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Buildings, Volume 11, Issue 7 (July 2021) – 51 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This article analyses how waste management works in Italy by adapting its system to the European Union. In particular, it addresses the field of Construction and Demolition, taking into consideration the disposal of material coming from that production sector. In Italy, the provision may differ depending on the regions in which it is divided; this aspect must be taken into consideration when analysing the various data obtained. The objective of this work is to deepen the study of the waste produced by Construction and Demolition in the Italian region and on waste management according to the European Union. View this paper
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Article
Energy Modelling of Traditional and Contemporary Mosque Buildings in Oman
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070314 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1337
Abstract
Building energy efficiency is vital to achieve human thermal comfort with minimum energy consumption. It is a great concern in extremely hot countries such as Oman. This study aims to investigate the thermal performance of contemporary mosque buildings in comparison to traditional mosque [...] Read more.
Building energy efficiency is vital to achieve human thermal comfort with minimum energy consumption. It is a great concern in extremely hot countries such as Oman. This study aims to investigate the thermal performance of contemporary mosque buildings in comparison to traditional mosque buildings in Oman. The research methodology employs energy modelling using EDSL’s Tas Engineering computer simulation software. The analysis focused on how traditional mosque buildings compare to contemporary mosque buildings in terms of dry bulb air temperature and different thermal loads. The outcome showed the traditional mosque building design and construction are better suited for free-running buildings, while contemporary mosque building design and construction achieved less cooling load demand per area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency of Historical Buildings)
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Article
Simplified Approach for Seismic Performance Assessment of Dry-Joint Masonry Arch Bridges
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070313 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1023
Abstract
The seismic performance assessment of dry-joint masonry arches is challenging because of their unique structural characteristics. Widely used assessment methods developed for frame-type structures require the use of a material-dependent section response. In contrast, the response of a dry-joint arch is not dependent [...] Read more.
The seismic performance assessment of dry-joint masonry arches is challenging because of their unique structural characteristics. Widely used assessment methods developed for frame-type structures require the use of a material-dependent section response. In contrast, the response of a dry-joint arch is not dependent on the material capacity but characterized by the sustainment of stability, primarily depending on rigid body rotation or sliding motion at the interfaces between the adjacent voussoirs. A hybrid methodology, combining a simple finite element micro model with principles of limit analysis method, is proposed in this work for the seismic performance assessment of these structures. The nonlinearity is concentrated at interfaces of the model by means of shear and compression-only axial springs. Kinematic conditions yielding a possible collapse mechanism were traced at every step of the time history analysis by checking the failure of individual interfaces. The procedure is applied to an ancient dry-joint Roman arch bridge in close proximity to the North Anatolian fault subject to significant seismic risk. Along with the performance of the system in its current state, the effects of retrofitting measures were investigated in the scope of this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Structures)
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Article
Transition from Physical Design Studio to Emergency Virtual Design Studio. Available Teaching and Learning Methods and Tools—A Case Study
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070312 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1383
Abstract
At the core of architecture education are the design studio classes, where students test ideas, build physical models, and propose design projects in a shared creative environment. The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 created a large disruption of this status quo and required a [...] Read more.
At the core of architecture education are the design studio classes, where students test ideas, build physical models, and propose design projects in a shared creative environment. The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 created a large disruption of this status quo and required a major shift in the whole experience of teaching and learning at design studios. Using a case study approach, the present paper describes the systematic process of translating Physical Design Studio into emergency Virtual Design Studio and how it has been perceived by students enrolled in the investigated courses. The focus was primarily on those tools and methods that were intended to compensate for traditional workshop methods (for example the tactile exercise of physical model making and pin-up board presentations). To meet this objective, available tools for performing Virtual Design Studio were assessed using experiences of Design Studio instructors on the one hand and students’ surveys on the other hand. The study’s results can be used as recommendations on how to optimally implement a transition from a Physical Design Studio environment to teaching a digital remote design studio. Furthermore, the results also add to creating design guidelines for setting up blended architecture education post-COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computer Aided Architectural Design)
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Article
Identification of Critical Success Factors (CSFs) of BIM Software Selection: A Combined Approach of FCM and Fuzzy DEMATEL
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070311 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1744
Abstract
The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry has seen a significant rise in the adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the last few years. BIM software have launched with numerous robust capabilities and features to satisfy the ever-demanding needs of the AEC [...] Read more.
The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry has seen a significant rise in the adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the last few years. BIM software have launched with numerous robust capabilities and features to satisfy the ever-demanding needs of the AEC industry. Various factors are associated with the selection of BIM software depending on a company’s requirements and constraints. BIM software selection is a daunting process as most AEC industries are unaware of the factors to consider when making this important decision. This study focuses on identifying the critical success factors (CSFs) and their interrelationship for efficient BIM software selection. For this research, a questionnaire was developed and disseminated in two stages in India, the United States of America (U.S.A.), Germany, and the United Kingdom (U.K.). In the first stage, a total of twenty-six identified CSFs were analyzed with the factor comparison method (FCM) to identify the top fifteen CSFs. Subsequently, the identified top fifteen CSFs were further assessed by implementing Fuzzy DEMATEL to categorize them into cause-and-effect groups based on respective influence strength, depicted with a causal diagram. Out of fifteen CSFs, five and ten factors were grouped into the cause group and effect group for BIM software selection, respectively. The most important factors were identified as software functionality, BIM adoption strategies and processes, interoperability, staff competencies, BIM standards and regional regulations. The outcome of this research can help BIM user companies improve their BIM software selection framework and decision-making process during purchasing software. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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Article
Influence of Different Types of Infill Walls on the Hysteretic Performance of Reinforced Concrete Frames
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070310 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1118
Abstract
To study the influence of masonry infill walls on the hysteretic performance of reinforced concrete frames, a cyclic experiment was conducted for three two-story and two-span reinforced concrete frame structures, including one reinforced concrete frame without infill walls and two frames with infill [...] Read more.
To study the influence of masonry infill walls on the hysteretic performance of reinforced concrete frames, a cyclic experiment was conducted for three two-story and two-span reinforced concrete frame structures, including one reinforced concrete frame without infill walls and two frames with infill walls. Whether the infill walls were constructed in the frames and the type of infilled material were the main parameters of the test. The major results reveal that: the infill walls clearly changed the mechanical mechanism of the frame structure at the early stage of loading, magnified the stiffness and horizontal bearing capacity of the frame structure, and enhanced the energy dissipation capacity of the frame structure, but reduced the deformation performance of the frame structure. In the later stage of loading, the infill walls would no longer work as one with the frame gradually with the failure of the infill walls, and the above performance of the structure would approach the empty frame structure. Moreover, the initial stiffness, energy dissipation capacity, and horizontal bearing capacity of the frame with infill walls of clay hollow bricks were the highest among the three specimens. But due to the strong diagonal bracing effect, the damage to the top of the columns and beam-column joints was serious, the yield displacement was reduced significantly, and the shear failure of the top of the columns and the joints occurred prematurely, which showed poor performance of deformation and ductility. However, the frame with infill walls of relatively soft aerated lightweight concrete blocks showed better performance of deformation and ductility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Analysis for Earthquake-Resistant Design of Buildings)
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Article
Application of Advanced Building Techniques to Enhance the Environmental Performance of Interior Components
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070309 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1149
Abstract
This paper discusses the impact of advanced building techniques, in tune with selected building materials and their physical attributes, applied to complete constitutive interiors components on these components’ environmental performance and aesthetics. There is an understanding of technological practices as essential for the [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the impact of advanced building techniques, in tune with selected building materials and their physical attributes, applied to complete constitutive interiors components on these components’ environmental performance and aesthetics. There is an understanding of technological practices as essential for the effective management of the design process; still, the creative introduction of advanced building techniques is not commonly recognized by interior architects. The objective of the research is to indicate the possible multidimensional consequences of the analysis of materials’ physical attributes and the consistent application of advanced building techniques to complete interior components. The basis for this study formed the design concepts of aesthetic functionalism, place attachment, and a content-context model of the association between interior components and the building fabric. Some theoretical frameworks were used for a qualitative evaluation of interior components of selected cultural facilities completed in the last decade in Poland. The performance of these components was measured in the function of applied innovative building techniques and specified building materials. Research findings have proved the impact of building techniques on the performance of interior components as instruments to increase interior functional use, formal uniformity, and aesthetic cohesion of buildings and their inner spaces, as well as the scale of multisensorial effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architecture: Integration of Art and Engineering)
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Article
Contemporary Odeon Buildings as a Sustainable Environment for Culture
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070308 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1416
Abstract
The subject of this study is contemporary odeons in Poland, where 11 covered amphitheaters (odeons) have been built since 2005. The odeons were selected from a wider collection of 57 functioning amphitheaters. The study collected data on location, form, function, and construction. The [...] Read more.
The subject of this study is contemporary odeons in Poland, where 11 covered amphitheaters (odeons) have been built since 2005. The odeons were selected from a wider collection of 57 functioning amphitheaters. The study collected data on location, form, function, and construction. The data sources included the literature, archival research, design documentation, and competition entries. Descriptive and graphical comparative analyses of the phenomena, based on the statistics for completed structures and on design experiments in the case of unbuilt structures, were the two main research methods used in this study. The emergence and development directions of the typology of open cultural spaces from amphitheaters to odeons are presented in a global and regional context. Their interrelationships, affecting form and function, were also analyzed. The influence of high-end materials that were used to create these complex, large-scale spatial structures, and their impact on the environment, has been presented. The contemporary roofs covering the entertainment and stage complex were analyzed in relation to environmental factors, determining the location of the odeons. The functional aspects of these buildings and their cultural significance on a local, regional and global scale were discussed. The odeon in Biała Podlaska, built in 2019, was chosen as a case study to show, in detail, the complexity of the formation of contemporary odeons. In the discussion on the direction of the further evolution of open spaces for culture, an example of an unrealized competition design proposal of mobile roofing forms for the eighteenth-century amphitheater in the Royal Baths Park in Warsaw, Poland, was presented. The conclusions emphasize the environmental, spatial, functional, social and economic values of the establishment and functioning of contemporary odeons as open spaces of culture that are compliant with the principles of sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architecture: Integration of Art and Engineering)
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Article
A Study on the Changes in Sharehouse Design in Korea
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070307 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 744
Abstract
Among Korea’s household types, the demand for one-person housing, such as sharehouses, is noticeably increasing as lifestyle factors evolve. Sharehouses feature private bedrooms with communal spaces such as living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. This housing type has been supplied since 2010, yet its [...] Read more.
Among Korea’s household types, the demand for one-person housing, such as sharehouses, is noticeably increasing as lifestyle factors evolve. Sharehouses feature private bedrooms with communal spaces such as living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. This housing type has been supplied since 2010, yet its changes over time to meet demand have been underexplored. This study assesses the changing patterns of sharehouses by exploring six examples built between 2011 and 2019 and analyzing the changes in terms of communal space, personal space, and operating method. The results found that the later sharehouses eliminated the earlier sharehouses’ approach to uniform space configuration and operating methods, and manifested many changes (addition of work and cultural spaces; independent bathrooms and skip-floors to enhance privacy; and selection of residents being tailored to specific business/culture fields). Based on the findings, this study makes four suggestions to inform future spatial planning of sharehouses: (1) Spatial planning should reflect trends; (2) the target requirements for residents and ownership of sharehouses should be broadened; (3) operations and community programs should be developed; and (4) new laws and regulations specifically for sharehouses should be created. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Architectural Design, Urban Science, and Real Estate)
Article
Probability of Winning the Tender When Proposing Using BIM Strategy: A Case Study in Saudi Arabia
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070306 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1272
Abstract
The procurement process is one of the most important phases in any project life cycle, particularly when it comes to selecting the right contractor for the job. Awarding the contract to the best bid proposal is a critical step to ensure the greatest [...] Read more.
The procurement process is one of the most important phases in any project life cycle, particularly when it comes to selecting the right contractor for the job. Awarding the contract to the best bid proposal is a critical step to ensure the greatest value. BIM has been recognized as not only a geometric modelling of buildings, but also, it facilitates the different stages in management of construction projects. The purpose of this paper is to study the impact of using Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the tendering process from the contractor’s perspective, based on a probability model able to predict winning probability, regardless of relative weight. The main objective of this research is to measure the likelihood of winning a tender in the case of implementing BIM strategy, compared with contractors who do not use BIM. The research uses a literature review, surveys, and interviews with experts to develop a model that predicts the probability of winning a contract; this is determined by measuring the BIM impact on each selection criterion in a multicriteria selection process using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to develop a probability-based model. The results of the survey and the interview show that BIM strategy has a variant influence on the score the contractor could have on each of them raising the probability of winning the tender. The main result of this paper is the property-based model, which is able to predict BIM winning probability regardless of relative weight, which can be applied in any country. Nonetheless, the Saudi case study shows that utilizing BIM when proposing could increase the winning probability by up to 9.42% in the case of Quality-Based Selection (QBS), and to 5.5% in the case of Cost-Based Selection (CBS). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced BIM Application in Construction and Buildings)
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Article
Housing Expectations of Future Seniors Based on an Example of the Inhabitants of Poland
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070305 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 931
Abstract
A longer life span, which entails a dynamic increase in the numbers of seniors, poses a wide range of global challenges, among others for engineers and architects. The said challenges include, among others, a well-organised medical care system, proper legislation and social education. [...] Read more.
A longer life span, which entails a dynamic increase in the numbers of seniors, poses a wide range of global challenges, among others for engineers and architects. The said challenges include, among others, a well-organised medical care system, proper legislation and social education. The respective planning process should also recognise the important role of a well-designed environment. This paper is intended to analyse the current senior housing solutions in Poland and to define the desirable development of those housing forms that can successfully meet the needs of future seniors. For this purpose, we have analysed the current structure of elderly care. Further, this research was conducted using the diagnostic poll method (“Housing needs of the future seniors”), in order to define the current housing preferences of the young (future seniors). The results thereof provide relevant guidance in the search for spatial solutions that can ensure a high-quality housing environment for seniors in the future, which, at the same time, will facilitate their independent living. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Housing as a Nexus of Unaffordability, Illegality and Livability)
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Article
Combining Multiband Imaging, Photogrammetric Techniques, and FOSS GIS for Affordable Degradation Mapping of Stone Monuments
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070304 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1424
Abstract
The detailed documentation of degradation constitutes a fundamental step for weathering diagnosis and, consequently, for successful planning and implementation of conservation measures for stone heritage. Mapping the surface patterns of stone is a non-destructive procedure critical for the qualitative and quantitative rating of [...] Read more.
The detailed documentation of degradation constitutes a fundamental step for weathering diagnosis and, consequently, for successful planning and implementation of conservation measures for stone heritage. Mapping the surface patterns of stone is a non-destructive procedure critical for the qualitative and quantitative rating of the preservation state. Furthermore, mapping is employed for the annotation of weathering categories and the calculation of damage indexes. However, it is often a time-consuming task, which is conducted manually. Thus, practical methods need to be developed to automatize degradation mapping without significantly increasing the diagnostic process’s cost for conservation specialists. This work aims to develop and evaluate a methodology based on affordable close-range sensing techniques, image processing, and free and open source software for the spatial description, annotation, qualitative analysis, and rating of stone weathering-induced damage. Low-cost cameras were used to record images in the visible, near-infrared, and thermal-infrared spectra. The application of photogrammetric techniques allowed for the generation of the necessary background, that was elaborated to extract thematic information. Digital image processing of the spatially and radiometrically corrected images and image mosaics enabled the straightforward transition to a spatial information environment simplifying the development of degradation maps. The digital thematic maps facilitated the rating of stone damage and the extraction of useful statistical data. Full article
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Editorial
Novel Technologies to Enhance Energy Performance and Indoor Environmental Quality of Buildings
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070303 - 11 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 930
Abstract
Here, we overview the Buildings journal Special Issue dedicated to the following topic: “Novel Technologies to Enhance Energy Performance and Indoor Environmental Quality of Buildings” (https://www [...] Full article
Article
A Gabor Filter-Based Protocol for Automated Image-Based Building Detection
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070302 - 08 Jul 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1329
Abstract
Detecting buildings from high-resolution satellite imagery is beneficial in mapping, environmental preparation, disaster management, military planning, urban planning and research purposes. Differentiating buildings from the images is possible however, it may be a time-consuming or complicated process. Therefore, the high-resolution imagery from satellites [...] Read more.
Detecting buildings from high-resolution satellite imagery is beneficial in mapping, environmental preparation, disaster management, military planning, urban planning and research purposes. Differentiating buildings from the images is possible however, it may be a time-consuming or complicated process. Therefore, the high-resolution imagery from satellites needs to be automated to detect the buildings. Additionally, buildings exhibit several different characteristics, and their appearance in these images is unplanned. Moreover, buildings in the metropolitan environment are typically crowded and complicated. Therefore, it is challenging to identify the building and hard to locate them. To resolve this situation, a novel probabilistic method has been suggested using local features and probabilistic approaches. A local feature extraction technique was implemented, which was used to calculate the probability density function. The locations in the image were represented as joint probability distributions and were used to estimate their probability distribution function (pdf). The density of building locations in the image was extracted. Kernel density distribution was also used to find the density flow for different metropolitan cities such as Sydney (Australia), Tokyo (Japan), and Mumbai (India), which is useful for distribution intensity and pattern of facility point f interest (POI). The purpose system can detect buildings/rooftops and to test our system, we choose some crops with panchromatic high-resolution satellite images from Australia and our results looks promising with high efficiency and minimal computational time for feature extraction. We were able to detect buildings with shadows and building without shadows in 0.4468 (seconds) and 0.5126 (seconds) respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decision Support Systems for the Digital Built Environment)
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Article
Thermal Performance of Double-Pane Lightweight Steel Framed Walls with and without a Reflective Foil
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070301 - 08 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1037
Abstract
One strategy to increase energy efficiency of buildings could be the reduction of undesirable heat losses by mitigating the heat transfer mechanisms across the building envelope. The use of thermal insulation is the simplest and most straightforward way to promote thermal resistance of [...] Read more.
One strategy to increase energy efficiency of buildings could be the reduction of undesirable heat losses by mitigating the heat transfer mechanisms across the building envelope. The use of thermal insulation is the simplest and most straightforward way to promote thermal resistance of building elements by reducing the heat transfer by conduction. However, whenever there is an air cavity, radiation heat transfer could be also very relevant. The use of thermal reflective insulation materials inside the air gaps of building elements is likewise an effective way to increase thermal resistance without increasing weight and wall thickness. Some additional advantages are its low-cost and easy installation. In this work, the performance of a thermal reflective insulation system, constituted by an aluminium foil placed inside an air cavity between a double pane lightweight steel framed (LSF) partition, is experimentally evaluated for different air gap thicknesses, ranging from 0 mm up to 50 mm, with a step increment of 10 mm. We found a maximum thermal resistance improvement of the double pane LSF walls due to the reflective foil of around +0.529 m2∙°C/W (+21%). The measurements of the R-values were compared with predictions provided by simplified models (CEN and NFRC 100). Both models were able to predict with reasonable accuracy (around ±5%) the thermal behaviour of the air cavities within the evaluated double pane LSF walls. Full article
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Article
Absorption and Strength Properties of Short Carbon Fiber Reinforced Mortar Composite
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070300 - 08 Jul 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1163
Abstract
This paper presents the water absorption and strength properties of short carbon fiber reinforced mortar (CFRM) composite. Four CFRM composites with 1%, 2%, 3%, and 4% short pitch-based carbon fibers were produced in this study. Normal Portland cement mortar (NCPM) was also prepared [...] Read more.
This paper presents the water absorption and strength properties of short carbon fiber reinforced mortar (CFRM) composite. Four CFRM composites with 1%, 2%, 3%, and 4% short pitch-based carbon fibers were produced in this study. Normal Portland cement mortar (NCPM) was also prepared for use as the control mortar. The freshly mixed mortar composites were tested for workability, wet density, and entrapped air content. In addition, the hardened mortar composites were examined for compressive strength, splitting tensile strength, flexural strength, and water absorption at the ages of 7 and 28 days. The effects of different carbon fiber contents on the tested properties were observed. Test results showed that the incorporation of carbon fibers decreased the workability and wet density, but increased the entrapped air content in mortar composite. Most interestingly, the compressive strength of CFRM composite increased up to 3% carbon fiber content and then it declined significantly for 4% fiber content, depending on the workability and compaction of the mortar. In contrast, the splitting tensile strength and flexural strength of the CFRM composite increased for all fiber contents due to the greater cracking resistance and improved bond strength of the carbon fibers in the mortar. The presence of short pitch-based carbon fibers significantly strengthened the mortar by bridging the microcracks, resisting the propagation of these minute cracks, and impeding the growth of macrocracks. Furthermore, the water absorption of CFRM composite decreased up to 3% carbon fiber content and then it increased substantially for 4% fiber content, depending on the entrapped air content of the mortar. The overall test results suggest that the mortar with 3% carbon fibers is the optimum CFRM composite based on the tested properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings: 10th Anniversary)
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Review
Critical Review of Polymeric Building Envelope Materials: Degradation, Durability and Service Life Prediction
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070299 - 07 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1649
Abstract
This paper provides a critical review of the degradation, durability and service life prediction (SLP) of polymeric building envelope materials (BEMs), namely, claddings, air/vapour barriers, insulations, sealants, gaskets and fenestration. The rate of material deterioration and properties determine the usefulness of a product; [...] Read more.
This paper provides a critical review of the degradation, durability and service life prediction (SLP) of polymeric building envelope materials (BEMs), namely, claddings, air/vapour barriers, insulations, sealants, gaskets and fenestration. The rate of material deterioration and properties determine the usefulness of a product; therefore, knowledge of the significant degradation mechanisms in play for BEMs is key to the design of proper SLP methods. SLP seeks to estimate the life expectancy of a material/component exposed to in-service conditions. This topic is especially important with respect to the potential impacts of climate change. The surrounding environment of a building dictates the degradation mechanisms in play, and as climate change progresses, material aging conditions become more unpredictable. This can result in unexpected changes and/or damages to BEMs, and shorter than expected SL. The development of more comprehensive SLP methods is economically and environmentally sound, and it will provide more confidence, comfort and safety to all building users. The goal of this paper is to review the existing literature in order to identify the knowledge gaps and provide suggestions to address these gaps in light of the rapidly evolving climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Building Materials)
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Article
The Effect of Red Mud Content on the Compressive Strength of Geopolymers under Different Curing Systems
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070298 - 07 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1129
Abstract
To maximize the utilization of red mud in geopolymers, a red mud–metakaolin (RM-MK) geopolymer and red mud–fly ash (RM-FA) geopolymer were prepared, respectively. The effects of red mud content on the compressive strength and microstructure of the geopolymers were investigated under three different [...] Read more.
To maximize the utilization of red mud in geopolymers, a red mud–metakaolin (RM-MK) geopolymer and red mud–fly ash (RM-FA) geopolymer were prepared, respectively. The effects of red mud content on the compressive strength and microstructure of the geopolymers were investigated under three different curing conditions. The results showed that the strength of the geopolymer decreased linearly with an increase in the red mud content, whether curing at room temperature or 80 °C. Surprisingly, curing in an autoclave, the appropriate amount of red mud had a favorable impact on the mechanical properties of the geopolymers. When the amount of red mud was 50%, the strength of the RM-MK geopolymer reached its highest compressive strength, 36.3 MPa, and the strength of the RM-FA geopolymer reached its highest at 31.7 MPa. Compared with curing at low temperature, curing the red mud-based geopolymers under a higher temperature and higher pressure can maximize the use of red mud. XRD analysis indicated that zeolite minerals formed. The SEM results showed that the geopolymers cured in an autoclave had a dense structure. Full article
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Article
Towards Sustainable Construction Practices: How to Reinvigorate Vernacular Buildings in the Digital Era?
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070297 - 07 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1329
Abstract
The starting point of this article is the critique on socioeconomic and environmental implications of conventional construction practices around sustainability. The focus is on exploring the sustainability dynamics of the emerging “Design Global, Manufacture Local” (DGML) configuration with emphasis on building construction. Combined [...] Read more.
The starting point of this article is the critique on socioeconomic and environmental implications of conventional construction practices around sustainability. The focus is on exploring the sustainability dynamics of the emerging “Design Global, Manufacture Local” (DGML) configuration with emphasis on building construction. Combined with the concept of conviviality which we identify in aspects of vernacular architecture we explore how it can foster meaningful sustainability practices in the construction sector. We introduce a framework of “open construction systems”, an expression of DGML in building construction, as a way to foster the conjunctive use of the digital commons and local manufacturing technologies for the construction of buildings through three interlocked elements—modularity, sharing and adaptability. We suggest that the “open construction systems” framework may point towards more sustainability in building construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Manufacturing in Construction)
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Article
Stochastic Dynamic Analysis of Cultural Heritage Towers up to Collapse
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070296 - 07 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 992
Abstract
This paper deals with the seismic vulnerability of monumental unreinforced masonry (URM) towers, the fragility of which has not yet been sufficiently studied. Thus, the present paper fills this gap by developing models to investigate the seismic response of URM towers up to [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the seismic vulnerability of monumental unreinforced masonry (URM) towers, the fragility of which has not yet been sufficiently studied. Thus, the present paper fills this gap by developing models to investigate the seismic response of URM towers up to collapse. On mount Athos, Greece, there exist more than a hundred medieval towers, having served mainly as campaniles or fortifications. Eight representative towers were selected for a thorough investigation to estimate their seismic response characteristics. Their history and architectural features are initially discussed and a two-step analysis follows: (i) limit analysis is performed to estimate the collapse mechanism and the locations of critical cracks, (ii) non-linear explicit dynamic analyses are then carried out, developing finite element (FE) simulations, with cracks modelled as interfacial surfaces to derive the capacity curves. A meaningful definition of the damage states is proposed based on the characteristics of their capacity curves, with the ultimate limit state related to collapse. The onset of slight damage-state is characterised by the formation and development of cracks responsible for the collapse mechanism of the structure. Apart from these two, another two additional limit states are also specified: the moderate damage-state and the extensive one. Fragility and vulnerability curves are finally generated which can help the assessment and preservation of cultural heritage URM towers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic Safety Assessment of Existing Constructions)
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Article
Displacement-Based Seismic Assessment of the Likelihood of Failure of Reinforced Concrete Wall Buildings
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070295 - 06 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1103
Abstract
To strengthen the resilience of our built environment, a good understanding of seismic risk is required. Probabilistic performance-based assessment is able to rigorously compute seismic risk and the advent of numerical computer-based analyses has helped with this. However, it is still a challenging [...] Read more.
To strengthen the resilience of our built environment, a good understanding of seismic risk is required. Probabilistic performance-based assessment is able to rigorously compute seismic risk and the advent of numerical computer-based analyses has helped with this. However, it is still a challenging process and as such, this study presents a simplified probabilistic displacement-based assessment approach for reinforced concrete wall buildings. The proposed approach is trialed by applying the methodology to 4-, 8-, and 12-story case study buildings, and results are compared with those obtained via multi-stripe analyses, with allowance for uncertainty in demand and capacity, including some allowance for modeling uncertainty. The results indicate that the proposed approach enables practitioners to practically estimate the median intensity associated with exceeding a given mechanism and the annual probability of exceeding assessment limit states. Further research to extend the simplified approach to other structural systems is recommended. Moreover, the research highlights the need for more information on the uncertainty in our strength and deformation estimates, to improve the accuracy of risk assessment procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic Performance Assessment of Buildings)
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Article
Prospects of Developing Prefabricated Masonry Walling Systems in Australia
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070294 - 06 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1162
Abstract
Prefabrication has been shown to be an effective way of construction in the modern-day context. Although much progress has been made in developing reinforced concrete (RC), timber and steel prefabricated elements/structures, prefabrication of masonry walling systems has received limited attention in the past. [...] Read more.
Prefabrication has been shown to be an effective way of construction in the modern-day context. Although much progress has been made in developing reinforced concrete (RC), timber and steel prefabricated elements/structures, prefabrication of masonry walling systems has received limited attention in the past. Conventional masonry construction is labour-intensive and time-consuming; therefore, prefabrication can be an effective solution to accelerate the masonry construction to make it more cost-effective. Therefore, in this paper, an attempt has been made to evaluate the effectiveness of prefabricated masonry systems (PMS) in terms of their structural characteristics and sustainability perspectives in an Australian context. Subsequently, the available studies related to PMS and the prospects of developing prefabricated masonry walling systems were appraised and reported. In order to assess the applicability of PMS, a case study was carried out by designing four types of prospective prefabricated masonry walling systems for a typical housing unit in Australia. It was shown that the reinforced (RM), post-tensioned (PT) and thin layered mortared (TLM) masonry systems are better suited for prefabrication. Later, in order to assess the sustainability of the considered masonry walling systems, life cycle energy analyses were carried using the Environmental Performance in Construction (EPIC) database. It was found that there can be nearly 30% and 15% savings, respectively, in terms of energy saving and CO2 emissions in prefabricated construction than the conventional masonry construction. Finally, the prospects of developing PMS and the need for future research studies on these systems are highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Performance of Modular Building Systems)
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Article
Seismic Performance Analysis of Tuned Mass Rocking Wall (TMRW)-Frame Building Structures
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070293 - 05 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1094
Abstract
A tuned mass rocking wall (TMRW) is a passive control device that combines the merits of a traditional tuned mass damper (TMD) and a traditional rocking wall (RW). TMRWs not only help avoid weak story failure of the host structure but can also [...] Read more.
A tuned mass rocking wall (TMRW) is a passive control device that combines the merits of a traditional tuned mass damper (TMD) and a traditional rocking wall (RW). TMRWs not only help avoid weak story failure of the host structure but can also be regarded as a largely tuned mass substructure in the building structure. Through the appropriate design of the frequency ratio, the host structure can dissipate much more energy under earthquake excitations. In this paper, the basic equations of motion for the mechanical model of an SDOF structure-rigid rocking wall are established, and the optimization formulas of frequency ratio and damping ratio of TMRW are derived. Through the dynamic elastoplastic analysis of a six-story TMRW-frame model, the applicability of the derived parameter optimization formulas and the effectiveness of the TMRW in seismic performance control are investigated. The results demonstrate that the TMRW can coordinate the uneven displacement angle between stories of the host structure. Additionally, the TMRW is found to possess the merit of reducing both the peak and root-mean-square (RMS) structural responses when subjected to different types of earthquake excitations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic Performance of New-Designed and Existing RC Buildings)
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Article
Characterization of Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa) Foam for Thermal Insulation and Sound Absorption Applications in Buildings
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070292 - 05 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1241
Abstract
Exploring new construction materials with low environmental impact leads to innovation in buildings and also to the expansion of environmental sustainability in the construction industry. In this perspective, the thermal insulation and the sound absorption performances of Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa) foam were analyzed [...] Read more.
Exploring new construction materials with low environmental impact leads to innovation in buildings and also to the expansion of environmental sustainability in the construction industry. In this perspective, the thermal insulation and the sound absorption performances of Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa) foam were analyzed for potential application in buildings. This material is of plant origin, it is natural, renewable, abundant, and has a low environmental impact. In this research, characterizations were made by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), apparent density, thermogravimetry (TGA and DTG), thermal conductivity, and sound absorption. The SEM analysis revealed a predominantly porous, small, and closed-cell morphology in the vegetable foam. Due to its porosity and lightness, the material has an apparent density similar to other thermal insulating and sound-absorbing materials used commercially. The evaluation of thermogravimetric (TGA/DTG) results demonstrated thermal stability at temperatures that attest to the use of Buriti foam as a building material. Based on the thermal conductivity test, the Buriti foam was characterized as an insulating material comparable to conventional thermal insulation materials and in the same range as other existing thermal insulators of plant origin. Concerning sound absorption, the Buriti foam presented a low performance in the analyzed frequency range, mainly attributed to the absence of open porosity in the material. Therefore, understanding the sound absorption mechanisms of Buriti foam requires further studies exploring additional ways of processing the material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green and Sustainable Building Materials)
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Article
A Taxonomy of Sources of Waste in BIM Information Flows
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070291 - 04 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1092
Abstract
Since its introduction, Building Information Modelling has evolved into a major technology in the construction industry, where information flows play a major role. However, the very presence of waste within these flows prevents the technology from reaching its full potential. This paper aims [...] Read more.
Since its introduction, Building Information Modelling has evolved into a major technology in the construction industry, where information flows play a major role. However, the very presence of waste within these flows prevents the technology from reaching its full potential. This paper aims to develop a taxonomy focused on the sources of waste within information flows in BIM projects, as existing taxonomies focus primarily on work and material flows. Using a collaborative design science research approach, the study was divided into two phases: first, semi-structured interviews were used to collect data on BIM practices. The data was then used to identify similarities and contradictions in the information flows using process maps. Second, the ShareLab approach was used to validate the findings through a common agreement. The paper’s main contribution is the taxonomy of sources of waste in BIM project information flows, as it closes knowledge gaps in one of the main flows of construction projects. Another contribution is its use of a new approach to validate an artefact in a Design Science Research methodology named the ShareLab approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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Article
The Impact of Avant-Garde Art on Brutalist Architecture
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070290 - 04 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1745
Abstract
Brutalism was an architectural trend that emerged after World War II, and in the 1960s and 1970s, it spread throughout the world. The development of brutalist architecture was greatly influenced by post-war avant-garde art. The greatest impact on brutalism was exerted by such [...] Read more.
Brutalism was an architectural trend that emerged after World War II, and in the 1960s and 1970s, it spread throughout the world. The development of brutalist architecture was greatly influenced by post-war avant-garde art. The greatest impact on brutalism was exerted by such avant-garde trends as art autre, art brut, and musique concrète. Architects were most inspired by the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Jean Dubuffet, Pierre Schaeffer, Eduardo Paolozzi, and Nigel Henderson. The main aim of the research was to identify and characterize the most important ideas and principles common to avant-garde art and brutalist architecture. Due to the nature of the research problem and its complexity, the method of historical interpretative studies was used. The following research techniques were employed: analysis of the literature, comparative analysis, multiple case studies, descriptive analysis, and studies of buildings in situ. The research found the most important common ideas guiding brutalist architects and avant-garde artists: rejection of previous principles and doctrines; searching for the rudiments; mirroring the realities of everyday life; glorification of ordinariness; sincerity of the material, structure, and function; use of raw materials and rough textures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architecture: Integration of Art and Engineering)
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Article
Improving the IAQ for Learning Efficiency with Indoor Plants in University Classrooms in Ajman, United Arab Emirates
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070289 - 04 Jul 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1684
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of improving indoor air quality with indoor plants. As a methodology, two target classrooms with the same size (120.64 m2) and 32 students per room were selected. Then, 48 areca palm [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of improving indoor air quality with indoor plants. As a methodology, two target classrooms with the same size (120.64 m2) and 32 students per room were selected. Then, 48 areca palm pots (average leaf area of 300 cm2/pot) were placed, and the plant density was 14.68% of the floor area. Subjective assessment for general questions, learning motivation, perceived air quality, and SBS symptoms was conducted at 5 min after the class started and 5 min before the class ended. The results showed that the CO2 concentration by respiration of the students (average of 1873 ppm) exceeded the regulatory standard (1000 ppm), but the students did not recognize the indoor CO2 concentration. The increase in CO2 concentration in the classroom was lower in the case with plant placement (624 ppm) compared with the case without plant placement (about 1205 ppm). It was statistically proven that the CO2 concentration by respiration could be reduced by 50% if the indoor plant leaf area density were maintained at about 14.68% of the floor area. In the case with plant placement, the students perceived the indoor air quality to be 40% fresher and showed a 140% higher acceptability. Moreover, the complaining of SBS symptoms was improved by 108%, and the students’ perception that it was better to focus on learning increased by about 120%. As the awareness of sustainability increases, indoor plants will be more actively placed in the United Arab Emirates. Indoor plants not only provide a visual green effect to improve human comfort but also purify indoor air pollutants. Full article
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Article
The Memetic Evolution of Latin American Architectural Design Culture
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070288 - 03 Jul 2021
Viewed by 980
Abstract
Architecture is an evolutionary field. Through time, it changes and adapts itself according to two things: the environment and the user, which are the touchstones of the concept of culture. Culture changes in long time intervals because of its cumulative structure, so its [...] Read more.
Architecture is an evolutionary field. Through time, it changes and adapts itself according to two things: the environment and the user, which are the touchstones of the concept of culture. Culture changes in long time intervals because of its cumulative structure, so its effects can be observed on a large scale. A nation displays itself with its culture and uses architecture as a tool to convey its cultural identity. This dual relationship between architecture and culture can be observed at various times and in various lands, most notably in Latin American designers. The geographical positions of Latin American nations and their political situations in the twentieth century leads to the occurrence of a recognizable cultural identity, and it influenced the architectural design language of that region. The nonlinear forms in architecture were once experienced commonly around Latin America, and this design expression shows itself in the designers’ other works through time and around the world. The cultural background of Latin American architecture investigated within this study, in terms of their design approach based upon the form and effect of Latin American culture on this architectural design language, is examined with the explanation of the concept of culture by two leading scholars: Geert Hofstede and Richard Dawkins. This paper nevertheless puts together architecture and semiology by considering key twentieth century philosophers and cultural theorist methodologies. Cultural theorist and analyst Roland Barthes was the first person to ask architects to examine the possibility of bringing semiology and architectural theory together. Following an overview of existing semiological conditions, this paper analyzed Roland Barthes and Umberto Eco’s hypothesis of the semiological language of architectural designs of Latin American designers by examining their cultural origin. The work’s findings express the historical conditions that enabled the contemporary architecture and culture study of Latin America between 1945 and 1975 to address the “Latin American model” of architectural modernism. Full article
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Article
Stress Intensity Factor of Reinforced Concrete Beams in Bending
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070287 - 02 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 836
Abstract
The stress values at the crack tip in bending reinforced concrete beams are considered. The stress state is analytically determined with an initial and propagating crack. Equations of the equilibrium of a part of the beam cut along the crack line are compiled. [...] Read more.
The stress values at the crack tip in bending reinforced concrete beams are considered. The stress state is analytically determined with an initial and propagating crack. Equations of the equilibrium of a part of the beam cut along the crack line are compiled. These equations are reduced to a system of two nonlinear algebraic equations using the plane-sections hypothesis. The equations determine the stress zone’s height and the nominal stress at the crack tip for a beam with an initial crack and the crack length. The rest of the stress state parameters are expressed regarding the zone stress height and the nominal stress or crack length. The same equation system determines the external moment starting from which the crack length increases. The analytical method for determining the stress intensity factor (SIF) with an initial and growing crack in bent reinforced concrete beams is proposed. The method is based on the assumption that the size of the stress concentration zone at the crack tip is determined by the equality of the nominal and local stresses at the end of this zone. The method determines the value of the external moment starting from which the crack length increases. The stress zone’s size is determined by the coincidence of the local stress with the nominal stress. The same problem is solved in a three-dimensional formulation by the FE method, considering the stress field’s peculiarities at the crack tip. The calculation results coincide with the analytical solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation)
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Article
Influence of Fiber Shape and Volume Content on the Performance of Reactive Powder Concrete (RPC)
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070286 - 01 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1016
Abstract
This research studied the influence of three types of open (short-straight, long-straight, semicircular) and three different shapes of closed steel fibers (triangular, rectangular, circular) with different fiber contents by volume (0, 0.5%, 1%, 1.5%, and 2%) on the working and mechanical performance of [...] Read more.
This research studied the influence of three types of open (short-straight, long-straight, semicircular) and three different shapes of closed steel fibers (triangular, rectangular, circular) with different fiber contents by volume (0, 0.5%, 1%, 1.5%, and 2%) on the working and mechanical performance of reactive powder concrete (RPC). The results indicated that (1) the number of steel fibers and the enclosed area formed by closed steel fibers would remarkably impact the performance of RPC; (2) the semicircular fiber improves RPC’s strength the most among the three open shapes; (3) the short-straight fiber works more effectively than the closed steel fibers; (4) the circular fiber works the most efficiently in improving RPC’s mechanical performance while the triangular ones have the least effect among the three closed steel fibers; (5) both the closed and open steel fibers improve their compressive strength more than their flexural strength; (6) the closed steel fiber works more efficiently in improving the flexural strength but less efficiently in improving the compressive strength; (7) the open steel fibers enhance the mechanical performance of RPC via their anchoring performance while the closed steel fibers work by confining the concrete; (8) the hybrid utilization of steel fibers improves RPC’s mechanical performance to a higher level via combing the advantages of open and closed steel fibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete Materials in Construction)
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Article
Load-Carrying Capacity of Compressed Wall-Like RC Columns Strengthened with FRP
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070285 - 30 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 783
Abstract
The analytical prediction of the effectiveness of fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) in the confinement of a rectangular reinforced concrete (RC) column with a high aspect ratio (wall-like) still has an uncertain solution. In this paper, a numerical investigation of the axial response of RC [...] Read more.
The analytical prediction of the effectiveness of fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) in the confinement of a rectangular reinforced concrete (RC) column with a high aspect ratio (wall-like) still has an uncertain solution. In this paper, a numerical investigation of the axial response of RC wall-like columns strengthened with FRP systems was developed. Analytical solutions proposed in the literature for the assessment of the axial load capacity were presented and compared with each other and with the available experimental results. Moreover, non-linear finite element analysis was carried out, and the results were discussed, providing a simple model for the assessment of the axial compressive strength of wall-like RC columns strengthened with FRP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Structures)
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