Matching Items (26)

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Are Building Occupants Satisfied with Indoor Environmental Quality of Higher Education Facilities?

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Balancing energy performance and Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) performance has become a conventional tradeoff in sustainable building design. In recognition of the impact IEQ performance has on the occupants of

Balancing energy performance and Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) performance has become a conventional tradeoff in sustainable building design. In recognition of the impact IEQ performance has on the occupants of educational facilities, universities are increasingly interested in tracking the performance of their buildings. This paper highlights and quantifies several key factors that affect the occupant satisfaction of higher education facilities by comparing building performance of two campuses located in two different countries and environments. A total of 320 occupants participated in IEQ occupant satisfaction surveys, split evenly between the two campuses, to investigate their satisfaction with the space layout, space furniture, thermal comfort, indoor air quality, lighting level, acoustic quality, water efficiency, cleanliness and maintenance of the facilities they occupy. The difference in IEQ performance across the two campuses was around 17% which lays the foundation for a future study to explore the reasons behind this noticeable variation.

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  • 2014-07-24

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Analyzing Arizona OSHA Injury Reports Using Unsupervised Machine Learning

Description

As the construction continue to be a leading industry in the number of injuries and fatalities annually, several organizations and agencies are working avidly to ensure the number of injuries

As the construction continue to be a leading industry in the number of injuries and fatalities annually, several organizations and agencies are working avidly to ensure the number of injuries and fatalities is minimized. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is one such effort to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. Given the large databases of OSHA historical events and reports, a manual analysis of the fatality and catastrophe investigations content is a time consuming and expensive process. This paper aims to evaluate the strength of unsupervised machine learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) in supporting safety inspections and reorganizing accidents database on a state level. After collecting construction accident reports from the OSHA Arizona office, the methodology consists of preprocessing the accident reports and weighting terms in order to apply a data-driven unsupervised K-Means-based clustering approach. The proposed method classifies the collected reports in four clusters, each reporting a type of accident. The results show the construction accidents in the state of Arizona to be caused by falls (42.9%), struck by objects (34.3%), electrocutions (12.5%), and trenches collapse (10.3%). The findings of this research empower state and local agencies with a customized presentation of the accidents fitting their regulations and weather conditions. What is applicable to one climate might not be suitable for another; therefore, such rearrangement of the accidents database on a state based level is a necessary prerequisite to enhance the local safety applications and standards.

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  • 2016-05-20

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33 Buckets: Distributing Clean Water in Bangladesh

Description

Bangladesh is facing one of the largest mass poisonings in human history with over 77 million people affected by contaminated water each and every day. Over the last few years,

Bangladesh is facing one of the largest mass poisonings in human history with over 77 million people affected by contaminated water each and every day. Over the last few years, the 33 Buckets team has come together to help fulfill this clean water need through filtration, education, and an innovative distribution system to inspire and empower people in Bangladesh and across the world. To start this process, we are working with the Rahima Hoque Girls' school in the rural area of Raipura, Bangladesh to give girls access to clean water where they spend the most time. Through our assessment trip in May 2012, we were able to acquire technical data, community input, and partnerships necessary to move our project forward. Additionally, we realized that in many cases, including the Rahima Hoque school, water problems are not caused by a lack of technology, but rather a lack of utilization and maintenance long-term. To remedy this, 33 Buckets has identified a local filter to have installed at the school, and has designed a small-scale business focused on selling clean water in bulk to the surrounding community. Our price point and association with the Rahima Hoque Girls' school makes our solution sustainable. Plus, with the success of our first site, we see the potential to scale. We already have five nearby schools interested in working to implement similar water projects, and with over 100,000 schools in Bangladesh, many of which lack access to the right water systems, we have a huge opportunity to impact millions of lives. This thesis project describes our journey through this process. First, an introduction to our work prior to the assessment trip and through the ASU EPICS program is given. Second, we include quantitative and qualitative details regarding our May 2012 assessment trip to the Rahima Hoque school and Dhaka. Third, we recount some of the experiences we were able to participate in following the trip to Bangladesh, including the Dell Social Innovation Challenge. Fourth, we examine the technical filtration methods, business model development, and educational materials that will be used to implement our solution this summer. Finally, we include an Appendix with a variety of social venture competitions and applications that we have submitted over the past two years, in addition to other supplementary materials. These are excellent examples of our diligence and provide unique insight into the growth of our project.

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  • 2013-05

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Experimental Measurements of Power Output of a Cu/Cu2+ Thermogalvanic Brick using Effective Electrode Surface Area Alterations

Description

The research analyzes the transformation of wasted thermal energy into a usable form through thermogalvanic devices. This technology helps mitigate international growing energy demands. Building energy efficiency is a critical

The research analyzes the transformation of wasted thermal energy into a usable form through thermogalvanic devices. This technology helps mitigate international growing energy demands. Building energy efficiency is a critical research topic, since the loads account for 40% of all energy demand in developed nations, and 30% in less developed nations. A significant portion of the energy consumed for heating and cooling, where a majority is dissipated to the ambient as waste heat. This research answers how much power output (µW·cm-2) can the thermogalvanic brick experimentally produce from an induced temperature gradient? While there are multiple avenues for the initial and optimized prototype design, one key area of interest relating to thermogalvanic devices is the effective surface area of the electrodes. This report highlights the experimental power output measurements of a Cu/Cu2+ thermogalvanic brick by manipulating the effective surface area of the electrodes. Across three meshes, the maximum power output normalized for temperature was found to be between 2.13-2.87 x 10-3 μWcm-2K-2. The highest normalized power output corresponded to the mesh with the highest effective surface area, which was classified as the fine mesh. This intuitively aligned with the theoretical understanding of surface area and maximum power output, where decreasing the activation resistance also reduces the internal resistance, which increases the theoretical maximum power.

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  • 2019-05

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Development of the project definition rating index (PDRI) for small industrial projects

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Project teams expend substantial effort to develop scope definition during the front end planning phase of large, complex projects, but oftentimes neglect to sufficiently plan for small projects. An industry

Project teams expend substantial effort to develop scope definition during the front end planning phase of large, complex projects, but oftentimes neglect to sufficiently plan for small projects. An industry survey administered by the author showed that small projects make up 70-90 percent (by count) of all projects in the industrial construction sector, the planning of these project varies greatly, and that a consistent definition of “small industrial project” did not exist. This dissertation summarizes the motivations and efforts to develop a non-proprietary front end planning tool specifically for small industrial projects, namely the Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) for Small Industrial Projects. The author was a member of Construction Industry Institute (CII) Research Team 314, who was tasked with developing the tool in May of 2013. The author, together with the research team, reviewed, scrutinized and adapted an existing industrial-focused FEP tool, the PDRI for Industrial Projects, and other resources to develop a set of 41 specific elements relevant to the planning of small industrial projects. The author supported the facilitation of five separate industry workshops where 65 industry professionals evaluated the element descriptions, and provided element prioritization data that was statistically analyzed and used to develop a weighted score sheet that corresponds to the element descriptions. The tool was tested on 54 completed and in-progress projects, the author’s analysis of which showed that small industrial projects with greater scope definition (based on the tool’s scoring scheme) outperformed projects with lesser scope definition regarding cost performance, schedule performance, change performance, financial performance, and customer satisfaction. Moreover, the author found that users of the tool on in-progress projects overwhelmingly agreed that the tool added value to their projects in a timeframe and manner consistent with their needs, and that they would continue using the tool in the future. The author also developed an index-based selection guide to aid PDRI users in choosing the appropriate tool for use on an industrial project based on distinguishing project size with indicators of project complexity. The final results of the author’s research provide several contributions to the front end planning, small projects, and project complexity bodies of knowledge.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Experimental Measurements of the Power Output of a Cu/Cu2+ Thermogalvanic Brick

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Buildings continue to take up a significant portion of the global energy consumption, meaning there are significant research opportunities in reducing the energy consumption of the building sector. One widely

Buildings continue to take up a significant portion of the global energy consumption, meaning there are significant research opportunities in reducing the energy consumption of the building sector. One widely studied area is waste heat recovery. The purpose of this research is to test a prototype thermogalvanic cell in the form factor of a UK metric brick sized at 215 mm × 102.5 mm × 65 mm for the experimental power output using a copper/copper(II) (Cu/Cu2+) based aqueous electrode. In this study the thermogalvanic brick uses a 0.7 M CuSO4 + 0.1 M H2SO4 aqueous electrolyte with copper electrodes as two of the walls. The other walls of the thermogalvanic brick are made of 5.588 mm (0.22 in) thick acrylic sheet. Internal to the brick, a 0.2 volume fraction minimal surface Schwartz diamond (Schwartz D) structure made of ABS, Polycarbonate-ABS (PCABS), and Polycarbonate-Carbon Fiber (PCCF) was tested to see the effects on the power output of the thermogalvanic brick. By changing the size of the thermogalvanic cell into that of a brick will allow this thermogalvanic cell to become the literal building blocks of green buildings. The thermogalvanic brick was tested by applying a constant power to the strip heater attached to the hot side of the brick, resulting in various ∆T values between 8◦C and 15◦C depending on the material of Schwartz D inside. From this, it was found that a single Cu/Cu2+ thermogalvanic brick containing the PCCF or PCABS Schwartz D performed equivalently well at a 163.8% or 164.9%, respectively, higher normalized power density output than the control brick containing only electrolyte solution.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Innovative Delivery of Water Infrastructure Projects

Description

Water utilities across the United States are facing numerous challenges, such as limited funding and increasing project complexity, in constructing and upgrading their aging infrastructure. One innovative method to overcome

Water utilities across the United States are facing numerous challenges, such as limited funding and increasing project complexity, in constructing and upgrading their aging infrastructure. One innovative method to overcome these challenges is through the use of alternative project delivery methods (APDM), such as construction management at-risk (CMAR) and design-build (DB). Previous research has shown that APDM have the potential to deliver higher performing water infrastructure projects when compared to the traditional design-bid-build (DBB) method. However, there is a need to further examine APDM practices and develop tools that may support utilities in the delivery of their APDM water infrastructure projects. This study fills the knowledge gap by conducting several studies that may support public and private utilities in improving the delivery of their APDM water infrastructure projects. First, APDM implementation practices for water infrastructure projects are identified by assessing the state of practice, particularly during project procurement and execution. Second, DB project administration best practices are determined to support utilities seeking to add DB to their organization’s project delivery toolbox. Third, a pioneering web-based project delivery method decision-support tool was developed to aid utilities in selecting the appropriate delivery method for their water project. Finally, project-specific factors and attributes that impact project delivery performance are investigated through exploratory modeling and analysis. The study collected data on 75 completed treatment plant projects, conducted interviews with ten utilities that successfully deliver their water projects using DB, and worked closely with several industry experts through industry workshops and panels. Key findings related to water infrastructure project delivery revealed in this study included: (1) guaranteed maximum price (GMP) is the preferred compensation type for APDM projects; (2) utilities statistically having the lowest comfort level with delivering CMAR projects; (3) qualifications-based procurement is an effective DB project delivery practice; (4) the identification of 13 key project delivery method selection factors; and (5) the three highest predictors that impact unit cost performance are project complexity, project team chemistry and communication, and project size.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Quantifying the impact of incentives on cost and schedule performance of construction projects in United States

Description

In today's era a lot of the construction projects suffer from time delay, cost overrun and quality defect. Incentive provisions are found to be a contracting strategy to address this

In today's era a lot of the construction projects suffer from time delay, cost overrun and quality defect. Incentive provisions are found to be a contracting strategy to address this potential problem. During last decade incentive mechanisms have gained importance, and they are starting to become adopted in the construction projects. Most of the previous research done in this area was purely qualitative, with a few quantitative studies. This study aims to quantify the performance of incentives in construction by collecting the data from more than 30 projects in United States through a questionnaire survey. First, literature review addresses the previous research work related to incentive types, incentives in construction industry, incentives in other industry and benefits of incentives. Second, the collected data is analyzed with statistical methods to test the significance of observed changes between two data sets i.e. incentive projects and non-incentive projects. Finally, the analysis results provide evidence for the significant impact of having incentives; reduced the cost and schedule growth in construction projects in United States.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Evaluating the performance of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified facilities using data-driven predictive models for energy and occupant satisfaction with indoor environmental quality (IEQ)

Description

Given the importance of buildings as major consumers of resources worldwide, several organizations are working avidly to ensure the negative impacts of buildings are minimized. The U.S. Green Building Council's

Given the importance of buildings as major consumers of resources worldwide, several organizations are working avidly to ensure the negative impacts of buildings are minimized. The U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system is one such effort to recognize buildings that are designed to achieve a superior performance in several areas including energy consumption and indoor environmental quality (IEQ). The primary objectives of this study are to investigate the performance of LEED certified facilities in terms of energy consumption and occupant satisfaction with IEQ, and introduce a framework to assess the performance of LEED certified buildings.

This thesis attempts to achieve the research objectives by examining the LEED certified buildings on the Arizona State University (ASU) campus in Tempe, AZ, from two complementary perspectives: the Macro-level and the Micro-level. Heating, cooling, and electricity data were collected from the LEED-certified buildings on campus, and their energy use intensity was calculated in order to investigate the buildings' actual energy performance. Additionally, IEQ occupant satisfaction surveys were used to investigate users' satisfaction with the space layout, space furniture, thermal comfort, indoor air quality, lighting level, acoustic quality, water efficiency, cleanliness and maintenance of the facilities they occupy.

From a Macro-level perspective, the results suggest ASU LEED buildings consume less energy than regional counterparts, and exhibit higher occupant satisfaction than national counterparts. The occupant satisfaction results are in line with the literature on LEED buildings, whereas the energy results contribute to the inconclusive body of knowledge on energy performance improvements linked to LEED certification. From a Micro-level perspective, data analysis suggest an inconsistency between the LEED points earned for the Energy & Atmosphere and IEQ categories, on one hand, and the respective levels of energy consumption and occupant satisfaction on the other hand. Accordingly, this study showcases the variation in the performance results when approached from different perspectives. This contribution highlights the need to consider the Macro-level and Micro-level assessments in tandem, and assess LEED building performance from these two distinct but complementary perspectives in order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the actual building performance.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Decision-making for utility scale photovoltaic systems: probabilistic risk assessment models for corrosion of structural elements and a material selection approach for polymeric components

Description

The solar energy sector has been growing rapidly over the past decade. Growth in renewable electricity generation using photovoltaic (PV) systems is accompanied by an increased awareness of the fault

The solar energy sector has been growing rapidly over the past decade. Growth in renewable electricity generation using photovoltaic (PV) systems is accompanied by an increased awareness of the fault conditions developing during the operational lifetime of these systems. While the annual energy losses caused by faults in PV systems could reach up to 18.9% of their total capacity, emerging technologies and models are driving for greater efficiency to assure the reliability of a product under its actual application. The objectives of this dissertation consist of (1) reviewing the state of the art and practice of prognostics and health management for the Direct Current (DC) side of photovoltaic systems; (2) assessing the corrosion of the driven posts supporting PV structures in utility scale plants; and (3) assessing the probabilistic risk associated with the failure of polymeric materials that are used in tracker and fixed tilt systems.

As photovoltaic systems age under relatively harsh and changing environmental conditions, several potential fault conditions can develop during the operational lifetime including corrosion of supporting structures and failures of polymeric materials. The ability to accurately predict the remaining useful life of photovoltaic systems is critical for plants ‘continuous operation. This research contributes to the body of knowledge of PV systems reliability by: (1) developing a meta-model of the expected service life of mounting structures; (2) creating decision frameworks and tools to support practitioners in mitigating risks; (3) and supporting material selection for fielded and future photovoltaic systems. The newly developed frameworks were validated by a global solar company.

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Date Created
  • 2017