Life-Cycle Assessment of the Production of Swiss Road Materials
Journal article, 2012
Sustainable development demands contributions across all economic sectors. Thus, the infrastructure field, in this case road infrastructure, also has to contribute its part by generating road materials and road construction with lower environmental impacts. This paper analyzes the environmental potentials hidden in road materials used in Swiss road pavements. For several materials used in road construction, cradle-to-gate life-cycle assessments (LCA) were performed, taking into account all environmental impacts from raw material extraction to the finished product at the production plant. Environmental improvement potentials were analyzed for the production of asphalt mixtures, concrete mixtures, and subbase mixtures, using eight different environmental impact indicators. The results show differences in the environmental impact between best case and current status production setup of up to 54% for asphalt mixtures, 38% for concrete mixtures, and 93% for subbase mixtures.