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Research Focus Issue No. 38 AUGUST 1999 PROMOTING THE APPLICATION OF RESEARCH IN BUILDING AND CIVIL ENGINEERING


IN THIS ISSUE Buildings


Bracket angle systems Glass in buildings Dynamic insulation


Coastal engineering New seawall design aid


Environment Boards from sludge Thermal comfort


3 5 8


2 Nearshore wave model developed 5


3 3


Environmental Handbook updated 6 Controlled pollution in museums 7 Dynamic insulation


Environmental profiles for products 8 Exports


Final report published Innovation


Partners in Innovation 1999 EU Fifth Framework


Materials


Boards from sludge Bracket angle systems


Studded plate construction Glass in buildings


Concrete specification software


3 3 4 5 7


Environmental profiles for products 8 Structures


Studded plate construction 4


2 4


5 8


Whole-life costs of road networks The choice of routes for new roads has for many years incorporated an assess-


ment of the engineering costs, and of the costs to road users during the life of the road. More recently, TRL, on behalf of the Highways Agency, has developed a whole-life cost model for new road pavements. Called COMPARE, it has been used to estimate the costs of maintenance arising from using different types of pavement materials for the same road. These costs include the costs of the maintenance works and the costs incurred by users at the maintenance sites.


anagement of road maintenance has traditionally been based on the condition of the road pave- ments rather than any analysis of the costs arising from maintenance alternatives. Pavement management systems now include techniques for analysing maintenance op- tions on individual roads, using road condi- tion data held in the systems, and taking ac- count of the costs to road users as well as the costs of the current and future maintenance. Alternatively, management systems may be used to examine the condition and mainte- nance needs of a road network, but without the ability to include practical constraints. To combine the techniques developed for analysis of whole-life costs at project level for individual roads with the requirements for the analysis of funding needs for the mainte- nance of a road network, the Highways Agency asked TRL to develop a whole-life cost model for road networks.


M


It is intended that the model will be used to examine the interaction of individual mainte- nance works on a network, or the overall fund- ing needs to maintain a network in a specified condition. Based on analysis of condition data collected by survey machines on a routine basis on the trunk road network, the model should


be able to predict the surface and structural maintenance needs of the road pavements and prioritise the identified treatments taking into account the costs to road users caused by the disruption at road works.


The model will then enable highway managers to assess the longer-term conse- quences of different maintenance strategies, including the funding required to achieve and retain alternative levels of network con- dition. The model should be able to identify an overall level of funding for structural maintenance, and the new Highways Agency Pavement Management System then used to allocate funds to individual schemes. The importance of whole-life costing in managing road networks was recognised in the 1998 New Deal for Trunk Roads in England. One of the Highway Agency’s key objectives in 1999 is to minimise whole-life costs of mainte- nance of the road network. The tools being developed by TRL should prove to be valuable aids to achieving this new objective.


For further information please contact Richard Abell at TRL (01344 770355; fax: 01344 770686; E-mail: rabell@trl.co.uk).


Motorway maintenance costs are included in the COMPARE whole-life cost model.


Research Focus NO. 38 AUGUST 1999


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