A life cycle approach to the selection of construction materials

Materials for construction have been selected to the lowest cost alongside engineering requirements. Yet increasing attention is given to the environmental performance of the construction process and end products. This becomes more obvious when efforts are called on by a range of stakeholders to use alternative materials. The many aspects it could represent include design for more durable products, lower life-time costs and environmental impacts. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) emerges as a potential tool to analyse the environmental impacts of a product of a process throughout its lifetime, and to report to interested groups for communication. This study reviews the relevance of LCA to the construction and asphalt industry, and the growing consensus regarding the list of key indicators. It also highlights the existing LCA procedures that can be adapted to this sector, and identifies relevant LCA models and databases that exist worldwide to help facilitate the analysing process. A case study is provided about the LCA of a resurfacing project earlier this year at Wolverhampton by Aggregated Industries UK Ltd. Intending to provide a robust and objective assessment technique, this paper also recognises that the life cycle approach has its limits, and identifies areas that need further development. To support an integral sustainability strategy, the environmental assessment must be supplemented by technical and economic studies. For the covering abstract see ITRD E145817

  • Authors:
    • HUANG, Y
    • BIRD, R
    • ALLEN, B
  • Publication Date: 2006


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01155352
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Apr 23 2010 11:03AM