How to perfom Design Validation for Road Designs

N

North36

#1
Dear All,

I have been a project coordinator for establishing quality management system based on ISO 9001:2008 requirement for the past couple of years. I have faced a challenge when I was working in a Road designing company last time regarding design validation requirement. This requirement is again mentioned in the revised standard- ISO 9001:2015.
Can anyone share me how a road design can be validated? If we follow the same process used in validating product designs we need at least more than a year. This is because Roads can not be built in prototype and then validate in different scenarios. Please I need your practical inputs here.

Regards
 
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Randy

Super Moderator
#2
Re: How to perfom Validation for Road Designs

After it has been built does the road go from point A to point B as designed?
 

Pancho

wikineer
Super Moderator
#3
Re: How to perfom Validation for Road Designs

Dear All,

I have been a project coordinator for establishing quality management system based on ISO 9001:2008 requirement for the past couple of years. I have faced a challenge when I was working in a Road designing company last time regarding design validation requirement. This requirement is again mentioned in the revised standard- ISO 9001:2015.
Can anyone share me how a road design can be validated? If we follow the same process used in validating product designs we need at least more than a year. This is because Roads can not be built in prototype and then validate in different scenarios. Please I need your practical inputs here.

Regards
Hello North,

Validation can be easily be done on the first, say, 100ft of road that you complete. You can inspect, measure and test any relevant characteristics on such to your contract's and control plan's requirements. Any NCs can be corrected immediately, and action taken so that your whole road will be compliant.

We manufacture large structures and we have a similar procedure. Waiting until the structure is finished to validate it defeats the purpose of validation. Instead, we assemble the first two-to-four tons of structure produced into a "test module" that our engineers then validate. The results are recorded onto a form and it becomes the validation record. These initial tons of structure are not wasted. After validation, they are knocked down, packaged and delivered with the rest of the structure.

I hope this helps!
 

Ronen E

Problem Solver
Staff member
Moderator
#4
Re: How to perfom Validation for Road Designs

Hello North,

Validation can be easily be done on the first, say, 100ft of road that you complete. You can inspect, measure and test any relevant characteristics on such to your contract's and control plan's requirements. Any NCs can be corrected immediately, and action taken so that your whole road will be compliant.

We manufacture large structures and we have a similar procedure. Waiting until the structure is finished to validate it defeats the purpose of validation. Instead, we assemble the first two-to-four tons of structure produced into a "test module" that our engineers then validate. The results are recorded onto a form and it becomes the validation record. These initial tons of structure are not wasted. After validation, they are knocked down, packaged and delivered with the rest of the structure.

I hope this helps!
As far as I understand what you describe would be a verification rather than a validation. Validation is about whether or not user needs (stated or otherwise) have been met, while verification is about compliance with stated specifications. Randy's response points in the right direction. Of course, there are road user needs that go a bit beyond going from pont A to point B (not to mention the needs of other stakeholders).

Honestly, I can't imagine a way to validate a road (let alone a road design), in the true sense of the term, without constructing that road first. I'm not from that industry but I'll take a wild guess that wherever there's a strict requirement to validate a road (or its design) it lapses down to a convention that says something along the lines of "we know from experience that if technical specifications A, B and C are met, stakeholders' needs will be satisfied as well, to a high probability". Then it comes down to verifying A, B and C. Again, just a wild guess. Would be interesting to hear someone form that industry.

Cheers,
Ronen.
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#5
Re: How to perfom Validation for Road Designs

Are you also responsible for the road laying, or perhaps the BOOT (Build Own Operate Transfer) ... Validation can happen post realization (as applicable)
If you are only design responsible, you are going to validate it by monitoring the realization to your design and build data post use.

(In the case of road, it may not be practicable to complete validation prior to delivery or implementation. The 7.3.6 of the 2008 version is clear about this. The note at 8.3.4 of the 2015 version is not too clear about this)

Your Risk based thinking and your organizational knowledge are handy at validation stage post realization.
 
Last edited:

harry

Super Moderator
#6
This is interesting because road designs are just some calculations and drawings on paper (intangible).

In the system that follows the British practices and which I am familiar with, final validation is deemed completed when the overall design was checked and certified by the professional engineer who then affixed his professional stamp. From then, he is legally responsible for the integrity of the design.

In some countries, another professional engineer (a checker) needs to check the design and certify that it meets requirements. This can be considered validation too.

For very complex design, experts in particular areas may be engaged to certified that the design for the particular area meet requirements and in cases where new concepts or approaches to the design are employed, scale models may be used to validate the design.
 

Ronen E

Problem Solver
Staff member
Moderator
#7
This is interesting because road designs are just some calculations and drawings on paper (intangible).

In the system that follows the British practices and which I am familiar with, final validation is deemed completed when the overall design was checked and certified by the professional engineer who then affixed his professional stamp. From then, he is legally responsible for the integrity of the design.

In some countries, another professional engineer (a checker) needs to check the design and certify that it meets requirements. This can be considered validation too.

For very complex design, experts in particular areas may be engaged to certified that the design for the particular area meet requirements and in cases where new concepts or approaches to the design are employed, scale models may be used to validate the design.
In the medical industry (where I come from) those would be considered forms of verification as well (e.g. calculations check by a peer engineer). I know that the (general) software industry views the terms verification and validation in a somewhat similar way. Regardless, I can easily conceive that other industries have different technical terminology; and of course there's also the legal aspect - giving legal validity to the design (and assigning legal responsibility).

:topic:

As to validating an "intangible" entity (the design) - in the medical industry it's common to refer to a "design validation" even though a more correct terminology would be "product validation" (which is used much less). The term "design validation" is used in contrast with "process validation" which is the validation of the production process (provision of evidence that the process consistently and accurately realises the design as specified).
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#8
The Burj Khalifa of Dubai is a testimony that the scale models and tests conducted for design verification is validated .....
 

harry

Super Moderator
#9
In the medical industry (where I come from) those would be considered forms of verification as well (e.g. calculations check by a peer engineer). I know that the (general) software industry views the terms verification and validation in a somewhat similar way. Regardless, I can easily conceive that other industries have different technical terminology; and of course there's also the legal aspect - giving legal validity to the design (and assigning legal responsibility). .
There seems to be a fine line between verification and validation but on closer examination, it is actually quite different for civil works design of this nature.

A road work design would typically involved many specialties such as survey, soil engineering, structure, drainage, pavement and m&e. Verification of the design is continuously carried out by each specialty, coordinated by the lead engineer. At the end, a very experience guy needs to look at the work of all these areas of specialty when strung together and certify that when put together, it works. This is validation.
 

Ronen E

Problem Solver
Staff member
Moderator
#10
There seems to be a fine line between verification and validation but on closer examination, it is actually quite different for civil works design of this nature.

A road work design would typically involved many specialties such as survey, soil engineering, structure, drainage, pavement and m&e. Verification of the design is continuously carried out by each specialty, coordinated by the lead engineer. At the end, a very experience guy needs to look at the work of all these areas of specialty when strung together and certify that when put together, it works. This is validation.
Interesting.

I see it as parallel with multidisciplinary systems development, where we have all the specialist engineers and then the systems engineer or integration specialist. Regardless, in essence, at least in the medical manufacturing industry, verification is about checking outcomes (usually designs or prototypes) against specifications, while validation is about trying to assess whether user needs have been satisfied by the actual final product (BTW, the user/stakeholder many times fails to specify their needs clearly, and sometimes is not even fully aware of). The difference is not about who does it or what techniques are used (sometimes they are quite similar), but in what is actually being checked.

I also understand that it might be very different for other industries, certianly for big one-off projects like civil works.

Good discussion!
 
Last edited:
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