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Life-cycle analysis (LCA) is emerging as a leading method of determining the environmental impact at both a macro and micro level in transportation projects in context of sustainability. The concrete pavement industry in particular is pushing for the increased use of this approach.
LCAs, which are broadly used in Europe and are included in “green” construction regulations in some countries, look at factors from the material being used, including aggregate, to the end of a pavement’s useful life. Everything in the process is considered, such as purchasing raw materials, material processing, manufacturing, construction and the use of a pavement.
The process is limited in use within paving, but interest is growing. The Life Cycle Analysis 2017 Symposium in April at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign focused on LCA for pavements, with the primary objective of reviewing industry use of the plans, pulling together a consensus of use and determining ways to implement LCAs.