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Title: Challenges for engineering design, construction, and maintenance of infrastructure in Afghanistan
Authors: Army Study Program (U.S.)
United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Transatlantic Division.
Affleck, Rosa T.
Freeman, Reed B.
Keywords: Afghanistan
Construction standards
Design standards
Engineering design
Limits in socio-economic conditions
Sensitivity to local culture
USACE mission
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: ERDC/CRREL SR ; 10-2.
Description: Special Report
Abstract: Western nations, particularly the United States, may not have the most applicable construction techniques for rebuilding infrastructure in other countries. Afghanistan, for example, does not have well-documented engineering design and construction standards. The U.S. forces and Government agencies arrived in Afghanistan anticipating that construction funded by the U.S. would meet the Continental United States (CONUS) level of standard practice. Similarly, other well-developed countries arrived in Afghanistan with the intention of using their country’s adopted construction standards. Both U.S. and international construction standards may appear logical to use for this purpose. However, it is often difficult, and many times impossible, to meet traditional U.S. engineering design and construction standards in post-conflict areas owing to limitations that include: a scarcity of high-quality materials and construction equipment, a lack of understanding of the terrain and environment, a lack of awareness of available local skills, a lack of skilled labor, and poor socio-economic conditions. A more deliberate and holistic approach is needed in which we consider and integrate the host nation’s capabilities and understand their limitations. The majority of infrastructure projects in post-conflict countries are mission-specific. In most cases, once constructed and operational, very little emphasis is given addressing maintenance issues. Site-specific and culturally sustainable guidance for maintenance must be implemented as a part of the design process and incorporated into training programs to ensure sustainable, long-term performance or service life of the infrastructure. This ensures leaving behind transportation, buildings, water, and other infrastructure that the host country is capable of managing and maintaining. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has successfully supported the Combatant Commands for engineering solutions by managing both engineering and construction projects, environmental restoration, and other projects. The USACE Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) possesses a unique combination of basic research and applied engineering expertise that collectively can solve challenging infrastructure problems. USACE-ERDC’s researchers and engineers are field capable, having conducted projects on every continent, and are experienced in providing unique, adaptable solutions in austere locations with limited resources.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Special Report

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