Deterioration and degradation modelling of infrastructure assets (RP1047)

CIRIA will develop an interactive maturity assessment tool and guidance that encourages asset owning/managing organisations to evaluate their maturity in deterioration modelling of water infrastructure. The exercise will enable selected information to be used as a basis for benchmarking against others and help asset owning/managing to evaluate what they need to transition to a ‘predict and prevent’ infrastructure asset management approach.


Predicting the future is difficult but, for those responsible for the management of assets, it is necessary. Deterioration modelling essentially provides a systematic means of predicting the future, improving asset knowledge in support of the wider process of effective asset management. In particular, results from deterioration models can make an important contribution to the understanding of asset performance and risk and how these might change over time, which is fundamental to the core asset management principles of informed planning and decision making.

Deterioration modelling approaches have developed significantly in the past 20 years or so, and over this period a great quantity of academic literature has been published giving details of specific methodologies and approaches. Many of these approaches are relatively complex and require significant specialist knowledge that is not typically held by those involved in the management and maintenance of civil engineering assets.

There is evidence of demand for the knowledge that can be provided by deterioration modelling, and there are clearly significant opportunities to advance the current situation. The skills and technologies that are required to make deterioration modelling a more viable and rewarding prospect than has previously been the case – including environmental and structural sensors, non-contact scanning equipment, data transmission, storage and processing capabilities and advanced modelling and machine learning techniques - are rapidly developing and becoming more familiar and widely available to asset owners and their suppliers. Against a backdrop of ongoing constraints on resources for maintaining and renewing existing civil infrastructure and of current UK and international initiatives to make better use of data for asset management, to standardise data formats and encourage and facilitate the sharing of data and to develop associated data acquisition and analysis technologies, this would appear to be a very opportune time to advance the field of deterioration modelling to support the achievement of these aims.

A provisional maturity model for deterioration modelling has been developed by CIRIA (see Table 1). It is intended to be useful as a means of providing some consistency of understanding as to what related capabilities and behaviours represent good practice in support of asset management, and for discussing, planning and developing these as required. Five Maturity Levels have been defined, based on three measures of maturity and organisations are encouraged to review and consider using this model for assessing their own maturity and as a basis for benchmarking against others. 

Using the model in its current format is unwieldy so an interactive tool would be better suited for repeatable assessments and benchmarking.

CIRIA is well-positioned to develop such a tool based on the successful development and adoption of a similar evaluation tool, B£ST. CIRIA will draw on a variety of organisations, professionals and skills through its members, partnership with British Water’s Data Analytics Forum and expanding networks associated with smart infrastructure, asset management, and advancing technologies. The contribution of information and knowledge from these areas will greatly support the development of a tool and guidance, and in establishing an evidence base.


An interactive maturity assessment tool and guidance that will add to CIRIA’s extensive suite water industry and whole-life infrastructure asset management good practice research, and provide a wealth of knowledge for practical application.

Opportunities and benefits to project supporters
Learning directly from leading industry professionals across many disciplines.
Influencing and shaping the project scope and research outputs.
Exclusive, early access to a tool, good practices, and recommendations.
Thought leadership and positioning on whole-life infrastructure asset management promoted through CIRIA’s marketing campaign.
Continued engagements and relationship building with fellow project partners and contributors.
Company logo on all published outputs.
Complimentary hard copies of outputs and discounted rates for PDF.
Partner with CIRIA for launch events and dissemination activities.

This project is due to be published in 2019
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