FYPs/Thesis/Journal from Higher Education Institutions in Hong Kong


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Date: From


Institution Title Type Date Author(s) Abstract Link
HKUST Mapping of 3D GIS Digital Building Models in CityGML Across Levels of Details (LoD) Report 06/2013 DU Qianru GIS, a traditional technology used in many fields in the past hundreds years, now develops to a new height. With the fast development of 3D GIS technology, many new data formats established based on this kind of technology. Being a new format, CityGML is mainly used to represent the city models. It is really convenient due to the fact that different levels of detail exist in this kind of model format. Different LoDs have different attributes and used in diverse situations. Now, the models are often built in different LoDs. Therefore, to achieve one model which is in different LoDs, a translator needs to be published. However, until now neither OGC standard nor previous researchers provide an efficient translator for the transformation between different LoDs. Furthermore, the detailed definition for different LoDs was not provided either.

Based on these motivations, this project decided to focus on these two goals. The first part of this project focuses on the differences among different LoDs. Based on the differences, a translator is published and its methodology is also shown in the later part of this report. By using the translator established according to the method in this report, a 3D model sample is provided at the end of the report. This project not only provides a tool to realize the translation between different LoDs, but also offers a convenient method for further research.
HKUST Development of Approaches in Embodied Carbon of Buildings: From Construction Materials to Building Structural Design Thesis 08/2016 Jielong GAN Global warming has been considered as a major environmental challenge nowadays. Among various sources of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the building sector is one of the major contributors to global warming, in which a substantial amount of the GHG emissions are embodied carbon from construction material production and transportation. Embodied carbon can account for 50% of the life cycle GHG emissions in buildings, and this percentage can become more significant for those buildings with shorter service life or higher energy efficiency. Therefore, reducing the embodied carbon in buildings is critically important and can help decrease the life cycle GHG emissions in buildings, thereby pushing human’s living environment towards a sustainable and low carbon future.

This thesis uses two approaches to reducing the embodied carbon in buildings. The first approach focuses on the construction material aspect and aims to reduce the embodied carbon from the manufacturing processes and transportations of construction materials. In this thesis, only the cement-based material (i.e., concrete) and quarried material (i.e., aggregate) are studied using the construction materials approach, as they account for more than 60% of the embodied carbon in a reinforced concrete (RC) building. Methods to the reduction of embodied carbon of aggregate and concrete are proposed, considering the feature of each material. Aggregate is very heavy and generates a large amount of emissions during transportation, therefore the aggregate study presents a mathematical model based on life cycle assessment (LCA) and multi-objective optimization (MOO) in order to plan the optimal amount of aggregate from different supply sources. The model can help stakeholders formulate sustainable material supply strategies that minimize the embodied carbon and material cost. For the concrete study, embodied carbon from concrete mix proportions is more important. Thus, a systematic embodied carbon quantification and mitigation framework is proposed for low carbon concrete mix design. The parameters that significantly affect the mix design and embodied carbon of concrete, namely the compressive strength class, the cement type, the supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) and the maximum aggregate size, are considered. The proposed framework can be used to identify the low carbon mix design for concrete, and the results serves as a basis for reducing the embodied carbon emissions in buildings.

Another approach to reducing the embodied carbon in buildings considers different kinds of construction materials together, and focuses on building design aspect in order to minimize the total amounts of construction materials and embodied carbon in buildings. While the previous studies in this particular stream concentrated on low-rise building, they overlooked the analysis on high-rise buildings. However, the structural forms, construction materials and component designs in high-rise buildings are different from those in low-rise buildings, which can cause a large variability in the embodied carbon estimates. Therefore, an embodied carbon accounting methodology based on building information modeling (BIM) for high-rise buildings is proposed in this thesis, and relationships between embodied carbon and the critical parameters in high-rise building design are evaluated through BIM and CFD technologies. A 60-story composite core-outrigger building is designed based on the structure of a typical high-rise building in Hong Kong (i.e., Cheung Kong Center), and then used as a reference for the comparative studies. The results of embodied carbon are expressed in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e). The first comparative study focuses on the material procurement strategies. The embodied carbon in the reference building is evaluated with different assumptions for the material manufacturing processes, the amounts of recycled scrap and cement substitutes, and the transportation distance. It is found that structural steel and rebar from traditional blast furnace account for 76% of the embodied carbon in high-rise buildings. If a contractor chooses to use steel from electric arc furnace (with 100% recycled scrap as the feedstock), the embodied carbon of a high-rise building can be decreased by 60%. As for concrete, 10-20% embodied carbon reduction is achieved by using 35% fly ash (FA) or 75% ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS) in mix design. Comparative studies are also carried out to determine the embodied carbon associated with different construction materials, building heights and structural forms. The 60-story composite core-outrigger reference building has a unitary embodied carbon of 557 kg CO2-e/m2 gross floor area (GFA). If the construction material changes to structural steel, the unitary embodied carbon increases to 759 kg CO2-e/m2 GFA, while the value of embodied carbon decreases to 537 kg CO2-e/m2 GFA if RC is used in construction. Core-frame structures are suitable for buildings of 40 stories or below, with the minimum embodied carbon at 525 kg CO2-e/m2 GFA. The optimal height range for core-outrigger structures is from 50-story to 70-story with 530 kg CO2-e/m2 GFA, whereas tubular structures are in the range between 70-story and 90-story at 540 kg CO2-e/m2 GFA. The results serve as a basis for more environmentally friendly building design, thereby improving our built environment towards a sustainable and low carbon future.
HKUST A BIM-based web service framework for green building energy simulation and code checking Journal 06/2014 Cheng, J.C.P., and Das, M. Green building design has been a major trend in the last decade which has largely affected the AEC industry. As of 2013, for example, there were over 13,000 green buildings certified with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) in the United States alone. Building Information Modeling (BIM) technolo- gy and computer simulations are adopted largely for green building design. However, while information sharing and automated, collaborative design review are important for the design of green buildings, the current way of BIM-based green building design relies mainly on individual file transfer and does not support collaboration in the distributed environment of construction projects. On the other hand, as the Internet becomes ubiquitous, the web provides convenient and cost-efficient means for multi-location cross-organizational collaboration. Energy analysis and validation against standard building codes are two major processes in green building design evaluation. This paper presents a modular web service based framework which integrates the information necessary for green building design, automates the building design evaluation processes, and facilitates simple updates on the building model on a common but distributed platform. This framework is based on BIM data models like gbXML (Green Building XML) which contain information for green building design like geometry of the building, material, and sensor information from more than one source. The BIM data models act as a single source of building information for all processes. Building design evaluation and updating are iterative in green building design and require information and inputs dispersed among various project participants. Since our framework follows a distributed architecture and is easily accessible from the Internet, it makes the information required to facilitate the iterative process and its results conveniently available to a multi-participant environment. The paper also presents an example scenario demonstrating the developed framework. Link
HKUST Comparison of Building Management Systems and Integration of Sensors with BIM for Facility Management Report 06/2018 LI Weixia
Zhang Yini
In contemporary, the requirements for promoting facility management efficiency is increasing. The traditional facility management may cost too much workforce, too much energy and money. In addition, it cannot meet people’s demand of sustainable development and the requirements of offering a comfortable environment indoors.

With the rapid development of BIM and IoT technology, we would like to make use of those technology to solve this problem. In this project, based on optimizing the facility management of student residual building which located at HKUST, some superficial attempts are made. In the project, the current situation of traditional facility management and the development of BIM and Internet of Things technology are firstly studied. Then, we introduce the application of BIM and IoT technology on facility management, and its benefits as well as weakness. Then we compare some famous and widespread brands products in BMS field. Finally, this project concluded some possible improvement and some future work. Also, we describe the picture of applying this application in realistic which can show the great potential of applying BIM + IoT technology in future facility management.
HKUST Holistic BIM framework for sustainable low carbon design of high-rise buildings Journal 06/2018 Gan, V.J.L., Deng, M., Tse, K.T., Chan, C.M., Lo, I.M.C., and Cheng, J.C.P. In high-density, high-rise cities such as Hong Kong, buildings account for nearly 90% of energy consumption and 61% of the carbon emissions. Therefore, it is important to study the design of buildings, especially high-rise buildings, so as to achieve lower carbon emissions. The carbon emissions of a building consist of embodied carbon from the production of construction materials and operational carbon from energy consumption during daily operation (e.g., air-conditioning and lighting). While most of the previous studies concentrated mainly on either embodied or operational carbon, an integrated analysis of both types of carbon emissions can improve the sustainable design of buildings. Therefore, this paper presents a holistic framework using building information modeling (BIM) technology in order to enhance the sustainable low carbon design of high-rise buildings. BIM provides detailed physical and functional characteristics of buildings that can be integrated with various environmental modeling approaches to achieve a holistic design and assessment of low carbon buildings. In a case study, the proposed framework is examined to evaluate the embodied and operational carbon in a high-rise residential building due to various envelope designs. The results demonstrate how the BIM framework provides a decision support basis for evaluating the key carbon emission sources throughout a building's life cycle and exploring more environmentally sustainable measures to improve the built environment. Link
HKUST Integrating Building Information Modeling and Internet of Things for Building Facility Management FYP 06/2019 CHAN, Sum Chau
DWIVEDY, Sampriti
In Hong Kong’s Smart City Blueprint, promoting ‘Green and Intelligent Buildings, and Energy Efficiency’ is one of the most important initiatives. HKUST, as the leading university in Hong Kong, has been working for years to build a better, smarter and greener campus. Keeping in line with HKUST’s “Sustainable Smart Campus as a Living Lab (SSC)” initiative, this project seeks to enable the Facilities Management Office to make better decisions with respect to balancing the trade-off between human thermal comfort and energy costs. This can be done by optimizing the operational controls of the existing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems (HVAC) to the occupancy level of the facility. The research was divided into two case studies, one that focuses on occupancy prediction with the use of machine learning and the other seeks to demonstrate how building information modelling (BIM) and Internet of Things (IoT) can be used to visualize the tradeoff between user thermal comfort and energy costs.

This project also discusses a flowchart to integrate the various technologies being suggested. and identifies certain software tools that can be used to assist in the integration process, for instance Autodesk’s Forge. A web-based graphical user interface for an integrated smart facility management system was also constructed in order to provide a direction for future works on this topic.