Infrastructure Engineering - Research Publications

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    Multi-Criteria Analysis of a Developed Prefabricated Footing System on Reactive Soil Foundation
    Teodosio, B ; Bonacci, F ; Seo, S ; Baduge, KSK ; Mendis, P (MDPI, 2021-11-01)
    The need for advancements in residential construction and the hazard induced by the shrink–swell reactive soil movement prompted the development of the prefabricated footing system of this study, which was assessed and compared to a conventional waffle raft using a multi-criteria analysis. The assessment evaluates the structural performance, cost efficiency, and sustainability using finite element modelling, life cycle cost analysis, and life cycle assessment, respectively. The structural performance of the developed prefabricated system was found to have reduced the deformation and cracking by approximately 40%. However, the cost, GHG emission, and embodied energy were higher in the prefabricated footing system due to the greater required amount of concrete and steel than that of the waffle raft. The cost difference between the two systems can be reduced to as low as 6% when prefabricated systems were installed in a highly reactive sites with large floor areas. The life cycle assessment further observed that the prefabricated footing systems consume up to 21% more energy and up to 18% more GHG emissions. These can significantly be compensated by reusing the developed prefabricated footing system, decreasing the GHG emission and energy consumption by 75–77% and 55–59% with respect to that of the waffle raft.
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    Applications of phase change materials in concrete for sustainable built environment: a review
    JAYALATH, A ; Mendis, PA ; Gammampila, GR ; Aye, L (ICSECM 2011, 2011)
    The fast economic development around the globe and high standards of living imposes an ever increasing demand for energy. As a prime consumer of world‟s material and energy resources building and construction industry has a great potential in developing new efficient and environmentally friendly materials to reduce energy consumptions in buildings. Thermal energy storage systems (TES) with Phase change materials (PCM) offer attractive means of improving the thermal mass and the thermal comfort within a building. PCMs are latent heat thermal storage (LHTS) materials with high energy storage density compared to conventional sensible heat storage materials. Concrete incorporating PCM improves the thermal mass of the building which reduces the space conditioning energy consumption and extreme temperature fluctuations within the building. The heat capacity and high density of concrete coupled with latent heat storage of PCM provides a novel energy saving concepts for sustainable built environment. Microencapsulation is a latest and advanced technology for incorporation of PCM in to concrete which creates finely dispersed PCMs with high surface area for greater amount of heat transfer. This paper reviews available literature on Phase change materials in concrete, its application and numerical modelling of composite concrete. However most of the existing TES systems have been explored with wallboards and plaster materials and comparatively a few researches have been done on TES systems using cementitious materials. Thus, there is a need for comprehensive experimental and analytical investigations on PCM applications with cementitious materials as the most widely used construction materials in buildings.
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    Application of nanomaterials in the sustainable built environment
    Gammampila, GRG ; Mendis, PAM ; Ngo, TDN ; Aye, LA ; JAYALATH, A ; RUPASINGHE, RAM (University of Moratuwa, 2010)
    Nanotechnology is widely regarded as one of the twenty-first century’s key technologies, and its economic importance is sharply on the rise. In the construction industry, nanomaterials has potentials that are already usable today, especially the functional characteristics such as increased tensile strength, self-cleaning capacity, fire resistance, and additives based on nano materials make common materials lighter, more permeable, and more resistant to wear. Nanomaterial are also considered extremely useful for roofs and facades in the built environment. They also expand design possibilities for interior and exterior rooms and spaces. Nano–insulating materials open up new possibilities for ecologically oriented sustainable infrastructure development. It has been demonstrated that nanotechnology has invented products with many unique characteristics which could significantly provide solutions current construction issues and may change the requirement and organization of construction process. This paper examines and documents applicable nanotechnology based products that can improve the sustainable development and overall competitiveness of the construction industry.
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    Application of nano insulation materials in the sustainable built environment
    Gammampila, GRG ; Mendis, PAM ; Ngo, TDN ; Aye, LA ; Herath, NCH (University of Moratuwa, 2010)
    Nanotechnology is widely being used in the built environment for its advantages in many improved engineering properties of the nano materials. Nano insulating materials open up new possibilities for ecologically oriented sustainable infrastructure development. The most widely used nano material in built environment is for the purpose of insulation to improve the energy efficiency namely in the buildings and dwellings. Nanotechnology has now provided an effective and affordable means to increase energy efficiency in pre-existing buildings as well as new construction by increasing thermal resistance. The major advantage of nano insulation materials is its benefit of translucent coatings which increase the thermal envelope of a building without reducing the square footage. The intrinsic property of nano insulating material is it can be applied to windows to reduce heat transfer from solar radiation due it its thermal resistant property and the translucent property allows diffusing of day light. The nano insulating material has significant advantage in reducing the operational energy aspects of buildings due to its valuable insulating properties. This paper examines applicable nanotechnology based products that can improve the sustainable development and overall competitiveness of the building industry. The areas of applying nano insulating material in building industry will be mainly focused on the building envelope. The paper also examines the potential advantages of using nanotechnology based insulating material in reducing the life cycle energy, reduction of material usage and enhancing the useable life span. The paper also investigates the operational energy by simulation methodology and compares the reduction of operational energy consumption.
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    Design of prefabricated footing connection using a coupled hydro-mechanical finite element model
    Teodosio, B ; Baduge, KSK ; Mendis, P (ERNST & SOHN, 2021-11-23)
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    Microstructural Investigation of High-Volume Fly Ash Composites Containing Nano-Calcium Silicate Hydrate Crystals
    Zhou, Z ; Sofi, M ; Sabri, Y ; Liu, J ; Kang, S ; Mendis, P (ASCE-AMER SOC CIVIL ENGINEERS, 2021-12-01)
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    Internet of Things for Structural Health Monitoring
    SRIDHARA RAO, A ; Gubbi, J ; Ngo, T ; Mendis, P ; Palaniswami, M ; Epaarachchi, A ; Chanaka Kahandawa, G (CRC Press, 2016-05)
    The Internet revolution led to the interconnection between people at an unprecedented scale and pace. The ability of the sensor networks to send data over the Internet further enhanced the scope and usage of the sensor networks. The Internet uses unique address to identify the devices connected to the network. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) implies monitoring of the state of the structures through sensor networks in an online mode and are pertinent to aircraft and buildings. SHM can be further divided into two categories: global health monitoring and local health monitoring. Continuous online SHM would be an ideal solution. SHM is performed by using acoustic sensors, ultrasonic sensors, strain gauges, optical fibers, and so on. Video cameras can also be used for SHM. SHM can be achieved in real-time and rich analytics. With the advent of smart sensors—sensors with programmable microprocessors, memory, and processing—has reduced load of central data processing, communication overhead while proving continuous SHM status.
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    Effect of wind speed and direction on facade fire spread in an isolated rectangular building
    Abu-Zidan, Y ; Rathnayaka, S ; Mendis, P ; Nguyen, K (Elsevier, 2022-05-01)
    This paper investigates the influence of wind speed and direction on external fire spread in an isolated rectangular building using computational fluid dynamics models validated with wind tunnel data and facade fire tests. Two wind speeds (2 m/s, 4 m/s) are considered for each of four wind directions (0°, 45°, 90°, 180°) and compared to a reference case of no wind. Results indicate that facade fire spread is heavily influenced by the near-wall flow fields generated by the building geometry. These flow fields explain counterintuitive findings such as the upstream tilting of flames under the influence of reverse flow near the side walls. The presence of external wind was found to inhibit the initial development of facade fires, but can greatly exacerbate fire spread once the fire has fully developed. The largest fire occurred for the case of no wind (7.5 GJ in 15 min) while the smallest fire occurred for the 4 m/s diagonal wind case (2.2 GJ). An additional case with temporally varying wind conditions demonstrated a 50% increase in fire spread area compared to no wind. The study provides valuable insight into wind and fire interaction in building facades that can help improve fire safety of buildings.
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    Comparative assessment of embodied energy of recycled aggregate concrete
    Wijayasundara, M ; Crawford, RH ; Mendis, P (Elsevier, 2017)
    Concrete waste can be recycled to produce an aggregate product; referred to as recycled concrete aggregate (RCA). While RCA is mainly used as a road base filler material, it has the potential to replace natural coarse aggregate (NA) in structural concrete. In determining the environmental performance of the resultant concrete product from this substitution, referred to as recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) against its counterpart, natural aggregate concrete (NAC), it is important to consider the effects of the entire life cycle including the upstream processes associated with each. This paper evaluates “cradle-to-gate” embodied energy (EE) of RAC received at a construction site, in comparison to NAC, using the input-output-based hybrid approach, using an Australian context. The paper constructs a model to evaluate EE of RAC and analyses the incremental energy of RAC as opposed to NAC, to identify what contribute to the difference out of four primary factors discussed in previous research. It was found that the EE of RAC is marginally different to that of NAC by +2.1 to −1.1%, and the variation was subject to the magnitude and direction of the four factors considered. The mix composition, primarily the binder composition, was found to have the highest contribution to the difference, significantly standing out from the direct energy difference between RCA and NA, difference of sourcing distance between RCA and NA and the difference of direct manufacturing energy between RAC and NAC.