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.

Understanding the Architecture of Hindu Temples: A Philosophical Interpretation

Vedic philosophy is one of the oldest existing philosophies of the world. Started around 6500 BC, in Western Indian subcontinent, the Indus valley Civilizations developed a theology which, gradually developed into a well-established philosophy of beliefs, popularly known as ‘Hindu religion’. In Vedic theology, the abstract concept of God was formulated mostly by close observation of the dynamicity and the recurrence of natural and universal phenomena. Through the ages, the philosophy of this theology went through various discursions, debates, and questionings and the abstract concept of God was, in time, formalized into more representational forms by the means of various signs and symbols. Often, these symbols were used in more subtle ways in the construction of “sacred” sculptures and structures. Apparently, two different philosophies were developed from the Vedic philosophy and these two philosophies are mostly seen in the northern part and southern part of the Indian subcontinent. This paper tries to summarize the complex philosophical treaties of Hinduism of northern and southern India and seeks to understand the meanings of the various signs and symbolisms that were incorporated in the architecture of Hindu temples, including the names given to various parts of the temples. The Hindu temples are not only places of worship or ‘houses of Gods’ like the Greek and Roman temples but are also structures that symbolize the dynamicity and also spiritual upliftment of human beings.

A Framework and Case Study for Sustainable Development of Urban Areas

This paper presents a multi-objective framework for sustainable urban development. The proposed framework aims to address different aspects of sustainability in urban development planning. These aspects include, but are not limited to education, health, job opportunities, architecture, culture, environment, mobility, energy, water, waste, and so on. Then, the proposed framework is applied to the Brackenridge Tract (an area in downtown Austin, Texas), to redevelop that area in a sustainable way. The detail of the implementation process is presented in this paper. The ultimate goal of this paper is to develop a sustainable area in downtown Austin with ensuring that it locally meets the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social, environmental, health as well as cultural aspects. Moreover, it helps the city with the population growth problem by accommodating more people in that area.

Seismic Performance of Reinforced Concrete Frame Structure Based on Plastic Rotation

The principal objective of this study is the evaluation of the seismic performance of reinforced concrete frame structures, taking into account of the behavior laws, reflecting the real behavior of materials, using CASTEM2000 software. A finite element model used is based in modified Takeda model with Timoshenko elements for columns and beams. This model is validated on a Vecchio experimental reinforced concrete (RC) frame model. Then, a study focused on the behavior of a RC frame with three-level and three-story in order to visualize the positioning the plastic hinge (plastic rotation), determined from the curvature distribution along the elements. The results obtained show that the beams of the 1st and 2nd level developed a very large plastic rotations, or these rotations exceed the values corresponding to CP (Collapse prevention with cp qCP = 0.02 rad), against those developed at the 3rd level, are between IO and LS (Immediate occupancy and life Safety with qIO = 0.005 rad and rad qLS = 0.01 respectively), so the beams of first and second levels submit a very significant damage.

Evaluations of 3D Concrete Printing Produced in the Environment of United Arab Emirates

3D concrete printing is one of the most innovative and modern techniques in the field of construction that achieved several milestones in that field for the following advantages: saving project’s time, ability to execute complicated shapes, reduce waste and low cost. However, the concept of 3D printing in UAE is relatively new where construction teams, including clients, consultants, and contractors, do not have the required knowledge and experience in the field. This is the most significant obstacle for the construction parties, which make them refrained from using 3D concrete printing compared to conventional concreting methods. This study shows the historical development of the 3D concrete printing, its advantages, and the challenges facing this innovation. Concrete mixes and materials have been proposed and evaluated to select the best combination for successful 3D concrete printing. The main characteristics of the 3D concrete printing in the fresh and hardened states are considered, such as slump test, flow table, compressive strength, tensile, and flexural strengths. There is need to assess the structural stability of the 3D concrete by testing the bond between interlayers of the concrete.  

Developing Improvements to Multi-Hazard Risk Assessments

This paper outlines the approaches taken to assess multi-hazard assessments. There is currently confusion in assessing multi-hazard impacts, and so this study aims to determine which of the available options are the most useful. The paper uses an international literature search, and analysis of current multi-hazard assessments and a case study to illustrate the effectiveness of the chosen method. Findings from this study will help those wanting to assess multi-hazards to undertake a straightforward approach. The paper is significant as it helps to interpret the various approaches and concludes with the preferred method. Many people in the world live in hazardous environments and are susceptible to disasters. Unfortunately, when a disaster strikes it is often compounded by additional cascading hazards, thus people would confront more than one hazard simultaneously. Hazards include natural hazards (earthquakes, floods, etc.) or cascading human-made hazards (for example, Natural Hazard Triggering Technological disasters (Natech) such as fire, explosion, toxic release). Multi-hazards have a more destructive impact on urban areas than one hazard alone. In addition, climate change is creating links between different disasters such as causing landslide dams and debris flows leading to more destructive incidents. Much of the prevailing literature deals with only one hazard at a time. However, recently sophisticated multi-hazard assessments have started to appear. Given that multi-hazards occur, it is essential to take multi-hazard risk assessment under consideration. This paper aims to review the multi-hazard assessment methods through articles published to date and categorize the strengths and disadvantages of using these methods in risk assessment. Napier City is selected as a case study to demonstrate the necessity of using multi-hazard risk assessments. In order to assess multi-hazard risk assessments, first, the current multi-hazard risk assessment methods were described. Next, the drawbacks of these multi-hazard risk assessments were outlined. Finally, the improvements to current multi-hazard risk assessments to date were summarised. Generally, the main problem of multi-hazard risk assessment is to make a valid assumption of risk from the interactions of different hazards. Currently, risk assessment studies have started to assess multi-hazard situations, but drawbacks such as uncertainty and lack of data show the necessity for more precise risk assessment. It should be noted that ignoring or partial considering multi-hazards in risk assessment will lead to an overestimate or overlook in resilient and recovery action managements.

Dynamic Study on the Evaluation of the Settlement of Soil under Sea Dam

In order to study the variation in settlement of soil under a dyke dam, the modelisation in our study consists of applying an imposed displacement at the base of the mass of soil (consisting of a saturated sand). The imposed displacement follows the evolution of acceleration of the earthquake of Boumerdes 2003 in Algeria. Moreover, the gravity load is taken into consideration by taking account the specific weight of the materials constituting the dyke. The results obtained show that the gravity loads have a direct influence on the evolution of settlement, especially at the center of the dyke where these loads are higher.

Postbuckling Analysis of End Supported Rods under Self-Weight Using Intrinsic Coordinate Finite Elements

A formulation of postbuckling analysis of end supported rods under self-weight has been presented by the variational method. The variational formulation involving the strain energy due to bending and the potential energy of the self-weight, are expressed in terms of the intrinsic coordinates. The variational formulation is accomplished by introducing the Lagrange multiplier technique to impose the boundary conditions. The finite element method is used to derive a system of nonlinear equations resulting from the stationary of the total potential energy and then Newton-Raphson iterative procedure is applied to solve this system of equations. The numerical results demonstrate the postbluckled configurations of end supported rods under self-weight. This finite element method based on variational formulation expressed in term of intrinsic coordinate is highly recommended for postbuckling analysis of end-supported rods under self-weight.

Mechanical Contribution of Silica Fume and Hydrated Lime Addition in Mortars Assessed by Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity Tests

The aim of the present study is to investigate the changes in the mechanical properties of mortars including additions of Condensed Silica Fume (CSF), Hydrated Lime (CH) or both at various amounts (5% to 15% of cement replacement) and high water ratios (w/b) (0.4 to 0.7). The physical and mechanical changes in the mixes were evaluated using non-destructive tests (Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity (UPV)) and destructive tests (crushing tests) on 28 day-long specimens consecutively, in order to assess CSF and CH replacement rate influence on the mechanical and physical properties of the mortars, as well as CSF-CH pre-mixing on the improvement of these properties. A significant improvement of the mechanical properties of the CSF, CSF-CH mortars, has been noted. CSF-CH mixes showed the best improvements exceeding 50% improvement, showing the sizable pozzolanic reaction contribution to the specimen strength development. UPV tests have shown increased velocities for CSF and CSH mixes, however no proportional evolution with compressive strengths could be noted. The results of the study show that CSF-CH addition could represent a suitable solution to significantly increase the mechanical properties of mortars.

Large Amplitude Free Vibration of a Very Sag Marine Cable

This paper focuses on a variational formulation of large amplitude free vibration behavior of a very sag marine cable. In the static equilibrium state, the marine cable has a very large sag configuration. In the motion state, the marine cable is assumed to vibrate in in-plane motion with large amplitude from the static equilibrium position. The total virtual work-energy of the marine cable at the dynamic state is formulated which involves the virtual strain energy due to axial deformation, the virtual work done by effective weight, and the inertia forces. The equations of motion for the large amplitude free vibration of marine cable are obtained by taking into account the difference between the Euler’s equation in the static state and the displaced state. Based on the Galerkin finite element procedure, the linear and nonlinear stiffness matrices, and mass matrices of the marine cable are obtained and the eigenvalue problem is solved. The natural frequency spectrum and the large amplitude free vibration behavior of marine cable are presented.

Social Interaction Dynamics Exploration: The Case Study of El Sherouk City

In Egypt, there is continuous housing demand as a result of rapid population growth. In 1979, this forced the government to establish new urban communities in order to decrease stress around delta. New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) was formulated to take the responsibly of this new policy. These communities suffer from social life deficiency due to their typology, which is separated island with barriers. New urban communities’ typology results from the influence of neoliberalism movement and modern city planning forms. The lack of social interaction in these communities at present should be enhanced in the future. On a global perspective, sustainable development calls for creating more sustainable communities which include social, economic and environmental aspects. From 1960, planners were highly focusing on the promotion of the social dimension in urban development plans. The research hypothesis states: “It is possible to promote social interaction in new urban communities through a set of socio-spatial recommended strategies that are tailored for Greater Cairo Region context”. In order to test this hypothesis, the case of El-Sherouk city is selected, which represents the typical NUCA development plans. Social interaction indicators were derived from literature and used to explore different social dynamics in the selected case. The tools used for exploring case study are online questionnaires, face to face questionnaires, interviews, and observations. These investigations were analyzed, conclusions and recommendations were set to improve social interaction.

Experimental Characterization of the Thermal Behavior of a Sawdust Mortar

Currently, the reduction of energy consumption, through the use of abundant and recyclable natural materials, for better thermal insulation represents an important area of research. To this end, the use of bio-sourced materials has been identified as one of the green sectors with a very high economic development potential for the future. Because of its role in reducing the consumption of fossil-based raw materials, it contributes significantly to the storage of atmospheric carbon, limits greenhouse gas emissions and creates new economic opportunities. This study constitutes a contribution to the elaboration and the experimental characterization of the thermal behavior of a sawdust-reduced mortar matrix. We have taken into account the influence of the size of the grain fibers of sawdust, hence the use of three different ranges and also different percentage in the different confections. The intended practical application consists of producing a light weight compound at a lower cost to ensure a better thermal and acoustic behavior compared to that existing in the field, in addition to the desired resistances. Improving energy performance, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector, is amongst the objectives to be achieved. The results are very encouraging and highlight the value of the proposed design of organic-source mortar panels which have specific mechanical properties acceptable for their use, low densities, lower cost of manufacture and labor, and above all a positive impact on the environment.

Influence of the Granular Mixture Properties on the Rheological Properties of Concrete: Yield Stress Determination Using Modified Chateau et al. Model

The prediction of the rheological behavior of concrete is at the center of current concerns of the concrete industry for different reasons. The shortage of good quality standard materials combined with variable properties of available materials imposes to improve existing models to take into account these variations at the design stage of concrete. The main reasons for improving the predictive models are, of course, saving time and cost at the design stage as well as to optimize concrete performances. In this study, we will highlight the different properties of the granular mixtures that affect the rheological properties of concrete. Our objective is to identify the intrinsic parameters of the aggregates which make it possible to predict the yield stress of concrete. The work was done using two typologies of grains: crushed and rolled aggregates. The experimental results have shown that the rheology of concrete is improved by increasing the packing density of the granular mixture using rolled aggregates. The experimental program realized allowed to model the yield stress of concrete by a modified model of Chateau et al. through a dimensionless parameter following Krieger-Dougherty law. The modelling confirms that the yield stress of concrete depends not only on the properties of cement paste but also on the packing density of the granular skeleton and the shape of grains.