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Ypsilanti, MI, United States

Davies P.,Vinci Technology Corporation | Osmani M.,Loughborough University
Building and Environment | Year: 2011

The UK has a legally binding commitment to reduce CO2 levels by 80% by 2050 relative to the 1990 emissions baseline. The existing housing stock, which accounts for approximately 30% of total UK energy demand, has the potential to provide significant opportunities for this reduction; however, currently there are no legislative measures driving widespread low carbon housing refurbishment (LCHR) design and construction. Architects have a decisive role to move forward the LCHR agenda owing to their leadership and significant involvement in the initial briefing, conceptual and design development phases of a project, regardless of project procurement types and project sizes. Hence, the aim of this research is to investigate the key challenges and incentives for achieving LCHR in England from architects' perspectives.The research adopted a triangulated methodological approach, consisting of a desk study, postal questionnaires, and follow up semi-structured interviews. The questionnaires and interviews were executed amongst a wide geographical sampling frame of architects in England with previous housing refurbishment experience. The research concluded that high capital costs for micro-generation technologies and energy efficient materials; disparity in VAT between new build and refurbishment; and the complexity of the UK existing housing stock are the most considerable LCHR challenges. In contrast, the research indicated that a tax rebate; removal of the VAT difference between new build and refurbishment; increased research to produce affordable micro-generation technologies; and increased government supplied low carbon programmes were identified by the participants as the key incentives to drive the LCHR agenda. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Osmani M.,Loughborough University | Davies P.,Vinci Technology Corporation
Energy Procedia | Year: 2013

The UK housing sector accounts for approximately 30% of total energy demand and accounts for 27% of carbon emissions. The uptake of low energy retrofit (LER) within the existing housing stock is piecemeal and currently not sufficient to achieve the 80% carbon reduction legally binding commitment by 2050 in the UK. Literature reveals that improving thermal insulation is the most preferred LER design approach in housing projects. Furthermore, there are no legislative requirements to drive architects to design in low energy housing retrofit strategies in their current projects. Therefore, this research engaged architects specializing in housing refurbishment through a questionnaire survey to investigate LER design challenges and enablers. Results indicate that high capital costs for microgeneration technologies; disparity in VAT between new build and refurbishment; and the complexity of the UK existing housing stock are the most considerable LER housing design challenges. On the other hand; a tax rebate for LER driven projects; removal of the VAT difference between new build and refurbishment; increased research to produce affordable low energy technologies; and increased government low carbon programs were identified as the key incentives to drive the LER housing agenda. © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Source


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 164.96K | Year: 2013

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project relates to the use of nano-structured chemicals in the processing of light-weight magnesium (Mg) alloys for high performance applications. It is postulated that reactive nano-structured chemicals such as polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) with multiple silanol functionalities will be added to Mg alloys by solid phase mixing and in-situ reaction to achieve microstructure stability at higher temperatures leading to a significant performance enhancement for Mg alloys. This in-situ processing route is achieved through creating an environment where surface metal ions, with oxides removed and positively charged by acid or flux, bond to Si-OH groups in POSS. The end reaction results in chemical attachment of high concentrations of nanoscale Si-O cage compounds that are chemically and thermally stable near the grain boundary. These nanoscale cage compounds provide obstacles to prevent overgrowth of intermetallic compounds (IMC) and retard the motions between grains at high temperatures for microstructure stability of Mg alloys. The in-situ process overcomes the common problem of dispersing nanoparticles in a metal matrix where agglomeration and clustering of nanoparticles can occur. The resulting Mg alloys will be demonstrated to have improved service and mechanical properties at both ambient and elevated temperatures.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be to significantly improve performance of structural Mg components enabling widespread application in the automotive and aerospace industries. The automotive and aerospace industries are under ever-increasing pressure to reduce both fuel consumption and harmful emissions. Reducing the overall weight of vehicles and aircraft is key to achieving these goals and magnesium alloys, with their low density, can often be a viable proposition. However, the widespread use of magnesium is limited by its relatively poor mechanical and high-temperature creep properties. The project goal is to produce high-strength, creep-resistant magnesium material suitable for structural applications by POSS processing. Material with high concentrations of nanoscale Si-O cage compounds will be used as a master alloy in casting operations to produce large net shaped components. The manufacturing technology developed will provide a cost advantage over foreign competition for manufacturers of structural automotive and aerospace parts.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2010

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to develop a low-cost fabrication technique for producing high-strength, creep-resistant magnesium material for structural applications in vehicles and aircraft. The properties of magnesium are significantly improved by introducing nanoparticles (NPs) into the metal matrix. Current techniques for producing nanoparticle-reinforced metal matrix composites (NPMMCs) involve multiple processing steps leading to high manufacturing cost or result in the clustering and agglomeration of the nanoparticulate reinforcement. As a result, the widespread application of magnesium nanocomposites in commercial structural applications has been severely restricted. We will investigate the feasibility of a novel friction stir process (FSP) for producing magnesium NPMMC?s for structural applications. Phase I of this research will focus on improving the strength and creep resistance of magnesium alloys so that scale-up and commercialization can be pursued in Phase II. The goal of this research is to produce material suitable for structural applications in the form of plate and master alloy material. The plate material can be further processed into sheet, tubes, forged blanks and machined parts. Material with a high volume percentage of nanoparticles will be used as a master alloy in casting operations to produce large net shaped components.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is concerned with the reduction of both fuel consumption and harmful emissions in the automotive and aerospace industries. Reducing the overall weight of vehicles and aircraft is key to achieving these goals and magnesium alloys, with their low density, can often be a viable proposition. However, the widespread use of magnesium is limited by its relatively poor mechanical and high temperature creep properties. The proposed effort will significantly reduce the cost of fabrication of structural Mg components, enabling widespread application in the automotive and aerospace industries. Additionally, the manufacturing technology developed will provide a cost advantage over foreign competition to manufacturers of structural automotive parts.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2010

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to develop a low-cost fabrication technique for producing high-strength, creep-resistant magnesium material for structural applications in vehicles and aircraft. The properties of magnesium are significantly improved by introducing nanoparticles (NPs) into the metal matrix. Current techniques for producing nanoparticle-reinforced metal matrix composites (NPMMCs) involve multiple processing steps leading to high manufacturing cost or result in the clustering and agglomeration of the nanoparticulate reinforcement. As a result, the widespread application of magnesium nanocomposites in commercial structural applications has been severely restricted. We will investigate the feasibility of a novel friction stir process (FSP) for producing magnesium NPMMC?s for structural applications. Phase I of this research will focus on improving the strength and creep resistance of magnesium alloys so that scale-up and commercialization can be pursued in Phase II. The goal of this research is to produce material suitable for structural applications in the form of plate and master alloy material. The plate material can be further processed into sheet, tubes, forged blanks and machined parts. Material with a high volume percentage of nanoparticles will be used as a master alloy in casting operations to produce large net shaped components. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is concerned with the reduction of both fuel consumption and harmful emissions in the automotive and aerospace industries. Reducing the overall weight of vehicles and aircraft is key to achieving these goals and magnesium alloys, with their low density, can often be a viable proposition. However, the widespread use of magnesium is limited by its relatively poor mechanical and high temperature creep properties. The proposed effort will significantly reduce the cost of fabrication of structural Mg components, enabling widespread application in the automotive and aerospace industries. Additionally, the manufacturing technology developed will provide a cost advantage over foreign competition to manufacturers of structural automotive parts.

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