University of Twente Student Theses


Development of a decision-making framework for assessing lifespan extension measures of quay walls.

Awad, Mohamed (2023) Development of a decision-making framework for assessing lifespan extension measures of quay walls.

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Abstract:The inner-city quay walls of Amsterdam are approaching their end lifespan. In the past years, several media channels reported the failure modes occurring at quay wall locations. According to recent inspection reports, approximately 200 km of quay walls are discovered to be in an insufficient technical condition, which either requires an immediate renewal or a lifespan extension measure. Additionally, there were events where urgent measures and immediate actions had to be commenced to temporarily stabilise unsafe quay walls, such as the installation of sheet piles. It is a complex task for asset managers to deal with a densely populated area such as Amsterdam while preventing hindrance. A systematic planning process of applying intervention measures is required, since it is not possible to apply the measures simultaneously at all deteriorated locations. In this research, the focus lies on the retaining walls founded on wooden piles. The aim of this research is to develop a decision-making framework to decide on the most suitable intervention measure. The framework involves the option of selecting a renewal or lifespan extension measure. Therefore, the aim is to develop a framework that analyses the different types of impact caused by the intervention measures. Besides that, the failure mechanism should be checked to choose a potential intervention measure. The main research question formulated for this research is stated as follows: “How can the lifetime extension measure be assessed for the inner-city quay walls?” The research method is composed of four parts to reach an interpretation of an assessment criteria in the decision-making framework. Firstly, a literature review is conducted to (1) categorise general criteria for the intervention decision of infrastructure assets, (2) identify the typical components of retaining walls in Amsterdam, (3) understand the failure mechanisms, and (4) retrieve the requirements of the municipality. The second part is to collect required data by conducting an interview with the six construction firms and the municipality. Each construction firm has proposed an innovative lifespan extension measure to solve the failure mode of quay walls. The interview focuses on questions related to topics such as the execution steps of the measure, structural capacity, social impact, environmental impact, and economic impact. The third part of the methodology is to develop the decision-making framework after all interviews are finalised. The framework for quay walls is linked to the general categorisation of criteria for infrastructure assets and the outcome of the interview. The framework includes seven consequent steps which need to be elaborated for each scenario study, namely, structural capacity, safety risk matrix, economic assessment, technical feasibility, impact on the surrounding and social impact, environmental sustainability, and concluding remarks. The fourth part is to guide the reader to the final outcome through showing the applicability of the established framework by means of fictive scenario studies. Three different scenarios are introduced based on a given technical information, which resulted in a variable outcome for each scenario.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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