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Acid deposition affects materials by reducing their service lives. Conversely, control of acid deposition acts to extend service life. Hence the major benefit of an acid deposition control policy is related to the change in service life. The true economic measure of the benefit is the difference between the present worth of the replacement cost for the service life under existing conditions and the present worth at the service life under acid deposition controls. The fact that the policy involves the application of the controls, and only indirectly the materials themselves, complicates the analysis. The absolute time limits imposed by the control scenario creates the possibility of a time lag between the start of a life cycle and the implementation of controls, which must be factored into the benefit calculations. Over the entire building stock, the average time lag for a given component may be half its prevailing service life. As a result, the actual benefit can be as much as 20% lower than that computed for the ideal case, when all materials begin their service lives simultaneously with the installation of controls. In comparison, benefits computed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) technique can be overstated by a factor of two.
service life, life-cycle costs, acid deposition, materials effects, damage function, critical damage level, cost-benefit analysis, acid rain, infrastructure, benefit factor
Research fellow, University of Maryland, College Park, MD