Special Sessions

SS1: Learning from excellent performance

A number of old concrete structures exhibit excellent performance. The reason for excellent performance has hardly been studied. Hence, the reasons for excellent performance remains largely unknown. Possible aspects that have to considered could have contributed to excellent performance are mix design, execution, curing and finishing of concrete surfaces, maintenance and structural design. But is there a key aspect that dominates performance? [read more=”read more” less=”read less”]

Authors are invited to submit papers in which excellent performance over time of concrete structures is described and the reason for excellent performance is evaluated. Lessons learned from excellent performance should be formulated. How excellent performance contributes to mitigating the environmental impact of the building industry (if so) should be indicated.[/read]

 SS2: Self- healing for longevity of ageing concrete infrastructure

Ageing is an inherent feature of all natural and man-made materials. As such ageing is also an inherent feature of all are infrastructure works. Concrete as a material also ages. At the same time concrete is known for its inherent self-healing potential. Recently self-healing has got a lot of attention. The performance of concrete structures is determined by these two competing inherent features of ageing and self-healing.[read more=”read more” less=”read less”] Authors are invited to submit abstract on ageing and how self-healing could slow down and mitigate ageing processes.[/read]

 SS3: Engineering Adaptation to Climate Change

Infrastructure systems represent a complex network of interdependent systems, which are subject to numerous threats posed by natural and man-made hazards, cascading risks, effects of ageing and ever increasing demands due to population growth. Infrastructure also faces new challenges caused by a changing climate. In order to ensure uninterrupted services and reliable performance of infrastructure in the future its resilience needs to be improved which includes the infrastructure adaptation to climate change.[read more=”read more” less=”read less”] To achieve this it is essential to better understand climate change impact risks, effectiveness of adaptation strategies, interdependencies between various infrastructure sectors, and effects of failures in individual sectors on the infrastructure performance as a whole, both at national and local levels.

This mini-symposium aims to bring together researchers and practitioners in order to present, discuss and exchange information and ideas on modeling, planning and management of infrastructure and their systems subject to changing climate, with particular emphasis on (i) climate adaptation engineering at multiple scales and (ii) the role of interdependencies between different infrastructure systems and the modeling of cascading risk.[/read]

SS4: Long term Performance optimization

Life-cycle civil engineering is not only focused on optimizing the life-cycle cost of civil assets. To make cost-efficient decisions it is important to know what level of performance should be achieved. This starts out with the Decision makers who should have insight in the long term Performance requirements for the civil assets. These high level requirements should be translated into achievable performance requirements at the level of specific constructions.[read more=”read more” less=”read less”]

Asset Management addresses these issues and it includes the whole life-cycle aspect of technical, process and organizational aspects to cope with this. The aim of this Special Session is to attract papers that specifically address the performance optimization challenges. Both in- an outsourcing organizations are invited to respond.[/read]

SS5: Risk based maintenance from life cycle perspective

The progressive approach of (semi-) quantitative Risk Based Maintenance (RBM) techniques in civil engineering is a challenge for those organizations that rely on outsourcing maintenance activities. Though the RBM method itself is not new, knowledge about it and implementation of related roles and responsibilities within the outsourcing organization is as important as the RBM process that is outsourced itself. Not being able to fulfill these issues will induce a risk to the processes and organization not being able to obtain sufficient control over the civil asset.[read more=”read more” less=”read less”]

Asset Management addresses these issues and it includes the whole life-cycle aspect of technical, process and organizational aspects to cope with this. The aim of the Special Session is to attract papers that specifically address the organizational challenges, causes and solutions to deal with in- and outsourcing activities and the solutions to this. Both in- an outsourcing organizations are invited to respond.

Typical subjects for this Special Session are:
RBM – Methods; RBM – Human Factors; RBM – Organizational Learning; RBM  – Processes; RBM – Theoretical aspects.[/read]

SS6: Dynamic Contracting: Optimal performance over the life cycle due to better cooperation between contact partners

Transport infrastructure networks (such as roads, railways, and waterways) are complex systems in a changing (not to say transforming) society. Important changes that influence the networks concern demands, requirements, regulations, financial possibilities, technological developments, etc. The traditional way in which new projects, renewals/ upgrades and maintenance are contracted, cannot cope with these changes in a sufficient way. Moreover, there are also problems with the rigidity of new contract forms, such as DBFM, illustrated by relatively high prices for (minor) changes. [read more=”read more” less=”read less”] Because our society is more and more dynamic, these problems are getting worse.

The special session will deal with Dynamic Contracting. Dynamic contracting takes into account relevant known and unknown changes, as well as gives the asset manager sufficient certainty about performance, risks (threats and opportunities) and finance (costs and benefits), and is in this way is an essential part of a successful and sustainable life cycle approach.[/read]

SS7: Standardization of performance indicators and goals for the life-cycle management of highway bridges

Life-cycle analyses are used in condition assessment of new and existing bridges, as well as for evaluation of maintenance strategies. Management systems, capturing different degradation processes, are very often used in relation to such life-cycle analyses methods in order to describe the actual and future condition.
During the implementation of asset management strategies, maintenance actions are required to keep assets at desired performance levels.[read more=”read more” less=”read less”] In case of highway bridges, performance indicators, which can be obtained by inspections, non-destructive testing or monitoring
systems, are established for components. These indicators allow to assess if quality control plans are accomplished.
In Europe there is a large disparity regarding the way performance indicators are quantified and goals specified. COST Action TU1406 aims to bring together research and practicing communities in order to establish a European guideline in this issue. This Action will also
analyze the use of new sustainable indicators related to highway bridges life-cycle analyses.[/read]

SS8: Focussing on end-of-lifetime scenarios: Demolition and deconstruction as part of an integrated view on lifetime engineering

Focussing on end-of-lifetime scenarios: Demolition and deconstruction as part of an integrated view on lifetime engineering
Generally, the lifetime of buildings is divided in three phases:  Creating a new building, using the building and at the end of lifetime deconstructing the building. Especially the deconstruction phase produces a great impact on natural resources mostly due to a lack of general knowledge and special demolishing engineering.[read more=”read more” less=”read less”] Thus, more eco-efficient methods to deconstruct buildings are needed as well as further research is evident to avoid non-recyclable waste during the demolishing process. Different end-of-lifetime scenarios should be combined in future and general planning on waste management and deconstruction should be done even before a new building is created as part of an integrated view of lifetime engineering. New ideas to reuse whole or parts of constructions are possible today to minimize the impact on nature at the end-of-lifetime.
The aim of this mini symposia is to put researchers and practitioners together to present and exchange information on conception and planning of demolition and deconstruction. The focus should be set on ideas to minimize waste, to reach higher recycling rates and to integrate different end-of-lifetime-scenarios into the planning of construction. Another scope of this mini-symposia are methods to avoid demolition as the typical end-of-lifetime scenario or techniques to expand the lifetime.
General research is welcome as for example aspects of demolishing and rebuilding in dense urban areas or handling of hazardous materials from the past.[/read]

SS9: Cost reduction and societal benefits over the life cycle due to monitoring of existing structures and innovative repair techniques

After decades of expanding the infrastructural network, currently increasing budgets are spend on maintenance. While for designing new structures, using a life-cycle costing (LCC) approach becomes more common, for maintenance of existing structures this is usually only done with major renovations. This is partly due to unfamiliarity of maintenance managers with such an approach and partly because the knowledge to do so is not widespread.   [read more=”read more” less=”read less”] This is particularly of interest for innovative monitoring and repair techniques of existing civil structures. These techniques often show their benefits, when an LCC approach is adopted. At the same time, societal cost can be reduced over the life cycle.

This special session will explore the value of applying new monitoring or repair techniques of existing civil structures and how this shows in reducing the life cycle costs of infrastructure maintenance. The following abstracts are already submitted:
•   Cost Benefit Analysis Of Monitoring Modular Joints In The Dutch Highway Network
•   Electro Active Repair of Concrete: Innovation for Increased Repair Durability
Authors are kindly invited to contribute to this special session and to bring in papers related to
•   the added value of innovative monitoring techniques on the life-cycle costs of existing infrastructures
•   practical examples of life cycle cost reduction and societal benefits of monitoring.
•   life cycle cost reduction and/or societal benefits of innovative repair techniques dor existing structures
•   practical examples of repair techniques with demonstrated life cycle cost reduction and/or societal benefits.[/read]

SS10: Managing infrastructure assets: From performance data to optimal strategies

A main task of infrastructure management is the development and application of optimal intervention strategies. An intervention strategy is optimal if the total costs incurred by all stakeholders is minimized for a specified time within the life-cycle of an asset. Whether the optimal intervention strategy can be determined strongly depends on the appropriate data to evaluate the current and predict the future performance of infrastructure assets.[read more=”read more” less=”read less”] In recent years the possibilities to collect performance data have enormously increased and created new challenges in terms of useful data amount, required data quality, and necessary data processing.

This session will shed more light on the potential and challenges of increased data availability for the development of optimal intervention strategies. It will particularly focus on the usefulness of different data sources (e.g. sensor systems, in-car systems, smartphones) for and the impact of data quality on the assessment and prediction of asset performance. [/read]

 SS11: Learning cycles in life-cycle asset management

Typically, civil structures possess a long life span that sharply contrasts with the dynamics of their social, technological and environmental context. During the expected lifetime of engineering assets user requirements can shift, new technologies can emerge, and environmental condition can change. As a consequence, asset managers need to be adaptive in their life-cycle management approach. They need to be able to learn while managing their assets.[read more=”read more” less=”read less”] However, establishing the management of civil structures as the management of successive learning cycles is one the major challenges in the civil engineering sector.

This special session brings together contributions of practitioners and researchers that address life-cycle asset management from a learning perspective. Particular attention is paid to the management of the interfaces between short-term learning cycles in the long-term asset life-cycle. Contributions are sought that describe different learning cycles and their impact on the performance of assets over their life-cycle and provide approaches for managing and supporting the learning processes, such as adaptive design solutions, monitoring techniques for predictive purposes, and organizational and contractual change models.  [/read]

SS12: Performance of concrete during life-cycle

Concrete, as a major building material, has been extensively used in the civil engineering. Although substantial understandings of concrete performance under static loadings has been achieved, the influence of loading rate, the action of stirrups and the corrosion of the steel bar on the concrete performance has not been well understood.  Moreover, for reinforced concrete structures, some other actions such as the long standing loadings, the confinement of stirrups and the rust expansion crack should be taken into account. [read more=”read more” less=”read less”]To this end, models and methods to describe the performance of concrete during structural life-cycle play increasingly important roles in the engineering design, although their current versions are far from the ideals. Those who have been working on related fields are cordially invited to exchange their ideas and research outcome in this Special Session.[/read]

SS13: System capacity and robustness for new and existing structures


In this special session, we will focus on aspects of system capacity and robustness for both new and existing structures. The main areas of this topic are the definition and comparison of robustness interpretations and the comparison and assessment of standard models in terms of complexity, including the development of boundary conditions for new and existing structures and systems. Special attention will be given to economic optimization and individual risk.[read more=”read more” less=”read less”] Concrete objectives of this mini-symposium include the development of a design guide for the assessment of robustness, and of a technical guide to support the selection of appropriate safety and reliability evaluation models.[/read]

SS14: Marine Structural Longevity

Marine structures pose unique challenges for lifecycle performance prediction and maintenance optimization. Highly mobile in a corrosive operating environment, there are significant uncertainties around both the magnitude of the loading process and the condition of the structure. Owing to their large size, highly redundant structural configuration, and infrequent removal from service, monitoring and inspection also poses unique challenges for such structures. [read more=”read more” less=”read less”] Despite these challenges, industry and public sector operators of marine structures are requesting better tools for ensuring safety, forecasting future performance, and optimizing repair and intervention of such structures.
This special session will bring together researchers focused on the lifecycle performance prediction of marine structures. Papers are invited on topics related to sensing and inspecting marine structures, model updating with sensor and inspection measurements, and novel lifecycle performance frameworks. Lifecycle management frameworks, including reliability-based performance predictions and methods to include uncertainty will be examined. Means of updating time-varying reliability formulations with in-service data will also be explored, including both unique sensing approaches and frameworks for processing such data. Novel repair approaches, including assessment of repair component performance under uncertainty, will be detailed.[/read]

SS15: Optimizing decision making of rail asset management

Rail infrastructure is living an ever tougher life. Through their crowded timetables and on behalf of their many customers, transport service demands a lot from the responsible asset management party. Expectations keep rising with respect to growth in performance and decrease of costs. This requires continuous innovation in (cross organizational) decision making. [read more=”read more” less=”read less”] This includes advancement in the management of risk as well as predicting the chance of infrastructure failure using model-based interpretation of measurement data. In this mini-symposium researchers and practitioners identify challenges and explore directions of research and solution approaches.[/read]