Critical review and methodological issues in integrated life-cycle analysis on road networks

Umair Hasan, Andrew Whyte, Hamad Al Jassmi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Life-cycle management of road network projects traditionally emphasise material production and construction stages, with less attention given to usage stage and functionality improvement. Increasingly there is a need to address: inconsistencies in cost attribute selection; adjusting for uncertainties and costs; clarifying system boundaries; data sources; functional units and regional or temporal applicability of life-cycle frameworks. The current study focuses on a critical literature review of life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) and life-cycle assessment (LCA) research published in the last decade (post 2008) towards identification of research gaps. Accurately analysing all life-cycle stages, feedback loops, future cash and resource flows, and interlinking performance with overall sustainability can aid the decision-making process towards sustainable alternatives for constructing new, or rehabilitating existing roads. This review finds that the use of recycled materials, base/sub-base stabilisers and asphalt binder replacement has the potential of energy saving (≥34% or 3.1 TJ), mitigating landfill disposal issues, and greenhouse gas load reduction (≥34.5% CDE). Lack of real world LCCA-LCA application and stakeholder prejudice against recycled material usage are addressable by better stakeholder (decision-makers and road users) engagement via a social component. The proposed enhancements identified in this study can increase LCA/LCCA attraction to policy-makers, planners and users and ultimately ensure a more sustainable asset.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-558
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume206
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Asphalt pavements
  • GHG emissions
  • Life-cycle assessment
  • Recycled materials
  • road network sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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