A life cycle assessment model for pavement management: Methodology and computational framework

João Santos, Adelino Ferreira*, Gerardo Flintsch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the general consensus among stakeholders on how useful the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology can be in helping to reduce the environmental burdens of a road pavement, very few pavement LCA models have considered the entire pavement life cycle. This paper presents the development of a highly customisable LCA tool that provides an integrated, project-level approach that includes all six pavement life cycle phases. The developed tool encompasses six main modules, including extraction of raw materials and production; construction, maintenance and rehabilitation; transportation of materials; work-zone traffic management; usage; and end-of-life. Data regarding the Portuguese practise of pavement construction and management have been collected on site with certified Portuguese construction companies and complemented using published literature and databases. The research described in this paper provides a widely applicable pavement LCA model that will enable highway agencies, private companies and the construction industry to estimate emissions and environmental impacts during the project analysis period for road pavement. The use of the proposed tool for benchmarking current practises in pavement construction and management enhances the scientific basis for understanding where further efforts can be undertaken to promote sustainable pavement investment decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-286
Number of pages19
JournalInternational journal of pavement engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Asphalt pavements
  • life cycle assessment
  • pavement management
  • road pavement life cycle
  • rolling resistance
  • sustainable road pavements
  • vehicle emissions


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