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Life-cycle assessment of a road during the stages of construction and use

Charlotte Milachowski
Thorsten Stengel
Centre for Building Materials (Building Materials Center)
TU Munich (Germany)

Currently the choice of materials and construction techniques are determined by the structural requirements and economic aspects. Ecological factors have gained in importance due to certain environmental considerations of the political class and society in general. In order to assess the environmental impact of highways, it was conducted a life-cycle assessment (LCA) of four types of road firm (two rigid, concrete, and two flexible, Bituminous) according to ISO 14040. Through research phase of construction, use and maintenance for a lifetime of 30 years of different scenarios, reducing the environmental impact it was quantified.

The stroke of rigid concrete firm showed that their environmental impact is clearly dependent on the choice of cement. The analysis showed that the final bituminous environmental impact can be reduced by improving the production process of the mixture. More importantly, the environmental impact can be reduced by controlling the transport.

The maintenance analysis of different types of firm showed strong investment in high durability is profitable. It can be achieved by a further reduction of pollution by improving the properties of the firm (eg texture, stiffness and regularity), which would significantly reduce the fuel consumption of vehicles. Therefore, development of a firm that minimizes the fuel consumption of vehicles is more important than a firm with less environmental impact during construction and maintenance.

Firm; Sign rigid; Flexible firm; Concrete; Bituminous mixture; Lifecycle; Life-cycle assessment; Sustainable development; Construction; Use.

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