ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0619.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: Affordable housing; Cost-benefit analysis; Monte Carlo simulation; Solar energy
Online: 25 July 2020 (18:03:50 CEST)
The residential sector in the United States is in need of comprehensive policy-making reforms that concurrently address housing affordability and environmental sustainability. This study investigates the feasibility of state-wide zero-energy affordable housing by analyzing historical data on climate, energy use, and solar system costs in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The hypothesis examined is that the net present cost of implementation of rooftop residential solar systems to achieve zero-energy Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) buildings is lower than the discounted present cost of energy of otherwise identical conventional buildings that run without renewable energy generation systems. The authors propose a generalizable framework for analyzing the feasibility of achieving region- or state-wide zero-energy LIHTC developments. To validate the framework, the authors employ a longitudinal sample of monthly energy use data from 2013-2016 obtained from 310 residential units of 15 LIHTC developments across the state. Based on statistical regression analysis, energy simulation, and simulation-based risk analysis, the authors find that the net present value of zero-energy LIHTC investments can be positive with a low risk. The investment value varies often depending on the zero-energy building definition, weather characteristics, retail price of electricity, and incentive rate. This study can help housing policymakers and industry professionals analyze and benchmark the feasibility of innovative zero-energy housing policies and projects.
Tue, 12 May 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0213.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: BIM; construction; critical infrastructure; cybersecurity; cyber-physical systems; digital twin; EPCIP; Industry 4.0
Online: 12 May 2020 (12:44:01 CEST)
The umbrella concept for the current efforts to digitize construction is known as Construction 4.0. One of its key concepts is cyber-physical systems. The construction industry is not only creating increasingly valuable digital assets (in addition to physical ones) but also the buildings and built infrastructures are increasingly monitored and controlled using digital technology. Both make construction a vulnerable target of cyber-attacks. While the damage to digital assets, such as designs and cost calculations, may result in economic damage, attacks on digitally-controlled physical assets may damage the well-being of occupants and, in worst-case scenarios, even damage (or death) to the users. The problem is amplified by the emerging cyber-physical nature of the systems, where the human checks may be left out. We propose that construction learns from the work done in the context of critical infrastructures (CI). First, a lot of CI is construction-related, and the process of designing and building it must be secured accordingly. Second, while most assets may not be critical in the CI sense, they are critical to the operations of a business and the lives of citizens. In the end, we recommend some steps so that well-established processes of critical infrastructure protection trickle down to make Construction 4.0 and the built environment more cyber-secure. With that in mind, we describe the possible inclusion of Construction 4.0 considerations into existing critical infrastructure protection (CIP) frameworks with minimum frictions. We also propose some suggestions regarding possible future courses of action to improve the increasingly vulnerable cyber-security environment of the built environment across all life cycle phases - design, construction, operation, maintenance, and end of life.
Sun, 8 March 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0126.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: change order; pricing; game theory; evolutionary stable strategy (ESS); system dynamics
Online: 8 March 2020 (01:19:49 CET)
Change orders have received considerable attention from researchers thus far, but none have considered pricing strategies of change orders through the interaction between general contractors and subcontractors. Previous studies found that contractors’ opportunistic bidding considering beyond-contractual reward (BCR) in the execution stage can be reduced by improving the construction management system and strengthening the supervision of contractors’ performance. However, the BCR remains in ecology of construction engineering. This study proposes an integrated evolutionary game theory-system dynamics model (ET-SD model) and simulates the pricing strategy of change orders between general contractors and subcontractors to explore the root cause of BCR phenomenon. Sensitivity analysis on the evolutionary dynamics of payoff is explored. Results reveal that change orders with BCR maintain Nash equilibrium and evolutionary stable strategy (ESS) unless changing the payoff structure between general and subcontractors’ pricing strategies. This study presents important managerial insights from the evolutionary game perspectives, nature of change orders, and payoff of the alternative.
Sun, 1 March 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0012.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: Building Information Modelling (BIM); Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA); Building process; Level of Development (LOD); Embodied environmental impacts; Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG); LCA databases; LCA values; LCA benchmarks; cost estimation structure
Online: 1 March 2020 (13:16:52 CET)
The building sector has a big potential to reduce the material resource demand needed for building construction and therefore, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Digitalisation can help to make use of this potential and improve sustainability throughout the entire building’s life cycle. One way to address this potential is through the integration of Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) into the building process by employing Building Information Modelling (BIM). BIM can reduce the effort needed to carry out an LCA and therefore facilitate the integration into the building process. A review of current industry practice and scientific literature shows two main approaches to address BIM-LCA integration. Either the LCA is performed in a simplified way at the beginning of the building process, or it is done at the very end when all the needed information is available, but it is too late for decision-making. One reason for this is the lack of methods, workflows and tools to implement BIM-LCA integration over the entire building process. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to develop an integrated BIM-LCA workflow implemented into a method for the whole building process using an existing structure for cost estimation. A tool is created and used in a case study in Switzerland to test the developed approach. The results of this study show that LCA can be performed continuously in each building phase over the entire building process using existing BIM modelling techniques. The main benefit of this approach is that the re-work caused by the need for re-entering data and the usage of many different software tools that characterise most of the current LCA practices is minimised. Furthermore, decision-making, both at the element and building levels, is supported.
Wed, 5 February 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0055.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: Green campus; Sunlight hour; Solar radiation; Building reconfiguration
Online: 5 February 2020 (10:27:13 CET)
Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) is implementing the concept of green campus by various means including through elements in its sustainable campus development plan. With regards to several factors related to Energy and Climate Change indicators set by UI GreenMetric, this research examined the existing condition of the area of UGM which belongs to academic zone in order to construct a proposal based on a building mass reconfiguration. This proposal was aimed to improve the implementation of energy-specific green campus concept within the Forestry cluster area as a sample case study. This selection was based on the average value of the Building Coverage Ratio (BCR) values in all of the clusters; thus, the scenario was relevant for generalization and could be replicated in other clusters in the university. The study was done in three stages of simulation, and was based on a series of digital simulation of sunlight hour and solar radiation run in Grasshopper using Lady Bug environmental analysis plug-in for a period of five summer months during the building office hours. Following the reconfiguration, results had shown a similar downtrend between the amount of sunlight hour and solar radiation in the area (up to 49% and 45% respectively on building envelopes, and up to 44% and 42% respectively on landscaping surfaces). This reduction indicated a potential of energy efficiency by applying selective building mass reconfiguration as a passive design strategy that goes hand in hand with the campus’s development policy to optimize the use of BCR for a greener UGM campus through its many undergoing and upcoming redevelopment projects.
Mon, 3 February 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0002.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: construction; rainwater harvesting; solar; spray foam; finger-jointed studs
Online: 3 February 2020 (03:04:44 CET)
The question of building sustainable in a geographical locality is inexorably linked to cost. In 2011, one of the authors built a sustainable house that was (at the time) the highest certified sustainable home based on the National Association of Home Builder’s standards for sustainable construction. This Texas house has been used for residential and research purposes for the past decade. In this case study, the authors evaluate components of the construction and their effectiveness as well as unseen secondary and tertiary effects. Some of the specific components discussed are home site placement; rainwater harvesting (100% of residential requirements); aerobic septic system; grid-tied solar array power; electric car charging; geothermal heating and cooling; reclaimed wood framing; spray foam installation; selection of windows, fixtures, and appliances; on-demand electric water heaters for guest areas; generator backups; and use of local items. Electric bills and water system improvements are discussed in detail, as improvements were made as part of residential and research requirements. This case study suggests that the financial outlay is worth the extra up-front costs if residents in this geographical area and climate will occupy the residence 7 years.
Tue, 31 December 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0411.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: safety; electrical contractors; construction accidents; nature and outcome of injuries; Chi-square test of independence
Online: 31 December 2019 (11:19:50 CET)
Electrical contractors have experienced a rise in occupational fatalities in recent years. In 2017, electrical contractors also had the second highest number of non-fatal injuries among specialty trade contractors. Identifying statistically significant dependencies between these catastrophic outcomes and a handful of well-defined contributing factors in construction accidents offers a first step in mitigating the risks of construction accidents in this trade. Therefore, this study used methodologies of descriptive and quantitative statistics to identify the contributing factors most affecting occupational accident outcomes among electrical contracting enterprises, given an accident occurred. Accident reports were collected from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s fatality and catastrophe database. To ensure the reliability of the data, the team manually codified more than 600 incidents through a comprehensive content analysis using injury-classification standards. Inclusive of both fatal and non-fatal injuries, the results showed that most accidents happened in nonresidential buildings, new construction, and small projects (i.e., $50,000 or less). The main source of injuries manifested in parts and materials (46%), followed by tools, instruments, and equipment (19%), and structure and surfaces (16%). The most frequent types of injuries were fractures (31%), electrocutions (27%), and electrical burns (14%); the main injured body parts were upper extremities (25%), head (23%), and body system (18%). Among non-fatal cases, falls (37%), exposure to electricity (36%), and contact with objects (19%) caused most injuries; among fatal cases, exposure to electricity was the leading cause of death (50%), followed by falls (28%) and contact with objects (19%). The analysis also investigated the impact of several accident factors on the degree of injuries and found significant effects from such factors such as project type, source of injury, cause of injuries, injured part of body, nature of injury, and event type. In other words, the statistical probability of a fatal accident—given an accident occurrence—changes significantly based on the degree of these factors. Beyond these outcomes, the described content-analysis methodology contributes to the accident-analysis body of knowledge by providing a framework for codifying data from accident reports to facilitate future analysis and modeling attempts (e.g., developing logistic regression models) to subsequently mitigate more injuries in other fields.
Fri, 29 November 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0377.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: ultra-high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete (UHPFRC); mechanical properties; extrusion; 3D concrete printing (3DCP)
Online: 29 November 2019 (10:45:46 CET)
This paper presents the systematic development and performance characterization of a non-proprietary 3D-printable ultra-high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) for digital construction. Several fresh and hardened properties of the developed 3D-printable UHPFRC matrix (without fiber) and composite (with 2% volume fraction of steel fibers) were evaluated and compared to that of conventionally mold-cast UHPFRC. Additionally, the effects of testing direction on the compressive and flexural strengths of the printed UHPFRC were investigated. The fresh properties of the UHPFRC developed in this study satisfied the criteria for extrudability, buildability, and shape-retention-ability, which are relevant for ensuring printability. The printed UHPFRC exhibited superior flexural performance to the mold-cast UHPFRC due to alignment of the short fibers in the printing direction. The high compressive and flexural strengths, along with the deflection-hardening behavior, of the developed UHPFRC can enable the production of thin 3D-printed components with significant reduction or complete elimination of conventional steel bars.
Tue, 15 October 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0160.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: density incentive; earthcraft; energystar; green premium; hedonic pricing; LIHTC; rehabilitation
Online: 15 October 2019 (04:00:55 CEST)
In the year 2017, about 89 percent of the total energy consumed in the US was produced using non-renewable energy sources, and about 43 percent of tenant households were cost-burdened. Local governments are in a unique position to facilitate green affordable housing that could reduce cost burdens, environmental degradation, and environmental injustice. Nonetheless, limited studies have made progress on costs and benefits of green affordable housing to guide decision-making, particularly in small communities. This study investigates density bonus options for green affordable housing by analyzing construction costs, sale prices, and spillover effects for green certifications and affordable housing units. The authors employ construction costs and sale data from 422 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) projects and 11,418 Multiple Listing Service (MLS) transactions in Virginia. Using hedonic regression analyses controlling for mediating factors, we find that the new construction of market-rate green certified houses is associated with small upfront costs but large and statistically significant price premiums. The construction of market-rate green certified houses has large and statistically significant spillover effects on existing non-certified houses. Existing non-certified affordable housing units show small and statistically insignificant negative price impacts on transactions of surrounding properties. The magnitude of social benefits associated with green building justifies the local provision of voluntary programs for green affordable housing where housing is expensive relative to its basic costs of production to promote sustainable development.
Tue, 16 July 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0178.v2
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: thermal mass; natural ventilation; thermal resilience; materials design; life cycle analysis; thermal optimization; low carbon
Online: 16 July 2019 (08:50:05 CEST)
What proportions should a thermally massive building have? How should the thermal mass be distributed? Should the "massing" change with the choice of material? This paper shows how to optimize the physical proportions of a building so that it synchronizes ambient heat exchanges in a natural feedback cycle. The internal mass is thermally coupled with buoyancy ventilation; the cycle is driven by the daily swing of outdoor temperature. Tripling up functions in this way—so that structural materials can reliably cool and power the ventilation for buildings—could help decarbonize the construction industry and provide an effective strategy for adapting to life-threatening heatwaves. Based on harmonic analysis, the method allows designers to thermally tune the form and mass of a building to meet chosen targets for temperature and ventilation in free-running mode. Once the optimal balance of exchange rates is known, design teams can proportionally vary the building height and ventilation openings against the surface area and thickness of an internal thermal mass. The possible permutations are infinite but parametrically constrained, allowing teams to fairly compare the functional and environmental credentials of different construction materials while they produce and evaluate preliminary options for organizing the exterior form and interior spaces of a building. An example study suggests that thin-shell structures of minimum weight, and even timber buildings, may be optimally tuned to produce ample ventilation and temperature attenuation.
Mon, 15 July 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0178.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: thermal mass; natural ventilation; thermal resilience; materials design; life cycle analysis; thermal optimization; low carbon
Online: 15 July 2019 (05:43:16 CEST)
What proportions should a thermally massive building have? How should the thermal mass be distributed? Should the "massing" change with the choice of material? This paper shows how to optimize the physical proportions of a building so that it synchronizes ambient heat exchanges in a natural feedback cycle. An internal mass is thermally coupled with buoyancy ventilation; the cycle is driven by the daily swing of outdoor temperature. Tripling up functions in this way—so that structural materials can reliably cool and power the ventilation for buildings—could help decarbonize the construction industry and provide an effective strategy for adapting to life-threatening heatwaves. Based on harmonic analysis, the method allows designers to thermally tune the form and mass of a building to meet chosen targets for temperature and ventilation in free-running mode. Once the optimal balance of exchange rates is known, design teams can proportionally vary the building height and ventilation openings against the surface area and thickness of an internal thermal mass. The possible permutations are infinite but parametrically constrained, allowing teams to fairly compare the functional and environmental credentials of different construction materials while they produce and evaluate preliminary options for organizing the exterior form and interior spaces of a building. An example study suggests that thin-shell structures of minimum weight, and even timber buildings, may be optimally tuned to produce ample ventilation and temperature attenuation.
Tue, 11 June 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0097.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: segmental beams; cementitious adhesive; epoxy resin; CFRP laminates; ACI 440.2R-17 procedure
Online: 11 June 2019 (12:02:00 CEST)
Concrete beams built from individual segments connected to each other by special mechanism referred as segmental beam. The aim of this research is to exhibit a new technique for fabrication of small scale segmental beams from wedge shape unreinforced concrete segments and pultruded carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP) in laminate form. Eight segmental beams including two parameters are tested experimentally. The first parameter is the area of CFRP and second is the adhesive material used to bond segments of the beams. The test shows that segmental beams have a higher ratio of CFRP area undergoes less deflection and sustain higher ultimate loading value of 38.4%. Moreover, the test of beams with concrete segments adhered by epoxy resin sustain a higher load than segments adhered by cementitious materials about 11.87%. Theoretically, segmental beams were analyzed by modified American Concrete Institute ACI 440.2R-17 report with slight modifications. The analysis results in an overestimation of flexural strength of segmental beams when compared with experimental outcomes.
Mon, 25 February 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0217.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: Construction project cost; influencing factors; Bayesian SEM; New Zealand
Online: 25 February 2019 (08:41:01 CET)
Construction projects are usually operating in a complex and dynamic environment in which the accumulation of many interrelated factors causes high uncertainty. Construction projects are complex and frequently involve substantial uncertainties including process complicatedness, intricate organization structure, dynamic environment, and financial strain. The study aims to categorize the influencing factors into three groups, namely construction project system, economic-market climate, and external environment. It attempts to adopt a novel analysis tool to examine the relationship between the project cost and multiple influencing factors by using Bayesian SEM. While the Bayesian SEM method has been receiving increasing attention in exploring the relationship between latent variables, construction studies still heavily rely on the covariance-based SEM approach. This study introduces several advantages of Bayesian SEM that make it more flexible and powerful than covariance-based SEM and provides the foundation of Bayesian SEM estimation and inference by illustrating this method in a project cost application.
Mon, 17 December 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0191.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: polymer waste; polyurethane foam; leaching test; microstructure
Online: 17 December 2018 (10:47:59 CET)
In the European Union, the demand for polyurethane is continually growing. In 2017, the estimated production value of polyurethane was 700,400T, of which 27.3% is taken to landfill, which causes an environmental problem. In this paper the behaviour of various polyurethane foams from the waste of different types of industries will be analysed with the aim of assessing their potential use in construction materials. In order to this, the wastes were chemically tested by means of CHNS, TGA, and leaching tests. They were tested microstructurally by means of SEM. The processing parameters of the waste was calculated after finding out its granulometry and its physical properties i.e. density and water absorption capacity. In addition, the possibility of incorporating these wastes in plaster matrices was studied by determining its rendering in an operational context, finding out its mechanical resistance to flexion and compression at 7 days, its reaction to fire as well as its weight per unit of area and its thermal behaviour. The results show that in all cases, the waste is inert and does not undergo leaching. The generation process of the waste determines the foam’s microstructure in addition to its physical-chemical properties that directly affect building materials in which they are included, thus offering different ways in which they can be applied.
Wed, 5 December 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0065.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: fibre reinforced concrete; polyolefin fibres; fibre distribution; fracture behaviour; structural fibres
Online: 5 December 2018 (07:57:24 CET)
Polyolefin fibre reinforced concrete (PFRC) has become an attractive alternative to steel for the reinforcement of concrete elements mainly due to its chemical stability and the residual strengths that can be reached with lower weights. The use of polyolefin fibres can meet the requirements in the standards, although the main constitutive relations are based on the experience with steel fibres. Therefore, the structural contributions of the fibres should be assessed by inverse analysis. In this study, the fibre dosage has been fixed at 6kg/m³ and both self-compacting concrete and conventional concrete have been used to compare the influence of the positioning of the fibres. An idealized homogeneous distribution of the fibres with such fibres crossing from side to side of the specimen has been added to self-compacting concrete. The experimental results of three-point bending tests on notched specimens have been reproduced by using the cohesive crack approach. Hence, the constitutive relations were found. The significance of this research relies on the verification of the formulations found to build the constitutive relations. Moreover, with these results it is possible to establish the higher threshold of the performance of PFRC and the difficulties of limiting the first unloading branch typical of fracture tests of PFRC.
Fri, 30 November 2018
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0622.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: prevention through design; safety climate; lean construction; transformation-flow-value; lean project delivery system
Online: 30 November 2018 (07:57:22 CET)
The construction industry is one of the most fatal industries, so it is important to pay more attention to safety solutions. Even though work-related accidents are known as major waste in construction projects, little attention has been paid so far to incorporating safety into the lean construction framework. In this research, lean construction theory is reviewed through the lens of safety. That being so, the identified challenges in previous research on improving safety in construction projects are categorized and those related to the concept of lean project delivery are introduced. Then, the principles of the lean construction framework are explained and the relevant changes for incorporating safety into the framework are introduced and discussed. It is expected that this hybrid model would further enrich the lean construction framework. The careful attention of project executives to this model may improve the safety situation in construction projects.
Wed, 14 November 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0335.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: 3D printing (3DP), Construction processes, Architectural design, Concrete Engineering, Numerical Modelling, Arch-Roof, High-density polyethylene (HDPE), Additive manufacturing (AM), Computer-aided design (CAD), Manufacture, Design, Sustainability
Online: 14 November 2018 (10:39:43 CET)
Three-dimensional (3D) printing technologies are transforming the design and manufacture of components and products across a variety of disciplines, however their application in the construction industry is still limited. Material deposition processes can achieve infinite geometries and have advanced from rapid prototyping and model-scale markets to their application in fabricating functional products, large objects and the construction of full-scale buildings. Many international projects have recently been realized and the construction industry is beginning to utilise these dynamic technologies. The potential advantages for integrating 3D printing into house construction are significant, these include the capacity for mass customization of designs and parameters for functional and aesthetic purposes, reduction in construction waste from highly precise material placement, and the use of recycled waste products in layer deposition materials. With the ultimate goal of improving construction efficiency and decreasing building costs, applying Strand7 Finite Element Analysis software, a numerical model was designed specifically for 3D printing in a cement mix incorporated with recycled waste product High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and found that construction of an arched truss-like roof was structurally feasible without the need for steel reinforcements. The lab sizes prototypes were manufactured based on the destined numerical model by using a 3D printing technology. Currently available 3D printing technologies can be adopted for building construction and this paper discusses the applications, advantages, limitations and future directions of 3D printing as an innovative and viable solution for affordable house construction.
Tue, 13 November 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0290.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: climatic change; office buildings; overheating; carbon emissions; energy consumption; mixed-mode ventilation; natural ventilation
Online: 13 November 2018 (04:15:59 CET)
The UK Government is committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2050. Buildings are responsible for 37% of the total GHG emissions in the UK and the need to reduce their emissions has resulted in more stringent building regulations in the recent past. The regulations, energy rating systems and voluntary guidelines — all are primarily aimed at reducing the need for heating and associated energy use by increasing insulation and air-tightness. However, future climates are projected to be warmer than the present day. Internal gains dominated non-domestic buildings will likely overheat, the adaptation to which will require energy-intensive cooling solutions, thus defeating the purpose of heating-focused regulations. This research investigated the effects of warming climate on overheating, and energy use and resulting emissions in representative urban office spaces in London in the present-day and future climates using hourly dynamic thermal simulations. Findings suggest that more airtight and highly—insulated office buildings designed for heating—dominated temperate UK climate will overheat in the 2050s. Heating demand reduces but electricity consumption increases by 121% when hybrid cooling is adopted to ameliorate overheating. Despite the rise, adopting a mixed-mode ventilation strategy was one of the ways of achieving overall energy efficiency while meeting benchmark overheating and carbon emissions target in present and future climatic contradictions. Current heating-focused legislations need to be urgently re-evaluated to account for the effects of climatic variability and overheating risks.
Thu, 8 November 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0216.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: Construction, worker safety, safety helmet, three-axis accelerometer sensor, data mining
Online: 8 November 2018 (14:03:21 CET)
In the Korean construction industry, legal and institutional safety management improvements are continually being pursued. However, there was a 4.5% increase in the number of workers’ deaths at construction sites in 2017 compared to the previous year. Failure to wear safety helmets seems to be one of the major causes of the increase in accidents, and so it is necessary to develop technology to monitor whether or not safety helmets are being used. However, the approaches employed in existing technical studies on this issue have mainly involved the use of chinstrap sensors and have been limited to the problem of whether or not safety helmets are being worn. Meanwhile, improper wearing, such as when the chinstrap and harness fixing of the safety helmet are not properly tightened, has not been monitored. To remedy this shortcoming, a sensing safety helmet with a three-axis accelerometer sensor attached was developed in this study. Experiments were performed in which the sensing data were classified whether the safety helmet was being worn properly, not worn, or worn improperly during construction workers’ activities. The results verified that it is possible to differentiate among wearing status of the proposed safety helmet with a high accuracy of 97.0%
Mon, 5 November 2018
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0107.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: Built Environment, Design Decisions, Vector Borne Diseases, Malaria
Online: 5 November 2018 (11:01:08 CET)
Although significant efforts have been made to combat the spread of vector-borne diseases (VBDs), they still account for more than 17% of all infectious diseases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 216 million estimated cases in 2016, which is a 9.3% decrease from the estimated cases reported one decade earlier. It is known that the built environment, through features such as openings, can propagate the spread of malaria. There have been some significant efforts directed at addressing this risk. This notwithstanding, there are some knowledge gaps that have resulted in a missed opportunity for synergistically tackling the problem of vectors through leveraging design decisions made by built environment professionals. This work assesses the extent to which design decisions in the built environment can have a positive impact on the efforts directed at mitigating the risk of malaria based on selected cases from East Africa. Secondary data derived from relevant urban health journals as well as repositories curated by leading health agencies such as WHO were synthesized and analyzed using a web of causation approach. The outcome of the analysis is a schema of primary and secondary source (risk) factors. The use of the web of causation approach revealed the existing factor-to-factor interactions that could have a reinforcing effect. This information was used to identify the critical linkages and interdependencies across different factors. The outcome of the analysis was mapped against risk factors that can be linked to decisions made during the six primary phases of the construction life cycle: preliminary phase, conceptual design, detailed design, construction, facilities management, and end of life/disuse. The findings of the research have established that 1) there is, in fact, a built environment–related opportunity that can be leveraged to advance the impact of malaria mitigation effort; 2) cross-disciplinary synergies are critical to managing the interdependencies and complexity of malaria risk factors that have a reinforcing effect; and 3) a knowledge-management framework that serves as a decision support tool would be valuable for sharing data under a push-and-pull mechanism, in which data shared in real time can address the timeliness of mitigating the spread of malaria at the earliest stages for the greatest impact. Based on the findings, a conceptual architecture for a decision support framework has been proposed. This will be developed into a knowledge-management platform in subsequent efforts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0100.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: Periwinkle Shell Powder, Geotechnical Property, Expansive soil, Stabilization.
Online: 5 November 2018 (10:19:58 CET)
This study used eco-friendly materials known as Periwinkle Shell Powder (PSP) in stabilizing the engineering properties of lateritic soil. Preliminary test was performed on the un-stabilized lateritic soil for the purposes of identification and classification (natural moisture content, liquid limits, plastic limits, and plasticity index). The engineering tests were conducted on the lateritic soil stabilized with additions of (2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 %) PSP and OPC respectively. The result showed that cement gave a progressive increase in the Maximum Dry Density (MDD) of the lateritic soil from 1875 kg/m3 (2 %) to 2294 kg/m3 (10 %) respectively. This represents 22 % increase in the MDD from the un-stabilized state. For PSP, the Maximum MDD was attained at 6 % (1974 kg/m3), representing 5.3 % increase in MDD of the soil from the un-stabilized state. For both stabilizing agent, the Optimum Moisture Content (OMC) increases from 13.65 % to 13.83 % and from 11.72 % to 14.41 % for Cement and Periwinkle Shell Powder respectively. PSP recorded an increase of 5.6 % of CBR value compared with OPC that recorded an increase of 34 % CBR value. The study therefore concluded that Periwinkle Shell Powder (PSP) could be considered as good stabilizer for clayey or lateritic, and its uses as a stabilizer could also provide a big relief to the environmental pollution caused by its indiscriminate dumping.
Mon, 15 October 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0286.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: military installations project; risk factor; structural equation model
Online: 15 October 2018 (06:32:30 CEST)
Some of the recent large-scale national projects in South Korea are delayed or suspended due to belated responses to risk occurring on site. Currently, the Far East District (FED) project is being implemented to relocate the US Army bases from Yongsan to Pyeongtaek. Because of lack of experience and understanding about the characteristics of such a project, the deadline of taking over to the US Army Korea has been missed. This study identifies problems of each participant in the Yongsan Relocation Plan (YRP) of the US Army Korea with respect to construction project management and establishes a risk management strategy reflecting characteristics of FED project. To derive significant risk factors influencing YRP, various field data like weekly and monthly reports and other reports on construction condition are analyzed, and experts’ advices are collected and a survey is conducted. Mediators and latent variables are ultimately obtained. Furthermore, a structural equation model is used to both analyze and evaluate complex causal relations among many variables of YRP. The impact of risk factors on the schedule, quality and cost of the project is analyzed. In particular, the case of Site A is examined to see how the project is affected by those risk factors.
Thu, 11 October 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0226.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: vertical farming; zero acreage farming; university; sustainability; economics; climate change
Online: 11 October 2018 (04:05:17 CEST)
The world is facing several global issues such as food and energy crisis, climate change and greenhouse gases emissions. To subdue these issues, many entities from academia and industries have innovated alternate techniques of performing regular activities which cause such problems. One of these innovations is the introduction of vertical and zero acreage farming in the field of sustainability. These carry the potential to solve one of the most important affairs of food security in most countries of the world. But, this technology has been in its nascent stage for many years. This paper uses a comprehensive framework proving the feasibility of initiating vertical farming on university campuses to feed the staff and students, which could also set an example to the rest of the world into using this technique on a wider scale. The study chose Huazhong University of science and technology (HUST) in Wuhan city, China for accessing the return on investment and food sufficiency if vertical farming is implemented. Using Central Limit Theorem, a statistical model was developed, and various scenarios were analyzed. The results indicated that if a separate vertical farm is constructed, the breakeven can be achieved in a range of 10-20 depending on parameters such as type of operation, number of floors and amount of vegetation. The study has shown that the use of vertical farming cannot only bring in revenue for the campus but also aid in mitigating climate change.
Mon, 1 October 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0019.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: Building Information Modeling (BIM); Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA); Railway construction; Liquidated damage; Infrastructure; Planning and design
Online: 1 October 2018 (16:54:20 CEST)
Recent technological improvements have made abundant changes in construction industry. In specific, some technical applications, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) opens up many possibilities. Some studies have articulated the use of BIM and its advantages in construction, but most of them are theoretical, not practical. This study is to provide an insight to such obstacles in BIM research. By investigating a real project that could utilize BIM in planning and construction phases, the authors try to investigate a possible outline of advantages in BIM implementation. The study area was set to a railway construction site in South Korea. The site covers a multiple railway tracks, stations, telecommunication facilities, infrastructure facilities, railway structures, and so numerous. In the site, the authors have identified 12 errors in 7 projects that could be prevented if BIM was utilized before the construction. The total upfront costs required to provide a BIM for 7 projects were $116,348. On the other hand, the total costs required to fix the errors in 7 projects were $166,486. This can be regarded as the benefits of using BIM because if BIM was implemented then the associated errors are easily replaced. Therefore, the benefit-cost ratio can be estimated as 1.32 for one-month delay and 1.36 for a three-month delay.
Fri, 14 September 2018
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0261.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: building deep renovation; energy performance; renovation rate; prefabrication; Plug-and-Play solutions; review; innovation action; H2020; social acceptance
Online: 14 September 2018 (10:55:48 CEST)
With a low rate of new building construction and insufficient rate of existing building renovation, there is the need for stepping up the pace of building renovation with ambitious performance targets to achieve EU climate change policies. However, effective technologies alone cannot solve the low renovation rate of existing buildings in Europe that is hindering the reaching of EU-wide targets. A workshop was held at the Sustainable Place Conference 2018 to present successful experiences with an integrative approach from H2020 innovation actions (4RinEU, P2ENDURE, Pro-GET-OnE, MORE-CONNECT) aiming at improving building energy performance through deep renovation. This article presents the outcomes of the joint workshop and interactive discussion, by focusing on the different technical, financial and social added values, barriers and challenges in building renovation as well as on the identification of open questions to address future innovation opportunities.
Mon, 3 September 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0037.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: residential house; deconstruction; resource harvesting; whole house reuse; circular economy
Online: 3 September 2018 (13:49:34 CEST)
This study analyses the case study of a deconstruction project called the ‘Whole House Reuse’ (WHR) which aimed, firstly, to harvest materials from a residential house, secondly, to produce new products using the recovered materials, and thirdly, to organize exhibition for the local public to promote awareness on resource conservation and sustainable deconstruction practices. The study applies characterization of recovered materials through deconstruction. In addition to the material recovery, the study assesses the embodied energy saving and greenhouse gas emission abatement of the deconstruction project. Around twelve tonnes of various construction materials were harvested through a systematic deconstruction approach, most which would otherwise be disposed to landfill in the traditional demolition approach. The study estimates that the recovered materials could potentially save around 502,158MJ of embodied energy and prevent carbon emission of around 27,029kg (CO2e). Deconstruction could eventually contribute to New Zealand’s national emission reduction targets. In addition, the project successfully engages local communities and designers to produce 400 new products using the recovered materials and exhibited to the local people. The study concludes that there is a huge prospect in regard to resource recovery, emission reduction, employment and small business opportunities using deconstruction of the old house. The socio-cultural importance of the WHR project is definitely immense; however, the greater benefits of such projects are often ignored and remain unreported to wider audiences as most of the external and environmental costs have not been considered in the traditional linear economy. It is acknowledged that under a favourable market condition and with appropriate support from local communities and authorities, deconstruction could contribute significantly to resource conservation and environmental protection despite its requirement of labour intensive efforts.
Tue, 14 August 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0239.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: energy-efficient buildings; deep renovation; Plug-and-Play (PnP); building information modelling (BIM); building energy modelling (BEM)
Online: 14 August 2018 (03:59:42 CEST)
Ninety percent of the existing building stock in Europe was built before 1990. These buildings are in urgent need for a significant improvement of energy-efficiency through renovation. Regrettably, so far only five percent of renovation projects have been able to yield energy-saving at deep renovation level. State-of-the-art renovation solutions are available, but costly and lengthy renovation processes and incomprehensible technical complexities hinder the achievement of a wide impact at a European scale. This paper presents research on Plug-and-Play (PnP) technologies supported by Building Information Modelling (BIM) to provide affordable, interchangeable and quick-installation solutions to overcome the main barriers of building deep renovation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0238.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: building information modelling (BIM); mixed reality; energy performance gap; knowhow gap; prefab buildings
Online: 14 August 2018 (03:52:39 CEST)
At present European buildings typically consume two to five times more energy than predicted at the design stage. An important cause of this performance gap is the discrepancies between the design specification and the As-Built condition. Such discrepancies are mainly due to the gaps in knowhow between design, production and construction professionals. Design is more and more contained into a virtual environment and loses touch with the physical production and construction sites. As the construction sector enters the Industry 4.0 era, Building Information Modelling (BIM) based Mixed Reality can intertwine virtual and real worlds to bridge the knowhow gaps.
Tue, 24 July 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0441.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: prefabricated footing system; residential structures; reactive soils; modular construction; design for manufacture and assembly
Online: 24 July 2018 (05:45:06 CEST)
The consistently positive Australian economic environment and stable population increase have led to a higher demand for new houses in recent years. Prefabrication is a promising method to help alleviate the issues related to housing shortage and affordability due to reduced material wastage, construction delays due to weather conditions, unexpected costs, shortage in labour and onsite risks. With the advancements in automation and manufacturing methods such as Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA), the quality and precision of prefabricated materials is tightly controlled, and the fabrication and assembly period are reduced. However, the full potential of prefabricated construction is yet to be realised in part due to most of developments being focused on its superstructure. A review of the current available options suitable for houses is necessary to understand the present state of the residential footing industry, which will help evaluate the necessary innovations for the growth of the Australian construction industry considering the local reactive soil conditions. This paper presents a summary of existing footing systems and potential prefabricated footing solutions for low-rise residential structures with one storey to two storeys. This paper also reviews the benefits and challenges of designing, manufacturing, transporting, handling and installing of prefabricated footings on site, which have great influence on the acceptance of these innovative footing systems.
Wed, 4 July 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0067.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: life-cycle analysis (LCA); sustainable materials; sustainability climate impact; bioclimatic architecture; green buildings
Online: 4 July 2018 (10:27:22 CEST)
The construction industry is responsible for 40 to 45% of primary energy consumption in Europe alone. Therefore, it is essential to find new materials with a lower environmental impact in order to attain sustainable housing. This study aims to determine and compare the environmental impact of two clay samples forming a basis for the manufacture of traditional brick, a standard material in building construction; traditional red clay brick and a brick based on clay mixed with a biological ingredient. The samples of fired clay were manufactured at the laboratory scale, the results being valid exclusively as indicators for the extrapolation of the analysis to other studies. The results of the environmental impact of these formulations have been examined through an evaluation of life-cycle analysis (LCA), observing that the incorporation of biological pore forming agents led to a decrease of around 15 to 20% of all impact categories studied. Thus, the suitability of using biological-based additives in clay bricks was confirmed both for their constructive characteristics (lighter material) and increased energy efficiency (better thermal insulation) considering the environmental point of view.
Thu, 21 June 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0339.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: post disaster housing; rapid assembly systems; foam filled sandwiches; modular construction;
Online: 21 June 2018 (12:52:55 CEST)
In this paper the development process of a deployable modular sandwich panelized system for rapid assembly building construction is presented, and its structural performance under some different action effects is investigated. This system, which includes an innovative sandwich panel and its integrated connections, can be used as structural walls and floors in quickly assembled post-disaster housing, as well as load bearing panels for pre-fabricated modular construction and semi-permanent buildings. Panels and connections are composed of a pneumatic fabric formwork, and two 3-D high-density polyethylene (HDPE) sheets as the skins, filled with high-density rigid Polyurethane (PU) foam as the core. HDPE sheets manufactured with a studded surface considerably enhance the stress distribution, buckling performance and delamination strength of the sandwich panel under various loading conditions. The load-carrying behaviour of the system in accordance with some ASTM standards is presented here. The results show the system satisfies the codes criteria regarding semi-permanent housing.
Wed, 13 June 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0202.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: marble cutting waste; stabilized clay bricks; hydrated lime; Shaq El-Thoban
Online: 13 June 2018 (05:23:31 CEST)
This study evaluates the feasibility of stabilizing clay bricks with marble cutting waste (MCW). This waste currently discarded in huge quantities as a sludge resulted from sawing the marble blocks to slabs, grinding and polishing of marble processes to the landfills located around the marble processing factories located in the Shaq El-Thoban industrial zone, Cairo governorate, Egypt causing negative impacts on the environment, health and sustainable development. Experimental investigations were carried out to explore the effect of addition of the MCW in different clay-base mixes at different percentages up to 25% at the expense of the hydrated lime. Cement, hydrated lime and MCW are the three types of solidification agents used, clay and sand were also added in the formulations of the unfired clay brick specimens. Laboratory cylindrical stabilized and compressed specimens were made, and then they were cured in a humidity chamber for 2 and 4 weeks, then after were air dried, tested and evaluated according to the Egyptian code for the building by the stabilized and compressed earth soil (ECBS, 2016). To enhance the durability of the cured specimens, transparent silicon – based paint was used for this purpose. The laboratory results demonstrate high potential usage of MCW based additives up to 15% incorporating HL. In addition, the used paint could be an effective treatment way for the use of stabilized bricks in a wet environment. The use of eco-friendly building materials will be a great contribution for the environmental advantages and suggest a remarkable economical alternative to the fired building units.
Tue, 22 May 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0309.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: Acoustic design; Reverberation time; Clarity; Lateral fraction; Acoustic measurements; Classical concert hall
Online: 22 May 2018 (13:49:31 CEST)
This study aims at an acoustic design of the classical concert hall and evaluation of the acoustic performance. In terms of three acoustic parameters (i.e., reverberation time (RT), clarity (C80), and lateral fraction (LF)), this study performed acoustic simulation modeling and site measurement with the K Art Hall located in South Korea as a case study. First, in order to meet the acoustic performance of the K Art Hall (target RT: 1.4~1.7 seconds, target C80: -2dB or more +2dB or less, and target LF: 10~35%), the finish materials and shape of the room as an interior acoustic design were determined. Second, the average values of the RT, C80, and LF using the acoustic simulation modeling were estimated at 1.4 second, 1.2~1.6 dB, and 29%, respectively. Third, the average values of the RT, C80, and LF through site measuring were measured at 1.5~1.64 second, 0.07~1.31dB, and 22.22~31.37%, respectively. Thus, the results of both the acoustic simulation modeling and site measuring were analyzed so as to satisfy the target acoustic performance. The results of this study will help the decision-makers (i.e., owner, construction managers, etc.) to plan the classical concert hall in terms of the RT, C80, and LF.
Wed, 16 May 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0225.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: 3D thermal model; image fusion; smart phone; thermal IR
Online: 16 May 2018 (08:26:39 CEST)
Thermal infrared imagery provides temperature information on target objects, and has been widely applied in non-destructive testing. However, thermal infrared imagery is not always able to display detailed textures of inspected objects, which hampers the understanding of geometric entities consisting of temperature information. Although some commercial software has been developed for 3D thermal model displays, the software requires the use of expensive specific thermal infrared sensors. This study proposes a cost-effective method for 3D thermal model reconstruction based on image-based modeling. Two smart phones and a low-cost thermal infrared camera are employed to acquire visible images and thermal images, respectively, that are fused for 3D thermal model reconstruction. The experiment results demonstrate that the proposed method is able to effectively reconstruct a 3D thermal model which extremely approximates its corresponding entity. The total computation time for the 3D thermal model reconstruction is intensive while generating dense points required for the creation of a geometric entity. Future work will improve the efficiency of the proposed method in order to expand its potential applications to in-time monitoring.
Mon, 14 May 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0195.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: petrochemical projects; critical factors; schedule delay
Online: 14 May 2018 (12:23:50 CEST)
This paper presents a study conducted to identify, assess, rank, and compare the most influencing factors causing schedule delay during construction phase of petrochemical projects in Saudi Arabia. The methodology followed in this research to achieve the main aims is a combination of comprehensive review of the literature and interviewing number of local experts, which have resulted in identifying of 23 factors. Through a web-based questionnaire survey, the identified factors were ranked. Total of 90 completed responses were gathered from 106 received responses. The completed responses gathered from 38 contractors and 52 owners. Of 90 participants, there are 32 project managers, 22 project engineers, 7 construction supervisors and the other 31 having different positions in projects departments The study has found that the most influencing factors causing schedule delay during construction in petrochemical projects in Saudi Arabia are “Poor site management and supervision by contractors”; “Conflict between main contractor and subcontractor”; “poor planning and scheduling of projects by contractor”; “Delay of material or equipment delivery”; and followed by “Delay in Handing Over Construction Site to Contractor”. This paper is original in the sense that the areas of knowledge and practice covered in the identified factors were distributed and not available in one source. The factors are derived from personal interviews with selected project managers, project engineers, construction supervisors and the others from different positions in project department and from the relevant literature.
Wed, 2 May 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0024.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: virtual information modeling; project management knowledge areas; construction projects; communication management.
Online: 2 May 2018 (11:40:14 CEST)
In the contemporary construction management, poor project performance, cost overrun, and low-quality construction have become a central point of attention for improving project performance including information, interaction and communication management. virtual design and construction and building information modelling play indispensable role in improving the project performance. The aim of this study is to propose a Virtual Information Modeling as a novel information and communication technology method with potential to overcome problems in the construction industry. Using one-sample t test with Kolmogorov-Smirnov approach, we analysed data collected from structured questionnaire survey involving project managers working at architecture, engineering and construction industries in Tehran, Iran. The results suggest that the most important benefits and challenges of using Virtual Information Modeling are related to the area of integration, and implementation of Virtual Information Modeling has the greatest impact on this area of project management knowledge. Thus, integration should be considered a top priority for construction companies implementing Virtual Information Modeling in their projects. Policymakers should understand that careful management of virtual information is essential for improving the performance of projects and enhancing the process efficiency.