FHECOR & SMART ENGINEERING sign a strategic partnership agreement

FHECOR & SMART ENGINEERING sign a strategic partnership agreement

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Last July, FHECOR Consulting Engineers and SMART ENGINEERING signed a strategic partnership agreement, covering various fields of action in the context of civil engineering. FHECOR is a leading company nationally and internationally, dedicated to structural engineering during all phases of the life cycle of the structure: project, technical assistance with the implementation, maintenance and recycling. Its activity covers all all types of structures: building, transport infrastructure, industrial installations, etc. SMART ENGINEERING is a spin-off of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya which operates in various fields of civil engineering and intelligent materials, concrete technology, structural engineering and advanced urban engineering, and the development of tools for value analysis and support to decision making.

The agreement aims to prospect and joint develope projects, generating synergies able to improve national and international presence of both companies. The collaboration includes the development of projects of all kinds in the field of civil engineering, development and implementation of innovative techniques in the construction sector and the organization of technical training.

Smart Engineering develops a sustainable model for the renewal of distribution pipes for AGBAR

Smart Engineering develops a sustainable model for the renewal of distribution pipes for AGBAR

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Smart Engineering and Aguas de Barcelona – AGBAR signed a partnership agreement last July. The object of that agreement was to develop a prioritization model for the renewal of water distribution pipes through sustainable development. The development of this model is based on the multicriteria  methodology MIVES, developed at UPC. This methodology allows the development of tools and models for decision-making and value and sustainability analysis. This methodology incorporates  the possibility of considering value functions, integrates different requirements (economic, social, environmental, technical, etc.), considers homogeneous or heterogeneousalternatives, and employs Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to assign weights to the indicators.

The model being developed by Smart Engineering for Aguas de Barcelona, will incorporate economic aspects related to the renewal of pipes, considered in an integrated manner with social and environmental criteria. Thus, the sustainable development criteria will be applied to the renewal system of distribution pipes. This model is being developed for the city of Barcelona and a number of municipalities in the metropolitan area and the city area. The same model integrates data and geographic information systems (GIS), so that allows for computer integration and use of various information sources.

It is scheduled the project completion by the end of September 2016. The model will be integrated into a database that combines different sources of information, both GIS as economic, social and environmental data. This project strengthens the position of Smart Engineering in developing comprehensive tools for analyzing value, decision-making aid, and sustainability analysis using the methodology MIVES.

Smart Engineering finishes the Shotcrete Sustainability Index

Smart Engineering finishes the Shotcrete Sustainability Index

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Last June, Smart Engineering completed the development of the Shotcrete Sustainability Index. The index developed allows to globally assess the sustainability of shotcrete, taking into account economic, environmental and social criteria, depending on the type of setting accelerator used.

Currently in Spain predominates the use of  aluminate-based setting accelerators. The international trend is to ban the use of these additives because of the negative environmental implications and potential risks they may present to the workers,  in favor of the alkali-free setting accelerators.

The inertia of the Spanish construction sector to assume this change rate additive is due to several concurrent issues. First, alkali-free additives have a slightly higher cost. Also, higher contents of this accelerant are required to achieve equivalent performance in a given application. Finally, the performance of these aditives against water outcrop may be  unsatisfactory.

The ISS was developed considering this scenerio. In the case of raised study three different alternatives of evaluation were considered: the use of an aluminate-based setting accelerators at 3% concentration (ANaA-3%) and the use of an alkali-free setting accelerator at two different concentrations 6.5% and 8 % (AFA-6.5% and AFA-8%).

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One of the main results of the implementation of ISS is the realization that, based solely on economic requirements, the sustainability of the alternatives are not significantly, as shown in Figure. In this scenario, the use of aluminate-based setting accelerators is clearly favored by the shortsightedness that governs the construction processes in Spain.

However, as environmental and social requirements have more weight in the decision, is clearly more sustainable the alternative considering the use of alkali-free setting accelerator at a concentration of 8% (see Figure). Thus, in order to change current consumption patterns of setting accelerator admixtures in Spain must go hand in hand with actions that raise the awareness at the environmental and social aspects. Furthermore, administrative policies are neede to promote these requirements in public works.

 

The sensitivity study of the weights of the requirements has allowed  to establish the importance of the weight of the environmental and social requirements, when working towards the highest sustainability of the alkali-free accelerators. This will permit the implementation of active policies that facilitate the introduction of this type of product in the Spanish market.

The development of the ISS – made under the contract signed by Smart Engineering and BASF Construction Chemicals – was done with the participation of different Spanish stakeholders both public and private.

I.S. 2016.09.12