Addressing the complexity of sustainability-driven structural design: Computational design, optimization, and decision making
Doctoral thesis, 2021
Alternatively, many different design choices could be considered and evaluated in a more holistic approach in order to find the most sustainable design for a particular application. However, finding design solutions that offer the best sustainability performance and fulfil all structural, performance and buildability requirements, require methods that allow considering different design options, analysing them, and assessing their sustainability. The aim of this thesis is to explore and develop methods enabling structural engineers to take sustainability objectives into account in the design of structures.
Throughout this thesis, a number of methods have been explored to take sustainability aspects into account in the structural design process. As a first step, highly parameterized computer codes for sustainability-driven design have been developed. These codes interoperate with FE analysis software to automatically model and analyse design concepts over the whole design space and verify compliance with structural design standards. The codes were complemented with a harmonized method for life cycle sustainability performance assessment, in line with the state-of-the-art standards. Here, sustainability criteria were defined covering environmental, social, economic, buildability and structural performance for multi-criteria assessment of design concepts. To identify the most sustainable designs within the set, multi-objective optimization algorithms were used. Algorithms that address the high expense of constraint function evaluations of structural design problems were developed and integrated in the parameterized computer codes for sustainability-driven design. To ensure the applicability and validity of these methods, case studies based on real-world projects and common structural engineering problems were used in this thesis. Case studies for bridges and wind turbine foundations as well as a benchmark case of a reinforced concrete beam were investigated.
The case studies highlight the potential of the methods explored to support the design of more sustainable structures, as well as the applicability of the methods in structural engineering practice. It is concluded that it is possible and beneficial to combine computational design, life cycle sustainability assessment, and multi-objective design optimization as a basis for decision making in the design phase of civil engineering projects. A wide adoption of such a sustainability-driven design optimization approach in structural engineering practice can directly improve the sustainability of the construction sector.
wind turbine foundation
finite element analysis
multi-objective design optimization
life cycle sustainability assessment
Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering
Concrete Support Structures for Offshore Wind Turbines: Current Status, Challenges, and Future Trends
Energies,; Vol. 14(2021)
Life Cycle Sustainability Performance Assessment Method for Comparison of Civil Engineering Works Design Concepts: Case Study of a Bridge
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health,; Vol. 17(2020)p. 1-34
Automatic structural design by a set-based parametric design method
Automation in Construction,; Vol. 108(2019)
Multi-objective constrained Bayesian optimization for structural design
Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization,; Vol. 63(2021)p. 689-701
Mathern, A., Penadés Pla, V., Armesto Barros, J., Yepes, V. Practical metamodel-assisted multi-objective design optimization for improved sustainability and buildability of wind turbine foundations
Projekteringsprocess för ökad hänsyn till produktionsmetoder, klimat och miljöpåverkan i byggprocessen
Swedish Transport Administration (2018/68419), 2018-07-01 -- 2020-06-30.
Sustainable and Cost Effective Structural Supporting System for Onshore Wind Power Plants
Swedish Wind Power Technology Center (SWPTC), 2019-09-01 -- 2022-12-31.
ISEAWIND – Innovative Structural Engineering Approaches for design of off-shore WIND power plant foundations
Swedish Energy Agency, 2015-08-01 -- 2018-09-30.
NCC AB (SWPTCTG4-21), 2015-08-01 -- 2018-09-30.
Sustainable design and production planning
NCC AB, 2017-11-01 -- 2020-05-29.
VINNOVA (2017-03312), 2017-11-01 -- 2020-02-29.
Swedish Transport Administration, 2017-11-01 -- 2020-05-29.
A pilot - Sustainability driven building design based on Artificial Intelligence
Formas (2018-02630), 2018-12-01 -- 2019-09-30.
Areas of Advance
Building Futures (2010-2018)
Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology
Other Civil Engineering
C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)
Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4963
Online - Password to the digital meeting is available from email@example.com
Opponent: Prof. Helena Gervasio, Civil Engineering Department, University of Coimbra, Portugal