Success on a VicRoads infrastructure project has led to a new method for procurement on construction projects being promoted, which helps find alternative, more appropriate resources, according to Ashley Reid, managing director of Terra Firma Industries.
‘Optioneering’ is the systematic examination of the performance of alternative products and designs to better meet major construction challenges. It takes into account the impact of each product or design method on a project’s cost, environmental footprint, and safety issues.
The results often show a compelling case for using different products or methods in construction projects, said Reid. “Optioneering is beginning to be used in major construction projects across Australia. This is being driven by the need for buildings and infrastructure to meet sustainability standards and at the same time save money over the long term.”
He said the method allowed organisations to consider alternative products that better meet whole-of-life project requirements.
Terra Firma’s flagship product, a composite pit lid, was selected through this process, said Craig Allan, Network Integration manager for VicRoads’ M80 Upgrade.
“A challenge of the M80 Upgrade is to build a road that can withstand increasing volumes of traffic and heavier vehicles, as well as consider ongoing maintenance and whole-of-life costs,” said Allan.
“Using an optioneering approach, the team considers capital and operational costs, accessibility and safety of maintenance works, and the impact of maintenance on drivers using the M80 Ring Road to decide on the right option for each scenario.”
The VicRoads team decided to opt for an alternative to concrete pit lids—which frequently break and require traffic disruption—that would require less maintenance and decrease costs over the life of the project. The project team is also looking at a number of other initiatives to lower the carbon footprint of the M80 Upgrade.