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Project: Reliability-based assessment of the system behaviour of existing concrete structures taking into account spatio-temporal variations and uncertainties using random fields

2018-10-01 – 2021-10-18


For many designers and asset managers, the timing and extent of repair works has become a
major economic and logistical consideration since a large part of the patrimony has reached its
theoretical end of life. However, current methods for assessing existing structures lack the ability
to adequately take into account all relevant information and predict the structural behaviour over
time. Consequently, nowadays, the assessment of existing structures is often based on the
subjective judgement of the consulting engineer.
The fundamental methodology which will be developed in this novel research will allow to make
more accurate predictions of the structural safety of existing structures, enabling to take into
account the typical problem of limited and scattered measurement data when making predictions
of the structural system behaviour. Therefore, the current research proposal focusses on two main
topics: the characterization and modelling of spatial variability observed in deteriorating structures
and the consideration of all relevant sources of uncertainty in the assessment process of existing
The developed methodology will allow more optimal decision making taking into account the
balance of investments and safety and will enable to perform adequate asset management.
Hence, it is expected that the outcomes of this research will allow to create significant economic
savings with respect to repair and upgrading of existing structures.

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