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A research in the usefulness of a Quantitative CO2 emission framework in the preliminary design phase of a dike reinforcement project

Baltus, O. (2019) A research in the usefulness of a Quantitative CO2 emission framework in the preliminary design phase of a dike reinforcement project.

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Abstract:Everywhere in the news there is spoken about the climate change and how to reduce it. Also, it is a very hot topic in the different political parties in the Netherlands. This awareness followed to a goal set in the climate agreement in Paris, the goal is to Reduce the CO2 emission by 50 percent before 2030. This directly has influence on the civil engineering working field, that is why Rijkswaterstaat has made its own agreement, the ‘Green deal duurzaam GWW’. In this Green Deal they have spoken out the ambition to make sustainability one of the focus points in civil engineering projects. In the Netherlands every primary dike needs a required failing probability. To see if dikes full fil this failing probability the government tests dikes every couple of years. In the last testing round 540 Km of the 900 Km tested dikes was rejected due to the failure mechanism of piping. With the ambitions set by Rijkswaterstaat, the dike reinforcement projects also need to take sustainability into account. Furthermore, there can be found a vicious circle in this process when a dike is in need of reinforcements due to the rising sea levels this project will emit CO2. The CO2 emitted during the dike reinforcement will cause more rising of the sea level, which will make the just reinforced dike unsafe again. Which causes that the dike needs reinforcements again. In the first phases of a project the big decisions are made for example, which kind of reinforcement will be used. The problem there is present is that the different options for reinforcements are not quantitatively compared before the decision is made. This results in very subjective analysis of the different options which may result in choosing an option which is environmentally a bad decision. A possible solution for this problem is to make a quantitatively environmental assessment framework with the different measures and their environmental impact. Because the failure mechanism of piping is at this moment one of the bigger problems in the Netherlands, the quantitatively assessment framework will be tested on the fail mechanism of piping. To design the assessment framework there will be made calculations in Dubocalc, which is a software to calculate the environmental impact of a civil engineering project. First there is done research on the different measures to prevent piping and how these measures can be implemented in Dubocalc. To make a location independent assessment framework, some assumptions needed to be made. The most important assumption is the seepage length shortage, which is assumed at 10 m. With the assumed needed extra seepage length, the dimensions of the different measures can be calculated. With this dimension the impact on the environment and the CO2 emission of the different measures can be calculated. The calculations showed that the impact on the environment of the different measures are far apart from little impact on the environment to very big impact. With the calculated CO2 emissions of the different measures there can be made a better decision in the preliminary design phase of a project. But it is also interesting to know where there can be made more improvements in later phases to bring down the CO2 emission of a project. This is done with analysing the dominant factors of the different measures to see what influence they have on the total environmental impact. After analysing the factors, it can be seen that the most measures have one factor that has 50% or more influence on the total environmental impact. Now that the quantitative assessment framework is made, it is important to test if the assessment framework will be used in the civil engineering working field. To achieve this there are done interviews with technical managers of two water boards. The interviews were structured to get the answer on the question of the assessment framework is applicable.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering BSc (56952)
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