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Liège, Belgium

Fourneau C.,University of Mons | Cornil N.,University of Mons | Delvosalle C.,University of Mons | Breulet H.,ISSeP | And 2 more authors.
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2012

The concept of Passive House or Passivhaus (PH) refers to the current highest energy standard for buildings, with a promise to spare up to 90 % of heating, or cooling, energy compared to common buildings. In order to be certified, a PH must meet tough requirements for air tightness and thermal insulation, so that energy losses are kept as low as possible. The difficulty to achieve the required level of performance in part explains the limited number of PH so far. However, while the member states are implementing the European Directive on Energy Performance of Building, it is expected for instance that by 2015, 100 % of the new buildings in Brussels will be PH! The fire hazards possibly associated with PHs have recently raised questions amongst the fire community in Belgium (chiefly the fire brigades) reported by the press. In an attempt to answer those questions, ISSeP and University of Mons have conducted a study funded by the SPF Interior whose main objective was to determine to which extent the characteristics of PHs (mainly the forced /controlled ventilation and the thermal insulation) affect the fire spread and fumes propagation. The project "Passive House and fire = Inferno" compares a PH and a conventional house in terms of fire hazards for the dwellers. It has been shown that the time available for escape of the dwellers calculated according to ISO 13571 is approximately the same for the two houses for identical interior wall lining and fire scenario. Copyright © 2012, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l. Source


Girard O.,Research and Education Center | Racinais S.,Research and Education Center | Micallef J.-P.,UPRES EA 2991 | Micallef J.-P.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Millet G.P.,ISSeP
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports | Year: 2011

To examine the time course of alteration in neural process (spinal loop properties) during prolonged tennis playing, 12 competitive players performed a series of neuromuscular tests every 30min during a 3-h match protocol. Muscle activation (twitch interpolation) and normalized EMG activity were assessed during maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of plantar flexors. Spinal reflexes and M-waves were evoked at rest (i.e., Hmax and Mmax, respectively) and during MVC (i.e., Hsup, V-wave, Msup, respectively). MVC torque declined significantly (P<0.001) across the match protocol, due to decrease (P<0.001) in muscle activation and in normalized EMG activity. The impairment in MVC was significantly correlated (r=0.77; P<0.05) with the decline in muscle activation. Hmax/Mmax (P<0.001), Hsup/Msup (P<0.01) and V/Msup (P<0.05) ratios were depressed with fatigue and decreased by ~80%, 46% and 61% at the end of exercise, respectively. Simultaneously, peak twitch torque and M-wave amplitude were significantly (P<0.01) altered with exercise, suggesting peripheral alterations. During prolonged tennis playing, the compromised voluntary strength capacity is linked to a reduced neural input to the working muscles. This central activation deficit partly results from a modulation in spinal loop properties. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Source


Lemiere B.,Bureau de Recherches Geologiques et Minieres | Laperche V.,Bureau de Recherches Geologiques et Minieres | Haouche L.,ISSeP | Auger P.,Bureau de Recherches Geologiques et Minieres
Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis | Year: 2014

The sustainable management of dredged waterway sediments requires on-site determination of the main pollutants to facilitate their safe reuse or treatment. Portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) is commonly used for similar applications with contaminated soil, but the high water content of dredged sediments precludes any application of standard methods. Measurements for Pb, Zn, Cu and As were performed on-site on raw wet sediments with 50 to 70 % water contents during dredging or mapping operations. These results, although two or three times lower than laboratory analyses on the same samples, were found to be related to absolute concentrations closely enough to rank samples. In order to investigate further the feasibility of field analyses on wet sediments, partial dehydration methods were tested. The most efficient technique is based on a hand press. It is simple and quick enough to be used on dredging boats during operations and produces sample pellets with 30 to 50 % water contents. The relationship between pXRF measurements on these pellets and laboratory analyses was found to be sufficiently linear to calculate estimated concentrations. Potential differences were found to be less than 20 % for Pb and Zn. Higher differences for Cu were due to very low concentrations, within twice the limit of detection (LOD). Some limitations were observed. The water content in pellets is variable depending on the sediment type or matrix. The correction factors vary between the measured elements and they may also vary with matrix chemistry. However, Pb-Zn-Cu-As concentrations were ranked and evaluated accurately and the geochemical signatures of the samples were preserved. We demonstrated that, with a simple partial dehydration procedure, pXRF measurements can be reliably related closely enough to absolute concentrations to make field decisions for sediment management. Since the approximately linear relationships between measurements on semi-wet samples and laboratory analyses are matrix- and site-dependent, they must be recognised before using pXRF on wet samples for decision-making. © 2014 AAG/The Geological Society of London. Source


Wildemeersch S.,University of Liege | Brouyere S.,University of Liege | Orban P.,University of Liege | Couturier J.,University of Liege | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2010

The Hybrid Finite Element Mixing Cell (HFEMC) method is a flexible modelling technique particularly suited to mining problems. The principle of this method is to subdivide the modelled zone into several sub-domains and to select a specific equation, ranging from the simple linear reservoir equation to the groundwater flow in porous media equation, to model groundwater flow in each sub-domain. The model can be run in transient conditions, which makes it a useful tool for managing mine closure post-issues such as groundwater rebound and water inrushes. The application of the HFEMC method to an abandoned underground coal mine near the city of Liege (Belgium) is presented. The case study zone has been discretised taking advantage of the flexibility of the method. Then, the model has been calibrated in transient conditions based on both hydraulic head and water discharge rate observation and an uncertainty analysis has been performed. Finally, the calibrated model has been used to run several scenarios in order to assess the impacts of possible future phenomena on the hydraulic heads and the water discharge rates. Among others, the simulation of an intense rainfall event shows a quick and strong increase in hydraulic heads in some zones coupled with an increase in associated water discharge rates. This could lead to stability problems in local hill slopes. These predictions will help managing and predicting mine water problems in this complex mining system. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source


Brohez S.,University of Mons | Cornil N.,University of Mons | Fourneau C.,University of Mons | Breulet H.,ISSeP | Desmet S.,ISSeP
11th International Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management Conference and the Annual European Safety and Reliability Conference 2012, PSAM11 ESREL 2012 | Year: 2012

The concept of Passive House (PH) refers to the present highest energy standard for buildings, with a promise to spare up to 90% of heating (or cooling) energy compared to common buildings. Therefore, with the soaring prices of oil and the rising willingness (or requirement) to reduce our ecological footprint, it is not surprising to observe a fast growing demand for such houses. In order to be certified, a PH must meet tough requirements for air tightness and thermal insulation so that energy losses are as low as possible. The difficulty to achieve the required level of performance in part explains the limited number of PH so far. However, while the member states are implementing the European Directive on Energy Performance of Building, it is expected for instance that by 2015, 100 % of the new buildings in Brussels will be PH! The fire hazards possibly associated with PHs have recently raised questions amongst the fire community in Belgium (chiefly the fire brigades) reported by the press. In an attempt to answer those questions, ISSeP and University of Mons have conducted a study funded by the SPF Interior whose main objective was to determine to which extent the characteristics of PHs (mainly the forced / controlled ventilation and the thermal insulation) affect the fire spread and development. The project "Passive House and fire = Inferno?" (its acronym PHI suggests that ventilation is a key factor) compares PH and conventional house in terms of fire hazards for the dwellers. In this first project, emphasis was placed on the occupants. It has been shown that the time available for escape of the dwellers calculated according to ISO 13571 is approximately the same for the two houses for identical interior facing and fire scenario. Source

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