Public Participation Regarding Heritage Preservation in Former Communist Countries: The Case of Tobacco City in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

In times of rapid globalization, the significance of cultural and architectural heritage is rising, as it is a key element to define the identity of a place, a city, even a country. Its preservation, conservation, and revitalization are everyone’s responsibility, and the public is growing more aware of that fact. The citizens are looking for a way to actively participate in the decision-making in projects regarding heritage sites. Public involvement in the planning process is not a new phenomenon, especially in Western countries. However, countries, such as the former communist states of Eastern Europe, have been less studied. Based on established theories, this paper analyses the level of citizens’ inclusion in projects regarding heritage preservation, using the example of the Tobacco City in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. As this case is exemplary for Bulgaria, it illustrates the current condition of public participation country-wise. At the same time, considering the former communist states have had a similar socio-economic and political development in the past several decades, it is possible to apply the conclusions to most of these countries with only slight variations.

Urban Development from the Perspective of Lou Gang Polder System: Taihu Lake, Huzhou as an Example

Lou Gang world irrigation project heritage in Taihu Lake is a systematic irrigation project integrating water conservancy, ecology and culture. Through the methods of historical documents and field investigation, this paper deeply analyzes the formation history, connotation and value of Lou Gang polder system: Lou Gang heritage, describes in detail the relationship between Lou Gang polder system in Taihu Lake and the development and evolution of Huzhou City, and initially explores the protection and Utilization Strategies of Lou Gang water conservancy cultural heritage resources in Taihu Lake from the current situation.

Causality between the Construction Industry and the GDP in the United Arab Emirates

In light of the repercussions of the 2008 global economic crisis, the response of the United Arab Emirates economy and growth, and the vast construction activities that are undergoing, there is a need to investigate the relationship between construction activities and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This study aims to investigate the causality relationship between the construction industry in the United Arab Emirates and the GDP of the country in the last decade. For that, this study will investigate the relationship between the growth of the GDP and the growth of construction activities and their value addition to the economy. To ascertain this relationship, Granger Causality method is used to identify the causality between the time-dependent series.

Infrastructure Change Monitoring Using Multitemporal Multispectral Satellite Images

The main objective of this study is to find a suitable approach to monitor the land infrastructure growth over a period of time using multispectral satellite images. Bi-temporal change detection method is unable to indicate the continuous change occurring over a long period of time. To achieve this objective, the approach used here estimates a statistical model from series of multispectral image data over a long period of time, assuming there is no considerable change during that time period and then compare it with the multispectral image data obtained at a later time. The change is estimated pixel-wise. Statistical composite hypothesis technique is used for estimating pixel based change detection in a defined region. The generalized likelihood ratio test (GLRT) is used to detect the changed pixel from probabilistic estimated model of the corresponding pixel. The changed pixel is detected assuming that the images have been co-registered prior to estimation. To minimize error due to co-registration, 8-neighborhood pixels around the pixel under test are also considered. The multispectral images from Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8 from 2015 to 2018 are used for this purpose. There are different challenges in this method. First and foremost challenge is to get quite a large number of datasets for multivariate distribution modelling. A large number of images are always discarded due to cloud coverage. Due to imperfect modelling there will be high probability of false alarm. Overall conclusion that can be drawn from this work is that the probabilistic method described in this paper has given some promising results, which need to be pursued further.

A Comparison of Energy Calculations for a Single-Family Detached Home with Two Energy Simulation Methods

For newly produced houses and energy renovations, an energy calculation needs to be conducted. This is done to verify whether the energy consumption criteria of the house -to reach the energy targets by 2020 and 2050- are in-line with the norms. The main purpose of this study is to confirm whether easy to use energy calculation software or hand calculations used by small companies or individuals give logical results compared to advanced energy simulation program used by researchers or bigger companies. There are different methods for calculating energy consumption. In this paper, two energy calculation programs are used and the relation of energy consumption with solar radiation is compared. A hand calculation is also done to validate whether the hand calculations are still reasonable. The two computer programs which have been used are TMF Energi (the easy energy calculation variant used by small companies or individuals) and IDA ICE - Indoor Climate and Energy (the advanced energy simulation program used by researchers or larger companies). The calculations are done for a standard house from the Swedish house supplier Fiskarhedenvillan. The method is based on having the same conditions and inputs in the different calculation forms so that the results can be compared and verified. The house has been faced differently to see how the orientation affects energy consumption in different methods. The results for the simulations are close to each other and the hand calculation differs from the computer programs by only 5%. Even if solar factors differ due to the orientation of the house, energy calculation results from different computer programs and even hand calculation methods are in line with each other.

Influence of Behavior Models on the Response of a Reinforced Concrete Frame: Multi-Fiber Approach

The objective of this work is to study the influence of the nonlinear behavior models of the concrete (concrete_BAEL and concrete_UNI) as well as the confinement brought by the transverse reinforcement on the seismic response of reinforced concrete frame (RC/frame). These models as well as the confinement are integrated in the Cast3m finite element calculation code. The consideration of confinement (TAC, taking into account the confinement) provided by the transverse reinforcement and the non-consideration of confinement (without consideration of containment, WCC) in the presence and absence of a vertical load is studied. The application was made on a reinforced concrete frame (RC/frame) with 3 levels and 2 spans. The results show that on the one hand, the concrete_BAEL model slightly underestimates the resistance of the RC/frame in the plastic field, whereas the concrete_uni model presents the best results compared to the simplified model "concrete_BAEL", on the other hand, for the concrete-uni model, taking into account the confinement has no influence on the behavior of the RC/frame under imposed displacement up to a vertical load of 500 KN.

Thermoplastic Composites with Reduced Discoloration and Enhanced Fire-Retardant Property

This paper discusses a light-weight reinforced thermoplastic (LWRT) composite with superior fire retardancy. This porous LWRT composite is manufactured using polyolefin, fiberglass, and fire retardant additives via a wet-lay process. However, discoloration of the LWRT can be induced by various mechanisms, which may be a concern in the building and construction industry. It is commonly understood that discoloration is strongly associated with the presence of phenolic antioxidant(s) and NOx. The over-oxidation of phenolic antioxidant(s) is probably the root-cause of the discoloration (pinking/yellowing). Hanwha Azdel, Inc. developed a LWRT with fire-retardant property of ASTM E84-Class A specification, as well as negligible discoloration even under harsh conditions. In addition, this thermoplastic material is suitable for secondary processing (e.g. compression molding) if necessary.

Potential Use of Local Materials as Synthesizing One Part Geopolymer Cement

The work on indigenous binders in this paper focused on the following indigenous raw materials: red clay, red lava and pumice (as primary aluminosilicate precursors), wood ash and gypsum (as supplementary minerals), and sodium sulfate and lime (as alkali activators). The experimental methods used for evaluation of these indigenous raw materials included laser granulometry, x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy, and chemical reactivity. Formulations were devised for transforming these raw materials into alkali aluminosilicate-based hydraulic cements. These formulations were processed into hydraulic cements via simple heating and milling actions to render thermal activation, mechanochemical and size reduction effects. The resulting hydraulic cements were subjected to laser granulometry, heat of hydration and reactivity tests. These cements were also used to prepare mortar mixtures, which were evaluated via performance of compressive strength tests. The measured values of strength were correlated with the reactivity, size distribution and microstructural features of raw materials. Some of the indigenous hydraulic cements produced in this reporting period yielded viable levels of compressive strength. The correlation trends established in this work are being evaluated for development of simple and thorough methods of qualifying indigenous raw materials for use in production of indigenous hydraulic cements.

Concept to Enhance the Project Success and Promote the Implementation of Success Factors in Infrastructure Projects

Infrastructure projects are often subjected to delays and cost overruns and mistakenly described as unsuccessful projects. These projects have many peculiarities such as public attention, impact on the environment, subjected to special regulations, etc. They also deal with several stakeholders with different motivations and face unique risks. With this in mind we need to reconsider our approach to manage them, define their success factors and implement these success factors. Infrastructure projects are not only lacking a unified meaning of project success or a definition of success factors, but also a clear method to implement these factors. This paper investigates this gap and introduces a concept to implement success factors in an efficient way, taking into consideration the specific characteristics of infrastructure projects. This concept consists of six enablers such as project organization, project team, project management workflow, contract management, communication and knowledge transfer and project documentations. These enablers allow other success factors to be efficiently implemented in projects. In conclusion, this paper provides project managers as well as company managers with a tool to define and implement success factors efficiently in their projects, along with upgrading their assets for the coming projects. This tool consists of processes and validated checklists to ensure the best use of company resources and knowledge. Due to the special features of infrastructure projects this tool will be tested in the German infrastructure market. However, it is meant to be adaptable to other markets and industries.

Numerical Study of Steel Structures Responses to External Explosions

Due to the constant increase in terrorist attacks, the research and engineering communities have given significant attention to building performance under explosions. This paper presents a methodology for studying and simulating the dynamic responses of steel structures during external detonations, particularly for accurately investigating the impact of incrementing charge weight on the members total behavior, resistance and failure. Prediction damage method was introduced to evaluate the damage level of the steel members based on five scenarios of explosions. Johnson–Cook strength and failure model have been used as well as ABAQUS finite element code to simulate the explicit dynamic analysis, and antecedent field tests were used to verify the acceptance and accuracy of the proposed material strength and failure model. Based on the structural response, evaluation criteria such as deflection, vertical displacement, drift index, and damage level; the obtained results show the vulnerability of steel columns and un-braced steel frames which are designed and optimized to carry dead and live load to resist and endure blast loading.

Sedimentary Response to Coastal Defense Works in São Vicente Bay, São Paulo

The article presents the evaluation of the effectiveness of two groins located at Gonzaguinha and Milionários Beaches, situated on the southeast coast of Brazil. The effectiveness of these coastal defense structures is evaluated in terms of sedimentary dynamics, which is one of the most important environmental processes to be assessed in coastal engineering studies. The applied method is based on the implementation of the Delft3D numerical model system tools. Delft3D-WAVE module was used for waves modelling, Delft3D-FLOW for hydrodynamic modelling and Delft3D-SED for sediment transport modelling. The calibration of the models was carried out in a way that the simulations adequately represent the region studied, evaluating improvements in the model elements with the use of statistical comparisons of similarity between the results and waves, currents and tides data recorded in the study area. Analysis of the maximum wave heights was carried to select the months with higher accumulated energy to implement these conditions in the engineering scenarios. The engineering studies were performed for two scenarios: 1) numerical simulation of the area considering only the two existing groins; 2) conception of breakwaters coupled at the ends of the existing groins, resulting in two “T” shaped structures. The sediment model showed that, for the simulated period, the area is affected by erosive processes and that the existing groins have little effectiveness in defending the coast in question. The implemented T structures showed some effectiveness in protecting the beaches against erosion and provided the recovery of the portion directly covered by it on the Milionários Beach. In order to complement this study, it is suggested the conception of further engineering scenarios that might recover other areas of the studied region.

Evaluation of the Effects of Urban Planning Decisions on Commercial Function and Site Selection Decisions: Ümraniye - Alemdağ Street Pedestrianization Project

Metropolitan areas need urban transformation and urban renewal in terms of their internal Dynamics. Since 1980, the İstanbul Metropolitan area has been started to urban growth, while the population was increasing and it has brought together masses that have different lifestyles and cultures. Commercial and residential areas' spatial needs and decisions are affected by these different lifestyles. As the terms shopping mall and commercial Street became widespread, consumption trends had changed depending on the socio-economic characteristics of the people. Increase in demand for these areas, the number of shopping centers has increased, while the shopping streets started to be as effective as the shopping centers and have been pedestrianized. In this article, the change in commercial area site selection by the dynamics of the population will be examined in cities that diverged from spatial-temporal limitations. In the study, the analysis of multilayered data using geographic information systems (GIS) will be used as a method. With this method, a more synthesistic approach will be introduced with the collection editing, querying, and analysis of geographical data in computer-based systems. While conducting this analysis, Alemdağ Street in the Ümraniye district of İstanbul, where a pedestrian decision was made, will be based on and the change in the commercial and residential functions before and after the pedestrianization decision will be evaluated.

Evaluation of the Rheological Properties of Bituminous Binders Modified with Biochars Obtained from Various Biomasses by Pyrolysis Method

In this study, apricot seed shell, walnut shell, and sawdust were chosen as biomass sources. The materials were sorted by using a sieve No. 50 and the sieved materials were subjected to pyrolysis process at 400 °C, resulting in three different biochar products. The resulting biochar products were added to the bitumen at three different rates (5%, 10% and 15%), producing modified bitumen. Penetration, softening point, rotation viscometer and dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) tests were conducted on modified binders. Thus the modified bitumen, which was obtained by using additives at 3 different rates obtained from biochar produced at 400 °C temperatures of 3 different biomass sources were compared and the effects of pyrolysis temperature and additive rates were evaluated. As a result of the conducted tests, it was determined that the rheology of the pure bitumen improved significantly as a result of the modification of the bitumen with the biochar. Additionally, with biochar additive, it was determined that the rutting parameter values obtained from softening point, viscometer and DSR tests were increased while the values in terms of penetration and phase angle decreased. It was also observed that the most effective biomass is sawdust while the least effective was ground apricot seed shell.

Urban Areas Management in Developing Countries: Analysis of the Urban Areas Crossed with Risk of Storm Water Drains, Aswan-Egypt

One of the most risky areas in Aswan is Abouelreesh, which is suffering from flood disasters, as heavy deluge inundates urban areas causing considerable damage to buildings and infrastructure. Moreover, the main problem was the urban sprawl towards this risky area. This paper aims to identify the urban areas located in the risk areas prone to flash floods. Analyzing this phenomenon needs a lot of data to ensure satisfactory results; however, in this case the official data and field data were limited, and therefore, free sources of satellite data were used. This paper used ArcGIS tools to obtain the storm water drains network by analyzing DEM files. Additionally, historical imagery in Google Earth was studied to determine the age of each building. The last step was to overlay the urban area layer and the storm water drains layer to identify the vulnerable areas. The results of this study would be helpful to urban planners and government officials to make the disasters risk estimation and develop primary plans to recover the risky area, especially urban areas located in torrents.

Semi-Transparent Dye-Sensitized Solar Panels for Energy Autonomous Greenhouses

Over 60% highly transparent quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) with dimension of 50x50 cm2 were fabricated via inkjet printing process using nanocomposite inks as raw materials and tested under outdoor illumination conditions. The cells were electrically characterized, and their possible application to the shell of greenhouses was also examined. The panel design was in Z-interconnection, where the working electrode was inkjet printed on one conductive glass and the counter electrode on a second glass in a sandwich configuration. Silver current collective fingers were printed on the glasses to make the internal electrical connections. In that case, the adjacent cells were connected in series via silver fingers and finally insulated using a UV curing resin to protect them from the corrosive (I-/I3-) redox couple of the electrolyte.

Comparing the Behaviour of the FRP and Steel Reinforced Shear Walls under Cyclic Seismic Loading in Aspect of the Energy Dissipation

Earthquakes claim thousands of lives around the world annually due to inadequate design of lateral load resisting systems particularly shear walls. Additionally, corrosion of the steel reinforcement in concrete structures is one of the main challenges in construction industry. Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) reinforcement can be used as an alternative to traditional steel reinforcement. FRP has several excellent mechanical properties than steel such as high resistance to corrosion, high tensile strength and light self-weight; additionally, it has electromagnetic neutrality advantageous to the structures where it is important such as hospitals, some laboratories and telecommunications. This paper is about results of experimental research and it is incorporating experimental testing of two medium-scale concrete shear wall samples; one reinforced with Basalt FRP (BFRP) bar and one reinforced with steel bars as a control sample. The samples are tested under quasi-static-cyclic loading following modified ATC-24 protocol standard seismic loading. The results of both samples are compared to allow a judgement about performance of BFRP reinforced against steel reinforced concrete shear walls. The results of the conducted researches show a promising momentum toward utilisation of the BFRP as an alternative to traditional steel reinforcement with the aim of improving durability with suitable energy dissipation in the reinforced concrete shear walls.  

Field Study on Thermal Performance of a Green Office in Bangkok, Thailand: A Possibility of Increasing Temperature Set-Points

In the tropics, indoor thermal environment is usually provided by a cooling mode to maintain comfort all year. Indoor thermal environment performance is sometimes different from the standard or from the first design process because of operation, maintenance, and utilization. The field study of thermal environment in the green building is still limited in this region, while the green building continues to increase. This study aims to clarify thermal performance and subjective perception in the green building by testing the temperature set-points. A Thai green office was investigated twice in October 2018 and in May 2019. Indoor environment variables (temperature, relative humidity, and wind velocity) were collected continuously. The temperature set-point was normally set as 23 °C, and it was changed into 24 °C and 25 °C. The study found that this gap of temperature set-point produced average room temperature from 22.7 to 24.6 °C and average relative humidity from 55% to 62%. Thermal environments slight shifted out of the ASHRAE comfort zone when the set-point was increased. Based on the thermal sensation vote, the feeling-colder vote decreased by 30% and 18% when changing +1 °C and +2 °C, respectively. Predicted mean vote (PMV) shows that most of the calculated median values were negative. The values went close to the optimal neutral value (0) when the set-point was set at 25 °C. The neutral temperature was slightly decreased when changing warmer temperature set-points. Building-related symptom reports were found in this study that the number of votes reduced continuously when the temperature was warmer. The symptoms that occurred by a cooler condition had the number of votes more than ones that occurred by a warmer condition. In sum, for this green office, there is a possibility to adjust a higher temperature set-point to +1 °C (24 °C) in terms of reducing cold sensitivity, discomfort, and symptoms. All results could support the policy of changing a warmer temperature of this office to become “a better green building”.

Assessment of Using Wastage Steel as Welded Reinforcement

This work is carried out to evaluate the possibility of using to-be-wasted steel as reinforcement after welding together pieces of reinforcing steel bars, left over during construction activities. Tests were performed on a total of nine samples. These were made by welding pieces of reinforcing steel bars purchased from the local scrap steel market. The samples were tested in uniaxial tension using a universal testing machine (UTM). It was found that the failure of the welded bars is governed by the thickness of the weld. It is concluded that suitable design of the weld is essential for achieving the desired level of ductility/elongation of these bars, if they are to be used as conventional reinforcement in reinforced concrete members.

Characterization and Design of a Crumb Rubber Modified Asphalt Mix Formulation

Laboratory trial results of mixing crumb rubber produced from discarded tires with 60/70 pen grade Kuwaiti bitumen are presented on this paper. PG grading and multiple stress creep recovery tests were conducted on Kuwaiti bitumen blended with 15% and 18% crumb rubber at temperatures ranging from 40 to 70 °C. The results from elastic recovery and non-recoverable creep presented optimum performance at 18% rubber content. The optimum rubberized-bitumen mix was next transformed into a pelletized form (PelletPave®), and was used as a partial replacement to the conventional bitumen in the manufacture of continuously graded hot mix asphalts at a number of binder contents. The trialed PelletPave® contents were at 2.5%, 3.0%, and 3.5% by mass of asphalt mix. In this investigation, it was not possible to utilize the results of standard Marshall method of mix design (i.e. volumetric, stability and flow tests) and subsequently additional assessment of mix compactability was carried out using gyratory compactor in order to determine the optimum PelletPave® and total binder contents.

Daily Site Risks Associated with Construction Projects and On-spot Corrective Measurements: Case Study of Revamping Projects in Kuwait Oil Company Fields Area

The growth and expansion of the industrial facilities comes proportional to the market increasing demand of products and services. Furthermore, raw material producers such as oil companies usually undergo massive revamping projects to maintain a synchronized supply. These revamping projects are usually delivered through challenging construction projects held and associated with daily site risks related to the construction process. Henceforth, a case study related to these risks and corresponding on-spot corrective measurements has been made on a certain number of construction project contractors at Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) to derive the benefits and overall effectiveness of the on-spot corrective measurements during the construction phase of a project, and how would the same help in avoiding major incidents, ensuring a smooth, cost effective and on time delivery of the project. Findings of this case study shall have an added value to the overall risk management process by minimizing the daily site risks that may affect the project lead time, resulting in an undisturbed on-site construction process.