Books (Civil Engineering)

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    Fire safety engineering guideline for informal settlements : towards practical solutions for a complex problem in South Africa
    (Stellenbosch University, 2020) Walls, Richard; Cicione, Antonio; Pharoah, Robyn; Zweig, Patricia; Smith, Mark; Antonellis, Danielle; Walls, Richard
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Informal settlements are growing rapidly, and in Africa they are likely to double in size within the coming few decades. Informal settlements (IS) (also known by names such as slums, ghettos, favelas and shantytowns) are typically dense, and people’s homes are built from highly combustible materials. Hence, when a fire breaks out it can spread rapidly, leaving thousands homeless. Every year in South Africa fires are affecting large numbers of people, costing municipalities millions of rands (ZAR), and are severely hindering the upliftment of the poorest in our communities. This guideline seeks to provide a holistic approach to improving fire safety for communities. It is important to realise that this complex problem can only be improved by a multi-sectoral response addressing various issues such as: reducing the risk of ignition, providing early warning systems, having community involvement, having well-resourced and well-prepared fire departments, reducing the combustible nature of homes, and many other similar factors. The audience of this report is broad in that it seeks to assist fire departments, local municipalities, national government, engineers, town planners and non-governmental organisations involved in IS fire safety. This work initially provides an understanding of communities living in settlements, as often interventions overlook the daily reality of these people which leads to interventions being ineffective. Fire behaviour, fire spread and fire safety engineering is then discussed, and it is shown how this can be applied to ISs. This is done to dispel many common myths, and to show what can, and can’t, improve fire safety. To understand IS fire incidents a timeline of a typical fire incident is provided, along with a case study on the 2017 Imizamo Yethu disaster. Many interventions, strategies and devices are discussed, looking at what could be adopted to improve fire safety. It is important to realise that a basket of solutions is typically needed, and a single intervention may have a very limited impact. A list of tasks that communities can undertake before, during and after a fire incident provides a useful resource for organisations working with communities. Ultimately there is no easy solution to this problem. However, through a concerted, evidence-based approach significant fire safety improvements can be made to help the poorest in our land.
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    Background to sans 10160: basis of structural design and actions for buildings and industrial structures
    (SUN PReSS, 2009) Retief, J. V.; Dunaiski, P. E.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Draft South African Loading Code SANS 10160 Basis for structural design and actions for buildings and industrial structures represents a substantial revision of the present Standard SABS 0160:1989 (Amended 1993). Proper substantiation of the changes and additions is therefore required. The Background Report captures the main sources of reference, assessments, decisions and motivations applied in the formulation of SANS 10160. The background information should primarily be considered when SANS 10160 is evaluated for acceptance into design practice as a South African National Standard. It should also serve as the point of departure for the inevitable future revision and updating of SANS 10160. The Background Report is not intended to serve as a commentary on the future use of SANS 10160 in design practice. However, the information reported here should provide additional understanding as a complementary source in cases where critical consideration of design implications is required. A high degree of harmonisation of SANS 10160 with Eurocode is achieved. Consistency between SANS 10160 and Eurocode is clearly presented and motivated in the Background Report.
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    Erosion and sediment dynamics from catchment to coast
    (UNESCO, 2008) Di Silvio, Giampaolo; Basson, Gerrit
    UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) launched the International Sediment Initiative (ISI) in 2002, taking into consideration that sediment production and transport processes are not sufficiently understood for practical uses in sediment management. Since information on ongoing research is an important support to sediment management, and bearing in mind the unequal level of scientific knowledge about various aspects of erosion and sediment phenomena at the global scale, a major mission of the ISI is to review erosion and sedimentation-related research. The two papers below were prepared in conformity with this important task of the ISI, following the decision of the ISI Steering Committee at its session in March 2004. The subject of both papers is the modelling and prediction of sediment processes in watersheds and watercourses, which is essential for the development of sediment management policies and strategies in the respective regions. Since the tasks of sediment management differ from region to region, it is reasonable to discuss the problems and methods that prevail in one or another region in separate reviews. For this reason, the two papers published below are entitled: Erosion and sediment dynamics from catchment to coast, “A Northern Perspective” (by Professor Giampaolo DiSilvio from the University of Padua, Italy), and “A Southern Perspective” (by Professor Gerrit Basson, from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa). The differences between the northern and the southern perspectives indicate the different kinds of problems that sediment research has to deal with in different climatic and socio-economic conditions. Thus, the northern perspective essentially deals with problems encountered in Europe and Northern America, such as mobility of river sediments and their deposition in reservoirs and coastal zones, whereas the southern perspective puts the emphasis on the origin and mobility of the sediments in semi-arid zones and their impacts on land and water resources. However, it should be underlined that the concepts and methods described in the papers of either perspective can be applied also to other regions as appropriate. Generally, in any region, the most efficient methods of modelling would depend upon the nature of the problems that sediment management has to resolve in the concrete case. Accordingly, in subsequent papers on the same subject other aspects of erosion and sediment transport might also be examined which are relevant to typical management situations that may occur in different geographical and socio-economic settings. It should be underlined that, in line with its general strategy, ISI is open to collaboration with international, regional, or national associations and institutions involved in the promotion of sustainable sediment management policies. ISI focuses on international information exchange on sediment-related matters, ensuring access to policy makers in UNESCO’s Member States, and encouraging sediment research in interested regions and states. The publication of the two papers on erosion and sediment dynamics should, among others, serve this purpose. Readers are thus invited to react and contribute by way of comments and suggestions to the follow-up of these two reports.