Infrastructure Engineering - Research Publications

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    Upcycling opportunities and potential markets for aluminium composite panels with polyethylene core (ACP-PE) cladding materials in Australia: A review
    Pilipenets, O ; Gunawardena, T ; Kin Peng Hui, F ; Nguyen, K ; Mendis, P ; Aye, L (Elsevier BV, 2022-11-28)
    Many buildings worldwide have high fire-risk materials as part of their cladding. As governments in Australia strive to make buildings safer, it is expected that a large volume of end-of-life dangerous cladding will be replaced with safer materials. This high volume of hazardous materials might be upcycled into value-added products. This article presents a systematic market analysis and literature review in identifying current and potential uses for the raw materials used in hazardous ACP-PE cladding. The most promising areas were identified to be non-food-contact packaging (US$228 M p.a.), non-pressure pipes (US$30 M p.a.), footwear (US$5.29 M p.a.) and 3D printer filament (US$2.73 M p.a.)
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    Challenges in Transport Logistics for Modular Construction: A Case Study
    Peiris, PA ; Hui, K ; Ngo, T ; Duffield, CF ; Garcia, MG ; Dissanayake, R ; Mendis, P ; Weerasekera, K ; De Silva, S ; Fernando, S ; Konthesingha, C (Springer Nature, 2022-09-29)
    Construction logistics is one of the essential functions in the modular construction industry due to the high demand for on-time delivery of components. For modular component suppliers, there is minimal flexibility in delivery times as generally, the installation times of modular components are critical to the contractor’s construction programme. There are several studies conducted in recent years that articulate novel methodologies in construction logistics scheduling; however, the industry still faces challenges in streamlining the whole supply chain to better cater to potential uncertainties that impact construction logistics. This paper looks at a case study on a modular component supplier in Melbourne, with regarding to the challenges faced and how they have effectively overcome these challenges and provides a framework to mitigate construction logistics related discrepancies in the supply chain. The resilience of these methods in facing unforeseen events such as COVID-19 will also be discussed. The overarching objectives of this paper are to include: (1) bibliographic mapping of related publications; (2) identification of current methods, problems and technologies used in modular construction logistics; and (3) propose best practice guidelines that can be implemented to effectively cater to such uncertainties in construction logistics to minimise the impact on the supply chain. Further, incorporating lean principles for planning construction logistics and transport for the modular construction industry is also in discussion. Finally, the potential future research directions are highlighted to guide the researchers to pursue areas of much importance.
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    Framework for standardising carbon neutrality in building projects
    Too, J ; Ejohwomu, OA ; Hui, FKP ; Duffield, C ; Bukoye, OT ; Edwards, DJ (Elsevier, 2022-11-01)
    The construction industry accounts for approximately 40% of the global carbon emissions and is the largest consumer of materials and energy. Given the Paris Agreement target towards global net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, significant changes are required in the design, construction and use of buildings. This study applies a qualitative approach that combines a systematic literature review (SLR) with in-depth semi-structured interviews with experts to analyse existing carbon neutrality frameworks and decision support tools; expanding current knowledge by bringing to the fore the challenges experienced in implementing these frameworks. This research effort reveals an inadequacy in frameworks for effective decision-making on decarbonisation strategies along the project lifecycle. A novel framework that breaks down the activities and decision points across the entire project lifecycle is proposed to bridge this gap in literature. The developed framework defines whole lifecycle cost, whole lifecycle energy use, exergetic lifecycle and whole lifecycle emissions as the four critical underpinning variables considered in making decarbonisation decisions. It further details the key evaluation criteria to facilitate decision-making at each stage of the project lifecycle and provides decision-makers with contextual guidance for assessing the impact of their decarbonisation decisions at the planning, delivery, closure and operations phases of the project. It will assist academic researchers, building owners and industry professionals to keep track of the project's carbon neutrality target and encourage best practices for carbon emission reduction in the building sector.
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    A review of facilities management interventions to mitigate respiratory infections in existing buildings
    Zhang, Y ; Hui, FKP ; Duffield, C ; Saeed, AM (PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2022-08-01)
    The Covid-19 pandemic reveals that the hazard of the respiratory virus was a secondary consideration in the design, development, construction, and management of public and commercial buildings. Retrofitting such buildings poses a significant challenge for building owners and facilities managers. This article reviews current research and practices in building operations interventions for indoor respiratory infection control from the perspective of facilities managers to assess the effectiveness of available solutions. This review systematically selects and synthesises eighty-six articles identified through the PRISMA process plus supplementary articles identified as part of the review process, that deal with facilities' operations and maintenance (O&M) interventions. The paper reviewed the context, interventions, mechanisms, and outcomes discussed in these articles, concluding that interventions for respiratory virus transmission in existing buildings fall into three categories under the Facilities Management (FM) discipline: Hard services (HVAC and drainage system controls) to prevent aerosol transmissions, Soft Services (cleaning and disinfection) to prevent fomite transmissions, and space management (space planning and occupancy controls) to eliminate droplet transmissions. Additionally, the research emphasised the need for FM intervention studies that examine occupant behaviours with integrated intervention results and guide FM intervention decision-making. This review expands the knowledge of FM for infection control and highlights future research opportunities.
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    Evaluating uncertainties to deliver enhanced service performance in education PPPs: a hierarchical reliability framework
    Geng, L ; Herath, N ; Hui, FKP ; Liu, X ; Duffield, C ; Zhang, L (EMERALD GROUP PUBLISHING LTD, 2022-06-20)
    Purpose This study aims to develop a hierarchical reliability framework to evaluate the service delivery performance of education public–private partnerships (PPPs) effectively and efficiently during long-term operations. Design/methodology/approach The research design included development and test phases. In the development phase, three performance layers, i.e. indicator, component and system, in the education service delivery system were identified. Then, service component reliability was computed through first order reliability method (FORM). Finally, the reliability of the service system was obtained using dynamic component weightings. A PPP school example in Australia was set up in the test phase, where performance indicators were collected from relevant contract documents and performance data were simulated under three assumptive scenarios. Findings The example in the test phase yielded good results for the developed framework in evaluating uncertainties of service delivery performance for education PPPs. Potentially underperforming services from the component to the system level at dynamic timepoints were identified, and effective preventative maintenance strategies were developed. Research limitations/implications This research enriches reliability theory and performance evaluation research on education PPPs. First, a series of performance evaluation indicators are constructed for assessing the performance of the service delivery of the education PPP operations. Then, a reliability-based framework for service components and system is developed to predict service performance of the PPP school operations with consideration of a range of uncertainties during project delivery. Practical implications The developed framework was illustrated with a real-world case study. It demonstrates that the developed reliability-based framework could potentially provide the practitioners of the public sector with a basis for developing effective preventative maintenance strategies with the aim of prolonging the service life of the PPP schools. Originality/value Evaluating education PPPs is challenging as it involves long-term measurement of various service components under uncertainty. The developed reliability-based framework is a valuable tool to ensure that reliability is maintained throughout the service life of education PPPs in the presence of uncertainty.
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    Improving Design by Partnering in Engineering-Procurement-Construction (EPC) Hydropower Projects: A Case Study of a Large-Scale Hydropower Project in China
    Liu, Y ; Tang, W ; Duffield, CF ; Hui, FKP ; Zhang, L ; Zhang, X ; Kang, Y (MDPI, 2021-12-01)
    Hydropower, as a renewable energy resource, has become an important way to fit for Chinese long-term energy policy of energy transformation. Engineering–procurement–construction (EPC) has been increasingly adopted for improving hydropower project delivery efficiency in the utilization of water resources and generation of clean energy, where design plays a critical role in project success. Existing studies advocate the need to use partnering for better solutions to designs in EPC hydropower projects. However, there is a lack of a theoretical framework to systematically address design-related issues considering different participants’ interactions. This study coherently examined the causal relationships among partnering, design management, design capability, and EPC hydropower project performance by establishing and validating a conceptual model, with the support of data collected from a large-scale EPC hydropower project. Path analysis reveals that partnering can directly promote design management and design capability and exert an effect on design capability through enhancing design management, thereby achieving better hydropower project outcomes. This study’s contribution lies in that it theoretically builds the links between intra- and inter-organizational design-related activities by systematically mapping EPC hydropower project performance on partnering, design management, and design capability. These findings also suggest broad practical strategies for participants to optimally integrate their complementary resources into designs to achieve superior hydropower project performance.
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    New normal remote communication for collaboration (presentation)
    Vaz-Serra, P ; Hui, KP ; Aye, L ( 2021-12-19)
    Presented at the 12th International Conference on Structural Engineering and construction Management (ICSECM) 2021, Kandy, Sri Lanka (17-19 December)
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    Effects of learning curve models on onshore wind and solar PV cost developments in the USA
    Castrejon-Campos, O ; Aye, L ; Hui, FKP (PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2022-05-01)
    Technological innovation planning for developing and deploying clean energy technologies plays a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a low-carbon future. Learning curve theory has been adopted as a common framework for exploring the relationship between endogenous technological learning and technology cost developments. The aim of this article is to analyse the effects of selecting different learning curve approaches (i.e. model formulations) to describe energy technology cost changes over time. Experience and knowledge stock are chosen as the sources of learning to be considered. A new definition of experience was developed to account for the interaction between global and local experience. The new definition of experience also accounts for learning sub-processes (i.e. learning-by-doing, learning-by-using, and experience spillovers) to estimate total experience gained through technology deployment. An integrative model is developed for estimating the effects of learning-by-deploying and learning-by-researching on cost developments for onshore wind and solar PV in the USA. Publicly available data from government departments and organisations were utilised. It was found that technology cost developments are better explained when: (1) experience is defined as a function of global and local experience; (2) knowledge stock is also considered in the model formulation; and (3) technological processes affect only a fraction of the total capital cost. The findings suggested that the application of learning rates for model-based energy planning is context-dependent and how technological factors are explicitly defined may have significantly different policy implications (i.e. different technology costs predictions based on alternative model formulations).
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    Dataset on effects of learning curve models on onshore wind and solar PV cost developments in the USA (Version 2)
    Castrejon Campos, O ; Aye, L ; Hui, KP ( 2022-02-21)
    This dataset includes input data to estimate learning-by-deploying (LbD) and learning-by-researching (LbR) rates for onshore wind and solar PV in the United States of America (USA). Using different learning curve approaches the simulated technological-based cost developments are also presented. Coefficient of determination (R squared) and Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) were applied for quantification of the agreement between simulated and observed technological-based costs.
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    HOW TO GET INTERNATIONAL CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS DELIVERED ON TIME: FROM CHINESE CONTRACTORS' PERSPECTIVE
    Sun, H ; Tang, W ; Duffield, CF ; Zhang, L ; Hui, FKP (VILNIUS GEDIMINAS TECH UNIV, 2022-01-01)
    67.9% of Chinese international construction projects are seriously delayed, which creates the potential for instability in its rapidly growing share of global contracting markets. A greater understanding of the reasons behind the challenges confronting international contractors is urgently required such that improvements can be developed that ultimately will benefit many countries. This study aims to investigate the time performance of international projects in developing countries and to explore the root causes of time overrun. Based on both quantitative and qualitative analysis of 112 case study projects, collected from 12 of the largest Chinse state-owned enterprises (SOEs), this study identifies the distinctive characteristics of three types of projects (late, acceptable, early) classified based on their time performances. It is established that time performance is significantly related to the contractor’s adaptability and project complexity. The results reveal the root causes of construction delays in international project delivery, which provides a structured and in-depth understanding of both internal and external time performance influential factors. The above findings provide sound basis for guiding practitioners in choosing appropriate strategies to improve project time performance, such as encouraging cross-cultural dialogues, integrating global resources and establishing long-term global partnerships with stakeholders.