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Comparative Life Cycle Analysis of Concrete and Composite Bridges Varying Steel Recycling Ratio

Institute of Concrete Science and Technology (ICITECH), Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Ben Amor
Materials 2021, 14(15), 4218; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14154218
Received: 2 July 2021 / Revised: 20 July 2021 / Accepted: 24 July 2021 / Published: 28 July 2021
Achieving sustainability is currently one of the main objectives, so a consensus between different environmental, social, and economic aspects is necessary. The construction sector is one of the main sectors responsible for environmental impacts worldwide. This paper proposes the life cycle assessment (LCA) and comparison of four bridge deck alternatives for different span lengths to determine which ones are the most sustainable solutions. The ReCiPe method is used to conduct the life cycle analysis, by means of which the impact value is obtained for every alternative and span length. The Ecoinvent 3.3 database has been used. The life cycle has been divided into four phases: manufacturing, construction, use and maintenance, and end of life. The associated uncertainties are considered, and the results are shown in both midpoint and endpoint approaches. The results of our research show that for span lengths less than 17 m, the best alternative is the prestressed concrete solid slab. For span lengths between 17 and 25 m, since the box-girder solution is not used, then the prestressed concrete lightened slab is the best alternative. For span lengths between 25 and 40 m, the best solution depends on the percentage of recycled structural steel. If this percentage is greater than 90%, then the best alternative is the composite box-girder bridge deck. However, if the percentage is lower, the cleanest alternative is the prestressed concrete box-girder deck. Therefore, the results show the importance of recycling and reusing structural steel in bridge deck designs. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle assessment; sustainability; structures; ReCiPe; environment; bridges life cycle assessment; sustainability; structures; ReCiPe; environment; bridges
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MDPI and ACS Style

Martínez-Muñoz, D.; Martí, J.V.; Yepes, V. Comparative Life Cycle Analysis of Concrete and Composite Bridges Varying Steel Recycling Ratio. Materials 2021, 14, 4218. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14154218

AMA Style

Martínez-Muñoz D, Martí JV, Yepes V. Comparative Life Cycle Analysis of Concrete and Composite Bridges Varying Steel Recycling Ratio. Materials. 2021; 14(15):4218. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14154218

Chicago/Turabian Style

Martínez-Muñoz, David, Jose V. Martí, and Víctor Yepes. 2021. "Comparative Life Cycle Analysis of Concrete and Composite Bridges Varying Steel Recycling Ratio" Materials 14, no. 15: 4218. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14154218

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