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Weather Augmented Risk Determination (WARD) System

  • Author(s): Niknejad, Mohsen
  • Advisor(s): Aghakouchak, Amir
  • et al.
Abstract

ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS

Weather Augmented Risk Determination (WARD) System

By

Mohsen Niknejad

Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering

University of California, Irvine, 2015

Professor Amir AghaKouchak, Chair

Extreme climatic events have direct (e.g., physical damage) and indirect impacts (e.g., low air

quality caused by a dry spell) on society, economy and the environment. Based on the United

States Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data, over one third of the U.S. GDP can be

considered as weather-sensitive involving some degree of weather risk. This expands from a

local scale concrete foundation construction to large scale transportation systems. Extreme and

unexpected weather conditions have always been considered as one of the probable risks to

human health, productivity and activities. The construction industry is a large sector of the

economy, and is also greatly influenced by weather-related risks including work stoppage and

low labor productivity. Identification and quantification of these risks, and providing mitigation

of their effects are always the concerns of construction project managers. In addition to severe

weather conditions’ destructive effects, seasonal changes in weather conditions can also have

negative impacts on human health. Work stoppage and reduced labor productivity can be caused

by precipitation, wind, temperature, relative humidity and other weather conditions. Historical

and project-specific weather information can improve better project management and mitigation

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planning, and ultimately reduce the risk of weather-related conditions. This thesis proposes new

software for project-specific user-defined data analysis that offers (a) probability of work

stoppage and the estimated project length considering weather conditions; (b) information on

reduced labor productivity and its impacts on project duration; and (c) probabilistic information

on the project timeline based on both weather-related work stoppage and labor productivity. The

software (WARD System) is designed such that it can be integrated into the already available

project management tools. While the system and presented application focuses on the

construction industry, the developed software is general and can be used for any application that

involves labor productivity (e.g., farming) and work stoppage due to weather conditions (e.g.,

transportation, agriculture industry). The system is designed to offer work stoppage and labor

productivity information based on user-defined weather conditions.

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