Rehabilitation of Aging Infrastructure

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Rehabilitation of
Aging Infrastructure

In the indus­tria­li­zed coun­tries, the 1970s were cha­rac­te­ri­zed by a bur­geo­ning eco­no­my, expan­ding mobi­li­ty, a rise in traf­fic, gro­wing ener­gy demand and signi­fi­cant­ly incre­a­sed water usa­ge. This went hand in hand with exten­si­ve invest­ments in infra­st­ruc­tu­re faci­li­ties, espe­cial­ly motor­ways and rail­way lines inclu­ding brid­ges and tun­nels, in hydro­power plants, water sup­ply sys­tems, and was­te­wa­ter dis­po­sal and tre­at­ment plants. Such struc­tures were desi­gned for a ser­vice life of 60 to 80 years. The respec­ti­ve faci­li­ties were plan­ned and con­struc­ted accord­ing to the know­ledge at the time and the pre­dic­ted social deve­lo­p­ment and expec­ted long-term mate­ri­al behavior.

To date, the exis­ting struc­tures have lar­ge­ly accom­plis­hed their inten­ded pur­po­se and con­ti­nue to be essen­ti­al com­pon­ents of the cur­rent infra­st­ruc­tu­re. Com­pa­red to the assump­ti­ons made when the struc­tures were plan­ned and built, gre­at chan­ges have taken place sin­ce then. Dis­pro­por­tio­na­te and unpre­dic­ta­ble impacts – resul­ting on the one hand from the enor­mous traf­fic volu­me, and on the other hand from incre­a­sed sprea­ding of salt on roads in win­ter to meet more strin­gent road safe­ty requi­re­ments – have beco­me evi­dent in all traf­fic faci­li­ties. In was­te­wa­ter dis­po­sal, signi­fi­cant­ly lar­ger amounts and chan­ged com­po­si­ti­on of muni­ci­pal and indus­tri­al was­te­wa­ter have been obser­ved. In addi­ti­on, the­re are new requi­re­ments from stan­dards con­cer­ning load cases, veri­fi­ca­ti­on of load-bea­ring capa­ci­ty and con­so­li­da­ted know­ledge on the topic of dura­bi­li­ty and fati­gue beha­vi­or of con­struc­tion materials.

All the­se aspects requi­re ear­ly and exten­si­ve reha­bi­li­ta­ti­on of exis­ting infra­st­ruc­tu­re faci­li­ties to make them fit for cur­rent and future demands.

Role of ILF

ILF pro­vi­des con­sul­ting ser­vices to cli­ents, from initi­al con­si­de­ra­ti­ons on the eva­lua­ti­on of the actu­al con­di­ti­on of struc­tures, defi­ni­ti­on of cur­rent and future requi­re­ments, plan­ning of mea­su­res, and even con­struc­tion. A com­pre­hen­si­ve approach is adop­ted taking into account not only tech­ni­cal aspects but also eco­no­mic effi­ci­en­cy and sus­taina­bi­li­ty with regard to the life cycle of structures.

Benefits to Clients

The reha­bi­li­ta­ti­on of aging infra­st­ruc­tu­re faci­li­ties gene­ral­ly invol­ves dif­fe­rent tech­ni­cal disci­pli­nes. Bes­i­des solu­ti­ons for the reha­bi­li­ta­ti­on (mate­ri­al), ILF can also pro­vi­de com­ple­men­ta­ry geo­lo­gi­cal, geo­tech­ni­cal and envi­ron­men­tal exper­ti­se among others. Backed by in-house pro­fes­sio­nals, ILF offers a com­ple­te packa­ge of ser­vices so that cli­ents recei­ve cus­to­mi­zed solu­ti­ons and do not have to keep an eye on interfaces.

ILF offers the fol­lowing ser­vices in the field of Reha­bi­li­ta­ti­on of Aging Infrastructure: 

  • Eva­lua­ting struc­tures based on exis­ting docu­ments from the design pha­se, by means of tes­ting (e.g. com­pres­si­ve strength) and sam­pling (e.g. che­mi­cal ana­ly­sis of con­cre­te), mea­su­ring con­cre­te cover and loca­li­zing rein­for­ce­ment to deter­mi­ne any resi­du­al load-bea­ring capacities
  • Defi­ning cur­rent and future deman­ds on structures
  • Com­pa­ring cur­rent con­di­ti­ons with defi­ned requirements
  • Plan­ning mea­su­res for the reha­bi­li­ta­ti­on of struc­tures while in ope­ra­ti­on, or plan­ning com­ple­men­ta­ry or new struc­tures while lar­ge­ly kee­ping the exis­ting struc­tures operational
  • Per­forming life cycle cost ana­ly­ses (com­pa­ring cos­ts of reha­bi­li­ta­ti­on and new construction)
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