Calculation of greenhouse gas emissions associated with highway construction projects using an integrated life cycle assessment approach

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


Large quantities of greenhouse gases are emitted in producing and acquiring, materials and equipment for the construction, maintenance and rehabilitation of highways. The objective of this research is to quantify the life cycle emissions associated with different pavement designs, by applying existing life cycle assessment (LCA) methods that integrate process-level construction data. The research is based on two pavement rehabilitation and re-construction projects across the State of Michigan. Field inspector's daily reports and direct site observation were used to collect data pertaining to daily material and equipment usage, construction processes used, and site characteristics. The paper describes the collection and organization of the data, and the calculation of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with each project. This is part of a broader research effort to integrate process-level construction data, and long-term performance of each pavement type in the life cycle assessment of environmental impacts associated with highway infrastructure. It will support decision-makers in public agencies such as a Department of Transportation in assessing and reducing the environmental impacts associated with highway construction. Copyright ASCE 2010.

Publication Title

Construction Research Congress 2010: Innovation for Reshaping Construction Practice - Proceedings of the 2010 Construction Research Congress