A life cycle assessment framework for pavement management considering uncertainties

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Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a methodology widely endorsed by the pavement community and increasingly adopted by transportation agencies worldwide to account for the environmental impacts of pavements throughout their entire life cycle. LCA studies in this context are prone to the effects of uncertainties due to (1) the long analysis periods that stretch across numerous maintenance and rehabilitation (M&R) cycles, (2) the need of different types and sources of data and additional models and (3) multiple methodological decisions to be made by the analyst. Nevertheless, LCA studies are often done deterministically and omit important phases and phenomena from the systems boundaries, thereby reducing the reliability and representativity of the results. To overcome this challenge and to foster the integration of LCA models with existing pavement management systems, this paper presents the development and application of a LCA framework that evaluates the environmental performance of pavement M&R treatments. Further, it incorporates the effects of pavement-vehicle interaction into the analysis and accounts for multiple types of uncertainties, namely those associated with the value of parameters, methodological choices and data quality. Probability distributions and value scenarios are used to characterize the uncertainties which are propagated into the results using Latin hypercube sampling and scenario analysis. A sensitivity analysis using tree-ensemble methods is adopted to unveil the most influential parameters on the variance of the outputs. The outcomes of this research work aim to advance the applicability of LCA in the context of pavement management, and to improve the understanding of the effects of uncertainties in the outcomes of the analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLife-Cycle of Structures and Infrastructure Systems
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Eighth International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering (IALCCE 2023), 2-6 july, 2023, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
EditorsFabio Biondini, Dan M. Frangopol
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherCRC Press (Taylor & Francis)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-32302-0
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2023
Event8th International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering, IALCCE 2023 - Milan, Italy
Duration: 2 Jul 20236 Jul 2023
Conference number: 8


Conference8th International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering, IALCCE 2023
Abbreviated titleIALCCE2023


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