Sustainability Modeling of Infrastructure Systems
The quantification approaches and state of practice for infrastructure sustainability assessment provide various opportunities for better investment and policymaking for the future generations. Roads, bridges, rail, and transit systems are in poor condition partly because of the significant backlog in infrastructure investment. Moreover, traditional approaches of maintenance, repair, and reconstruction of the infrastructure systems and buildings do not sufficiently support the three pillars of sustainability and resiliency in the decision-making process. In this course, the quantification and evaluation of infrastructure sustainability under a realistic but uncertain future will be discussed: an accelerating trend in human activities, an increasing level of variability in the temporal and geographical contexts and climatological factors, and an escalating systems complexity as a result of non-linearity and interconnections existing in the built environment.
This course provides insights on infrastructure sustainability problems in a computational setting with an emphasis on data and problem abstraction and also, conveys the principles, tools, and practice of infrastructure life cycle management. A deep understanding of societal limitations and context specificity for the implementation of sustainable solutions will be provided. Also modern, rigorous tools for environmental assessment of infrastructure systems will be illustrated and utilized during this course. Life cycle enthusiasts, including but not limited to sustainable systems, urban planning, policy analysis, civil engineering, and architecture student, will be actively involved in the improvement and extension of their knowledge to broader contexts, where infrastructure resiliency and sustainability marry. The course provides students with lectures around numerical modeling, the role and application of data, and uncertainty and variability sources in complex systems. Also, guidelines on how to manage and improve the robustness of the decisions will be discussed. Course deliverables include an individual case project. The case project comprises a group effort to evaluate and propose science-based and quantified solutions to improve the sustainability aspects of an infrastructure system, including roads, bridges, tunnels, parking lots, industrial and commercial buildings, etc.