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Buildings, Volume 13, Issue 7 (July 2023) – 309 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Robot-based assembly offers a promising solution to challenges in the construction industry, such as rising costs, labor shortages, and safety concerns. However, effective sequence planning remains a major obstacle. This article introduces RoboGPT, a groundbreaking system that leverages the advanced reasoning capabilities of ChatGPT, a large language model, to automate sequence planning in construction. Through experimental evaluation and case studies, RoboGPT demonstrates its ability to handle complex operations and adapt to dynamic environments. This work marks a significant advancement in construction robotics, opening doors for further integration of large language models in the field. View this paper
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17 pages, 904 KiB  
Article
Barriers to Building Information Modeling from an Individual Perspective in the Chinese Construction Industry: An Extended Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1881; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071881 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1135
Abstract
Building information modeling (BIM) is a crucial information technology that promotes the transformation and upgrading of the construction industry. It has been widely used in various stages of construction projects, including design, construction, and operation. However, BIM technology still faces numerous obstacles in [...] Read more.
Building information modeling (BIM) is a crucial information technology that promotes the transformation and upgrading of the construction industry. It has been widely used in various stages of construction projects, including design, construction, and operation. However, BIM technology still faces numerous obstacles in practice. From the perspective of construction practitioners, this study constructs a structural equation model to explore the obstacles encountered by construction practitioners in the process of applying BIM technology. Task–technology fit, effort expectancy, performance expectancy, user trust, and facilitating conditions can significantly improve practitioners’ behavioral intention, with task–technology fit having the most significant impact on behavioral intention. Facilitating conditions and behavioral intention significantly affect usage behavior, while perceived cost does not significantly affect behavioral intention. The multiple-group analysis found that in the path of performance expectancy on behavioral intention, males have a significant effect while females do not; in the path of facilitating conditions on behavioral intention, higher education levels have a significant effect while lower education levels do not; in the path of facilitating conditions on behavioral behavior, lower usage time has a significant effect while higher usage time does not. Suggestions for promoting the application of BIM technology are proposed in this article to improve its utilization rate. This study provides more perspectives and ideas for future research on BIM diffusion. Full article
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17 pages, 553 KiB  
Review
A Review on Durability of Foam Concrete
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1880; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071880 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2518
Abstract
Foam concrete is a promising material in building and construction applications, providing such outstanding properties as high specific strength, excellent thermal insulation, and effective acoustic absorption in human-inhabited buildings. However, because the porosity and permeable water absorption properties of foam concrete are significantly [...] Read more.
Foam concrete is a promising material in building and construction applications, providing such outstanding properties as high specific strength, excellent thermal insulation, and effective acoustic absorption in human-inhabited buildings. However, because the porosity and permeable water absorption properties of foam concrete are significantly higher, its durability is often not comparable to that of ordinary concrete, and so the durability of foam concrete requires significant attention during the life cycle of building applications. Durable materials can greatly reduce the environmental impact of waste from maintenance and replacement and the consumption of natural resources resulting from the production of repair and replacement materials. After hardening, the durability of foam concrete includes freeze-thaw cycle resistance, elevated temperature resistance, carbonation resistance, efflorescence resistance, sulfate resistance, chloride resistance, alkali-silica reaction, and so on. This paper reviews articles on the durability of ordinary Portland cement (OPC) foam concrete, geopolymer foam concrete (GFC), magnesium phosphate cement (MPC) foam concrete, sulphoaluminate cement (SAC) foam concrete, and limestone calcined clay cement (LC3) foam concrete and compares their durability to provide a reference for the life cycle design and service life estimation of foam concrete members. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic and Durability Evaluation of Concrete Structures)
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31 pages, 8108 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Effects of Parameter Tuning on Machine Learning for Occupant Behavior Analysis in Japanese Residential Buildings
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1879; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071879 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 759
Abstract
Global warming is currently progressing worldwide, and it is important to control greenhouse gas emissions from the perspective of adaptation and mitigation. Occupant behavior is highly individualized and must be analyzed to accurately determine a building’s energy consumption. However, most of the resident [...] Read more.
Global warming is currently progressing worldwide, and it is important to control greenhouse gas emissions from the perspective of adaptation and mitigation. Occupant behavior is highly individualized and must be analyzed to accurately determine a building’s energy consumption. However, most of the resident behavior models in existing studies are based on statistical methods, and their accuracy in parameter tuning has not been examined. The accuracy of heating behavior prediction has been studied using three different methods: logistic regression, support vector machine (SVM), and deep neural network (DNN). The generalization ability of the support vector machine and the deep neural network was improved by parameter tuning. The parameter tuning of the SVM showed that the values of C and gamma affected the prediction accuracy. The prediction accuracy improved by approximately 11.9%, confirming the effectiveness of parameter tuning on the SVM. The parameter tuning of the DNN showed that the values of the layer and neuron affected prediction accuracy. Although parameter tuning also improved the prediction accuracy of the DNN, the rate of increase was lower than that of the SVM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synergy between Mitigation and Adaptation in Buildings)
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18 pages, 1605 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Load-Bearing Timber Elements for the Design for Disassembly
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1878; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071878 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1011
Abstract
This literature review examined the functionality of the connection or connections and disassembly as a general strategy. The prerequisites that arose for disassembly were, among other things, damage tolerance, reduction of emissions compared to raw materials, costs, and guaranteeing safety. The set of [...] Read more.
This literature review examined the functionality of the connection or connections and disassembly as a general strategy. The prerequisites that arose for disassembly were, among other things, damage tolerance, reduction of emissions compared to raw materials, costs, and guaranteeing safety. The set of criteria for disassembly was defined from the structural engineers’ perspective through the literature review. The criteria focus on joints, which are key to the success of disassembly. Five different criteria were used to evaluate joints in this study. The criteria were ease of access to components, ease of disassembly, independence, simplicity, and standardization. The evaluation was executed for different widely used connections in timber constructions. The criteria were evaluated subjectively from one to four. As a conclusion, the load-bearing timber elements have a promising future in design for disassembly. Design for disassembly aims to promote reuse and other features to increase the life cycle of structural elements. It has the potential to reduce the usage of raw materials and significantly decrease the emissions of construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Structures)
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20 pages, 1003 KiB  
Article
The Costs of Construction and Housing Prices: A Full-Cost Pricing or Tendering Theory?
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1877; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071877 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2705
Abstract
While construction costs and housing prices are implicitly examined in the construction economics literature, dedicated studies on their theoretical underpinning are rare. In this study, we investigated the application of different pricing theories in Auckland by testing the relationship between house prices and [...] Read more.
While construction costs and housing prices are implicitly examined in the construction economics literature, dedicated studies on their theoretical underpinning are rare. In this study, we investigated the application of different pricing theories in Auckland by testing the relationship between house prices and construction costs in Auckland from 1995 to 2021. The results contrast the tendering pricing theory, which posits that construction prices are optimal mark-ups unaffected by market demand, with the full-cost pricing theory, which acknowledges the market-dependent nature of pricing. By using the Toda-Yamamoto’s granger-causality test and Pesaran’s Autoregressive Distributive Lag (ARDL) bound tests, we analysed the relationship between the house price index (HPI) and construction cost index (CCI). The result suggests a significant relationship between housing prices and construction costs in both the short and long term, supporting the predominance of the full-cost pricing theory in Auckland’s housing market. The finding highlights the potential need for property industry participants to evaluate the market structure of the construction industry, fostering a more competitive environment and paving the way for more effective supply-related housing policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study on Real Estate and Housing Management)
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22 pages, 13413 KiB  
Article
Refined Simulation of Reinforced Concrete Beam Based on a Hybrid Peridynamic Method
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1876; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071876 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 662
Abstract
Reinforced concrete (RC) structures under earthquake excitation may fail and cause significant casualties and economic losses, highlighting the importance of studying their seismic failure mechanisms. Considering that the commonly used finite element method and discrete element method have inherent limitations, a more efficient [...] Read more.
Reinforced concrete (RC) structures under earthquake excitation may fail and cause significant casualties and economic losses, highlighting the importance of studying their seismic failure mechanisms. Considering that the commonly used finite element method and discrete element method have inherent limitations, a more efficient meshless method, known as peridynamics (PD), has been proposed and applied in various areas. PD has two types, namely, bond-based peridynamics (BPD) and state-based peridynamics (SPD). BPD is limited by its fixed Poisson’s ratio, while SPD suffers from the zero-energy mode issue. A hybrid peridynamics (HPD) method is introduced in this paper to overcome these limitations, as it establishes bonds between each PD point and other PD points within its horizon and sums up all bond forces on the PD point to calculate the total force. The proposed HPD method is then applied to simulate three RC beams with different shear span-to-depth ratios. The simulation results, including the shear force–deflection of the beams, shear force–strain of stirrups, crack formation and propagation, and diagonal crack width, are compared against experimental data. The proposed HPD method is demonstrated as being capable of simulating RC structures’ behaviors in an accurate and stable manner. Full article
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22 pages, 1733 KiB  
Review
A Review: Progress in Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Portland Cement (Geopolymer)—Based Composites and the Interface between These Matrices and Reinforced Material
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1875; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071875 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1457
Abstract
Molecular dynamics (MD) is an important method for studying the molecular and atomic scale of cement (geopolymer)-based composites which provides an effective method for the optimal design of cementitious materials. In this paper, the research progress of MD simulation in Portland cement and [...] Read more.
Molecular dynamics (MD) is an important method for studying the molecular and atomic scale of cement (geopolymer)-based composites which provides an effective method for the optimal design of cementitious materials. In this paper, the research progress of MD simulation in Portland cement and geopolymer-based materials is discussed in detail, including molecular structure models of calcium silicate hydrate, calcium aluminosilicate hydrate, sodium aluminum silicate hydrate gel, and auxiliary experimental techniques. The basic mechanical properties of calcium silicate hydrate, calcium aluminosilicate hydrate and sodium aluminum silicate hydrate in Portland cement-based materials (CBM) and geopolymer-based materials are reviewed. In addition, the dynamic simulation of the interface between CBM and reinforcement materials such as rebar, synthetic fibers, plant fibers and nanoparticles is also discussed. Through the macroscopic experimental results of cement (geopolymer)-based materials and the performance analysis of an MD microscopic model, MD helps to better explain the macroscopic properties of materials, and can quickly and conveniently analyze the mechanical properties, transport properties and interface properties of composite materials, so as to improve the fine design of cement (geopolymer)-based materials. Existing structural models and force fields are affected by environment and time, and MD simulation shows great differences in application range and characterization ability. It is necessary to further study and reveal the internal mechanism for improving concrete performance through a large number of experiments and MD simulation, and lay a theoretical foundation for preparing the next generation of (super) high-performance concrete. Full article
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33 pages, 19386 KiB  
Article
NLFEA of Reinforced Concrete Corbels: Proposed Framework, Sensibility Study, and Precision Level
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1874; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071874 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 875
Abstract
Non-linear finite element analysis (NLFEA) has been frequently used to assess the ultimate capacity of reinforced concrete (RC) structures under the most complex conditions. Nevertheless, the guidelines using such methods to evaluate RC corbels are limited. In addition, the influence of material modeling [...] Read more.
Non-linear finite element analysis (NLFEA) has been frequently used to assess the ultimate capacity of reinforced concrete (RC) structures under the most complex conditions. Nevertheless, the guidelines using such methods to evaluate RC corbels are limited. In addition, the influence of material modeling options regarding the behavior of such members was not investigated until now. This paper proposes to present a framework for the NLFEAs of RC corbels using the Concrete Damaged Plasticity (CDP) model. the influence of several modeling choices related to this constitutive model also is discussed in detail, including the assumed stress–strain behavior in compression and tension and the parameters related to the yield criterion and flow rule. For this, a first set of test results was used to validate the proposed approach to the NLFEA. Afterwards, the sensibility of the numerical results for several modeling choices was investigated. In the end, the proposed framework for the NLFEA was checked against a database of 36 test results from the literature. The mean ratio between the predicted and experimental test results was 1.015 with a coefficient of variation of only 8.57%. The governing failure mechanism of the tests was predicted correctly in approximately 88% of the simulations. In summary, the proposed approach allows for predicting the ultimate capacity and failure mechanism of RC corbels accurately. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Structures)
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9 pages, 3625 KiB  
Article
Research on the Rationality of Setting the Transverse Ribs of Large Cantilever Segmental Prefabricated Box Girders
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1873; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071873 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 629
Abstract
This article develops three transverse rib setting schemes for a 20 m wide cantilever segmental box girder of a particular engineering bridge deck, analyzes the stress rules under loads such as dead load, live load, and temperature, and studies the lateral deformation characteristics [...] Read more.
This article develops three transverse rib setting schemes for a 20 m wide cantilever segmental box girder of a particular engineering bridge deck, analyzes the stress rules under loads such as dead load, live load, and temperature, and studies the lateral deformation characteristics of the three schemes under symmetrical and eccentric live load arrangements on the bridge deck. Research has shown that setting transverse ribs can significantly improve the transverse stress, crack resistance, and reduce vertical deformation of the cross-section. However, its effect gradually weakens with the increase in the number of transverse ribs. Considering the convenience and simplicity of construction, installing a transverse rib structure for the large cantilever section box girder in this project is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Structures)
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32 pages, 11216 KiB  
Article
Public Database of Cracks Images in Mortar Coating with Different Types of Surface Finishes
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1872; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071872 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 646
Abstract
The use of technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI), in production processes has been optimizing several industrial realities. In civil construction, AI can be used in different applications, one of which is building inspection. One of the difficulties in developing this type of [...] Read more.
The use of technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI), in production processes has been optimizing several industrial realities. In civil construction, AI can be used in different applications, one of which is building inspection. One of the difficulties in developing this type of study is the low number of public image databases that represent more general aspects of building wear. In view of this, the main objective of this research was to set up a public database of images of cracks in mortar coating, considering different types of surface finish—smooth type, scrapped type, and rough type. A database was created with 33,088 images that went through a systematic labeling process based on classes defined in the study. Network training was carried out through transfer learning using the VGG16 in different groupings of finishes. It was found that the training accuracy varies according to surface finish and data balancing. The finish of the scrapped type was the one that presented the lowest accuracy. The database presented several types of noise and was unbalanced in all categories defined in the labeling. In this way, it was possible to create a database that represented possible situations to be found in real inspections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction Management, and Computers & Digitization)
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14 pages, 6167 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Aeroelastic Effects on Wind Load and Wind-Induced Response of a Super-Tall Building: An Experimental Study
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1871; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071871 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 924
Abstract
To investigate the wind-induced response and equivalent wind load of a super-tall building, an aeroelastic model of the building was designed to measure aerodynamic interference in wind tunnel tests. Experiments on pressure and vibration measurements were conducted in both uniform and turbulent wind [...] Read more.
To investigate the wind-induced response and equivalent wind load of a super-tall building, an aeroelastic model of the building was designed to measure aerodynamic interference in wind tunnel tests. Experiments on pressure and vibration measurements were conducted in both uniform and turbulent wind fields, and the displacement response and surface wind pressure at different locations of the model were recorded. The displacement time-history response spectrum and aerodynamic spectrum in both fields were compared and analyzed. The research showed that the mean displacement responses of the model in the across-wind and along-wind directions gradually increased with velocity under different wind attack angles. The mean displacement response of torsion moment in a uniform wind field changed very little, and the mean and fluctuating wind pressures in each layer were significantly stratified, making it is easy to generate a coupled vortex-induced resonance. On the other hand, the mean displacement response of torsion moment in a turbulent field increased with wind velocity. Strong turbulence made the fluctuating wind pressure at the top and bottom of the model slightly more significant than in a uniform field. The resistance of super-tall buildings came from turbulence excitation in the along-wind direction and the self-excited resistance generated by the across-wind direction. The test methods and main research conclusions may provide a reference for glass curtain walls and the structural wind-resistant design of super-tall buildings. Full article
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13 pages, 3200 KiB  
Article
Effect of Moisture Condition and the Composition of Aggregate from Demolition Waste on Strength and Workability Properties of Recycled Concrete
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1870; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071870 - 23 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 856
Abstract
Large quantities of construction and demolition waste are generated annually, and in many parts of the world, it is disposed of in landfills. Utilizing this waste to produce coarse aggregates for concrete production offers a potentially sustainable approach that mitigates environmental impacts. Despite [...] Read more.
Large quantities of construction and demolition waste are generated annually, and in many parts of the world, it is disposed of in landfills. Utilizing this waste to produce coarse aggregates for concrete production offers a potentially sustainable approach that mitigates environmental impacts. Despite the widespread encouragement of using recycled aggregates as a substitute for natural coarse aggregates, practical applications remain limited, and the concrete production industry continues to primarily rely on exploiting natural resources. The recycling of concrete waste derived from the demolition of obsolete or damaged buildings as structural concrete has been seldom realized thus far, primarily due to regulatory constraints and concerns regarding technological difficulties. This paper presents a case study to demonstrate that, with meticulous preparation, concrete waste from a demolished building can be rendered suitable for use as structural concrete. The experimental investigation examined how the proportion of recycled aggregates obtained from a demolished building and the moisture content influenced the properties of fresh and hardened concrete. The results revealed an increase in the compressive strength of the hardened recycled concrete as a higher proportion of recycled coarse aggregate was incorporated into the mixture. Moreover, pre-soaked recycled coarse aggregates were found to improve the workability of the recycled concrete mixture significantly. The results highlight the significant potential of utilizing concrete waste as a valuable resource in the production of ready-mix concrete for structural applications, provided that appropriate measures are taken to optimize its properties. Full article
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18 pages, 10856 KiB  
Article
A Study of Expiratory Droplet Dispersion and Deposition Density in an Enclosed Residential Space
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1869; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071869 - 23 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 715
Abstract
This study attempts to compare the density of human expiratory droplet deposition on commonly exposed/used surfaces of an indoor residential setting by simulating the droplet exhalation using mist sprays filled with a colored medium. The simulation is not an exact replica of a [...] Read more.
This study attempts to compare the density of human expiratory droplet deposition on commonly exposed/used surfaces of an indoor residential setting by simulating the droplet exhalation using mist sprays filled with a colored medium. The simulation is not an exact replica of a human exhale but is designed to reveal the variations between surfaces. The droplets dispersed in expiratory air in an indoor environment can carry microorganisms, both bacteria and viruses, causing respiratory infections. The process involved a human actor performing predefined daily tasks and was followed around by a second actor, who mimicked breath exhalation using mist sprays. The activities included reading a magazine, watching TV, using a mobile phone, a laptop, making tea, receiving visitors, and talking to a friend. Paper surfaces were used to collect the spray pigment. The results were scanned and analyzed by a computer. The output was in the form of percentage and pixel count of colored pigment on each paper. The results showed that the most significant percentage of pigment was received on the surfaces that simulated activities performed closest to the face. The top recipient of pigment by far was the mobile phone, followed by the remote controller, laptop, keyboard, and mouse. The surfaces farthest from the face, such as the floor, received little to no detectable pigment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Indoor Environments and Respiratory Health)
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21 pages, 4616 KiB  
Article
Bridging Law Application to Fracture of Fiber Concrete Containing Oil Shale Ash
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1868; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071868 - 23 Jul 2023
Viewed by 733
Abstract
Concrete is a widely used material in various industries, including hazardous waste management. At the same time, its production creates a significant carbon footprint. Therefore, intensive research is being conducted to create more eco-friendly concrete, for example, partially replacing cement with by-products such [...] Read more.
Concrete is a widely used material in various industries, including hazardous waste management. At the same time, its production creates a significant carbon footprint. Therefore, intensive research is being conducted to create more eco-friendly concrete, for example, partially replacing cement with by-products such as oil shale ash (OSA) or improving properties by adding dispersed fibers such as basalt fibers (BFs). The article consists of experimental testing of nine types of concrete and the modeling of crack propagation in bending. The basic trends of crack propagation in samples of concrete with OSA and BFs are simulated using a two-dimensional Finite Element (FE) model considering only material degradation on the opening crack surface and experimental data of three- and four-point bending tests. Crack propagation is modeled using the bridging law approach. A surrogate model for predicting the peak loading as a function of tensile strength and fracture work was created. An examination of the results of the FE model shows that the bilinear and nonlinear bridging law functions best describe the crack growth in the analyzed material. A comparison of experimental and modeled results showed that the length of the composite BF strongly affects the accuracy of the numerical model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation)
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25 pages, 1585 KiB  
Article
Optimization Model of Maintenance Scheduling Problem for Heritage Buildings with Constraint Programming
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1867; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071867 - 23 Jul 2023
Viewed by 874
Abstract
The preservation and maintenance of ancient buildings, particularly heritage buildings, is a complex process that requires careful consideration of several aspects, including maintenance plans and budget availability. An effective long-term maintenance plan is crucial for preserving the historical value and condition of these [...] Read more.
The preservation and maintenance of ancient buildings, particularly heritage buildings, is a complex process that requires careful consideration of several aspects, including maintenance plans and budget availability. An effective long-term maintenance plan is crucial for preserving the historical value and condition of these buildings. The primary purpose of such a plan is to limit building deterioration, maintain optimal building performance, minimize operational costs and ensure budget constraints are met. This study introduces an innovative methodology to optimize maintenance strategies for heritage buildings in various scenarios, including normal conditions and the aftermath of possible catastrophic events. The proposed methodology compares different parameters, such as building conditions, building service life and various types of maintenance interventions. However, budget availability poses a significant challenge in many case studies, and addressing budgetary constraints is notoriously difficult. Limited budgets may hinder the implementation of desired maintenance activities, necessitating optimization of the maintenance plan to overcome these issues. To address these challenges, this study utilizes constraint programming (CP) as an optimization tool. Constraint programming is a powerful optimization methodology that addresses combinatorial problems by formulating them as mathematical models and handling the associated constraints. By representing the problem as one or more instances of the Constraint Satisfaction Problem (CSP), constraint programming enables efficient and effective problem solving. The proposed CP model proves to be a valuable tool in solving maintenance scheduling problems for heritage buildings. The results of this study are intended to assist decision makers in developing long-term maintenance plans for heritage building preservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Sustainability in Buildings)
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15 pages, 14884 KiB  
Article
Can Technology Reinforce Cogency of the Architectural Argument: Trial and Error Approach
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1866; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071866 - 23 Jul 2023
Viewed by 750
Abstract
The main question proposed in this research is whether different types of organizational approaches could help in shortening the response time needed to analyze advanced design solutions in accordance with the changed circumstances. Approaches that we are considering have been adapted from rapidly [...] Read more.
The main question proposed in this research is whether different types of organizational approaches could help in shortening the response time needed to analyze advanced design solutions in accordance with the changed circumstances. Approaches that we are considering have been adapted from rapidly changing disciplines—such as the IT industry, and software engineering. This paradigm allows for architectural programming to obtain different positions in the timeline of project planning and realization. We proposed a novel methodology of architectural design and project management as an instrument inspired by the Agile Manifesto and some of its instantiations, most notably by the Scrum framework. This research shows that application of the proposed framework significantly shortens the design process and facilitates the involvement of a larger number of authors within the same project team. This study focused on the specific case of architectural competitions. However, the results showed that the same framework could be applied in a broader design context, details of which have been left for future considerations. Full article
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17 pages, 6451 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Effect of Varying Fiber Dosages as Stirrup Substitutes in Torsion-Loaded Concrete Beams
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1865; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071865 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 603
Abstract
Over the past few decades, numerous studies have explored the use of steel fiber (SF) as an alternative to transverse reinforcement rebars in reinforced concrete beams, either partially or completely replacing them. However, there are limited studies that have investigated the effect of [...] Read more.
Over the past few decades, numerous studies have explored the use of steel fiber (SF) as an alternative to transverse reinforcement rebars in reinforced concrete beams, either partially or completely replacing them. However, there are limited studies that have investigated the effect of fiber dosage and length on reinforced concrete beam performance under torsional loads without the use of transverse reinforcement rebars. In this study, experimental investigations were conducted to examine the performance of reinforced SF concrete beams subjected to torsional load, utilizing SFs as a complete substitution of transverse reinforcement rebars. Ten different concrete mixes with varying dosages of SFs, namely 0%, 0.5%, 1.0%, and 1.5%, were examined while maintaining the same aspect ratio for fiber length and diameter. The results revealed that the addition of SFs in the concrete mix had an impact on its properties, reducing workability but increasing flexural, tensile, and compressive strengths. By incorporating 1.0% of SFs in the concrete mix, the missing torsional strength resulting from the absence of stirrups was adequately compensated. Moreover, the presence of SFs significantly influenced the ductile behavior beyond the point of cracking in the tested beams. Hence, it is recommended that SFs are incorporated with dosages of 1.0% and 1.5% in the concrete mixture, particularly for beams subjected to torsion, as a viable substitute for stirrups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Performance Reinforced Concrete Structures and Composites)
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10 pages, 2322 KiB  
Article
The Time-Dependent Behavior of Glulam Beams from European Hornbeam
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1864; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071864 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 596
Abstract
This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation of glued laminated timber (glulam) beams made from European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.) under constant loading for three months. Glulam beams were experimentally tested as a part of the last phase of the [...] Read more.
This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation of glued laminated timber (glulam) beams made from European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.) under constant loading for three months. Glulam beams were experimentally tested as a part of the last phase of the research project conducted by Drvene konstrukcije Ltd. and the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy, Split. Beams were loaded in four-point bending tests with the applied load levels of 20% and 30% of the maximum force obtained from previously performed short-term tests. The experiments were carried out under minor environmental changes at the specialized laboratory unit at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture, and Geodesy, Split. The objective of this study is to present the research results of bending creep tests for hardwood species not included in the European Assessment Document. The experimentally obtained deflection-time curves were fitted with the power law equation used for the prediction of creep behavior. The results indicate that the power law fits well with experimental data. A comparison with requirements from Eurocode 5 is given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Structures)
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18 pages, 31976 KiB  
Article
Exploringthe Potential of Artificial Intelligence as a Tool for Architectural Design: A Perception Study Using Gaudí’sWorks
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1863; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071863 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4034
Abstract
This study undertakes a comprehensive investigation into the comparison of designs between the acclaimed architect Antoni Gaudí and those produced by an artificial intelligence (AI) system. We evaluated the designs using five main metrics: Authenticity, Attractiveness, Creativity, Harmony, and overall Preference. The findings [...] Read more.
This study undertakes a comprehensive investigation into the comparison of designs between the acclaimed architect Antoni Gaudí and those produced by an artificial intelligence (AI) system. We evaluated the designs using five main metrics: Authenticity, Attractiveness, Creativity, Harmony, and overall Preference. The findings underline the superiority of Gaudí’s designs in terms of Authenticity and Harmony, testifying to the unique aesthetic appeal of human-created designs. On the other hand, AI-generated designs demonstrate significant potential, exhibiting competitive results in the categories of Attractiveness and Creativity. In some cases, they even surpass Gaudí’s designs in terms of overall Preference. However, it is clear that AI faces challenges in replicating the distinctive aspects of human design styles, pointing to the innate subjectivity inherent to design evaluations. These findings shed light on the role AI could play as a tool in architectural design, offering diverse design solutions and driving innovation. Despite this, the study also emphasizes the difficulties AI faces in capturing the unique facets of human design styles and the intrinsic subjectivity in design evaluations. Full article
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24 pages, 31868 KiB  
Article
Housing Design: Furniture or Fixtures? Accommodating Change through Technological and Typological Innovation
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1862; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071862 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1462
Abstract
The recent global pandemic has sped up architectural research in residential design aimed at rethinking housing layouts, services, and construction methods to accommodate the changing needs of the rapidly evolving contemporary society. New typological and technological design approaches are required to address, on [...] Read more.
The recent global pandemic has sped up architectural research in residential design aimed at rethinking housing layouts, services, and construction methods to accommodate the changing needs of the rapidly evolving contemporary society. New typological and technological design approaches are required to address, on the one hand, the adaptability of the plan as a result of higher flexibility and temporariness in familiar and working patterns, together with a downsizing of the layouts to ensure affordability and quality of life. On the other hand, the issues of sustainability and circular economy require specific attention to interpret the resilience of the building and the reuse/recycle of the fit-out systems. The paper aims at interpreting the notion of integration between fixtures and furnishing in housing design, based on a comprehensive literature review enriched with a case study analysis that shows design concepts and approaches rooted in theories and experiences of 20th-century architecture. Principles, potentials, and barriers to the development of integrated systems are highlighted and the possible implementation of industrialised production components, the potential for modularity, flexibility, and assembly are discussed. Full article
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18 pages, 65322 KiB  
Article
Generating Interior Design from Text: A New Diffusion Model-Based Method for Efficient Creative Design
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1861; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071861 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4025
Abstract
Because interior design is subject to inefficiency, more creativity is imperative. Due to the development of artificial intelligence diffusion models, the utilization of text descriptions for the generation of creative designs has become a novel method for solving the aforementioned problem. Herein, we [...] Read more.
Because interior design is subject to inefficiency, more creativity is imperative. Due to the development of artificial intelligence diffusion models, the utilization of text descriptions for the generation of creative designs has become a novel method for solving the aforementioned problem. Herein, we build a unique interior decoration style dataset. Thus, we solve the problem pertaining to the need for datasets, propose a new loss function that considers the decoration style, and retrain the diffusion model using this dataset. The trained model learns interior design knowledge and can generate an interior design through text. The proposed method replaces the designer’s drawing with computer-generated creative design, thereby enhancing the design efficiency and creative generation. Specifically, the proposed diffusion model can generate interior design images of specific decoration styles and spatial functions end to end from text descriptions, and the generated designs are easy to modify. This novel and creative design method can efficiently generate various interior designs, promote the generation of creative designs, and enhance the design and decision-making efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Computer Technology in Buildings)
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36 pages, 3443 KiB  
Article
Developing Indicators for Healthy Building in Taiwan Using Fuzzy Delphi Method and Analytic Hierarchy Process
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1860; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071860 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 845
Abstract
Healthy buildings are the future of industrial development and a global trend. This study is based on the local demand in Taiwan for the certification of healthy building assessments. It consolidates fifteen relevant assessment indicators and the literature on healthy buildings and green [...] Read more.
Healthy buildings are the future of industrial development and a global trend. This study is based on the local demand in Taiwan for the certification of healthy building assessments. It consolidates fifteen relevant assessment indicators and the literature on healthy buildings and green buildings from both domestic and international sources. Through expert questionnaires, the study investigates the importance and weight values of assessment items, selecting seven assessment indicators (air, water, light, exercise, comfort, materials, and mental well-being), seventeen assessment items, and 65 assessment sub-items. The weight values of each indicator are statistically analyzed. Based on the expert questionnaires, a rating system and scoring criteria are formulated, ultimately constructing the “Taiwan Healthy Building Assessment Indicators.” The aim is for this framework to serve as a reference for the government in establishing a healthy building certification system as well as to enhance public awareness and emphasis on human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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15 pages, 4486 KiB  
Article
Architecture towards Technology—A Prototype Design of a Smart Home
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1859; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071859 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1392
Abstract
Humanity’s way of life has been irreversibly transformed by new technological advancements during the past decades. Although such technological innovations have been gradually transposed into architecture, their full integration is not yet achieved. This article addresses the issue of incorporating cutting-edge technologies (such [...] Read more.
Humanity’s way of life has been irreversibly transformed by new technological advancements during the past decades. Although such technological innovations have been gradually transposed into architecture, their full integration is not yet achieved. This article addresses the issue of incorporating cutting-edge technologies (such as smart thermostats, lighting sensors, security cameras, remote commands, graphic user interfaces, smartphones, mobile apps, gestures, voice commands, etc.) into urban small-scale residential architecture, in the future evolution context. For this purpose, a methodology was conceived that the main concepts regarding automation and information networks were researched, as well as their practice in some reference architecture cases. The guidelines for the prototype architectonic design were defined based on the previous knowledge acquired. Then, a prototype design of an intelligent home was iteratively developed as a machine for living in constant change. It was expected to contribute to increasing and disseminating knowledge in these fields, explaining their benefits and limitations. The prototype design presented in this article contributes to sensitizing architecture professionals to the importance of integrated and systematized thinking in all procedures of a smart home design. Full article
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19 pages, 1591 KiB  
Review
Life Cycle Cost in Circular Economy of Buildings by Applying Building Information Modeling (BIM): A State of the Art
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1858; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071858 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2450
Abstract
The building industry is one of the largest consumers of materials resources and significant contributors to global waste. Applying core principles of circular economy (CE) could significantly help the environment by reducing waste and decreasing the life cycle cost of buildings. Several strategies [...] Read more.
The building industry is one of the largest consumers of materials resources and significant contributors to global waste. Applying core principles of circular economy (CE) could significantly help the environment by reducing waste and decreasing the life cycle cost of buildings. Several strategies to implement the concept of CE in buildings include design for deconstruction, adaptability, and flexibility. However, implementing these design strategies could face constraints. In this study, we identified 22 barriers related to the adoption of CE in buildings, as reported in the literature. We discussed the role of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in overcoming those barriers. This paper demonstrates how BIM can facilitate the implementation of CE principles while providing critical insights into the life cycle costs of circular buildings. We identified 14 ways to use BIM to foster the implementation of a circular economy approach. To achieve these objectives, we have undertaken a thorough review of recent publications that explore CE design strategies, Life Cycle Costing in the circular construction of buildings, and BIM developments in the building industry. This literature review is based on 88 articles covering BIM’s role in enhancing the management of a building’s end-of-life while reducing the life cycle cost in the circular construction of buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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18 pages, 7227 KiB  
Article
Shear Behavior of Prestressed Hollow Core One-Way Slabs with Openings: Experimental, Numerical, and Standard Formulation Verification
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1857; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071857 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 830
Abstract
The use of prestressed precast hollow core slabs has intensified as technological advances. However, the knowledge of the structural behavior when openings are inserted into this element is still limited, mainly due to the shear force. Therefore, the present study aims to analyze [...] Read more.
The use of prestressed precast hollow core slabs has intensified as technological advances. However, the knowledge of the structural behavior when openings are inserted into this element is still limited, mainly due to the shear force. Therefore, the present study aims to analyze the structural behavior of the shear test of prestressed hollow core slabs with openings. In this paper, three types of hollow core slabs were tested: no openings, a central opening and side openings; using experimental and numerical methodology. The experimental test was carried out in the Federal University of São Carlos, and the numerical analysis used the software ABAQUS. All results were compared with three standard formulations (i.e., NBR, ACI and Eurocode), in order to verify its accuracy. In the end, the numerical results demonstrated that the developed model (CDP) presented results close to the experimental results. For the hollow core slab with a central opening, a rupture occurred in the web adjacent to the opening. On the other hand, for the hollow core slab with side openings, the rupture occurred at the edge of the web. Therefore, it was possible to conclude that the openings influence the main web tensions, being responsible for the diagonal model stress rupture. Finally, the Brazilian and Eurocode standard formulations proved to be good estimators of the resistant shear force. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Structures)
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32 pages, 8407 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Review of Stone Dust in Concrete: Mechanical Behavior, Durability, and Environmental Performance
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1856; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071856 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 3455
Abstract
The escalating demand for natural resources within the construction industry is progressing upward. At the same time, however, there is a great concern regarding the depletion of these resources. This review paper emphasizes the significance of utilizing alternative aggregate materials in concrete. Particularly, [...] Read more.
The escalating demand for natural resources within the construction industry is progressing upward. At the same time, however, there is a great concern regarding the depletion of these resources. This review paper emphasizes the significance of utilizing alternative aggregate materials in concrete. Particularly, it aims to explore replacing natural sand with stone dust. On the one hand, the depletion of primary sources of natural sand worldwide, combined with environmental and ecological concerns, drives the adoption of alternative aggregate materials for sustainable concrete construction. On the other hand, stone dust, a waste from the quarrying industry, offers a cost-effective and practical solution for producing concrete. This article presents a comprehensive literature review of the main trends in utilizing stone dust in recycled aggregates in the past decade and its influence on concrete properties. It addresses critical research questions regarding the physical and chemical properties of stone dust aggregates compared to natural sand; the impact of stone dust on the workability, mechanical, physical, and durability properties of recycled concrete; and the potential reduction of environmental impacts in terms of energy consumption and emissions through the replacement of natural sand with stone dust. Ultimately, this paper proposes future investigative work based on identified research gaps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Sustainable and Green Construction Materials)
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33 pages, 8774 KiB  
Article
Estimation of Durability of HC-550 Floor Slabs Based on Electrochemical Tests of Corrosion Rate of Reinforcement Strings in Concrete
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1855; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071855 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 655
Abstract
The consequences of the loss of the load-bearing capacity due to the corrosion of prestressing steel can be much more dangerous than in the case of reinforced concrete structures, since failure can occur quite rapidly and without warning. A very important issue, therefore, [...] Read more.
The consequences of the loss of the load-bearing capacity due to the corrosion of prestressing steel can be much more dangerous than in the case of reinforced concrete structures, since failure can occur quite rapidly and without warning. A very important issue, therefore, is to determine the factors affecting the durability of prestressed structures exposed to aggressive agents, especially chloride ions. The aim of this study was to verify the protective properties of concrete of prefabricated HC-type prestressed concrete slabs in order to evaluate the possibility of their application in the ceilings of multilevel garages. In this paper, the corrosion rate of rebar steel in HC-550 floor slabs at a width of 1200 mm was estimated with nondestructive electrochemical methods: linear polarization and impedance spectroscopy. The general and mechanical properties of concrete prepared according to a formula in a laboratory and analogous concrete cut directly from the analyzed floor slabs were also studied. The porosity of concrete from these slabs was determined using X-ray-computed tomography for pore-related characterization. The values of the diffusion coefficient of chloride ions determined in previous works and the previously proposed model for the overexposure of the durability of floor slabs in chloride-containing environments were used to determine the durability of these slabs. Based on the empirical correlations adopted from the literature presenting the relationship of durability/adhesion over time and the corrosion parameters studied, a safe service life was determined at the nominal class of concrete equal to Δtcor.red = 30.48 years. In addition, in the case of discontinuities in the concrete structure, there may be a dangerous reduction in the time of corrosion initiation and a subsequent reduction in service life due to the loss of the adhesion of strut strands for up to 10.68 years of service life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cement-Based Materials)
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19 pages, 10215 KiB  
Article
Composite Cements Using Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag, Fly Ash, and Geothermal Silica with Alkali Activation
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1854; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071854 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 751
Abstract
In recent decades, alkali activated and blended cements have attracted great interest worldwide due to their advantages of low energy cost, high strength, and good durability. This study evaluated the effects of replacing 50% of Portland cement with a mixture of three waste [...] Read more.
In recent decades, alkali activated and blended cements have attracted great interest worldwide due to their advantages of low energy cost, high strength, and good durability. This study evaluated the effects of replacing 50% of Portland cement with a mixture of three waste materials: ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS), fly ash (FA), and geothermal waste (GS), with and without external alkaline activation, and activated with different alkali agents: 4 and 7% Na2O equivalent of sodium hydroxide, sodium silicate (water glass), and sodium sulfate. After 90 days of curing, samples were characterized using compressive strength tests, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and thermogravimetric analyses. The results showed that sodium hydroxide caused an alkali–silica reaction and reduced the strength, while sodium silicate and sodium sulfate improved the strength and hydration products formation. Moreover, the addition of fly ash decreased the compressive strength but increased the workability, while the addition of slag and geothermal waste increased strength and densified the matrix with the formation of additional hydration products. The blended cements without activation also showed better performance than pure cement and a more compact matrix of hydration products. The study demonstrated the feasibility of using waste materials to produce blended cements with low energy costs and high durability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Construction: Techniques, Management and Life Cycle)
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24 pages, 4516 KiB  
Systematic Review
A Bibliometrics-Based Systematic Review of Safety Risk Assessment for IBS Hoisting Construction
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1853; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071853 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1259
Abstract
Construction faces many safety accidents with urbanization, particularly in hoisting. However, there is a lack of systematic review studies in this area. This paper explored the factors and methods of risk assessment in hoisting for industrial building system (IBS) construction. Firstly, bibliometric analysis [...] Read more.
Construction faces many safety accidents with urbanization, particularly in hoisting. However, there is a lack of systematic review studies in this area. This paper explored the factors and methods of risk assessment in hoisting for industrial building system (IBS) construction. Firstly, bibliometric analysis revealed that future research will focus on “ergonomics”, “machine learning”, “computer simulation”, and “wearable sensors”. Secondly, the previous 80 factors contributing to hoisting risks were summarized from a “human–equipment–management–material–environment” perspective, which can serve as a reference point for managers. Finally, we discussed, in-depth, the application of artificial neural networks (ANNs) and digital twins (DT). ANNs have improved the efficiency and accuracy of risk assessment. Still, they require high-quality and significant data, which traditional methods do not provide, resulting in the low accuracy of risk simulation results. DT data are emerging as an alternative, enabling stakeholders to visualize and analyze the construction process. However, DT’s interactivity, high cost, and information security need further improvement. Based on the discussion and analysis, the risk control model created in this paper guides the direction for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proactive and Advanced Research on Construction Safety Management)
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19 pages, 4480 KiB  
Article
Estimating the Concrete Ultimate Strength Using a Hybridized Neural Machine Learning
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1852; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071852 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 669
Abstract
Concrete is a highly regarded construction material due to many advantages such as versatility, durability, fire resistance, and strength. Hence, having a prediction of the compressive strength of concrete (CSC) can be highly beneficial. The new generation of machine learning models has provided [...] Read more.
Concrete is a highly regarded construction material due to many advantages such as versatility, durability, fire resistance, and strength. Hence, having a prediction of the compressive strength of concrete (CSC) can be highly beneficial. The new generation of machine learning models has provided capable solutions to concrete-related simulations. This paper deals with predicting the CSC using a novel metaheuristic search scheme, namely the slime mold algorithm (SMA). The SMA retrofits an artificial neural network (ANN) to predict the CSC by incorporating the effect of mixture ingredients and curing age. The optimal configuration of the algorithm trained the ANN by taking the information of 824 specimens. The measured root mean square error (RMSE = 7.3831) and the Pearson correlation coefficient (R = 0.8937) indicated the excellent capability of the SMA in the assigned task. The same accuracy indicators (i.e., the RMSE of 8.1321 and R = 0.8902) revealed the competency of the developed SMA-ANN in predicting the CSC for 206 stranger specimens. In addition, the used method outperformed two benchmark algorithms of Henry gas solubility optimization (HGSO) and Harris hawks optimization (HHO) in both training and testing phases. The findings of this research pointed out the applicability of the SMA-ANN as a new substitute to burdensome laboratory tests for CSC estimation. Moreover, the provided solution is compared to some previous studies, and it is shown that the SMA-ANN enjoys higher accuracy. Therefore, an explicit mathematical formula is developed from this model to provide a convenient CSC predictive formula. Full article
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