strength, tensile strength, Young’s modulus) of each concrete mix were measured through standard procedures. A single 14-mm-diameter ribbed rebar, representative of the diameters commonly used in the domain of civil engineering, was embedded into a 200-mm-side concrete cube. The resulting concrete cover is intended to ensure a pull-out type failure (i.e. exceedance of the rebar/concrete interface shear strength). A pull-out test carried out on the 100% recycled concrete specimen was enriched with exploratory acoustic emission measurements. Acoustic event location was performed by means of eight piezoelectric transducers distributed over the whole surface of the specimen. The resulting map was compared to existing data related to natural aggregate concrete. Damage distribution around the reinforcement and main features of the characteristic bond stress/free-end slip curve appeared to be similar to previous results obtained through comparable studies carried out on natural aggregate concrete. This seems to show that the usual bond mechanism sequence (‘chemical adhesion’, mechanical interlocking and friction) remains unchanged despite the addition of recycled concrete aggregate. However, the results also suggest that bond efficiency seems somewhat improved through the use of recycled concrete aggregate. This observation appears to be counter-intuitive with regard to the diminution of the main concrete mechanical properties with the recycled concrete aggregate content. As a consequence, the impact of recycled concrete aggregate content on bond characteristics seemingly represents an important factor which should be taken into account and likely to be further explored in order to determine flexural parameters such as deflection or crack distribution.

    Increasing Sustainability Using the Potential of Urban Rivers in Developing Countries with a Biophilic Design Approach

    Population growth, urban development and urban buildup have disturbed the balance between the nature and the city, and so leading to the loss of quality of sustainability of proximity to rivers. While in the past, the sides of urban rivers were considered as urban green space. Urban rivers and their sides that have environmental, social and economic values are important to achieve sustainable development. So far, efforts have been made at various scales in various cities around the world to revitalize these areas. On the other hand, biophilic design is an innovative design approach in which attention to natural details and relation to nature is a fundamental concept. The purpose of this study is to provide an integrated framework of urban design using the potential of urban rivers (in order to increase sustainability) with a biophilic design approach to be used in cities in developing countries. The methodology of the research is based on the collection of data and information from research and projects including a study on biophilic design, investigations and projects related to the urban rivers, and a review of the literature on sustainable urban development. Then studying the boundary of urban rivers is completed by examining case samples. Eventually, integrated framework of urban design, to design the boundaries of urban rivers in the cities of developing countries is presented regarding the factors affecting the design of these areas. The result shows that according to this framework, the potential of the river banks is utilized to increase not only the environmental sustainability but also social, economic and physical stability with regard to water, light, and the usage of indigenous materials, etc.

    Mechanical Characterization of Extrudable Foamed Concrete: An Experimental Study
    This paper is focused on the mechanical characterization of foamed concrete specimens with protein-based foaming agent. Unlike classic foamed concrete, a peculiar property of the analyzed foamed concrete is the extrudability, which is achieved via a specific additive in the concrete mix that significantly improves the cohesion and viscosity of the fresh cementitious paste. A broad experimental campaign was conducted to evaluate the compressive strength and the indirect tensile strength of the specimens. The study has comprised three different cement types, two water/cement ratios, three curing conditions and three target dry densities. The variability of the strength values upon the above mentioned factors is discussed.
    Effects of Preparation Conditions on the Properties of Crumb Rubber Modified Binder

    Various types of additives are used frequently in order to improve the rheological and mechanical properties of bituminous mixtures. Small devices instead of full scale machines are used for bitumen modification in the laboratory. These laboratory scale devices vary in terms of their properties such as mixing rate, mixing blade and the amount of binder. In this study, the effect of mixing rate and time during the bitumen modification processes on conventional and rheological properties of pure and crumb rubber modified binder were investigated. Penetration, softening point, rotational viscosity (RV) and dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) tests were applied to pure and CR modified bitumen. It was concluded that the penetration and softening point test did not show the efficiency of CR obtained by different mixing conditions. Besides, oxidation that occurred during the preparation processes plays a great part in the improvement effects of the modified binder.

    Empirical Roughness Progression Models of Heavy Duty Rural Pavements

    Empirical deterministic models have been developed to predict roughness progression of heavy duty spray sealed pavements for a dataset representing rural arterial roads. The dataset provides a good representation of the relevant network and covers a wide range of operating and environmental conditions. A sample with a large size of historical time series data for many pavement sections has been collected and prepared for use in multilevel regression analysis. The modelling parameters include road roughness as performance parameter and traffic loading, time, initial pavement strength, reactivity level of subgrade soil, climate condition, and condition of drainage system as predictor parameters. The purpose of this paper is to report the approaches adopted for models development and validation. The study presents multilevel models that can account for the correlation among time series data of the same section and to capture the effect of unobserved variables. Study results show that the models fit the data very well. The contribution and significance of relevant influencing factors in predicting roughness progression are presented and explained. The paper concludes that the analysis approach used for developing the models confirmed their accuracy and reliability by well-fitting to the validation data.

    Appropriate Technology: Revisiting the Movement in Developing Countries for Sustainability

    The economic growth of any nation is steered and dependent on innovation in technology. It can be preferably argued that technology has enhanced the quality of life. Technology is linked both with an economic and a social structure. But there are some parts of the world or communities which are yet to reap the benefits of technological innovation. Business and organizations are now well equipped with cutting-edge innovations that improve the firm performance and provide them with a competitive edge, but rarely does it have a positive impact on any community which is weak and marginalized. In recent times, it is observed that communities are actively handling social or ecological issues with the help of indigenous technologies. Thus, "Appropriate Technology" comes into the discussion, which is quite prevalent in the rural third world. Appropriate technology grew as a movement in the mid-1970s during the energy crisis, but it lost its stance in the following years when people started it to describe it as an inferior technology or dead technology. Basically, there is no such technology which is inferior or sophisticated for a particular region. The relevance of appropriate technology lies in penetrating technology into a larger and weaker section of community where the “Bottom of the pyramid” can pay for technology if they find the price is affordable. This is a theoretical paper which primarily revolves around how appropriate technology has faded and again evolved in both developed and developing countries. The paper will try to focus on the various concepts, history and challenges faced by the appropriate technology over the years. Appropriate technology follows a documented approach but lags in overall design and diffusion. Diffusion of technology into the poorer sections of community remains unanswered until the present time. Appropriate technology is multi-disciplinary in nature; therefore, this openness allows having a varied working model for different problems. Appropriate technology is a friendly technology that seeks to improve the lives of people in a constraint environment by providing an affordable and sustainable solution. Appropriate technology needs to be defined in the era of modern technological advancement for sustainability.

    Durability Aspects of Recycled Aggregate Concrete: An Experimental Study

    Aggregate compositions in the construction and demolition (C&D) waste have potential to replace normal aggregates. However, to re-utilise these aggregates, the concrete produced with these recycled aggregates needs to provide the desired compressive strength and durability. This paper examines the performance of recycled aggregate concrete made up of 60% recycled aggregates of 20 mm size in terms of durability tests namely rapid chloride permeability, drying shrinkage, water permeability, modulus of elasticity and creep without compromising the compressive strength. The experimental outcome indicates that recycled aggregate concrete provides strength and durability same as controlled concrete when processed for removal of adhered mortar.

    The Design of Safe Spaces in Healthcare Facilities Vulnerable to Tornado Impact in Central US

    In the wake of recent disasters happening around the world such as earthquake in Italy (January, 2017); hurricanes in the United States (US) (September 2016 and September 2017); and compounding disasters in Haiti (September 2010 and September 2016); to our best knowledge, never has the world seen the need to work on preemptive rather than reactionary measures to salvage this situation than now. Tornadoes are natural hazards that mostly affect mid-western and central states in the US. Tornadoes, like all natural hazards such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and others, are very destructive and result in massive destruction to homes, cause billions of dollars in damage and claims many lives. Healthcare facilities in general are vulnerable to disasters, and therefore, the safety of patients, health workers and those who come in to seek shelter should be a priority. The focus of this study is to assess disaster management measures instituted by healthcare facilities. Thus, the sole aim of the study is to examine the vulnerabilities and the design of safe spaces in healthcare facilities in Central US. Objectives that guide the study are to primarily identify the impacts of tornadoes in hospitals and to assess the structural design or specifications of safe spaces. St. John’s Regional Medical Center, now Mercy Hospital in Joplin, is used as a case study. Preliminary results show that the lateral base shear of the proposed design to be 684.24 ton (1508.49kip) for the safe space. Findings from this work will be used to make recommendations about the design of safe spaces for health care facilities in Central US.