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Volume 4 • Issue 2 • April 2018 • Pages 165 -298
News & Highlights
Views & Comments
Topic Insights
    • [Online] Sustainable Infrastructure
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News & Highlights
The Longest Railway Tunnel in China
Haibo Zhang, Changyu Yang
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 165 -166 .
Abstract   PDF (692KB)
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The Undersea Tunnel on Qingdao Metro Line 8
Weiguo He, Peng Liu
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 167 -169 .
Abstract   PDF (775KB)
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Views & Comments
The Three ‘‘As” of the Naples Metro System
Antonello De Risi
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 175 -179 .
Abstract   PDF (4503KB)
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Topic Insights
A Geodesign Method of Human-Energy-Water Interactive Systems for Urban Infrastructure Design: 10KM2 Near-Zero District Project in Shanghai
Perry Pei-Ju Yang, Cheryl Shu-Fang Chi, Yihan Wu, Steven Jige Quan
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 182 -189 .
Abstract   PDF (1507KB)

The grand challenges of climate change demand a new paradigm of urban design that takes the performance of urban systems into account, such as energy and water efficiency. Traditional urban design methods focus on the form-making process and lack performance dimensions. Geodesign is an emerging approach that emphasizes the links between systems thinking, digital technology, and geographic context. This paper presents the research results of the first phase of a larger research collaboration and proposes an extended geodesign method for a district-scale urban design to integrate systems of renewable energy production, energy consumption, and storm water management, as well as a measurement of human experiences in cities. The method incorporates geographic information system (GIS), parametric modeling techniques, and multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) tools that enable collaborative design decision-making. The method is tested and refined in a test case with the objective of designing a near-zero-energy urban district. Our final method has three characteristics.①Integrated geodesign and parametric design: It uses a parametric design approach to generate focal-scale district prototypes by means of a custom procedural algorithm, and applies geodesign to evaluate the performances of design proposals. ② A focus on design flow: It elaborates how to define problems, what information is selected, and what criteria are used in making design decisions.③Multi-objective optimization: The test case produces indicators from performance modeling and derives principles through a multi-objective computational experiment to inform how the design can be improved. This paper concludes with issues and next steps in modeling urban design and infrastructure systems based on MDO tools.

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A Scheme for a Sustainable Urban Water Environmental System During the Urbanization Process in China
Huibin Yu, Yonghui Song, Xin Chang, Hongjie Gao, Jianfeng Peng
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 190 -193 .
Abstract   PDF (1063KB)

Urbanization is a potential factor in economic development, which is a main route to social development. As the scale of urbanization expands, the quality of the urban water environment may deteriorate, which can have a negative impact on sustainable urbanization. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of the functions of the urban water environment is necessary, including its security, resources, ecology, landscape, culture, and economy. Furthermore, a deep analysis is required of the theoretical basis of the urban water environment, which is associated with geographical location, landscape ecology, and a low-carbon economy. In this paper, we expound the main principles for constructing a system for the urban water environment (including sustainable development, ecological priority, and regional differences), and suggest the content of an urban water environmental system. Such a system contains a natural water environment, an economic water environment, and a social water environment. The natural water environment is the base, an effective economic water environment is the focus, and a healthy social water environment is the essence of such a system. The construction of an urban water environment should rely on a comprehensive security system, complete scientific theory, and advanced technology.

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Impact of Low-Impact Development Technologies from an Ecological Perspective in Different Residential Zones of the City of Atlanta, Georgia
Zackery B. Morris, Stephen M. Malone, Abigail R. Cohen, Marc J. Weissburg, Bert Bras
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 194 -199 .
Abstract   PDF (660KB)

Low-impact development (LID) technologies have a great potential to reduce water usage and stormwater runoff and are therefore seen as sustainable improvements that can be made to traditional water infrastructure. These technologies include bioretention areas, rainwater capturing, and xeriscaping, all of which can be used in residential zones. Within the City of Atlanta, residential water usage accounts for 53% of the total water consumption; therefore, residential zones offer significant impact potential for the implementation of LID. This study analyzes the use of LID strategies within the different residential zones of the City of Atlanta from an ecological perspective by drawing analogies to natural ecosystems. The analysis shows that these technologies, especially with the addition of a graywater system, work to improve the conventional residential water network based upon these ecological metrics. The higher metric values suggest greater parity with healthy, natural ecosystems.

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A Project-Based Sustainability Rating Tool for Pavement Maintenance
Yibo Zhang, J.P. Mohsen
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 200 -208 .
Abstract   PDF (425KB)

Pavements require maintenance to prevent undue distress or to restore performance; however, pavement maintenance and its impacts do not receive enough attention in many cases, and are either ignored or treated as a low priority. Most current maintenance activities have budget issues and only focus on removing deteriorated pavement sections. Deferred pavement maintenance has impacts on the environment and on society, and may thus affect the costs associated with maintenance. A sustainability rating tool is a good way to list, explain, and evaluate such impacts. Various sustainability rating tools have been developed for pavement; however, pavement maintenance has its own features that are different from those of the new construction, expansion, or reconstruction of pavements. This research project reviews nine sustainability rating tools for pavement, although none of these tools fully describe maintenance features or can be directly applied to evaluate maintenance projects. A new sustainability rating tool is then developed for pavement maintenance; this new tool can be used to evaluate individual projects and raise public awareness about the importance of pavement maintenance. Its details are described, and its use is demonstrated through an example to show the evaluation process and results.

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Industrial Ecosystems and Food Webs: An Ecological-Based Mass Flow Analysis to Model the Progress of Steel Manufacturing in China
Stephen M. Malone, Marc J. Weissburg, Bert Bras
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 209 -217 .
Abstract   PDF (1658KB)

Materials and energy are transferred between natural and industrial systems, providing a standard that can be used to deduce the interactions between these systems. An examination of these flows is an essential part of the conversation on how industry impacts the environment. We propose that biological systems, which embody sustainability, provide methods and principles that can lead to more useful ways to organize industrial activity. Transposing these biological methods to steel manufacturing is manifested through an efficient use of available materials, waste reduction, and decreased energy demand with currently available technology. In this paper, we use ecological metrics to examine the change in structure and flows of materials in the Chinese steel industry over time by means of a systems-based mass flow analysis. Utilizing available data, the results of our analysis indicate that the Chinese steel manufacturing industry has increased its efficiency and sustainable use of resources over time at the unit process level. However, the appropriate organization of the steel production ecosystem remains a work in progress. Our results suggest that through the intelligent placement of cooperative industries, which can utilize the waste generated from steel manufacturing, the future of the Chinese steel industry can better reflect ecosystem maturity and health while minimizing waste.

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Understanding Infrastructure Resiliency in Chennai, India Using Twitter’s Geotags and Texts: A Preliminary Study
Wai K. Chong, Hariharan Naganathan, Huan Liu, Samuel Ariaratnam, Joonhoon Kim
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 218 -223 .
Abstract   PDF (1691KB)

Geotagging is the process of labeling data and information with geographical identification metadata, and text mining refers to the process of deriving information from text through data analytics. Geotagging and text mining are used to mine rich sources of social media data, such as video, website, text, and Quick Response (QR) code. They have been frequently used to model consumer behaviors and market trends. This study uses both techniques to understand the resilience of infrastructure in Chennai, India using data mined from the 2015 flood. This paper presents a conceptual study on the potential use of social media (Twitter in this case) to better understand infrastructure resiliency. Using featureextraction techniques, the research team extracted Twitter data from tweets generated by the Chennai population during the flood. First, this study shows that these techniques are useful in identifying locations, defects, and failure intensities of infrastructure using the location metadata from geotags, words containing the locations, and the frequencies of tweets from each location. However, more efforts are needed to better utilize the texts generated from the tweets, including a better understanding of the cultural contexts of the words used in the tweets, the contexts of the words used to describe the incidents, and the least frequently used words.

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Estimation of the Impact of Traveler Information Apps on Urban Air Quality Improvement
Wenke Huang, Mingwei Hu
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 224 -229 .
Abstract   PDF (1283KB)

With the rapid growth of vehicle population and vehicle miles traveled, automobile emission has become a severe issue in the metropolitan cities of China. There are policies that concentrate on the management of emission sources. However, improving the operation of the transportation system through apps on mobile devices, especially navigation apps, may have a unique role in promoting urban air quality. Real-time traveler information can not only help travelers avoid traffic congestion, but also advise them to adjust their departure time, mode, or route, or even to cancel trips. Will such changes in personal travel patterns have a significant impact in decreasing emissions? If so, to what extent will they impact urban air quality? The aim of this study is to determine how urban traffic emission is affected by the use of navigation apps. With this work, we attempt to answer the question of whether the real-time traffic information provided by navigation apps can help to improve urban air quality. Some of these findings may provide references for the formulation of urban traffic and environmental policies.

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A GIS-Based Evaluation of Environmental Sensitivity for an Urban Expressway in Shenzhen, China
Qian Li, Fengqing Guo, Yuntao Guan
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 230 -234 .
Abstract   PDF (1783KB)

Urban eco-environmental degradation is becoming inevitable due to the extensive urbanization, population growth, and socioeconomic development in China. One of the traffic arteries in Shenzhen is an urban expressway that is under construction and that runs across environmentally sensitive areas (ESAs). The environmental pollution from urban expressways is critical, due to the characteristics of expressways such as high runoff coefficients, considerable contaminant accumulation, and complex pollutant ingredients. ESAs are vulnerable to anthropogenic disturbances and hence should be given special attention. In order to evaluate the environmental sensitivity along this urban expressway and minimize the influences of the ongoing road construction and future operation on the surrounding ecosystem, the environmental sensitivity of the relevant area was evaluated based on the application of a geographic information system (GIS). A final ESA map was classified into four environmental sensitivity levels; this classification indicates that a large proportion of the expressway passes through areas of high sensitivity, representing 11.93 km or 52.3% of the total expressway, and more than 90% of the total expressway passes through ESAs. This study provides beneficial information for optimal layout schemes of initial rainfall runoff treatment facilities developed from low-impact development (LID) techniques in order to minimize the impact of polluted road runoff on the surrounding ecological environment.

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The Ceneri Base Tunnel: Construction Experience with the Southern Portion of the Flat Railway Line Crossing the Swiss Alps
Davide Merlini, Daniele Stocker, Matteo Falanesca, Roberto Schuerch
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 235 -248 .
Abstract   PDF (8386KB)

This paper summarizes the experience that was gained during the construction of the 15.4 km long Ceneri Base Tunnel (CBT), which is the southern part of the flat railway line crossing the Swiss Alps from north to south. The project consisted of a twin tube with a diameter of 9 m interconnected by crosspassages, each 325 m long. In the middle of the alignment and at its southern end, large caverns were excavated for logistical and operational requirements. The total excavation length amounted to approximately 40 km. The tunnel crossed Alpine rock formations comprising a variety of rock typologies and several fault zones. The maximum overburden amounted to 850 m. The excavation of the main tunnels and of the cross-passages was executed by means of drill-and-blast (D&B) excavation. The support consisted of bolts, meshes, fiber-reinforced shotcrete and, when required, steel ribs. A gripper tunnel boring machine (TBM) was used in order to excavate the access tunnel. The high overburden caused squeezing rock conditions, which are characterized by large anisotropic convergences when crossing weaker rock formations. The latter required the installation of a deformable support. At the north portal, the tunnel (with an enlarged cross-section) passed underneath the A2 Swiss highway (the major road axis connecting the north and south of Switzerland) at a small overburden and through soft ground. Vertical and subhorizontal jet grouting in combination with partial-face excavation was successfully implemented in order to limit the surface settlements. The south portal was located in a dense urban area. The excavation from the south portal included an approximately 220 m long cut-and-cover tunnel, followed by about 300 m of D&B excavation in a bad rock formation. The very low overburden, poor rock quality, and demanding crossing with an existing road tunnel (at a vertical distance of only 4 m) required special excavation methods through reduced sectors and special blasting techniques in order to limit the blast-induced vibrations. The application of a comprehensive risk management procedure, the execution of an intensive surface survey, and the adaptability of the tunnel design to the encountered geological conditions allowed the successful completion of the excavation works.

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Long Undersea Tunnels: Recognizing and Overcoming the Logistics of Operation and Construction
Gareth Mainwaring, Tor Ole Olsen
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 249 -253 .
Abstract   PDF (1245KB)

Long undersea tunnels, and particularly those that are built for transportation purposes, are not commonplace infrastructure. Although their planning and construction take a considerable amount of time, they form important fixed links once in operation. The fact that these tunnels are located under the sea generally involves unique challenges including complex issues with construction and operations, which relate to the lack of intermediate access points along the final route of the tunnel. Similar issues are associated with long under-land tunnels, such as those under mountain ranges such as the Alps. This paper identifies the key issues related to the design and construction of such tunnels, and suggests a potential solution using proven technology from another engineering discipline.

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Key Techniques for the Construction of High-Speed Railway Large-Section Loess Tunnels
Yong Zhao, Huawu He, Pengfei Li
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 254 -259 .
Abstract   PDF (819KB)

The successful completion of the Zhengzhou–Xi’an high-speed railway project has greatly improved the construction level of China’s large-section loess tunnels, and has resulted in significant progress being made in both design theory and construction technology. This paper systematically summarizes the technical characteristics and main problems of the large-section loess tunnels on China’s high-speed railway, including classification of the surrounding rock, design of the supporting structure, surface settlement and cracking control, and safe and rapid construction methods. On this basis, the key construction techniques of loess tunnels with large sections for high-speed railway are expounded from the aspects of design and construction. The research results show that the classification of loess strata surrounding large tunnels should be based on the geological age of the loess, and be determined by combining the plastic index and the water content. In addition, the influence of the buried depth should be considered. During tunnel excavation disturbance, if the tensile stress exceeds the soil tensile or shear strength, the surface part of the sliding trend plane can be damaged, and visible cracks can form. The pressure of the surrounding rock of a large-section loess tunnel should be calculated according to the buried depth, using the corresponding formula. A three-bench seven-step excavation method of construction was used as the core technology system to ensure the safe and rapid construction of a large-section loess tunnel, following a field test to optimize the construction parameters and determine the engineering measures to stabilize the tunnel face. The conclusions and methods presented here are of great significance in revealing the strata and supporting mechanics of large-section loess tunnels, and in optimizing the supporting structure design and the technical parameters for construction.

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Upper Lillooet River Hydroelectric Project: The Challenges of Constructing a Power Tunnel for Run-of-River Hydro Projects in Mountainous British Columbia
Nichole Boultbee, Oliver Robson, Serge Moalli, Rich Humphries
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 260 -266 .
Abstract   PDF (2586KB)

The Upper Lillooet River Hydroelectric Project (ULHP) is a run-of-river power generation scheme located near Pemberton, British Columbia, Canada, consisting of two separate hydroelectric facilities (HEFs) with a combined capacity of 106.7 MW. These HEFs are owned by the Upper Lillooet River Power Limited Partnership and the Boulder Creek Power Limited Partnership, and civil and tunnel construction was completed by CRT-ebc. The Upper Lillooet River HEF includes the excavation of a 6 m wide by 5.5 m high and approximately 2500 m long tunnel along the Upper Lillooet River Valley. The project is in a mountainous area; severe restrictions imposed by weather conditions and the presence of sensitive wildlife species constrained the site operations in order to limit environmental impacts. The site is adjacent to the Mount Meager Volcanic Complex, the most recently active volcano in Western Canada. Tunneling conditions were very challenging, including a section through deposits associated with the most recent eruption from Mount Meager Volcanic Complex (~2360 years before the present). This tunnel section included welded breccia and unconsolidated deposits composed of loose pumice, organics (that represent an old forest floor), and till, before entering the underlying tonalite bedrock. The construction of this section of the tunnel required cover grouting, umbrella support, and excavation with a combination of roadheader, hydraulic hammer, and drilling-and-blasting method. This paper provides an overview of the project, a summary of the key design and construction schedule challenges, and a description of the successful excavation of the tunnel through deposits associated with the recent volcanic activity.

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Forms and Aesthetics of Bridges
Man-Chung Tang
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 267 -276 .
Abstract   PDF (4023KB)

The objective of a bridge design is to produce a safe bridge that is elegant and satisfies all functionality requirements, at a cost that is acceptable to the owner. A successful bridge design must be natural, simple, original, and harmonious with its surroundings. Aesthetics is not an additional consideration in the design of a bridge, but is rather an integral part of bridge design. Both the structural configuration and the aesthetics of a bridge must be considered together during the conceptual design stage. To achieve such a task, the bridge design engineer must have a good understanding of structural theory and bridge aesthetics.

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A Realization Method for Transforming a Topology Optimization Design into Additive Manufacturing Structures
Shutian Liu, Quhao Li, Junhuan Liu, Wenjiong Chen, Yongcun Zhang
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 277 -285 .
Abstract   PDF (2983KB)

Topology optimization is a powerful design approach that is used to determine the optimal topology in order to obtain the desired functional performance. It has been widely used to improve structural performance in engineering fields such as in the aerospace and automobile industries. However, some gaps still exist between topology optimization and engineering application, which significantly hinder the application of topology optimization. One of these gaps is how to interpret topology results, especially those obtained using the density framework, into parametric computer-aided design (CAD) models that are ready for subsequent shape optimization and manufacturing. In this paper, a new method for interpreting topology optimization results into stereolithography (STL) models and parametric CAD models is proposed. First, we extract the skeleton of the topology optimization result in order to ensure shape preservation and use a filtering method to ensure characteristics preservation. After this process, the distribution of the nodes in the boundary of the topology optimization result is denser, which will benefit the subsequent curve fitting. Using the curvature and the derivative of curvature of the uniform B-spline curve, an adaptive B-spline fitting method is proposed in order to obtain a parametric CAD model with the fewest control points meeting the requirement of the fitting error. A case study is presented to provide a detailed description of the proposed method, and two more examples are shown to demonstrate the validity and versatility of the proposed method.

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Biocompatibility Pathways in Tissue-Engineering Templates
David F. Williams
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 286 -290 .
Abstract   PDF (400KB)

Tissue engineering, which involves the creation of new tissue by the deliberate and controlled stimulation of selected target cells through a systematic combination of molecular and mechanical signals, usually involves the assistance of biomaterials-based structures to deliver these signals and to give shape to the resulting tissue mass. The specifications for these structures, which used to be described as scaffolds but are now more correctly termed templates, have rarely been defined, mainly because this is difficult to do. Primarily, however, these specifications must relate to the need to develop the right microenvironment for the cells to create new tissue and to the need for the interactions between the cells and the template material to be consistent with the demands of the new viable tissues. These features are encompassed by the phenomena that are collectively called biocompatibility. However, the theories and putative mechanisms of conventional biocompatibility (mostly conceived through experiences with implantable medical devices) are inadequate to describe phenomena in tissue-engineering processes. The present author has recently redefined biocompatibility in terms of specific materials- and biology-based pathways; this opinion paper places tissue-engineering biocompatibility mechanisms in the context of these pathways.

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Design and Occupant-Protection Performance Analysis of a New Tubular Driver Airbag
Huajian Zhou, Zhihua Zhong, Manjiang Hu
Engineering . 2018, 4 (2): 291 -297 .
Abstract   PDF (1574KB)

An airbag is an effective protective device for vehicle occupant safety, but may cause unexpected injury from the excessive energy of ignition when it is deployed. This paper focuses on the design of a new tubular driver airbag from the perspective of reducing the dosage of gas generant. Three different dummies were selected for computer simulation to investigate the stiffness and protection performance of the new airbag. Next, a multi-objective optimization of the 50th percentile dummy was conducted. The results show that the static volume of the new airbag is only about 1/3 of the volume of an ordinary one, and the injury value of each type of dummy can meet legal requirements while reducing the gas dosage by at least 30%. The combined injury index (Pcomb) decreases by 22% and the gas dosage is reduced by 32% after optimization. This study demonstrates that the new tubular driver airbag has great potential for protection in terms of reducing the gas dosage.

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