Rangika Umesh Halwatura

Rangika Umesh Halwatura
University of Moratuwa | UoM · Department of Civil Engineering

BSc, PhD

About

160
Publications
120,932
Reads
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1,163
Citations
Citations since 2017
115 Research Items
1047 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
Additional affiliations
May 2006 - present
University of Moratuwa
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (160)
Conference Paper
This paper explores the thermal properties of mud walls in two different aspects. First, the thermal properties of mud walls within different climatic zones. Second is the thermal property of mud walls with different conventional walling materials. Thus, two cases were studied to analyze the local mud houses in two major climatic zones; wet and dry...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Vertical greenery systems are a passive design concept that significantly contributes to achieving environmental and social benefits by improving the environmental conditions of congested urban environments. Many studies have been conducted to assess the ecological and social advantages of green facade; however, it is unknown if vertical greeneries...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Vertical farming, which offers enhanced crop yields per square meter invested than conventional farming, contributes to supply nutritious diet for the world's growing population. Moreover, it may provide the option to grow food in climatically disadvantaged locations. Fresh food, on the other hand, develops vertically in different layers piled on t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Plastic pollution has been recognized as one of the major environmental issues in Sri Lanka, adversely impacting ecosystem processes as well as human well-being. Owing to the extensive use of single-use plastic and poor disposal, plastic particles have accumulated in many terrestrial habitats. Most of these dumping sites are located in close proxim...
Chapter
Outdoor thermal comfort simulation has been modeled by ENVI-met 4.4.5 to explore the applicability of selected tropical plant species (Axonopus fissifoliu) under three different tropical conditions in Sri Lanka. The selected study locations were Colombo Sethsiripaya administrative complex, Matara urban council building, and Kandy urban council buil...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected human lifestyle in numerous ways and one such key affected social element is the management of household plastic waste. Due to its effective barrier properties against the COVID-19 virus, usage and consumption of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other single-use plastic (SUP) products have increas...
Conference Paper
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Sri Lanka is progressively moving towards sustainability concepts to achieve a circular economy and sustainable development goals. The challenges to converting existing offices to green buildings in Sri Lanka assed in 50 lowrise office buildings in Colombo through 150 decision-makers. There were 25 challenges identified initially from a systematic...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Accelerated urbanization has led to urban expansion at the expense of green areas. The replacement of green areas by / areas, has triggered a suite of negative environmental impacts. Various studies have shown that incorporating diverse forms of vegetation into the urban environment can help to alleviate these urban environmental issues. Due to the...
Article
There are remarks of diverse types of timber structures in the tropics. This paper examines several case histories in Sri Lanka, focusing on the culturally varied and ecologically diverse traditional buildings with wood used for constructions. These cases eliminated traditional vernacular knowledge and practices in the quest. Information was gather...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, 'online teaching and learning' became the only possible solution to continue the education programmes at universities. Though there are multiple solutions presented in the educational literature, many of the universities were not prepared to carry out complete online-based educational models in their degree progr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Outdoor thermal comfort simulation has been modeled by ENVI-met 4.4.5 to explore the applicability of selected tropical plant species (Axonopus fissifoliu) under three different tropical conditions in Sri Lanka. The selected study locations were Colombo Sethsiripaya administrative complex, Matara urban council building and Kandy Urban council build...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The urgency of global climate emergency has drawn significant attention to the building industry over the last few years. Today, the building sector is responsible for 38% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to UNEP. 60% -70% of embodied carbon in a conventional column-beam reinforced concrete building is in its floor system. This pa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
New building materials and technologies that provide thermal comfort are expected to gain popularity in the recent past. Hence, efforts to incorporate new building material solutions are needed to protect potential populations from the threats of thermal stress that cause an increase in temperatures due to climate change. The earth is identified as...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The fashion industry has stated as one of the largest environmental polluters in the world. Millions of post-consumer waste dumped into landfill sites each year. However, environmental concerns are emerging as a mainstream issue for modern day consumers. This critical issue had influenced fashion retailers and brands to embrace sustainable practice...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Concerning the aesthetic appearance, environmental friendliness, and durability, and waste disposal, timber is a highly demanded construction material. In the need of minimizing the environmental impacts of the building, there ought to be useful ideas to be taken from traditional solutions for further development of modern constructions. An island-...
Article
Full-text available
Waste polyethylene creates serious environmental and social problems in Sri Lanka. The amount of waste polyethylene increases daily, further aggravating environmental and social issues. Finding out the most suitable solution for this is a vital requirement. This research focuses on investigating the possibilities to convert this waste polyethylene...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Sustainable practices in construction industry have become a necessity in recent times, especially in view of the climate emergency. Using earthen materials is one more prominent solution. Using earthen materials is limited to flooring or walling systems, although slabs accounts for 60-70% of embodied energy consumption of conventional building. Th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The word "Green architecture" is becoming one of the fast-popularizing terminologies in the urban built environment during recent past. Since it is widespread all over the world, the term became so common in environmentally friendly building construction-related forums. The main objective of Green Architecture is attempting to safeguard air, water...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The 2019 Pulse of the fashion industry report discovers that the series of sustainability progress in the industry of fashion has slowed by third in the previous year and not moving fast to counter balance the misdeed impact of rapid growth in the fashion industry. Fashion industry will be the net contributor for the climate change, increasing the...
Article
Full-text available
Different growth parameters and thermal performances of selected plant species grown on vertical system modules in urban tropical climate have been investigated under the study. Further, outdoor thermal comfort simulation has been modeled by ENVI­met 4.4.5 to investigate the applicability of selected plant species in three different tropical condit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Construction projects are complex, specialized and technologically advanced due to the globalization effect. Dispute resolution of such a complex construction project has become an inevitable part for involved parties because formalized dispute resolution methods like litigation and arbitration are time-consuming and high cost involved. Prime objec...
Conference Paper
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Construction industry is one of the main exploiters of natural resources. Moreover, massive amount of Embodied Carbon is released to the atmosphere due to its day to day activities. Therefore, the researchers all around the world are focusing towards to reduce the Embodied Carbon emissions by conducting life cycle assessments. Nevertheless, due to...
Article
Full-text available
The most commonly used building materials were reviewed concerning their impact on cooling load and architectural interventions. The continuing increase of energy consumption of air conditioning systems suggests a more profound examination of their tropical climatic environment and the impact on the building and an application of passive cooling sy...
Article
A significant portion of the global energy is consumed for creating thermally comfortable building interiors. Insulating the roof has been identified as an effective measure in addressing the issue. Bamboo-transversed is a novel roof insulation material which has proven to yield significant energy saving. This paper presents the results of an exper...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Being a significant industry, construction works, especially buildings reason for a massive amount of carbon related emissions throughout its life cycle. Therefore, researchers all around the world are searching solutions to minimize these emissions of building life cycle. Moreover , Initial and Maintenance Cost plays a significant role in building...
Article
Full-text available
This study was carried out to determine the characterization of brown coir fiber which is used as a potential reinforcement in polymer composites. The fiber is extracted from the husk of the coconut seeds which are collected in Sri Lanka. Anyhow the above-mentioned characterization can hardly be seen when it comes to the Sri Lankan context. Since t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Building material with a thousand-year history which is only being second for stone can be introduced as wood. Complexity of wood is found in the interrelationship between several cells at a much larger scale. The wood cell wall is made up of cellulose, hemicellulose and the hydroxyl groups on these chemicals make the cell wall hygroscopic. Lignin...
Conference Paper
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The global focus currently is on slowing down Covid-19 spread. Once many countries re-open for ‘business’, the ripple effect of Covid-19 on plastic pollution will be apparent but it may be too late and too overwhelming to respond. For example, tourism is an increasingly important sector to GDP contribution in Sri Lanka (12%). With new consumption p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The global impact of plastic pollution and its detrimental impact on both the environment and human health is widely acknowledged. Due to the global pandemic there is the added concern of COVID-19 contaminated plastic waste (CPW), adding further threats to human health. COVID-19 has impacted on how plastic is consumed worldwide. In the current cont...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Energy efficiency of any occupied building depends heavily on the behaviour of the occupants. In residential buildings, the occupant's behaviour influences the total energy consumption and the peak electricity loads as well. Considering the importance of energy use behaviour, numerous researchers in various disciplines, including social policy and...
Article
Full-text available
Energy rating system can be considered as a key policy instrument that will assist government to reduce energy consumption. Existing rating systems in the world only considered limited factors related to energy consumption, and to provide more accurate rating system, it is proposed that a more sustainable energy rating system should be developed co...
Article
In tropical countries such as Sri Lanka, wall care putties are applied as primers in building constructions providing a smooth shield for the wall. This research study was conducted to investigate the durability performance in terms of rain surface erosion and the bonding strength by shear testing of different wall care putty materials along with w...
Conference Paper
Mud concrete and fabric formwork are existing technologies in construction industry which are gaining importance with the drive towards a climate conscious construction industry. The current work aims at combining these two technologies toward developing an earthen slab system. A preliminary study was done to assess the viability of fabric formwork...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Purpose of the study: The growing emphasis on incorporating sustainability concepts in tertiary education have to lead higher education institutions in developing countries to infuse sustainability content into their curricula. The wider purpose of this study is to promote the integration of sustainability concepts within Sri Lankan Univer...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Timber is a popular natural construction material since ancient times. The quality of timber varies with physical and mechanical properties. Timber modification techniques are used to improve the durability and dimension stability of the timber. The aim of this research is to create a database on mechanical property variation on timber caused due t...
Article
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Sustainable strategies in traditional tropical buildings were found deliberated in respond to its' users and the climate of the context. An assessment was performed on material usage in Bio Climatic Designs, focusing on Ambalam; a well-preserved heritage structures found in tropics, Sri Lanka. Literature evident that few researches were conducted o...
Article
With the globalization and population growth, urbanization trends have attracted higher number of people to towns and cities causing very high population densities and space scarcity. Because of the current trends more and more buildings are being constructed causing a grave danger for the environment. This directly and indirectly increase the vuln...
Article
Full-text available
Water is one of the basic human needs and the country has the main responsibility to confirm their citizens’ provision to safe water. Most of the countries in the world supply treated water to the country through water treatment plants. In drinking water treatment plants, solid sludge is generated at the end of the water treatment process as a wast...
Chapter
Engineering is a field or discipline, practice, profession and art to cater to social needs. Always it works in the real world. Therefore, having hands-on experience and working with a group of people will contribute better solutions to society need. Higher education is the place where students get an opportunity to work with peers with similar int...
Chapter
This paper describes how a Moodle-based PBL educational model was integrated into the first year of a Bachelor of Engineering course in Civil Engineering at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. To determine the perceptions of students regarding a PBL application prepared in a Moodle environment, a survey questionnaire was prepared. Students’ subm...
Article
Full-text available
Although modern society is at the apex of science and technology, the shadows of traditional customs and beliefs in various fields can be seen. When the field of house construction is considered, traditional beliefs had been playing a considerable role which can be seen in Asian countries rather than European countries. Since hardly any engineering...
Chapter
Many developments today, have made the human lifestyle more comfortable but seem to be concerned only about the technical and economic viability rather than the environment or the user comfort. Hence, these developments are causing severe environmental issues such as global warming, heat island effect, losing the natural appearance etc. The selecti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper discusses the design approach for an earthen slab system inspired by Catalan vaults, for the use in housing in Sri Lanka. It investigates the structural design to provide a sustainable solution for rising housing demands. Catalan vaulting is a construction technique which uses multiple layers (typically three) of thin tiles (25 mm thick)...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Day to day demand for timber is increasing as a natural construction material due to its performance, stability, aesthetic, durability and been environmentally friendly. Different timber species have distinct characteristics and those are selected for different applications based on their characteristics. Value of timber varies with physical and me...
Article
A roof slab provides an extra robustness and a cyclonic resistance to the structures due to its self-weight. However, its performance in warm humid conditions is unsatisfactory because of the thermal discomfort in the immediate space beneath. Insulation has been recognized as an effective passive approach to address this issue. Thus, numerous insul...
Conference Paper
Social innovation is defined as an institutional change leading to the emergence of new routines. Providing affordable housing to low-income communities is a challenge faced by many developing countries. Mud-Concrete (MC) technology is a promising material solution recently developed to achieve sustainable goals. This paper discusses a novel findin...
Article
Full-text available
Mud is a versatile material with a prodigious interest for traditional wall construction such as wattle and daub or rammed earth, with and without reinforcements. Mud concrete has been identified as a unique modern material, though more research is required for generalization. Compressive strength, a measure of concrete quality usually depends on t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes how a Moodle-based PBL educational model was integrated into the first year of a Bachelor of Engineering course in Civil Engineering at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. To determine the perceptions of students regarding a PBL application prepared in a Moodle environment, a survey questionnaire was prepared. Students' subm...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Engineering is the field or discipline, practice, profession and art to cater to social needs. Always it works in the real world. Therefore, having hands-on experience and working with a group of people will contribute better solutions to society need. Higher education is the place where students get an opportunity to work with the same kind of int...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and the Embodied Energy (EE) of a construction material provide a useful insight on decision making regarding the choice of the most environmentally friendly product. This study explains how the technology of in-situ cast Mud-Concrete load-bearing walling system (MCW) is optimized to save the LCC and EE in energy effici...
Article
Full-text available
Traditional roofs can be effectively substituted by reinforced concrete roof slabs while gaining multiple advantages such as cyclonic resistance, possibility of future vertical extension and possibility of utilizing as an extra working space or a rooftop garden. Further, it adds a significant economic benefit from land regaining. However, the immed...
Article
Full-text available
Longitudinal arrangement of wood fibers is known as wood grains. It is one of the most important physical aspects of timber in applications. The properties differ along the grain and against the grain. Straight grains run parallel to the longitudinal axis of the wood. Meanwhile the cross grain deviates from the longitudinal axis as spiral and diago...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
with the massive development of construction sector , the demand for timber , as a construction material is projected to increase over the next half century. It has predicted that with the increment of the global population, industrial round wood consumption , including timber , will be increased by 28 % to 61 % from 2010 to 2060 . The word timber...
Poster
Full-text available
The demand for timber, as a sustainable construction material is projected to increase over the next half century with the massive development of the construction sector. Sustainable timber denotes to timber that has been harvested responsibly from well-managed, continuously replenished forests with no damage to surrounding environment. Industrial...
Poster
Full-text available
Mankind is closely intertwined with timber together along with a great history. The word timber defines the wood used for construction. It's a highly organised, versatile, complex biomaterial. Wood is made of two major polymeric materials such as Lignin and Carbohydrates and a minor quantity of organic extractives and inorganic minerals. However, t...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the effect of building shape, zones, orientation and window to wall ratio (WWR) on the lighting energy requirement and the thermal comfort in the naturally ventilated houses in tropical climate. The lighting electricity and the adaptive thermal discomfort hours (ASHRAE 55 80% acceptability) of 300 different models of two-storey...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Declination of greenery in urban context is becoming a common sight with the growth and expansion of built environments. Urban spaces are transforming rapidly with increasing high rises which multiplies the surfaces that absorb solar radiation and reradiate heat creating Urban Heat Islands. In addressing this scenario Vertical greening is identifie...
Book
Full-text available
Global Warming is proven to be one of the biggest issues that the current world is facing. Greenhouse gas emission due to the extensive energy usage has been identified as the primary cause for that. Hence, the world is on its path to investigate ways and means of reducing energy consumption in the world. On the other hand, due to the rapid urbanis...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Although the contemporary era is full of the marvels of modern practices of building constructions, the shadows of customs and beliefs of building construction are still followed in various levels. These types of beliefs play a prominent role in residential and mini-commercial building construction and commonly visible in countries like Sri Lanka,...
Article
Full-text available
Old buildings teach us about the history has a Hidden set of Authentic set of information that future should reveal. That materialized before we were born and upholds the respect and the technologies from those who lived in different social structures in a particular context in Sri Lanka. These Ambalam structures cultivates pride of our past and he...
Conference Paper
Buildings and architectural spaces are built for occupant comfort. Thus tropical climatic condition is the worst climate to achieve the occupant comfort. Tropics are favourable for bio receptive activities such as fungus and moss. Fungus and moss produce mycotoxins, spores and fragments which are toxic to occupants. However, the relationship betwee...