In parallel with the appearance of new materials, brick masonry had and still has an essential part of the construction market today, with new technical challenges in designing bricks to meet additional requirements. Being used in structural applications, predicting the performance of clay brick masonry allows a significant cost reduction, in terms of practical experimentation. The behavior of masonry walls depends on the behavior of their elementary components, such as bricks, joints, and coatings. Therefore, it is necessary to consider it at different scales (from the scale of the intrinsic material to the real scale of the wall) and then to develop appropriate models, using numerical simulations. The work presented in this paper focuses on the mechanical characterization of the terracotta material at ambient temperature. As a result, the static Young’s modulus obtained from the flexural test shows different values in comparison with the compression test, as well as with the dynamic Young’s modulus obtained from the Impulse excitation of vibration test. Moreover, the Young's modulus varies according to the direction in which samples are extracted, where the values in the extrusion direction diverge from the ones in the orthogonal directions. Based on these results, hollow bricks can be considered as transversely isotropic bimodulus material.
In the context of the international spread of COVID-19, the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB) has led a joint research with the French government authorities Hauts-de-Seine department, to analyse the risk in school spaces according to their configuration, ventilation system and spatial segmentation strategy. This paper describes the main results of this joint research. A multidisciplinary team involving experts in indoor air quality/ventilation, pedestrian movements and IT domains was established to develop a COVID risk analysis tool based on Building Information Model. The work started with specific analysis on two pilot schools in order to provide for the local administration specifications to minimize the spread of the virus. Different recommendations were published to optimize/validate the use of ventilation systems and the strategy of student occupancy and student flow segmentation within the building. This COVID expertise has been digitized in order to manage a quick risk analysis on the entire building that could be used by the public administration through an easy user interface implemented in a free BIM Management software. One of the most interesting results is to enable a dynamic comparison of different ventilation system scenarios and space occupation strategy inside the BIM model. This concurrent engineering approach provides users with the optimal solution according to both ventilation and pedestrian flow expertise.
Fire service is responsible for protecting life, assets, and natural resources from fire and other hazardous incidents. Search and rescue in unfamiliar buildings is a vital part of firefighters’ responsibilities. Providing firefighters with precise building information in an easy-to-understand format is a potential solution for mitigating the negative consequences of fire hazards. The negative effect of insufficient knowledge about a building’s indoor environment impedes firefighters’ capabilities and leads to lost property. A data rich building information modeling (BIM) is a potentially useful source in three-dimensional (3D) visualization and data/information storage for fire emergency response. Therefore, this research’s purpose is prioritizing the required information for firefighters from the most important information to the least important. A survey was carried out with firefighters working in the Norman Fire Department to obtain the importance of each building information item. The results show that “the location of exit doors, windows, corridors, elevators, and stairs”, “material of building elements”, and “building data” are the three most important information specified by firefighters. The results also implied that the 2D model of architectural, structural and way finding is more understandable in comparison with the 3D model, while the 3D model of MEP system could convey more information than the 2D model. Furthermore, color in visualization can help firefighters to understand the building information easier and quicker. Sufficient internal consistency of all responses was proven through developing the Pearson Correlation Matrix and obtaining Cronbach’s alpha of 0.916. Therefore, the results of this study are reliable and could be applied to the population.
In recent years, the Building Information Modeling (BIM) approach has been developed expeditiously. As people see the benefits of this approach, it has begun to be used widely in construction projects and some countries made it mandatory to get more benefits from it. To promote the implementation of BIM in construction projects, it will be helpful to get some relevant information from surveys and interviews. The purpose of this study is to research the current adoption and implementation of BIM in public projects in Turkey. This study specified the challenges of BIM implementation in Turkey and proposed some solutions to overcome them. In this context, the challenges for BIM implementation and the factors that affect the BIM usage are determined based on previous academic researches and expert opinions by conducting interviews and questionnaire surveys. Several methods are used to process information in order to obtain weights of different factors to make BIM widespread in Turkey. This study concluded interviews' and questionnaire surveys' outcomes and proposed some suggestions to promote the implementation of BIM in Turkey. We believe research findings will be a good reference for boosting BIM implementation in Turkey.
Catalytic oxidation of benzene assisted by ozone, on alumina, silica, and boehmite-supported Ni/Pd catalysts was investigated at 353 K to assess the influence of the support on the reaction. Three bimetallic Ni/Pd nanosized samples with loading 4.7% of Ni and 0.17% of Pd supported on SiO2, AlOOH and Al2O3 were synthesized by the extractive-pyrolytic method. The phase composition was characterized by means of XRD and the surface area and pore size were estimated using Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) and Barrett–Joyner–Halenda (BJH) methods. At the beginning of the reaction, catalysts were significantly deactivated due to the accumulation of intermediates on the catalyst surface and after 60 minutes it turned stable. Ni/Pd/AlOOH catalyst showed the highest steady-state activity in comparison with the Ni/Pd/SiO2 and Ni/Pd/Al2O3 catalysts. Their activity depends on the ozone decomposition potential of the catalysts because of generating oxidizing active species. The sample with the highest ozone decomposition ability which correlated to the surface area of the support oxidizes benzene to the highest extent.
Due to the importance given today to innovation, the education sector is evolving thanks digital technologies. Virtual Reality (VR) can be a potential teaching tool offering many advantages in the field of training and education, as it allows to acquire theoretical knowledge and practical skills using an immersive experience in less time than the traditional educational process. These assumptions allow to lay the foundations for a new educational environment, involving and stimulating for students. Starting from the objective of strengthening the innovative teaching offer and the learning processes, the case study of the research concerns the digitalization of MastrLAB, High Quality Laboratory (HQL) belonging to the Department of Structural, Building and Geotechnical Engineering (DISEG) of the Polytechnic of Turin, a center specialized in experimental mechanical tests on traditional and innovative building materials and on the structures made with them. The MastrLAB-VR has been developed, a revolutionary innovative training tool designed with the aim of educating the class in total safety on the techniques of use of machinery, thus reducing the dangers arising from the performance of potentially dangerous activities. The virtual laboratory, dedicated to the students of the Building and Civil Engineering Courses of the Polytechnic of Turin, has been projected to simulate in an absolutely realistic way the experimental approach to the structural tests foreseen in their courses of study: from the tensile tests to the relaxation tests, from the steel qualification tests to the resilience tests on elements at environmental conditions or at characterizing temperatures. The research work proposes a methodology for the virtualization of technical laboratories through the application of Building Information Modelling (BIM), starting from the creation of a digital model. The process includes the creation of an independent application, which with Oculus Rift technology will allow the user to explore the environment and interact with objects through the use of joypads. The application has been tested in prototype way on volunteers, obtaining results related to the acquisition of the educational notions exposed in the experience through a virtual quiz with multiple answers, achieving an overall evaluation report. The results have shown that MastrLAB-VR is suitable for both beginners and experts and will be adopted experimentally for other laboratories of the University departments.
Building information modelling (BIM) is a new technology to enhance the efficiency of project management in the construction industry. In addition to the potential benefits of this useful technology, there are various risks and obstacles to applying it in construction projects. In this study, a decision making approach is presented for risk assessment in BIM adoption in construction projects. Various risk factors of exerting BIM during different phases of the project lifecycle are identified with the help of Delphi method, experts’ opinions and related literature. Afterward, Shannon’s entropy and Fuzzy TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Situation) are applied to derive priorities of the identified risk factors. Results indicated that lack of knowledge between professional engineers about workflows in BIM and conflict of opinions between different stakeholders are the risk factors with the highest priority.
Water is a vital resource that is important in ensuring the growth and development of any country. To sustain the basic human needs and the demands for agriculture, industry, conservational and ecosystem, enough quality and quantity water is needed. Contamination of water resources is now a global and public health concern. Hence, this study assessed the water quality of Ndawuse River by measuring the physicochemical parameters and heavy metals concentrations of the river using standard methods. In total, 16 surface water samples were obtained from five locations along the river, from upstream to downstream as well as samples from the dumpsite. The results obtained were compared with the standard limits set by both the World Health Organization and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency for domestic purposes. The results of the measured parameters indicated that biological oxygen demand (85.88 mg/L), turbidity (44.51 NTU), Iron (0.014 - 3.511 mg /L) and chromium (0.078 - 0.14 mg /L) were all above the standard limits. The results further showed that the quality of surface water is being significantly affected by human activities around the Ndawuse River which could pose an adverse health risk to several communities that rely on this river as their primary source of water. Therefore, there is a need for strict enforcement of environmental laws to protect the aquatic ecosystem and to avoid long term cumulative exposure risk that heavy metals may pose on human health.
With extensive application, the performance of unimodal biometrics systems has to face a diversity of problems such as signal and background noise, distortion, and environment differences. Therefore, multimodal biometric systems are proposed to solve the above stated problems. This paper introduces a bimodal biometric recognition system based on the extracted features of the human palm print and iris. Palm print biometric is fairly a new evolving technology that is used to identify people by their palm features. The iris is a strong competitor together with face and fingerprints for presence in multimodal recognition systems. In this research, we introduced an algorithm to the combination of the palm and iris-extracted features using a texture-based descriptor, the Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT). Since the feature sets are non-homogeneous as features of different biometric modalities are used, these features will be concatenated to form a single feature vector. Particle swarm optimization (PSO) is used as a feature selection technique to reduce the dimensionality of the feature. The proposed algorithm will be applied to the Institute of Technology of Delhi (IITD) database and its performance will be compared with various iris recognition algorithms found in the literature.
Construction Industry has been evolving since the development of Building Information Modelling (BIM). This technological process is unstoppable; it is out to the market with remarkable case studies of solving the long industry’s history of fragmentation. This industry has been changing over time; United States has recorded the most significant development in construction digitalization, Australia, United Kingdom and some other developed nations are also amongst promoters of BIM process and its development. Recently, a developing country like China and Malaysia are keying into the industry’s digital shift, while very little move is seen in South Africa whose development is considered higher and perhaps leader in the digital transition amongst the African countries. To authors’ best knowledge, Nigerian construction industry has never engaged in BIM discussions hence has no attention at national level. Consequently, Nigeria has no “Noteworthy BIM publications.” Decision makers and key stakeholders need to be informed on the current trend of the industry’s development (BIM in specific) and the opportunities of adopting this digitalization trend in relation to the identified challenges. BIM concept can be traced mostly in Architectural practices than engineering practices in Nigeria. A superficial BIM practice is found to be at organisational level only and operating a model based - “BIM stage 1.” Research to adopting this innovation has received very little attention. This piece of work is literature review based, aimed at exploring BIM in Nigeria and its prospects. The exploration reveals limitations in the literature availability as to extensive research in the development of BIM in the country. Numerous challenges were noticed including building collapse, inefficiencies, cost overrun and late project delivery. BIM has potentials to overcome the above challenges and even beyond. Low level of BIM adoption with reasonable level of awareness is noticed. However, lack of policy and guideline as well as serious lack of experts in the field are amongst the major barriers to BIM adoption. The industry needs to embrace BIM to possibly compete with its global counterpart.
We study the biological effects induced by ionizing radiation in view of therapeutic exposure and the idea of space flights beyond Earth's magnetosphere. In particular, we examine the differences between base pair substitution induction by ionizing radiation in model haploid and diploid yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells. Such mutations are difficult to study in higher eukaryotic systems. In our research, we have used a collection of six isogenic trp5-strains and 14 isogenic haploid and diploid cyc1-strains that are specific markers of all possible base-pair substitutions. These strains differ from each other only in single base substitutions within codon-50 of the trp5 gene or codon-22 of the cyc1 gene. Different mutation spectra for two different haploid genetic trp5- and cyc1-assays and different mutation spectra for the same genetic cyc1-system in cells with different ploidy — haploid and diploid — have been obtained. It was linear function for dose-dependence in haploid and exponential in diploid cells. We suggest that the differences between haploid yeast strains reflect the dependence on the sequence context, while the differences between haploid and diploid strains reflect the different molecular mechanisms of mutations.
Structural design and analysis is an important and time-consuming process, particularly at the conceptual design stage. Decisions made at this stage can have an enormous effect on the entire project, as it becomes ever costlier and more difficult to alter the choices made early on in the construction process. Hence, optimisation of the early stages of structural design can provide important efficiencies in terms of cost and time. This paper suggests a structural design optimisation (SDO) framework in which Genetic Algorithms (GAs) may be used to semi-automate the production and optimisation of early structural design alternatives. This framework has the potential to leverage conceptual structural design innovation in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) projects. Moreover, this framework improves the collaboration between the architectural stage and the structural stage. It will be shown that this SDO framework can make this achievable by generating the structural model based on the extracted data from the architectural model. At the moment, the proposed SDO framework is in the process of validation, involving the distribution of an online questionnaire among structural engineers in the UK.
Different uses of land by humans alter the physico chemical characteristics of the soil and affect the soil microhabitat. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of tillage in three different human land uses on microarthropods biodiversity in Khuzestan province, southwest of Iran. Three microhabitats including a permanent grassland with old Date-Palms around and no till system, and two wheat fields, one with conservative agricultural practices and low till system and the other with conventional agricultural practices (deep tillage), were compared for the biodiversity of the two main groups of soil microarthropods (Oribatida and Collembola). Soil samples were collected from the top to a depth of 15 cm bimonthly during a period of two years. Significant differences in the biodiversity index of microarthropods were observed between the different tillage systems (F = 36.748, P =0.000). Indeed, analysis of species diversity showed that the diversity index at the conservative field with low till (2.58 ± 0.01) was higher (p < 0.05) than the conventional tilled field (2.45 ± 0.08) and the diversity of natural grassland was the highest (2.79 ± 0.19, p < 0.05). Indeed, the index of biodiversity and population abundance differed significantly in different seasons (p < 0.00).
Achieving environmental sustainability is one of the important issues considered in many countries’ vision. Green/Sustainable building is widely used terminology for describing a friendly environmental construction. Applying sustainable practices has a significant importance in various fields, including construction field that consumes an enormous amount of resource and causes a considerable amount of waste. The need for sustainability is increased in the regions that suffering from the limitation of natural resource and extreme weather conditions such as Saudi Arabia. Since buildings designs are getting sophisticated, the need for tools, which support decision-making for sustainability issues, is increasing, especially in the design and preconstruction stages. In this context, Building Information Modeling (BIM) can aid in performing complex building performance analyses to ensure an optimized sustainable building design. Accordingly, this paper introduces a roadmap towards developing a systematic approach for presenting the sustainability of buildings using BIM. The approach includes set of main processes including; identifying the sustainability parameters that can be used for sustainability assessment in Saudi Arabia, developing sustainability assessment method that fits the special circumstances in the Kingdom, identifying the sustainability requirements and BIM functions that can be used for satisfying these requirements, and integrating these requirements with identified functions. As a result, the sustainability-BIM approach can be developed which helps designers in assessing the sustainability and exploring different design alternatives at the early stage of the construction project.
Role of piezoelectric energy harvesters has gained interest in supplying power for micro devices such as health monitoring sensors. In this study, in order to enhance the piezoelectric energy harvesting in capturing energy from broader range of excitation and to improve the mechanical and electrical responses, bimorph piezoelectric energy harvester beam with magnetic mass attached at the end is presented. In view of overcoming the brittleness of piezo-ceramics, functionally graded piezoelectric layers comprising of both piezo-ceramic and piezo-polymer is employed. The nonlinear equations of motions are derived using energy method and then solved analytically using perturbation scheme. The frequency responses of the forced vibration case are obtained for the near resonance case. The nonlinear dynamic responses of the MEMS scaled functionally graded piezoelectric energy harvester in this paper may be utilized in different design scenarios to increase the efficiency of the harvester.
The collaboration and integration between all building information management (BIM) processes and tasks are necessary to ensure that all project objectives can be delivered. The literature review has been used to explore the state of the art BIM technologies to manage construction materials as well as the challenges which have faced the construction process using traditional methods. Thus, this paper aims to articulate a framework to integrate traditional material planning methods such as ABC analysis theory (Pareto principle) to analyse and categorise the project materials, as well as using independent material planning methods such as Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) and Fixed Order Point (FOP) into the BIM 4D, and 5D capabilities in order to articulate a dependent material planning cycle into BIM, which relies on the constructability method. Moreover, we build a model to connect between the material planning outputs and the BIM 4D and 5D data to ensure that all project information will be accurately presented throughout integrated and complementary BIM reporting formats. Furthermore, this paper will present a method to integrate between the risk management output and the material management process to ensure that all critical materials are monitored and managed under the all project stages. The paper includes browsers which are proposed to be embedded in any 4D BIM platform in order to predict the EOQ as well as FOP and alarm the user during the construction stage. This enables the planner to check the status of the materials on the site as well as to get alarm when the new order will be requested. Therefore, this will lead to manage all the project information in a single context and avoid missing any information at early design stage. Subsequently, the planner will be capable of building a more reliable 4D schedule by allocating the categorised material with the required EOQ to check the optimum locations for inventory and the temporary construction facilitates.
The study of microbial ecology and their function in anaerobic digestion processes are essential to control the biological processes. This is to know the symbiotic relationship between the microorganisms that are involved in the conversion of complex organic matter in the industrial wastewater to simple molecules. In this study, diversity and quantity of bacterial community in the granular sludge taken from the different compartments of a full-scale upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor treating brewery wastewater was investigated using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). The phylogenetic analysis showed three major eubacteria phyla that belong to Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Chloroflexi in the full-scale UASB reactor, with different groups populating different compartment. The result of qPCR assay showed high amount of eubacteria with increase in concentration along the reactor’s compartment. This study extends our understanding on the diverse, topological distribution and shifts in concentration of microbial communities in the different compartments of a full-scale UASB reactor treating brewery wastewater. The colonization and the trophic interactions among these microbial populations in reducing and transforming complex organic matter within the UASB reactors were established.
The use of BIM, including 4D CAD system, in a construction project is gradually increasing. Since the building construction works repeatedly in the vertical space, it is relatively easy to confirm the interference effect when applying the BIM, but the interference effect for the civil engineering project is relatively small because the civil works perform non-repetitive processes in the horizontal space. For this reason, it is desirable to apply BIM to the construction phase when applying BIM to the civil engineering project, and the most active BIM tool applied to the construction phase is the 4D CAD function for the schedule management. This paper proposes the application procedure of BIM by the construction phase of civil engineering project and a linear 4D CAD construction methodology suitable for the civil engineering project in which linear work is performed.
Electrical current measurement is a suitable method for the performance determination of electrical devices. There are two contact and noncontact methods in this measuring process. Contact method has some disadvantages like having direct connection with wire which may endamage the system. Thus, in this paper, a bimorph piezoelectric cantilever beam which has a permanent magnet on its free end is used to measure electrical current in a noncontact way. In mathematical modeling, based on Galerkin method, the governing equation of the cantilever beam is solved, and the equation presenting the relation between applied force and beam’s output voltage is presented. Magnetic force resulting from current carrying wire is considered as the external excitation force of the system. The results are compared with other references in order to demonstrate the accuracy of the mathematical model. Finally, the effects of geometric parameters on the output voltage and natural frequency are presented.
Despite the evident benefits of building information modeling (BIM) to the construction industry, it faces significant implementation challenges in the State of Kuwait. This study investigates the awareness of construction stakeholders of BIM implementation challenges, and identifies various solutions to overcome these challenges. Specifically, the main objectives of this study are to: (1) characterize the barriers that deter utilization of BIM, (2) examine the awareness of engineers, architects, and construction stakeholders of these barriers, and (3) identify practical solutions to facilitate BIM utilization. A questionnaire survey was designed to collect data on the aforementioned objectives from local companies and senior BIM experts. It was found that engineers are highly aware of BIM implementation barriers. In addition, it was concluded from the questionnaire that the biggest barrier is the lack of BIM training. Based on expert feedback, the study concluded with a number of recommendations on how to overcome the barriers of BIM utilization. This should prove useful to the construction industry stakeholders and can lead to significant changes to design and construction practices.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is not an exception in relying on the growth of its construction industry to support rapid population growth. However, its need for infrastructure development is constrained by low productivity levels and cost overruns caused by factors such as delays to project completion. Delays in delivering a construction project are a global issue and while theories such as Optimism Bias have been used to explain such delays, in KSA, client-related causes of delays are also significant. The objective of this paper is to develop a framework-based approach to explore how the country’s construction industry can manage and reduce delays in construction projects through building information modelling (BIM) in order to mitigate the cost consequences of such delays. It comprehensively and systematically reviewed the global literature on the subject and identified gaps, critical delay factors and the specific benefits that BIM can deliver for the delay management. A case study comprising of nine hospital projects that have experienced delay and cost overruns was also carried out. Five critical delay factors related to the clients were identified as candidates that can be mitigated through BIM’s benefits. These factors are: Ineffective planning and scheduling of the project; changes during construction by the client; delay in progress payment; slowness in decision making by the client; and poor communication between clients and other stakeholders. In addition, data from the case study projects strongly suggest that optimism bias is present in many of the hospital projects. Further validation via key stakeholder interviews and documentations are planned.
With the rapid increase of complexity in the building industry, professionals in the A/E/C industry were forced to adopt Building Information Modeling (BIM) in order to enhance the communication between the different project stakeholders throughout the project life cycle and create a semantic object-oriented building model that can support geometric-topological analysis of building elements during design and construction. This paper presents a model that extracts topological relationships and geometrical properties of building elements from an existing fully designed BIM, and maps this information into a directed acyclic Elemental Graph Data Model (EGDM). The model incorporates BIM-based search algorithms for automatic deduction of geometrical data and topological relationships for each building element type. Using graph search algorithms, such as Depth First Search (DFS) and topological sortings, all possible construction sequences can be generated and compared against production and construction rules to generate an optimized construction sequence and its associated schedule. The model is implemented in a C# platform.
Coordinating and promoting urban and rural development has been a new round of institutional change in Zhejiang province since 2004. And this plan was fully implemented, which showed that the isolation between the urban and rural areas had gradually diminished. Little by little, an infiltration interface that is dynamic, flexible and interactive is formed, and this morphological structure starts to appear on the landscape form in the surrounding villages. In order to study the specific function and formation of the structure in the context of industrial revolution, Bimen village located on the interface between Anji Township, Huzhou and Yuhang District, Hangzhou is taken as the case. Anji township is in the cross area between Yangtze River delta economic circle and innovation center in Hangzhou. Awarded with ‘Chinese beautiful village’, Bimen has witnessed the growing process of infiltration in ecology, economy, technology and culture on the interface. Within the opportunity, Bimen village presents internal reformation to adapt to the energy exchange with urban areas. In the research, the reformation is to adjust the industrial structure, to upgrade the local special bamboo crafts, to release space for activities, and to establish infrastructures on the interface. The characteristic of an interface is elasticity achieved by introducing an Internet platform using ‘O2O’ agriculture method to connect cities and farmlands. There is a platform of this kind in Bimen named ‘Xiao Mei’. ‘Xiao’ in Chinese means small, ‘Mei’ means beautiful, which indicates the method to refine the landscape form. It turns out that the new agriculture mode will strengthen the interface by orienting the Third Party Platform upon the old dynamic basis and will bring new vitality for economy development in Bimen village. The research concludes opportunities and challenges generated by the evolution of the infiltration interface. It also proposes strategies for how to organically adapt to the urbanization process. Finally it demonstrates what will happen by increasing flexibility in the landscape forms of suburbs in the Bimen village.
A factorial design of experiments and a response surface methodology were implemented to investigate the liquid-liquid extraction process of zinc (II) from acetate medium using the 1-Butyl-imidazolium di(2-ethylhexyl) phosphate [BIm+][D2EHP-]. The optimization process of extraction parameters such as the initial pH effect (2.5, 4.5, and 6.6), ionic liquid concentration (1, 5.5, and 10 mM) and salt effect (0.01, 5, and 10 mM) was carried out using a three-level full factorial design (33). The results of the factorial design demonstrate that all these factors are statistically significant, including the square effects of pH and ionic liquid concentration. The results showed that the order of significance: IL concentration > salt effect > initial pH. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showing high coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.91) and low probability values (P < 0.05) signifies the validity of the predicted second-order quadratic model for Zn (II) extraction. The optimum conditions for the extraction of zinc (II) at the constant temperature (20 °C), initial Zn (II) concentration (1mM) and A/O ratio of unity were: initial pH (4.8), extractant concentration (9.9 mM), and NaCl concentration (8.2 mM). At the optimized condition, the metal ion could be quantitatively extracted.
An aspect of client expenditure management that requires attention is the level of accuracy achievable in design-stage elemental cost planning. This has been a major concern for construction clients and practitioners in New Zealand (NZ). Pre-tender estimating inaccuracies are significantly influenced by the level of risk information available to estimators. Proper cost planning activities should ensure the production of a project’s likely construction costs (initial and final), and subsequent cost control activities should prevent unpleasant consequences of cost overruns, disputes and project abandonment. If risks were properly identified and priced at the design stage, observed variance between design-stage elemental cost plans (ECPs) and final tender sums (FTS) (initial contract sums) could be reduced. This study investigates the variations between design-stage ECPs and FTS of construction projects, with a view to identifying risk factors that are responsible for the observed variance. Data were sourced through interviews, and risk factors were identified by using thematic analysis. Access was obtained to project files from the records of study participants (consultant quantity surveyors), and document analysis was employed in complementing the responses from the interviews. Study findings revealed the discrepancies between ECPs and FTS in the region of -14% and +16%. It is opined in this study that the identified risk factors were responsible for the variability observed. The values obtained from the analysis would enable greater accuracy in the forecast of FTS by Quantity Surveyors. Further, whilst inherent risks in construction project developments are observed globally, these findings have important ramifications for construction projects by expanding existing knowledge on what is needed for reasonable budgetary performance and successful delivery of construction projects. The findings contribute significantly to the study by providing quantitative confirmation to justify the theoretical conclusions generated in the literature from around the world. This therefore adds to and consolidates existing knowledge.
Carbon dioxide is highly thermochemical stable molecules where it is very difficult to activate the molecule and achieve higher catalytic conversion into alcohols or other hydrocarbon compounds. In this paper, series of the bimetallic Cu/ZnO-based catalyst supported by SBA-15 were systematically prepared via impregnation technique with different Cu: Zn ratio for hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol. The synthesized catalysts were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), temperature programmed desorption, reduction, oxidation and pulse chemisorption (TPDRO), and surface area determination was also performed. All catalysts were tested with respect to the hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol in microactivity fixed-bed reactor at 250oC, 2.25 MPa, and H2/CO2 ratio of 3. The results demonstrate that the catalytic structure, activity, and methanol selectivity was strongly affected by the ratio between Cu: Zn, Where higher catalytic activity of 14 % and methanol selectivity of 92 % was obtained over Cu/ZnO-SBA-15 catalyst with Cu:Zn ratio of 7:3 wt. %. Comparing with the single catalyst, the synergetic between Cu and Zn provides additional active sites to adsorb more H2 and CO2 and accelerate the CO2 conversion, resulting in higher methanol production under mild reaction conditions.