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Estimating the benefits of effectively and proactively maintaining infrastructure with the innovative Smart Infrastructure sensor system


  • Morimoto, Risako


An innovative sensor system, designated 'Smart Infrastructure,' is being developed jointly by Cambridge University in the United Kingdom and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States. This system provides real-time wireless information about the state of critical infrastructure. The Smart Infrastructure sensors are designed to monitor infrastructure, such as water pipelines, as well as to increase their capabilities for purposes of efficient maintenance. This paper presents a forecasting model that assesses the possible impacts of Smart Infrastructure technology currently being applied to the British water pipe market. In doing so, we identify key benefits of proactively managing infrastructure with such new technology. A probabilistic cost benefit analysis, which takes into account future uncertainty, is conducted using a Monte Carlo simulation. Our findings suggest that if the Smart Infrastructure sensor system is applied to water pipelines in the British market, there are likely to be significant economic benefits. They could be realised by avoiding disruption and damage costs (including water loss) due to water pipe bursts, as well as by reducing annual operating and maintenance costs. The mean cumulative net present value of savings derived from the case scenario for the period through year 2056 was estimated at US$ 23.7 billion.

Suggested Citation

  • Morimoto, Risako, 2010. "Estimating the benefits of effectively and proactively maintaining infrastructure with the innovative Smart Infrastructure sensor system," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 247-257, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceps:v:44:y:2010:i:4:p:247-257

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Houlihan, Barrie, 1994. "Europe's ageing infrastructure : Politics, finance and the environment," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 243-252, October.
    2. Morimoto, Risako & Hope, Chris, 2005. "Making the case for developing a silent aircraft," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 165-174, March.
    3. David Alan Aschauer, 1990. "Why is infrastructure important?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 34, pages 21-68.
    4. John Lawlor & Colm McCarthy & Sue Scott, 2007. "Investment in water infrastructure: Findings from an economic analysis of a national programme," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(1), pages 41-63.
    5. Baldwin, John R. & Dixon, Jay, 2008. "Infrastructure Capital: What Is It? Where Is It? How Much of It Is There?," The Canadian Productivity Review 2008016e, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis Division.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martins, José & Marques, Rui Cunha & Cruz, Carlos Oliveira, 2014. "Maximizing the value for money of PPP arrangements through flexibility: An application to airports," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 72-80.
    2. Annika Malm & Frida Moberg & Lars Rosén & Thomas Pettersson, 2015. "Cost-Benefit Analysis and Uncertainty Analysis of Water Loss Reduction Measures: Case Study of the Gothenburg Drinking Water Distribution System," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 29(15), pages 5451-5468, December.


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