A Predictive Computer Program for Proactive Demolition Planning

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September 2018 Progress Report

Proactive planning of controlled bridge demolition is of great importance to proceed with the rest of construction project in a timely manner; otherwise, it can cause major impact such as project delays and disruptions to traffic. Utmost priority should be given to secure safety of workers, for which any feasible emergency events should be proactively prepared. Maintaining the integrity of neighboring infrastructure, e.g., permanent roadways, nearby buildings, from the potential impact of demolition debris is another critical issue. The significance of proactive demolition planning is even greater for ABC project due to the urgency of completing bridge replacement work.

However, there has been difficulty in developing a general procedure/protocol for safe and efficient demolition planning due to inherent uncertainty hard to characterize ahead. Information has been often limited to the engineers regarding how to proceed with the demolition, which has often caused unpredictable failures in the projects. Potential hazards and inefficiency associated with demolition may be better controlled and possibly eliminated by realistically predicting the most likely scenarios, for which numerical simulations can be leveraged. Communication between structural engineers, contractors and stakeholders will be become more transparent if visualized simulation result is utilized. Therefore, predictive numerical simulation will enable better and faster decision making for proactive planning in demolition project where uncertainty is the only certainty.

The main objective of this project is to enhance the predictive capability of bridge demolition process by developing a computational framework that can efficiently simulate feasible demolition scenarios and take the guesswork out of equation.

This project focuses on the development of simulation technique targeted at bridge demolition. The following tasks will be performed to achieve the project objective:

  • Task 1 – Literature Review:  This project will first perform literature review regarding the relevant research efforts that have been made to simulate bridge demolition process.
  • Task 2 – Design of the overall architecture of the computational framework:  The overall architecture of the program will be designed, which includes various numerical components required to simulate the demolition. In particular, balancing between simulation fidelity and computational efficiency will be pursued as the computational framework to be developed in this study targets solving a field scale problem for use in the engineering practice, which is different from a conventional fracture mechanics solver that focuses on the precise crack propagation at a relative small scale.
  • Task 3 – Code development:  Numerical implementation will be performed.
  • Task 4 – Verification, calibration and validation:  The developed code will be calibrated using physical testing data and validated by video records obtained from the previous demolition projects. Any major numerical issues/errors will be also resolved/debugged through verification.
  • Task 5 – Final Report:  Final report will be developed to provide the instructions as step-by-step procedures. Tutorials will be included to showcase how to use the code to simulate example demolition projects.

Research Team:
Principal Investigator:  Dr. SJ Lee
Research Assistant:

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