Environmental Assessment of Airport Pavement Design and Construction Alternatives

The objective of this study is to quantify energy and environmental sustainability of asphalt and concrete runway pavements using Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA). The design alternatives include runway rehabilitation/reconstruction designs considered in the constructability study at the John F. Kennedy (JFK) airport and new runway pavement designs conducted using the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pavement design methodology. Life-cycle inventory data were compiled from literature and field surveys to contractors. The data variations in the material-related energy and emission rates were considered for sensitivity analysis. The impact assessment focused on the cumulative energy demand (CED) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission in the material, construction, and maintenance phases of pavement life-cycle. Both direct energy consumption and GHG emission and their corresponding upstream components related to process fuels were considered in the impact assessment. The results indicate that the expected pavement service life and maintenance treatments significantly affect the comparison between hot-mix asphalt (HMA) and Portland cement concrete (PCC) pavements. The consideration of energy and emissions associated with the production of process fuels and electricity in the upstream process cannot be neglected in the LCA. Although there are no general conclusions on pavement type selection, the comparison of energy consumption and GHG emission due to upstream, construction and maintenance stages brings awareness to the airport engineer on the differences between HMA and PCC pavements. The project-level analysis should be conducted for selecting the sustainable design alternatives in the airport planning process.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation

    Rutgers University
    100 Brett Road
    Piscataway, NJ  United States  08854-8058

    New Jersey Department of Transportation

    Trenton, NJ  United States 

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Wang, Hao
  • Publication Date: 2016-2


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 29p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01626686
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CAIT-UTC-052
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC16
  • Created Date: Feb 27 2017 9:26AM