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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    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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    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.
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    Methodology for the integrated assessment on the use of recycled concrete aggregate replacing natural aggregate in structural concrete
    Wijayasundara, M ; Mendis, P ; Crawford, RH (Elsevier, 2017)
    Recycled concrete waste in the form of recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) is presently used mostly as a road base filler in Australia. However, instead of producing natural aggregate (NA) to manufacture natural aggregate concrete (NAC) to use in structural concrete, there is potential to use RCA to manufacture recycled aggregate concrete (RAC). While the material performance of RAC compared to NAC is analysed in the existing literature, it is not evident whether the use of RCA in structural concrete results in financial and environmental benefits. Previous literature analysing these aspects mostly focuses on a single area of investigation. This paper presents an integrated methodology for the assessment of the use of RCA replacing NA in structural concrete, considering technical, financial, environmental and social perspectives. Cost-benefit assessment (CBA) has been used to evaluate the internalised impacts as well as external costs concerning the use of both RAC and NAC. The scope of each discipline-focused assessment is presented demarcating the relevant scope for further study, and the specific tools and methodologies to be adopted are specified. Finally, amalgamating the different discipline-focused assessments, a unique approach for comparing a sustainable, alternative raw material for concrete, is presented in this paper.
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    Integrated assessment of the use of recycled concrete aggregate replacing natural aggregate in structural concrete
    Wijayasundara, M ; Mendis, P ; Crawford, RH (Elsevier, 2018)
    The use of recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) replacing natural aggregate (NA) to produce concrete named as recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) has gained increased importance in the last few decades. Despite many visible advantages associated with the initiative, RAC is not manufactured at commercial scale to replace natural aggregate concrete (NAC) used as structural concrete in Australia presently. To identify whether the production of RAC should be favoured against NAC, an integrated assessment combining multiple criteria is essential as the previous research findings provide mixed outcomes on financial viability, product performance and environmental performance. This paper uses an integrated assessment methodology employing cost-benefit analysis (CBA) which combines the financial, direct and indirect environmental, social outcomes associated with the initiative to evaluate its suitability. By combining several qualitative and quantitative studies published by the author/s, an integral result to compare the use of RCA replacing NA in structural applications is conducted in this study. Net present value (NPV) to society associated with a unit volume of RAC is evaluated as a representative indicator to compare RAC against NAC in this paper. The results state that a unit volume of RAC results in a positive NPV of 4.2–6.0% of the price of NAC for 30% replacement (and 16.3–22.6% for 100%), prior to being used in a building r. Simulation of application of the RAC to two case study buildings indicate that the average price of concrete used in the buildings is decreased by 4.1–6.1%. The results indicate that, if the external benefit associated with the production of RAC is internalised and passed on to the purchaser of the product, production of RAC in structural buildings result in a positive NPV and saving of building material costs to the contractor.
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    Net incremental indirect external benefit of manufacturing recycled aggregate concrete
    Wijayasundara, M ; Mendis, P ; Crawford, RH (Elsevier, 2018-08-01)
    Concrete waste (CW) either reaches landfill with mixed waste or crushed to produce crushed concrete (CC) used as a road-base product in Australia. The coarse portion of CC, referred to as recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) has the potential to be used as an aggregate in structural concrete replacing natural aggregate (NA). The environmental performance of RAC has been studied in comparison to NAC, in terms of direct environmental implications (DEI) concerning the processes in the production chain of these products. However, when replacement at industry level is considered, the implications go beyond the DEI, and affect a series of other products/processes within a system boundary, referred to as indirect environmental implications (IEI). This paper quantifies the key IEI associated with the use of RCA in structural concrete and evaluates the external costs and benefits associated with it using economic evaluation methods. The net benefit associated with the avoidance of landfill of CW, extraction of NA, and transportation of waste and by-products are the major externalities identified and quantified in this paper. Evaluation of these suggest that there is a significant net benefit ranging from 9% to 28% of the price of natural aggregate concrete (NAC) with the production of recycled aggregate concrete (RAC), for RCA replacement rates between 30% and 100%.
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    Detecting structural damage to bridge girders using radar interferometry and computational modelling
    Maizuar, M ; Zhang, L ; Miramini, S ; Mendis, P ; Thompson, RG (JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD, 2017-10-01)
    The process for assessing the condition of a bridge involves continuously monitoring changes to the material properties, support conditions, and system connectivity throughout its life cycle. It is known that the structural integrity of bridges can be monitored by measuring their vibration responses. However, the relationship between frequency changes and structural damage is still not fully understood. This study presents a bridge condition assessment framework which integrates computational modelling and noncontact radar sensor techniques (i.e., IBIS-S) to predict changes in the natural frequencies of a bridge girder as a result of a range of parameters that govern its structural performance (e.g., elastomeric bearing stiffness, concrete compressive stiffness, and crack propagation). Using a prestressed concrete bridge in Australia as a case study, the research outcomes suggest that vibration monitoring using IBIS-S is an efficient way for detecting the degradation of elastomeric bearing stiffness and shear crack propagation in the support areas that can significantly affect the overall structural integrity of a bridge structure. However, frequency measurements have limited capability for detecting the decrease in the material properties of a bridge girder.
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    Design and Development of Weatherproof Seals for Prefabricated Construction: A Methodological Approach
    Orlowski, K ; Shanaka, K ; Mendis, P (MDPI, 2018-09-01)
    Satisfactory weatherproofing of buildings is vital to maximise their design life and performance which requires the careful design of external sealing technologies. Systems commonly available have served well in conventional construction however with many prefabricated systems emerging in the building industry new and novel means of weatherproofing between panels and modules need to be developed purpose specific to this application. This paper presents a holistic and fundamental methodological approach to Design and Development of waterproof seals and has been applied specific for prefabricated panelised and modular systems. Two purpose specific weatherproof seals are finally presented. Flow charts of the overview of the suggested methodological approach and the processes within which include DfMA that have been incorporated into understanding and developing seals for this practical application. These strategies have enabled a resourceful and holistic set of processes that can be adapted and used for similar forms of product research in new and developing areas of construction such as prefabrication. The design and development process is thoroughly investigated and has resulted in an exploration of the technical challenges and potential solutions which take into consideration factors from installation limitations to building tolerances.