CoBALT: Asset decision support

01 September 2019
cityscape image of a bridge.
CoBALT is a cross-asset whole life cost modelling decision-support tool for portfolio forecasting and project-level option evaluation. Whole life cost modelling represents a crucial form of asset management decision support, allowing organisations to ensure they will achieve their planned performance over the lifecycle of their assets, whilst balancing costs and risks.

Key Features

The CoBALT model calculates lifecycle outcomes for assets based upon user-defined scenarios and presents the results in a series of interactive reports. This functionality enables users to view the outputs at various levels of granularity across assets, costs, categories, and lifecycle phases.

The tool is capable of modelling assets with complex degradation behaviours, multiple failure modes, and intervention policies. The model outputs incorporate sensitivity analysis calculated using Monte-Carlo simulation.

Whilst initially used by infrastructure projects, CoBALT is versatile and will support any contract with a requirement for asset-based whole life cost analysis. We developed CoBALT in partnership with Network Rail and it is their preferred capital investment decision-making tool. CoBALT forms a part of Network Rail's governance programme and is in use across their organisation.


CoBALT provides lifecycle analysis and option evaluation that users can tailor to any asset portfolio. CoBALT allows organisations to manage their asset lifecycle data in a structured manner in order to arrive at informed asset strategy decisions.

CoBALT enables the asset managers to optimise their OPEX and CAPEX spending across a complete asset or project lifecycle. CoBALT assists in detecting opportunities for cost reduction including comparing different design solutions and identifying where it is possible to defer works.

Using CoBALT, it is possible to capture asset behaviour at varying levels of granularity, enabling initial forecast estimates based upon low quality data and subsequent identification of critical assets where greater data capture is warranted.

CoBALT seamlessly blends tacit knowledge (i.e. engineering judgement and operational experience) with explicit data as a part of the modelling process to ensure that the right information is readily available to support decision evaluation.