Sustainable Structures

About the Journal

Sustainable Structures (SUST; Sustain. Struct.) is an interdisciplinary journal publishing original research covering all aspects of science and technology concerned with sustainable structures. SUST has been accepted for Scopus (Citescore 7.5, 2022, Q1 in Scopus), DOAJ, Crossref and so on. The scope of the journal is devoted to reports of new and original experimental and theoretical research as well as the sustainable applications in the areas of structural engineering. Journal publications include mainly as following: Reviews, Research Papers, Technical notes, Meeting Reports, and Case Reports. With publication fees supported by Sustainable Development Press Limited (SDPL), SUST is an open access but free international journal focusing on the study of sustainable development structures. The purpose of the journal is to provide a platform for academic exchange, to promote the research of green, low-carbon and sustainable development of structural engineering, and to serve the construction of a better home for mankind. PDF versions of all papers published in the journal could be downloaded freely from the journal website!

  • A logical retrofit strategy optimization framework for resiliency bridge infrastructure management considering life-cycle cost
  • Abstract Bridges play an important role in providing essential services to communities as one of the most critical components of transportation infrastructure. In this regard, selecting reliable, robust, and efficient indicators is necessary to prepare a disaster management strategy. This study presents a multi-objective optimization framework for decision-makers to find the most optimal retrofit strategies that satisfy a given threshold of functionality/Resilience (R) while minimizing a structure's Life-Cycle Cost (LCC). Accordingly, various retrofit strategies include different materials (steel, Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP), and Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP)), thicknesses, arrangements, and timing of retrofitting actions. In each scenario, the fragility curves are derived through nonlinear time-history Incremental Dynamic Analysis (IDA) to evaluate the LCC and resilience. In the subsequent step, the LCC analysis is conducted, considering the proposed formulation of multiple occurrences of seismic events, which incorporates the effects of complete/incomplete repair actions of damage conditions induced by previous seismic events. This study employs an elitist Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II (NSGA-II) to identify the optimal set of solutions. The various aspects of the optimal retrofit strategies are thoroughly investigated and discussed for a bridge as a case study infrastructure. Results show that the considered objectives lead to reasonable and sense-making retrofit strategies.… More
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  • State-of-the-art review on steel-concrete composite walls
  • Abstract Steel-concrete composite walls, valued for their capacity to combine the strengths of steel and concrete, have become a prevalent construction choice. During the past few decades, the performance of steel-concrete composite walls has been studied by means of structural tests, theoretical analysis, and numerical simulation. Different types of steel-concrete composite walls have been proposed by researchers to satisfy miscellaneous structural requirements. Meanwhile, new forms were continually being developed to further improve the mechanical performance. This review paper examines research conducted over the past few years on these versatile structural elements. The paper categorizes steel-concrete composite walls according to the arrangement of steel plates and concrete, along with the configurations of steel plates. It delves into the unique characteristics of each type and analyzes their performance under various loading conditions, including axial, cyclic, shear, fire, dynamic, impact, and joint loads. Additionally, existing design recommendations for these walls are summarized. To conclude, the paper offers insights into potential future developments in steel-concrete composite wall technology.… More
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  • Comparison of using two LCA software programs to assess the environmental impacts of two institutional buildings
  • Abstract The current trends in climate change have captured the attention of stakeholders across multiple industries, including the building sector. With the introduction of innovative building materials such as mass timber products (MTPs), it has become essential to evaluate their environmental performance. In response, a variety of life cycle assessment (LCA) software programs are available to meet this need. However, it is crucial to understand how different LCA software and databases might influence the results. This study was aimed at exploring the impact of two widely used LCA software programs, SimaPro and Athena Impact Estimator, on LCA results. Two buildings were employed to conduct this study, a traditional institutional building and a mass timber building currently under construction. By comparing the numerical outputs from both software programs, it was discovered that while both could reach similar conclusions regarding the environmental impacts of a building, their use is limited to comparative purposes only. The software programs produced distinct numerical values in their outputs and attributed the sources of impacts differently, indicating they cannot be used interchangeably. However, either SimaPro or Athena Impact Estimator was suitable for estimating the global warming potential of a building during stages A1 to A3.… More
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  • “Bamboo: A Very Sustainable Construction Material & the 3rd World Symposium on Sustainable Bio-Composite Materials and Structures” - 2022 International Conference summary report
  • Abstract The 2022 International Conference—Bamboo: A Very Sustainable Construction Material & the 3rd World Symposium on Sustainable Bio-Composite Materials and Structures—was held from November 8 to December 13, 2022. This conference was led by INBAR and INBAR Bamboo Construction Task Force and co-organized by 37 other national and international institutions. More than 80 experts from over 20 countries delivered speeches or presentations to approximately 1400 participants from 81 countries and shared the latest research and development on bamboo and timber construction with them. The conference convened global architects, engineers, forestry experts, researchers, entrepreneurs, and policy makers to present the potential uses and suitability of bamboo, timber, and other biomaterials as conventional construction materials in modern society. This paper summarizes the key deliberations and findings of the diverse research, including the state-of-practice and the means of moving the state-of-the-art forward. Further actions on training, standardization, and research were urged to be taken to promote this industry.… More
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  • Deformation and energy dissipation of steel box girders of cable-stayed bridges subjected to blast loadings
  • Abstract Steel box girders are widely used in cable-stayed bridges, while they are prone to severe damage under explosions. This paper investigates the deformation and energy dissipation of steel box girder of cable-stayed bridges under blast impact, caused by the accidental explosions of tanker trucks and vehicles. In this study, Hypermesh and LS-DYNA are employed to simulate the dynamic responses of a real steel box girder cable-stayed bridge under explosions. The deformation response and energy absorption of the box girder under explosions are investigated. Several failure modes and failure processes are analyzed and summarized. The findings indicate that the failure mode of an orthotropic steel bridge panel under blast impact is primarily local damage, with the damage process being divided into three stages: local plate deformation, fragment formation, and petal formation. For bridge deck explosions, the main energy dissipation components of steel girders are the bridge panel, web, diaphragm and rib stiffeners. The research results can provide the basis for the follow-up study on the anti-explosion safety of bridge structures.… More
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  • Analysis of ultimate fracture bearing capacity of CHS XK-joints welds
  • Abstract The current study presents advanced finite element (FE) models that combine the stress weighted damage model and the crack propagation using explicit dynamic approach of commercial FE software ABAQUS. The applicability of the subroutine for ductile fracture prediction and crack propagation modeling of structural steel is confirmed by comparing the results of fracture tests performed on circumferential notch specimens. FE analysis is performed on 17 circular hollow section (CHS) XK-joint models with various sized partial penetration welds to simulate the fracture process of the joint models, and the obtained results are used to analyze the fracture ultimate bearing capacity of the joint weld. The results indicate that the crack first appears on the inner side of the weld at the crown point of the intersecting line of the tensile web member. The findings also demonstrate that the joint weld does not lose the bearing capacity completely after the initial cracking. Instead, the joint weld's bearing capacity increased with the displacement at the early stages of fracture propagation to reach the maximum value prior to gradual decrease in bearing capacity. A design formula of weld bearing capacity suitable for partial penetration weld has been proposed herein to incorporate the effects of uneven distribution of joint weld stress in the considered XK-joints.… More
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  • Design and construction of “Bamboo Cubic” facade with laminated bamboo lumber
  • Abstract This paper presents the design and construction of the facade renovation project ("Bamboo Cubic" project) of Huangqiao Square in Shaowu City, Fujian Province, China. In this project, the structural form and cross-sectional dimensions were determined using a combination of manual and finite element analysis to meet relevant regulations. Once the structural form was confirmed, primary structural components such as the foundation, the column base, and the connection between frame elements were designed to comply with design requirements. Innovative connections were used to install a unique curved design, which required curved LBL members to be prefabricated with precision. The total height of the LBL bamboo frame part is 16.86 m. This project clearly showed that engineered bamboo can be used both as a structural primary member as well as for aesthetic purpose. Use of steel and LBL frames in the "Bamboo Cubic" facade project highlighted the prospect of future hybrid construction.… More
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  • Failure Behavior and Failure Locations of Oxytenanthera Abyssinica Bamboo Culms under Bending Load
  • Abstract Bending failure modes in solid stem wood and solid culm bamboo varies depending on material and geometric properties. Solid culm cross-sections of Oxythenantera Abyssinica round bamboo resemble to wood, but are anatomically different in their mode of growth and tissue organization. The bending stress gradient and failure behavior has highly related with the culm internal voids termed as hollowness which depends on age of bamboo. Hollowness (k) refers the relative proportion of void volume to solid volume with in a culm. Full culm beam specimens with length of 3.5 m were subjected to bending under 4-point static loading according to ISO 22155. Pattern of vertical deflection varies depending on the maturity of the culm. A statistical and experimental results showed that, for K values between 12-15% a mixed mode of local buckling with a longitudinal shear splitting failure mode was resulted in 4-year age bamboo specimens with a slight (14 mm) shift from the shear center inducing large vertical deflection (142 mm) at midspan. A kink buckle and green stick modes were observed in 2-year and 3-year ages culms at failure point of 124 and 158mm at length ‘L’ (L/2.5 to L/4.5) from shear center with a k value 25-27% and 18-22% respectively.… More
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  • Fatigue behavior and calculation methods of high strength steel fiber reinforced concrete beam
  • Abstract Adding steel fibers into concrete was considered as one of the most effective ways to restrain the crack development and improve the stiffness for reinforced concrete (RC) structures. To explore the reinforcement mechanism of steel fibers on the fatigue behavior of high-strength RC beam, eight high-strength steel fiber reinforced concrete (HSSFRC) beams subjected to fatigue loading were tested in this study. The main design parameters considered in this work were stress level and steel fiber content. The failure mode, crack patterns, fatigue life, crack width, and stiffness degradation of HSSFRC beams under fatigue loading were discussed. The results showed that steel fibers could significantly increase the fatigue life, restrain crack development, and improve crack patterns of HSSFRC beams under fatigue loading compared to ordinary RC beams. Both the crack width and stiffness degradation rate of beams decrease with increasing steel fiber content. Besides, the empirical formulas for calculating the maximum crack width and midspan deflection of HSSFRC beam under fatigue loading were proposed and validated using experimental results.… More
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  • Experimental research on formaldehyde emission characteristics from glubam by climate chamber test
  • Abstract Glued laminated bamboo (glubam) is a type of bamboo-based lamina, and manufactured by pressure lamination of phenol-formaldehyde saturated bamboo strips under elevated temperature. Estimating, controlling, and limiting the formaldehyde release from glubam are important issues in indoor air quality of building with glubam. This study investigates formaldehyde emission characteristics from two types of glubam under different conditions including temperature, relative humidity, edge treatment, and surface covering material. A series of formaldehyde concentration tests were performed using 1 m3 climate chamber. The results indicate that the peak values of the formaldehyde concentration of glubam specimens under all testing conditions are lower than 0.124 mg/m3, and thus can be classified as Class E1 according to EN 13986. An analysis model was provided to estimate formaldehyde release based on the test data and a first-order decay model. Initial formaldehyde emission rate E0 and decay rate constant k in the proposed model was utilized for comparison and analysis of the experimental parameters. This investigation reveals that the temperature and relative humidity have significant influence on the formaldehyde emission characteristics of glubam boards. Sealing cutting edges and covering surface layer of the samples can significantly reduce the releasing rate and amount of formaldehyde from glubam.… More
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  • Assessment of physical and mechanical properties of juvenile and matured Bambusa vulgaris glue-laminated bamboo for structural applications in Ghana
  • Abstract This study assessed the properties of juvenile and matured glue-laminated bamboo for structural applications. Glue-laminated bamboo was produced from 2-year-old and 4-year-old culms of Bambusa vulgaris with a fast-curing polyurethane adhesive (Rapid Lion). The composites produced were assessed for their physical (moisture content, basic density, radial, longitudinal, tangential and volumetric shrinkage) and mechanical (modulus of rupture, modulus of elasticity and compressive strength parallel to grain) properties. The results show that the juvenile glue-laminated bamboo significantly shrinks about twice that of the matured glue-laminated bamboo with values of 6.32% for radial, 6.51% for tangential and 0.22% for longitudinal. It was further observed that the basic density of the matured glue-laminated bamboo was 810.56 kg/m3 which is 14.56% higher than that of the juvenile glue-laminated bamboo. The juvenile glue-laminated bamboo had MOE of 5876 MPa; MOR of 43.42 MPa and compressive strength of 37.58 MPa whilst that of the matured glue-laminated bamboo recorded MOE of 13379 MPa; MOR of 82.48 MPa and compressive strength of 62.78 MPa. The matured bamboo laminates had better physical and mechanical properties than that of the juvenile bamboo laminates. It is recommended that matured Bambusa vulgaris can be used as an engineered composite material for structural applications.… More
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  • Structural responses of FRP sheet piles under cantilever loading
  • Abstract Sheet piles are interlocked segments used for temporary or permanent soil and water retaining structures such as below-grade parking structures and sea walls. Although steel is commonly used due to its strength and ease of manufacturing, it rusts in saltwater. Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite sheet piles are resistant to chlorides and have higher corrosion resistance, but their mechanical properties vary in length and width. Stress risers at corrugation corners make soil-structure interaction a challenging design issue. This research aims to develop a standardized test procedure to determine the resisting moment capacity of FRP composite sheet piles. Cantilevered FRP sheet piles fixed with a sand-concrete mixture of ~70 psi (0.48 MPa) compressive strength were tested under static loads. Strain gages and LVDTs were used to collect data on deformation response up to and beyond peak induced stress. Results suggest that the refined test procedure can assist engineers in designing efficient sheet pile structures and become a basis to develop ASTM standard.… More
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  • Lightweight bamboo structures - Report on 2021 International Collaboration on Bamboo Construction
  • Abstract 2021 International Collaboration on Bamboo Construction was held from September 1 to December 1, 2021. The practice was held by the College of Civil Engineering of Nanjing Forestry University, University College London, International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR) and co-organized by 6 international institutions and national companies of China. Two main bamboo structures were setup by the teachers and students in the campus of Nanjing Forestry University. More than 50 students attended the practice, including international students from different countries. The practice was held to deliver the feasibility and applicability of bamboo in various geometries and different spans, and different areas. Innovative technologies like BIM Revit Architecture and Sketchup were used for the design of bamboo structures. The main principle of the practice was that the raising of bamboo structures should be simple using a minimum of materials aside from bamboo. The results of the project contributed to the popularization of the use of bamboo in the architecture, engineering and construction sectors.… More
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  • The effect of including biomass on the rheological and pozzolanic properties of Portland limestone cement- case study
  • Abstract Various investigations have been presented on the possibility of using agro-allied industry waste in concrete, with the goal of achieving a cleaner environment and environmentally friendly construction. Biomass fly ash (BFA) and limestone clinker are waste from steam/power plants and the cement industry, respectively, and are of high relevance to economic and environmental problems. The effect of including biomass on the rheological and pozzolanic properties of Portland limestone cement (PLC) pastes are presented. The BFA was used as partial replacement for PLC as supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs). The rheological properties (yield stress, viscosity and thixotropy) of the cement paste were determined using a parallel-plate rotational rheometer. The pozzolanic properties were determined using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) by measuring the amount of calcium hydroxide (CH), and calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) of the hydrated paste, as well as the reaction kinetics. Different characterization techniques including X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used to study the microstructure and mineralogy of the BFA. It was observed that the mineral composition of the biomass fly ash is like class C fly ash. At 15% of cement replacement the paste exhibits better rheological properties: lower yield stress and lower viscosity up till 120 min after mixing, which is an important factor in ready-mix concrete plants. However, a better pozzolanic behavior was observed at 20% cement replacement. From the results obtained, the properties of the paste containing BFA is very sensitive to water/binder ratio (w/b). Above 20% cement replacement, it is suggested to use viscosity modifying agent (VMA) to get a better rheology and pozzolanic behavior.… More
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  • I-shaped ECC/UHPC composite beams reinforced with steel bars and BFRP sheets
  • Abstract This paper proposes a new type of small-sized I-shaped engineered cementitious composite (ECC)/ ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) composite beam which has the potential to be suitable for corrosive environments. The lower tensile part of the beam was made of ECC material (2/3 of the height), and the top compressive part was made of UHPC material (1/3 of the height). Inner embedded steel bars and surface-bonded basalt fiber reinforced polymer (BFRP) sheets were adopted as the reinforcing materials in combination. A total of nine I-shaped beams were designed and tested under four-point bending test. The influence of parameters such as the ratio of the embedded tensile steel bars, the top UHPC flange, and the surface bonded tensile BFRP sheet on the behavior of the beams was investigated. The results showed that the I-shaped ECC/UHPC composite beams have excellent comprehensive performance, and thanks to the ultra-high durability of the component materials, they have ultra-high durability that ordinary I-steel beams do not have and thus have broad application prospects in corrosive environments. The shear resistance capacity of the thin-walled ECC web needs to be further improved, and UHPC is recommended for the web in the follow-up study.… More
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  • Structural analysis of a Guadua bamboo bridge in Colombia
  • Abstract In recent years, scientists have focused their attention in developing sustainable materials that can boost the construction industry without causing damage to the environment. In South and Central American forests grows a tropical species of bamboo known as guadua angustifolia Kunth, which has been widely used for construction purposes since ancient times. Offering advantages such as: environmental friendliness, fast-growing and high strength-to-weight ratio. This paper analyzes the structural behavior of an existing multi-culm guadua bamboo truss type footbridge located in Colombia, according to national regulations NSR-10. A model of the structure is implemented using a commercial finite element software, details for an accurate description of the structure’s behavior through the proposed model are offered. Furthermore, an exhaustive description of the structure’s load transfer and its materials mechanical properties is performed, as well as a review on connections and immunization process. Finally, improvement opportunities for the building codes used for the analysis and investigation opportunities are identified. The purpose of this paper is stepping into the right direction thus, one day guadua angustifolia Kunth and bamboo in general can be fully exploited in the construction industry.… More
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  • State-of-the-art review on the use of lignocellulosic biomass in cementitious materials
  • Abstract The lignocellulosic biomass wastes cause some burden on the environment; meanwhile, the concrete industry is faced with large amounts of carbon dioxide emissions and raw mineral materials consumption. The use of lignocellulosic biomass wastes in cementitious materials not only provides an alternative to deal with the wastes but also favors the sustainable development of concrete industry. This review first introduces the characteristics of lignocellulosic biomass and then examines its effect on the mechanical properties, shrinkage, cracking, and some other properties of cement composites. Results show that lignocellulosic biomass can be directly used for three purposes: reinforcements, aggregates, and cement replacements. Although the lignocellulosic biomass cannot always enhance the mechanical properties of cementitious materials, it can improve toughness, shrinkage, cracking, heat insulation, etc. Additionally, some concerns with the use of lignocellulosic biomass are summarized, for which some physical and chemical modification methods (heating treatment, boiling treatment, torrefaction treatment, etc.) are identified to change the structure or remove amorphous components of lignocellulose biomass or prevent it from directly contacting cementitious materials. This review can provide some guidance for designing sustainable cementitious materials with lignocellulosic biomass.… More
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  • Influence of stacking sequence on mechanical properties and moisture absorption of epoxy-based woven flax and basalt fabric hybrid composites
  • Abstract Hybrid composite laminates (HCL) were prepared by lay-up molding using a hot-press bed for reinforcing epoxy-based woven flax and basalt fabric composites. Mechanical properties and moisture absorption of HCL were measured, and the fracture surface was examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The present results indicated that the mechanical properties of HCL are strongly dependent on the sequence of fiber reinforcement. HCL (S2, S3, S4, S5) with symmetric stacking sequences that increase with basalt fibers (wt %) showed a positive hybridization effect on mechanical properties and curve characteristics. However, the mechanical properties of S7 (asymmetric stacking) were lower than S3, S4, S5 (symmetric stacking), which indicated that symmetric stacking sequences of HCL had superior mechanical performance compared with the cross arrangement of HCL. The moisture absorption of HCL samples immersed in water at 26 °C showed the Fickian behaviour up to 42 days and were not affected by altering the stacking sequence on HCL. The SEM of the fracture surface, fiber-matrix bonding, and interfacial bonding of flax-basalt fabric HCL were also presented.… More
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  • Structural response of high strength concrete beams using fiber reinforced polymers under reversed cyclic loading
  • Abstract This paper investigates the response of high strength concrete (HSC) beams subjected to reversed cyclic loading using carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP), glass fiber-reinforced polymers (GFRP), and hybrid FRP/steel bars as bottom tensile reinforcement. Five HSC beams with a rectangular cross-section were prepared and cast using concrete with a 28-day compressive strength of 60 MPa (8.7 ksi). A displacement-controlled reversed cyclic loading has been applied to all the beams. The test setup has been designed to simulate the forces and boundary conditions that could happen during seismic action. Flexural capacity, concrete and reinforcement steel strains, cracking behavior, and ductility results were obtained. The hybrid steel/FRP has shown an improved performance in terms of flexural capacity, strains, and ductility. While the inclusion of FRP grids reduces the flexural capacity, this can be improved by adding more layers of FRP. The hybrid reinforced sections showed an increase in moment capacity and ductility compared to the FRP only reinforced beams. The mechanistic model predicted values using code ACI 318 and 60% of the given FRP tensile strength were in good agreement with the experimental results. For the hybrid reinforced beams, moment capacities calculated using ACI 440R was shown to be over-estimated. Although ACI 440R designs for externally wrapped FRP, the sectional analysis was performed with the same process as ACI 318.… More
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  • Mechanical properties of timber-concrete connections with steel tube connectors
  • Abstract Composite connections are important components of timber-concrete hybrid systems. This work presents a novel shear connector for timber-concrete composite (TCC) connections. To verify the composite action between the timber and concrete in the proposed connection, ten specimens were subjected to push-out tests to examine the slip at the interlayer. The failure mode and maximum load capacity results are analyzed, indicating that the composite connections have good ductility and high load capacity. Four methods to determine the yield point are compared and discussed in detail. According to the test results, a mathematical model is utilized to predict the nonlinear load-slip curve of the proposed connection. The Bayesian method is introduced to estimate the model parameters and quantify the model uncertainty. The obtained results can be used for further reliability analysis. This work demonstrates that timber-concrete connections with novel connectors perform well and show potential for application in composite structures.… More
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  • Analysis of the mass and deformation variation rates over time and their influence on long-term durability for specimens of porous material
  • Abstract In an environment subjected to continuous climatic evolution, the study of the long-term behavior of building materials subject to environmental aggressions becomes an extremely important factor in evaluating the sustainability of these materials over time. The damage due to the aggression of external agents does not only affect the surface of the building but can cause a loss of performance in the mechanical qualities of the material with the worsening of the safety conditions of the entire structure. The velocity of the damage evolution is an interesting item. Here the variation velocity of some parameters characterizing the porous materials subjected to aggressive actions is dealt with. Starting from standard material characterization tests, extending the test times, the rate of variation of the mass and the deformation induced by the absorption of saline solutions in the porous medium and the variation of these speeds over time were evaluated. Hypotheses are formulated on the influence that this speed on the degradation of the material in the short and long time. The results obtained show how long-term aggressive action can cause internal damage with a consequent critical increase in absorption, mass and deformation, phenomena that can induce even severe damage to structural elements.… More
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  • Parametric design of developable structure based on Yoshimura origami pattern
  • Abstract Origami is an ancient art form and can be divided into rigid and non-rigid origami. Rigid origami is suitable for the design of building structures because the panels are not twisted and deformed during the folding process. Currently, rigid origami structures are generally built with steel. However, compared with natural, non-polluting wood, steel has a high energy consumption and a high environmental impact. Based on this situation, this paper designs a developable wooden building structure using the Yoshimura origami model. First, the Jacobian matrix method was used to analyze the degree of freedom of the basic unit of the Yoshimura origami pattern, following which the motion trajectory required by the target structure was obtained. Secondly, by analyzing the relationship between the plane angle α and dihedral angle θ, three interaction rules were obtained, and the formula for determining the structure size was established by using the plane angle α, dihedral angle θ, the number of valley folds n and the unit length l. Subsequently, two enhancement schemes, the quadrangle enhancement scheme and the triangle enhancement scheme, were proposed to increase the height of the structure. After comparing the deformation and failure types of origami structures based on Cross-Laminated Timber, a triangular reinforcement scheme was chosen to increase the height of the structure. Finally, a new connection method was developed that allowed the origami structure to be practically applied. This research demonstrates the possibility of developing a timber structure based on Yoshimura origami.… More
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  • A review of tiny houses in North America: Market demand
  • Abstract The history, status quo, and prospect of tiny houses in North America were reviewed. The market demand for tiny houses in North America was analyzed according to the needs in various market segments, such as shelters for low-income and homeless people, recreational housing for vacationers, and the restoration and reconstruction after disasters. This study also discussed timber framed tiny housing communities for retirees, tourism companies offering timber framed tiny housing accommodation, and government-sponsored timber framed tiny housing projects for post-disaster reconstruction. Throughout years of promotion by tiny house enthusiasts, medium advocators, and construction practitioners, more and more people have come to realize the advantages of timber framed tiny houses, such as energy conservation, low carbon footprint, and sustainable development. In summary, the market for timber framed tiny house in North America is in a stage of rapid development, showing a bright future.… More
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  • An innovative digital workflow to design, build and manage bamboo structures
  • Abstract At current rates, the building industry is the major contributor to gas emissions and energy consumption in the world, placing unprecedented pressure to find alternative and sustainable construction materials, particularly in regions where urbanization and population growth are expected to rise. Coincidentally, bamboo culms are a sustainable and abundant resource with the potential to be used as a structural element in those regions, however, their organic nature and inherent incompatibility with modern design and construction procedures have hampered their formal utilization. This article presents the details of an innovative workflow based on the philosophy that the quality and reliability of bamboo structures can be computationally managed through the digitization of individual structural bamboo elements. The workflow relies on reverse-engineering processes that integrate and make bamboo culms compatible with modern data-management platforms such as Building Information Modelling. A case study based on a reconstruction project of bamboo houses in Lombok, Indonesia is presented to illustrate the proposed workflow. This work showed that digitization and management are not just to represent shapes and information regarding bamboo culms through computer software, but can also control the quality, sustainability, and structural behavior of a bamboo structure during its entire service life.… More
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  • “Bamboo: A Very Sustainable Construction Material” - 2021 International Online Seminar summary report
  • Abstract 2021 International Online Seminar - Bamboo: A Very Sustainable Construction Material was held in November 2021. This was led by INBAR and co-organised by other 16 national and international institutions. Nineteen senior experts from 10 countries delivered presentations and shared the latest research and development on bamboo construction to approximately 900 participants from 74 countries. The seminar called upon global architects, engineers and landscape designers to rethink time-tested traditional bamboo architectural forms and related technologies, and use innovative ideas to reshape the global built environment. This paper summarizes the findings of this Seminar, highlighting that while bamboo is growingly accepted as a construction material, considerable efforts are needed to promote bamboo as a mainstream material. The state-of-practice is summarized and means of moving the state-of-the-art forward are discussed. Architects and engineers using bamboo all over the world should work together to contribute to the basic work of bamboo architecture research, standardization and industry development.… More
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  • Mechanical behavior analysis of LEM-infilled cold-formed steel walls
  • Abstract The sustainable development of the engineering structures mainly depends on the environmental- friendly to structural components. This requires the development of sustainable and new materials and structures that would be a worthy alternative for the available. This paper proposed a novel type of cold-formed steel (CFS) shear wall which filling light EPS mortars (LEM) into the space of CFS framing. LEM-infilled CFS walls carry forward the merits of traditional CFS wall, for example lightweight, easy installation, superior earthquake resistance and efficient energy saving. Moreover, employing recycled desulfurization gypsum and EPS in the structural materials reduce environmental pollution. However, the behavior of LEM-infilled CFS wall is not fully explored yet, which results in the low understanding and application of the material around the world. Based on this background, a review of mechanical response tests will contribute to a better awareness. In this paper, three types of mechanical behaviours are discussed including axial compressive behaviour, out-of-plane flexural behaviour, and cyclic behaviour. The previous researches on the mechanical performance of LEM-infilled CFS walls were reviewed. And the typical failure patterns and general results were described and discussed. This work will provide an excellent reference to current practice and future exploration.… More
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  • Structural design and construction of an office building with laminated bamboo lumber
  • Abstract With so many advantages such as environmental friendliness, fast-growing, high strength-to-weight ratio, sustainability, and the capability of being reused or recycled, bamboo structures has gained more and more attention for scientists. This paper shows the feasibility of the design of an office building using laminated bamboo lumbers in compliance with the Chinese standards as GB50009-2012, GB50011-2010, GB50016-2014, and GB 50005-2017. Detailed information about the materials and building were offered. A lot of related construction photos were offered to show the building process. This case is a very good application example for laminated bamboo lumber buildings and has attracted many engineers’ attention in industrial field. Laminated bamboo lumber structures should have a bright future. It should become one main structure form in civil engineering area. However, due to none existing engineered bamboo structures design standard now, engineers have to take reference to standards for timber structures. Setting up the standard system is very important for engineered bamboo structures’ application. Through more and more scientists’ hard working, it might be not a long way to build the code system.… More
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  • Review on mechanical behavior of solar cells for building integrated photovoltaics
  • Abstract The energy crisis and environmental pollution have promoted the rapid development of renewable solar technology. Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) is an important field for the future development of solar energy. This review presents the mechanical property studies of existing BIPV and analyzes its research status to offer advice for engineering applications. By analyzing the types and mechanical characteristics of solar cells in the existing BIPV and determining the load conditions that need to be considered in different application modes, this paper summarizes the relevant existing studies at the photovoltaic material, cell and component levels and offers corresponding suggestions for mechanical research, which consequently results in the proposal of a new BIPV structure. Since the mechanical properties of BIPV have seldom been studied, and research on practical engineering applications is lacking, further comprehensive and in-depth research is needed to promote the safe and reliable application and popularization of photovoltaic building integration.… More
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  • Development and evaluation of load-bearing fiber reinforced polymer composite panel systems with tongue and groove joints
  • Abstract This paper focuses on recent advances made in design, development, manufacturing, evaluation and modeling of load bearing fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite sandwich panel systems including tongue and groove joints. Several processes have been researched in collaboration with industry partners for production of composite panels, including: 1) pultrusion, 2) high temperature resin spread and infusion, 3) vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM), and 4) compression molding. The advantages and disadvantages of each process are discussed with emphasis on the high temperature resin infusion process. Composite laminates are characterized in terms of strength and stiffness under tension, bending, and shear in relation to longitudinal and transverse fiber orientations. Thermo-mechanical properties of the FRP composite sandwich panels including joint responses are presented in terms of: 1) the above different processes, 2) carbon fiber versus E-glass fiber, 3) vinyl ester resin versus epoxy resin, and 4) joint design and efficiency. The sandwich panels are evaluated at component and full scales under static four point bending loads and further analyzed using classical finite element models for their mechanical responses.… More
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  • Experimental estimation of energy dissipated by multistorey post-tensioned timber framed buildings with anti-seismic dissipative devices
  • Abstract The need to satisfy high seismic performance of structures and to comply with the latest worldwide policies of environmental sustainability is leading engineers and researchers to higher interest in timber buildings. A post-tensioned timber frame specimen was tested at the structural laboratory of the University of Basilicata in Italy, in three different configurations: i) without dissipation (post-tensioning only-F configuration); ii) with dissipative angles (DF- dissipative rocking configuration) and iii) with dissipative bracing systems (BF - braced frame configuration). The shaking table tests were performed considering a set of spectra-compatible seismic inputs at different seismic intensities. This paper describes the experimental estimation of energy dissipated by multistorey post-tensioned timber prototype frame with different anti-seismic hysteretic dissipative devices used in the DF and BF testing configurations. The main experimental seismic key parameters have also been investigated in all testing configurations.… More
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  • 3D printed concrete components and structures: an overview
  • Abstract This paper aims to present an overview and explore components or structures suitable for 3D printed concrete. Most traditional structural forms are not well suitable for 3D printed concrete. To be more specific, it cannot fully consider the characteristics and advantages of 3D printing such as individualization and digitalization. Several 3D-printing-specific structure forms (including hollow form, tree form, arch form, and structure-functional form) are classified and the relevant successful cases are demonstrated. Moreover, the application potential of 3D printed concrete structures is illustrated and the limitations as well as the solutions for the application of 3D printed concrete in practical projects are also summarized. Based on the classification of different reinforcement materials, several reinforcement methods are intensively discussed for 3D printed concrete including steel bars, fibers and other reinforcement materials. The comparison of economic and environmental benefits between 3D concrete printing technology and traditional construction method is discussed respectively. Finally, the expected evolution of 3D printed structures is put forward and recommended.… More
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  • Design issues for smart seismic isolation of structures: past and recent research
  • Abstract The paper focuses on a number of original researches developed by the authors concerned with the development of new design approaches for smart base isolation systems for structures. Base Isolation (BI) systems represent the first kind of control devices applied to civil structures. In the paper, advancement in technology is exploited in this field, allowing to conceive new BI typologies possibly based on the adoption of special smart materials or on the coupling of the basic passive device with additional corrective devices, in such a way to minimize the disadvantages deriving from the simply passive system.Illustrated procedures also embed in the design pattern of base-isolation systems the interaction effects between structure and soil in order to provide the best tuning of the isolation parameters and to get the maximum performance of the devices, finally summarizing a number of original approaches to design under passive, semi-active and hybrid modes.… More
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  • Semi-rigid behaviour of stainless steel beam-to-column bolted connections
  • Abstract Stainless steel is increasingly used in structural applications but there is still significant lack of experimental evidence on the moment-rotation (M-) behaviour of moment resisting beam-to-column connections. The current paper presents experimental test results obtained from full scale tests conducted on three widely used connection types i.e., double web angle (DWA), top seat angle (TSA) and top seat with double web angle (TS-DWA) connection. Considered beam, column and angle sections were fabricated using austenitic stainless steel plates and M20 high strength bolts were used for connection assembly. M- curves for all connections were carefully recorded and were used to determine initial stiffness (Ki) and moment capacity (M20mrad) for each of the connections. Eurocode 3 guidelines were used to check the classification i.e., whether or not the connections were semi-rigid in nature. Although the considered DWA connection failed to achieve partial-strength, both TSA and TS-DWA connections showed obvious semi-rigid nature despite the connection capacities were limited by bolts. In addition, extensive ductility of stainless steel ensured that all three connection types achieved a minimum connection rotation of 30 mrad, which is specified by FEMA as a requirement for earthquake design of ordinary moment frames.… More
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  • Material characterization and structural response under earthquake loads of hakka rammed earth building
  • Abstract Hakka Tulou are rammed earth buildings that have survived material aging, natural weathering and earthquakes for hundreds of years. Previous paper has reported our observations and findings from nondestructive evaluations in field with focus on the integrity of the rammed earth outer walls and inner timber structures as well as the thermal comfort of living in these buildings. This paper presents the structural response of Tulou buildings under earthquake loads using material data from field and employing finite element (FE) analysis program. The material characterization included scanning electron microscopy and compression strength/modulus of rammed earth samples and wall reinforcements, revealing their high strength and durability. The FE analyses were conducted on unreinforced Huanji Tulou as per the simplified lateral force analysis procedure defined by the Code ASCE-7 under three types of wall conditions: 1) unreinforced rammed earth outer wall only, 2) reinforced rammed earth outer wall without inner wooden structures, and 3) unreinforced rammed earth outer wall with inner wooden structures. The FE modeling revealed that the existing large crack in the outer earth wall of Huanji Tulou would not have developed under a strong earthquake load if the earth walls were reinforced. Furthermore, the high volume rammed earth wall integrated with inner timber structures would have offered the building unique earthquake resistance.… More
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  • A review of mechanical behavior of structural laminated bamboo lumber
  • Abstract The transition of the construction sector to sustainable development mostly depends on the environmental friendliness of building materials. This, in turn, calls for the development of new, strong, and sustainable materials that would be a worthy alternative for traditional materials, including wood. Over the past decade, laminated bamboo lumber (LBL) has received much attention from engineers, practitioners, and scientists for its attractive mechanical properties, comparable to and in some cases superior to hard and softwood. Moreover, the sustainability of LBL is characterized by its high carbon sequestration, fast time to harvest, high yield, and low energy consumption for processing. However, the behavior of LBL is not yet fully understood, which in turn affects the low awareness and application of the material by practitioners and engineers around the world. Since LBL has a promising future, this article will contribute to a better understanding of its mechanical properties and a more accurate design, taking into account the influencing factors. This article discusses the mechanical properties of three types of structural LBL, namely beams, columns, and sheathing panels. The previous works of researchers on the mechanical properties of structural LBL were reviewed, and thus the most common failure modes, the causes of the destruction of structural elements, and the factors that affect their behavior were discussed and described. This work will serve as a reference for current practitioners and future research.… More
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  • Research on dynamic characteristics test of wooden floor structure for gymnasium
  • Abstract In order to better evaluate the structural performance of the wooden floor used in the gymnasium and realize the structural optimization design, this research took the floors of the two gymnasiums in Nanjing as the research object and used the transient excitation method to test the natural frequency and damping ratio parameters of the three types of floor structures, and carried out relevant analysis. The results showed that three kinds of floor structures all meet the requirements of building comfort; under the premise that the types and specifications of the constituent materials were the same, the order of the damping ratios of the three kinds of floor structures from large to small was: fixed floor structure with double-layer load distribution strip, suspended floor structure with single-layer load distribution strip, suspended floor structure with double-layer load distribution strip; compared with the fixed floor structure, the suspended floor structure had low damping ratio characteristics, the energy dissipation of it was slow during structural vibration, which means its impact absorption rate was small, and its impact buffering ability was good, that was, the integral structure had good resilience performance; compared with the floor structure using single-layer load distribution strip, the floor structure using double-layer load distribution strip had a low damping ratio characteristic, the absorption rate of the structure was small and the resilience performance was good. The research conclusion had certain engineering application value.… More
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