• AIA CPD Workshop to Edra44 Providence: 'Neuroergonomics and Urban Design'

      Tracada, Eleni; Caperna, Antonio; Serafini, Stefano; University of Derby; President, International Society of Biourbanism; Director of Studies, International Society of Biourbanism (2013-10-17)
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Biourbanism as neuroergonomics in design

      Tracada, Eleni; Caperna, Antonio; Serafini, Stefano; University of Derby; International Society of Biourbanism, Rome, Italy (2013)
    • Biourbanism for a healthy city: biophilia and sustainable urban theories and practices

      Tracada, Eleni; Caperna, Antonio; University of Derby; Rome Tre University, Department of Urban Study - TIPUS Lab (Bannari Amman Institute of Technology, India, 2012)
      Vital elements in urban fabric have been often concealed for reasons of design. Recent theories, such as Biourbanism, suggest that cities risk becoming unstable and deprived of healthy social interactions. Our paper aims at exploring the reasons for which,fractal cities, for example can have beneficial impact on human fitness of body and mind. During the last few decades, modern urban fabric lost some very important elements, only because urban design and planning became stylistic patterns of fancy aerial views to show mainly iconic signature architecture. Biourbanism attempts to reestablish lost values and balance, not only in urban fabric, but also in reinforcing human-oriented design principles to be easily implemented and understood. The Lancet Commission of Healthy Cities provides an analysis of how health outcomes are part of the complexity of urban processes, highlighting the role that urban planning can, and should play in delivering health improvements through processes of reshaping the urban fabric of our cities around the globe. This paper describes how the application of Biourbanism’s principles can improve the quality of the urban environment with reference to both physical transformations of it and psychological impact upon city inhabitants. Therefore, these principles are accomplished to support urban structural sustainability.
    • 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.
    • Complexity and biourbanism: thermodynamical architectural and urban models integrated in modern geographic mapping

      Tracada, Eleni; Caperna, Antonio; University of Derby; University Tre, Rome, Italy (University of Lincoln, 2012)
      Abstract Vital elements in urban fabric have been often suppressed for reasons of ‘style’. Recent theories, such as Biourbanism, suggest that cities risk becoming unstable and deprived of healthy social interactions. Our paper aims at exploring the reasons for which, fractal cities, which have being conceived as symmetries and patterns, can have scientifically proven and beneficial impact on human fitness of body and mind. During the last few decades, modern urban fabric lost some very important elements, only because urban design and planning turned out to be stylistic aerial views or new landscapes of iconic technological landmarks. Biourbanism attempts to re-establish lost values and balance, not only in urban fabric, but also in reinforcing human-oriented design principles in either micro or macro scale. Human life in cities and beyond emerges during ‘connectivity’ via geometrical continuity of grids and fractals, via path connectivity among highly active nodes, via exchange/movement of people and, finally via exchange of information (networks). All these elements form a hypercomplex system of several interconnected layers of a dynamic structure, all influencing each other in a non-linear manner. Sometimes networks of communication at all levels may suffer from sudden collapse of dynamic patterns, which have been proved to be vital for a long time either to landscapes and cityscapes. We are now talking about negotiating boundaries between human activities, changes in geographic mapping and, mainly about sustainable systems to support continuous growth of communities. We are not only talking about simple lives (‘Bios’) as Urban Syntax (bio and socio-geometrical synthesis), but also about affinities between developing topographies created by roadways and trajectories and the built environment. We shall also have the opportunity to show recent applications of these theories in our postgraduate students’ work, such as a 3D model as a new method of cartography of the Island of Mauritius, with intend to highlight developments in topography and architecture through a series of historical important events and mutating socio-political and economical geographies. This model may be able to predict failures in proposed and/or activated models of expansion, which do not follow strictly morphogenetic and physiological design processes. The same kind of modelling is capable to enable recognition of ‘optimal forms’ at different feedback scales, which, through morphogenetic processes, guarantee an optimal systemic efficiency, and therefore quality of life.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The fractal urban coherence in biourbanism: the factual elements of urban fabric

      Tracada, Eleni; University of Derby (Common Ground Publishing, 2013-09-24)
      During the last few decades, modern urban fabric lost some very important elements, only because urban design and planning turned out to be stylistic aerial views or new landscapes of iconic technological landmarks. Biourbanism attempts to re-establish lost values and balance, not only in urban fabric, but also in reinforcing human-oriented design principles in either micro or macro scale. Biourbanism operates as a catalyst of theories and practices in both architecture and urban design to guarantee high standards in services, which are currently fundamental to the survival of communities worldwide. Human life in cities emerges during connectivity via geometrical continuity of grids and fractals, via path connectivity among highly active nodes, via exchange/movement of people and, finally via exchange of information (networks). In most human activities taking place in central areas of cities, people often feel excluded from design processes in the built environment. This paper aims at exploring the reasons for which, fractal cities, which have being conceived as symmetries and patterns, can have scientifically proven and beneficial impact on human fitness of body and mind; research has found that, brain traumas caused by visual agnosia become evident when patterns disappear from either 2D or 3D emergences in architectural and urban design.
    • From Modernism and under the Fascist flag of Italian Nation to Post-modernist urban sprawl

      Tracada, Eleni; University of Derby (East Midlands History and Philosophy of Architecture Research Network (University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, University of derby, University of Lincoln), 2010)
      In early 20th century, architecture had no place as a national recognised school in Italy. Architects’ professional formation was blended inside the Academies of Arts and just few of them were trained in Engineering Schools of the northern part of the country. There were strict limitations in being creative in design and architecture, because of the tendency to imitate and follow the past, until the strategy of design and architecture changed tune by aligning modernist ideas to a controversial transformation. With the Rationalist Exhibitions of architectural design in the 1930s, architecture acquired the official support and protection of Mussolini himself; the ultra modernist projects of the first students of the newly founded architectural schools of Rome and Florence had an immediate impact to politics in such a way that in the following years modernist architecture became the Nation’s architecture showing up in large scale competitions, such the EUR in Rome and the Railway Station of Florence. The Nation’s architecture had such an influence to policy making that all the planning laws after World War II were based on the first laws in the 1930s and 1940s; the nationalist regime managed to put forward rules and regulations which had to re-format the built environment through the development master plans in the 1950s and beyond.
    • 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.
    • The Gypsy and Traveller communities’ housing dispute against the Localism Tenet – Social and Cultural definition of Gypsy and Traveller status and gender issues

      Tracada, Eleni; Spencer, Siobhan; Neary, Siobhan; University of Derby, College of Engineering and Technology; Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group; University of Derby, iCeGS (CREA & Giovanni Michelucci Foundation, 2014-12)
    • Harmonious architecture and kinetic linear energy

      Tracada, Eleni; University of Derby (montpellier.archi.fr, 2013-07-05)
    • Hidden agenda in the last decade Localism and Housing Acts in the UK. Where is the good practice in East and West Midlands case studies?

      Tracada, Eleni; Spencer, Siobhan; Neary, Siobhan; University of Derby; Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group; University of Derby (University of Pécs, Research Centre of Romology, 2014)
      Localism acts such as Act 2011 have always accompanied and reinforced Planning Acts. For example, in Planning Act 2008, National Policy Statements describe clearly a single commissioner’s role and tasks to handle application; they also define the cases in which the Secretary of State is a final decision-maker. Planning acts describe the meaning of ‘owner’, allocation of housing accommodation and acquisition of land. On the other hand, with the help of Localism Acts enforcing rules, regulations and continuous amendments, some local communities have successfully challenged Gypsy planning applications as in our case studies in East and West Midlands. Since several years and looking back in time, policy-makers and extremely conservative locals have always challenged planning applications of Gypsy individuals and communities by successfully repealing provisions of local authorities through petitions and other abusive behaviour at times. Although Housing Act promises to make provisions about housing, secure tenancy and also about mobile homes and the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers, it may also contain contradictory content in ‘schedules’, ‘service notices’ and ‘appeals to prohibition notices’, ‘management orders’, which may encourage locals to oppose local authorities decisions about Gypsy protected sites. However the most sinister decisions and campaigns against Gypsy sites and planning permissions have been triggered mainly by the Localism acts and by notions of who has the right to be a ‘local person’ having the right to make an application and/or acquire land to be used as a protected site.
    • ‘Hidden agenda in the last decade: localism and Housing Acts in UK.

      Tracada, Eleni; Spencer, Siobhan; Neary, Siobhan; University of Derby; Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group; University of Derby (2014-04)
      Localism acts such as Act 2011 have always accompanied and reinforced Planning Acts. For example, in Planning Act 2008, National Policy Statements describe clearly a single commissioner’s role and tasks to handle application; they also define the cases in which Secretary of State is decision-maker. Planning acts describe the meaning of ’owner’, allocation of housing accomodation and acquisition of land. On the other hand with the help of Localism Acts enforcing rules, regulations and continuous amendements, some local communities have successfully challenged Gypsy planning applications as in our case studies in East and West Midlands. Since several years and looking back in time, policy-makers and extremely conservative locals have always challenged planning applications of Gypsy individuals and communities by successfully repealing provisions of local authorities through petitions and other abusive behaviour at times. And although a Housing Act promises to make provisions about housing, secure tenancy and also about mobile homes and the accomodation needs of gypsies and travellers, it may also contain contraddictory content in ’schedules’, ’service notices’ and ’appeals to prohibition notices’, ’management orders’, which may encourage locals to oppose local authorities decisions about Gypsy protected sites. However the most sinister decisions and campaigns against Gypsy sites and planning permissions have been triggered mainly by the Localism acts and by notions of who has the right to be a ’local person’ having the right to make an application and/or acquire land to be used as protected site. In some case study we can discover that the terms of ’Gypsy’, ’nomadism’ and ’Traveller’ become challenging ’weapons’ against planning applications. No Gypsy person getting a local fixed job can be considered any more as a ’Gypsy’ or ’Traveller’, but, they have no chance to become ’locals’ to acquire more rights. On the opposite side, if any person comes from somewhere else is not considered a local to have equal rights with everybody else in the area. If they declare themselves as Gypsy/Traveller, they are opposed by locals as such; locals use themes of wrong waste management and lack of cleaningness, for example, based on Housing Acts to prevent decisions of local authorities ion favour of gypsies who recently lost the right to get legal aid and appeal, as well. The term ’Gypsy’ is played down to what the rest of the inhabitants wants to achieve and most of the times middle aged Gypsy women become victims of a male war of law and regulations; there are occasions in which a woman lost the right to be a ’Gypsy’ simply because they had to find a job close by and for long in order to be a carer for her elderly parents. We are going to challenge ’good practices’ by investigating on these cases through hidden agenda and metaphors used in acts and related decisions and outcomes.
    • An investigation into the influence of cultural background on the mathematics achievement of international engineering students

      Grenyer, Geoffrey (Loughborough University, 2012-09)
      This exploratory research aimed to identify significant differences of approach to mathematics by engineering students which correlate with their country of previous study. Comparisons were made between students from the UK and those from the middle east. The research used a written questionnaire in which students were asked about their mathematical influences, tuition, revision, assessment, feelings and beliefs about mathematics. The questionnaire was given to 120 first year undergraduates in engineering at the University of Derby, including 38 from the middle east and 72 from the UK. Follow up interviews with students determined the structure of mathematics education common in the middle east. Discussions with teaching colleagues and the University international student advisor further informed the conclusions. The data indicated observable differences in most areas. The most significant were influences and methods of tuition, where self study, closed question solving and the completion of similar exercises were considered more important by middle eastern students than by UK students. The research concludes that these data show that differences of approaches to mathematics between middle east and UK students are not large and are only one factor determining differential performance. Recommendations are made that more subject specific research is carried out across a wider range of cultural backgrounds to determine the relative importance of academic, cultural and material effects on student performance whilst noting the significant practical advice already published.
    • 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.