Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Towards Sustainable Construction: Life Cycle Assessment of Railway Bridges
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Structural Engineering and Bridges.
2012 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since last few decades, the increased pressure from the environmental issues of natural resource depletion, global warming and air pollution have posed a great challenge worldwide. Among all the industrial fields, bridge infrastructures and their belonged construction sector contribute to a wide range of energy and raw materials consumptions, which is responsible for the most significant pollutions. However, current bridges are mainly designed by the criterion of economic, technique, and safety standards, while their correlated environmental burdens have unfortunately rarely been considered. The life cycle assessment (LCA) method has been verified as a systematic tool, which enables the fully assessment and complete comparison for the environmental impact among different bridge options through a life cycle manner. The study presented in this thesis is focused on railway bridges, as the LCA implementation is under great expectations to set a new design criterion, to optimize the structural design towards the environmental sustainability, and to assist the decision-making among design proposals.

This thesis consists of two parts: an extended summary and three appended papers. Part one gives an overview introduction that serves as a supplementary description for this research work. It outlines the background theory, current development status, the LCA implementation into the railway bridges, as well as the developed excel-based LCA tool. Part two, includes three appended papers which provides a more detailed theoretical review of the current literatures and knowledge associated with bridge LCA, by highlighting the great challenging issues. A systematic flowchart is presented both in Paper I and Paper II for how to model and assess the bridge life cycle, together by coping with the structural components and associated emissions. This flowchart is further illustrated on a case study of the Banafjäl Bridge in Sweden, which has been extensively analyzed by two LCA methods: CML 2001 method and streamlined quantitative approach. The obtained results can be contributed as an analytical reference for other similar bridges.

Based on the theoretical review and analytical results from case studies, it has been found that the environmental profile of a bridge is dominated by the selected structural type, which affects the life cycle scenarios holistically and thus further influences the environmental performance. However, the environmental profile of the structure is though very case specific; one cannot draw a general conclusion for a certain type of bridge without performing the LCA study. The case study has found that the impact of material manufacture phase is mostly identified significant among the whole life cycle. The availability of the inventory data and project information are appeared as the major problem in the bridge LCA study. Moreover, lack of standardized guideline, criteria and input information is another key issue. A criterion is needed to illustrate what are the qualified limits of a bridge to fulfill the environmental requirements. Therefore, the development of LCA for railway bridges still needs further collaborative efforts from government, industry and research institutes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. , x, 38 p.
Series
Trita-BKN. Bulletin, ISSN 1103-4270 ; 112
Keyword [en]
Life cycle assessment, LCA, Environment, Railway Bridge, Sustainability
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Järnvägsgruppen - Infrastruktur
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-90077OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-90077DiVA: diva2:504070
Presentation
2012-03-16, M108, Brinellvägen 23, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20120227Available from: 2012-02-27 Created: 2012-02-17 Last updated: 2012-02-27Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Life cycle assessment framework for railway bridges: literature survey and critical issues
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life cycle assessment framework for railway bridges: literature survey and critical issues
2014 (English)In: Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, ISSN 1573-2479, E-ISSN 1744-8980, Vol. 10, no 3, 277-294 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Currently, the whole world is confronted with great challenges related to environmental issues. As a fundamental infrastructure in transport networks, railway bridges are responsible for numerous material and energy consumption through their life cycle, which in turn leads to significant environmental burdens. However, present management of railway bridge infrastructures is mainly focused on the technical and financial aspects, whereas the environmental assessment is rarely integrated. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is deemed as a systematic method for also assessing the environmental impact of products and systems, but its application in railway bridge infrastructures is rare. Very limited literature and research studies are available in this area. In order to incorporate the implementation of LCA into railway bridges and set new design criteria, this article performs an elaborate literature survey and presents current developments regarding the LCA implementation for railway bridges. Several critical issues are discussed and highlighted in detail. The discussion is focused on the methodology, practical operational issues and data collections. Finally, a systematic LCA framework for quantifying environmental impacts for railway bridges is introduced and interpreted as a potential guideline.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2014
Keyword
Bridge, Life cycle assessment, Construction, Environment
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Järnvägsgruppen - Infrastruktur
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-58620 (URN)10.1080/15732479.2012.749289 (DOI)000329688500001 ()2-s2.0-84892487673 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20131025

Available from: 2012-01-06 Created: 2012-01-06 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
2. LCA of Railway Bridge: a comparison between two superstructure designs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>LCA of Railway Bridge: a comparison between two superstructure designs
2013 (English)In: Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, ISSN 1573-2479, E-ISSN 1744-8980, Vol. 9, no 11, 1149-1160 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Railway bridges currently encounter the challenges of increasing the load capacity while the environmental sustainability should be achieved. However, it has been realised that the environmental assessment of railway bridges has not been integrated into the decision-making process, the standard guideline and criterion is still missing in this field. Therefore, the implementation of life cycle assessment (LCA) method is introduced into railway bridges. This article provides a systematic bridge LCA model as a guideline to quantify the environmental burdens for the railway bridge structures. A comparison case study between two alternative designs of Banafjäl Bridge is further carried out through the whole life cycle, with the consideration of several key maintenance and end-of-life scenarios. Six impact categories are investigated by using the LCA CML 2001 method and the known life cycle inventory database. Results show that the fixed-slab bridge option has a better environmental performance than the ballasted design due to the ease of maintenances. The initial material manufacture stage is responsible for the largest environmental burden, while the impacts from the construction machinery and material transportations are ignorable. Sensitivity analysis illustrates the maintenance scenario planning and steel recycling have the significant influence on the final results other than the traffic disturbances.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2013
Keyword
Life cycle assessment, Bridge, Environment, Construction
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Järnvägsgruppen - Infrastruktur
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-58618 (URN)10.1080/15732479.2012.670250 (DOI)000320574600006 ()2-s2.0-84879638590 (Scopus ID)
Note

Updated from accepted to published. QC 20130327

Available from: 2013-03-27 Created: 2012-01-06 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
3. Design of railway bridges considering life-cycle assessment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design of railway bridges considering life-cycle assessment
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Bridge Engineering, ISSN 1478-4629, E-ISSN 1751-7680, Vol. 166, no 4, 240-251 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The world is currently confronted with the challenge of preventing environmental degradation and resource depletion. To compare the environmental performance of two railway bridge designs, an Excel-based model was developed with implementing a simplified quantitative life-cycle assessment. The model covers the entire life cycle of the bridge, from raw material extraction to construction materials recycling and disposal. Various assumptions are made for selecting the relevant emissions and environmental impacts. A streamlined approach is applied to compare the environmental burden throughout the life cycle of the Banafjäl Railway Bridge. The bridge is a simply supported composite structure carrying one railway track. Two track alternatives are investigated: ballasted track and fixed track. The results show that the environmental impacts of the fixed track alternative are lower than those of the ballasted track alternative. From a sustainable development perspective, it appears that fixed track has a significant advantage as the overall environmental impact is reduced by up to 77%. The raw material phase is found to be decisive in the life cycle of both alternatives. The frequency of track replacement is identified as a key environmental parameter, because the extra environmental burden of traffic delay during bridge closure nearly overwhelmed the other life-cycle stages.

Keyword
Life cycle assessment, LCA, sustainable construction, sustainable bridge, Environment, Global warming, Climate change
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Järnvägsgruppen - Infrastruktur
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-58619 (URN)10.1680/bren.10.00054 (DOI)2-s2.0-84893098626 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20130709. Updated from accepted to published.

Available from: 2012-01-06 Created: 2012-01-06 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1990 kB)2032 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT03.pdfFile size 1990 kBChecksum SHA-512
551be0b97369a7e582d50abefe67fd4f33eda97c09c358358ee5473ab6b59ba2994f08bf928055e60b6d4556e5ebbfb21269ac55dc4f02536a66fb1b318951f1
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Du, Guangli
By organisation
Structural Engineering and Bridges
Engineering and Technology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 2034 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 997 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf