University of Twente Student Theses


Assessing infrastructure assets on the viability of deconstruction

Visser, A.D. (2022) Assessing infrastructure assets on the viability of deconstruction.

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Abstract:The construction industry in the Netherlands uses 50% of the raw materials. Moreover, it is responsible for 40% of the total waste stream. Clients such as Rijkswaterstaat want to avoid scarcity and negative influences on the environment. Closing the material loop by reutilization helps avoid these consequences. Therefore, Dura Vermeer expects more responsibility for contractors during the end of life phase in the future. Reutilization and circular selection criteria will be more important factors in winning tenders. Experts recommend applying design for disassembly to increase reutilization. Deconstruction for road construction assets is lacking in the literature. Furthermore, the demountability of current infrastructure assets is unknown for Dura Vermeer. Therefore, a research gap exists in assessing the demountability of current infrastructure assets. The research objective is analyzing the current viability of deconstruction of selected components from bridges, tunnels, and roundabouts built by Dura Vermeer. The objective is achieved using the following main research question: What is the current deconstruction score measured by Carvalho Machado et al. (2018) of the selected components from bridges, tunnels, and roundabouts? A case study approach is selected to answer the main questions using a qualitative research. Furthermore, a quantitative approach is used to compare scores in a cross-case analysis. After comparing literature assessments, Carvalho Machado’s framework is selected to measure the demountability of current infrastructure assets. Scores for layers and assets are added to this framework. The layer theory is used as a tool to categorize components into layers. The framework of Carvalho Machado comprises factors with direct and indirect influences on the viability of deconstruction. The list of projects in Table 1 shows that at least two cases are selected for each infrastructure asset. Based on the sustainability selection criteria during the tender phase, cases are categorized as ‘traditional’ or ‘innovative’. Generally, two interviews are conducted to collect data, in addition to reports and drawings. A within-case analysis is done to measure the performance on a component level. Furthermore, the differences and similarities between different cases are identified using a cross-case analysis. The within-case analysis indicates that in-situ concrete structural components, asphalt, marking, and piles score lower than structural steel, structural prefabricated concrete, railings/traffic barriers, lighting and sign’s. A result for factors with direct influence is that an ‘innovative’ case scores higher than a ‘traditional’ case. . In addition to sustainability selection criteria, a result from the cross- case analysis is that the freedom of design for the contractor is also a difference between ‘innovative’ and ‘traditional’ cases However, the degree of influence on the viability of deconstruction is unconfirmed in this research. The major difference between the two types of cases, bridges and tunnels, arises mainly from the structural layers. The distinction for roundabouts is that the difference arises from the service layer. A similarity is that the surrounding space for equipment and storage, elimination of risks, and as-built drawings as process-related factors with direct influence are not issues for all case studies. Generally, underexposed factors with an indirect influence are ‘modularity’, ‘flexibility and adaptability’, and ‘efficient identification and information systems’. According to this model, these could negatively influence the organization, reutilization, and identification of components. The framework of Carvalho Machado from the literature is developed into an assessment with scores for components, layers, and assets. Furthermore, the current viabilities of infrastructure assets are measured and tested in practical cases. A recommendation from a reutilization perspective for designers, contractors, and project engineers of bridges and tunnels is to focus on the structural layer. Moreover, it appears that steel and prefabricated components are the most viable for deconstruction. Furthermore, according to the participants, a recommendation for Dura Vermeer is to focus on three important factors for deconstruction: (1) standardization, (2) deconstruction methods, and (3) connections with components. Furthermore, it could be useful to do research: why factors with low averages score low such as modularity from the easy process. Based on this research, a decision could be made to invest in further development, potentially resulting in an easier deconstruction process aiming for higher viability for deconstruction. A general recommendation for Dura Vermeer is to implement this assessment as a guideline for designing demountable infrastructure assets. However, further development of the assessment is necessary since the feedback from participants is that this is relatively long with repetitive and similar questions. Concluding, in-situ structural components, asphalt, marking and piles have low viability, while prefabricated and steel structural components, railings/ traffic barriers, lighting and signs have higher viability for deconstruction. The ‘innovative’ cases perform better than ‘traditional cases’; however, further research must be conducted on the degree of influence on sustainability criteria and freedom of design. ‘Traditional’ cases perform lower than ‘innovative’ cases, whereby the difference arises from the structural layers for bridges and tunnels. The scores for ‘modularity’, ‘flexibility and adaptability’, and ‘identification and information system’ for components are low compared with other factors for an easier deconstruction process.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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