Youen’s research is focused on the assessment of strategies intended to reduce excavation works related to the maintenance and expansion of urban water pipe networks. The overall aim is to develop knowledge and digital tools that can support informed, sustainability-based decision making when it comes to the implementation of excavation reduction strategies such as:
- Coordinated replacement of adjacent physical assets: urban water pipes, road, district-heating, etc.
- Use of trenchless technologies for the rehabilitation of urban water pipes.
- Shallow co-location of urban water and district heating pipes above the frost depth using insulated utility corridors (utilidors).
The research methods include statistical analysis of empirical data (e.g. pipe service lives, economic costs and durations of pipe rehabilitation projects), environmental and economic lifecycle analysis, multi-criteria sustainability assessment, as well as pipes temperature measurements and modelling (to assess the functionality of shallow insulated utilidors).