Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of Optimized Post-Tensioned Concrete Road Bridges
Institute of Concrete Science and Technology (ICITECH), Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Department of Construction Engineering and Civil Engineering Projects, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4265; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104265
Received: 3 April 2020 / Revised: 10 May 2020 / Accepted: 20 May 2020 / Published: 22 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction II)
Most of the definitions of sustainability include three basic pillars: economic, environmental, and social. The economic pillar has always been evaluated but not necessarily in the sense of economic sustainability. On the other hand, the environmental pillar is increasingly being considered, while the social pillar is weakly developed. Focusing on the environmental and social pillars, the use of methodologies to allow a wide assessment of these pillars and the integration of the assessment in a few understandable indicators is crucial. This article is structured into two parts. In the first part, a review of life cycle impact assessment methods, which allow a comprehensive assessment of the environmental and social pillars, is carried out. In the second part, a complete environmental and social sustainability assessment is made using the ecoinvent database and ReCiPe method, for the environmental pillar, and SOCA database and simple Social Impact Weighting method, for the social pillar. This methodology was used to compare three optimized bridges: two box-section post-tensioned concrete road bridges with a variety of initial and maintenance characteristics, and a pre-stressed concrete precast bridge. The results show that there is a high interrelation between the environmental and social impact for each life cycle stage.