Characterizing air pollutant emissions for highway construction projects Academic Article uri icon


  • Purpose The purpose of this paper is to characterize the relationships between air pollutant emissions from heavy duty diesel equipment and highway construction project scope, schedule, and budget. Objectives included estimating total project emissions; developing a daily emissions profile; and developing new emissions estimating metrics based on project scope, schedule, and budget. Design/methodology/approach The research approach involved collecting real-world data related to project scope, schedule, and budget from two highway case study projects. The data were used to establish an emissions inventory estimating methodology to calculate total emissions for each case study. The total emissions were normalized based on project size, duration, and cost in order to develop new emissions estimating metrics. Findings The results proved that it is possible to characterize total equipment emissions based on project size, duration, and cost. The new emissions estimating metrics were quantitatively similar for both case studies. Research limitations/implications The results were based on two case study projects. Additional data from more projects is needed to provide more highly refined numerical results. Practical implications This approach enables project planners and managers to assess the environmental impacts of highway projects along with the financial and time impacts. Social implications Construction equipment is a major contributor to the nations air pollution problem. Before pollutant emissions can be managed they must first be measured. Originality/value The new emissions estimating metrics are a novel approach to comparing environmental impacts of two or more projects, as well as estimating total emissions for future highway construction projects.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Rasdorf, W., Lewis, P., Arocho, I., & Hummer, J.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Rasdorf, William||Lewis, Phil||Arocho, Ingrid||Hummer, Joseph

publication date

  • November 2015