Solution de gestion patrimoniale
Close this search box.

IQOA: Image of the Quality of Engineering Structures
in infrastructure management

Images of the Quality of Engineering Structures (IQOA) are an integral part of infrastructure maintenance. They help to ensure the safety, durability and functionality of certain engineering structures. This article explores the foundations of IQOA, their importance in the field of maintenance, and how the integration of digital technology is transforming the management of infrastructures, thereby improving their inspection and maintenance.

What are IQOA?

IQOA is a set of assessment procedures designed to guarantee the safety and performance of engineering structures. IQOA inspections are essential for identifying potential structural defects or defects that could compromise user safety. The engineering structures covered by these inspections include a wide variety of structures, such as bridges, retaining walls and viaducts, which require special attention due to their strategic importance and exposure to varying environmental conditions.
The IQOA is the first step in the process of assessing the condition of structures, including a visual assessment to identify obvious signs of deterioration. The aim is to diagnose the condition of the structure in order to plan the necessary maintenance or renovation work. Depending on the findings and the score obtained, the IQOA visit may need to be followed by more in-depth tests, using various technologies to measure the strength of materials, structural integrity and other key performance indicators.

IQOA: the types of structure concerned

The IQOA applies to a wide range of engineering structures, each presenting unique characteristics and challenges in terms of construction, maintenance and monitoring. Here are a few examples of the main types of structure concerned:

  • Bridges

    • Road and motorway bridges: these structures carry road traffic and are crucial for connectivity between different regions. They are subject to heavy loads and wear from continuous traffic, requiring regular inspections to detect any signs of structural fatigue or deterioration.
    • Pedestrian bridges: although less subject to heavy loads, these structures require special attention to ensure pedestrian safety. The materials used, which are often different from those used for road or rail bridges, can present specific vulnerabilities.
  • Viaducts

    These are part of the bridge family, but are generally larger in scale, crossing valleys or bodies of water. Their inspection requires particular attention to the stability of the piers and the integrity of the superstructure, which is often exposed to extreme environmental conditions.
  • Retaining structures

    Retaining walls, gabions and other structures designed to support land or prevent landslides. These structures are essential to ensure the stability of adjacent infrastructure and must be regularly inspected to avoid potential failures.

dashboard maintenance asset management

The benefits of IQOA for infrastructure management.

IQOA (Images de la Qualité des Ouvrages d’Art) inspections are a crucial part of infrastructure management and maintenance. These systematic inspections address a number of major issues that are essential for the safety, durability and integrity of engineering structures, in order to maintain their serviceability.
By structuring the explanation in the form of a top 3, we are highlighting the key issues in the management of infrastructure assets. IQOA inspections are a tool to help manage a number of structures.

  1. Safety of users and infrastructure

    The most immediate and critical issue is the safety of users and the infrastructure itself. Bridges, retaining walls and other engineering structures are subject to continuous stress, both physical (loads, traffic, climatic conditions) and temporal (ageing of materials). Without proper inspection and maintenance, the risk of structural failure increases, potentially leading to serious accidents. IQOA inspections enable early detection of signs of deterioration or structural weakness, guaranteeing rapid intervention to restore safety. This proactive approach is fundamental to preventing incidents, protecting users and ensuring the longevity of the infrastructure: IQOA inspections are scheduled on a regular basis throughout the lifecycle of the structure.

  2. Infrastructure preservation

    Another major issue is the preservation of structures. Engineering structures, often considerable public investments, represent an essential part of the capital of a nation or community. Their deterioration not only affects the quality of life and mobility of citizens, but also generates high repair or reconstruction costs. By identifying maintenance or reinforcement needs early and regularly, IQOA inspections help to extend the life of these structures, thereby optimising the use of public resources in a local economy.

  3. Optimising maintenance and renovation costs

    The results of IQOA inspections enable structure managers to optimise budget planning with a view to making savings (priorities, staggering and prevention). It plays a key role in the sustainable management of infrastructures, ensuring that they are in good condition and avoiding financial overruns.

By establishing a regular assessment of the condition of structures on the same scale, these inspections enable targeted and effective maintenance plans to be drawn up, avoiding unnecessary or late interventions. Early detection of issues reduces the need for major repairs or complete replacements.

In addition, the adoption of innovative technologies combined with the IQOA methodology, such as digital or technical solutions (software, drones, predictive analysis), helps to further reduce costs by making inspections faster, less restrictive to use and more standardised.

From IQOA to maintenance plan.

The IQOA inspection begins with a crucial preparation phase, during which preliminary information is gathered. This includes gathering all relevant documents relating to the structure, such as construction plans, reports of previous inspections and details of previous interventions. Preparation also involves planning the inspection, including the scope and resources to be used, and drawing up a schedule. This stage takes into account the safety of the inspectors and aims to minimise disruption to users of the structure.
The first concrete activity in the field is an initial visual examination of the structure. This direct observation enables the obvious signs of deterioration to be identified, such as cracks, erosion, corrosion of reinforcement or subsidence, which in turn enables a score to be assigned to the structure.

In some cases, this examination can be supplemented by more advanced technological means, such as the use of drones to access difficult areas, non-destructive tests to assess structural integrity, or the use of sensors to measure critical parameters.
The next step is to rate the condition of the structure using the IQOA assessment scale, based on the data collected. The IQOA inspection report for each structure summarises the observations, analysis and recommendations for any action required. This report establishes a definitive score for identifying the repair or reinforcement requirements.

Thanks to all the visits based on the IQOA method, the manager can draw up an action plan for carrying out the repair or reinforcement work identified. This plan takes account of priorities, available resources and the monitoring required to ensure that the work carried out is effective.

From preparation to action planning, the methodical and exhaustive approach of inspections based on IQOA makes it possible to monitor the condition of its assets in a harmonised way and to draw up a maintenance plan.
This process is fundamental to ensuring the safety, durability and functionality of engineering structures, by proactively identifying and dealing with structural issues.

The digital solution for IQOA management

Managing IQOA visits represents a challenge for organisations responsible for maintaining and operating infrastructures. In this context, Beyond Asset has emerged as a particularly relevant digital solution, offering modules and functionalities tailored to the specific requirements of IQOA visit management:

  1. Centralisation and easy access to data

    With the MyAsset module, Beyond Asset provides exhaustive centralisation of infrastructure data, including attributes, documents, plans and photos. This centralisation greatly facilitates access to information, which is essential for rapid and informed decision-making in the management of IQOA visits. Simplified access to a single database ensures greater responsiveness to the challenges of maintaining and optimising structures.

  2. Accurate infrastructure monitoring and inspection

    Beyond Asset’s MyInspection module optimises the infrastructure inspection process, a crucial element in the management of IQOA visits. By enabling inspection visits to be organised efficiently and by accurately monitoring the condition of infrastructure, Beyond Asset helps to detect problems quickly and prevent potential failures. This contributes directly to maintaining infrastructure quality and safety, aligning management practices with objectives.

  3. Strategic Maintenance Optimisation

    Proactive infrastructure maintenance is at the heart of facility management. The MyMaintenance module makes it easy to identify the work required, prioritise it according to budgetary and operational constraints, and plan maintenance over several years. This strategic approach ensures the longevity and performance of infrastructures while optimising the resources available.

Share this news: