Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 30

Civil, Environmental, Structural, Construction and Architectural Engineering

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  • 30
    Structural Behavior of Laterally Loaded Precast Foamed Concrete Sandwich Panel
    Experimental and analytical studies were carried out to investigate the structural behavior of precast foamed concrete sandwich panels (PFCSP) of total number (6) as one-way action slab tested under lateral load. The details of the test setup and procedures were illustrated. The results obtained from the experimental tests were discussed which include the observation of cracking patterns and influence of aspect ratio (L/b). Analytical study of finite element analysis was implemented and degree of composite action of the test panels was also examined in both experimental and analytical studies. Result shows that crack patterns appeared in only one-direction, similar to reports on solid slabs, particularly when both concrete wythes act in a composite manner. Foamed concrete was briefly reviewed and experimental results were compared with the finite element analyses data which gives a reasonable degree of accuracy. Therefore, based on the results obtained, PFCSP slab can be used as an alternative to conventional flooring system.
    A Digital Pulse-Width Modulation Controller for High-Temperature DC-DC Power Conversion Application

    This paper presents a digital non-linear pulse-width modulation (PWM) controller in a high-voltage (HV) buck-boost DC-DC converter for the piezoelectric transducer of the down-hole acoustic telemetry system. The proposed design controls the generation of output signal with voltage higher than the supply voltage and is targeted to work under high temperature. To minimize the power consumption and silicon area, a simple and efficient design scheme is employed to develop the PWM controller. The proposed PWM controller consists of serial to parallel (S2P) converter, data assign block, a mode and duty cycle controller (MDC), linearly PWM (LPWM) and noise shaper, pulse generator and clock generator. To improve the reliability of circuit operation at higher temperature, this design is fabricated with the 1.0-μm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) CMOS process. The implementation results validated that the proposed design has the advantages of smaller size, lower power consumption and robust thermal stability.

    Effect of Blast Furnace Iron Slag on the Mechanical Performance of Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA)
    This paper discusses the effect of using blast furnace iron slag as a part of fine aggregate on the mechanical performance of hot mix asphalt (HMA). The mechanical performance was evaluated based on various mechanical properties that include; Marshall/stiffness, indirect tensile strength and unconfined compressive strength. The effect of iron slag content on the mechanical properties of the mixtures was also investigated. Four HMA with various iron slag contents, namely; 0%, 5%, 10% and 15% by weight of total mixture were studied. Laboratory testing has revealed an enhancement in the compressive strength of HMA when iron slag was used. Within the tested range of iron slag content, a considerable increase in the compressive strength of the mixtures was observed with the increase of slag content. No significant improvement on Marshall/stiffness and indirect tensile strength of the mixtures was observed when slag was used. Even so, blast furnace iron slag can still be used in asphalt paving for environmental advantages.
    Characteristics of Speed Dispersion in Urban Expressway

    Speed dispersion has tight relation to traffic safety. In this paper, several kinds of indicating parameters (the standard speed deviation, the coefficient of variation, the deviation of V85 and V15, the mean speed deviations, and the difference between adjacent car speeds) are applied to investigate the characteristics of speed dispersion, where V85 and V15 are 85th and 15th percentile speed, respectively. Their relationships are into full investigations and the results show that: there exists a positive relation (linear) between mean speed and the deviation of V85 and V15; while a negative relation (quadratic) between traffic flow and standard speed deviation. The mean speed deviation grows exponentially with mean speed while the absolute speed deviation between adjacent cars grows linearly with the headway. The results provide some basic information for traffic management.

    Model Solutions for Performance-Based Seismic Analysis of an Anchored Sheet Pile Quay Wall

    Conventional seismic designs of quay walls in ports are mostly based on pseudo-static analysis. A more advanced alternative is the Performance-Based Design (PBD) method, which evaluates permanent deformations and amounts of (repairable) damage under seismic loading. The aim of this study is to investigate the suitability of this method for anchored sheet pile quay walls that were not purposely designed for seismic loads. A research methodology is developed in which pseudo-static, permanent-displacement and finite element analysis are employed, calibrated with an experimental reference case that considers a typical anchored sheet pile wall. A reduction factor that accounts for deformation behaviour is determined for pseudo-static analysis. A model to apply traditional permanent displacement analysis on anchored sheet pile walls is proposed. Dynamic analysis is successfully carried out. From the research it is concluded that PBD evaluation can effectively be used for seismic analysis and design of this type of structure.

    Experimental Investigation on the Effect of Ultrasonication on Dispersion and Mechanical Performance of Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotube-Cement Mortar Composites
    Due to their remarkable mechanical properties, multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are considered by many researchers to be a highly promising filler and reinforcement agent for enhanced performance cementitious materials. Currently, however, achieving an effective dispersion of MWCNTs remains a major challenge in developing high performance nano-cementitious composites, since carbon nanotubes tend to form large agglomerates and bundles as a consequence of Van der Waals forces. In this study, effective dispersion of low concentrations of MWCNTs at 0.01%, 0.025%, and 0.05% by weight of cement in the composite was achieved by applying different sonication conditions in combination with the use of polycarboxylate ether as a surfactant. UV-Visible spectroscopy and Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to assess the dispersion of MWCNTs in water, while the dispersion states of MWCNTs within the cement composites and their surface interactions were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). A high sonication intensity applied over a short time period significantly enhanced the dispersion of MWCNTs at initial mixing stages, and 0.025% of MWCNTs wt. of cement, caused 86% and 27% improvement in tensile strength and compressive strength respectively, compared with a plain cement mortar.
    Design Criteria for Achieving Acceptable Indoor Radon Concentration
    Design criteria for achieving an acceptable indoor radon concentration are presented in this paper. The paper suggests three design criteria. These criteria have to be considered at the early stage of the building design phase to meet the latest recommendations from the World Health Organization in most countries. The three design criteria are; first, establishing a radon barrier facing the ground; second, lowering the air pressure in the lower zone of the slab on ground facing downwards; third, diluting the indoor air with outdoor air. The first two criteria can prevent radon from infiltrating from the ground, and the third criteria can dilute the indoor air. By combining these three criteria, the indoor radon concentration can be lowered achieving an acceptable level. In addition, a cheap and reliable method for measuring the radon concentration in the indoor air is described. The provision on radon in the Danish Building Regulations complies with the latest recommendations from the World Health Organization. Radon can cause lung cancer and it is not known whether there is a lower limit for when it is not harmful to human beings. Therefore, it is important to reduce the radon concentration as much as possible in buildings. Airtightness is an important factor when dealing with buildings. It is important to avoid air leakages in the building envelope both facing the atmosphere, e.g. in compliance with energy requirements, but also facing the ground, to meet the requirements to ensure and control the indoor environment. Infiltration of air from the ground underneath a building is the main providing source of radon to the indoor air.
    Seismic Performance Evaluation of Bridge Structures Using 3D Finite Element Methods in South Korea
    This study described the seismic performance evaluation of bridge structures, located near Daegu metropolitan city in Korea. The structural design code or regulatory guidelines is focusing on the protection of brittle failure or collapse in bridges’ lifetime during an earthquake. This paper illustrated the procedure in terms of the safety evaluation of bridges using simple linear elastic 3D Finite Element (FE) model in ABAQUS platform. The design response spectra based on KBC 2009 were then developed, in order to understand the seismic behavior of bridge structures. Besides, the multiple directional earthquakes were applied and it revealed that the most dominated earthquake direction was transverse direction of the bridge. Also, the bridge structure under the compressive stress was more fragile than the tensile stress and the vertical direction of seismic ground motions was not significantly affected to the structural system.
    Effect of Alkaline Activator, Water, Superplasticiser and Slag Contents on the Compressive Strength and Workability of Slag-Fly Ash Based Geopolymer Mortar Cured under Ambient Temperature

    Geopolymer (cement-free) concrete is the most promising green alternative to ordinary Portland cement concrete and other cementitious materials. While a range of different geopolymer concretes have been produced, a common feature of these concretes is heat curing treatment which is essential in order to provide sufficient mechanical properties in the early age. However, there are several practical issues with the application of heat curing in large-scale structures. The purpose of this study is to develop cement-free concrete without heat curing treatment. Experimental investigations were carried out in two phases. In the first phase (Phase A), the optimum content of water, polycarboxylate based superplasticizer contents and potassium silicate activator in the mix was determined. In the second stage (Phase B), the effect of ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) incorporation on the compressive strength of fly ash (FA) and Slag based geopolymer mixtures was evaluated. Setting time and workability were also conducted alongside with compressive tests. The results showed that as the slag content was increased the setting time was reduced while the compressive strength was improved. The obtained compressive strength was in the range of 40-50 MPa for 50% slag replacement mixtures. Furthermore, the results indicated that increment of water and superplasticizer content resulted to retarding of the setting time and slight reduction of the compressive strength. The compressive strength of the examined mixes was considerably increased as potassium silicate content was increased.

    Recycled Asphalt Pavement with Warm Mix Additive for Sustainable Road Construction

    The recent hike in raw materials costs and the quest for preservation of the environment has prompted asphalt industries to adopt greener road construction technology. This paper presents a study on such technology by means of asphalt recycling and use of warm mix asphalt (WMA) additive. It evaluates the effects of a WMA named RH-WMA on binder rheological properties and asphalt mixture performance. The recycled asphalt, obtained from local roads, was processed, fractionated, and incorporated with virgin aggregate and binder. For binder testing, the recycled asphalt was extracted and blended with virgin binder. The binder and mixtures specimen containing 30 % and 50 % recycled asphalt contents were mixed with 3 % RH-WMA. The rheological properties of the binder were evaluated based on fundamental, viscosity, and frequency sweep tests. Indirect tensile strength and resilient modulus tests were carried out to assess the mixture’s performances. The rheological properties and strength performance results showed that the addition of RH-WMA slightly reduced the binder and mixtures stiffness. The percentage of recycled asphalt increased the stiffness of binder and mixture, and thus improves the resistance to rutting. Therefore, the integration of recycled asphalt and RH-WMA can be an alternative material for road sustainable construction for countries in the tropics.

    Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity Investigation of Polypropylene and Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete

    Ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) method has been shown for some time to provide a reliable means of estimating properties and offers a unique opportunity for direct, quick and safe control of building damaged by earthquake, fatigue, conflagration and catastrophic scenarios. On this investigation hybrid reinforced concrete has been investigated by UPV method. Hooked end steel fiber of length 50 and 30 mm was added to concrete in different proportion 0, 0.25, 0.5, and 1 % by the volume of concrete. On the other hand, polypropylene fiber of length 12, 6, 3 mm was added to concrete of 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 % by the volume of concrete. Fifteen different mixture has been prepared to investigate the relation between compressive strength and UPV values and also to investigate on the effect of volume and type of fiber on UPV values.

    CO2 Emission and Cost Optimization of Reinforced Concrete Frame Designed by Performance Based Design Approach

    As greenhouse effect has been recognized as serious environmental problem of the world, interests in carbon dioxide (CO2) emission which comprises major part of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been increased recently. Since construction industry takes a relatively large portion of total CO2 emissions of the world, extensive studies about reducing CO2 emissions in construction and operation of building have been carried out after the 2000s. Also, performance based design (PBD) methodology based on nonlinear analysis has been robustly developed after Northridge Earthquake in 1994 to assure and assess seismic performance of building more exactly because structural engineers recognized that prescriptive code based design approach cannot address inelastic earthquake responses directly and assure performance of building exactly. Although CO2 emissions and PBD approach are recent rising issues on construction industry and structural engineering, there were few or no researches considering these two issues simultaneously. Thus, the objective of this study is to minimize the CO2 emissions and cost of building designed by PBD approach in structural design stage considering structural materials. 4 story and 4 span reinforced concrete building optimally designed to minimize CO2 emissions and cost of building and to satisfy specific seismic performance (collapse prevention in maximum considered earthquake) of building satisfying prescriptive code regulations using non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm-II (NSGA-II). Optimized design result showed that minimized CO2 emissions and cost of building were acquired satisfying specific seismic performance. Therefore, the methodology proposed in this paper can be used to reduce both CO2 emissions and cost of building designed by PBD approach.

    Viability of Eggshells Ash Affecting the Setting Time of Cement

    This research paper reports on the feasibility and viability of eggshells ash and its effects on the water content and setting time of cement. An experiment was carried out to determine the quantity of water required in order to follow standard cement paste of normal consistency in accordance with MS EN 196-3:2007. The eggshells ash passing the 90µm sieve was used in the investigation. Eggshells ash with percentage of 0%, 0.1%, 0.5%, 1.0%, 1.5% and 2.0% were constituted to replace the cement. Chemical properties of both eggshells ash and cement are compared. From the results obtained, both eggshells ash and cement have the same chemical composition and primary composition which is the calcium compounds. Results from the setting time show that by adding the eggshells ash to the cement, the setting time of the cement decreases. In short, the higher amount of eggshells ash, the faster the rate of setting and apply to all percentage of eggshells ash that were used in this investigation. Both initial and final setting times fulfill the setting time requirements by Malaysian Standard. Hence, it is suggested that eggshells ash can be used as an admixture in concrete mix.

    Utilising Unground Oil Palm Ash in Producing Foamed Concrete and Its Implementation as an Interlocking Mortar-Less Block

    In this study, the possibility of using unground oil palm ash (UOPA) for producing foamed concrete is investigated. The UOPA used in this study is produced by incinerating palm oil biomass at a temperature exceeding 1000ºC. A semi-structural density of 1300kg/m3 was used with filler to binder ratio of 1.5 and preliminary water to binder ratio of 0.45. Cement was replaced by UOPA at replacement levels of 0, 25, 35, 45, 55 and 65% by weight of binder. Properties such as density, compressive strength, drying shrinkage and water absorption were investigated to the age of 90 days. The mix with a 35% of UOPA content was chosen to be used as the base material of a newly designed interlocking, mortar-less block system.

    Effects of Crushed Waste Aggregate from the Manufacture of Clay Bricks on Rendering Cement Mortar Performance

    This paper reports an experimental work that aimed to investigate the effects of clay brick waste, as part of fine aggregate, on rendering mortar performance. The brick, in crushed form, was from a local brick manufacturer that was rejected due to being of-standard. It was used to replace 33.33 %, 50 %, 66.66 % and 100 % by weight of the quarry sand in mortar. Effects of the brick replacement on the mortar key properties intended for wall plastering were investigated; these are workability, compressive strength, flexural strength, linear shrinkage, water absorption by total immersion and by capillary suction. The results showed that as the brick replacement level increased, the mortar workability reduced. The linear shrinkage increases over time and decreases with the introduction of brick waste. The compressive and flexural strengths decrease with the increase of brick waste because of their great water absorption.

    Effect of Manual Compacting and Semi-Automatic Compacting on Behavior of Stabilized Earth Concrete
    In the recent years, a considerable level of interest has been developed on the use of earth in construction, led by its rediscovery as an environmentally building material. The Stabilized Earth Concrete (SEC) is a good alternative to the cement concrete, thanks to its thermal and moisture regulating features. Many parameters affect the behavior of stabilized earth concrete. This article presents research results related to the influence of the compacting nature on some SEC properties namely: The mechanical behavior, capillary absorption, shrinkage and sustainability to water erosion, and this, basing on two types of compacting: Manual and semi-automatic.
    Applying Participatory Design for the Reuse of Deserted Community Spaces

    The concept of community building started in 1994 in Taiwan. After years of development, it fostered the notion of active local resident participation in community issues as co-operators, instead of minions. Participatory design gives participants more control in the decision-making process, helps to reduce the friction caused by arguments and assists in bringing different parties to consensus. This results in an increase in the efficiency of projects run in the community. Therefore, the participation of local residents is key to the success of community building. This study applied participatory design to develop plans for the reuse of deserted spaces in the community from the first stage of brainstorming for design ideas, making creative models to be employed later, through to the final stage of construction. After conducting a series of participatory designed activities, it aimed to integrate the different opinions of residents, develop a sense of belonging and reach a consensus. Besides this, it also aimed at building the residents’ awareness of their responsibilities for the environment and related issues of sustainable development. By reviewing relevant literature and understanding the history of related studies, the study formulated a theory. It took the “2012-2014 Changhua County Community Planner Counseling Program” as a case study to investigate the implementation process of participatory design. Research data are collected by document analysis, participants’ observation and in-depth interviews. After examining the three elements of “Design Participation”, “Construction Participation”, and” Follow–up Maintenance Participation” in the case, the study emerged with a promising conclusion: Maintenance works were carried out better compared to common public works. Besides this, maintenance costs were lower. Moreover, the works that residents were involved in were more creative. Most importantly, the community characteristics could be easy be recognized.

    Seismic Safety Evaluation of Weir Structures Using the Finite and Infinite Element Method

    This study presents the seismic safety evaluation of weir structure subjected to strong earthquake ground motions, as a flood defense structure in civil engineering structures. The seismic safety analysis procedure was illustrated through development of Finite Element (FE) and InFinite Element (IFE) method in ABAQUS platform. The IFE model was generated by CINPS4, 4-node linear one-way infinite model as a sold continuum infinite element in foundation areas of the weir structure and then nonlinear FE model using friction model for soil-structure interactions was applied in this study. In order to understand the complex behavior of weir structures, nonlinear time history analysis was carried out. Consequently, it was interesting to note that the compressive stress gave more vulnerability to the weir structure, in comparison to the tensile stress, during an earthquake. The stress concentration of the weir structure was shown at the connection area between the weir body and stilling basin area. The stress both tension and compression was reduced in IFE model rather than FE model of weir structures.

    High-Rises and Urban Design: The Reasons for Unsuccessful Placemaking with Residential High-Rises in England

    High-rises and placemaking is an understudied combination which receives more and more interest with the proliferation of this typology in many British cities. The reason for studying three major cities in England: London, Birmingham and Manchester, is to learn from the latest advances in urban design in well-developed and prominent urban environment. The analysis of several high-rise sites reveals the weaknesses in urban design of contemporary British cities and presents an opportunity to study from the implemented examples. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to analyze design approaches towards creating a sustainable and varied urban environment when high-rises are involved. The research questions raised by the study are: what is the quality of high-rises and their surroundings; what facilities and features are deployed in the research area; what is the role of the high-rise buildings in the placemaking process; what urban design principles are applicable in this context. The methodology utilizes observation of the researched area by structured questions, developed by the author to evaluate the outdoor qualities of the high-rise surroundings. In this context, the paper argues that the quality of the public realm around the high-rises is quite low, missing basic but vital elements such as plazas, public art, and seating, along with landscaping and pocket parks. There is lack of coherence, the rhythm of the streets is often disrupted, and even though the high-rises are very aesthetically appealing, they fail to create a sense of place on their own. The implications of the study are that future planning can take into consideration the critique in this article and provide more opportunities for urban design interventions around high-rise buildings in the British cities.

    Simplified Analysis on Steel Frame Infill with FRP Composite Panel

    In order to understand the seismic behavior of steel frame structure with infill FRP composite panel, simple models for simulation on the steel frame with the panel systems were developed in this study. To achieve the simple design method of the steel framed structure with the damping panel system, 2-D finite element analysis with the springs and dashpots models was conducted in ABAQUS. Under various applied spring stiffness and dashpot coefficient, the expected hysteretic energy responses of the steel frame with damping panel systems we investigated. Using the proposed simple design method which decides the stiffness and the damping, it is possible to decide the FRP and damping materials on a steel frame system.

    Numerical Evaluation of Shear Strength for Cold-Formed Steel Shear Wall Panel
    The stability of structures made of light-gauge steel depends highly on the contribution of Shear Wall Panel (SWP) systems under horizontal forces due to wind or earthquake loads. Steel plate sheathing is often used with these panels made of cold formed steel (CFS) to improve its shear strength. In order to predict the shear strength resistance, two methods are presented in this paper. In the first method, the steel plate sheathing is modeled with plats strip taking into account only the tension and compression force due to the horizontal load, where both track and stud are modeled according to the geometrical and mechanical characteristics of the specimen used in the experiments. The theoretical background and empirical formulations of this method are presented in this paper. However, the second method is based on a micro modeling of the cold formed steel Shear Wall Panel “CFS-SWP” using Abaqus software. A nonlinear analysis was carried out with an in-plan monotonic load. Finally, the comparison between these two methods shows that the micro modeling with Abaqus gives better prediction of shear resistance of SWP than strips method. However, the latter is easier and less time consuming than the micro modeling method.
    Effect of Rice Husk Ash on Strength and Durability of High Strength High Performance Concrete

    This paper reports the strength and durability properties of high strength high performance concrete incorporating rice husk ash (RHA) having high silica, low carbon content and appropriate fineness. In this study concrete containing 10%, 15% and 20% RHA as cement replacement and water to binder ratio of 0.25 were investigated. The results show that increasing amount of RHA increases the dosage of superplasticizer to maintain similar workability. Partial replacement of cement with RHA did not increase the early age compressive strength of concrete. However, concrete containing RHA showed higher compressive strength at later ages. The results showed that compressive strength of concrete in the 90-115 MPa range can be obtained at 28 curing days and the durability properties of RHA concrete performed better than that of control concrete. The water absorption of concrete incorporating 15% RHA exhibited the lowest value. The porosity of concrete is consistent with water absorption whereby higher replacement of RHA decreased the porosity of concrete. There is a positive correlation between reducing porosity and increasing compressive strength of high strength high performance concrete. The results also indicate that up to 20% of RHA incorporation could be advantageously blended with cement without adversely affecting the strength and durability properties of concrete.

    Evaluation of Behavior Factor for Steel Moment-Resisting Frames

    According to current seismic codes the structures are calculated using the capacity design procedure based on the concept of shear at the base depending on several parameters including behavior factor which is considered to be the most important parameter. The behavior factor allows designing the structure when it is at its ultimate limit state taking into account its energy dissipation through its plastic deformation. The aim of the present study is to assess the basic parameters on which is composed the behavior factor among them the reduction factor due to ductility, and those due to redundancy and the overstrength for steel moment-resisting frames of different heights and regular configuration. Analyses are conducted on these frames using the nonlinear static method where the effect of some parameters on the behavior factor, such as the number of stories and the number of spans, are taken into account. The results show that the behavior factor is rather sensitive to the variation of the number of stories and bays.

    Influence of Stacking Sequence and Temperature on Buckling Resistance of GFRP Infill Panel

    Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) is a major evolution for energy dissipation when used as infill material for seismic retrofitting of steel frame, a basic PMC infill wall system consists of two GFRP laminates surrounding an infill of foam core. This paper presents numerical analysis in terms of buckling resistance of GFRP sandwich infill panels system under the influence of environment temperature and stacking sequence of laminate skin. Mode of failure under in-plane compression is studied by means of numerical analysis with ABAQUS platform. Parameters considered in this study are contact length between infill and frame, laminate stacking sequence of GFRP skin and variation of mechanical properties due to increment of temperature. The analysis is done with four cases of simple stacking sequence over a range of temperature. The result showed that both the effect of temperature and stacking sequence alter the performance of entire panel system. The rises of temperature resulted in the decrements of the panel’s strength. This is due to the polymeric nature of this material. Additionally, the contact length also displays the effect on the performance of infill panel. Furthermore, the laminate stiffness can be modified by orientation of laminate, which can increase the infill panel strength. Hence, optimal performance of the entire panel system can be obtained by comparing different cases of stacking sequence.

    Developing a Model for the Relation between Heritage and Place Identity

    In the situation of great acceleration of changes and the need for new developments in the cities on one hand and conservation and regeneration approaches on the other hand, place identity and its relation with heritage context have taken on new importance. This relation is generally mutual and complex one. The significant point in this relation is that the process of identifying something as heritage rather than just historical  phenomena, brings that which may be inherited into the realm of identity. In planning and urban design as well as environmental psychology and phenomenology domain, place identity and its attributes and components were studied and discussed. However, the relation between physical environment (especially heritage) and identity has been neglected in the planning literature. This article aims to review the knowledge on this field and develop a model on the influence and relation of these two major concepts (heritage and identity). To build this conceptual model, we draw on available literature in environmental psychology as well as planning on place identity and heritage environment using a descriptive-analytical methodology to understand how they can inform the planning strategies and governance policies. A cross-disciplinary analysis is essential to understand the nature of place identity and heritage context and develop a more holistic model of their relationship in order to be employed in planning process and decision making. Moreover, this broader and more holistic perspective would enable both social scientists and planners to learn from one another’s expertise for a fuller understanding of community dynamics. The result indicates that a combination of these perspectives can provide a richer understanding—not only of how planning impacts our experience of place, but also how place identity can impact community planning and development.

    A Comparative Study of Afghan Traditional and Contemporary Courtyard Housing Regarding Affordable Planning and Sustainability

    The purpose of this research is to upgrade a pleasing, sustainable and safe shelter in the Afghan urban community. It also aims to maintain traditional housing, which is fitted to its environment, while attempting to upgrade it with new, traditional standards. The three main objectives of this study are to upgrade the traditional courtyard house to become safe and sustainable today and tomorrow; to fit the contemporary house environmentally and culturally, and to suppress or reduce the broad gap between traditional and contemporary housing. The paper tries to exhibit and analyze the sustainably best practices available in both traditional and contemporary courtyard housing in Afghanistan. For instance, the use of thick walls and Tawa-Khana (floor heating system) shows the best sustainable practice in that context.

    Laboratory Evaluation of Geogrids Used for Stabilizing Soft Subgrades
    This paper aims to assess the efficiency of using geogrid reinforcement for subgrade stabilization. The literature of applying geogrid reinforcement technique for pavements built on soft subgrades and the previous experiences were reviewed. Laboratory tests were conducted on soil reinforced with geogrids in one or several layers. The soil specimens were compacted in four layers with or without geogrid sheets. The California Bearing Ratio (CBR) test, in soaking condition, was performed on natural soil and soil-geogrid specimens. The test results revealed that the CBR value is much affected by the geogrid sheet location and the number of sheets used in the soil specimen. When a geogrid sheet was placed at the 1st layer of the soil, there was an increment of 26% in the CBR value. Moreover, the CBR value was significantly increased by 62% when geogrid sheets were placed at all four layers. The high CBR value is attributed to interface friction and interlock involved in the geogrid/ soil interactions. It could be concluded that geogrid reinforcement is successful and more economical technique.
    Formulating the Stochastic Finite Elements for Free Vibration Analysis of Plates with Variable Elastic Modulus

    In this study, the effect of uncertainty in elastic modulus of a plate on free vibration response is investigated. For this purpose, the elastic modulus of the plate is modeled as stochastic variable with normal distribution. Moreover, the distance autocorrelation function is used for stochastic field. Then, by applying the finite element method and Monte Carlo simulation, stochastic finite element relations are extracted. Finally, with a numerical test, the effect of uncertainty in the elastic modulus on free vibration response of a plate is studied. The results show that the effect of uncertainty in elastic modulus of the plate cannot play an important role on the free vibration response.

    Progressive Collapse of Hyperbolic Cooling Tower Considering the Support Inclinations

    Progressive collapse of the layered hyperbolic tower shells are studied considering the influences of changes in the supporting columns’ types and angles. 3-D time history analyses employing the finite element method are performed for the towers supported with I-type and ᴧ-type column. It is found that the inclination angle of the supporting columns is a very important parameter in optimization and safe design of the cooling towers against the progressive collapse. It is also concluded that use of Demand Capacity Ratio (DCR) criteria of the linear elastic approach recommended by GSA is un-conservative for the hyperbolic tower shells.

    Assessing the Adaptive Re-Use Potential of Buildings as Part of the Disaster Management Process
    The technological paradigm of the disaster management field, especially in the case of governmental intervention strategies, is generally based on rapid and flexible accommodation solutions. From various technical solution patterns used to address the immediate housing needs of disaster victims, the adaptive re-use of existing buildings can be considered to be both low-cost and practical. However, there is a scarcity of analytical methods to screen, select and adapt buildings to help decision makers in cases of emergency. Following an extensive literature review, this paper aims to highlight key points and problem areas associated with the adaptive re-use of buildings within the disaster management context. In other disciplines such as real estate management, the adaptive re-use potential (ARP) of existing buildings is typically based on the prioritization of a set of technical and non-technical criteria which are then weighted to arrive at an economically viable investment decision. After a disaster, however, the assessment of the ARP of buildings requires consideration of different/additional layers of analysis which stem from general disaster management principles and the peculiarities of different types of disasters, as well as of their victims. In this paper, a discussion of the development of an adaptive re-use potential (ARP) assessment model is presented. It is thought that governmental and non-governmental decision makers who are required to take quick decisions to accommodate displaced masses following disasters are likely to benefit from the implementation of such a model.