Help promote federal use of Life Cycle Cost Analysis

Life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) is a tool used by structural engineers to select the design and material options providing the lowest overall cost. Since composites are often the most durable, lowest-maintence structural material for many applications, the use of LCCA will increase the use of composites.

Highways

MAP-21, the highway authorization bill passed in 2012, directs the Transportation Department to develop LCCA standards that the states will use in designing federally funded highway bridges.

Ports and waterways

Another opportunity for use of LCCA to drive increased use of composites is in the design of structures associated with ports and navigable waterways, such as dams, locks, piers and pilings. According to a recent Army Corps of Engineers presentation to ACMA, the Corps manages 25,000 miles of waterways including 236 lock chambers. Over half of the Corps-managed structures have exceeded their service life, and many are rated as "severely deficient."

H.R. 3080, water resources authorization legislation passed by the House of Representatives transportation committee on Sept. 20, 2013, includes a requirement for the Corps to use "durable, resilient and sustainable materials and practices, including...composites."  (Video about the the bill.) This legislation now moves to the House floor where it will very likely be approved, and then to a conference committee, where differences with the Senate version will be resolved.