FHECOR & SMART ENGINEERING sign a strategic partnership agreement

FHECOR & SMART ENGINEERING sign a strategic partnership agreement

News

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

News

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

News

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

How to priorise investments in hydraulic infrastructures?

How to priorise investments in hydraulic infrastructures?

Opinion

Water resources are one of the most important factors in the establishment and development of a society. Dams have had a determining role in combining necessity and availability of water in those countries where, unfortunately, it is not an abundant good, allowing an increase of life quality that has resulted in economic, demographic and cultural growth. Around the world, and especially in Spain, the necessity for fixing the mismatches of water availability through the design and construction of hydraulic structures has gestated a great engineering heritage that today represents a great responsibility for the scientific and technical community, which must promote the study and especially the conservation of these civil works.

Following floods recorded earlier this year, some infrastructure of the basins of Duero, Miño-Sil, Ebro and Júcar present significant damages, which should be repaired. Given this situation, on June 10th, the Government of Spain authorized some maintenance actions for an amount of €6.5 million, according to Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente. €2.5 million will be invested in Duero basin, €2 million in  Miño-Sil basin, €1.5 millon in Ebro basin, and €0,5 million in Júcar basin.

As a citizen, and after we have known this decision, most of us have some doubts or questions. What criteria has the Government used to make this decision? Economic criteria? Technical criteria? Did the government only have that amount of money? Has this amount been distributed more or less equally among different basins? Or, has the Government decided the amount delivered to each basin after carry out a technical study?

The ideal is to find a compromise solution. It means that the carried out actions are those that technicians determine as highest priority, while at the same time the spent amount to does not exceed the limit established by the Government.

Given the evidence that this problem is and will be recurring, because all the activities recommended in the technical reports cannot be performed simultaneously, either by technical or economic factors, it is necessary to make a decision and establish a prioritization.

In such a context, Smart Engineering has developed Prioritization Index for the Management of Hydraulic Structures (PIMHS), a multy-criteria decision making (MCDM) system based on MIVES, which orders and prioritizes non-similar maintenance investments in hydraulic structures. Its objective is to select those that present a better global response, and that therefore contribute greater added value for both the owner and for society.

The model divides the assessment into two phases; the first assesses the degree of damage, which is independent of the affected structure; while the second evaluates the consequences of the damages from a sustainability perspective. So, assessing social, economic and environmental impacts, this will depend on the type of structure and its locations.

Using a tool as this one, which is easy to deploy by an expert technician, allows an efficient management of economic resources. Moreover, if it is used by a public administration, it is an excellent tool to promote transparency and to involve citizens in government decision-making. This is a methodology, and a philosophy, that can be used with certain modifications, to manage any type of civil heritage.

todología que pueden utilizarse para la gestión de cualquier tipología de patrimonio construido con ciertas modificaciones.

Sustainability as a decision-making criterion

Sustainability as a decision-making criterion

Opinion

Sustainability occupies an increasingly important role in our lives, both as citizens and professionally. Everyday examples of this are the energy ratings of appliances, buildings, vehicles, etc. Sustainability is an important partof our daily lives. Recently, El Pais published an article questioning the sustainability (ecology) of e-commerce. There are many examples like this one, both the media and even in our professional environments, sustainability assessments that are at least questionable.

Sostenibilidad 2The fundamental question is, what criteria apply for the assessment of sustainability? Is an assessment that integrates the different aspects that influence sustainability? Make no mistake, the environmental requirement is an important issue, but not the only one to take into account when talking about sustainability. The World Commission on Environment defined, in 1987, the sustainable development concept to refer to development that ensures the satisfaction of the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own. Thus, if it comes to assessing the sustainability we were only on environmental or ecological part, we may be seeing only part of the polyhedron and maybe we won’t be able to see the wood by the threes.

We have been observing that in recent times that sustainability, as transparency or cytizen participation, are essential questions when making decisions, at local, regional, or national levels. In this regard, it is worth stopping and reflecting, we have tools to perform comprehensive value analysis, which allow grouping the different sensitivities that make sustainability and to enable global visions of the problem?

The answer is a resounding yes. Smart Engineering, spin-off of the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, has been developing since its creation tools to help on value analysis and sustainability assessment, which enable the analysis above. These tools are based on the MIVES method, a tool developed by professors and researchers from the same university. These tools help on providing answers in many different field of knowledge. Some examples recently developed by Smart Engineering is the assessment of the sustainability of different additives used in the preparation of shotcrete (BASF Construction Chemicals), the development of a sustainability index for the investment of municipal projectsl (City Council of Barcelona), and the sustainability assessment of the system of selective waste collection.

Dobooku awards:  great opportunity for young engineers

Dobooku awards: great opportunity for young engineers

News

The third edition of Dobooku awards has been presented, and this year our company, Smart Enginrig has begun to collaborate with this prestigious event which is aimed at students of the Barcelona School of Civil Engineering. Will  be awarded the best Degree Final Project and Master Thesis, which distinguish for their contribution to design and society.

Smart Engineering is highly commited with our university system and want to promote the excellence between the future engineers, rewarding those jobs that have in their DNA the same characteristics as our own company; like quality, sustainability and the human dimension of engineering.

From here we incite all young engineers to participate in this interesting challenge to raise today, the future engineering challenges.

Acciona and Smart Engineering collaborate on the structural optimization of the line segments of Follo Line Project in Norway

Acciona and Smart Engineering collaborate on the structural optimization of the line segments of Follo Line Project in Norway

News

Since late last January, Smart Engineering collaborates with the Joint Venture AGJV, consortium of Acciona and Ghella. AGJV was chosen by the Norwegian National Rail Administration to build the double railway tunnel framed in the Follo Line project, the largest project Norwegian transport infrastructure. More details on this project are detailed in this link. The total cost of the project, considering the design and construction of the tunnels, stands at 1,000 million euros. These tunnels, designed for the circulation of high-speed trains, will be the longest in Scandinavia, with 20 km in length.

Smart Engineering will assess the ductility of the reinforcing strategy which will be used in reinforced concrete the segments that make up the segments of the tunnel. The main objetive of Smart Engineering in this project is to optimise the structural reinforcement of the line segments. To this end, a fibre reinforced concrete solution will be proposed considering structural fibres to substitute part of the traditional reinforcement. The security and structural reliability criteria stablished by the customer will be maintained with this solution. Fibre reinforced concrete solutions are highly efficient in these applications and can reduce overall costs of the project.

The reinforcement optimisation will be tackled both by numerical analysis and throughout a comprenhensive experimental campaign in laboratory. Smart Engineering will provide their expertise in optimizing concrete reinforcements using fibre reinforced concrete. This is possible by using sectioanl calculus tools to determine the equivalente reinforcement strategy by using fibre reinforced concrete.

Smart Engineering studies the damages in Panot Diagonal of Barcelona after the damages observed during summer 2015

Smart Engineering studies the damages in Panot Diagonal of Barcelona after the damages observed during summer 2015

News

Bimsa, a public company of the Barcelona City Council, awarded in November 2015 Smart Engineering to study and diagnosis the damages observed in the tiles Diagonal avenue – Panot Diagonal – in the Eixample district of Barcelona. Since the completion of works in last summer, several damages were observed by the citizens in the new and innovative tiles. These damages include cracks, chipping and other damages. The tiles in Diagonal had an innovative design in banana leaf forms.

Smart Engineering has conducted a groundbreaking study to determine the origin and causes of the damages observed in Panot Diagonal. The study specifically considered design aspects of the tiles, structural evaluation of the material, placing and consideration about its use. The work was completed in late December 2015.

Smart Engineering supports FCC studying concrete technology to be applied to the extreme climate of Ryiadh

Smart Engineering supports FCC studying concrete technology to be applied to the extreme climate of Ryiadh

News

During the past 2015 Smart Engineering collaborated with the company FCC, which is participating with other international companies in the Joint Venture Fast Consortium, responsible for the construction of underground tunnels of Ryiadh. This work, one of the most ambitious internationally in underground construction, is facing major challenges and requires advanced structural engineering processes. One of the most important challenges is given by the extreme weather conditions in Saudi Arabia. These conditions make it difficult to ellaborate the line segments of the tunnel made with reinforce concrete.

Smart Engineering conducted an advanced structural engineering study to determine the effect of the extreme conditions that occur in that part of the world, in the development and curing stages of the reinforced concrete segment linings. Especial attention was given to the effect of high temperatures and low humidity. Such conditions may influence the curing process and develop internal stresses in the material. This study allowed Smart Engineering to propose innovative engineering solutions related to the ellaboration of structural concrete in extreme climate conditions.

Smart Engineering signs a international contract with the University of the Republic to study Canelon Grande dam in Uruguay

Smart Engineering signs a international contract with the University of the Republic to study Canelon Grande dam in Uruguay

Events

Last October 2015, Smart Engineering and the University of the Republic of Uruguay to study Canelon Grande dam in Uruguy. This contract is part of an international consulting that was awarded to Prof. Antonio Aguado, CEO of Smart Engineering. The main objective of the contract is to study the present situation of the concrete of Canelon Grande dam and evaluate its durability.