NIC0022

Written evidence submitted by Luke Seabright, Dr Suresh Renukappa and Dr Subashini Suresh, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton

 

Climate Adaptation Challenges in Infrastructure Asset Management

 

Executive Summary

Introduction and reasons for submitting evidence

Infrastructure asset management is an aged discipline which is not given the credit or attention it deserves and appears to be a hidden specialism. Asset management is built on traditional practices, culture, and behaviour, that owes itself to a non-digital era. Ageing infrastructure throughout the UK is approaching a critical time whereby the need to invest on renewing or upgrading, rather than patching, is required. To help avoid reactive and emergency costs, the way infrastructure assets are managed needs to be more efficient, which requires culture and behaviour in asset management to evolve with the times, and adopt future proof, forward thinking strategies, developed upon traditional ways.

Written Evidence

1. The cost to maintain an asset outweighs the value and performance.

2. There is increased risk of failure which leads to more regular inspections and spending.

3. Today’s standard doesn’t necessarily leave enough tolerance for an ageing asset to stay within tolerance, leading to non-compliances and derogations to the standard, which is a risk to cost and safety.

  1. Regarding objectives
  2. Regarding the performance related situation of the asset(s)
  3. Regarding the intervention required

The three key areas of decision making, are all inter-related whenever a decision is made, which makes them difficult to separate. The effectiveness of decisions could be improved as breaking down the decision-making process could enable a more comprehensive identification and alignment of decisions. The alignment of the key decision areas can increase effectiveness of decision made in asset management and deserves more attention in further research in conjunction with optimisation of decision making. This is an industry-wide challenge as decisions are still made by humans, which provide a possibility of error. Regardless of the advancement of technology, evidence-based decision can always be interpretated differently dependant on who the asset manager is and what the asset managers thought process is. There is a lot of literature supporting decision making models for optimisation and benefits of certain methods and processes but ultimately, they are different versions of the process to the same outcome. Until human error is completely taken out of the equation, decision making will always be a challenge as there is no standardised model which works for all infrastructure sectors regarding assets.

Recommendations

 

21 February 2022