Civil Engineering (Conference Papers)

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  • Publication
    Building effectiveness communication ratios for improved building life cycle management
    (International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA), 2005-08-15) Morrissey, Elmer; Keane, Marcus M.; O’Donnell, James; McCarthy, John;
    Many existing building energy performance assessment frameworks, quantifying and categorising buildings post occupancy, offer limited feedback on design decisions. An environment providing decision makers with pertinent information to assess the consequences of each design decision in a timely, cost effective and practical manner is required to promote viable low-energy solutions from the outset. This paper outlines a performance-based strategy utilising building effectiveness communication ratios stored in Building Information Models (BIM). Decision makers will be capable of rating the building¿s energy performance throughout its natural life cycle without imposing adverse penalties on facilities located in dissimilar climatic zones subjected to stringent building codes and regulations. With this advancement in building energy assessment in place, a progressive improvement in energy efficiency for the building stock is a feasible and realistic target.
  • Publication
    Combining engineering and qualitative models to fault diagnosis in air handling units
    (IOS Press, 2014-08-18) Struss, Peter; Sterling, Raymond; Febres, Jesus; Sabir, Umbreen; Keane, Marcus M.
    This paper presents a methodology for model-based fault localization and identification that exploits both numerical (Modelica) models and a qualitative model-based approach to diagnosis. It has been applied to diagnosis of an air handling unit based on data recorded by a building management system. The main steps from model development to diagnosis based on the recorded data are discussed.
  • Publication
    Reduced order modelling of the thermal behaviour of an office space
    (Infoscience EPFL Scientific Publications, 2013-09-04) Geron, M.; Monaghan, R. F. D.; Keane, Marcus M.
    Reduced Order Models (ROMs) have proven to be a valid and efficient approach to model the thermal behaviour of building zones. The main issues associated with the use of zonal/lumped models are how to (1) divide the domain (lumps) and (2) evaluate the parameters which characterise the lump-to-lump exchange of energy and momentum. The object of this research is to develop a methodology for the generation of ROMs from CFD models. The lumps of the ROM and their average property values are automatically extracted from the CFD models through user defined constraints. This methodology has been applied to validated CFD models of a zone of the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) Building in University College Cork (UCC). The ROM predicts temperature distribution in the domain with an average error lower than 2%. It is computationally efficient with an execution time of 3.45 seconds. Future steps in this research will be the development of the procedure to automatically extract the parameters which define lump-to-lump energy and momentum exchange. At the moment these parameters are evaluated through the minimisation of a cost function. The ROMs will also be utilised to predict the transient thermal behaviour of the building zone.
  • Publication
    Teaching value engineering as a tool for reinforcing applied creativity in a troubled AEC/FM industry: A case of Zambia
    (American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), 2003) Matipa, Wilfred M.; Kelliher, Denis; Keane, Marcus M.
    Conventional design methods that are taught to Engineers do not always take into account the practical constraints associated with resource availability and costs. For example a proposed community self-help constructed facility in rural Zambia, such as a bridge, could result in a reinforced concrete solution, because concrete and steel have always been associated with such structures. The availability and cost of ‘usual’ materials, in this example, concrete and steel, play a pivotal role in the success and or failure of the delivery of the much needed constructed facilities. Value Engineering takes a component level approach that addresses practical constraints associated with resource availability and cost. This paper describes an educational requirement specification for engineering curriculum in developing countries that incorporate value engineering techniques as a means of addressing practical design constraints related to Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Facilities Management projects. It further points out areas in the building product lifecycle where various disciplines of construction, are expected to create innovative and robust solutions that suit local conditions.
  • Publication
    Community engaged learning: A building engineering case study
    (Civil Engineering Research Association of Ireland (CERAI), 2020-08-28) Goggins, Jamie; Hajdukiewicz, Magdalena; Science Foundation Ireland; Horizon 2020
    ABSTRACT: Community engaged learning is a form of experiential education with a civic underpinning. Community engaged learning is embedded with the civil engineering curriculum at NUI Galway and is framed by a research orientation, commitments to civic engagement and building university-community partnerships, city-university partnerships and partnerships with other official agencies, so that community users can provide real learning problems and contexts for students and researchers and benefit from the results. This paper presents the positive experience of the authors in facilitating over 300 community engaged learning projects undertaken by undergraduate students in civil engineering at NUI Galway. The paper highlights how well the outlined approach fits with the ideas of engaged scholarship and civic professionalism. Students recognise the long-term value of engaging with community partners, understanding their future role in the community as engineers, reinforcing the idea that their work can respond directly to real needs in the community.
  • Publication
    Characterisation of Irish-grown Scots pine timber for structural applications
    (Civil Engineering Research in Ireland, 2020) Ó Fátharta, Cian; Gil-Moreno, David; Harte, Annette M.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland
    There is very little knowledge on the timber quality of the native Scots pine grown in Ireland, and its potential to produce timber for structural applications. This paper studied the mechanical performance in tension and bending of 100 specimens with 100mm x 44mm cross-section. Pairs of specimens were established based on the dynamic modulus of elasticity and density, with one specimen destructively tested in tension, and the other in bending. Grade determining wood properties of modulus of elasticity, strength and density were determined in accordance with EN408, with adjustment to reference moisture content and depth according to EN384. The two sets were graded to the tension and bending strength classes defined in EN338. Results showed that Irish-grown Scots pine can produce timber yields above 96% of C20 class. In tension, yields above 90% can be obtained for T11 and T12 classes. These values are slightly higher than those for Sitka spruce in Ireland and therefore show the potential of Irish grown Scots pine for timber production. The study showed that the model given in the European standards to estimate tension strength values from bending strength values underpredicts the values obtained for the Irish Scots pine here studied. A new model describing the relationship between the tension and bending strength properties was developed using the Irish dataset.
  • Publication
    Test machine effect in the determination of modulus of elasticity for strength graded timber
    (World Conference on Timber Engineering (WCTE2021), 2021-08-09) Gil-Moreno, David; Ridley-Ellis, Dan; Harte, Annette M.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland
    This paper investigates if the relationship between the global and local moduli of elasticity (MoE), measured in bending tests, is affected by the test machines employed, and how that may influence strength grading. The ultimate aim is to study the potential influence of those factors on the yields of graded timber in Europe, and improve the standards used. More than 2000 structural timber pieces of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), larch (Larix spp.) and spruce (Picea sitchensis & P. abies) grown in Ireland and the United Kingdom, were tested using two different test machines. The results are examined, and compared to the dynamic MoE measured using longitudinal vibration resonance. Results found that there can be a sufficiently large systematic effect of the test machine on the measurement of MoE, to potentially be transferred to the grading process with important consequences in the yields of structural grade timber. Furthermore, adjustment factors for MoE, as used in the standards, may not be transferable between laboratories, even when the species and timber source are the same. Caution is therefore recommended when deriving or using these MoE adjustment equations, with due care to ensuring the timber is of similar characteristics and tested under as similar as possible setups. The extrapolation of models derived from other sources is best avoided, unless confirmed by cross-checking measurements.
  • Publication
    The structural behaviour of compressed wood manufactured using fast-grown sitka spruce
    (National University of Ireland Galway, 2021-08-09) O’Ceallaigh, Conan; McGetrick, Patrick; Harte, Annette M.
    An investigation was carried out to examine the potential to manufacture a compressed wood product from fast-grown Sitka spruce, using a process of thermo-mechanical compression to increase its strength and stiffness. The process involves subjecting timber to a thermal load followed by a compressive load to reduce its cross-section, increasing its density and improving its structural performance. In this study, the influence of the manufacturing parameters, specifically, the pressing time and compression ratio, are examined. These parameters have been evaluated based on the microscopic structure and bending strength from three-point bending tests. The results have demonstrated that there is significant potential to manufacture a compressed wood product with improved structural behaviour from fast grown timber.
  • Publication
    Modified wood as compression reinforcement of timber perpendicular to the grain
    (National University of Ireland Galway, 2021-08-09) O’Ceallaigh, Conan; Conway, Michael; Mehra, Sameer; Harte, Annette M.
    An investigation was carried out to examine the potential to utilise modified wood as a reinforcement for timber subjected to compression loading perpendicular to the grain. In recent years there has been a significant number of studies examining the use of steel screws and bonded in rods for this purpose. This is becoming more and more important with the increased use of timber in medium-to high rise structures. In this study, thermally densified or modified timber in the form of dowels are utilised as compression reinforcement perpendicular to the grain and tested to failure. Thermally densified dowel reinforcement arrangements of 2, 4, and 6 dowels are examined experimentally under a compressive load and compared to timber samples similarly reinforced but with steel screws specifically designed to resist stresses perpendicular to the grain. The results have demonstrated the potential to utilised modified wood to create an all-wood solution to reinforce against compressive stresses perpendicular to the grain.
  • Publication
    Numerical investigation of the structural behaviour of adhesive free connections utilising modified wood
    (National University of Ireland Galway, 2021-08-09) O’Ceallaigh, Conan; Mosheni, Iman; Mehra, Sameer; Harte, Annette M.; European Regional Development Fund
    An investigation was carried out to examine the potential to use modified wood as a replacement for metallic connections in timber structures. In recent years, there have been several studies examining the potential to utilise modified wood to improve the performance of engineered wood products. This study describes the development of finite element models validated against a series of experimental tests on spliced beam-beam timber connections. The spliced beams are formed using compressed wood (CW) dowels and slotted-in CW plates providing an all-timber solution. A parametric study is utilised to optimise the design of spliced beam-beam timber connections utilising CW plates and dowels. The parameters studied were dowel arrangement, plate length, plate thickness, beam width and depth. The results indicate that connections using CW dowels and plates can be successfully modelled using finite element (FE) software. An optimised design has been developed to improve stiffness and moment rotation capacity of the connection system.
  • Publication
    Perception and use of timber in construction: A case study of Ireland and the UK
    (National University of Ireland Galway, 2021-08-09) O’Ceallaigh, Conan; Gil-Moreno, David; Ridley-Ellis, Daniel; Harte, Annette M.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland
    A survey was carried out to examine the perception of timber in construction among industry stakeholders within northwest Europe. The survey received responses from 17 countries in total. The total results of all respondents are presented along with results specifically from Ireland and the United Kingdom to examine differences in these regions in relation to the perception of timber as a construction material, the barriers impeding its use, and the educational needs and requirements of industry stakeholders. The use of timber in construction in these regions has arguably lagged behind the rest of Europe. A large proportion of participants (97.3%) expressed an interest in learning more about the benefits of timber in construction and highlighted topics of interest to them in their respective professions. The key findings from the survey have identified the educational needs and requirements of the industry and will inform future training courses/ material to support the increased use of timber in construction.
  • Publication
    Key considerations in the design of a one-stop-shop retrofit model
    (Civil Engineering Research Assiciation of Ireland (CERAI) and Cork Institute of Technology, 2020-08-27) McGinley, Orlaith; Moran, Paul; Goggins, Jamie; Horizon 2020; Science Foundation Ireland; MaREI Centre
    The Irish Government’s Climate Action Plan emphasizes the need for increased retrofit activity within the built environment. As such, the plan has set targets for the completion of 500,000 energy efficient retrofits by 2030 at a rate of 50,000 per annum. Ireland’s current retrofit uptake rate is considered relatively low, at approximately 23,000 primarily shallow retrofits per annum. Thus, a significant step change is required to drive retrofit investment at a national scale, however, there are various barriers existing to such. Considering these targets, the establishment of a One-Stop-Shop (OSS) retrofit model has been identified in the Climate Action Plan as a key action. Such OSS models are emerging across Europe, with some OSS style models already introduced in Ireland. However, significant upscaling is required to deliver on the targets set. This paper provides a definition of a OSS model, highlights its benefits and how it responds to some of the barriers limiting retrofit uptake in Ireland. Secondly, this paper reviews existing literature and business models of existing European OSS models, with focus on the customer segment in these models. A brief discussion on the potential reach of such customer segments in the Irish context are presented, based on available statistics. The main finding of the paper is that there is limited published research on the characteristics and motivations of households engaging with existing OSS models and retrofitting in general in Ireland. A deeper understanding of such will be crucial to the success of the establishment of a OSS model in Ireland as a policy measure toward the achievement of the Climate Action Plan targets set.
  • Publication
    Can DEAP help us to predict the energy demand and indoor temperature of homes before and after renovation ? A case study from Dublin
    (Civil Engineering Research Association of Ireland (CERAI) and Cork Institute of Technology, 2020-08-27) Moran, Paul; Goggins, Jamie; Science Foundation Ireland; Horizon 2020
    Improving the energy efficiency of buildings via retrofitting is seen as one of the key mitigation measures to reducing the energy demand and carbon emissions of the built environment in Ireland. However, while energy efficiency retrofits for buildings are effective in theory, the energy savings estimated by statistical or engineering models can often be inaccurate. The Domestic Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP) is the standard assessment procedure used for assessing the energy performance standard of residential buildings in Ireland. This paper examines the gas energy demand for space and water heating and the internal temperature profiles in contrast to DEAP estimates for a group of social housing units which were retrofitted to improve their energy performance standard. For the 16 households examined, theoretical energy demand was overestimated and theoretical average temperatures were underestimated on average. Based on the sample of houses in this study, the DEAP assumption of a 3°C temperature differential between the living area and the rest of the dwelling during heating hours is not representative of temperatures in actual buildings.
  • Publication
    Temperature profiles of private rental housing occupied by third level students in Ireland
    (Civil Engineering Research Assiciation of Ireland (CERAI) and Cork Institute of Technology, 2020-08-27) Ryan, Ailbhe; Walsh, Eimear; Moran, Paul; Goggins, Jamie
    The Irish Government published a National Student Accommodation Strategy to tackle issues surrounding the availability of accommodation for students in higher education. 23,634 students could not be accommodated with a bed space supplied by a Higher Education Institution in 2017. Therefore, many students live in private rental accommodation during the academic year. This paper examines the indoor temperature profiles of private rental housing occupied by third level students in Ireland. From the results, the temperature levels across the majority of the 16 cases were found to have temperatures below the recommended 18°C. At least 90% of the recorded temperature data during February for all but three of the cases was less than 18°C, highlighting the poor indoor temperature levels that the students were living in. While the sample size of this study is small and more research needs to be carried out on this topic in the future, the data suggests more accommodation needs to be provided for people in higher education that allows them to achieve indoor temperature levels within recommended guidelines.
  • Publication
    CASCADE methodology and tool: appliedICT for energy efficient airports
    (World SB14 Barcelona, 2014-10-28) Costa, Andrea; Blanes, Luis M.; Réhault, Nicolas; Keane, Marcus M.
    This paper gives an overview on the CASCADE project, methodology and on a stakeholdercentered solution called the CASCADE Tool that integrates Fault Detection and Diagnosis (FDD)into a comprehensive energy management system. Two major European airports are used as the test bench of the CASCADE solution. The solution delivers a common integrated platform including several innovative commercial and under development technologies including an ISO-50001 energy management software, advanced data visualization and FDD which has become a robust scientific field offering proven methods for the optimization and more effective operation of HVAC systems.
  • Publication
    A SWOT framework to investigate the integration between building management systems and fault detection and diagnosis tools
    (National University of Ireland Galway, 2013-07-01) Costa, Andrea; Sterling, Raymond; Blanes, Luis M.; Howley, Martin; Keane, Marcus M.; Seventh Framework Programme
    This paper presents a research work carried out under the umbrella of the CASCADE project, which is a European FP7 research project which is developing facility-specific measurement-based energy action plans for the airport energy managers that are underpinned by Fault Detection Diagnosis (FDD). The paper first describes the context of the project then it focuses on Building Management Systems describing the current status of the technology and presenting an outlook on their future development. Then a Strengths Weakness Opportunity and Treads (SWOT) framework is defined with the aim of verifying the suitability of an installed BMS system to incorporate Fault Detection and Diagnosis (FDD) tools
  • Publication
    Review of EU airport energy interests and priorities with respect to ICT, energy efficiency and enhanced building operation
    (National University of Ireland Galway, 2012-10-23) Costa, Andrea; Blanes, Luis M.; Donelly, Ciara; Keane, Marcus M.; Irish Research Council; Seventh Framework Programme
    This paper gives an overview on EU airport energy interests and priorities with respect to ICT, energy efficiency and enhanced building operation. To achieve this objective the paper begins with an overview on airports role on energy consumption, then novel review of airport energy consumption figures and energy efficiency actions at the EU level is presented. The research covers also interest and requirements of two Italian airports (MXP and FCO) in relation to enhanced operation which include: sub-metering and visualization needed to better understand the end energy use, data analysis for benchmarking and correlation with operational and weather data, action management for maintenance operation support.
  • Publication
    Integration of fault detection and diagnosis with energy management standard ISO 50001 and operations and maintenance of HVAC systems
    (National University of Ireland Galway, 2013-06-16) Blanes, Luis M.; Costa, Andrea; Rehault, Nicolas; Keane, Marcus M.
    Fault Detection and Diagnosis (FDD) has become a robust scientific field offering proven methods for the optimization and more effective operation of HVAC systems. However, FDD practical application faces several difficulties and barriers: legacy systems may be unable to provide meaningful information for FDD, integration of disparate systems can be difficult but also the organizational culture and existing contractual frameworks may present obstacles for innovation and industry acceptance. This paper presents a practical implementation of an stakeholder-centered solution called the CASCADE Implementation Kit that integrates FDDinto a comprehensive energy management system. Two major European airports will be the test bench of the CASCADE solution. Airports role as criticalinfrastructures and main energy consumer is also discussed in this paper. The solution delivers a common integrated platform including several innovative commercial and under development tools including an ISO-500011 energy management software, advanced data visualization, and building performance simulation.
  • Publication
    Liquid phase optimisation in a horizontal flow biofilm reactor (HFBR) technology for the removal of methane at low temperatures.
    (2013-03) Kennelly, Colm; Gerrity, Seán; Collins, Gavin; Clifford, Eoghan
    In this study, methods of improving the methane oxidation performance of a biofilm technology, the horizontal flow biofilm reactor (HFBR), operated at low temperatures were investigated. Three pilot scale HFBRs were commissioned to treat an air mixture containing methane (CH4) gas and were operated over 3 phases (Phases 1, 2 & 3) lasting 310 days in total. The reactors, loaded with 13.2 g CH4/m3 reactor volume/hr during each phase, were operated at an average temperature of 10oC throughout. In Phase 1, nutrients were added to the biofilm via a liquid nutrient feed (LNF) comprising water and nutrient mineral salts. Removals averaged 4.1, 3.1 and 2.7 g CH4/m3 /hr for HFBRs 1, 2 and 3 respectively. In Phase 2 silicone oil was added to the LNF of all three HFBRs to enhance mass transfer of methane to the liquid phase and thus improve treatment performance. Following this removal rates for Phase 2 averaged 5.6, 5.5 and 4.0 g CH4/m3/hr for HFBRs 1, 2 and 3 respectively. In Phase 3 a non ionic surfactant (Brij 35) was added to the LNF and silicone oil liquid phase of HFBRs 1 and 2. The operating conditions of HFBR 3 were not changed and it was used as a control. Various concentrations were trialled, with 1.0 g Brij 35/L proving most successful. Removal rates increased to 8.6 g CH4/m3/hr and 8.4 g CH4/m3/hr for HFBRs 1 and 2 respectively under these conditions, representing increases of 54% and 53% for HFBRs 1 and 2 respectively. These results indicate the potential of liquid phase optimisation as an efficient solution to improving the performance of biological reactors treating CH4 emissions and overcome traditional constraints posed by mass transfer limitations.
  • Publication
    Remote sensing of surface waters in Ireland
    (Civil Engineering Research Association of Ireland (CERAI), 2018-08-29) Agarwal, Anuj; Taveneau, Adélaïde; Olbert, Agnieszka Indiana
    An implementation of the WFD requires all surface waters in the EU to achieve at least good status; this requirement has not been achieved in Ireland. Just over 30% of transitional waters and 79% of coastal waters were satisfactory at good or high status. Irish transitional and coastal (TraC) waters are threatened by the synergistic effects of multiple environmental pressures such as nutrient enrichment, oxygen depletion and acidification. The overarching aim of this research is to assess a potential use of chlorophyll-a Remotely Sensed (RS) products to inform and improve Irish TraC water monitoring programme under WFD. In this research, the accuracy of level-3 and -4 processed chlorophyll-a concentrations derived from satellite observations of water colour has been analysed for Irish TraC waters. In total four datasets derived from four missions and for four retrieval algorithms have been inter-compared and validated against in-situ data on various temporal and spatial scales. The research shows that temporal and spatial coverage of RS data is very good in overall and VIIRS provides the most accurate set of chlorophyll-a concentrations in Irish TraC waters. The chlorophyll-a data derived from remote sensing observations have a potential to complement the TraC water monitoring and improve the current programme. The outcomes of this research are immensely important for surface water monitoring programme and water quality, and as such to policy makers, waters management bodies, scientists and local communities.