The Role of Life Cycle Assessment in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Road Construction and Maintenance

Principal Investigator: John Harvey | University of California, Davis
Co-Principal Investigator(s): Alissa Kendall | University of California at Davis

This white paper summarizes the state of knowledge and state of the art in modeling and analysis of pavement life cycle assessment (LCA), with particular emphasis on life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and interpretation and analysis towards GHG reductions from the on-road transportation sector. The paper synthesizes research from a number of previous and current projects, highlighting both broadly agreed upon methods and findings, and those that are emerging or currently debated. One important milestone for this work is a symposium that convened at UC Davis in mid-October 2014 which brought together an international community of stakeholders and experts in pavement LCA to tackle the issues that are most debated. This white paper includes a summary and discussion of the symposium outcomes, as they represent the most current thinking on the methods, role, and potential for pavement LCA to reduce GHG emissions and inform pavement management policy. The white paper is also informed by the results of a project for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to develop an LCA framework for road pavements for national use, which was delivered to the FHWA in October, 2014.

Status: Completed
Funding: $30,000
Sponsors: US DOT

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