A Framework for Holistic Life Cycle Cost Analysis for Drinking Water Pipelines


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Virginia Tech


Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) forms an important part of asset management practices and provides an informed decision support. The holistic nature of LCCA includes life cycle assessment (LCA) as an important component alongside economic life cycle cost analysis. The drinking water industry is right now lacking a reliable cost data structure which will ensure that all the utilities capture the same set of cost data. Also, models and tools currently available in the academia and industry are purely deterministic in nature and do not cater to uncertainty in the data. This study provides a framework for a holistic life cycle cost analysis tool which will help drinking water utilities to prioritize the activities and optimize the cost spending of the utility. The methodology includes the development of a cost data structure, a life cycle cost analysis and a life cycle assessment model in the form of an excel spreadsheet. The LCCA model has the capability to compare different pipe materials, installation, condition assessment, rehabilitation and replacement technologies. Whereas, LCA model can compare different pipe materials based on greenhouse gas emissions calculations. The final step of the methodology includes piloting the model with data from utility A. The analysis has been shown in the form of three case studies - comparison of two pipe materials, two pipe installation technologies and two pipe rehabilitation technologies. The case studies provide results in the form of comparison of total life cycle costs for different alternatives and hence a better alternative can be chosen.



Life Cycle Cost Analysis, Life Cycle Assessment, Net Present Value