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Risk-Based Quantification of Structural and Infrastructure Sustainability

Our nation’s infrastructure faces multiple threats, including aging and deterioration, increased demand by a growing population, and natural hazards that may become more frequent with climate change. These threats result not only in physical damage, but cascading social, environmental, and economic impacts that impair sustainability. Dr. Padgett’s research group provides quantifiable schemes for evaluating a structural system in terms of its sustainability. In the proposed models, performance goals for selecting designs or upgrades are driven by sustainability metrics, such as energy usage, life-cycle cost, and downtime, while ensuring safety. Life-cycle analyses are posed that uncover the role that enhanced hazard protection may have in improving sustainability by considering the hazard exposure phase relative to other life-cycle stages in a risk-based framework. Trade-off relationships between life-cycle environmental, economic and social indicators of sustainability are reavealed. Additionally, when coupled with multi-objective optimization optimal retrofit or repair combinations are identified to support the sustainable management of structures and infrastructure in hazard prone regions.

Risk-Based Quantification of Infrastructure Sustainability