| What is SAMCO ?
Structural Assessment: The assessment of the actual condition and the load capacity of the structure of buildings.
Monitoring: Permanent condition-supervision of buildings in order to maintain the load capacity and the usability.
Control: Supervision and control of the dynamic behaviour, like vibration.
Today´s monitoring and assessment technology supports science and development. Major research projects have been carried out. In the SAMCO database you find a lot of research organizations and related projects.
In practice it is used for the inspection and the maintenance of technical infrastructure (roads and railway bridges, industrial and power plants, stadiums and other structures) in order to increase safety. Bridge management is one of the major practical application. A considerable part of the SAMCO database will be devoted to bridge management.
The need for SAMCO
Maintenance of Infrastructure: Society depends on the transportation infrastructure for economic, environmental, life-quality, safety and employment protection reasons. The failure of a single bridge can cause a huge loss to society. Considering the number of structures reaching a critical age, innovative test and assessment tools as well as methods are required in order to avoid an infrastructure breakdown.
The peak of construction of the European transportation infrastructure happened in the 70s of this century. Owners of bridges experienced that the critical age where rehabilitation and retrofit works at bridges become essential starts after 30 years of service. Considering the time of construction a huge peak of repair and retrofit investments are expected for the years 2005 onwards.
Disaster Prevention: Recent earthquakes in Turkey and Greece show the importance of seismic resistant construction methods. Not only a loss of life can be minimised, but also the heavy toll in injuries, the economic loss of infrastructural assets and the burdening of the environment by large amounts of debris can be reduced by implementing seismic resistant design and construction processes. Methodologies for the assessment of structures and the consequent strengthening requirements following earthquakes are necessary. Developments in microzonation and soil damping will allow a better assessment of the vulnerability of structures against earthquake damage.
The map beside emphasises this point: