Welcome to the The Built Environment Research Group. BERG focuses on a number of areas in architecture and civil engineering.

Recent Submissions

  • A comprehensive review on the output voltage/power of wearable thermoelectric generators concerning their geometry and thermoelectric materials

    Soleimani, Zohreh; Zoras, Stamatis; Ceranic, Boris; Cui, yuanlong; Shahzad, Sally; University of Derby; University of Sheffield (Elsevier, 2021-07-09)
    Wearable thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are considered as a promising power supply for low power wearable electronics. To obtain high thermoelectric (TE) generation, the focus should be on two main factors, including TE materials and the configurations of TE legs. Concerning these two factors, this paper provides a comprehensive review of recent studies on wearable TEGs. In general, TE materials can be classified into three categories, including inorganic, organic, and hybrid (inorganic-organic). In addition, the TE legs can be prepared in three different configurations, including ingot-shaped, film-shaped, and yarn-shaped. Based on the reviewed literatures, the superior output powers of all the three configurations were achieved by the inorganic, hybrid, and organic TE materials, respectively. It should be noted that the ingot- and the yarn-shaped legs were mostly composed of the inorganic and the organic TE materials, respectively. Whereas, all the three types of TE materials were almost equally used to prepare the film-shaped legs. Regarding power density, the ingot-shaped legs stood first followed by the film- and the yarn-shaped legs, respectively. Precisely, the output powers of the ingot- and the film-shaped legs were at µW/cm2 level, dropping to nW/cm2 for the yarn-shaped legs.
  • Review of the recent advances in dew point evaporative cooling technology: 3E (energy, economic and environmental) assessments

    cui, yuanlong; Zhu, Jie; Zoras, Stamatis; Liu, Lin; University of Derby; University of Nottingham; Shanghai Institute of Technology, Shanghai, China (Elsevier, 2021-06-17)
    Dew point evaporative cooling (DPEC) technology has been used to produce low temperature air, whose tem perature is even beneath its wet bulb temperature of intake air and close to its dew point temperature. This paper summarizes energy, economic, and environmental (3 E) assessments of the DPEC technology based on experi mental testing, life cycle cost and CO2 emission models. Three vital aspects of the technology energy performance evaluation, including coefficient of performance, cooling capacity and cooling effectiveness, are investigated and compared between two prevalent categories (i.e., cross and counter flow configurations) in different climate conditions, and the hybridization of the DPEC system with dehumidifier and desalination applications is clari fied. Various economic assessment approaches to study the net present value and payback period of the DPEC system are illustrated. The environmental impact evaluation of the DPEC system, including CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions, is conducted. At last, the viewpoints, suggestions and potential future development on the DPEC technology are deliberated.
  • Modern interpretation of FengShui in contemporary sustainable residential design

    Zhong, Z.; Ceranic, Boris; University of Derby; Faculty of Arts, Design and Technology, University of Derby, UK; Faculty of Arts, Design and Technology, University of Derby, UK (WIT Press, 2008-06-10)
    The FengShui practice, through its core philosophy, has for centuries embraced sustainability in the design of traditional living environments and natural settlements in China. There are many encounters of sustainable FengShui manifestations in the ancient Chinese settlements, some of which have been studied in this research and interpreted from the theoretical, environmental, ecological, socio-cultural and economic perspectives. Based on the research findings and their contemporary interpretation, the link between the research and practice has been formed via undertaking the residential development design study on location in Shanghai. The results of the study thus far are reported in this paper in terms of their urban and design resolution, focusing on the pursuance of the balance between three main aspects – energy, environment and ecology. The unification between circulation of Qi and environmental elements is reflected in its modern context and represented in terms of master planning on the macro scale and consideration of shelter environmental qualities on the micro scale.
  • Sensitivity analysis and optimum design curves for the minimum cost design of singly and doubly reinforced concrete beams

    Ceranic, Boris; Fryer, Colin; University of Derby (Springer Verlag, 2000-11-01)
    This paper reports on the application of the Lagrangian Multiplier Method (LMM) to the minimum cost design of both singly and doubly reinforced concrete rectangular beams under limit state design conditions. Cost objective functions and stress constraints are derived and implemented within the optimisation method. Cost sensitivity analysis, detailed testing and comparisons with conventional design office methods are performed and the results reported, showing that the Lagrangian Multiplier Method can be successfully applied to the minimum cost design of reinforced concrete beams. The proposed approach is effective and reliable without the need for iterative trials. Optimum design curves have been developed that can be used without prior knowledge of optimisation. Despite the simplification of the cost model and the assumptions made, satisfactory and reliable results have been obtained and confirmed by using standard design office procedures.
  • Life cycle environmental performance of material specification: a BIM-enhanced comparative assessment

    Ajayi, Saheed O.; Oyedele, Lukumon O.; Ceranic, Boris; Gallanagh, Mike; Kadiri, Kabir O.; University of the West of England; University of Derby; Obafemi Awolowo University (Taylor and Francis, 2015-03-12)
    This study aims to evaluate the extent to which building material specification affects life cycle environmental performance, using a building information modelling (BIM)-enhanced life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. A combination of the BIM-based design and analysis tool Revit Architecture, the energy simulation tool Green Building Studio (GBS) and the LCA tool ATHENA Impact Estimator were used for the assessment. The LCA was carried out on a life case study of a 2100 m2 two-floor primary-school building, as well as a variability analysis, by varying the material specification in terms of whole building materials. The life cycle performance of the buildings was primarily evaluated in terms of its global warming potential (GWP) and health impact. The findings of the study show that irrespective of the materials used, buildings that are based on renewable energy perform better than those based on fossil fuels over their life cycle. In terms of building materials, both environmental and health preferences of buildings congruently range from timber, brick/block and steel to insulated concrete formwork (ICF), in descending order. The study suggests that as buildings become more energy efficient during operational stages, serious attention needs to be given to their embodied impact. The study lays out a methodological framework that could be adopted by industry practitioners in evaluating life cycle environmental impact of different BIM-modelled material options at the building conception stage. This has the tendency to ensure that the highest proportion of life cycle environmentally beneficial material combinations are selected during specification and construction.
  • Case study based approach to integration of sustainable design analysis, performance and building information modelling

    Ceranic, Boris; Dean, Angela; Faulkner, M.; Latham, Derek; University of Derby (WIT Press, 2016-07)
    This paper presents a case study based research of both the method and technology for integration of sustainable design analysis (SDA) and building information modelling (BIM) within smart built environments (SBE). Level 3 BIM federation and integration challenges are recognised and improvements suggested, including issues with combining geometry and managing attribute data. The research defines SDA as rapid and quantifiable analysis of diverse sustainable alternatives and ‘what if’ scenarios posed by a design team and client during the early stages of the project, where the benefits of correct decisions can significantly exceed the actual investment required. The SDA concept and BIM integration findings are explained through a convergence from conceptualisation to calculation stages, emphasising the importance of an iterative over a linear approach. The approach allowed for a multitude of “what if” scenarios to be analysed, leading to more informed sustainable solutions at the right stages of the project development, with a generally lower level of detail (LOD) and computational/modelling effort required. In addition, the final stage of Building Regulations Part L compliance calculations was reached with a lot greater level of certainty, in terms of its requirements. Finally, a strategy for long term performance monitoring and evaluation of the building design in terms of its environmental sustainability is presented, via integration between BIM and SBE (Smart Built Environment) technologies.
  • Application of shape grammar theory to underground rail station design and passenger evacuation

    Ceranic, Boris; Smith, Graham; University of Derby (Proc. of International Conference on Innovations in Engineering and Technology for Sustainable Development, Tamil Nadu, India, 2012, 2012-06)
    This paper outlines the development of a computer design environment that generates station ‘reference’ plans for analysis by designers at the project feasibility stage. The developed program uses the theoretical concept of shape grammar, based upon principles of recognition and replacement of a particular shape to enable the generation of station layouts. The developed novel shape grammar rules produce multiple plans of accurately sized infrastructure faster than by traditional means. A finite set of station infrastructure elements and a finite set of connection possibilities for them, directed by regulations and the logical processes of station usage, allows for increasingly complex composite shapes to be automatically produced, some of which are credible station layouts at ‘reference’ block plan level. The proposed method of generating shape grammar plans is aligned to London Underground standards, in particular to the Station Planning Standards and Guidelines 5th edition (SPSG5 2007) and the BS-7974 fire safety engineering process. Quantitative testing is via existing evacuation modelling software. The prototype system, named SGEvac, has both the scope and potential for redevelopment to any other country’s design legislation.
  • Sustainable design analysis and BIM integration

    Ceranic, Boris; University of Derby (John Wiley and Sons, 2013-03)
    In this chapter the purpose of sustainable design analysis (SDA) in the building design process is addressed – its principles, integration, implementation, advantages and pitfalls. The benefits of full integration of SDA with building information modelling (BIM) is also explored, with the author reflecting on interoperability and uptake issues. There is no attempt to propose alterations to the nature of the design process in its journey from conception to completion, nor to pose an argument as to what merits good architecture, sustainable or not. Instead the author explores the need for, and the role of, sustainable design analysis within the design process as it is, arguing for an approach that favours a true iterative cycle of sustainable design. A case study demonstrates the integration of SDA in the design process and highlights its benefits. Although the term ‘sustainable design analysis’ is used within the text, the primary focus of this chapter will be on the environmental aspects of sustainability.
  • A sustainable infrastructure delivery model: value added strategy in the Nigerian construction industry

    Arowosafe, O.; Ceranic, Boris; Dean, Angela; University of Derby (Proceedings 31st Annual ARCOM Conference, 2015-09)
    The current economy reforms strategy by the Nigerian government promotes competition among private contractors, which are comprised of local and foreign contractors, in order to achieve value added infrastructure delivery. Resulting competitive bidding processes between multinational construction corporations (MCC) and local construction contractors (LCC) has had mixed comments among stakeholders, with a need for a more sustainable and holistic value approach identified. The aim of this research is to develop a sustainable infrastructure delivery model (SID). The key research methodology is based on extensive literature review and questionnaire survey. SID is developed on the principles and philosophy of soft system methodology (SSM) and analytic network process (ANP). In order to evaluate the significance of MCC and LCC through SID model, questionnaire surveys were conducted. Feedback was collected from experts in the Nigerian construction sector who assessed the relative importance of formulated decision criteria, which were sought under 7 key factors. Data simulation revealed that, through competitive bidding, significant achievements have been made in the delivery of constructed facilities. It was also found that the policy lacked holistic value principles that integrated ethical stance and monetary returns on investment. In this study, SID framework has been presented, clearly showing needs for integration of economic and ethical stances in order to achieve a sustainable infrastructure delivery.
  • FengShui – a systematic research of vernacular sustainable development In Ancient China and its lessons for future

    Ceranic, Boris; Zhong, Z.; University of Derby (2007-09)
    Creating and keeping balance is the basic and the most important principle of Chinese traditional philosophy. It provides the fundamental philosophical basis for Chinese FengShui in pursuing coexistence between human and nature. Influenced by the traditional philosophy, Chinese FengShui displays the concept of balance, harmony and order in the design of ancient living environment and development of traditional settlement with many detailed manifestations that embody representative sustainable character. This paper discusses the principle of sustainability in FengShui practice from philosophical, environmental, ecological, socio-cultural and economic perspectives. It further intends to reveal the inherent connection between FengShui, traditional Chinese culture and the vernacular sustainable development of the agricultural society in ancient China.
  • A computer-based, interactive genetic algorithm optimisation design tool (GENOD) for reinforced concrete structures

    Ceranic, Boris; Fryer, Colin; University of Derby (2000-01)
    This paper describes the application of genetic algorithms to the optimum cost design of realistic reinforced concrete structures, set within an artificial intelligence computer design environment. The interactive optimisation design tool GENOD developed by authors combines structural analysis with design and offers advantages over the current use of computer technology in design offices. Traditional design of reinforced concrete structures requires the adherence to precise guidelines as specified in the relevant Codes of Practice. This process relies on the designer's intuition and experience and often it is not clear which direction will lead towards a more economical structure. GENOD, however, replaces this conventional approach by a systematic, goal-orientated design process that uses artificial intelligence in searching and sorting through similar design concepts to achieve an economical design. Genetic algorithms are implemented using an object-orientated visual programming language offering facilities for continual monitoring, assessing and changing the current state of the search control parameters. These facilities are shown to be essential when determining the most suitable control parameter settings for a given structural problem. Results obtained so far have shown that genetic algorithms can be successfully applied to the minimum cost design of reinforced concrete skeletal structures, overcoming the difficulties associated with the practical assessment of the structural costs, discontinuity of the design equations and their complex interrelationship with the design variables.
  • A genetic algorithm approach to the minimum cost design of reinforced concrete flanged beams under multiple loading conditions

    Ceranic, Boris; Fryer, Colin; University of Derby (2008-09)
    This paper presents results of the application of genetic algorithms to the minimum cost design of continuous beams cast in situ with reinforced concrete slabs to form an integral structure. A practical “problem-seeks-optimum design” approach requires full consideration of these rigidly jointed beam-and-slab connections, together with realistic multiple loading conditions and limit states as embodied in British and European Codes of Practice. The fitness function includes the cost of concrete, longitudinal and shear reinforcement, and the cost of formwork and labour. Results obtained so far have shown that genetic algorithms can be successfully applied to the minimum cost design of flanged beams, overcoming the difficulties associated with the discontinuity of the design equations and their complex inter-relationship with the design variables.
  • Construction costs and value management: study of multinational practices in Nigeria

    Arowosafe, O.; Ceranic, Boris; Dean, Angela; University of Derby (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), 2015-07)
    The practice of multinational construction corporations (MCC) in Nigeria construction industry has been viewed as a value for money approach through construction cost management. Assessment of the opportunity cost of the initiatives is equally important in order to gauge the progress of millennium development goals (MDGs), set up by the United Nations in 2000 on human development in developing countries. The study is aimed at the evaluation of current infrastructure procurement framework, introducing novel sustainable infrastructure delivery (SID) model as a holistic value management methodology and a decision making technique. Key components of the model are Checkland’s soft system methodology (SSM) and analytic network process (ANP) by Saaty. SID input data is collected from the pilot questionnaire with the professionals in Nigeria’s construction industry, reinforced by a thorough literature review. Questions sought paired comparison judgements on key aspects of project management and implications on sustainable infrastructure procurement. The concept is discussed in the methodology section. Preliminary findings reveal that current practice lacks a holistic decision making technique, reflected in divergent value interests among stakeholders on infrastructure procurement through different views on the constitution of values. Though there is practical evidence regarding the growth in the construction sector, quantification of the implications on local economy and human development are less visible and require further investigations.
  • An application of simulated annealing to the optimum design of reinforced concrete retaining structures

    Ceranic, Boris; Fryer, Colin; Baines, R.W.; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2001-07)
    This paper reports on the application of a simulated annealing algorithm to the minimum cost design of reinforced concrete retaining structures. Cantilever retaining walls are investigated, being representative of reinforced concrete retaining structures that are required to resist a combination of earth and hydrostatic loading. To solve such a constrained optimisation problem, a modified simulated annealing algorithm is proposed that avoids the simple rejection of infeasible solutions and improves convergence to a minimum cost. The algorithm was implemented using an object-orientated visual programming language, offering facilities for continual monitoring, assessing and changing of the simulated annealing control parameters. Results show that the simulated annealing can be successfully applied to the minimum cost design of reinforced concrete retaining walls, overcoming the difficulties associated with the practical and realistic assessment of the structural costs and their complex inter-relationship with the imposed constraints on the solution space.
  • Spatial layout planning in sub-surface rail station design for effective fire evacuation

    Smith, Graham; Ceranic, Boris; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2008-12-01)
    The London Underground network is a crucial part of the transportation system in one of only four ‘Alpha’ world cities. The other three – Paris, New York and Tokyo – also have such sub-surface railway transport systems that may benefit from this shape grammar station design process in a future research proposal. In London’s case, the passenger flow rates are the underlining factor in sizing infrastructure where passengers have access – it is therefore this criterion that provides the basis for the shape grammar formulation for the largest, oldest and one of the most complex underground systems in the world. The research aims to improve passenger fire evacuation times, with due cognisance of the growth of numbers using the system, and its present susceptibility to terrorist attacks taken into account. The proposed shape grammar approach will provide for generation of spatial layouts, based upon visual rules of shape recognition, replacement / union, their connectivity and spatial relationships. The paper concentrates on definition and implementation of novel shape grammar design rules that incorporate station planning design knowledge, and in particular also discusses designers’ fire risk assessment approach and related knowledge that is also needed to produce credible station design solutions. Development, to date, of the proposed artificially intelligent CAD environment is also described along with parallel theoretical research. The proposed CAD interface provides familiarity to the designer and avoids incompatibility issues regarding drawing exchange format between various software systems. The shape grammar layouts produced will be tested in SIMULEX, a commercially available evacuation package, and be compared against ‘traditionally’ designed layouts to demonstrate improvements of preliminary ‘reference’ designs, which follow the standard London Underground design process as a later stage of this research.
  • Sustainable design and building information modelling: case study of energy plus house, Hieron's Wood, Derbyshire UK

    Ceranic, Boris; Dean, Angela; Latham, Derek; University of Derby (International Conference on Sustainability in Energy and Buildings 2015, 2015-07)
    In this paper the method for sustainable design analysis (SDA) integration with building information modelling (BIM) is explored, through the prism of a complex case study based research. BIM model federation and integration challenges are reported, including issues with combining geometry and managing attribute data. The research defines SDA as rapid and quantifiable analysis of multitude of sustainable alternatives and ‘what if’ questions posed by a design team during the early stages of the project, when the benefits of correct decisions can significantly exceed the actual investment required. The SDA concept and BIM integration findings are explained from conceptualisation to calculation stage, emphasising the importance of an iterative over a linear approach. The research approach adopted has led to more informed sustainable solutions at earlier stages of project development, with a generally lower level of development (LOD) and computational/modelling effort required.
  • Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert: ‘Le Bout du monde’, ‘Inferno’ and ‘Purgatorio’ in landscape

    Tracada, Eleni; University of Derby, College of Engineering and Technology (�ditions de l�Esp�rou., 2015-06)
  • Water efficiency-people and communities

    Tracada, Eleni; Bell, Sarah; Unversity of Derby; University College London (The WATEF Network, University of Brighton, 2015-08)
  • Biophilic urban developments following dynamic flows of tree-shaped architectures

    Tracada, Eleni; University of Derby (Timeo editore, 2015-05)
    Latest theories and practices in Biophilic designs of the urban space regard the urban fabric as being composed of several interrelated layers of energetic structure influencing each other in a non-linear manner primarily. The interaction between two or more interfaces of the urban space layers evolves into new and non-predictable properties. Evolution and creation of new boundaries/interfaces follows laws related to fractal growth; most of the times this particular evolution is defined by laws of physics, such as Thermodynamics and Constructal Law. Designs that do not follow these laws may produce anti-natural and hostile environments, which do not fit into human beings’ evolution, and thus, fail to enhance life by all means. The author of this paper should like to illustrate how new developments of urbanism worldwide currently work upon conceptual and town planning models based not only upon cutting-edge technology, but also upon natural laws and patterns of life and human behaviours strictly related to flaws and movement dictated by natural phenomena. When abrupt interruption of the urban structure has occurred, a consequent design solution does not even guarantee flowing and freedom to morph. It is impossible to create harmonic designs which naturally “unite the animate with the inanimate”, as Adrian Bejan and Sylvie Lorente affirm, whenever urban sprawl fails to encompass Biophilic solutions related to tree-shaped architectures. The author argues that Constructal invasion into the urban space “as fundamental problems of access to flow: volume to point, area to point, line to point, and the respective reverse flow directions” can only guarantee high standard quality of life in either contemporary or future cities developments.

View more