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Genetic algorithm for embodied energy optimisation of steel-concrete composite beams

Whitworth, A. H. & Tsavdaridis, K. D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8349-3979 (2020). Genetic algorithm for embodied energy optimisation of steel-concrete composite beams. Sustainability, 12(8), article number 3102. doi: 10.3390/su12083102


The optimisation of structural performance is acknowledged as a means of obtaining sustainable structural designs. A minimisation of embodied energy of construction materials is a key component in the delivery of sustainable future designs. This study attempts to understand the relationship between embodied energy and structural form of composite floor plates for tall buildings, and how this form can be optimised to minimise embodied energy. As a search method based upon the principles of genetics and natural selection, genetic algorithms (GA) have previously been used as novel means of optimising composite beams and composite frames for cost and weight objective functions. Parametric design models have also been presented as optimisation tools to optimise steel floor plates for both cost and embodied carbon. In this study, a Matlab algorithm is presented incorporating MathWorks global optimisation toolbox GA and utilising Eurocode 4 design processes to optimise a composite beam for five separate objective functions: maximise span length; minimise beam cross-section; minimise slab depth; minimise weight; minimise deflected shape for each of the objective functions. Candidate designs are to be assessed for embodied energy to determine individual relationships. This study shows that it is possible to reduce the embodied energy of steel-concrete composite beams by genetic algorithm optimisation whilst remaining compliant to given design codes.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: ©2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Publisher Keywords: steel-concrete composite beams; embodied energy; genetic algorithm; optimisation; steel floor plates; weight reduction
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TH Building construction
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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