An integrated assessment of continuously reinforced and jointed plane concrete pavements

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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


Purpose: This paper aims to provide an integrated framework of life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) for assessing alternative technologies, processes, and/or activities, with focus on concrete pavements. Design/methodology/approach: LCA and LCCA are used to evaluate environmental and economic impacts of substituting different percentages of fly ash and slag into continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) and jointed plane concrete pavement (JPCP). Impacts are determined over different life cycle phases. Findings: An LCA of the extraction phase indicated that JPCP pavement had 33-62 percent less emissions than CRCP pavements, when only steel consumption was considered. When cement was considered, JPCP pavement had almost 40 percent greater emissions then CRCP for all mix types. An LCCA showed that over the entire life cycle phases studied, CRCP pavements had about 46 percent more costs than JPCP. However, when only maintenance costs were considered, CRCP pavement cost 80 percent less to maintain than JPCP over the studied period of 35 years. Originality/value: The study is a step towards using an integrated framework to evaluate the performance of different materials and technology. The same framework could be conducted for different kinds of asphalt pavements and concrete pavements, as well as other infrastructure that makes up the built environment, with the goal of making decisions that take into account design considerations, environmental impacts, and cost effectiveness. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology