Life cycle analysis for sustainability assessment of road projects

Alam, Shafiqul, Kumar, Arun, & Dawes, Les (2013) Life cycle analysis for sustainability assessment of road projects. In Kajewski, Stephen, Manley, Karen, & Hampson, Keith (Eds.) Proceedings of the 19th CIB World Building Congress, Brisbane 2013 : Construction and Society, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD.

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Road infrastructure has been considered as one of the most expensive and extensive infrastructure assets of the built environment globally. This asset also impacts the natural environment significantly during different phases of life e.g. construction, use, maintenance and end-of-life. The growing emphasis for sustainable development to meet the needs of future generations requires mitigation of the environmental impacts of road infrastructure during all phases of life e.g. construction, operation and end-of-life disposal (as required).

Life-cycle analysis (LCA), a method of quantification of all stages of life, has recently been studied to explore all the environmental components of road projects due to limitations of generic environmental assessments. The LCA ensures collection and assessment of the inputs and outputs relating to any potential environmental factor of any system throughout its life. However, absence of a defined system boundary covering all potential environmental components restricts the findings of the current LCA studies.

A review of the relevant published LCA studies has identified that environmental components such as rolling resistance of pavement, effect of solar radiation on pavement(albedo), traffic congestion during construction, and roadway lighting & signals are not considered by most of the studies. These components have potentially higher weightings for environment damage than several commonly considered components such as materials, transportation and equipment.

This paper presents the findings of literature review, and suggests a system boundary model for LCA study of road infrastructure projects covering potential environmental components.

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ID Code: 71239
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Sustainability, Environmental Indicators, Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), Global Warming Potential (GWP), System Boundary
ISBN: 9780987554215
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Civil Geotechnical Engineering (090501)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (090700)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Division of Administrative Services
Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 08 May 2014 22:49
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2015 02:51

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