Assessing Environmental Impacts in Geotechnical Construction: Insights from the Fuel Cycle

Historically, geotechnical practice has focused on maximizing design performance while minimizing monetary costs. This approach does not always include consideration of potential adverse environmental impacts. Concern in developed nations regarding the sustainability of human activities in the long term has given rise to the need to assess and reduce the environmental impacts associated with geotechnical construction. Current methods of construction involve consumption of a large amount of energy, often obtained from fossil fuels or electricity. Energy from these sources is directly associated with environmental impacts through both the extraction and supply of the fuels and the emissions generated when they are burned to produce energy. For a complete representation of the environmental impact due to energy consumption in geotechnical construction, it is necessary to consider the life cycle of the fuel consumed and not simply the emissions generated on site. This paper presents the findings of a fuel-cycle analysis for fuels commonly used in geotechnical construction, demonstrating the impacts of fuel life-cycle energy and emissions. The results are applied in an example comparing two deep densification alternatives to illustrate the impact of equipment fuel consumed to densify 25,000m3 of loose sand.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 3516-3525
  • Monograph Title: Geo-Congress 2014 Technical Papers: Geo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01522531
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784413272
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Mar 25 2014 3:08PM