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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R005834/1
Title: Climate Adaptation Control Technologies for Urban Spaces (CACTUS)
Principal Investigator: Toll, Professor DG
Other Investigators:
Potts, Professor DM Sivakumar, Dr V Rees, Dr SW
Tripathy, Dr S Glendinning, Professor S Osman, Dr AS
Bengough, Professor AG Zdravkovic, Professor L Johnson, Dr K
Hughes, Dr PN Knappett, Dr JA Davie, Dr CT
Donohue, Dr S Leung, Dr A Tsiampousi, Dr K
Stirling, Dr RA
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
AECOM Limited (UK) Arup (Ove Arup and Partners Ltd) (UK) Geosynthetics Ltd
NHBC National House-Building Council Northumbrian Water Ltd Royal Haskoning
Skanska Transport NI Welsh Government
Welsh Local Government Association
Department: Engineering
Organisation: Durham, University of
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 January 2018 Ends: 31 December 2021 Value (£): 1,761,592
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Ground Engineering Urban & Land Management
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Construction
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
02 Aug 2017 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 2 August 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Climate change is causing, and will continue to cause, more intense precipitation events and greater amplitude of warm and cold temperatures leading to severe flooding, extreme drying, freezing and thawing. This will affect many parts of the urban geo-infrastructure such as shallow foundations, retaining structures, buried utilities, road subbase and railway formations. The costs of damage due to shrink/swell movements on clay soils have resulted in economic losses of over £1.6 billion in the UK during drought years. The novelty of the proposed research is the development of "climate adaptation composite barrier systems" (comprising water holding layers and a capillary barrier) capable of limiting the impact of a changing environment on the geo-infrastructure and hence increasing their engineering sustainability and resilience. Environmental cyclic actions imposed on our infrastructure are governed by soil-plant-atmosphere interaction, which is a coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical problem driven by the atmosphere and influenced by soil type, stress history, stress level, mineralogy, soil-water chemistry and vegetation. Understanding this complex problem requires systematic research and a coherent approach. This proposal describes systematic experimental and numerical modelling studies to understand the response of composite barrier systems, when subjected to extreme weather events and long-term climate changes, and to develop appropriate sustainable adaptation technologies to mitigate potential impacts on urban geo-infrastructure.
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