Role of the Use Phase and Pavement-Vehicle Interaction in Comparative Pavement Life Cycle Assessment

While many pavement life cycle assessment (LCA) studies has been performed over the last decade, one of the most important advances and challenges is quantifying the impacts of various components during the use phase of pavements. The goal of this research is to understand the role of the use phase, particularly pavement-vehicle interaction (PVI), in pavement LCAs, and how use phase impacts vary by context. The authors have performed comparative pavement LCAs on two pavement design alternatives for multiple scenarios that encompass a range of locations and traffic levels. The pavement LCA model is probabilistic and the use phase element includes excess fuel consumption from both deflection-induced and roughness-induced PVI. Results from the scenario analysis demonstrate that the use phase can contribute nearly 60% of a pavement’s life cycle environmental impact and that PVI is the predominant element in the use phase. Scenario analysis results also indicate that the use phase is very context dependent. Traffic volume, climate, and vehicle speed etc. are some of the important contextual factors. This work reinforces the importance of the use phase and consideration of a life cycle perspective in comparative pavement LCAs.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AFD00 Section - Pavement Management. Alternate title: Role of Use Phase and Pavement-Vehicle Interaction in Comparative Pavement Life-Cycle Assessment
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Xu, Xin
    • Gregory, Jeremy
    • Kirchain, Randolph
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2015


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 14p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 94th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01552269
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 15-4011
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 2 2015 10:24AM