Emissions Analytics works with Kings College London on PhD studentship
Tackling the largely ignored issue of emissions from vehicles and generators on construction sites, Emissions Analytics is teaming up with the Analytical & Environmental Sciences department at King’s College London on a three-year project based in the capital.
London is currently experiencing a boom in domestic and commercial development, as well as key civil engineering projects, such as Crossrail. However, a lack of reliable data means that there is no easy way of estimating the levels of pollution generated. This includes the amount of NOx and particulate matter, the by-products of combustion that are seen as a major contributor to urban health issues - including cancer, respiratory disorders and asthma.
Designed to help us better understand and document the levels of pollution generated, the project will investigate emissions from equipment on construction sites across London. Working with academic, industry and government partners, it aims to deliver scientifically ground breaking and policy-informing data.
As the world’s leading provider of real-world emissions measurement, Emissions Analytics will provide in-depth technical training on the Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS) that the study will rely on.
Industry estimations believe that Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) emissions contribute approximately 10 percent of the NOx and PM10 emissions within London. However, these figures are derived from very little real-world measurement, instead relying on engine test bed studies and activity estimates.
The PEMS equipment will not only be utilised to assess the automotive elements of the construction industry, but also all relevant NRMM that is used onsite. Emissions Analytics has pioneered the use of PEMS in the UK, developing its own test scenarios and assessment models.
The three-year PhD studentship is funded by the London Low Emission Construction Partnership. It also aims to test emissions abatement solutions, and provide measurement for emissions moderation.
Those who wish to apply can do so here.
University of Dresden constructs carbon concrete building
The Technical University of Dresden, in partnership with German architecture firm Henn, is constructing the first building to be made out of concrete and carbon fibre, rather than traditional steel.
The combination of materials, known as, “carbon concrete” has the same structural strength as its steel-reinforced alternative but less concrete is used, according to researchers at the university.
The building, called “The Cube” is currently under construction at the University of Dresden’s campus in Germany, and is believed to be the first carbon concrete building in the world. Strengthening the concrete, the carbon fibre yarns are used to create a mesh into which the concrete is then poured.
Unlike steel, the mesh is rust-proof meaning that the lifespan of carbon concrete is longer than that of the more typical steel-reinforced concrete. This also allows the layers to be much thinner than steel.
The design and shape of The Cube
According to the companies, the flexibility of carbon fibre allows the walls to fold up and become a roof. In a statement talking about the building’s design elements, Hen said: “The design of The Cube reinterprets the fluid, textile nature of carbon fibres by seamlessly merging the ceiling and walls in a single form, suggesting a future architecture in which environmentally conscious design is paired with formal freedom and a radical rethinking of essential architectural elements.
"The wall and ceiling are no longer separate components but functionally merge into one another as an organic continuum.” Displayed as a showpiece for TU Dresden’s major project, backed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, The Cube aims to explore the potential uses of carbon concrete in construction.
"Carbon concrete could contribute to more flexible and resource-saving construction processes, and switching to carbon concrete could reduce the CO2 emissions from construction by up to 50%," Henn said in a statement.
Bio-based carbon fibre under development to reduce carbon footprint
While carbon fibre may be lighter and stronger than steel, it has a much higher carbon footprint. Describing the material’s impact on the environment, Dr Erik Frank, Senior Carbon Scientist at the German Institute of Textile and Fibre Research Denkendorf (DITF), said it is “usually very bad.” To reduce the carbon footprint, Frank is finding ways to make carbon fibre out of lignin, a common plant-based substance found in the paper manufacturing industry.