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.

A Framework for Improving Trade Contractors’ Productivity Tracking Methods

Despite being one of the most significant economic contributors of the country, Canada’s construction industry is lagging behind other sectors when it comes to labor productivity improvements. The construction industry is very collaborative as a general contractor, will hire trade contractors to perform most of a project’s work; meaning low productivity from one contractor can have a domino effect on the shared success of a project. To address this issue and encourage trade contractors to improve their productivity tracking methods, an investigative study was done on the productivity views and tracking methods of various trade contractors. Additionally, an in-depth review was done on four standard tracking methods used in the construction industry: cost codes, benchmarking, the job productivity measurement (JPM) standard, and WorkFace Planning (WFP). The four tracking methods were used as a baseline in comparing the trade contractors’ responses, determining gaps within their current tracking methods, and for making improvement recommendations. 15 interviews were conducted with different trades to analyze how contractors value productivity. The results of these analyses indicated that there seem to be gaps within the construction industry when it comes to an understanding of the purpose and value in productivity tracking. The trade contractors also shared their current productivity tracking systems; which were then compared to the four standard tracking methods used in the construction industry. Gaps were identified in their various tracking methods and using a framework; recommendations were made based on the type of trade on how to improve how they track productivity.

Influence of Selected Finishing Technologies on the Roughness Parameters of Stainless Steel Manufactured by Selective Laser Melting Method

The new progressive method of 3D metal printing SLM (Selective Laser Melting) is increasingly expanded into the normal operation. As a result, greater demands are placed on the surface quality of the parts produced in this way. The article deals with research of selected finishing methods (tumbling, face milling, sandblasting, shot peening and brushing) and their impact on the final surface roughness. The 20 x 20 x 7 mm produced specimens using SLM additive technology on the Renishaw AM400 were subjected to testing of these finishing methods by adjusting various parameters. Surface parameters of roughness Sa, Sz were chosen as the evaluation criteria and profile parameters Ra, Rz were used as additional measurements. Optical measurement of surface roughness was performed on Alicona Infinite Focus 5. An experiment conducted to optimize the surface roughness revealed, as expected, that the best roughness parameters were achieved through a face milling operation. Tumbling is particularly suitable for 3D printing components, as tumbling media are able to reach even complex shapes and, after changing to polishing bodies, achieve a high surface gloss. Surface quality after tumbling depends on the process time. Other methods with satisfactory results are shot peening and tumbling, which should be the focus of further research.

Role of Sequestration of CO2 Due to the Carbonation in Total CO2 Emission Balance in Concrete Life

Calculation of the carbon footprint of cement concrete is a complex process including consideration of the phase of primary life (components and concrete production processes, transportation, construction works, maintenance of concrete structures) and secondary life, including demolition and recycling. Taking into consideration the effect of concrete carbonation can lead to a reduction in the calculated carbon footprint of concrete. In this paper, an example of CO2 balance for small bridge elements made of Portland cement reinforced concrete was done. The results include the effect of carbonation of concrete in a structure and of concrete rubble after demolition. It was shown that important impact of carbonation on the balance is possible only when rubble carbonation is possible. It was related to the fact that only the sequestration potential in the secondary phase of concrete life has significant value.

Accessibility and Visibility through Space Syntax Analysis of the Linga Raj Temple in Odisha, India

Since the early ages, the Hindu temples have been interpreted through various Vedic philosophies. These temples are visited by pilgrims which demonstrate the rituals and religious belief of communities, reflecting a variety of actions and behaviors. Darsana— a direct seeing, is a part of the pilgrimage activity. During the process of Darsana, a devotee is prepared for entry in the temple to realize the cognizing Truth culminating in visualizing the idol of God, placed at the Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum). For this, the pilgrim must pass through a sequential arrangement of spaces. During the process of progress, the pilgrims visualize the spaces differently from various points of views. The viewpoints create a variety of spatial patterns in the minds of pilgrims coherent to the Hindu philosophies. The space organization and its order are perceived by various techniques of spatial analysis. A temple, as examples of Kalinga stylistic variations, has been chosen for the study. This paper intends to demonstrate some visual patterns generated during the process of Darsana (visibility) and its accessibility by Point Isovist Studies and Visibility Graph Analysis from the entrance (Simha Dwara) to The Sanctum sanctorum (Garbhagriha).

Performance Analysis of Three Absorption Heat Pump Cycles, Full and Partial Loads Operations

The environmental concerns related to global warming and ozone layer depletion along with the growing worldwide demand for heating and cooling have brought an increasing attention toward ecological and efficient Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. Furthermore, since space heating accounts for a considerable part of the European primary/final energy use, it has been identified as one of the sectors with the most challenging targets in energy use reduction. Heat pumps are commonly considered as a technology able to contribute to the achievement of the targets. Current research focuses on the full load operation and seasonal performance assessment of three gas-driven absorption heat pump cycles. To do this, investigations of the gas-driven air-source ammonia-water absorption heat pump systems for small-scale space heating applications are presented. For each of the presented cycles, both full-load under various temperature conditions and seasonal performances are predicted by means of numerical simulations. It has been considered that small capacity appliances are usually equipped with fixed geometry restrictors, meaning that the solution mass flow rate is driven by the pressure difference across the associated restrictor valve. Results show that gas utilization efficiency (GUE) of the cycles varies between 1.2 and 1.7 for both full and partial loads and vapor exchange (VX) cycle is found to achieve the highest efficiency. It is noticed that, for typical space heating applications, heat pumps operate over a wide range of capacities and thermal lifts. Thus, partially, the novelty introduced in the paper is the investigation based on a seasonal performance approach, following the method prescribed in a recent European standard (EN 12309). The overall result is a modest variation in the seasonal performance for analyzed cycles, from 1.427 (single-effect) to 1.493 (vapor-exchange).

Numerical Investigation of the Jacketing Method of Reinforced Concrete Column

The first intent of this study is to develop a finite element model that can predict correctly the behavior of the reinforced concrete column. Second aim is to use the finite element model to investigate and evaluate the effect of the strengthening method by jacketing of the reinforced concrete column, by considering different interface contact between the old and the new concrete. Four models were evaluated, one by considering perfect contact, the other three models by using friction coefficient of 0.1, 0.3 and 0.5. The simulation was carried out by using Abaqus software. The obtained results show that the jacketing reinforcement led to significant increase of the global performance of the behavior of the simulated reinforced concrete column.

Reinforced Concrete, Problems and Solutions: A Literature Review

Reinforced concrete is a concrete lined with steel so that the materials work together in the resistance forces. Reinforcement rods or mesh are used for tensile, shear, and sometimes intense pressure in a concrete structure. Reinforced concrete is subject to many natural problems or industrial errors. The result of these problems is that it reduces the efficiency of the reinforced concrete or its usefulness. Some of these problems are cracks, earthquakes, high temperatures or fires, as well as corrosion of reinforced iron inside reinforced concrete. There are also factors of ancient buildings or monuments that require some techniques to preserve them. This research presents some general information about reinforced concrete, the pros and cons of reinforced concrete, and then presents a series of literary studies of some of the late published researches on the subject of reinforced concrete and how to preserve it, propose solutions or treatments for the treatment of reinforced concrete problems, raise efficiency and quality for a longer period. These studies have provided advanced and modern methods and techniques in the field of reinforced concrete.

The Necessity of Urban Boundaries in Planning Legislation: A Case Study in Bilecik, Turkey

In Turkey, while urban area boundaries are enlarged by making decisions on investment areas in cities, development plans are made according to government decisions, rather than scientific criteria. Even environment protection laws state that “if public interest is at stake”, areas under mandatory protection can be transformed into investment areas. This leads to destruction of valuable agricultural lands. Paper demonstrates loss of agricultural lands by superimposing plans, Suitability of the Lands for Agricultural Use and Google Earth Images in an exemplary settlement, and expresses that urban area boundaries should be included in legislation as an official boundary for all settlements.

Environmental Impact of Autoclaved Aerated Concrete in Modern Construction: A Case Study from the New Egyptian Administrative Capital

Building materials selection is critical for the sustainability of any project. The choice of building materials has a huge impact on the built environment and cost of projects. Building materials emit huge amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) due to the use of cement as a basic component in the manufacturing process and as a binder, which harms our environment. Energy consumption from buildings has increased in the last few years; a huge amount of energy is being wasted from using unsustainable building and finishing materials, as well as from the process of heating and cooling of buildings. In addition, the construction sector in Egypt is taking a good portion of the economy; however, there is a lack of awareness of buildings environmental impacts on the built environment. Using advanced building materials and different wall systems can help in reducing heat consumption, the project’s initial and long-term costs, and minimizing the environmental impacts. Red Bricks is one of the materials that are being used widely in Egypt. There are many other types of bricks such as Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC); however, the use of Red Bricks is dominating the construction industry due to its affordability and availability. This research focuses on the New Egyptian Administrative Capital as a case study to investigate the potential of the influence of using different wall systems such as AAC on the project’s cost and the environment. The aim of this research is to conduct a comparative analysis between the traditional and most commonly used bricks in Egypt, which is Red Bricks, and AAC wall systems. Through an economic and environmental study, the difference between the two wall systems will be justified to encourage the utilization of uncommon techniques in the construction industry to build more affordable, energy efficient and sustainable buildings. The significance of this research is to show the potential of using AAC in the construction industry and its positive influences. The study analyzes the factors associated with choosing suitable building materials for different projects according to the need and criteria of each project and its nature without harming the environment and wasting materials that could be saved or recycled. The New Egyptian Administrative Capital is considered as the country’s new heart, where ideas regarding energy savings and environmental benefits are taken into consideration. Meaning that, Egypt is taking good steps to move towards more sustainable construction. According to the analysis and site visits, there is a potential in reducing the initial costs of buildings by 12.1% and saving energy by using different techniques up to 25%. Interviews with the mega structures project engineers and managers reveal that they are more open to introducing sustainable building materials that will help in saving the environment and moving towards green construction as well as to studying more effective techniques for energy conservation.

An Evaluation of the Feasibility of Several Industrial Wastes and Natural Materials as Precursors for the Production of Alkali Activated Materials

In order to face current compelling environmental problems affecting the planet, the construction industry needs to adapt. It is widely acknowledged that there is a need for durable, high-performance, low-greenhouse gas emission binders that can be used as an alternative to Portland cement (PC) to lower the environmental impact of construction. Alkali activated materials (AAMs) are considered a more sustainable alternative to PC materials. The binders of AAMs result from the reaction of an alkali metal source and a silicate powder or precursor which can be a calcium silicate or an aluminosilicate-rich material. This paper evaluates the particle size, specific surface area, chemical and mineral composition and amorphousness of silicate materials (most industrial waste locally produced in Ireland and Saudi Arabia) to develop alkali-activated binders that can replace PC resources in specific applications. These include recycled ceramic brick, bauxite, illitic clay, fly ash and metallurgical slag. According to the results, the wastes are reactive and comply with building standards requirements. The study also evidenced that the reactivity of the Saudi bauxite (with significant kaolinite) can be enhanced on thermal activation; and high calcium in the slag will promote reaction; which should be possible with low alkalinity activators. The wastes evidenced variable water demands that will be taken into account for mixing with the activators. Finally, further research is proposed to further determine the reactive fraction of the clay-based precursors.

Studying the Effect of Hydrocarbon Solutions on the Properties of Epoxy Polymer Concrete

The destruction effect of hydrocarbon solutions on concrete besides its high permeability have led researchers to try to improve the performance of concrete exposed to these solutions, hence improving the durability and usability of oil concrete structures. Recently, polymer concrete is considered one of the most important types of concrete, and its behavior after exposure to oil products is still unknown. In the present work, an experimental study has been carried out, in which the prepared epoxy polymer concrete immersed in different types of hydrocarbon exposure solutions (gasoline, kerosene, and gas oil) for 120 days and compared with the reference concrete left in the air. The results for outdoor specimens indicate that the mechanical properties are increased after 120 days, but the specimens that were immersed in gasoline, kerosene, and gas oil for the same period show a reduction in compressive strength by -21%, -27% and -23%, whereas in splitting tensile strength by -19%, -24% and -20%, respectively. The reductions in ultrasonic pulse velocity for cubic specimens are -17%, -22% and -19% and in cylindrical specimens are -20%, -25% and -22%, respectively.

Effects of Using Gusset Plate Stiffeners on the Seismic Performance of Concentrically Braced Frame

Inelastic deformation of the brace in Special Concentrically Braced Frame (SCBF) creates inelastic damages on gusset plate connections such as buckling at edges. In this study, to improve the seismic performance of SCBFs connections, an analytical study was undertaken. To improve the gusset plate connection, this study proposes using ‎edge’s stiffeners in both sides of gusset plate.‎ For this purpose, in order to examine edge’s stiffeners effect on gusset plate connections, two groups of modeling with and without considering edge’s stiffener and different types of braces were modeled using ABAQUS software. The results show that considering the edge’s stiffener reduces the equivalent plastic strain values at a connection region of gusset plate with beam and column, which can improve the seismic performance of gusset plate. Furthermore, considering the edge’s stiffeners significantly decreases the strain concentration at regions where gusset plates have been connected to beam and column. Moreover, considering 2tpl distance causes reduction in the plastic strain.