Quantity of CO2 Emissions in the Life Cycle of a Highway Infrastructure

By Eva Martinez Caraballo, Ignacio Redruello, Maria Jesus Gonzalez, Steve Muench and Justo Garcia-Navarro.

Published by The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The complexity of climate change and its evolution during the last few years has a positive impact on new developments and approaches to reduce the emissions of CO2.
Looking for a methodology to evaluate the sustainability of a roadway, a tool has been developed. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is being accepted by the road industry to measure and evaluate the environmental impacts of an infrastructure, as the energy consumption and carbon footprint. This paper describes the methodology to calculate the CO2 emissions associated with the energy embodied on a roadway along its life cycle, including construction, operations and demolition. It will assist to find solutions to improve the energy footprint and reduce the amount of CO2 emissions. Details are provided of both, the methodology and the data acquisition.
This paper is an application of the methodology to the Spanish highways, using a local database.
Two case studies and a practical example are studied to show the model as a decision support for sustainable construction in the road industry.

Keywords: LCA, LCI, Highways, Roads, CO2 Emissions, Methodology

The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp.81-94. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 261.371KB).

Arch. Eva Martinez Caraballo

PhD Student, Department of Construction and Rural Roads, Technical University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Architect from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (ETSAM) since March 2004, have been working as an architect since 2000 doing building design, working on site and landscaping projects. Started the Ph.D., in 2006, with a Professional Master’s Program in Environmental Studies and Bioclimatic Architecture (ETSAM. 2008) and a Ph.D., Master’s Program in Construction (UPM. 2010). Working in SCI Research Group (Sustainability in Construction and Industry) since 2009, which its main objective is the research, development and optimization of constructive and industrial environmentally friendly techniques. Within this group, in the Department of Construction and Rural Roads, she has been working in a four year Research Project called OASIS (Operation for Safe, Smart and Sustainable Highways), funded by the Center for Technological Development (CDTI). Presently she’s doing an internship with a schoolarchip from the Politechnic University of Madrid at the University of Washington assisting in the development of the Greenroads tool and preparing the disertation for the thesis.

Arch. Ignacio Redruello

PhD Student, Department of Construction and Rural Roads, Technical University of Madrid, Spain

Arch. Maria Jesus Gonzalez

PhD Student, Department of Construction and Rural Roads, Technical University of Madrid, Spain

Architect. School of Architecture, ETSAM Polytechnic University, Madrid, (1980). Professional practising since 1980 in sustainable housing areas and specialised in sustainable architecture and renewable energy research. Belong to Council Architects of Spain and Register in the Stichting Bureau Architecten of The Netherlands nº 1.061215.007. Working in Spanish research’s project I+D+i (Research and Development programs) OASIS and RS. Author of the book “Sustainable architecture and solar profit“, S.A.P.T. Technical Publications, Madrid, 2004. ISBN 84-86913-11-X. Member of Green Building Council Spain and AP in VERDE tool about environmental impact of buildings. Working in SCI Research group (Sustainability in Construction and Industry). First Award in Construction Sustainable from ICCL (Spain) 2006 and 2008. “Best Poster Award” en The 2005 World Sustainable Building Conference in Tokyo SB05,”. Award “Caja España about Research projects on renewable energy” 2004. Qualification “Good Practices” by the Spanish Committee of Habitat II and Good Practices WG Dubai 2002 of United Nations, with the ecological city “Amayuelas.,

Dr. Steve Muench

Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, USA

Dr. Justo Garcia-Navarro

Professor, Department of Construction and Rural Roads, Technical University of Madrid, Spain

Ph.D., in Architecture, Technical University of Madrid, UPM (1988). Architect, School of Architecture, UPM (1983). Professor on Sustainability in Construction and Agricultural Buildings at the Department of Construction and Rural Roads, UPM. Director of the UPM Research Group “Sustainability in Construction and Industry”. Member of Spanish Habitat Committee and Good Practices WG. Member of the Expert Commission for the assessment of non-traditional materials, constructive procedures and systems (National Technical Approval, DIT), Eduardo Torroja Institute, Spanish Research Council, CSIC. Chairman of AENOR AEN/CTN 198 “Sostenibilidad en la Construcción”-Sustainability of Construction Works-. Expert and Head of the Spanish Delegation in ISO/TC 59/SC 17 “Building construction/ Sustainability in building construction” and CEN/TC 350 “Sustainability of Construction Works”. Member of INFORMES de la Construcción Editorial Board (Instituto Eduardo Torroja, Spanish Research Council, CSIC). Chairman of the Editorial Board of the “Legal Architecture” collection (La Ley, CSCAE, Spanish Council of Experts Architects). Member of “Práctica Urbanística” Editorial Board (La Ley). Member of “Rivista di Ingegneria Agraria” International Editorial Board (Associazione Italiana di Ingegneria Agraria, AIIA). “Alfonso Martín Escudero” Research Award, 2001. Forensic and Expert Architect.