Signature Project: Sustainability of Kuwait's Built Environment

The overall objective of the signature project was to develop innovative solutions and methodologies for the sustainability of Kuwait’s built environment and to establish a new paradigm in engineering design that can be used in Kuwait and exported throughout the world.

Based on the overall goal of the project, three distinct but related focus research areas have been defined for this signature project:

FOCUS AREA A: Innovative Materials

Nano-engineered construction materials for durability in aggressive environment in Kuwait, and designed to access superior material properties from sustainable raw material inputs

FOCUS AREA B: Performance-based Engineering

Ground Motion Modeling and Structural Monitoring for Performance-based Engineering and Reliability, system design with advanced materials and energy efficiency.

FOCUS AREA C: Energy Efficiency and Life Cycle Performance

Enhanced Operational Energy Efficiency and Life Cycle Performance of Buildings, and designed materials from the molecular scale up in the context of the complete life cycle of structures.


Key contributions





Source Mechanism study of local earthquakes in Kuwait










K. Kupwade-Patil, A. Bumajdad, K.C. Littrell and O. Buyukozturk. In situ examination of engineered local additives in cement paste via neutron based scattering techniques. Construction and Building Materials, 2020; 243: 118175.

H. Sun, J. Al-Qazweeni, J. Parol, H. Kamal, Z. Chen and O. Buyukozturk. Computational modeling of a unique tower in Kuwait for structural health monitoring: numerical investigations. Structural Control & Health Monitoring 2019; 26(3): e2317

K. Kupwade-Patil, A. Bumajdad, C. Brown, M. Tyagi, N. Butch, A. Jamsheer and O. Buyukozturk. New Insights into Water Dynamics of Portland Cement Paste with Nano-additives using Quasielastic Neutron Scattering. Journal of Material Science 2019; 54(6): 4710-4718.

T. Herring, C. Gu, M. Nafi Toksoz, J. Parol, A. Al-Enezi, F. Al-Jeri, J. Al-Qazweeni, H. Kamal and O. Buyukozturk. GPS Measured Response of a Tall Building due to a Distant MW 7.3 Earthquake. Seismological Research Letters 2018; 90(1): 149-159.

S. Palkovic, K. Kupwade-Patil, A. Bumajdad and O. Buyukozturk. Random field finite element models with cohesive-frictional interactions of a hardened cement paste microstructure. Journal of Mechanics and Physics of Solids 2018; 119: 349-368.

C. Gu, G. A. Prieto, A. Al-Enezi, F. Al-Jeri, J. Al-Qazweeni, H. Kamal, S. Kuleli, A. Mordret, O. Buyukozturk and M. N. Toksoz. Ground Motion in Kuwait from Regional and Local Earthquakes: Potential Effects on Tall Buildings. Pure and Applied Geophysics 2018; DOI: 10.1007/s00024-018-1943-5.

A. F. Jamsheer, K. Kupwade-Patil, O. Buyukozturk and A. Bumajdad. Analysis of engineered cement paste using silica nanoparticles and metakaolin using 29Si NMR, water adsorption and synchrotron X-ray Diffraction. Construction and Building Materials 2018; 180: 698-709.

K. Kupwade-Patil, S. H. Chin, M. L. Johnston, J. Maragh, A. Masic and O. Buyukozturk. Particle Size Effect of Volcanic Ash towards Developing Engineered Portland Cements. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering 2018; 30(8): 04018190.

K. Kupwade-Patil, C. De Wolf, S. Chin, J. Ochsendorf, A. E. Hajiah, A. Al-Mumin and O. Buyukozturk. Impact of Embodied Energy on materials/buildings with partial replacement of ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) by natural Pozzolanic Volcanic Ash. Journal of Cleaner Production 2018; 177: 547-554.

H. Sun and O. Buyukozturk. The MIT Green Building benchmark problem for structural health monitoring of tall buildings. Structural Control and Health Monitoring 2018; 25(3): e2115.

K. Kupwade-Patil, S. Chin, J. Ilavsky, R. N. Andrews, A. Bumajdad and O. Buyukozturk. Hydration kinetics and morphology of cement pastes with pozzolanic volcanic ash studied via synchrotron-based techniques. Journal of Materials Science 2018; 53(3): 1743-1757.

K. Kupwade-Patil, S. D. Palkovic, A. Bumajdad, C. Soriano and O. Buyukozturk. Use of silica fume and natural volcanic ash as a replacement to Portland cement: Micro and pore structural investigation using NMR, XRD, FTIR and X-ray microtomography. Construction and Building Materials 2018; 158: 574-590

S. D. Palkovic, S. Yip and O. Buyukozturk. A cohesive-frictional force field (CFFF) for colloidal calcium-silicate-hydrates. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 2017; 109: 160-177.

C. Gu, F. Al-Jeri, A. Al-Enezi, O. Buyukozturk and M. N. Toksöz. Source Mechanism Study of Local Earthquakes in Kuwait. Seismological Research Letters 2017; 88(6) 1465-1471.

S. D. Palkovic, S. Yip and O. Buyukozturk. Constitutive response of calcium-silicate-hydrate layers under combined loading. Journal of the American Ceramic Society 2017; 100(2): 713-723.

R. Masmoudi, K. Kupwade-Patil, A. Bumajdad and O. Buyukozturk. In situ Raman Studies on Cement Paste prepared with Natural Pozzolanic Volcanic Ash and Ordinary Portland Cement. Construction and Building Materials 2017; 148:  444-454.

H. Sun, A. Mordret, G. A. Prieto, N. Toksoz and O. Buyukozturk. Bayesian characterization of buildings using seismic interferometry on ambient vibrations. Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 2017; 85: 468-486.

S. Palkovic, D. B. Brommer, K. Kupwade-Patil, A. Masic, M. Buehler and O. Buyukozturk. Roadmap across the mesoscale for durable and sustainable cement paste - a bioinspired approach. Construction and Building Materials 2016; 115: 13-31. [highlighted by MIT News]

K. Kupwade-Patil, M. Tyagi, C. Brown and O. Buyukozturk. Water dynamics in Cement Paste at Early Age prepared with Pozzolanic Volcanic Ash and Ordinary Portland Cement using Quasielastic Neutron Scattering. Cement and Concrete Research 2016; 86: 55-62.

K. Kupwade-Patil, A. F. Al-Aibani, M. F. Abdulsalam, C. Mao, A. Bumajdad, S. D. Palkovic and O. Buyukozturk. Microstructure of cement paste with natural pozzolanic volcanic ash and Portland cement at different stages of curing. Construction and Building Materials 2016; 113: 423-441.

S. D. Palkovic, S. Moeini, S. Yip and O. Buyukozturk. Mechanical behavior of a composite interface: Calcium-silicate-hydrates. Journal of Applied Physics 2015; 118(3): 034305.


Project Team

PI: Oral Buyukozturk (CEE)

Focus Area A: Innovative Materials

Current MIT Investigators

Current KUWAITI Investigators

  • Suad Al-Bahar (KISR), Co-PI
  • Prof. Ali Bumajdad (KU), Co-PI
  • Adel Husain (KISR), Co-I
  • Saud Al-Otaibi (KISR)
  • Jayasree Chakkamalayth (KISR)
  • Shrin Pirzadeh (KU)

Focus Area B: Performance-based Engineering

Current MIT Investigators

Current KUWAITI Investigators

  • Dr. Hasan Kamal (KISR), Co-PI
  • Abdullah Al-Enezi (KISR)
  • Jamal Al-Qazweeni (KISR), Co-I
  • Prof. Ammar E. A. Ben-Nakhi (KU), Co-I
  • Dr. Jafarali Parol (KISR)

Focus Area C: Energy Efficiency and Life Cycle Analysis

Current MIT Investigators

Current KUWAITI Investigators

  • Dr. Ali E. Hajiah (KISR), Co-PI
  • Dr. Adil Al-Mumin (KU), Co-PI
  • Mohammad Sebzali (KISR)
  • Zainab Murtadhawni (KISR)
  • Ahmad Al-Ghadban (KISR)


Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Kuwait-MIT Center for Natural Resources and the Environment


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