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Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1864; doi:10.3390/su9101864

Life-Cycle Assessment: A Comparison between Two Optimal Post-Tensioned Concrete Box-Girder Road Bridges

Institute of Concrete Science and Technology (ICITECH), Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
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Received: 13 September 2017 / Revised: 10 October 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 17 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Abstract

The goal of sustainability involves a consensus among economic, environmental and social factors. Due to climate change, environmental concerns have increased in society. The construction sector is among the most active high environmental impact sectors. This paper proposes new features to consider a more detailed life-cycle assessment (LCA) of reinforced or pre-stressed concrete structures. Besides, this study carries out a comparison between two optimal post-tensioned concrete box-girder road bridges with different maintenance scenarios. ReCiPe method is used to carry out the life-cycle assessment. The midpoint approach shows a complete environmental profile with 18 impact categories. In practice, all the impact categories make their highest contribution in the manufacturing and use and maintenance stages. Afterwards, these two stages are analyzed to identify the process which makes the greatest contribution. In addition, the contribution of CO2 fixation is taken into account, reducing the environmental impact in the use and maintenance and end of life stages. The endpoint approach shows more interpretable results, enabling an easier comparison between different stages and solutions. The results show the importance of considering the whole life-cycle, since a better design reduces the global environmental impact despite a higher environmental impact in the manufacturing stage. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; environmental impact; life-cycle assessment; construction LCA; bridge LCA; ReCiPe; sustainable construction sustainability; environmental impact; life-cycle assessment; construction LCA; bridge LCA; ReCiPe; sustainable construction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Penadés-Plà, V.; Martí, J.V.; García-Segura, T.; Yepes, V. Life-Cycle Assessment: A Comparison between Two Optimal Post-Tensioned Concrete Box-Girder Road Bridges. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1864.

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