Infrastructure Engineering - Research Publications

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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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    Effective use of offsite manufacturing for public infrastructure projects in Australia
    Gunawardena, D ; Mendis, P ; Ngo, D ; Rismanchi, B ; Aye, L (ICE Publishing, 2019)
    Prefabrication and offsite manufacturing have featured in various forms in an in-situ based construction industry for many decades. Scarcity of both human and material resources is challenging the future of traditional construction practices. Due to its many benefits such as speed of project delivery, minimum work on site, minimised construction waste and higher quality assurance, offsite manufacturing is gradually evolving into an essential technology in the construction industry. As a result of re-cent government initiatives, Australia is seeing a considerable increase in the use of offsite manufacturing and prefabricated modular technologies in delivering public infrastructure projects such as schools, healthcare facilities, and public transport facilities. Such projects are ably supported by academic research collaborating with the industry to ensure that the outcomes keep improving to achieve the highest quality and functionality. This paper discusses how multidisciplinary research addresses issues such as structural performance, construction technology, design for manufacturing and assembly and indoor environ-mental quality for the delivery of such public infrastructure projects. These projects have set an example in how offsite manufacturing supported by academic research can be beneficial for effectively delivering the greater good to the society.
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    Thermal performance of concrete with PCMs
    JAYALATH, A ; Mendis, PA ; Aye, L ; Ngo, TD (University of Moratuwa, 2012-01-01)
    Development of energy efficient and environmentally friendly materials to reduce energy consumption in buildings is a major concern in today’s building and construction industry. Sustainable development of energy efficient materials in buildings needs to consider not only the mechanical properties such as strength and stiffness of structural materials but also thermal properties which includes heat capacity and thermal insulation. Concrete as most widely used construction material has a great potential to improve its heat storing capacity or thermal mass for their effective usage in buildings. One of the promising solutions is thermal energy storage with Phase change materials (PCM). 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. Moreover PCM absorbs the excess energy during cement hydration and reduces the possibility of formation of cracks within the concrete. This paper reviews available literature on Phase change materials in concrete, its application and discusses finite element modelling of thermal performance of composite concrete.
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    Innovative modelling and visualisation platform for sustainable cities - MUtopia
    Mendis, PA ; Ngo, TD ; Aye, L ; Malano, HM ; Rajabifard, A (University of Moratuwa, 2012)
    Now more than half the world’s population lives in towns and cities and this proportion will rise to nearly two thirds by 2030. Many cities worldwide are facing acute challenges, and therefore it is essential that all future developments are carried out on a sustainable footing. Through a web-based platform, MUtopia visualises and demonstrates in a quantifiable manner what impact a planned site development would have by representing best practice in all aspects of sustainable urban living on a relatively large scale. Sites may be new suburbs or rebuilt sections of the city large enough to require systematic planning. The project focuses on the development of an integrated modelling, analysis and visualization tool that helps the government and developers to make informed decisions to achieve such sustainable urban development and implementation. MUtopia integrates the streams of energy, waste, water and transport, based on land use, as well as social and environmental factors so that various planning scenar os or dependencies between factors can be tested. It is an integrated BIM and GIS tool. MUtopia would be an international first in an area of growing interest and need.
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    A holistic model for designing and optimising sustainable prefabricated modular buildings
    Gunawardena, DS ; Ngo, TD ; Mendis, PA ; Aye, L ; Crawford, RH ; Alfano, JA (University of Moratuwa, 2012)
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    A Scenario Analysis Approach to Distributed Energy System Optimisation
    Christopher, PB ; Aye, L ; Ngo, T ; Mendis, P ; Piantadosi, J ; Anderssen, RS ; Boland, J (MODELLING & SIMULATION SOC AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND INC, 2013-01-01)
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    Fire resistance of a prefabricated bushfire bunker using aerated concrete panels
    Nguyen, T ; Ngo, DT ; Tran, P ; Mendis, P ; Aye, L ; Kristombu Baduge, KS (Elsevier, 2018-06-20)
    Prefabricated lightweight aerated concrete (PLAC) panels provide low thermal conductivity, potentially high stiffness-to-weight ratios, cost-effective material and structural systems and rapid modular construction. These panels can be utilised as floor slabs or external walls for various applications in building construction. The fire performance of the PLAC panel is examined in this work for a particular case, namely a prefabricated emergency bushfire shelter, which is one of the key applications of PLAC panels. Since, bushfires have unique heating curves, standardised tests are not useful and the system needs to be tested in a manner such that the heat flux of an actual bush fire can be reproduced. In this study, the fire performance enhancement of dual-skin bushfire bunkers, which are comprised of lightweight concrete and base metal thickness (BMT) steel, are examined experimentally and validated numerically. The Speedpanel PLAC modular panel explored in this work is a lightweight wall system primarily used for acoustic and thermal insulation purposes. Burning experimental studies of a single panel and dual-skin bunkers are carried out on a full scale. The experimental results are compared with fire safety codes for building materials to identify the key areas for improvements. A fire dynamic numerical model has been developed in this work using the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) to simulate the burning process of PLAC structures. Numerical results of heat production are presented in comparison with experimental observations for validating the computational model. The proposed numerical model is used to predict the fire performance of a dual-skin bushfire bunker, demonstrating the need to have at least two PLAC layers to ensure fire safety compliance.
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    An optimum construction strategy for multi-story residential prefabricated modular buildings
    Thalpe Guruge, ; Samarasinghe, ; Gunawardena, ; Nguyen, T ; Mendis, P ; Ngo, T ; Aye, L (ZEMCH Network, 2018-01-29)
    Prefabrication is recognised as the way forward in building construction by the industry as it delivers quality yet affordable mass customisable houses faster than traditional on-site construction. The prefabrication of multi-story buildings transforms traditional construction into off-site manufacturing of repetitive components. Currently there are three main structural systems being adopted for modular multi-story buildings; 1) Building with a rigid in-situ central core to which the modules are connected, 2) A podium structure which acts as a base where modules are placed on top of it, 3) Fully modular structure with strategically placed load bearing modules. Current investigations on these systems focus on improving their benefits such as construction time, cost, safety and quality based on one variable at a time. However, there is a lack of studies with a holistic approach to identify the optimum structural system. This paper aims to define an Optimum Modular System Index (OMI) which will be based upon three main indices; Assembly cost penalty Index (ACPI), Onsite handling cost penalty Index (HCPI) and Concrete cost penalty Index (CCPI). Determination of OMI is expected to provide a framework to identify the optimum construction system for multi-story residential prefabricated modular buildings.