Dimitrios Moutaftsis

PhD

Improved structural, embodied carbon and cost efficiency of single-storey industrial buildings using sandwich panels

Qualifications

MSc & DIC in Structural Steel Design. Imperial College London
Dipl.-Ing in Civil Engineering. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Supervisor(s)

Professor Raymond G. Ogden, Dr Martin D Heywood

Research project

Recent changes to the Building Regulations have resulted in a significant increase in the thickness of insulation within the building envelope to reduce operational carbon emissions. Despite strong evidence of diminishing marginal returns in terms of operational energy savings coupled with increases in the embodied carbon of the insulating material, this trend looks set to continue. For twin skin metal envelope systems, particularly composite insulated (sandwich) panels, the increase in insulation depth has led to a considerable improvement in the structural capability of the envelope in terms of strength and stiffness. This has hitherto been ignored in the design of the building structure and could be utilised to reduce the embodied carbon in the structure if appropriately designed.

The research comprised a series of studies to evaluate the opportunities and quantify the amount of benefit and trade-off with elimination of structure within the building by exploiting the increased insulation depth and the corresponding structural capability of modern sandwich panel envelope systems. The study focused on single-storey industrial buildings, which attract approximately 50% of the constructional steelwork used in the UK.

Structural forms that offered the greatest potential to exploit the envelope’s capabilities were identified and an extensive series of structural analyses were undertaken. Particular attention was given to the use of long span sandwich panels to reduce the number of supporting structural members, use of diaphragm action to stiffen the frame and frameless buildings. The technology barriers to permit use of sandwich panels with enhanced structural capabilities were investigated and addressed through a mixture of analytical and experimental research. Finally, optimal structure-envelope combinations were reviewed in terms of cost and embodied carbon to evaluate the net benefit of the proposed building solutions.

The study concluded that a considerable saving in embodied carbon and cost is possible compared to traditional construction solutions through the exploitation of sandwich panel envelopes’ enhanced structural capability.

Conferences where research has been presented

EURO-MED-SEC-1. First European and Mediterranean Structural Engineering and Construction Conference: Interaction between Theory and Practice in Civil Engineering and Construction. 24-29 May 2016. Istanbul, Turkey

ISEC-8. Eight International Structural Engineering and Construction Conference: Implementing Innovative Ideas in Structural Engineering and Management. 23-28 November 2015. Sydney, Australia

ICASS ’15. 8th International Conference on Advances in Steel Structures. 21-24 July 2015. Lisbon, Portugal

17th Young Researchers’ Conference. The Institution of Structural Engineers, 14nd April 2015, London, United Kingdom

Technology Design and Environment Research Student Conference 2015. Oxford Brookes University. 20 May 2015. Oxford, United Kingdom

Publications

Heywood, M.D., Moutaftsis, D., Ogden, R.G. (2016) ‘Embodied carbon efficient industrial buildings with optimised long span sandwich panels’. Proceedings of the First European and Mediterranean Structural Engineering and Construction Conference (EURO-MED-SEC-1): Interaction between Theory and Practice in Civil Engineering and Construction. 24-29 May. Istanbul, Turkey

Moutaftsis, D., Resalati, S., Heywood, M.D., Ogden, R.G. (2015) ‘Optimised Low Embodied and Operational Carbon Solutions for Single Storey Industrial Buildings’. Proceedings of the Eight International Structural Engineering and Construction Conference (ISEC-8): Implementing Innovative Ideas in Structural Engineering and Management. 23-28 November. Sydney, Australia

Moutaftsis, D., Heywood, M.D., Ogden, R.G. (2015) ‘Improved Structural Efficiency in Steel Single Storey Buildings using Sandwich Panels’, Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Advances in Steel Structures. 21-24 July. Lisbon, Portugal

Moutaftsis D. (2015) ‘Improved structural efficiency of steel single storey industrial buildings using sandwich panels’, Proceedings of the 17th Young Researchers’ Conference. The Institution of Structural Engineers, 14nd April, London, United Kingdom, pp. 72-73

Heywood, M., Ogden, R., Moutaftsis, D. (2014) ‘Profiled sandwich panels with deep foam cores in flexure’, Proceedings of the ICE - Construction Materials, 167(1), pp. 42-56

Other relevant information

Project funded under the EPSRC Case Award (Industry project sponsor: TATA Steel Colors)

Dimitrios Moutaftsis

PhD
Improved structural, embodied carbon and cost efficiency of single-storey industrial buildings using sandwich panels

Supervisor(s)
Professor Raymond G. Ogden
Dr Martin D Heywood