Smart Infrastructure

Smart Infrastructure develops solutions to contribute to a sustainable built environment through innovative and functional construction products with high performance and durability, low energy building design and environmental performance, sustainable heating and cooling sources, and smart repair and strengthening techniques.

Our Group combines a diverse range of academic backgrounds to tackle pressing environmental issues through fundamental and practical research, facilitating the most up-to-date scientific advances in material development, structural design and environmental building performance, sustainable energy sources, and repair and strengthening techniques. Our efforts are directed towards meeting the needs of local and global communities via the development of new materials and systems for the next generation of infrastructure applications that promote environmental protection and advance ecological responsibility in the built environment.

To achieve our goals towards a more sustainable built environment, our research involves the use of various experimental and analytical techniques for the advancement of scientific knowledge and applications related to innovations in sustainable construction materials, structural design, building performance, energy sources, and repair and strengthening.

Our efforts in the development of innovative and functional construction products involve sustainable materials for infrastructure construction applications. We focus on the use of natural and waste materials, industrial by-products and carbon sequestration in concrete mixes. These products are designed for their capability to absorb CO2 while gaining strength, self-healing properties under various conditions, potential to be used in 3D printing for the production of environmentally friendly construction components, and recyclability at the end of use. This is achieved by studying the relationship between reaction mechanisms, mechanical performance and microstructural development, as well as the environmental impacts of various binder systems and materials.

For low energy building designs, we study the utilisation of low carbon materials and off-site building systems that lower the carbon footprint and environmental impact of construction. We also examine methods for improving whole life energy performance through the development of “smart and intelligent” buildings using sensor technology and “real-time” dynamic energy simulation models. These efforts are further supported by the use of a range of energy reduction strategies, whole life cycle analysis, Building Information Management (BIM) and Digital Twins. 

For sustainable heating and cooling sources, we focus on the assessment and development of renewable sources for low-carbon energy systems in dense urban environments and rural locations. Our research quantifies complex heating and cooling resources, which can be harnessed from the natural and built environment to enhance overall energy system efficiencies, thereby lowering the cost and environmental impact associated with energy use.

We also strive to predict and improve the response of concrete structures with a focus on deterioration processes, optimisation of material use, repair and strengthening techniques, and response of structures subjected to accidental loading. Our methodologies comprise meso/micro scale modelling, constitutive modelling and structural modelling.

Our interdisciplinary work facilitates interaction between academia and the construction and energy industries to reduce environmental burdens through sustainable engineering principles that can benefit the society on a large scale.

The University of Glasgow has invested heavily in some of the best equipped construction materials labs and testing facilities in the UK to support our research.