Heriot-Watt University’s Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction Research Bulletin September 2021

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Research Bulletin HEC Rating 2020 No.4 September 2021

Performance and Productivity

Research Bulletin

No.4-September 2021


Sustainability Wellbeing


Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

Table of contents

About us

2 Editorial


Dr Mustafa Batikha

Topic of Focus Digital Trends and Innovative Technology Dr Anas Bataw

5 The effects of Covid-19 and Ramadan on Residential Water Demand Profiles Case studies from the UAE Syed Rizvi, Malini Deepak, and Dr Rabee Rustum

Engineered Geopolymer Composites (EGC) – A Greener and Durable Solution Towards Sustainable Infrastructure Woo Chee Zheng, Dr Teo Wee and Prof. Lynne B. Jack

8 Digital Twins for Rail Steven Yule and John Eyton

13 17

Are Bifacial Photovoltaics a Sustainable Alternative to Monofacial Photovoltaics? Dr Mehreen Gul and David Puxty

23 Sustainable Project Management Between the Myth and the Imperative Dr Mohamed Salama

27 Decarbonisation of the Cement Industry: Methods and Challenges Rahul Jotangia and Dr Mustafa Batikha

31 Cybersecurity for Building Information Modelling Dr Hani Ragab Hassen

37 Smart transportation: Intelligent Rail Network and their systems Dr Koorosh Gharehbaghi and Matthew Myers

40 News and Events


Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

About Us Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction (CESC) Heriot-Watt University’s Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction (CESC) is committed to advancing industry-led innovations in construction that will revolutionise the way we develop, manage and operate smarter cities.CESC partners with like-minded organisations and government entities to lead the transformation of the Built Environment and development of next generation professionals for the benefit of the economy. CESC is a global hub for disruptive thinking, a platform for collaborative research and a model for solutions development and stakeholder engagement. More details about CESC can be found in the following link: https://www.hw.ac.uk/dubai/research/centre-excellence-smart-construction.htm

CESC non-executive board

CESC Industy Partners

CESC’s non-executive board, chaired by His Excellency Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, brings together a group of expert opinions and leading voices across academia, industry and government. Profiles of each CESC board member can be found using the following link: https://www.hw.ac.uk/dubai/research/cesc/non-executiveboard.htm

CESC leadership team Dr Anas Bataw, CESC Director Professor Ammar Kaka, Provost and Vice Principal, Heriot-Watt University Dubai Dr Olisanwendu Ogwuda, CESC Manager Dr Roger Griffiths, Business Development Executive

CESC committee (Heriot-Watt) Dr Hassam Chaudhry, Director of Studies Representative Linsey Thomson, Academic Lead for Student Engagement Matthew Smith, EGIS Representative Dr Mustafa Batikha, Academic Lead for Publications Dr Karima Hamani, Academic Lead for Knowledge Exchange Dr Yasemin Nielsen, EngD Representative Dr Taha Elhag, Academic Lead for Proposals Charlotte Turner, Marketing and Communications Bill Martin, Research Enterprize Developemnt

Bulletin Editor & Contact Dr Mustafa Batikha E-mail: m.batikha@hw.ac.uk


About Us

How to become a CESC partner Would your organisation like to become an esteemed industry partner of CESC? We work with our partners with the shared goal of transforming the future of construction by driving research and innovation in the sector. Sharing information, skills and knowledge is key to advancing industry adoption of innovative solutions. Collaboration between industry and academia offer the opportunity to shape the challenges facing the Built Environment and preparing the next generation of construction professionals with the skills and knowledge to make a step change. For more information about partnership benefits and working collaboratively with the Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction please contact r.griffiths@hw.ac.uk Contact Us E-mail: cescdubai@hw.ac.uk Social Media:

Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

Editorial Dr Mustafa Batikha Associate Director of Research School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society Heriot-Watt University-Dubai Campus Dubai, UAE m.batikha@hw.ac.uk


he fourth issue of the CESC research bulletin encourages more digitalisation in the construction industry through the “Topic of Focus” article by Anas Bataw, the director of CESC. Bataw, in his article, points out the limitation of digitalization in the construction sector compared to other industry businesses. However, the article indicates how the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a sudden rise in world digitization which, for sure, will influence the future construction industry. The paper also explores trends toward digital construction and highlights some interesting information and valuable indicators toward these trends.

The second paper is by Steven Yule and John Eyton from Jacobs. The article introduces the contribution of Digital Twins to the lifecycle, safety and operational performance, and environmental sustainability. Via Jacobs’s experience in supporting its Rail clients in the UK, the article explores how the Digital Twins increase value to railway passengers and national economies through clear strategic pillars. In the end, the authors don’t forget to highlight the application of the Digital Twins in the Middle East, such as the UAE. Although its application is currently slow, the future is promising for more implementation and development.

Also, in this fourth issue, more authors bring their valuable experience and research knowledge which focus on the CESC core themes: Performance and Productivity, Sustainability and Wellbeing. The editorial explores and addresses in brief eight new topics as follows:

In the third paper, Woo Chee Zheng and his Coauthors discuss the basic concepts and development of Engineered Geopolymer Composites (EGC). The story starts with the ductile Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECC), which has the drawback of utilising a high quantity of cement that causes high carbon emissions globally at a time where decarbonisation of the cement industry is high on government’s agendas. Therefore, Engineered Geopolymer Composites (EGC) is a green solution in producing concrete. According to the authors, the new EGC shows competitive mechanical properties and achieves reducing CO2 emissions up to 76%.

Performance and Productivity


Under this theme, Syed Rizvi and his Co-authors provide an interesting study conducted at HeriotWatt University which presents the water demand profile of Dubai, taking into consideration the impact of Ramadan (fasting), COVID-19, and income. The data was extensive and was collected from 7000 smart meters and 350 individual flats manually. This research is significant for engineers in the UAE during the design of the water distribution networks.

In the first paper under this theme, Mehreen Gul and David Puxty compare the bifacial solar cells with monofacial ones in terms of cost-effectiveness and sustainability. To achieve the aim, the authors offer an interesting case study at Heriot-Watt University, which they implemented in the SouthWest of the UK using three solar farm arrangements. The article concludes with a potential future solar system for more sustainability and cost-efficiency. Editorial


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The second paper is by Mohamed Salama, who defines sustainability in project management by undertaking business activities without negatively impacting future generations through a decreasing use of finite resources, energy, pollution, and waste. To achieve this aim, the author highlights a Sustainable Project Management Model called SALAMA, which comprises of six main dimensions. The article explains the dimensions for this model, which is promising in the application. In the third paper, Rahul Jotangia and Mustafa Batikha summarise the global issues and challenges from the cement industry and the necessity for decarbonisation The paper evaluates the decarbonisation methods suggested for the cement industry and highlights the challenges facing each approach. Wellbeing Under this theme, Hani Ragab Hassen discusses the threat that the live data feed faces in the construction industry by accessing, blocking, and tampered with by adversaries or hackers. The paper brings interesting examples of the attacks; a nonprotected business device is an example. As a fact, the article states that 65% of the UK construction employees use their personal devices of low protection against attackers. Therefore, the paper confirms the necessity of professional cybersecurity application to the construction sector recorded at the last tier for cybersecurity practices. However, the article addresses that the awareness of cybersecurity importance has started rising in the construction industry.



The second paper by Koorosh Gharehbaghi and Matthew Myers explores the benefits of the Intelligent Rail Network (IRN) and the importance of developing and integrating the Emergency Management System (EMS) into this network. The article presents a study by both authors on Sydney Metro where the integration of IRN and EMS rapidly increases safety. Also, the article proposes an artificial neural network model to monitor and detect the damage in the transportation infrastructure system.

Acknowledgements The Editor would like to sincerely value Charlotte Turner, Monika Toth, Ashik Salim, and Alicia Gabriel for their continuous help in producing and designing the CESC research bulletin.

Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

Topic of Focus Digital Trends and Innovative Technology Dr Anas Bataw

Director, Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction (CESC) Heriot-Watt University Dubai, UAE a.bataw@hw.ac.uk


echnological advancements have been somewhat elusive when referring to the construction industry. According to a report by Deloitte, the construction industry was among the least digitised sectors globally with IT investments being historically low – only 1.2% of revenue is allocated for IT, compared to a 3.5% average across industries. With minimal adoption of technology, the industry has seen a sudden rise in the need for digitisation as a result of the global disruption caused by COVID-19. Before the pandemic 93% of construction industry players agreed that digitisation is essential to enhance the way we work and deliver projects, according to a Roland Berger survey for developed countries, and yet only 6% of construction companies made full use of digital tools. The Pandemic has certainly fast-tracked digital transformation and showcased the possibilities that technology can offer to enhance and support the future of the construction sector. Technology can not only increase collaboration but also create transparency within the industry, a much-needed factor in these times of uncertainty and ever-evolving landscape. Driving digitisation and leveraging technologies such as Cloud BIM, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, 3D printing, Drones, Laser scanning and Blockchain has become exceedingly important.

Artificial Intelligence and Automation Adopting advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) can also prove beneficial as it introduces transparency and real time updates. Specifically, when it comes to designing, the AI technology can be truly leveraged as it uses big data and complex algorithms to build designs in a more collaborative and transparent manner. These designs can be experienced and tested virtually to confirm their feasibility and cost implications. As it can be done via virtual platforms, members involved in the project can have easy access to discuss and make decisions in less time than traditionally required. AI can accelerate the work process by automating the designing process. Automation can be a useful tool to speed up projects. Robotics On similar lines, robotics too is making its presence felt. Although the idea seems like it has many years to embed itself into the industry, some construction companies globally have begun using it by introducing automated construction techniques. According to a report by MarketWatch, the Global Robotics Market is expected to increase at 29% CAGR. Valued at USD 43million in 2018, it is expected to reach USD 180 million by 2024. Some of the different examples of how robotics can be applied within the industry are 3D printing and the ability to build large-scale projects through pre-programmed instructions. Project Management Tools Software and project management tools are also slowly but surely making their way into the industry as most organisations realise the importance of adopting easier ways to oversee teams, manage task allocation processes and track budgeting and scheduling. A global report by MarketWatch, noted that the global construction project management software market was valued at 1030 million in 2018 and is expected to reach 1620 million by the end of 2024.

Collaboration Tools Cloud-based technology is becoming essential in the work-flow to support the shift to remote working and to increase collaboration, better manage risks and better plan for coordination. Collaborative approaches within BIM, GIS and EDMS enable data management and data to be shared globally in a virtual environment thereby facilitating a smarter more enhanced way to work together despite of geographical or other constraints. Digital Trends and Innovative Technology


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Data Capturing and Surveying While looking at the industry in its entirety we also see that the construction industry is one the most dangerous work sectors. According to the United Nation’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) the top three causes of construction related deaths are on-site falls, electrocution and crush injuries. Introduction of technologies such as drones, IoT Sensors and Laser Scanners to the sites can provide respite to workers from dangerous tasks. These technologies can survey and record data of locations that could be harmful or hazardous for workers to recce. They also allow project leads and supervisors to keep up with projects in real time thereby facilitating stronger oversight and more efficient surveillance. Underpinning the above is the need to keep up with the new normal for a resilient future. With investment in next generation technology, not only will key players create a sustainable work-flow but also be ready to face future disruptions. These major changes can be achieved through industry, government and academic partnerships as we also need to enhance the work-force of tomorrow. Heriot-Watt University’s Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction is one such initiative working towards advancing industry-led innovations in construction by collaborating with organisations and governments to lead transformation in the construction industry.


Digital Trends and Innovative Technology

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Performance and Productivity

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The Effects of Covid-19 and Ramadan on Residential Water Demand Profiles Case Studies from the UAE Syed Rizvi

Malini Deepak

Ph.D. Student School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society Heriot-Watt University Dubai, UAE sar32@hw.ac.uk

Ph.D. Student School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society Heriot-Watt University Dubai, UAE malini.deepak@hw.ac.uk

Dr Rabee Rustum

Director of Studies, Civil Engineering School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society Heriot-Watt University Dubai, UAE sar32@hw.ac.uk

The water consumption profile allows the engineer to assess the user’s behavior and routines to implement an efficient water system. Since the patterns of user consumption can be quite variant, the current practice in the UAE region does not use these profiles. However, since the introduction of live water meters, these patterns can provide useful insight to ensure that the supply system does not face excessive hydraulic loading due to different unusual events. Hence, the main objective of this research is to analyze and develop a water demand profile for various developments in the region to test it with different socio-demographic factors and events. The study was conducted by carefully monitoring the live water meters in different residential buildings and data received from smart meters. The data was collected from 7000 smart meters and 350 individual flats manually. The results showed that the consumption profile has predictable peaks during weekdays where it is found to be between 6 am-8 am and then in the evening between 5 pm to 7 pm. During the religious event of Ramadan, the peak moves between 7 am to 10 am in the morning, while in the evening, the second peak is observed between 3 pm to 4 pm. Furthermore, it was seen that the peak for low-income areas was higher than the peak of high-income areas due to their strict routine. With the unusual case of COVID-19, the observed peak showed a 30% in water consumption, excluding the yearly rate of increase. Keywords: Water management; water demand profile; water consumption; water distribution networks. 1. Introduction


lifestyle of the user. Moreover, the demand is further affected by the urbanization of a populated area and can vary based on the new developments and expansions. Therefore, demand needs to take into account future actions as well [3; 4].

This parameter is heavily affected by the population and the

Similarly, the Water Demand Profile (WDP) estimation could be very challenging for the engineer since it needs to predict the consumer behavior that varies throughout the day, week, month, and year. Multiple factors can impact the profile and change the consumption pattern based on the climate variation, public events, religious events, and working routine. Typically, to

he design and modelling of Water Distribution Networks (WDN) can be quite complex since it consists of multiple components. Each component needs to perform adequately to ensure that the water supplied to a consumer with the required quantity and quality. Since many parameters need to be considered in the design of WDN, each parameter must be evaluated and analyzed efficiently. One of these parameters is water demand, indicating the amount of water received by the end-user at the junction [1].


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monitor such variation, Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition system (SCADA) are quite helpful to build a general demand pattern. Hence, this paper develops WDPs for Dubai that can be helpful in developing a conservation strategy to optimize the cost of WDN. Secondly, since most of the residents are Muslim and observe the month of Ramadan, it will further evaluate the impact of it and COVID-19 on Ramadan. 2. Design practices and factors For Dubai, demand practices based on code are evaluated based on Average Daily Demand, followed by a multiplier. Although many countries build their own WDP, previous research has shown that generation a trendline could be challenging. However, most literature agrees that weekday consumption patterns can be quite predictable compared to weekend patterns. Generally, it has been observed that the peak hours during the weekdays are between 6 am to 9 am, followed by the peak hours in the evening between 5 pm to 8 pm [1]. According to many scholars, socio-demographic can help in the design process of WDP depending on the type of activity. User’s income has a positive correlation with the consumption demand with expensive households consume more water. On the other hand, the size of the household can decrease consumption per capita. Seasonal variation tends to increase demands during summer as especially for tourist-orientated countries. Religious events can instigate a sudden rise in water demand due to an increase in population. Countries that have scarce water sources can often increase tariffs that restrict user demand [2; 5; 6; 9]. Each of the mentioned cases could be evaluated for a specific region to develop its own acceptable trendline. Once developed, it is seen that these profiles can lead to cost-saving strategies by saving energy from pump supply, reduce the carbon footprint produced, decrease the emission of greenhouse gas, which results in improving the overall sustainability of WDNs [7]. 3. Methodology The built profiles are design based on the selected areas that meet a variety of criteria. 3.1 Case studies area Three areas were considered from different parts of Dubai: Al Qusais, Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), and Jumeriah. The three areas varied from property value to account for the income. The highest recorded property was in Jumeriah, followed by DSO and then Al-Qusais. These areas act as hosts for 100,000 people,

including a variety of residential properties. These properties vary from villas, flats and townhouses. 3.2 Data Recording The data was recorded in two ways; the first method was the manual monitoring of the different residential buildings in AlQusais and Silicon Oasis. The other method uses data obtained from the SCADA for the consumption profile of Al Qusais and Jumeriah. For Al-Qusias, the consumption profile was recorded for a week during May 2019, between 2nd to 9th. The recordings were chosen for May since it is the beginning of the summer, where the consumption is generally higher, and because it was the start of Ramadan. The data was recorded on an hourly basis that is presented in Table 1. After which, the manual recording continued for subsequent weeks to account for any variation. The recording then resumed next year as well to evaluate the pattern in COVID-19 and Ramadan further. Table 1 Characteristics of residential buildings

For DSO, individual flow meters from over 350 residential flats were observed and summed together to generate a trendline. The characteristic of this building is classified in Table 1, title building F. The demand multipliers were also calculated from the final data for effective comparison. Finally, data from SCADA of 7000 smart meters, showed the live feed of consumption trendlines in Al-Qusais and Jumeriah to develop a general WDP. The obtained WDPs generated from the above methods were then examined to check the difference in demand periods by population, weekdays and weekends, and socio-demographic factors like income. 4. Results and Discussion The daily consumption for each building was considered to determine the maximum, minimum, and average demand per capita. The design value suggested by the code is between 250

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to 350 litres per capita, but in reality, it was between 150-200 liters [8]. This difference is because the design consumption accounts for future ruses in demand to ensure no failure occurs. 4.1 Weekly WDP Figure 1a shows the WDP of the residential building during the weekdays. The consumption reduces from midnight till 5 am since most people are sleeping, followed by a high peak observed from 6 am to 9 am. After which the next peak is observed in the meaning between 6 pm to 8 pm.

Fig. 2 a) Weekday WDP during Ramadan; b) Demand multiplier based WDPs for the same month; c) Contrasting the profile between fasting and non-fasting personal in DSO.

This pattern significantly changes the peak demand and shifts further up in the morning. Additionally, the evening peaks are observed earlier, between 2 pm and 4 pm, due to reduced work timings in Ramadan. Another noticeable observation is that the peaks vary significantly for different buildings, as Dubai is a multicultural city. Hence, for buildings D and E, which have a more mixed population of people from different religious faiths, the patterns are more distributed than peaking at specific periods. 4.3 Impact of income

Fig. 1 a) WDP for different residential buildings during weekday in terms of consumption volume; b) The same profile generated in terms of demand multiplier.

The influence of income is accounted for by comparing the profile from two areas based on the property value. For example, Fig. 3 shows the comparison of WDP for the area of Al -Qusais (low-income) and Jumeriah (high income).

On the other hand, Fig.1 shows the peak hourly demand regarding the average daily demand. From the graph itself, it is observed that the demand increases with the population of the residential building, which numbs down the peak for buildings with higher population. During weekends, the WDP varies a lot due to the difference in the behavior of everyone. 4.2 Fasting Figures 2a and 2b show the illustration of the demand pattern for the month of Ramadan, with fasting people waking up early, leading to increased demand from midnight till morning.


Fig. 3 WDP comparison for Al-Qusais and Jumeirah during weekday.

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Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

The low-income areas often note a higher peak in the morning compared to high-income areas. Since the routine is stricter for low-income people, the peaks tend to be higher due to more consumption of water. While for high-income areas, the morning peaks are much lower but are dispersed throughout the morning. This shows a different lifestyle since most users have lucrative roles up the hierarchy or have their own business, which has less strict routine/working hours. 4.4 Impact of COVID-19 Due to the ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ campaign in the country, the daily consumption of water has seen a 30% rise in the overall consumption, as seen in Fig. 4. Only in building B is there a reduced consumption due to the reduced number of occupants. A very high peak is observed in the morning from 7 am to 9 am since most of the users are working from their homes remotely, while smaller peaks are observed during the evening and nighttime. Moreover, in Ramadan, the peaks are increased further with the added effect of COVID-19; however, the trendline remains like that of the typical day. With the added stipulation, these trendlines are more effective in reducing the gap between the performance of the design and the actual model.

Fig. 4 Water demand profile during Covid-19 crisis (weekday, Ramadan) for Building A, B, C, and D.

5. Conclusion The built WDP had been analyzed, and the weekday routine was established further, with the highest peak recorded in the morning. However, due to fasting, these peaks shift further in the morning, allowing the engineers to review the pump scheduling during this event. Additionally, income showed that the peak hours change further where it needs to be accommodated, while COVID-19 increased demand. Thus, engineers can utilize WDPs for different circumstances to enhance the design of WDN.

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Gurung, T. R. et al. (2015) ‘Smart meter enabled water end-use demand data: Platform for the enhanced infrastructure planning of contemporary urban water supply networks’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 87, 642-654. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. jclepro.2014.09.054.


Loureiro, D., Coelho, S.T., Machado, P., Santos, A., Alegre, H. and Covas, D., 2008. Profiling residential water consumption. Water Distribution Systems Analysis Symposium 2006, p. 1-18. https:// doi.org/10.1061/40941(247)44.


Mkireb, C., Dembele, A., Jouglet, A. and Denoeux, T., 2018. Energy-Efficient Operation of Water Systems through Optimization of Load Power Reduction in Electricity Markets. Journal of Electronic Science and Technology, 16, 304-315. https://doi. org/10.11989/JEST.1674-862X.80727111.


rsb.gov.ae (2017) Guide to Water Supply Regulations-Issue 3.


Schleich, J. and Hillenbrand, T., 2019. Residential water demand responds asymmetrically to rising and falling prices. Applied Economics, 51, pp.4973-4981. https://doi.org/10.1080/000368 46.2019.1606412.

The authors would like to thank DEWA for providing SCADA. References [1]

Anele, A. O. et al. (2017) ‘Overview, comparative assessment and recommendations of forecasting models for short-term water demand prediction’, Water, 9, 887. https://doi.org/10.3390/ w9110887.


Aquacraft (2011) Embedded Energy in Water Studies Study 3: End-use Water Demand Profiles. California. Available at: http:// www.aquacraft.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/CIEE-WaterDemand-Profile-Study.pdf (Accessed: 11 February 2020).


Banjac, G., Vašak, M. and Baoti, M. (2015) ‘Adaptable urban water demand prediction system’, Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, 15, 958-964. https://doi.org/10.2166/ws.2015.048.


Froelich, W. (2015) ‘Dealing with seasonality while forecasting urban water demand’, Intelligent decision technologies, 39, 171180. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-19857-6_16.

12 The effects of Covid-19 and Ramadan on Residential Water Demand Profiles

Research Research Bulletin Bulletin No.4 No.4 September September 2021 2021

Digital Twins for Rail Steven Yule

Practice Group Leader People & Places Solutions Jacobs York, United Kingdom steven.yule@jacobs.com

John Eyton

Rail Group Leader People & Places Solutions Jacobs Dubai, United Arab Emirates john.eyton@jacobs.com

An overview of the application of Digital Twins in the Rail sector. Exploring the development of a strategic approach and considerations for successful implementation, using experience and lessons from major Rail programmes in the United Kingdom, and Jacobs broader global expertise. These learnings will also be discussed in the context of their application to Rail in the Middle East. Keywords: : Digital Twin, Rail, Strategy, Lifecycle, Data 1. Introduction


Digital Twin in the context of the built environment aims to integrate different data sets from static files, such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) to dynamic data sets such as information from condition monitoring systems [1]. The Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) in the United Kingdom (UK) offers a widely accepted definition of a Digital Twin as being ‘a realistic digital representation of assets, processes or systems in the built or natural environment’ [2].

life for citizens [3]. The Gemini Principles [1] (Figure 1) provide guiding principles for the development of a National Digital Twin for the UK and are being used as a framework around the world to ensure digital strategies and Digital Twins have clear purpose, are trustworthy, function effectively, and also consider future connectivity.

Digital Twins offer the ability to deliver whole lifecycle value to stakeholders, improve safety and operational performance, and contribute to environmental sustainability e.g., net zero carbon. Today they offer the capability to accelerate the delivery of capital work by streamlining workflows, speeding up inspections, and accelerating quality assurance. As they reach maturity, real time and right time asset and operational data are fed into the Digital Twin, allowing Rail operating organisations to optimise the management of assets, enabling cost efficiencies and enhanced customer experience. Digital Twins for the railway have the potential to transform current ways of working, data, technology, and analytics. Over time new possibilities will become apparent that realise evergreater value by embracing emerging technologies, linking data from Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, and connecting Digital Twins across sectors to create and increase value to railway passengers and national economies. Nationally connected Digital Twins can increase infrastructure resilience, reduce disruption and delays, optimise our use of resources and boost quality of

Fig. 1 Gemini Principles [2]

The ambition for Digital Twins to transform how the Rail industry functions are great but with this comes high expectations and the associated hype. Clients need a strategic approach to develop Digital Twins that will clearly align to their business objectives and unlock incremental value for their organisations Digital Twins for Rail


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and customers. Enabling this strategic approach needs a clear roadmap that plots a realistic path for the Digital Twins to be created, implemented, and ensure value is realised. This paper will explore the Jacobs structured approach and transferable lessons in supporting its Rail clients in the UK to develop their approaches to Digital Twins. This paper will explore the Jacobs structured approach and transferable lessons in supporting its Rail clients in the UK to develop their approaches to Digital Twins 2. Strategic Approach to Digital Twin

quality data will be the lifeblood of Digital Twins it is important to honestly appraise the current quality and trustworthiness of the organisation’s data [6]. Use Cases: There is no single Use Case or route for developing Digital Twins, rather these should be tailored to the requirements of the organisation. Different Twins may fulfill their Use Case at different levels of maturity and may only be developed to a level where they are considered a digital replica as seen in Figure 2.

Our experience shows that developing the strategic approach to Digital Twins for Rail organisations is affected by the perspectives of those within the organisation creating it. Broad crossdiscipline perspectives bring opportunities to develop solutions that offer the opportunity to create Digital Twins that address the needs of the organisation. Conversely, a challenge to successful developments and deployment of Digital Twins is when there exists a particular leaning or bias within the organization or industry. Understanding the talent and skills needed to develop and implement Digital Twins, and whether these are present, is the first step on a long journey to developing and integrating Digital Twins in the organisation. 2.1

When embarking on a Digital Twin journey it is important to appreciate the context of the organisation and the role of Digital Twins within it: New or Existing: Creating Digital Twins for a new build railway compared to an existing operational railway presents different challenges, appreciation of the projects place within the infrastructure lifecycle is therefore essential. These challenges could relate to the maturity of existing systems and processes or the ability for the organisation to be agile and undertake the necessary wholesale business transformation needed to implement Digital Twins. Leadership: Understanding and determination to make Digital Twins a reality is fundamental to setting vision and moving the organisation in the direction of change. If this is lacking the process and likelihood of success becomes challenging. Data: Good quality data is the foundation of successful Digital Twins [4]. Further supporting this view the UK National Infrastructure Commission stated that “high quality, standardised data on all our infrastructure assets, along with the ability to share this securely, will enable the UK’s infrastructure to be viewed as an interdependent, dynamic system”[5]. Given that high 14

Fig. 2 Multiple routes to Digital Twin

Understanding Context

Digital Twins for Rail


Strategy Development

Jacobs supported a major UK Rail programme embarking on its Digital Twin Strategy to ensure a whole lifecycle view of Digital Twin was adopted. The project was an existing complex railway with numerous stakeholders in the programme and end user teams. Jacobs developed a strategic approach that focused on the interconnectivity of the Physical and Digital elements that make up the Digital Twin, viewing these against various stages of the infrastructure lifecycle. Underpinned by principles aligned to those set out within the Gemini Principles [2] and a line of sight to the client organisation’s strategic objectives. The strategy is enabled through six strategic pillars (Figure 3):

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Lessons Learned

The design and implementation of Digital Twins in the Rail sector is a relatively new concept. Learning and sharing information between projects, organisations, and sectors will improve the likelihood of success. This section outlines a few lessons learnt, with the first being focused on people. There is a risk of concentrating on the data and technology associated with Digital Twins and therefore missing that this is primarily a people change process. People buying into the journey and embracing the incorporation of Digital Twins into their role is essential. Start taking people on the journey from the beginning. Fig. 3 Lifecycle view of Digital Twin and strategic pillars

Agile: Agile approach where development builds incrementally, creating outcome-focused Digital Twins promoting the realisation of early benefits and gains. Structure: Focus on an operating model and organisational structure throughout the lifecycle of Digital Twins enabling clear understanding of organisational requirements. People: Full value realisation requires buy-in and capability within the organisation, which will be achieved in several ways: Leadership, Culture, and Sustainability. Process: Efficient processes created to provide up to date comprehensive information and enable smooth flow of data and information at all stages of the lifecycle and in-use operation. Technology: Cut through hype and consider what is possible at the time it is required and what value can be obtained from each technology. Interoperability of data and systems addressed to prevent becoming locked into a vendor, system, or technology. Connected Data: High quality data is recognised as the foundation of effective Digital Twins. Focusing on connecting this data creates a solution where the value of the connected data sets is greater than the sum of its parts. The above strategic pillars were associated with key implementation activities, enabling a long-term roadmap to be developed. The roadmap covered the duration of the programme lifecycle (+5 years) and focused on incremental benefit release from Digital Twins and the development of Concept Digital Twins to demonstrate benefits. The roadmap is a live document that is refined as development progresses, considering new opportunities and risks as they are identified.

For stakeholders in Rail operating organisations, Digital Twins can be viewed as a technology push, leading to the perception that they are interesting but actual value delivered to the organisation would be questionable. To counteract this perception, it is important to be able to articulate their value. Developing an understanding that Digital Twins are a way to unlock value for the organisation is critical. The aim should be to have stakeholders creating a pull and thereby enabling Digital Twins to be developed at scale. It is observed that Digital Twins are at times considered to be products or a destination for Rail organisations to reach. This view underestimates the scale of the challenge that Digital Twin development involves, and the long-term commitment needed to ensure success. Digital Twins will touch all elements of the railway from physical assets, operations, and delivering business objectives. This breadth of interaction starts to give an indication of the scale of business transformation needed and how Digital Twins within Rail organisations will evolve at different paces to meet a wide array of needs. Digital twin is a journey, not a destination. 3. Application to Middle East Rail Digital Twin and in the wider context an overarching Digital Strategy is a subject much discussed in the Middle East. There is recognition of the value Digital Twins can bring and we are seeing progress in different geographies with a push towards standardising a Digital Strategy. UAE for example has the appetite for developing a standard Digital Strategy ultimately encompassing Digital Twins and is developing this, however, at present its fragmented with each of the Emirates taking a slightly different approach. This is not a problem at a micro level with projects of a certain scale and complexity, however at a macro level when we look at Rail projects which are large scale linear infrastructure it creates challenges. In addition to the challenge of adopting a standardised approach, there are issues Digital Twins for Rail


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surrounding data security, in certain instances, data must be hosted within country only and not allowed offshore. In the Middle East Digital Twin is being driven by consultants and owners (Government Authorities) and primarily in the residential sector, this has not yet transferred to the Rail sector. Rail infrastructure is being modelled digitally but these are Digital replicas that do not incorporate live data linkage and analysis between the physical and digital asset. We are seeing a shift towards Digitalising Railways but with a focus towards asset management and lifecycle as opposed to simulation of the asset at the design stage. To achieve this more time needs investing during the design stage but given the aggressive nature of project timelines the value in doing this needs articulating to clients from the outset. In summary, the rail sector in the Middle East is relatively young and with significant development aspirations across the region and large-scale rail projects on the horizon. This presents many opportunities to implement Digital Twins.


Digital Twins for Rail

References [1]

Johnson A, Heaton J, Yule S et al. 2020.Informing the information requirements of a digital twin: a rail industry case study. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Smart Infrastructure and Construction, https://doi.org/10.1680/ jsmic.20.00017


CDBB (Centre for Digital Built Britain) (2019) The Gemini Principles. CDBB, Cambridge, UK. See https://www.cdbb.cam. ac.uk/Resources/ResoucePublications/TheGeminiPrinciples.pdf


National Digital Twin Programme available at: cdbb.cam.ac.uk/ what-we-do/national-digital-twin-programme


Lu Q, Parlikad AK, Woodall P et al. (2020a) Developing a digital twin at building and city levels: case study of West Cambridge Campus. Journal of Management in Engineering 36(3): article 05020004, https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)ME.19435479.0000763.


NIC (National Infrastructure Commission) (2017) Data for the Public Good. NIC, London, UK.


Kelly G, Serginson M, Lockley S, Dawood N and Kassem M (2013) BIM for facility management: a review and a case study investigating the value and challenges. In CONVR 2013: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality, 30–31 October 2013, London (Dawood N and Kassem M (eds)). Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UK, pp. 191–199. See http://itc.scix.net/ data/ works/att/convr-2013-20.pdf (accessed 18/12/2020).

Research Research Bulletin Bulletin No.4 No.4 September September 2021 2021

Engineered Geopolymer Composites (EGC) A Greener and Durable Solution towards Sustainable Infrastructure Woo Chee Zheng

Ph.D. Student School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society Heriot-Watt University Putrajaya, Malaysia cw2010@hw.ac.uk

Dr Teo Wee

Associate Professor School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society Heriot-Watt University Putrajaya, Malaysia t.wee@hw.ac.uk

Prof. Lynne B. Jack

Director of Institute (Built Environment) School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, UK l.b.jack@hw.ac.uk

Engineered Geopolymer Composites (EGC) are a new class of ductile fiber reinforced cementitious composites incorporating two distinct technologies, namely Geopolymer and Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECC), with the aim of developing a green and durable composite with low environmental impact. They have the benefit of a similar production process to conventional OPC, but eliminate the need for heat curing and have a safer/easier handling process. This article provides an insight into the basic concepts and development of EGC. Keywords: Engineered Geopolymer Composites (EGC); Geopolymer; Alkali Activated; Strain Hardening.

1. Introduction


oncrete is the most widely used construction material in the world for buildings, bridges, foundations, road pavements and many more. Concrete exhibits brittle behaviour with low tensile strength and ductility. This brittleness has been recognised to impede structural performance such as ductility in shear and tension, and durability [1]. Many deterioration problems and failures in concrete infrastructures can be associated with the cracking and brittle nature of concrete. Over the years, significant research has been carried out to tackle the weaknesses of conventional concrete. To date, one of the most effective means of overcoming ductility problems in concrete is by means of discrete fiber reinforcement. Extensive research has been undertaken in the area of highperformance fiber-reinforced cementitious composites (HPFRCC). Here, Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECC) receive of most attention. ECC are an improved class of HPFRCC

that feature high ductility and multiple-cracking behaviour with a tensile strain-hardening capacity in excess of 3%. Through systematic material optimization and tailoring, it is possible to develop compositions with self-compacting characteristics with a fiber volume content of less than 2%. However, a major drawback of ECC, similar to most HPFRCC, is the use of a high quantity of cement due to the elimination of coarse aggregates [2]. High cement contents are associated with high embodied energy and CO2 emissions. It has been estimated that every ton of cement produced generates an equal amount of CO2. Cement production accounts for about 8 – 10% of global CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions. This creates a huge negative impact on the environment and for sustainability more broadly. Therefore, the necessity of finding alternative eco-friendly low-carbon binders is essential and has become the primary focus of many research studies in recent years. Engineered Geopolymer Composites (EGC)


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Geopolymers belong to a subclass of alkali-activated materials (AAM) and are produced by synthesizing industrial by-products, such as fly ash (FA) and ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) as alumino-silicate source materials, with highly alkaline solutions. There are two main environmental benefits of using geopolymer binders over OPC: (1) minimize CO2 emissions, and (2) utilization of industrial by-products. Considering both benefits, geopolymers are considered a sustainable and “green” construction material. Recently, there has been renewed interest in incorporating ECC and geopolymer technologies with the intention of developing a low-carbon, green and durable cementitious material. This new class of ductile fiber-reinforced cementitious composites is known as Engineered Geopolymer Composites (EGC) or sometimes also known as Strain Hardening Geopolymer Composites (SHGC). This article provides an overview of this new class of composite material and summarizes the key findings from relevant literature.

where σss is the steady state cracking stress and δss is the crack opening corresponding to σss. J’b can be determined from the fibre bridging curve whereas Jtip can be calculated from the following equation: (3) where Km is the matrix fracture toughness and Ec is the matrix elastic modulus.

2. Micromechanics-based Design Approach for Strain Hardening Behaviour of ECC The consecutive development of tensile strain hardening behaviour in ECC is realised by sequential formation of matrix multiple cracking. A fundamental requirement for the multiple cracking is steady-state crack propagation prevailing under tension [5]. Two design criteria have been proposed to ascertain the multiple cracking response: strength criterion and energy criterion. The condition for the strength criterion is that the first cracking strength σfc must be lower than the ultimate tensile strength σ0. The ultimate tensile strength is determined by the maximum fibre-bridging capacity after the crack initiates. This strength criterion can be expressed as follow: σfc ≤ σ0


Marshall and Cox [6] proposed that the steady state cracks for energy criterion are analysed using a J-integral method as shown in Figure 1. They concluded that the crack tip toughness Jtip must be less than the complementary energy J’b in the fibre bridging stress versus the crack opening curve. This energy criterion can be express as follows: (2) 18

Engineered Geopolymer Composites (EGC)

Fig. 1 Typical relationship between fibre bridging stress and crack opening curve.

Kanda and Li [7] proposed PSH performance based on these two design criteria, namely PSH strength index (σ0 / σfc) and PSH energy index (J’b’/ Jtip). According to the condition of strain hardening behaviour, a higher PSH index indicates that a greater possibility of saturated multiple cracking and better strain hardening capacity are achieved. Kanda and Li concluded that PSH strength and energy indices greater than 1.3 and 2.7, respectively, can steadily exhibit an outstanding performance in terms of tensile strain capacity and multiple cracking. 3. One-Part Geopolymer System Geopolymers are synthesized from source materials of either geological origin (e.g. metakaolin) or industrial by-products (e.g. FA and GGBS) that are rich in silica and alumina with high alkaline activators. So there are two main constituents of geopolymers; namely the source materials (precursors) and the alkaline activators. Conventional geopolymers are usually made from the activation of source materials by highly concentrated alkaline solutions of sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate. This

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mix formulation is commonly known as a “two-part” or liquidactivated mixture. There are two main drawbacks associated with conventional geopolymer concrete: 1. Hazardous, corrosive and viscous alkaline solutions: Both sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate solutions are hazardous materials that can cause severe chemical burns upon contact. They are also highly corrosive to materials such as tin, aluminium, zinc, copper, lead and their alloys. Therefore, handling large quantities of user-hostile alkaline solutions can be challenging for commercial applications. 2. Heat curing: heat curing is essential to improve the geopolymerisation process and mechanical properties. The geopolymer systems are usually subjected to heat curing for hours or even days at a temperature higher than 50oC [8]. This drawback hinders the wide application of this technology. To tackle these drawbacks, a dry-based mixture with ambient temperature curing is a more feasible solution. “One-part” or “Just add water” geopolymers are a new classification specially developed for this purpose. Both the aluminosilicate source materials and alkaline activators are in solid form (powderbased) and are blended together to make the one-part binder. The activation process begins once water is added to the solid mixture. The whole mixing and handling process is similar to that for conventional OPC concrete. This makes the mass production and large-scale application of geopolymers in the construction industry highly viable. Most geopolymer mixtures utilize low calcium (Class F) FA as a source material, which is known for slow setting and hardening under ambient conditions and thus requires heat curing. Often, GGBS is added as a partial replacement for FA to improve the setting, boost the reactivity of the system and eliminate the need for heat curing.

Lower workability loss (up to 2 hours) than from two-part geopolymer binders. 4. Performance of Ambient Cured One-Part EGC/SHGC 4.1 Tensile Behaviour Nematollahi et al. [9] conducted a study on ambient cured onepart EGC. To achieve ambient temperature curing conditions, 50% content of the FA was replaced with GGBS. Two types of GGBS were used in their study namely “typical” (T) and “gypsumfree” (GF). The solid alkaline activator used in their study was anhydrous sodium metasilicate. A comparison between the performance of ambient cured and heat cured one-part EGC was also carried out. Figures 2 – 5 present the tensile stress-strain responses of the developed one-part EGC. As can be seen from the results, regardless of the curing condition and type of GGBC, all specimens demonstrated outstanding tensile ductility with strain hardening capacity exceeding 3%. Table 2 summarises the overall uniaxial tensile test results. The ultimate tensile strength achieved was in the range between 4.3 MPa and 4.6 MPa, and tensile strain capacity was in the range between 2.6% and 4.2%. Also, it can be observed that the ambient cured one-part EGC exhibited a higher tensile strain capacity than the heat cured one-part EGC. In general, the overall advantages of one-part geopolymers can be summarized as follows [9]:

In general, the overall advantages of one-part geopolymers can be summarized as follows [9]: Mixing and handling process is easier than for two-part geopolymer binders and is similar to conventional OPC,

Fig. 2 Tensile stress strain curves of ambient cured of typical slag one-part EGC (SHGC-T) [9].

Storing and transportation are safer than for two-part geopolymer binders, Ambient temperature curing, Properties of concrete are more consistent due to solid form and fixed proportions of constituents in the binder,

Fig. 3 Tensile stress strain curves of heat cured of typical slag onepart EGC (SHGC-T) [9]. Engineered Geopolymer Composites (EGC)


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Table 1 Summary of uniaxial tensile test results [9].

Fig. 4 Tensile stress strain curves of ambient cured of gypsum-free slag one-part EGC (SHGC-GF) [9].

4.2 Material Sustainability Performance A quantitative comparison of the Materials’ Sustainability Indicators (MSIs) for the conventional ECC, ambient cured one-part and heat cured two-part EGC was also conducted by Nematollahi [9]. Two parameters were considered in the evaluation of the MSIs, namely embodied energy and CO2 emissions. Fig. 7 summarises the MSIs in terms of embodied energy and CO2 emissions.

Fig. 5 Tensile stress strain curves of heat cured of gypsum-free slag one-part EGC (SHGC-GF) [9].

The high tensile strain capacity of the ambient cured EGC can be explained using the two PSH performance indices proposed by Kanda and Li [7], as presented in section 2.0. The resulting PSH performance indices ie strength and energy index, for ambient and heat cured one-part EGC are shown in Fig 6. As can be seen, both PSH performance indices in all specimens exceeded unity, which re-confirmed the exhibited strain hardening behaviour with progressive development of multiple cracking. Also, it is interesting to note that, regardless of the type of GGBS, the ambient cured one-part EGC obtained a higher PSH energy index when compared to the heat cured one-part EGC. This further confirms a greater possibility of saturated multiple cracking and so higher tensile strain capacity of the ambient cured one-part EGC. Fig. 7 Material sustainability indicators (MSIs) of different composites EGC and ECC [9].

From the results shown in Fig. 7, the following findings can be deduced: Both ambient cured one-part and heat cured two-part EGCs had lower embodied energy and CO2 emissions than conventional ECC/SHC Fig. 6 PSH performance of one-part EGC [9].


Engineered Geopolymer Composites (EGC)

The greatest reductions in embodied energy and CO2 emissions were achieved for ambient cured one-part EGC.

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In terms of CO2 emissions, ambient cured one-part EGC offers a 50% and 76% reduction when compared to heat cured two-part EGC and conventional ECC respectively. For embodied energy, the ambient cured one-part EGC offers 22% and 36% less than the heat cured two-part EGC and conventional ECC respectively 5. Conclusion This article gives an overview of the feasibility for developing an ambient cured dry-based (or one-part) ductile geopolymer composite incorporating ECC technology. The new composite gives mechanical properties comparable with conventional cement based ECC, yet with the added benefits of lower energy consumption and CO2 emissions. It eliminates the need for heat curing and avoids the use of corrosive user-hostile alkaline solutions, which in turn promotes the commercial viability of this new composite material for in-situ application in the construction industry. In short, the potential of EGC is highly promising as a green and durable solution for helping achieve sustainable infrastructure.


V. Li, From micromechanics to structural engineering - the design of cementitious composites for civil engineering application, Journal of Structural Mechanics and Earthquake Engineering JSCE, 10 (2), 37-48, 1993.


D. Marshall and Cox, A J-integral method for calculating steadystate matrix cracking stresses in composites, Mechanics of Materials, 7 (2), 127-33, 1988.


L. Kanda, V. Li, Multiple cracking sequence and saturation in fiber reinforced cementitious composite, Concrete Research and Technology, 9 (2), 19-33, 1998.


M. Ohno, V. Li, A feasibility study of strain hardening fiber reinforced fly ash-basedgeopolymer composites, Construction and Building Materials, 57, 163-168, 2014.


B. Nematollahi, J. Sanjayan, J. Qiu, E. Yang, Micromechanicsbased investigation of a sustainable ambient temperature cured one-part strain hardening geopolymer composite, Construction and Building Materials, 131, 552-563, 2017.

Acknowledgements The authors wish to gratefully acknowledge the support of this research by the Ministry of Education (MOE) Malaysia through the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) (FRGS/1/2018/ TK01/HWUM/02/3). References [1]

V. Li, S. Wang, C. Wu, Tensile strain-hardening behavior or polyvinyl alcohol engineered cementitious composite (PVA-ECC), ACI Materials Journal, 98 (6), 483-492, 2001.


G. Keoleian, A. Kendall, J. Dettling, V. Smith, R. Chandler, M. Lepech, V. Li, Life cycle modeling of concrete bridge design: comparison of engineered cementitious composite link slabs and conventional steel expansion joints, ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 11 (1), 51-60, 2005.


M. Reiner, K. Rens, High-Volume Fly Ash Concrete: Analysis and Application, Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction, 11 (1), 58-64, 2006.


M. Zhang, Microstructure, Crack Propagation, and Mechanical Properties of Cement Pastes Containing High Volumes of Fly Ashes, Cement and Concrete Research, 25 (6), 1165-1178, 1995. Engineered Geopolymer Composites (EGC)



Research Research Bulletin Bulletin No.4 No.4 September September 2021 2021

Are Bifacial Photovoltaics a Sustainable Alternative to Monofacial Photovoltaics? Dr Mehreen Gul

David Puxty

Assistant Professor Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) Heriot Watt University Edinburgh, Scotland M.Gul@hw.ac.uk

Postgraduate Student Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) Heriot Watt University Edinburgh, Scotland dp37@hw.ac.uk

This study investigates the Levelized Cost Of Electricity (LCOE) of Optimally Tilted Monofacial (OTM), Optimally Tilted Bifacial (OTB) and Vertically Tilted Bifacial (VTB) photovoltaic modules for six locations in the South-West UK to determine the most cost-effective and sustainable solution when designing a 5MW solar farm. It was found that the OTB arrays generated the highest electrical output with an average of 5150MWh/Yr, 10% greater than the OTM arrays of 4606MWh/Yr and therefore the most energy-efficient of the three arrangements, with the VTB producing the least with an average of 3804MWh/Yr. Assessing the LCOE on capital and operational expenditure only, the OTB arrays were 5-7% more cost-effective than the OTM and 24% more than the VTB arrays. However, when considering financial parameters assuming a higher weighted average cost of capital (WACC) for bifacial modules, due to the higher perceived investor risk, OTM and OTB modules produce a more comparable LCOE at £45/MWh. Future predictions show that with an increased adoption of bifacial modules and reduced investor risk OTB arrays will become the most sustainable option both environmentally and economically with a predicted LCOE of £34MWh in 2040. Furthermore, the results showed that the LCOE of VTB arrays is predicted to reduce to £45/MWh in 2040 and will mean the LCOE could become more comparable to OTM, however, they will remain the least cost-effective solution, but due to the flexibility in use, they still have a role to play in producing renewable energy in the future. Keywords: Photovoltaics; PVsyst; Bifacial PV; Vertical PV; Solar Farm 1. Introduction


hotovoltaics (PV) offer a renewable, low carbon source of electricity production and a viable alternative to fossil fuels which produce carbon emissions harmful to the environment. In recent years, the UK has seen a significant growth in the use of PV witnessing an increase in production of 13,000MW between 2006 and 2019 (Energy Savings Trust, 2019). In a bid to increase PV output, research into bifacial PV(BPV) cells started in the 1960’s with the first BPV laboratory established in 1988 (Cuevas A. 2005). Conventional MPV generates energy from only the front side and has the full area of the rear side covered by aluminum contacts and an opaque back sheet which makes it unable to absorb photons from both sides. Different from MPV, BPV has a rear side only partially covered with metallization contacts and a transparent material as a back sheet (Figure 1). This capacity to absorb photons from both sides tends to contribute to an additional 5% to 30% of energy yield compared to MPV modules. BPV uptake has been slow, in 2017 BPV modules had less than

Fig.1 Photons being absorbed by monofacial and bifacial PV (Gambone 2021)

5% of the market share, however since the development of Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell (PERC) technology, increasing cell efficiency and reducing costs, this is expected to increase to 40% by 2028 (Rodriguez-Gallegos et al, 2018). PERC technology incorporates a dielectric passivation layer at the rear of the cell which blocks the free-flowing electrons and reduces recombination, effectively trapping more sunlight and reducing electron losses (Ayoub J et al, 2017). BPV generally is 3-7% more expensive than the monofacial alternative (Lusson, 2020). Although BPV can produce higher outputs than MPV it can

Are Bifacial Photovoltaics a Sustainable Alternative to Monofacial Photovoltaics?


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depend on multiple factors such as ground albedo, location, tilt angle, electrical losses, soiling and shading. BPV has peak electricity production during the morning and evening as opposed to the middle of the day. This offers the advantage of supplementing electricity during peak domestic demand hours, rather than having to store electricity generated during the day. The aim of this research is to investigate the sustainability of BPV modules in the South-West of the UK. This is achieved by modelling the output of a 5MW solar farm using weather data for six locations in the region. The model estimates the output of a bifacial solar farm with the modules arranged in both the vertical orientation and at the optimum tilt angle. The results are compared with the simulated data from a monofacial solar farm with the same nominal output to determine the most costeffective solution. 2. Methodology The three PV design arrangements considered are: Optimally Tilted Bifacial (OTB), Optimally Tilted Monofacial (OTM) and Vertically Tilted Bifacial (VTB). Using PVSyst V7.1, the Levelized Cost Of Electricity (LCOE) simulations of the three arrangements were carried out for six South-West UK locations: Camborne, Truro, Torquay, Bridgwater, Bristol, and Weymouth to understand the variation in LCOE. First, the simulations were performed for each arrangement to establish optimal output taking into consideration solar azimuth, tilt angle and elevation. Secondly, the energy yield by the arrays in each location assuming a standard albedo (0.3) was calculated and compared with the cost of the PV array to establish the most economically sustainable solution. The third stage undertook a sensitivity analysis to determine whether adjustments made to the arrangement could improve cost-effectiveness and to identify the impact financial investment would have on the LCOE. The final stage examined the predicted future cost-effectiveness of bifacial modules 2.1. System Equipment To begin the simulations the system needed to be designed using PV Syst V7.1. The bifacial modules used were the JA Solar 390W (JAM72-D09-390-BP), these were arranged in 19 series of 675 strings requiring a total of 12,825 modules. To maintain consistency the equivalent monofacial modules were used; JA Solar 390W (JAM72-S-390-PR) in the same arrangement as the bifacial modules. Five ABB 1000 kW (PVS800-57-1000kW-C) 24

inverters were used with the entire farm producing 5MW of solar electricity, these were used in both the monofacial and bifacial simulations. 2.2. Detailed Losses All PV systems experience performance losses, which can vary from system to system and are dependent on a variety of factors such as the specification of the equipment used, shading, damage or soiling, maintenance and system availability. These factors can be taken into consideration within PVSyst, the default values within PVSyst were used where applicable and where they were not available the NREL derating factors were used (Marion B et al, 2005). 2.3 Economic Evaluation To estimate the cost of installing the solar farm the real figures from the BEIS Electricity Generation (2020) report were used. The costs were split into two, capital costs (CAPEX) and operational costs (OPEX). CAPEX costs were then divided into pre-development, construction and land costs. The OPEX costs were divided into annual operations and maintenance (O&M), insurance and connection and system charges. These are presented in Table 1. Table 1 CAPEX and OPEX PV costs

3. Results and Discussion The optimal orientation was established by adjusting the tilt angle of the OTB and OTM arrays to determine which angle produced the highest electrical output. The optimal OTM tilt angle was calculated to be 30°, and 35° for OTB. The output was then compared to the overall cost of the solar farm through its assumed 35-year life cycle, the results are shown in Table 2.

Are Bifacial Photovoltaics a Sustainable Alternative to Monofacial Photovoltaics?

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As MPV is an established technology, the WACC is lower between 4-6% meaning that the LCOE may range between £43/MWh 45/MWh based on the calculations above, in contrast, BPV is likely to be higher, between 6-8%, and therefore have an LCOE ranging £42/MWh - £45/MWh for the OTB PV and £55/MWh - £60/MWh for the VTB. Despite the OTB being more costeffective when both have the same WACC; due to the perceived risk, there are circumstances that the MPV will be more costeffective than the BPV.

Table 2 Electricity Generation and LCOE Results

Table 2 shows that the optimally tilted bifacial modules produced the highest output with the maximum produced at Bridgwater of 5359MWh/Yr in contrast the vertically tilted PV produced the least. This pattern was consistent for each location, for comparison the vertical modules produced 3813 MWh/Yr in Bridgwater a reduction of 29%. The figures in Table 1 were used to calculate the LCOE, the results showed that the optimally tilted bifacial arrays were most cost-effective with an average of £41.8/MWh compared to £44.6/MWh for the optimally tilted monofacial array, and the vertically tilted arrays are the least cost-effective averaging £54.8/MWh. The results confirm the conclusions derived by Rodriguez-Gallegos that angled bifacial arrays are most cost-effective in latitudes above 40° (RodriguezGallegos, 2018). The results are further supported by the BEIS Electricity Costs Generation Report (2020) that the predicted average LCOE in the UK for optimally tilted monofacial modules will be £44/MWh by 2025. Simulations were undertaken to investigate the effect of adjusting the financial investment parameters and how this would impact the cost-effectiveness of the solar farm. New technology inherently has an increased risk as there is limited data to prove they are financially beneficial, bifacial modules lack this track record in the UK and therefore there will be a greater perceived risk. Taking this into consideration, calculations were made adjusting the weighted average cost of capital (WACC); Table 3 shows the results of these calculations. Table 3 The Effect of WACC on LCOE

The ITRPV (2018) predicts that by 2028 BPV will form 40% of the PV market, this will likely lead to improvements in the technology and therefore reduce the price difference between the bifacial and monofacial modules. When making predictions for future trends the difference between construction costs of monofacial and bifacial modules was reduced from 5% to 3%. The assumption was also made that due to the predicted uptake of bifacial modules the WACC for BPV would reduce to the same level as the MPV. Figure 2 shows the predicted future LCOE for a 5MW solar farm in the South-West UK. By 2030 the LCOE of the OTB array could be £41/MWh, in contrast, the LCOE of the OTM array would remain higher at £45/MWh making the bifacial farm more cost-effective.

Fig.2 Future LCOE predictions

The VTB array will see a slight reduction in overall cost; however, they are still unable to compete with OTM and OTB arrays on a commercial scale. The figure shows that by 2035 it is expected that the LCOE of the OTB will break the £40/MWh mark in the South-West. Interestingly, the results show that the gap between the VTB and OTM array reduces from £10/MWh in 2030 to £7/ MWh in 2040 meaning that they will become more competitive. 5. Conclusions LCOE simulations were carried out using PVSyst V7.1 comparing three 5MW solar farm arrangements: OTB, OTM, and VTB. The results showed that the OTB array was most cost-effective with an LCOE 5-7% lower than the OTM. For every location, the VTB array produced the lowest electrical output with an average of

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3804MWh/yr and an LCOE ranging between £53/MWh - £60/ MWh. BPV farms in the UK may be considered a higher risk investment and may incur a higher Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC). This would mean that despite bifacial solar farms producing higher electrical output, monofacial PV arrays may have a lower LCOE in certain circumstances depending on how the PV array is funded. However, with the growing number of bifacial PV farms in the UK more data is being collated on their efficiency, this uncertainty over their risk is likely to be the case for a short period until there is more confidence in their profitability.


Marion, B., Anderberg, M., & Gray-Hann, P. (2005). Recent Revisions to PVWatts. Retrieved from: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/ fy06osti/38975.pdf


Meyer C (2019) Agro PV – Next2Sun’s Vertical Installations; 2019 BifiPV Workshop


Rodriguez-Gallegos, C., Bieri, M., Gandhi, O., Singh, J., Reindhl, T., & Panda, S. (2018). Monofacial vs Bifacial Si Based PV modules: Which One is More Cost Effective? Volume 176, Pages 412-438: Solar Energy.

[10] Villa S, & De Jong M (2019) Solar Highways, Effect of Albedo on Solar Noise Barrier Performance; 2019 BifiPV Workshop; Solar Energy Application Centre (SEAC)

In all cases the LCOE of PV arrays in the future is predicted to reduce, OTB PV arrays continue to be more cost-effective into 2040 showing an LCOE of £34/MWh, with monofacial LCOE slightly higher £37/MWh and vertical LCOE at £45/MWh. The VTB arrays were shown to reduce at the fastest rate and may become comparable to OTM arrays as bifacial modules become more commonplace and PERC technology develops improving efficiency and reducing overall costs. VTB arrays require less space, can be used as fences/barriers thereby making them more cost-effective. Moreover, VTB can produce their peak power output in the mornings and evenings, meaning reduced requirement for energy storage and less energy loss making them a viable sustainable option for the future. References [1]

Ayoub, J., Rammal, R., Assi, A., Assi I (2017). Two Techniques to Improve the Efficiency of Existing PV Panels: Thermal Management and PERC. 1-4. DOI 10.119/ICM.2017.8268870


Cuevas, A. (2005). The Early Historyof Bifacial Solar Cells. Proc 20th EPVSC Barcelona, 801-805.


Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy. (2020). Electricity Genration Costs. London: BEIS.


Energy Saving Trust. (2019, July 8). Energy Saving Trust. Retrieved from The Present and Future of UK Solar Power: https:// energysavingtrust.org.uk/present-and-future-uk-solar-power/


Gambone, S (2021) Paradise Energy Solutions: What are bifacial solar panels. Retrieved from https://www.paradisesolarenergy. com/blog/what-are-bifacial-solar-panels


Lusson, N. (2020, 08 19). Bifacial Modules: The Challenges and Advantages. Retrieved from PV Magazine: https://www. pv-magazine.com/2020/08/19/bifacial-modules-the-challengesand-advantages/


Are Bifacial Photovoltaics a Sustainable Alternative to Monofacial Photovoltaics?

Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

Sustainable Project Management between the Myth and the Imperative Dr Mohamed Salama Dean of College of Engineering Applied Science University Bahrain Mohamed.Salama@asu.edu.bh

In the era of digital transformation, shared economy, smart cities and disruptive innovation, change is imperative. The evolution of disruptive innovation in the context of sustainability is not limited to the emerging new products and services but extends to impact business models and the subsequent systems and processes. Project management practice has been historically guided by the relevant knowledge areas and a set of allied processes which, undoubtedly, need a critical review to cope with the prevalent change. It is oblivious to believe that future projects can still be managed by implementing concepts, processes, and methods from the past. And more importantly, while doing so, project managers still embrace a mindset from the past and acquire a set of skills that are at best, suboptimal, not to mention obsolete. The wind of change is blowing and whether we like it or not, the theory must embrace this change and hopefully can take the lead soon. In the early 2000’s, a similar situation, perhaps not as intensive, occurred when the project management practice decided that the prevalent methodologies are suboptimal in the case of software development projects. Agile project management evolved, set and led by practitioners, primarily to change the practice, and it did. This was then followed by academic research to explicate and endorse this change. This seemed like a reverse engineering approach. Ideally, it should be the other way round. We claim to have learned the lesson. This article aims to introduce the well-grounded Sustainable Project Model (SPM). Keywords: Sustainable Project Management; Conceptual Model; Sustainability; Innovation; Digital Transformation. 1. Introduction


istorically, project management methodologies have been elected as the most suitable for managing change. Project construction introduces a change to the building site and the same for upgrading an assembly line in a manufacturing plant. Projects can take different shapes and forms such as New Product Development (NPD) and New Service Development (NSD); developing new software, business restructuring and reengineering, mergers and acquisition, event management, etc. Over the past decades, the project management traditional methodologies have been reviewed, criticised and challenged by professionals from sectors where these methodologies were not the best fit, such as the Software development sector. New methodologies such as Agile project management emerged, mostly driven by the practice rather than academia, in response to the needs of the sector. Academic research then followed and at present, this is a well-researched area. It was quite unusual, given the hypothetical view within the academic world; to be leading the practice by providing knowledge and guidance. Yet the need is the mother of all inventions. So, when there is a need that is not fulfilled by academia, practitioners will act, and they

did. Interestingly, this seems to be reoccurring at present. Sustainability is perhaps the most popular term repeated in almost every aspect of the business’ environment directly or via proxy, on daily basis. Direct examples include sustainable development, sustainable products, sustainable construction, etc... Indirect examples include smart cities, green logistics, renewable energy, etc. It is imperative that this change towards sustainable practices across various sectors will be guided by project management methodologies, and it should be logical to realize that the requirements for managing this change will need a different approach based on a different perspective and a different set of skills. 2. The Concept of Sustainability & Project Management The development of thoughts: A literature Review Sustainability is about the balance or harmony between economic sustainability, social sustainability and environmental sustainability. The International Institute for Sustainable Development (2010) emphasised the need for sustainable

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management of organisations i.e. adopting business strategies and activities that meet the needs of the enterprise and its stakeholders today while protecting, sustaining and enhancing the human and natural resources that will be n A more recent definition stated that Sustainable Project Management is the sustainable management of change, utilising sustainable innovation approaches while considering the economic, social, cultural and environmental impact of the project, its deliverables and the consequent impact, for now and future generations. Despite the rising interest among academics for defining sustainable project management, a limited number of scholars provided definition of the term “Sustainable Project Management” yet emphasised the need to undertake business activities without negatively impacting future generations through a diminishing use of finite resources, energy, pollution and waste. Kwak and Anbari, (2009) presented quite a comprehensive analysis of the project management research covering more than 500 journal articles from the selected 18 top journals in the management and business fields published from the 1950s to the summer of 2007, excluding project management focused journals. The main objectives were to acquire a better understanding of the evolution of project management as a field of practice and an academic discipline and to provide suggestions for future PM research opportunities. They suggested eight categories to represent the disciplines that embrace PM research. The main findings presented indicated that Strategy/Portfolio (30%) is the most important project management research subject and is showing an upward trend, followed by the traditional OperationsResearch/ OperationManagement/SupplyChain Management (23%); OrganisationalBehaviour(13%) categories that are showing a downward trend. Technology/ Innov. /NPD/R&D (11%), Information Technology (IT)/Information Systems (IS) (11%) and Performance Management/Earned Value Management (7%) are showing an upward trend whereas Quality Management/ SixSigma/Project Improvement (2%) and Engineering and Construction/Contract Management (3%) seem to attract much less attention. Seven years later, Padalkar and Gopinath, (2016) covered six decades of project management research aiming to highlight thematic trends and future opportunities whereby they criticised the first study having excluded the project management focused journals and questioned how the findings can be significant for the project management research agenda. They used Effective Annualized Citation Rate (EACR) as a measure of influence for articles published in any given year to filter over 2500 papers down to 189 papers. The study reviewed three main journals IJPM, PMJ, and International Journal of Managing Projects in Business (IJMPB) Reviewing the listed research question, with emphasis on three terms key to our model: Sustainability; innovation, and technology. None of these terms were mentioned explicitly in the 28

research questions of all the papers reviewed under 11 themes. In addition, throughout the entire paper, the terms sustainability and innovation are mentioned only once while citing the work of Artto et, al., (2009). This gives rise to question the direction of the current project management research direction and how it is linked or otherwise to the real world and the needs of the practice in the era of digital transformation, disruptive innovation and rapid changes in technology. Both studies indicate that the project management research needs a facelift and change in mindset. This supports our call for a new model that embraces the dimensions of sustainability and breeds innovation as one of the key skills to be acquired by project managers alongside a plethora of other factors. These include other essential soft skills, knowledge areas, tools and techniques that seem unheeded by the mainstream project management literature. 3. The Sustainable Project Management Model (SPMM) – (SALAMA) The Sustainable Project Management Model (SPMM) comprises 6 main dimensions; each dimension is further broken down into a set of factors that reflect on and guide towards the achievement of the relevant dimension. The six dimensions complement one another and are neither exclusive nor exhaustive but should be regarded as the jigsaws that when set in place appropriately complete the project canvas. This model targets both, the endproduct or service, as well the process implemented to produce the desired product or service since both are equally vital from a sustainability perspective. The Six main components of the SPMM as shown in Table 1, are Sustainability; Adaptive leadership; Life cycle assessment; Adopting advanced technology; Managing innovation and Assurances and control. When combined, they make the acronym SALAMA. The last row in Table 1 is an anticipated (end) rather than an inherent dimension (mean). However, the listing of Maturity aimed to identify the desired end and its allied factors which are inherent factors in the six dimensions. Under Sustainability, the social factor embraces the impact of the project on society including the project team, the stakeholders and the wider community. For example, there is a growing interest in the concept of corporate social responsibility in the context of managing projects. In addition, some countries have started imposing regulations with minimum standards for labour accommodation in construction sites. Typically, projects have an impact on the environment. Project managers have to consider such an impact. Some counties mandate undertaking an environmental assessment prior to granting permits or approvals for projects. The required knowledge and relevant skills should be part of the project management practice. The

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academic literature has plenty of research on the importance of culture in the context of managing projects. Still, reflecting on the experience, having taught project managers for almost 20 years, the majority cannot provide a simple definition of the term culture, not to mention embrace it in the context of sustainability, in managing projects. Cultural intelligence is an emerging concept that will be discussed under the adaptive leadership dimension (Table 1). The economic dimension is an imperative factor, yet the sustainability context implies the consideration of factors beyond the standard cost-benefit analysis. In addition, the economic dimension of sustainability implies conducting a full life cycle costing FLCC.

Table 1 Sustainable Project Management Model (SALAMA)

Adaptive Leadership is a new emergent approach and is considered one of the contributions of this model. Soft Skills for teams include communication skills, negotiations skills, the ability to integrate and deliver team goals in a complex setting which is typically the case in projects. Also, managing virtual teams which a growing trend in project teams amid the digital transformation and the globalisation of business utilizing Emotional Intelligence and Cultural Intelligence. Life Cycle Assessment means that all the important steps in the life cycle of a product are included in the analysis. The green buildings that have now developed into SMART Buildings can be a good example of full life cycle management through the measures introduced during the design phase that optimise the use of water and energy in addition to including a sustainable waste management system. Life Cycle Costing includes all phases in the assessment of the project thus selecting the most sustainably viable project. Adopting Advanced Technology (Table 1) refers to the essential skills that every project manager should acquire and master among the digital transformation of the business management practice and the sharing economy that is driven by the advancement in technology. This includes all the four listed factors: ICT; Artificial Intelligence (AI); Internet of Things (IoT); Blockchain Technology BCT (DLT). Managing Innovation seems to be cited in the business management journal and not the project management Journals, as mentioned earlier. However, it seems to be implicitly included in the practice. For example, the Agile model allegedly supports innovation. Looking at the methods such as scrum, it is merely an efficient communication, and team management method yet is highly adaptable and can facilitate managing innovation once the appropriate tools are in place.

Assurances and Control dimension sums up the core processes that are included in the traditional project management methodologies such as the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBok). As previously mentioned, the call for a new model does not mean scrapping the existing models but rather building on them and developing them to suit the requirements of the new era.

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4. Conclusions The presented model is well grounded in theory and has been applied to several contexts, conceptually. Most recently, it was applied to the event management context whereby the sustainable Event Management Process Model has been developed and currently being trained and verified in practice after being surveyed amongst a large sample of practitioners in the events management practice. Both the survey and the training results were promising. References [1]

Artto, K., Martinsuo, M., Gemünden, H.G., Murtoaro, J., 2009. Foundations of program management: A bibliometric view. Int. J. Proj. Manag. 27 (1),


International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). 2010. Accessed September 2010. Available from: http://www.iisd.org/ sd/


Kwak, Y. H., & Ibbs, C. W. (2000). Calculating project management’s return on investment. Project Management Journal, 31(2), 38.


Kwak, Y.H., Anbari, F.T., 2009. Analyzing project management research: perspectives from top management journals. Int. J. Proj. Manag. 27 (5), 435–446.


Padalkar, M and Gopinath, S (2016). Six decades of project management research: Thematic trends and future opportunities. International Journal of Project Management 34 (2016) 1305– 1321.


Sustainable Project Management between the Myth and the Imperative

Research Research Bulletin Bulletin No.4 No.4 September September 2021 2021

Decarbonisation of the Cement Industry: Methods and Challenges Rahul Jotangia

BEng in Civil Engineering School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society Heriot-Watt University rahul.jotangia@gmail.com

Dr Mustafa Batikha

Associate Director of Research School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society Heriot-Watt University Dubai, U.A.E m.batikha@hw.ac.uk

The cement industry accounts for 7% of the total anthropogenic gasses released in the atmosphere. These mainly result from the calcination process in which raw materials, including limestone, are combusted at high temperatures. Considering the high dependence on cement as a construction material, measures must be put into place to decarbonise the cement industry. This paper highlights the strategies that can be implemented to decarbonise the cement industry, and the challenges facing each approach. Keywords: Decarbonisation; Cement industry; Novel cement; Recycled concrete; Energy efficiency; Carbon capture; Sustainability. 1. Introduction


ement production alone is responsible for 7% of the total anthropogenic gasses released in the atmosphere (Brogan, 2021). These emissions are primarily attributed to the highly complex and energy-intensive calcination process. This process occurs in the clinker-kiln and leads to the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from limestone, by heating at temperatures of 1450ºC (Obrist et al., 2020). Resultantly, calcination accounts for approximately two-thirds of the total greenhouse gas emissions related to cement production (Czigler et al., 2020). Cement is the second most-consumed resource after potable water (Czigler et al., 2020), with an average of 3.5 billion tonnes of Ordinary Portland Cement produced annually with an average emission rate of 622 kgCO2 per tonne of cement (Brogan, 2021). Figure 1 shows the worldwide production of cement and the expected production rate by 2050. While some countries like China aim to reduce cement production, India and Africa as a whole may see an increase in production. Globally, the growth of cement production may come to 12-13% by 2050, compared to 2014 levels. Due to the global growth in demand for cement, strategies have been implemented to start decarbonising the cement industry and mitigating further damage to the environment. One example is the Paris Agreement signed between almost 190 parties in 2015. Besides many goals to neutralise the threat of

Fig.1 Cement production by region (Schneider, 2019)

global warming and climate change, the Paris agreement aims to monitor highly emissive industries like those of steel and cement manufacturing (European Commission, 2016). Similarly, specific regions like the European Union have formalized their own set of objectives to limit carbon emissions and create a more sustainable environment (Nilsson et al., 2020). Hence, this paper evaluates the decarbonisation pathway for the cement industry and demonstrates examples taken from some countries in this direction. 2. Decarbonisation Pathways for the Cement Industry In order to progress towards net-zero emissions in the cement industry, there are several actions that both private companies and governments can take. The decarbonisation methods discussed in this paper include reducing conventional cement production, clinker substitution, fuel-switching, novel technology, and carbon pricing. Decarbonisation of the Cement Industry: Methods and Challenges


Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

inverters were used with the entire farm producing 5MW of solar electricity, these were used in both the monofacial and bifacial simulations.

required to produce clinker. Though, this process results in a high share of CO2 emissions. As so, if the clinker to cement ratio is reduced, the emissions and specific energy requirements are bound to decrease.

2.1. Novel Cement Approach Figure 2 shows that cement production is responsible for about 85% of the total CO2 emissions caused by concrete (250 kg CO2/m3). Therefore, producing novel cement with low carbon or very low carbon emissions is now becoming a research and investigation topic of high interest. Examples of novel cements are listed as follows: Magnesium silicates cement, rather than limestone cement. Belite Calcium SulfoAluminate (BCSA) cement. Cement through the rapid calcination of dolomite rock in superheated steam, followed by carbon dioxide capture. Geopolymer cement, made using waste materials from the power industry (e.g., Fly ash, GGBS). One of the challenges to this approach is the low availability of the materials required for some novel cements to respond to the market demand. Moreover, there is no evidence on the economic viability of these new cements, nor their validity for long-term application, particularly in terms of strength and durability. In other words, the cements have not yet been accepted by the construction industry and also lack appropriate design standards (Cemureau, 2013). Therefore, it is expected that those novel cements will not replace more than 5% and 10% of the existing cement by 2030 and 2050 respectively (Obrist, 2020; Favier et al., 2018).

For Ordinary Portland Cement, the clinker accounts for up to 95% of the cement. However, other cement types allow a smaller clinker ratio to be used. For example, the European average ratio was 0.74 in 2016 (Schneider, 2019) due to the use of CEM II-A; whereas, in China, the use of a different cement led to a smaller average clinker ratio of 0.65 in 2018. To reduce the clinker ratio in cement, various Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCMs) have been investigated and applied in cement mixes. Some examples of SCMs include natural pozzolans, calcined clay, GGBS, and Fly-Ash (FA). Depending on the end-use of the cement, up to 50% of traditional clinker can be replaced by SCMs without hindering the properties or strength of the cement (Nilsson et al., 2020). For instance, direct emissions can reduce by 90 kgCO2 per tonne of cement (about 15% of cement related carbon emissions) if the share of FA in the mix is increased to 25-35% (Schneider, 2019). However, the global availability of SCMs present a major challenge for this strategy to effectively reduce the clinker ratio. Furthermore, the substitution of clinker with SCMs may not satisfy most cement plants that have easy access to limestone. Not to forget, some SCMs like Fly Ash are waste products and may have a limited future due to the decarbonisation of the power sector (Czigler et al., 2020). 2.3. Utilisation of Alternative Fuels for Combustion and Electricity The thermal energy required during the calcination process is most commonly produced by combusting inexpensive and readily available fossil fuels like coal, oil, or natural gas (Czigler et al., 2020; Obrist et al., 2020). Heating and thermal energy make up 90% of the total energy required to make cement (Obrist et al., 2020) and account for around 40% of the total CO2 emissions (Nilsson et al., 2020). Therefore, an operational advancement would involve shifting to more carbon-neutral fuels like biomass (e.g., sewage sludges, waste wood or rice husks) and wastes (shredded plastics, papers and fibres).

Fig.2 CO2 emissions of concrete production (Schneider, 2019).

2.2. Decreasing the clinker to cement ratio The calcination process of limestone and clay at 1450ºC is 32

Decarbonisation of the Cement Industry: Methods and Challenges

According to Czigler et al. (2020), the use of alternative fuels like biomass could reduce carbon emissions by 10% by 2050. Adding on, Schneider (2019) suggested that if the share of fossil fuels in the cement industry is reduced to 24% by 2050, then it would reduce the CO2 intensity of the global thermal energy demand by 34%.

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Despite the advantages of using biomass, its availability is limited to specific regions, and it is a relatively expensive alternative to fossil fuels (Nilsson et al., 2020). To continue, there are concerns related to biomass as it incurs efficiency losses during the drying process while some fuel contains carbon elements (Nilsson et al., 2020). This implies that they too can contribute to increased anthropogenic emissions when combusted. Consequently, due to the costs, inefficiency, and shortages in widespread availability, fuel switching is a limited option to decarbonize the cement industry (Obrist et al., 2021). Nevertheless, policies have been initiated to increase the usage of this approach by 2050, as seen in Fig. 3.

2.5. Carbon Capture and Reuse In this method, the carbon is captured and is stored permanently or temporarily under the facility. It can then be reused to produce other chemicals. Some examples include reacting the CO2 with green hydrogen (produced using electrolysers) to generate methane that can then be used as fuel for combustion (Harrison, 2021). Other uses include Carbon-Cured Concrete (CCC), in which the captured CO2 can be injected into concrete mixes for rapid curing and storage (Czigler et al., 2020). According to Czigler et al. (2020), approximately 60 million tonnes of CO2 are predicted to be captured by 2050. Additionally, this technology has the capability of achieving nearzero emissions with the highest recorded capture rate at 90% (Nilsson et al., 2020). Hence, by 2050, overall CO2 emissions could be cut by 50% by the use of carbon capture technology alone (Czigler et al., 2020).

Fig.2 Forecast for alternative fuel use by 2050 (Favier et al., 2018).

2.4. Energy Efficiency Two strategies can be addressed under this theme: electrical energy efficiency and thermal energy efficiency. Figure 4 shows how electrical energy is consumed for various processes in the production of cement. Other than that, the raw materials need to be combusted at a temperature of 1450ºC, which in turn requires high thermal energy and accounts for about 35% of the total CO2 emissions produced by the cement industry. Although the ideal solution for making the cement plants more energy efficient, would involve replacing older wet clinker-kilns with more modern dry clinker-kilns, reducing the thermal energy demand results in greater electrical energy consumption. According to Cembureau (2013), the increase in electrical energy ranges from 50%-120%. This goes against the decarbonization roadmap. Therefore, this method will have a limited impact on the decarbonisation process.

However, Carbon Capture Storage and Use (CCSU) requires a high electricity demand and uses 220kW of power per tonne of CO2 (Fleiter et al., 2019) and is currently too expensive and economically inefficient for the cement industry; with costs of €50 - €70 per cement tonne (excluding transportation and storage costs) (Nilsson et al., 2020). Nevertheless, to increase the efficiency of CCSU technology, oxyfuel combustion is now being explored in which oxygen is added to the combustion process. This helps increase the temperature of the flame faster (less energy used), can increase cement production by 5% to 10%, and can increase the concentration of CO2 in the flue gasses to make it easier to capture (Harrison, 2021). Although the introduction of such technology is limited in the cement industry, it is expected to be more developed and more efficient to implement by 2050 (Figure 5).

Fig.4 Electrical energy demand for the production of cement (Cembureau, 2013).

Fig.4 Electrical energy demand for the production of cement (Cembureau, 2013).

2.6. Low carbon concrete The concrete product can help in reducing the CO2 emissions of Decarbonisation of the Cement Industry: Methods and Challenges


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the cement industry. For example, utilizing recycled material (Fly ash, GGBS, ceramic waste powder) instead of cement shows a sharp decrease in CO2 emissions. Research conducted at Heriot-Watt University shows that a 20% partial replacement of the cement by ceramic waste powder may reduce the CO2 emissions by 23% and the concrete cost by 22%; and also enhance the concrete’s durability (Batikha et al., 2020). However, as stated in section 2.2, the widespread availability of these substitution materials in the future is still under question. Another approach for the low-carbon concrete product is to design a high-performance concrete mix with less cement. For instance, Denmark has allowed with restriction a concrete mix of C25/30 strength to be developed with a cement content of 150kg/m3 only (Favier et al., 2018); in contrast to typical cement contents of approximately 350kg/m3. 2.7. Carbon pricing Carbon pricing or taxing is another strategy to disincentivise the use of cement. It’s a government-induced policy to tax all carbon emissions related to producing a given material, like cement (Bordoff and Kaufman, 2018). Such a policy can be used to provide additional revenue for the government, which can then be used to improve the country’s stance on sustainability and provide infrastructure to mitigate expansive changes in the global climate. The tax would make the cost of cement production very high, forcing engineers to find new construction solutions or materials. Though, this tax has to be moderated accordingly as too low a tax would be completely ineffective in limiting carbon emissions due to the existing over-dependence on cement. In Europe, the supporters of this scenario ask for the yearly tax to be increased linearly from a current value of 20 EUR/tCO2 to a target value of 60-100 EUR/tCO2 in 2050 (Obrist et al., 2021). 2.8. Sustainable construction methods Technological advancement involves a change in construction practices. The construction industry could divert its attention to automated 3D Concrete Printing (3DCP) and modular prefabricated construction. These techniques are precise and accurate and can reduce the wastage of materials like concrete. To continue, construction solutions like 3DCP not only limit indirect emissions of transportation (built entirely on-site) but can be used in conjunction with Building Information Modelling (BIM) to optimise structures and reduce unnecessary use of material (Czigler et al., 2020). A recent study at Heriot-Watt 34

Decarbonisation of the Cement Industry: Methods and Challenges

University shows that 3DCP can reduce CO2 emissions by 25% in comparison to cast-in-situ construction (Batikha et al., 2021). However, 3DCP is still in its preliminary phase and needs further research and development for it to become more cost efficient, widely accepted and for appropriate standards to be established and implemented. 3. Conclusions Due to the contribution of cement production in global environmental degradation, governments have initiated strategies and policies to decarbonise the cement industry. This paper demonstrates the methods that have been implemented to achieve this aim and the challenges facing each approach. However, more research is required to assess each decarbonisation way for a viable strategic plan of action to be agreed between stakeholders, and cement and concrete producers. References [1]

Bordoff, J. and Kaufman, N. (2018). A Federal US Carbon Tax: Major Design Decisions and Implications. Joule, 2(12), pp.2487– 2491.


Brogan, C. (2021). Best ways to cut carbon emissions from the cement industry explored | Imperial News | Imperial College London. [online] Imperial News. Available at: https://www.imperial.


Cembureau (2013). The role of cement in the 2050 low carbon economy, The European Cement Association, Available at: https:// cembureau.eu/media/cpvoin5t/cembureau_2050roadmap_ lowcarboneconomy_2013-09-01.pdf. [Accessed on August 1, 2021].


Czigler, T., Reiter, S., Schulze, P. and Somers, K. (2020). Laying the foundation for a zero-carbon cement industry | McKinsey. [online] www.mckinsey.com. Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/ industries/chemicals/our-insights/laying-the-foundation-for-zerocarbon-cement# [Accessed July 16, 2021].


European Commission (2016). Paris Agreement. [online] European Commission. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/ international/negotiations/paris_en. [ Accessed August 1, 2021].


Favier A., De Wolf K., Scrivener K., and Habert G. (2018). A sustainable future for the European Cement and Concrete Industry: Technology assessment for full decarbonisation of the industry by 2050, ETH, Zurich.

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Fleiter, T. et al. (2019) Industrial Innovation: Pathways to deep decarbonisation of Industry. Part 2: Scenario analysis and pathways to deep decarbonisation. Available at: https://ec.europa. eu/clima/sites/clima/files/strategies/2050/docs/industrial_ innovation_part_2_en.pdf [Accessed on August 1, 2021].


Harrison, S.B. (2021). Deep decarbonisation of cement production. [online] gasworld. Available at: https://www.gasworld. com/deep-decarbonisation-of-cement-production/2020509. article#:~:text=The%20challenge%20of%20decarbonisation%20 in [Accessed 16 Jul. 2021].


Nilsson, A., Hans, F., Legarreta, P.L., Lui, S. and Röser, F. (2020). Decarbonisation Pathways for the EU Cement Sector. Germany: New-Climate Institute.

[10] Obrist, M.D., Kannan, R., Schmidt, T.J. and Kober, T. (2020). Decarbonization pathways of the Swiss cement industry towards net zero emissions. Journal of Cleaner Production, p.125413. [11] Schneider, M. (2019). The cement industry on the way to a lowcarbon future. Cement and Concrete Research, 124, p.105792.

Decarbonisation of the Cement Industry: Methods and Challenges



Research Bulletin No.2 September December 2020 No.4 2021

Cybersecurity for Building Information Modelling Dr Hani Ragab Hassen

Associate Professor Director of the Institute of Applied Information Security Heriot-Watt University Dubai, UAE h.ragabhassen@hw.ac.uk

The success and benefits of Building Information Modelling (BIM) have led several governments to define national BIM standards. This was accompanied with a rise in the adoption rate of BIM by construction companies. While BIM has obvious benefits and is a future direction for the construction sector, it also brings serious threats if cybersecurity measures are not properly implemented. This paper briefly reviews the basic concepts of BIM and cybersecurity then discusses the cybersecurity requirements, present state, and future in BIM systems. Keywords: Building Information Modeling; Cybersecurity; Common Data Environment. 1. Introduction


uilding Information Modelling (BIM) is a process for information creation and management used to plan, design, and construct a building [1]. The process is collaborative by nature due to the several actors involved in it. Those actors can use a shared a common digital representation of the building to guarantee their individual and group decisions are coherent with the common vision of the construction project and reduce discrepancies. BIM produces a building information model which combines information on the current building with historical information collected throughout the building lifecycle [2]. Adopting BIM has several benefits, in addition to the obviously improved knowledge management and organizational learning across projects. These include the fact that projects that adopt BIM are less error-prone, more capable of making accurate estimates of deadlines and costs, more likely to be able to adopt the latest technological innovations from the fields of artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, cybersecurity, etc. BIM can also significantly contribute to recycling by facilitating the re-use of materials from demolished constructions. BIM-oriented construction tools could be able to communicate over a network to share live updates. Several IoT devices could also be deployed onsite to collect several types of information. Without proper security measures, the live data feed might

be accessed, blocked, or tampered with by adversaries. Furthermore, depending on the construction project, the data hive that stores the building’s information could be a target of choice for opportunistic hackers, ransomware attacks, industrial espionage, and/or state-sponsored cyberattacks. This paper reviews fundamental cybersecurity concepts and investigates how they could be applied to BIM. It also discusses the current stand and future of BIM’s cybersecurity. 2. Cybersecurity for Building Information Modelling Recent cyberattacks have affected virtually all economic sectors, including construction. For example, in September 2020, reports about the Palemrworm malicious software indicated that it used phishing to target construction and other sectors in Japan, Taiwan, USA, and China [3]. 2.1 CIA Triad Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability (CIA) triad represents the core potential cybersecurity requirements in any given scenario. Confidentiality guarantees that only intended receivers of a piece of information, or message, will be able to view it. Integrity guarantees that data has not been tampered with and that all transactions are valid. Availability aims at making sure that systems and data are available when needed. Cybersecurity for Building Information Modelling


Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

Before the article delves into the exact security requirements for BIM systems, it needs to first enumerate their assets, then identify attacks that could occur against them. 2.2 Building Digital Assets BIM’s main data asset is the Common Data Environment (CDE). A CDE is essentially a shared data hive that evolves throughout the lifecycle of a building. The sophistication of the CDE depends on the size of the project and the level of adoption of BIM recommendations [4]. Several commercial CDE products already exist, such as Autodesk BIM 360 and Bentley ProjectWise. The NBS BIM object standard proposes a definition of the objects to be manipulated throughout a project lifecycle [5]. Internet of Things (IoT) technology has already been used for a while in the construction sector for several purposes, including monitoring (e.g., by deploying sensors), cutting costs (e.g., automatically shutting down unused equipment), and safety. The IoT devices and their network infrastructure represent a critical asset for a modern BIM system. Several sectors allow employees to use their own devices and construction is not an exception. When personal devices are used for business purposes, they become security assets for the business. The above three examples of assets are typical in modern BIM deployments, other less common assets include Industrial Control Systems (ISC) that were reported to be used in 5% of construction projects in a recent UK survey [6]. Construction companies are also increasingly adopting drones and robotics systems in their daily operations. 2.3 Vulnerabilities and Attacks The CDE is a target of choice for attackers. If its content is not well protected, it could be easily leaked out, deleted, or even worse, modified in a way that could cause harm to human life, whether during construction or after that. New adopters of BIM and small businesses tend to use simple solutions to build the CDE, e.g., an intranet or a simple database. These would usually lack protection and audit capabilities. Furthermore, according to a recent survey, 65% of UK construction employees used their personal devices for work in 2020 [6]. This means that a targeted attack against a senior employee, that results in controlling their machine, could easily 38

Cybersecurity for Building Information Modelling

escalate to the CDE, even if the CDE is properly protected. There are several attack vectors against employees. For example, Cisco’s 2021 cybersecurity threat trends report states that a shocking 86% of surveyed organisations had at least one of their users try to connect to a phishing website [7]. This is particularly worrying since phishing is one of the most common and most successful attack vectors in attackers’ arsenal. Organisations targeted by phishing attacks can quickly spiral down into becoming victims of security breaches with potential document leaking, ransomware attacks, etc. A phishing attack could be fatal to the security of the CDE. IoT allows organisations to do wonders, but the same goes for attackers who could leverage the several inherent vulnerabilities in IoT systems to generate fake sensor data, spy and monitor a construction site or a used building, and/or gain access to the network infrastructure and potentially get access to the CDE or other sensitive information. The same goes for ISC systems and drones. They both open news horizons for innovative applications as well as attacks! ISC systems often involve using the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. SCADA systems, which historically used to be not connected to the Internet, need to be carefully configured to avoid being victims of online cyberattacks. 2.4 State of Cybersecurity The increase of dependence on Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) in the sector has not necessarily been accompanied by an increase in the awareness of senior management and employees of cybersecurity. This is for example indicated by the fact that 27% of surveyed UK construction companies said their senior management were not given any form of cybersecurity updates (compared to an average of 17% across all surveyed sectors) [6]. A more worrying fact was that 42% of surveyed construction firms did not take any of a set of crucial cybersecurity risk identification activities in the last 12 months. More generally, the construction sector came in the last tier for virtually all cybersecurity related practices. 2.5 Peek into the Future of Cybersecurity in the Construction Sector There is an increase in the awareness of the importance of cybersecurity in the construction sectors, and 70% of the UK

Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

construction sector identified cybersecurity as a high priority [6]. While this is lower than the cross-industry average of 80%, it is still promising. New standards have been proposed to help tackle cybersecurity challenges. In 2015, the British Standards Institute (BSI) published “PAS 1192-5:2015 Specification for security-minded building information modelling, digital built environments and smart asset management”. This standard was aimed to help organisations understand key vulnerabilities in BIM systems and how to address them. ISO 119650-5:2020 superseded PAS 1192-5:2015 and defines a “security-minded approach to information management” [9]. It still provides a framework to identify vulnerabilities and corresponding countermeasures. More generally, there is an increase in security awareness in the technologies newly adopted by construction companies, including IoT and SCADA systems. Furthermore, companies are more frequently defining proper security policies, including Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) security policies. This should eliminate several attack vectors from employee personal devices. Cybersecurity is not only about technology, but also about people and processes. Increased security awareness by all employees and senior management and the definition of more inclusive cybersecurity policies would greatly contribute to the elimination of several attack vectors. 3. Conclusion The construction sector is a sensitive sector given its direct impact on human lives and the economy, as well as its direct interaction with critical infrastructure. The adoption of new digital technologies brings a promise of a wide range of improvements to the sector, but it also brings in previously inexistent cybersecurity attack vectors. As stated above, there is an increasing awareness of the importance of cybersecurity, and governments are defining cybersecurity-informed standards. This should ultimately get the sector to a better cybersecurity stand.

References [1]

ISO 19650-1:2018, 2018. Organization and digitization of information about buildings and civil engineering works, including building information modelling (BIM)- Information management using building information modelling - Part 1: Concepts and principles, International Standardisation Organisation.


ISO 19650-3:2020, 2020. Organization and digitization of information about buildings and civil engineering works, including building information modelling (BIM) - Information management using building information modelling - Part 3: Operational phase of the assets, International Standardisation Organisation.


Ravie Lakshmanan, 2020. Chinese APT Group Targets Media, Finance, and Electronics Sectors, available at: https:// thehackernews.com/2020/09/chinese-apt-group-targets-mediafinance.html (accessed: 31 July 2021)..


CIC BIM Protocol, 2018. Building Information Modelling (BIM) Protocol – Second Edition, Construction Industry Council, UK.


He, G., Yang, X. and Srebric, J., 2005. Removal of contaminants released from room surfaces by displacement and mixing ventilation: modeling and validation. Indoor Air, 15(5), pp.367-380.


Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, 2020. Cyber Security Breaches Survey, available at: https://assets.publishing. service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_ data/file/893399/Cyber_Security_Breaches_Survey_2020_ Statistical_Release_180620.pdf (accessed: 31 July 2021).


CISCO, 2021. Cyber security threat trends: phishing, crypto top the list, available at: https://umbrella.cisco.com/info/2021-cybersecurity-threat-trends-phishing-crypto-top-the-list (accessed: 31 July 2021).


PAS 1192-5:2015, 2015. Specification for security-minded building information modelling, digital built environments and smart asset management, British Standards Institute, UK.


ISO 19650-5:2020, 2020. Organization and digitization of information about buildings and civil engineering works, including building information modelling (BIM). Information management using building information modelling. Security-minded approach to information management, International Standardisation Organisation.

Cybersecurity for Building Information Modelling


Research Bulletin Bulletin Research No.4 2021 No.2 September December 2020

Smart Transportation: Intelligent Rail Network and their Systems Dr Koorosh Gharehbaghi Lecturer School of Property, Construction and Project Management RMIT University Melbourne, Australia koorosh.gharehbaghi@rmit.edu.au

Matthew Myers

Assistant Professor School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society Heriot-Watt University Dubai, U.A.E M.Myers@hw.ac.uk

Usually, smart transportation aligns the most advanced, innovative, and sophisticated information and communications technologies such as the Communications Technology (ICT), as a basis of system development. This is to employ the most suitable conceptual framework to support contemporary system complications of various transportation infrastructure. One of the most challenging aspects of such complex development is the integration of their systems. For rail networks, this is one of the most concerning issues in the ever-changing technological environment. Subsequently, as a part of the operational intelligent rail network, their systems including the Emergency Management System (EMS) need to be carefully developed and integrated. This short article represents an overall representation of difficulties during the integration of intelligent rail network and their systems. Keywords: Intelligent rail network, Rail systems, Communications Technology (ICT), Emergency Management System (EMS). 1. Introduction


or the most modern and advanced rail transportation systems, the greatest challenge includes its actual integration. A key part of the intelligent rail network and its systems integration is a prompt Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) application. As Gharehbaghi and Robson (2019) noted, “ICT can be defined as a collection of technologies that consent the acquisition, processing communication and so on of information. Nonetheless, the utilization of ICT for transportation infrastructure includes a variety of types of technology-based communications used between multiple locations such as track and train. In addition, such communication would also involve not only the processing phase but also data virtualization, such as Cloud computing and ubiquitous access”. Particularly, the inclusion of effective ICT for rail network leads to, a) Reducing incident response time by providing easier and more flexible operations and b) Increasing safety, by eradicating of adverse effects of driver inattention or distraction. attributions, and risk perception. According to a recent report [2] during 2017, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recorded 7.7 million speed violations and 525 road fatalities. Strict law enforcement in 2019 reduces the number of road fatalities to 448 while more than 8.0 million motorists were fined for over speeding 40

Smart transportation: Intelligent rail network and their systems

and about 55,000 were caught trying to jump red lights [3]. Even with strict traffic regulation enforcement, education and awareness campaigns, traffic accidents remain a determinant factor resulting in huge economic losses and a heavy burden on the justice system and public health providers. 2. Smart transportation features Along with ICT, another key feature of smart transportation particularly for rail networks include the Emergency Management System (EMS). Figure 1 shows an example of EMS integration.

Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

Step 4. Advance the network operation resilience through two primary elements of Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) and Transit Vehicle Communication (TVC). Although there are other network operation resiliencies, the AVL and TVC were highlighted as the most significant network function for the Sydney Metro. This was based on this Infrastructure’s great size, and service coverage. Both AVL and TVC functions not only closely match the Sydney Metro’s intelligent system specific, but also possess the flexibility needed for such mega automated rail network’s challenges. Step 5. Alignment of sensing technologies together with real-time information and data. The final step of the Sydney Metro’s ITS and EMS integration is the careful alignment of all the network sensors with that of constant real-time information and data. Such uninterrupted system interaction would also promote the advancements of enhanced safety, security, and risk management strategies.

Fig. 1 The Sydney Metro’s EMS integration (Gharehbaghi and Myers, 2019).

Figure 1 shows an overall alignment of the Sydney Metro’s EMS integration. Gharehbaghi and Myers (2019) specify the Sydney Metro’s ITS (Intelligent Transportation System) and EMS integration through the following 5 steps: Step 1. Initiate the actual development of computational technologies that embrace the ITS and EMS integration. This notation is part of utilizing innovative and advanced computation technologies and know-how. Step 2. Put into operation the established Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to further optimize the productivity and reliability performance. The launch of fortnightly assessments of such benchmarks. Step 3. Employ the specified sustainable measures through the carefully on-going application of such determination.

Further, they noted that “A key aspect of ITS and EMS integration is to not only reduce risk but also increases rail and general transportation safety for greater Sydney. With Sydney’s ever population increase, the possibility of future accidents is also increasing. Subsequently, the ITS and EMS Sydney Metro’s integration will successfully meet the rapid increase in safety through well-equipped intelligent systems with the necessary technologies. In addition, Sydney Metro’s high KPIs will also provide stronger levels of rail traffic regulation and enforcement”. As already noted, the EMS integration needs to be closely aligned with ICT. These two system features are central to any intelligent rail network (Muthuramalingam, et al., 2019; Odolinski and Boysen, 2019; Hassanin, 2020; McCahill et al., 2020; Soteropoulos et al., 2020; Zheng and Geroliminis, 2020). 3. Intelligent rail network Intelligent rail networks traditionally utilize embedded, internetconnected communications systems to further enhance data gathering and provide prompt and repaid commination centrally (Zhuhadar et al., 2017). The central never of such operation is the inclusion of adoptive ICT. Adoptive ICT for rail networks will lead to exact data analysis and precision interaction. In addition, efficient ICT deals with the four PTS dimensions of technical, environmental, economic, and social domains. Figure 2 represents the efficient ICT within the four sustainability dimensions.

Smart transportation: Intelligent rail network and their systems


Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

For intelligent rail network, the efficient ICT deal within the following system parameters: Technical. Gharehbaghi et al., (2020) highlighted that efficient ICT increases the system productivity and would in the end improve its performance too. Gharehbaghi et al., (2021) also acknowledged ICT has a significant influence on transportation system outputs. Environmental. Ensuring a sustainable environment and ecosystem is also central for an intelligent rail network. Economic. Efficient ICT can further streamline and make more efficient - through improved governance, the economical dimension of the intelligent rail network

system integration. An Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is an example of such a tool. ANNs have significant advantages, in particular, for data mining prediction and classification (Cordera et al., 2018). The application of ANN in the overall assessment for rail network productivity and performance has been somewhat neglected. As Gharehbaghi and McManus (2019) highlighted, “ANNs provide specific system tools such as control devices which, once utilized effectively, would provide significant benefits for specific domains such as transportation infrastructure”. In their research paper, they further proposed a model which was a robust prototype, and it has additional benefits, especially for the process control and system performance predictions. These are the key drives of the traditional system integration process.

Social. The inclusion of the social impacts of ICT is one of the most valued aspects of an intelligent rail network. Within such domain, improving patronage sentiment will ultimately lead to better ICT satisfaction. As it can be determined, efficient ICT thus enhances the overall rail network productivity and performance. Further, the ICT applications for rail networks would validate and enhancement the productivity and performance methods of such a system (Abenoza et al., 2017).

Fig. 2 Efficient ICT within the intelligent rail network (Gharehbaghi and Robson, 2019).

Fig. 2 Efficient ICT within the intelligent rail network (Gharehbaghi and Robson, 2019).

3.1 System assessment and integration There are many tools used as the basis of system productivity and performance assessment. These tools are also helpful with 42

Smart transportation: Intelligent rail network and their systems

As it can be noticed, the ANN for Transportation Infrastructure System (TIS) is a multi-layer and involves traditional Inputs, Processing, and Output stages. This procedure involves a general system engineering approach. Specifically, for the intelligent rail network, ANN incorporates engineering techniques along with applied mathematics that is ideal for system assessment and integration. In addition, process control and system performance are the general focus for damage detection and monitoring techniques. The proposed model encompasses three specific engineering stages. Of these three system engineering stages, the most

Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

involved is the actual process control stage where it incorporates the weights together with the function segmentation. This process stage is a multi-layer segmentation where the system core exists. This is the stage in which the successful application of ANN in damage detection and monitoring techniques will be incorporated. In terms of the process control and system performance predictions, the overall performance of this model needs to be constantly developed and maintained to assist with the total development of priorities. In addition, in determining system performance enhancement, all the three main system stages need to be carefully analyzed and integrated holistically. 4. Conclusion In terms of specific systems KPI’s, productivity, and reliability performance optimization are at the forefront of the intelligent rail network. In reviewing the fundamentals of the intelligent rail network, careful attention needs to be given to their explicit systems. For the rail network, this is initiated through the inclusion of advanced, innovative, and sophisticated technologies such as ICT and EMS and their integration. Further, the rail network productivity and performance enhancement are further complicated by system integration. To overcome such complexity, an ingenious methodology is needed to be developed as a framework. As shown in this short article, the application of ANN as the basis of holistic system integration for rail networks would thus streamline the ever complexity of system integration. References [1]

Abenoza, F, Cats, O & Susilo, O, (2017), “Travel satisfaction with public transport: Determinants, user classes, regional disparities and their evolution”, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, vol. 95, pp 64-84.


Cordera, R, Ibeas, A, Okio, L & Alanso, B, (2018), “Land Use– Transport Interaction Models”, CRC Press.


Gharehbaghi, K & McManus K, (2019), “TIS condition monitoring using ANN integration: an overview”, Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 17, no. 1, pp 204-217.


Gharehbaghi, K & Myers, M, (2019), “Intelligent System Intricacies: Safety, Security and Risk Management Apprehensions of ITS”, Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Industrial Technology and Management, IEEE, United Kingdom, pp 37-40.


Gharehbaghi, K, McManus, K, Hurst, N & Robson, K, (2020), “Complexities in mega rail transportation projects: ‘Sydney Metro’ and ‘Melbourne Metro Rail’ insight’”, Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 18, no. 5, pp 973-990.


Gharehbaghi, K. and Robson, K. (2019), “The Exploitation of ICT in Optimization of PTS: Productivity and Performance Enhancement Methods”, in Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Computer Modeling and Simulation (ICCMS 2019), Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Melbourne, 16 - 18 January, pp.


Gharehbaghi, K., McManus, K. and Myers, M. (2021), “Utilization of adaptive methodology to underpin rail transportation systems: Sydney metro’s methodical formulation”, Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, in press.


Hassanin , I. S. (2020), “The role of internet of things on intelligent transport system: a traffic optimization model.”


McCahill, C, Jain, S & Brenneis, M, (2020), “Comparative assessment of accessibility metrics across the U.S.”, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, vol. 83, 102328.


Muthuramalingam, S., et al. (2019), “IoT based intelligent transportation system (IoT-ITS) for global perspective: A case study. Internet of Things and Big Data Analytics for Smart Generation”, Springer: 279-300.


Odolinski, K & Boysen, H, (2019), “Railway line capacity utilisation and its impact on maintenance costs”, Journal of Rail Transport Planning & Management, vol. 9, pp. 22-33.


Soteropoulos, A, Mitteregger, M, Berger, M & Zwirchmayr, J, (2020), “Automated drivability: Toward an assessment of the spatial deployment of level 4 automated vehicles”, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, vol. 136, pp 64-84.


Zheng, N & Geroliminis, N, (2020), “Area-based equitable pricing strategies for multimodal urban networks with heterogeneous users”, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, vol. 136, pp 357-374.


Zhuhadar, L, Thrasher, E, Marklin, S, & de Pablos, O, (2017), “The next wave of innovation - Review of smart cities intelligent operation systems”, Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 66, pp 273-281.

Smart transportation: Intelligent rail network and their systems


News and Events

Research Bulletin No.4 Srptember September 2021

News and Events News May 2021 – August 2021 • 7th May 2021

Heriot-Watt University student secure runners up position in the CIBSE competition

Summary: Heriot-Watt University, Dubai Campus students secured the prestigious Runner Up position in the CIBSE UAE Inter-University Student Design Competition which focused on the design of a Net-Zero Office Building. LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6796391261684215808 • 27th May 2021

CESC Leadership team visit CEMEX Falcon

Summary: Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction leadership team Dr. Anas Bataw, Olisanwendu Ogwuda and Dr. Roger S Griffiths were delighted to visit the CEMEX Falcon – Jebel Ali facilities at CEMEX UAE. Through collaboration and shared knowledge Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction is honoured to work with CEMEX UAE to continue the work towards a decarbonised cement industry in the region. LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6805372563418615808

News and Events


Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

• 9th June 2021

Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction signed 12 strategic affiliation agreements

Summary: The strategic affiliations include 12 innovative institutes and start-ups who, through knowledge share, industry collaboration and research will work together to achieve our shared goal of a more productive, smarter, safer, and sustainable Built Environment. LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6808316996153860096

CESC affiliates are: Alpin Limited, Masdar City Society of Engineers-UAE Concerted Solutions FZE B3G Engineering Services IdeatoLife WakeCap Edify.ac Saifety.ai Soluis Group Smart Navigation System Falcon Robotics CIB, International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction For more information about our Affiliates please visit: https://www.hw.ac.uk/dubai/research/cesc/about/our-affiliates.htm


News and Events

Research Bulletin No.4 Srptember September 2021

•16th June 2021

CESC welcomes founding industry partner ASGC to new Dubai campus

Summary: The Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction welcomed valued industry partner ASGC to Heriot-Watt University, Dubai Campus for a new campus tour and further discussions around how working together will result in a more productive Built Environment. LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6810807238458953728 • 21st June 2021

CESC meets with UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment

Summary: The Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction meets with , H.E. Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment During the meeting the CESC leadership team discussed and agreed on the roadmap for decarbonisation of the Cement Industry in UAE. LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6812623903765106688

News and Events


Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

• 29th June 2021

Mott Macdonald visit

Summary: Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction welcomed valued industry partner Mott Macdonald to Heriot Watt University, Dubai Campus to discuss ongoing collaborative projects. LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6815584793846177793

• 30th June 2021

Affiliates online signing

Summary: Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction welcomed three more strategic affiliates via an online signing ceremony. These include: CIb International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction Soluis Group Smart Navigation Systems LinkedIn:


News and Events

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Research Bulletin No.4 Srptember September 2021

•6th July 2021

Decarbonisation workshop

Summary: The Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction continues the conversations around the solutions to decarbonise the cement industry. Lead by the CESC leadership team, guests included leading figures from the UAE cement industry. Guests included: Ibrahim Atout & Ahmad Khartabil, CCPf, CTME, Transgulf Readymix, Warren Mc Kenzie -MSc Eng. ACT, MICT & Nick Chittenden, Master Builders Solutions, Wassim Haroun, CONSER Consulting engineers, Vipul Mehta & Abid Hameed, CEMEX UAE, Adil Al Tamimi, American University of Sharjah, Ghanim Kashwani, New York University Abu Dhabi, Ala’ Masaadeh, Arkan Building Materials PJSC LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6818171119300882432 • 8th July 2021

Non – executive board meeting

Summary: Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction leadership team were delighted to host the second of it’s non-executive board meeting. Our guests included: His Excellency Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of of Climate Change and Environment. Our board were taken on a campus tour before a morning of conversation regarding the ongoing collaborative progress being made in the Built Environment between academia, government and key industry partners. LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6828934161609441280

News and Events


Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

• 8th August 2021

Alliance with UAE UK Business Council

Summary: The Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction were delighted to annouce their strategic alliance with UAE UK Business Council. Continuing Heriot-Watt University’s historical relationship with UAE UK Business Council CESC are very much looking forward to continued collaboration in the future. https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6828934161609441280


• 17th August 2021

CESC Director visits Solar Decathlon Project in Edinburgh

Summary: CESC Director, Dr. Anas Bataw visited the ESTEEMHouse project in Edinburgh and had the opportunity to talk to the team leading the groundbreaking project. LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6833745162548637696

• 25th August 2021

CESC Partner Mott Macdonald hosts student compeition winners

Summary: Mott MacDonald hosted the two winners of the SOS: Sustainable Outreach Shelter Challenge organised by Class of Your Own and CESC affiliate Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) LinkedIn:


News and Events

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6836233395555614720

Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

Published articles • 1st May 2021

CESC Research Bulletin Three 5

HEC Rating 2020

Performance and Productivity

Research Bulletin No.3-April 2021


Sustainability Wellbeing


Summary: The Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction published the third edition of its ever popular Research Bulletin. The bulletin included research articles focusing on the most recent trends in the Built Environment and was structured as per CESC’s three innovation themes: Performance & Productivity, Sustainability, and Wellbeing. Full Article: https://issuu.com/heriot-watt_university_dubai/docs/cesc_bulletin_ april_2021 • 28th May 2021

Construction Week

Summary: Karima Hamani, Assistant Professor at Heriot –Watt University, Dubai Campus and Academic Lead for Knowledge Exchange at CESC shared a facinating insight into how best to leverage renewalable energy in the construction industry in leading UAE title Construction Week. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6804005319614767104 • 3rd July 2021


Summary: Professor Guy Walker, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Campus gives his valued insight on the importance of mental wellbeing in the construction industry in a report produced by leading UAE publisher, MEED. Full Article: https://www.meed.com/building-bettermental-health-in-construction

News and Events


Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

• 25th August 2021

Khaleej Times

Summary: CESC Director, Dr. Anas Bataw contributes his expert opinion on what can be done to deliver the $2.39tr construction projects in the GCC. Full Article: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/ business/239tr-projects-in-gcc-pipeline


News and Events

Research Bulletin Bulletin Research No.4 September September 2021 2021 No.4

Events • 25th May 2021

CESC Webinar, Green Hydrogen

Summary: CESC Webinar, Green Hydrogen Innovative Renewable Energy Solutions for Net – Zero Carbon Cities Over 400 delegates attended our webinar where our panel discussed technical feasibility, economic viability, and policy implications of green hydrogen deployment in tackling the climate change challenge and achieving netzero carbon cities.

Our panel included: Dr. Yianni (Ioannis) Spanos, KEO International Consultants Evangelia Topriska,Heriot-Watt University YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/ mohamed El Mankibi, Ecole nationale des Travaux watch?v=icmJL6SrQ2g publics de l’Etat Ian Sutherland, Jacobs

• 25th May 2021

PropTech for Good webinar

Summary: Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction Director Dr. Anas Bataw joined the panel of experts at the PropTech For Good webinar to discuss the challenges and opportunities for Smart Construction in the Middle East. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6801055707278958592 • 28rd May 2021

City of Cape Town ESU Technical Forum

Summary: Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction Manager, Dr. Olisanwendu Ogwuda represented CESC and Heriot – Watt University at the the City of Cape Town’s ESU Technical Forum. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6803920397646475264 News and Events


Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

• 10th and 14th June 2021

Design the COP Challenge

Summary: The Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction were delighted to support the Class of Your Own ‘ Design the COP’ challenge. A number of world – class Heriot-Watt University academics and industry leaders offered valuble insight and advice to school children globally to help unlock potential and create a winning design. Twitter: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6822889729130868738 • 14th June 2021

The Big 5

Summary: Daily Mail Group announced Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction, Director Dr. Anas Bataw as a judge at the Big 5 Impact Awards. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6810073472832745472

• 23rd June 2021

EUTECH webinar

Summary: Dr. Anas Bataw joined the expert panel at the EU Tech Chamber (EUTECH) and shared his valuable insight on Smart Cities. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6810596703696166912


News and Events

Research Research Bulletin Bulletin No.4 No.4 September September 2021 2021

• 29th June 2021

CESC Webinar, Mental Wellbeing

Summary: The Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction held our tenth sucessful webinar which was attended by over 250 delegates who heard our expert panel discuss the sometimes sensitive but important topic of Mental Wellbeing in the Construction Industry. Our panel included: Guy Walker, Heriot-Watt University Paul Hendry, Jacobs Mike Palmer, Mott Macdonald Adam Smith, Polypipe



• 4th July 2021

Living Business ME webinar

Summary: CESC Director, Dr. Anas Bataw joined the expert panel to discuss how we can measure and manage environmental impacts on site at the first Living Business ME webinar. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6816277611631714304

• 1st September 2021

Smart Built Environment Forum

Summary: The Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction Director, Dr. Anas Bataw was delighted to be part of the esteemed speaking panel at the 2nd edition of the Smart Built Environment Forum . A two-day knowledge-based virtual event organised by Community Management today LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6830734823594713088 News and Events


Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

• 6th September 2021

BIM Middle East Conference 2021

Summary: CESC Team were delighted to attend the annual BIM Middle East Conference 2021 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dubai. During the conference many discussions were had around BIM and the part it plays in the digitalisation of the construction industry. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/ urn:li:activity:6840561212070137856 • 12th September 2021

The Big 5

Summary: Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction were proud to partner with The Big 5, the biggest construction event in the UAE. Our involvement included CESC Director, Dr. Anas Bataw taking a role of judge at the The Big 5 Impact Awards. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-big-5

• 14th September 2021

CESC Webinar

Summary: CESC held it’s eleventh webinar which focused on how the 3D printing success can be affected by 3M’s - Material, Machine and Money.



https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=i70EOMOFyVI

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Our panel included: Kyle E. Krall, Thornton Tomasetti Christopher Tebb, Mott MacDonald, Mohammad Yasser Baaj, B3G Engineering Services Paul Mullett, Robert Bird Group

Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

CESC Partners’ News • May 2021

ASCG Construction Inaugarates the Regions First Green Workforce Accommodation

Summary: ASGC Construction inaugurated the region’s first green Labors Accommodation in Jebel Ali Industrial Area on 30th May 2021. This accommodation is a design and build project by ASGC and its subsidiaries HPBS and ASU. It was constructed with in-situ and precast building techniques, with major focus on sustainability. More Information NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Boost from Jacobs Spanning Multiple Space Centers and Programs

Summary: NASA’s Perseverance rover, the centerpiece of Mars 2020 mission, touched down inside the red planet’s Jezero Crater on February 18, kicking off a new era of exploration on Mars. Across multiple NASA Space Centers, contracts and programs, Jacobs partners with NASA to support the rover, delivering innovative technologies that lead to horizonexpanding scientific discoveries More Information • June 2021

Mott MacDonald publishes ‘The hospital of the future’

Summary: The global healthcare sector faces several challenges, including ageing populations, tighter budgets, a shortfall in medical staff and higher patient expectations. Mott MacDonald collaborated with Future Agenda to investigate the key trends that will inform the future design of hospitals from pandemic preparedness to climate resilience. More Information News and Events


Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

• September 2021

Signature water management solution, Permavoid shortlisted at the Gulf Sustainability Awards 2021

Summary: Polypipe’s signature water management solution, Permavoid, has once again been shortlisted for its ability to enhance sustainability and efficiency in the built environment. The award-winning water management solution has been shortlisted at the Gulf Sustainability Awards 2021 in the Water or Waste Management Category amongst six other contestants. More Information

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Research Research Bulletin Bulletin No.4September Septembe 2021 No.4 2021

Upcoming Events • October 2021

CESC/EGIS webinar, Women in Construction

Summary: Designed with Heriot – Watt students in mind CESC and EGIS will be running a webinar which focuses on the importance of Women in Construction. The webinar will focus on opportunities available to the next generation of female leaders along with tackling any potential challenges. • 5th October 2021

Wakecap webinar – in collaboration with CESC

Summary: The Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction will collaborate with affilate Wakecap to deliver a webinar which focuses on the importance of Technology Integration for SMART Construction Register Here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/ register/1116304072676/ WN_3y6SSancTxOxyJdcl8k8tA

• December 2021

CESC announces bicentennial symposium event

Summary: CESC Expo 2020 Bicentennial Symposium will bring together expert key speakers from the industry to discuss what is next for the Built Environment.

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Research Bulletin No.4 September 2021

• 20th and 21st December 2021

CIB International Conference on Smart Built Environment

Chair: Dr Taha Elhag (Associate Professor, Heriot-Watt University) Co-Chair: Professor Mohammed Dulaimi (Director of CIB MENA Summary: The Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction, HeriotWatt University and the CIB TG96 along with several CIB Commissions are organizing an international conference on smart built environment at Heriot-Watt University, Dubai Campus. Which focuses on how best to accelerate innovation to deliver Smart Built Environment. For more details: https://www.hw.ac.uk/dubai/events/cibinternational-conference-on-smart-built.htm • 24th and 25th January 2022

RICS World Built Environment Forum WBEF

Summary: At WBEF Dubai 2022, influencers, innovators and investors will draw a new blueprint for liveability, prosperity and wellbeing across the urbanised world. The event will take place at Expo2020 and The Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction is delighted to be collaborating with RICS at such an exciting event. Thank you for reading. The next Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction bulletin will be published in April 2022. To have a research paper considered for inclusion please contact Dr. Mustafa Batikha on m.batikha@hw.ac.uk For news and events information and inclusion please contact Charlotte Turner on charlotte.turner@hw.ac.uk


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