Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Efficient structures help build a sustainable future

Date:
July 16, 2014
Source:
University of Miami
Summary:
Researchers have found that the selection of steel cable structural system for long spans has considerably less environmental impact than a steel truss system to achieve the same structural requirements, through the entire life cycle of the structure. "Thoughtful selection, by the architectural engineer, in the initial stages of the design process, can reduce environmental impact related to the construction process," said one author of the new study.

This is a cable structural system for Functional Unit 2 (3 bays or units).
Credit: With permission from ASCE

When envisioning a new structure, engineers often have to balance design choices against the environmental impact of materials used. It is estimated that 40 to 50 percent of greenhouse gases are produced by the construction industry, according to the California Integrated Waste Management Board. Lessening the impact of construction on the environment is a work in progress.

Researchers at the University of Miami (UM) and the University of Milwaukee School of Engineering are searching for designs and materials that are less harmful to the environment. The team compared the sustainability of two structural systems commonly used for spans exceeding 250 feet: the steel cable system and the steel truss system.

"Thoughtful selection, by the architectural engineer, in the initial stages of the design process, can reduce environmental impact related to the construction process," says Matthew Trussoni, assistant professor in practice, at the UM College of Engineering and corresponding author of the study.

The findings show that the selection of steel cable structural system for long spans has considerably less environmental impact than a steel truss system to achieve the same structural requirements, through the entire life cycle of the structure.

Like a spider web, the cable system utilizes tension to sustain a structure. In contrast, the truss system uses compression members in the span of the structure.

"Most structures in nature rely on tension as it is the most efficient way to transfer forces," Trussoni says. "They typically minimize compression members and maximize tension members," he says. "In a tree, for instance, the trunk is the only compression member, and the braches and leaves rely on either a combination of tension and compression, or tension alone, for their support."

For the study, the researchers designed and compared the most efficient configurations for a steel truss and a steel cable structural system. Both systems were intended for the same function and with the same requirements.

To analyze the sustainability of each structure, they used the life-cycle-assessment (LCA), which estimates the environmental impact of a structure during material extraction, manufacturing, construction, use, maintenance and end-of-life phases.

The results show that the cable system has 29 percent less mass, 65.1 percent less embodied energy (the energy required to produce the structural system, including both materials and placement) and generates 67.2 percent less CO2 emissions, than the truss system.

The findings imply that understanding how material selection can affect efficiency is one way to mitigate environmental damage from construction.

The current study titled "Life-Cycle Assessment Comparison for Long-Span Cable and Truss Structural Systems: Case Study" was recently published in in the Journal of Architectural Engineering. Other authors are Evan Simatic, Christopher H. Raebel and H. Peter Huttelmaier, from the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

The researchers are continuing to investigate and compare environmental impacts of other structural systems that can serve the same purpose.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Miami. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Matthew Trussoni, Evan Simatic, Christopher H. Raebel, H. Peter Huttelmaier. Life-Cycle Assessment Comparison for Long-Span Cable and Truss Structural Systems: Case Study. Journal of Architectural Engineering, 2014; 05014005 DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)AE.1943-5568.0000154

Cite This Page:

University of Miami. "Efficient structures help build a sustainable future." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140716112757.htm>.
University of Miami. (2014, July 16). Efficient structures help build a sustainable future. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140716112757.htm
University of Miami. "Efficient structures help build a sustainable future." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140716112757.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) A ceremony marking 50 years since Japan launched its Shinkansen bullet train was held on Wednesday in Tokyo. The latest model can travel from Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 319 miles, in two hours and 25 minutes. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins