Recycled and low-temperature materials are promising solutions to reduce the environmental burden deriving from hot mix asphalts. Despite this, there is lack of studies focusing on the assessment of the life-cycle impacts of these promising technologies. Consequently, this study deals with the life cycle assessment (LCA) of different classes of pavement technologies, based on the use of bituminous mixes (hot mix asphalt and warm mix asphalt) with recycled materials (reclaimed asphalt pavements, crumb rubber, and waste plastics), in the pursuit of assessing energy and environmental impacts. Analysis is developed based on the ISO 14040 series. Different scenarios of pavement production, construction, and maintenance are assessed and compared to a reference case involving the use of common paving materials. For all the considered scenarios, the influence of each life-cycle phase on the overall impacts is assessed to the purpose of identifying the phases and processes which produce the greatest impacts. Results show that material production involves the highest contribution (about 60–70%) in all the examined impact categories. Further, the combined use of warm mix asphalts and recycled materials in bituminous mixtures entails lower energy consumption and environmental impacts due to a reduction of virgin bitumen and aggregate consumption, which involves a decrease in the consumption of primary energy and raw materials, and reduced impacts for disposal. LCA results demonstrate that this methodology is able to help set up strategies for eco-design in the pavement sector.
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