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In construction engineering, a schedule’s input data, which is usually not exactly known in the planning phase, is considered deterministic when generating the schedule. As a result, construction schedules become unreliable and deadlines are often not met. While the optimization of construction schedules with respect to costs and makespan has been a matter of research in the past decades, the optimization of the robustness of construction schedules has received little attention. In this paper, the effects of uncertainties inherent to the input data of construction schedules are discussed. Possibilities are investigated to improve the reliability of construction schedules by considering alternative processes for certain tasks and by identifying the combination of processes generating the most robust schedule with respect to the makespan of a construction project.

This study contributes to the identification of coupled THM constitutive model parameters via back analysis against information-rich experiments. A sampling based back analysis approach is proposed comprising both the model parameter identification and the assessment of the reliability of identified model parameters. The results obtained in the context of buffer elements indicate that sensitive parameter estimates generally obey the normal distribution. According to the sensitivity of the parameters and the probability distribution of the samples we can provide confidence intervals for the estimated parameters and thus allow a qualitative estimation on the identified parameters which are in future work used as inputs for prognosis computations of buffer elements. These elements play e.g. an important role in the design of nuclear waste repositories.

The fire resistance of concrete members is controlled by the temperature distribution of the considered cross section. The thermal analysis can be performed with the advanced temperature dependent physical properties provided by 5EN6 1992-1-2. But the recalculation of laboratory tests on columns from 5TU6 Braunschweig shows, that there are deviations between the calculated and measured temperatures. Therefore it can be assumed, that the mathematical formulation of these thermal properties could be improved. A sensitivity analysis is performed to identify the governing parameters of the temperature calculation and a nonlinear optimization method is used to enhance the formulation of the thermal properties. The proposed simplified properties are partly validated by the recalculation of measured temperatures of concrete columns. These first results show, that the scatter of the differences from the calculated to the measured temperatures can be reduced by the proposed simple model for the thermal analysis of concrete.