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Environment - Civil Engineering - 12.06.2024
Electrifying industry with flexible heat pumps
Electrifying industry with flexible heat pumps
Researchers from ETH Zurich and the Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences have developed a novel solution for heat pumps. Using this new approach, companies can generate carbon-free process heat at temperatures of up to 200 degrees Celsius while also drastically reducing the number of different heat pumps required.

Civil Engineering - 11.04.2024
Pacific cities much older than previously thought 
Pacific cities much older than previously thought 
New evidence of one of the first cities in the Pacific shows they were established much earlier than previously thought, according to new research from The Australian National University (ANU). The study used aerial laser scanning to map archaeological sites on the island of Tongatapu in Tonga. Lead author, PhD scholar Phillip Parton, said the new timeline also indicates that urbanisation in the Pacific was an indigenous innovation that developed before Western influence.

Civil Engineering - Environment - 20.11.2023
The future of construction with more sustainable cement
The future of construction with more sustainable cement
A new material developed at EPFL could change how we make cement forever - and cut 500 million tons of emissions by 2030.

Materials Science - Civil Engineering - 20.12.2022
Brittle concrete walls: researchers find the cause
Brittle concrete walls: researchers find the cause
After extensive analyses, researchers found the cause of the concrete scandal in County Donegal, Ireland, where structural damage has been causing red faces and protests for years: Concrete walls of thousands of houses are riddled with cracks, necessitating expensive repairs or even demolition. For the longest time, an excessively high mica content in the concrete was thought to be the reason.

Environment - Civil Engineering - 17.05.2022
Autonomous water purification
To be more sustainable, the construction industry needs reliable service-life predictions for structures. Ueli Angst calls for a paradigm shift in forecasting the durability of reinforced concrete. The construction industry is experiencing a revolution, with digitisation, decarbonisation and robotics-assisted fabrication all having a lasting impact on practice and research.

Civil Engineering - Environment - 02.07.2021
Better planning can reduce the urban heat island effect
Better planning can reduce the urban heat island effect
In his PhD thesis, EPFL researcher Martí Bosch proposes a method for spatially quantifying the impact of mitigation measures - planting green spaces and using different building materials - on the urban heat island effect. During hot weather, cities are warmer than the surrounding rural areas. This well-known phenomenon - known as the urban heat island effect - is particularly acute at night when concrete and asphalt release the heat stored up during the day.

Civil Engineering - 12.10.2020
Newest housing least comfortable during lockdown
People living in housing built in the last 10 years were more likely to report feeling uncomfortable in their home during lockdown, while those in pre-1919 developments were most likely to be comfortable, according to a new report led by UCL researchers. The research team surveyed 2,500 households across the UK to find out how the design of their homes and neighbourhoods affected their experience of lockdown.

Civil Engineering - Chemistry - 26.06.2020
TU Graz researchers want to fundamentally improve concrete diagnostics
TU Graz researchers want to fundamentally improve concrete diagnostics
By Christoph Pelzl Under the scientific direction of Graz University of Technology, an Austrian consortium is working on new investigation methods for rapid and precise assessments of concrete structures. Additional at the end of the text Whether crumbling tunnel walls, cracks in concrete facades or porous bridge piers, according to statistics from the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), damage to concrete structures caused by various environmental influences accounts for several billion euros worldwide every year.

Civil Engineering - 27.02.2020
The Unfoldable Bridge
The Unfoldable Bridge
A world premiere in Austria: The new bridge construction technology which was developed at TU Wien has now been successfully applied by ASFINAG during the construction of the Fürstenfeld Motorway There are many different methods for erecting bridges - but the new technique developed by TU Wien, the balanced lowering method, is quite spectacular: the bridge is not built horizontally, as would normally be case, but erected in a vertical position and then rotated into the horizontal position.

Civil Engineering - Social Sciences - 14.01.2020
Street network patterns reveal worrying worldwide trend towards urban sprawl
Channels McGill University News and Events New research from McGill University and the University of California, Santa Cruz has found that the local streets of the world's cities are becoming less connected, a global trend that is driving urban sprawl and discouraging the use of public transportation.

Environment - Civil Engineering - 03.07.2019
AI-designed heat pumps consume less energy
AI-designed heat pumps consume less energy
Researchers at EPFL have developed a method that uses artificial intelligence to design next-generation heat-pump compressors. Their method can cut the pumps' power requirement by around 25%. In Switzerland, 50-60% of new homes are equipped with heat pumps. These systems draw in thermal energy from the surrounding environment - such as from the ground, air, or a nearby lake or river - and turn it into heat for buildings.

Environment - Civil Engineering - 19.03.2019
What is on the ground in a city linked inequality in life satisfaction
Cities which have a balance between facilities, housing and natural green spaces have lower levels of socio-economic inequality in the life satisfaction of its residents, according to new research. ‌ In a European-wide study, led by the University of Glasgow MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit and published today in Social Science & Medicine, scientists found links between urban design and levels of inequality in life satisfaction.

Civil Engineering - 07.09.2018
Green urban space may be good for children’s brains
Children living in greener urban neighbourhoods may have better spatial working memory, according to new research by UCL Institute of Education (IOE). Spatial working memory is a measure of how effective people are at orientation and recording information about their environment. It enables us to navigate through a city or remember the position of objects and is strongly inter-related with attentional control.

Civil Engineering - 03.09.2018
A thinner bridge with enormous strength
A thinner bridge with enormous strength
The first railroad bridge in Germany made of ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) has gone into operation on Bavaria's Tegernsee-Bahn railroad route near Gmund. The innovative high-performance concrete made it possible to build a particularly thin bridge. Engineers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) planned the project and provided scientific supervision.

Civil Engineering - 30.07.2018
Bending The Rules
Bending The Rules
Steel bridges cost a lot of money to build. It's been estimated that the new motorway viaduct near Oberthulba in Bavaria will cost around 85 million Euros. Planners know that in order to save on material costs, build components should be designed with as much openwork as possible, whilst maintaining stability.

Health - Civil Engineering - 04.04.2018
Household air pollution linked to cardiovascular disease risk
Exposure to household air pollution from using wood or coal for cooking and heating is associated with higher risk of death from heart attack and stroke, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Around three billion people worldwide use solid fuels (e.g.

Civil Engineering - 26.02.2018
Older bridges: Pushing the envelope
Older bridges: Pushing the envelope
Research news In the summer of 2017, researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) pushed the old Saale bridge in Hammelburg in Franconia to its limits: They carried out a total of five load tests - resulting in nasty cracks. In combination with laboratory tests, they hope to determine whether older bridges have greater load reserves than previously assumed.

Physics - Civil Engineering - 22.02.2018
Urban heat island effects depend on a city’s layout
The arrangement of a city's streets and buildings plays a crucial role in the local urban heat island effect, which causes cities to be hotter than their surroundings, researchers have found. The new finding could provide city planners and officials with new ways to influence those effects. Some cities, such as New York and Chicago, are laid out on a precise grid, like the atoms in a crystal, while others such as Boston or London are arranged more chaotically, like the disordered atoms in a liquid or glass.

Civil Engineering - 19.02.2018
The bridge that stretches
The bridge that stretches
Bridges change shape, which is why they are usually built with expansion joints. At TU Wien, a technology has been developed that makes it possible to forego these joints, thus saving time and money. You can feel it straight away when you drive over a bridge quickly: the expansion joint that you rumble over at the start and end of the bridge.

Civil Engineering - 12.02.2018
Improving urban flood prediction
Improving urban flood prediction
Heavy rainfall can cause flash floods in urban areas. While data from flood events is required to model such phenomena, water levels and discharges are not routinely measured above ground. Eawag now plans to make use of widely available images and videos to estimate these values. We are all familiar with the chaotic scenes caused by torrential rain in towns - roads turned into raging rivers and sewers overflowing, unable to cope with the volume of water running off streets, squares and rooftops.
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