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Decision support system to conduct life cycle cost analysis for service life road pavement design using an object oriented model

Wolthuis, Lart (2014) Decision support system to conduct life cycle cost analysis for service life road pavement design using an object oriented model.

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Abstract:Introduction and background: Current road infrastructure sector focuses more on a life cycle approach and road availability during the design life. Design evaluation becomes more complex due to incorporation of both short and long term decisions during early development stages. Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) is a methodology to compare and evaluate short and long term decisions in an objective way. None of the existing LCCA frameworks take into User Delay Costs (UDC): the costs associated with road availability. Little time is available during early development stages and currently, the main focus of the decision maker in a project is on data collection rather than on alternative creation and evaluation. An object oriented model can be used for data capturing, because this type of model focuses on reuse of information for other projects. It is investigated if information needed for short and long term decisions concerning Service Life Planning Assessment (SLPA) for road pavement design could be captured in an object oriented model, to set the decision makers focus towards alternative generation and evaluation. The study concerned the investigation on how SLPA decisions could be related to the LCCA in a mathematical model to support the decision maker during early development stages concerning execution strategy, material use and asphalt composition. This research focused on the development of a Decision Support System (DSS) for evaluate competing alternatives based on Life Cycle Costs (LCC) in the field of road pavement service life design. The research is performed using ethnographic action based research techniques to make the chance of supporting work practice high. The model is validated using sensitivity analysis to obtain understanding in the behaviour of the model when the input values change. The outcomes were discussed with practitioners to determine if the model behaves according to their expectations. Contributions to the sector: This research proved that it is possible to relate SLPA decisions to LCCA within a mathematical way. To evaluate competing alternatives, material performance characteristics are directly used for cost allocation to the year where they occur. New equations are developed and related to existing equations to automate the decision making process. This research gives a possibility to incorporate UDC within the LCCA. So far, no LCCA framework was detected that incorporated this cost category. This study ii proves that UDC significantly influences the LCC and therefore UDC must be part of LCCA. This research underpins that an object oriented model is not only suitable for data structuring but also for reuse of information to create different alternatives. Practical contributions: Within this research a model is developed and validated in collaboration with practitioners to conduct LCCA for SLPA in the field of road pavement design. Due to collaboration with practitioners the model suits the needs of the decision maker to underpin his decisions with objective information. The incorporation of UDC in the model gives the decision maker better understanding of how certain decisions influence the availability of the road. The model gives structure for holistic decision making, since UDC is incorporated. Besides that, the model is in line with current working practices due to the collaboration between practitioners and designer in the development phase. This makes the model more likely to adopt in the decision making process. The relation between cost elements and current organizational hierarchical structures makes it possible to structure information so that the model can also be applied to other projects. This will result in the collection of historical data. This research clarified that material cost is the most important parameter in the field of road pavement design and that the focus of practitioners on data collection should be on this parameter.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
BAM Infraconsult, the Netherlands
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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