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Research Report 695 Life cycle assessment of pavements - Development of a calculator

Published: | Category: Environmental sustainability , Research programme , Research & reports | Audiences: Road controlling authorities, Road traffic engineers & consultants, Roading contractors

This research was commissioned to develop a scientific, life-cycle based understanding of the whole-of-life environmental impacts of different pavement designs, including use of recycled materials. This data will plug the current environmental impact knowledge gap and support robust, considered, environmental decision making throughout infrastructure projects. 

The project has developed an initial version of a Pavement Environmental Calculator to enable use and testing on real world projects. Initial rules of thumb for environmentally conscious pavement design have also been developed. For example, reclaimed asphalt pavement can be transported at least 500 km for recycling and have an equivalent carbon footprint to virgin asphalt pavement from ‘cradle to site’. 

The calculator will be used to assist decision making on improvement projects and maintenance activities to improve the environmental performance of New Zealand’s pavements.

Keywords: calculator tool, carbon footprint, environment, life cycle assessment, pavement, recycled materials, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

Contirbuting authors:

J. Vickers, thinkstep-anz, Auckland
B. Riordan, thinkstep-anz, Wellington
C. Kershaw, thinkstep-anz, Wellington

Publication details

  • Author:
  • Published: August 2022
  • Reference: 695
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-1-99-004475-5 (electronic)