Piezoelectric Bimorph Harvester Based on Different Lead Zirconate Titanate Materials to Enhance Energy Collection

Nowadays, the increasing applicability of internet of things (IoT) systems has changed the way that the world around is perceived. The massive interconnection of systems by means of sensing, processing and communication, allows multitude of data to be at our fingertips. In this way, countless advances have been made in different fields such as personal care, predictive maintenance in industry, quality control in production processes, security, and in everything imaginable. However, all these electronic systems have in common the need to be electrically powered. In this context, batteries and wires are the most commonly used solutions, but they are not a definitive solution in some applications, because of the attainability, the serviceability, or the performance requirements. Therefore, the need arises to look for other types of solutions based on energy harvesting and long-life electronics. Energy Harvesting can be defined as the action of capturing energy from the environment and store it for an instantaneous use or later use. Among the materials capable of harvesting energy from the environment, such as thermoelectrics, electromagnetics, photovoltaics or triboelectrics, the most suitable is the piezoelectric material. The phenomenon of piezoelectricity is one of the most powerful sources for energy harvesting, ranging from a few micro wats to hundreds of wats, depending on certain factors such as material type, geometry, excitation frequency, mechanical and electrical configurations, among others. In this research work, an exhaustive study is carried out on how different types of piezoelectric materials and electrical configurations influence the maximum power that a bimorph harvester is able to extract from mechanical vibrations. A series of experiments has been carried out in which the manufactured bimorph specimens are excited under fixed inertial vibrational conditions. In addition, in order to evaluate the dependence of the maximum transferred power, different load resistors are tested. In this way, the pure active power that achieves the maximum power transfer can be approximated. In this paper, we present the design of low-cost energy harvesting solutions based on piezoelectric smart materials with tunable frequency. The results obtained show the differences in energy extraction between the PZT materials studied and their electrical configurations. The aim of this work is to gain a better understanding of the behavior of piezoelectric materials, and the design process of bimorph PZT harvesters to optimize environmental energy extraction.

Paradigm of Digital Twin Application in Project Management in Architecture, Engineering and Construction

With the growing trend of adoption of advanced technologies like, building information modeling, artificial intelligence, wireless network, the collaboration and integration of these technologies into digital twin become more prominent in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry in view of the nature and scale of AEC industry which efficiently adopted the digital twin. Digital twin is provided to be effective for AEC professions for design and project management. The digital concept is continuously developing and it is vital for AEC professionals and other stakeholders to understand the digital twin concept and the adoption of various advanced building technologies related to the AEC industry. This paper is to review the application of digital twins application in project management in AEC industry and highlight the challenge of AEC partitioners faced by the revolution of technologies including digital twins and building information modelling (BIM) for further research and future study.

3D Modeling Approach for Cultural Heritage Structures: The Case of Virgin of Loreto Chapel in Cusco, Peru

Nowadays, Heritage Building Information Modeling (HBIM) is considered an efficient tool to represent and manage information of Cultural Heritage (CH). The basis of this tool relies on a 3D model generally obtained from a Cloud-to-BIM procedure. There are different methods to create an HBIM model that goes from manual modeling based on the point cloud to the automatic detection of shapes and the creation of objects. The selection of these methods depends on the desired Level of Development (LOD), Level of Information (LOI), Grade of Generation (GOG) as well as on the availability of commercial software. This paper presents the 3D modeling of a stone masonry chapel using Recap Pro, Revit and Dynamo interface following a three-step methodology. The first step consists of the manual modeling of simple structural (e.g., regular walls, columns, floors, wall openings, etc.) and architectural (e.g., cornices, moldings and other minor details) elements using the point cloud as reference. Then, Dynamo is used for generative modeling of complex structural elements such as vaults, infills and domes. Finally, semantic information (e.g., materials, typology, state of conservation, etc.) and pathologies are added within the HBIM model as text parameters and generic models’ families respectively. The application of this methodology allows the documentation of CH following a relatively simple to apply process that ensures adequate LOD, LOI and GOG levels. In addition, the easy implementation of the method as well as the fact of using only one BIM software with its respective plugin for the scan-to-BIM modeling process means that this methodology can be adopted by a larger number of users with intermediate knowledge and limited resources, since the BIM software used has a free student license.

Sustainable Engineering: Synergy of BIM and Environmental Assessment Tools in the Hong Kong Construction Industry

The construction industry plays an important role in environmental and carbon emissions as it consumes a huge amount of natural resources and energy. Sustainable engineering involves the process of planning, design, procurement, construction and delivery in which the whole building and construction process resulting from building and construction can be effectively and sustainability managed to achieve the use of natural resources. Implementation of sustainable technology development and innovation, adoption of the advanced construction process and facilitate the facilities management to implement the energy and waste control more accurately and effectively. Study and research in the relationship of BIM and environment assessment tools lack a clear discussion. In this paper, we will focus on the synergy of BIM technology and sustainable engineering in the AEC industry and outline the key factors which enhance the use of advanced innovation, technology and method and define the role of stakeholders to achieve zero-carbon emission toward the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. A case study of the adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and environmental assessment tools in Hong Kong will be discussed in this paper.

Cybersecurity for Digital Twins in the Built Environment: Research Landscape, Industry Attitudes and Future Direction

Technological advances in the construction sector are helping to make smart cities a reality by means of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). CPS integrate information and the physical world through the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT). An increasingly common goal in the built environment is to integrate Building Information Models (BIM) with Internet of Things (IoT) and sensor technologies using CPS. Future advances could see the adoption of digital twins, creating new opportunities for CPS using monitoring, simulation and optimisation technologies. However, researchers often fail to fully consider the security implications. To date, it is not widely possible to assimilate BIM data and cybersecurity concepts and, therefore, security has thus far been overlooked. This paper reviews the empirical literature concerning IoT applications in the built environment and discusses real-world applications of the IoT intended to enhance construction practices, people’s lives and bolster cybersecurity. Specifically, this research addresses two research questions: (a) How suitable are the current IoT and CPS security stacks to address the cybersecurity threats facing digital twins in the context of smart buildings and districts? and (b) What are the current obstacles to tackling cybersecurity threats to the built environment CPS? To answer these questions, this paper reviews the current state-of-the-art research concerning digital twins in the built environment, the IoT, BIM, urban cities and cybersecurity. The results of the findings of this study confirmed the importance of using digital twins in both IoT and BIM. Also, eight reference zones across Europe have gained special recognition for their contributions to the advancement of IoT science. Therefore, this paper evaluates the use of digital twins in CPS to arrive at recommendations for expanding BIM specifications to facilitate IoT compliance, bolster cybersecurity and integrate digital twin and city standards in the smart cities of the future.

Digital Transformation in Developing Countries: A Study into BIM Adoption in Thai Design and Engineering SMEs

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is the major technological trend among built environment organisations. Digitalising businesses and operations, BIM brings forth a digital transformation in any built environment industry. The adoption of BIM presents challenges for organisations, especially Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). The main problem for built environment SMEs is the lack of project actors with adequate BIM competences. The research highlights learning in projects as the key and explores into the learning of BIM in projects of designers and engineers within Thai design and engineering SMEs. The study uncovers three impeding attributes which are: a) lack of English proficiency; b) unfamiliarity with digital technologies; and c) absence of public standards. This research expands on the literature of BIM competences and adoption.

Experimental Study on the Variation of Young's Modulus of Hollow Clay Brick Obtained from Static and Dynamic Tests

In parallel with the appearance of new materials, brick masonry had and still has an essential part of the construction market today, with new technical challenges in designing bricks to meet additional requirements. Being used in structural applications, predicting the performance of clay brick masonry allows a significant cost reduction, in terms of practical experimentation. The behavior of masonry walls depends on the behavior of their elementary components, such as bricks, joints, and coatings. Therefore, it is necessary to consider it at different scales (from the scale of the intrinsic material to the real scale of the wall) and then to develop appropriate models, using numerical simulations. The work presented in this paper focuses on the mechanical characterization of the terracotta material at ambient temperature. As a result, the static Young’s modulus obtained from the flexural test shows different values in comparison with the compression test, as well as with the dynamic Young’s modulus obtained from the Impulse excitation of vibration test. Moreover, the Young's modulus varies according to the direction in which samples are extracted, where the values in the extrusion direction diverge from the ones in the orthogonal directions. Based on these results, hollow bricks can be considered as transversely isotropic bimodulus material.

A BIM-Based Approach to Assess COVID-19 Risk Management Regarding Indoor Air Ventilation and Pedestrian Dynamics

In the context of the international spread of COVID-19, the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB) has led a joint research with the French government authorities Hauts-de-Seine department, to analyse the risk in school spaces according to their configuration, ventilation system and spatial segmentation strategy. This paper describes the main results of this joint research. A multidisciplinary team involving experts in indoor air quality/ventilation, pedestrian movements and IT domains was established to develop a COVID risk analysis tool based on Building Information Model. The work started with specific analysis on two pilot schools in order to provide for the local administration specifications to minimize the spread of the virus. Different recommendations were published to optimize/validate the use of ventilation systems and the strategy of student occupancy and student flow segmentation within the building. This COVID expertise has been digitized in order to manage a quick risk analysis on the entire building that could be used by the public administration through an easy user interface implemented in a free BIM Management software. One of the most interesting results is to enable a dynamic comparison of different ventilation system scenarios and space occupation strategy inside the BIM model. This concurrent engineering approach provides users with the optimal solution according to both ventilation and pedestrian flow expertise.

Prioritizing the Most Important Information from Contractors’ BIM Handover for Firefighters’ Responsibilities

Fire service is responsible for protecting life, assets, and natural resources from fire and other hazardous incidents. Search and rescue in unfamiliar buildings is a vital part of firefighters’ responsibilities. Providing firefighters with precise building information in an easy-to-understand format is a potential solution for mitigating the negative consequences of fire hazards. The negative effect of insufficient knowledge about a building’s indoor environment impedes firefighters’ capabilities and leads to lost property. A data rich building information modeling (BIM) is a potentially useful source in three-dimensional (3D) visualization and data/information storage for fire emergency response. Therefore, this research’s purpose is prioritizing the required information for firefighters from the most important information to the least important. A survey was carried out with firefighters working in the Norman Fire Department to obtain the importance of each building information item. The results show that “the location of exit doors, windows, corridors, elevators, and stairs”, “material of building elements”, and “building data” are the three most important information specified by firefighters. The results also implied that the 2D model of architectural, structural and way finding is more understandable in comparison with the 3D model, while the 3D model of MEP system could convey more information than the 2D model. Furthermore, color in visualization can help firefighters to understand the building information easier and quicker. Sufficient internal consistency of all responses was proven through developing the Pearson Correlation Matrix and obtaining Cronbach’s alpha of 0.916. Therefore, the results of this study are reliable and could be applied to the population.

Implementation of Building Information Modeling in Turkish Government Sector Projects

In recent years, the Building Information Modeling (BIM) approach has been developed expeditiously. As people see the benefits of this approach, it has begun to be used widely in construction projects and some countries made it mandatory to get more benefits from it. To promote the implementation of BIM in construction projects, it will be helpful to get some relevant information from surveys and interviews. The purpose of this study is to research the current adoption and implementation of BIM in public projects in Turkey. This study specified the challenges of BIM implementation in Turkey and proposed some solutions to overcome them. In this context, the challenges for BIM implementation and the factors that affect the BIM usage are determined based on previous academic researches and expert opinions by conducting interviews and questionnaire surveys. Several methods are used to process information in order to obtain weights of different factors to make BIM widespread in Turkey. This study concluded interviews' and questionnaire surveys' outcomes and proposed some suggestions to promote the implementation of BIM in Turkey. We believe research findings will be a good reference for boosting BIM implementation in Turkey.

BIM Application Research Based on the Main Entrance and Garden Area Project of Shanghai Disneyland

Based on the main entrance and garden area (ME&G) project of Shanghai Disneyland, this paper introduces the application of BIM technology in this kind of low-rise comprehensive building with complex facade system, electromechanical system and decoration system. BIM technology is applied to the whole process of design, construction and completion of the whole project. With the construction of BIM application framework of the whole project, the key points of BIM modeling methods of different systems and the integration and coordination of BIM models are elaborated in detail. The specific application methods of BIM technology in similar complex low-rise building projects are sorted out. Finally, the paper summarizes the benefits of BIM technology application, and puts forward some suggestions for BIM management mode and practical application of similar projects in the future.

A Methodology to Virtualize Technical Engineering Laboratories: MastrLAB-VR

Due to the importance given today to innovation, the education sector is evolving thanks digital technologies. Virtual Reality (VR) can be a potential teaching tool offering many advantages in the field of training and education, as it allows to acquire theoretical knowledge and practical skills using an immersive experience in less time than the traditional educational process. These assumptions allow to lay the foundations for a new educational environment, involving and stimulating for students. Starting from the objective of strengthening the innovative teaching offer and the learning processes, the case study of the research concerns the digitalization of MastrLAB, High Quality Laboratory (HQL) belonging to the Department of Structural, Building and Geotechnical Engineering (DISEG) of the Polytechnic of Turin, a center specialized in experimental mechanical tests on traditional and innovative building materials and on the structures made with them. The MastrLAB-VR has been developed, a revolutionary innovative training tool designed with the aim of educating the class in total safety on the techniques of use of machinery, thus reducing the dangers arising from the performance of potentially dangerous activities. The virtual laboratory, dedicated to the students of the Building and Civil Engineering Courses of the Polytechnic of Turin, has been projected to simulate in an absolutely realistic way the experimental approach to the structural tests foreseen in their courses of study: from the tensile tests to the relaxation tests, from the steel qualification tests to the resilience tests on elements at environmental conditions or at characterizing temperatures. The research work proposes a methodology for the virtualization of technical laboratories through the application of Building Information Modelling (BIM), starting from the creation of a digital model. The process includes the creation of an independent application, which with Oculus Rift technology will allow the user to explore the environment and interact with objects through the use of joypads. The application has been tested in prototype way on volunteers, obtaining results related to the acquisition of the educational notions exposed in the experience through a virtual quiz with multiple answers, achieving an overall evaluation report. The results have shown that MastrLAB-VR is suitable for both beginners and experts and will be adopted experimentally for other laboratories of the University departments.

Ozone Assisted Low Temperature Catalytic Benzene Oxidation over Al2O3, SiO2, AlOOH Supported Ni/Pd Catalytic

Catalytic oxidation of benzene assisted by ozone, on alumina, silica, and boehmite-supported Ni/Pd catalysts was investigated at 353 K to assess the influence of the support on the reaction. Three bimetallic Ni/Pd nanosized samples with loading 4.7% of Ni and 0.17% of Pd supported on SiO2, AlOOH and Al2O3 were synthesized by the extractive-pyrolytic method. The phase composition was characterized by means of XRD and the surface area and pore size were estimated using Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) and Barrett–Joyner–Halenda (BJH) methods. At the beginning of the reaction, catalysts were significantly deactivated due to the accumulation of intermediates on the catalyst surface and after 60 minutes it turned stable. Ni/Pd/AlOOH catalyst showed the highest steady-state activity in comparison with the Ni/Pd/SiO2 and Ni/Pd/Al2O3 catalysts. Their activity depends on the ozone decomposition potential of the catalysts because of generating oxidizing active species. The sample with the highest ozone decomposition ability which correlated to the surface area of the support oxidizes benzene to the highest extent.

Risk Assessment of Building Information Modelling Adoption in Construction Projects

Building information modelling (BIM) is a new technology to enhance the efficiency of project management in the construction industry. In addition to the potential benefits of this useful technology, there are various risks and obstacles to applying it in construction projects. In this study, a decision making approach is presented for risk assessment in BIM adoption in construction projects. Various risk factors of exerting BIM during different phases of the project lifecycle are identified with the help of Delphi method, experts’ opinions and related literature. Afterward, Shannon’s entropy and Fuzzy TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Situation) are applied to derive priorities of the identified risk factors. Results indicated that lack of knowledge between professional engineers about workflows in BIM and conflict of opinions between different stakeholders are the risk factors with the highest priority.

Surface Water Pollution by Open Refuse Dumpsite in North Central of Nigeria

Water is a vital resource that is important in ensuring the growth and development of any country. To sustain the basic human needs and the demands for agriculture, industry, conservational and ecosystem, enough quality and quantity water is needed. Contamination of water resources is now a global and public health concern. Hence, this study assessed the water quality of Ndawuse River by measuring the physicochemical parameters and heavy metals concentrations of the river using standard methods. In total, 16 surface water samples were obtained from five locations along the river, from upstream to downstream as well as samples from the dumpsite. The results obtained were compared with the standard limits set by both the World Health Organization and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency for domestic purposes. The results of the measured parameters indicated that biological oxygen demand (85.88 mg/L), turbidity (44.51 NTU), Iron (0.014 - 3.511 mg /L) and chromium (0.078 - 0.14 mg /L) were all above the standard limits. The results further showed that the quality of surface water is being significantly affected by human activities around the Ndawuse River which could pose an adverse health risk to several communities that rely on this river as their primary source of water. Therefore, there is a need for strict enforcement of environmental laws to protect the aquatic ecosystem and to avoid long term cumulative exposure risk that heavy metals may pose on human health.

Implementation of a Multimodal Biometrics Recognition System with Combined Palm Print and Iris Features

With extensive application, the performance of unimodal biometrics systems has to face a diversity of problems such as signal and background noise, distortion, and environment differences. Therefore, multimodal biometric systems are proposed to solve the above stated problems. This paper introduces a bimodal biometric recognition system based on the extracted features of the human palm print and iris. Palm print biometric is fairly a new evolving technology that is used to identify people by their palm features. The iris is a strong competitor together with face and fingerprints for presence in multimodal recognition systems. In this research, we introduced an algorithm to the combination of the palm and iris-extracted features using a texture-based descriptor, the Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT). Since the feature sets are non-homogeneous as features of different biometric modalities are used, these features will be concatenated to form a single feature vector. Particle swarm optimization (PSO) is used as a feature selection technique to reduce the dimensionality of the feature. The proposed algorithm will be applied to the Institute of Technology of Delhi (IITD) database and its performance will be compared with various iris recognition algorithms found in the literature.

A Review on Building Information Modelling in Nigeria and Its Potentials

Construction Industry has been evolving since the development of Building Information Modelling (BIM). This technological process is unstoppable; it is out to the market with remarkable case studies of solving the long industry’s history of fragmentation. This industry has been changing over time; United States has recorded the most significant development in construction digitalization, Australia, United Kingdom and some other developed nations are also amongst promoters of BIM process and its development. Recently, a developing country like China and Malaysia are keying into the industry’s digital shift, while very little move is seen in South Africa whose development is considered higher and perhaps leader in the digital transition amongst the African countries. To authors’ best knowledge, Nigerian construction industry has never engaged in BIM discussions hence has no attention at national level. Consequently, Nigeria has no “Noteworthy BIM publications.” Decision makers and key stakeholders need to be informed on the current trend of the industry’s development (BIM in specific) and the opportunities of adopting this digitalization trend in relation to the identified challenges. BIM concept can be traced mostly in Architectural practices than engineering practices in Nigeria. A superficial BIM practice is found to be at organisational level only and operating a model based - “BIM stage 1.” Research to adopting this innovation has received very little attention. This piece of work is literature review based, aimed at exploring BIM in Nigeria and its prospects. The exploration reveals limitations in the literature availability as to extensive research in the development of BIM in the country. Numerous challenges were noticed including building collapse, inefficiencies, cost overrun and late project delivery. BIM has potentials to overcome the above challenges and even beyond. Low level of BIM adoption with reasonable level of awareness is noticed. However, lack of policy and guideline as well as serious lack of experts in the field are amongst the major barriers to BIM adoption. The industry needs to embrace BIM to possibly compete with its global counterpart.

Impacts of Tillage on Biodiversity of Microarthropod Communities in Two Different Crop Systems

Different uses of land by humans alter the physico chemical characteristics of the soil and affect the soil microhabitat. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of tillage in three different human land uses on microarthropods biodiversity in Khuzestan province, southwest of Iran. Three microhabitats including a permanent grassland with old Date-Palms around and no till system, and two wheat fields, one with conservative agricultural practices and low till system and the other with conventional agricultural practices (deep tillage), were compared for the biodiversity of the two main groups of soil microarthropods (Oribatida and Collembola). Soil samples were collected from the top to a depth of 15 cm bimonthly during a period of two years. Significant differences in the biodiversity index of microarthropods were observed between the different tillage systems (F = 36.748, P =0.000). Indeed, analysis of species diversity showed that the diversity index at the conservative field with low till (2.58 ± 0.01) was higher (p < 0.05) than the conventional tilled field (2.45 ± 0.08) and the diversity of natural grassland was the highest (2.79 ± 0.19, p < 0.05). Indeed, the index of biodiversity and population abundance differed significantly in different seasons (p < 0.00).

Optimisation of Structural Design by Integrating Genetic Algorithms in the Building Information Modelling Environment

Structural design and analysis is an important and time-consuming process, particularly at the conceptual design stage. Decisions made at this stage can have an enormous effect on the entire project, as it becomes ever costlier and more difficult to alter the choices made early on in the construction process. Hence, optimisation of the early stages of structural design can provide important efficiencies in terms of cost and time. This paper suggests a structural design optimisation (SDO) framework in which Genetic Algorithms (GAs) may be used to semi-automate the production and optimisation of early structural design alternatives. This framework has the potential to leverage conceptual structural design innovation in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) projects. Moreover, this framework improves the collaboration between the architectural stage and the structural stage. It will be shown that this SDO framework can make this achievable by generating the structural model based on the extracted data from the architectural model. At the moment, the proposed SDO framework is in the process of validation, involving the distribution of an online questionnaire among structural engineers in the UK.

All Types of Base Pair Substitutions Induced by γ-Rays in Haploid and Diploid Yeast Cells

We study the biological effects induced by ionizing radiation in view of therapeutic exposure and the idea of space flights beyond Earth's magnetosphere. In particular, we examine the differences between base pair substitution induction by ionizing radiation in model haploid and diploid yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells. Such mutations are difficult to study in higher eukaryotic systems. In our research, we have used a collection of six isogenic trp5-strains and 14 isogenic haploid and diploid cyc1-strains that are specific markers of all possible base-pair substitutions. These strains differ from each other only in single base substitutions within codon-50 of the trp5 gene or codon-22 of the cyc1 gene. Different mutation spectra for two different haploid genetic trp5- and cyc1-assays and different mutation spectra for the same genetic cyc1-system in cells with different ploidy — haploid and diploid — have been obtained. It was linear function for dose-dependence in haploid and exponential in diploid cells. We suggest that the differences between haploid yeast strains reflect the dependence on the sequence context, while the differences between haploid and diploid strains reflect the different molecular mechanisms of mutations.