Assessment of the attributes based life cycle assessment framework for road projects Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • © 2015 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. A number of life cycle assessment (LCA) tools have been suggested for pavements. However, very few have been adopted by the road authorities. The key reasons for this lack of implementation have been the tendency for very broad LCA analyses that include system boundaries considerably beyond the more natural system boundaries associated with road design, construction and maintenance as well as the lack of available LCA tools that have attributes that reflect key road properties. In this paper, a new attribute based pavement LCA framework is evaluated for use on real road materials. Aggregates from two different sources and the effect of using a warm mix asphalt additive (WMAA) in asphalt mixtures were investigated in the laboratory. Different pavement design alternatives were generated using the laboratory data and analysed using the road LCA framework. Asphalt production and material transportation were found to be the most energy-consuming processes. The results presented show that having actual pavement material properties as the key attributes in LCA enables a pavement-focused assessment of environmental impacts associated with different design options, and LCA can help in decision support by evaluating environmental impacts of different design alternatives in a project planning/design stage.

author list (cited authors)

  • Butt, A. A., & Birgisson, B.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • September 2016