Toward Sustainabiility: Developing A Framework For Life Cycle Assessment Of Green Road Construction

Main Presenter: Manouchehr Shokri 

Co-Authors: Marzia Traverso Mankaa Nangah Rose

Problem

Roadway infrastructures are impressive targets for effective sustainable design and construction initiative. Frequently, they involve notable amounts of financial resources also use up remarkable extent of materials and energy which leads to waste and adverse effects on the environment and cause social disturbance. This is necessary to accommodate growing transport demands, while ensuring that traffic density and condition of road infrastructures remain at desirable levels, and that the road network is adaptable, automated, and resilient. Failure to meet road infrastructure investment needs, disregard for sustainability concepts, could be costly in terms of wasted time, consumption of non-renewable resources, and growing environmental problems, with all the consequences it has for living standards, also it can even cause a constant and irreclaimable sectional loss for this notable asset. The “secondary material consumption” can be considered as a main indicator for assessing the sustainability of a project about the amount of recycled materials utilized in the project as materials recovered from prior use or from waste which is substituted for primary materials. Accordingly, recognizing current concern about climate and environment, the road pavement industry can be regarded as the key factors in decreasing environmental impacts. Therefore, the possible effect of construction and its maintenance process should be evaluated and “Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)” of products, as an internationally recognized methodology, can be used for this purpose.

Method

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) (ISO 1404-44) is carried out for road pavement with various use scenarios of Crumb Rubber (CR) deriving from the End-of-Life Tires (ELTs) and Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) slag from steelmaking, in road pavement construction layers in comparison to conventional road component. Specifically, different contents of the rubberized asphalt and EAF as by-product aggregates, are applied during all stages of the LCA, from the raw material extraction and processing(cradle) through the acquisition manufacturing, construction and use stage until the end-of-life stage(grave).

Result

Preliminary results obtained from the LCA analysis indicated that placing CR and EAF slag as secondary material consumption in road pavement can lead to significant benefits in environmental impacts. The results show remarkable contribution to the reduction of Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) and Global Warming Potential (GWP), human health and minimization of resource depletion.

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