The enormous interest for the nearly-zero energy buildings motivates the research on solutions to integrate renewable energy systems in existing buildings (photovoltaic, parabolic trough, biomass and wind energy) swiftly and sustainably. Through the wide experience regarding the design and management of all types of facilities in buildings, CEMOSA has the technical capacity to propose and validate real solutions for this issue.
The latest developments in nanotechnology allow making materials that improves both isolation properties and storing thermal energy (phase change materials) in order to be used later when is necessary. This fact is very valuable for new buildings and those that require retrofitting interventions, since such advanced materials allows improving the energy efficiency and reducing energy demand peaks, what moves the occupants’ comfort to higher levels with less costs.
The building management systems range solutions to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and allow proposing and evaluating effective energy saving interventions and their sustainability. One of the main motivations in this field is the development and implementation of new algorithms and solutions to predict the energy demand in buildings and optimise the energy consumption of systems.
Within the construction industry, the interoperability of the information management becomes a basic requirement throughout the life cycle of buildings, including the design, commissioning and maintenance. The BIM standard guarantees such feature and improve the project management, what facilitates the facility management and the making decision process from a comprehensive point of view that comprises the entire life cycle of buildings. In this field, one of the main research lines is the proposal of methodologies and use of tools based on BIM.
The energy efficiency in buildings depends on local management and the related energy infrastructures and utilities. The integration strategy in traditional systems requires new solutions to connect final users with distribution system operators in order to pave the way for a most competitive, understandable and attractive electric market for everyone. In this way, the development of new algorithms and mechanisms to involve all the stakeholders is mandatory.
Integrated Innovative Engineering (I2E) where a multidisciplinary team performs the design of new infrastructure elements using expert knowledge in: advanced numerical models, both geotechnical and structural; advanced mechanical models, developed from material characterisation at laboratory; and prototype validation with integrated monitoring.
During the exploitation phase of infrastructures, maintenance use to be the main source of costs as well as a major capacity limitation. The application of Information and Communitcation Technologies (ICT) may improve the maintenance efficiency. Within this area, CEMOSA develops advanced algorithms to predict defect degradation, deploys asset management systems provided with decision support tools for maintenance planning, develops effective maintenance procedures based on new technologies and carries out Reliability, Maintainability, Availability and Safety analysis (RAMS).
New solutions in infrastructure and maintenance usually requires innovative monitoring solutions. A monitoring strategy developed by structural and geotechnical engineers ensures that the necessary parameters are measured effectively in order to assess the structural health of the infrastructure elements. Some of these solutions deal with low-cost wireless sensor networks integrated in the infrastructure during construction and using Operational Modal Analysis (OMA) for defect detection.
Life Cycle Costs (LCC) and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) are cutting-edge techniques for impact assessments, however the methodologies stated in regulations and the available software tools are not tailored made for transport infrastructures. Thanks to its large experience as engineering company, CEMOSA have an exclusive and unique cost and impact database to develop this type of analysis, as well as a own methodology for the development of new projects.
CEMOSA is able to carry out almost every type of testing according to EN standards in soils, concrete, asphalt mixtures (cold and warm), ceramics, etc., but it also develops own equipment and testing procedures when there is a new material that cannot be characterised using typical procedures. Examples of these exclusive testing equipment are a test bench for structural elements up to 5m length, UV and IR chambers for accelerated aging tests, permeameters and large test boxes for real scale tests.
In the field of geotechnics, the ownership of borehole machines and auscultation systems allows to carry out any survey project with the highest flexibility and reliability. In the field of structures, the main in-situ testing are load testing and welding control. On the other hand, CEMOSA has a patented equipment for the assessment of voids percentage and permeability on a large scale in porous surfaces, such as porous asphalt road pavements.
CEMOSA’s laboratory has the technical resources required to make samples of the main construction materials (concrete, asphalt mixtures –cold and warm-, etc.) and capabilities to study new typology of materials. The physical-mechanic and chemical characteristics of these new materials enables their use in numerical models and finally the validation and correlation of their parameters, closing the reengineering loop.
Construction materials as well as laboratory testing needs to be subjected to normalisation and standardisation before their introduction in construction works. In the initial research phase, it is required to draft the specifications that allows their rapid implementation by the proper public bodies. CEMOSA, as certified laboratory and notified body for CE marking, have the required experience to draft these documents whether for cold mix asphalt or concrete and soils.
The R&D department does not carry out research tasks related to the manufacturing of new construction materials, or is involved with the improvement of the properties of existing ones that can be subject to evaluation by the Notified Body CEMOSA.