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Multifunctional flood defense structures : an integrated benefit calculation method

Athanasiou, Ioanna (2015) Multifunctional flood defense structures : an integrated benefit calculation method.

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Abstract:The Netherlands is situated in the delta region of the Rhine, Meuse, Scheldt, and Ems rivers and has a long history of fighting the water element. Large parts have been developed alongside a river and in the most cases they lie below the sea level. As a result, the threat of a possible flood is always dominant. The economic development and population growth have increased the potential consequences of a flood event since more people and property are at risk of flooding. Moreover, the flood risk in urbanized areas is influenced by climate change. It is expected that the probability of flooding will increase due to the effects of climate change [1]. In addition, the rapid urban development, the consistent need for space and the increase in the number of people at risk in low-lying areas lead to the need for new dyke reinforcement technologies and new dyke designs. Therefore, instead of trying to enhance and enrich the already existing dykes by heightening up the walls or taking any other kind of measures; the new concept suggests the design of multifunctional flood defenses. The multifunctional dyke concept combines other functions with the primary flood protection function. In practice, incorporation of multiple functions requires over-dimensioning and may thereby help to create a robust dyke [2]. Nowadays, this design concept of multifunctional dyke has become increasingly popular among municipalities and private organizations since they want to implement solutions that will provide safety to the citizens but also be financially beneficial for them. Especially in urban areas, the opportunity of integrating housing, transport or infrastructure into a multifunctional flood defense is attractive in terms of efficient use of available space [3]. Although the benefits from the construction of MFFDs have been recognized by many authors and experts in the construction field, it is still difficult to take these benefits into account during the decision making process of a project and include them in a cost benefit analysis (CBA). This difficulty is mainly due to insufficent ways to calculate these benefits. In particular, there are no established methods that provide the calculation of these benenfits directly. As a result it is common that decision makers think that multifunctionality leads to extra construction costs without considering the benefits that could derive from such projects. Therefore, one of the challenges behind the construction of MFFDs is to identify the potential benefits from this design concept and incorporate their calculation in a CBA during the decision making process. The latter requires the use of methods, suitable for the calculation of these benefits. In this way, decision makers will be able to take into account not only the costs but also the potential benefits that could affect the project without rejecting alternatives due to “inaccurate information”. The focus of this research is to present the potential benefits that could be the result from the implementation of MFFDs, identify methods within the literature that could be used in order to calculate these benefits and develop an integrated method to calculate the benefits from MFFDs. In particular, the next section (section 2) presents the goal of this research and the research questions that will support the accomplishment of this goal. The next section (section 3) presents an overview of the benefits found in the existing literature and underlines the literature gap regarding the method of benefit calculation for MFFDs while section 4 explains the research method that we followed. Next, we explain how we will mitigate this gap (section 5) by presenting the integrated method for the benefit calculation in MFFDs. By implementing this method into a real project (section 6), we will check if this calculation is feasible and we conclude to some useful results but also suggestions for further steps to this direction (section 7).
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/66736
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