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  • 1.
    Butt, Ali Azhar
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    Mirzadeh, Iman
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    Toller, Susanna
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies.
    Birgisson, Björn
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    Bitumen Feedstock Energy and Electricity Production in Pavement LCA2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Asphalt production consumes considerable amount of fuel and electric energy as significant amount of materials (bitumen and aggregates) are blended together for the construction of flexible pavements. Bitumen is used in asphalt as a binder but can also be used as an alternate energy source. Feedstock energy of bitumen becomes relevant in the life cycle cost (LCC) study, as cost of the binder would be reflected in its alternative value as fuel. In this study, a method was suggested to calculate energy content of the bitumen. Importance of choosing electricity not produced in local diesel generators was also demonstrated. Replacing fuel with inefficiently produced electricity for heating the materials in the asphalt plant would result in high environmental impacts. The calculation of feedstock energy and the understanding of efficient energy production and use could be utilized in the life cycle assessment (LCA) of the roads.

  • 2.
    Butt, Ali Azhar
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    Mirzadeh, Iman
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    Toller, Susanna
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms).
    Birgisson, Björn
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    Life Cycle Assessment Framework for Asphalt Pavements: Methods to Calculate and Allocate Energy of Binder and Additives2014In: The international journal of pavement engineering, ISSN 1029-8436, E-ISSN 1477-268X, Vol. 15, no 4, p. 290-302Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The construction, maintenance and disposal of asphalt pavements may lead to considerable environmental impacts, in terms of energy use and emissions during the life of the pavement. In order to enable quantification of the potential environmental impacts due to construction, maintenance and disposal of roads, an open life cycle assessment (LCA) framework for the asphalt pavements is presented in this paper. Emphasis was placed on the calculation and allocation of energy used for binder and additives at the project level. It was concluded from this study that when progressing from LCA to its corresponding life cycle cost, the feedstock energy of the binder becomes highly relevant as the cost of the binder will be reflected in its alternative value as fuel. Regarding additives like wax, a framework for energy allocation was suggested. The suggested project level LCA framework was demonstrated in a limited case study of a Swedish asphalt pavement. It was concluded that the asphalt production and transporting materials were the two most energy-consuming processes, emitting most greenhouse gases depending on the fuel type and electricity mix.

  • 3.
    Khavassefat, Parisa
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    Mirzadeh, Iman
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    Birgisson, Björn
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    A Life Cycle Cost Approach on Minimization of Roughness-Related Damages on Flexible PavementsManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Mirzadeh, Iman
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Asphalt Pavements2014Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Mirzadeh, Iman
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    More Roads for the Money2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In order to keep the quality of the road networks at an acceptable level, large amount of investments for rehabilitation and maintenance activities are necessary in addition to investments in new and reconstructed roads. Therefore, an efficient allocation of road investment funds is of great economic importance. Decreasing the overall contractors’ bid prices and lowering the financial/technical risks imposed to the Swedish Transport Administration are two key strategies to achieve more value of money for the roads. An overall decrease in bid prices can be achieved either by lowering the risks involved in the contracts or by applying more effective hedging strategies.  This Thesis aims at developing a framework to evaluate the financial and technical risks regarding asphalt pavement projects from the transport administration and contractors’ perspectives. Moreover, it enables valuation of different hedging strategies such as long term material/fuel contracts with suppliers.

    A significant part of the costs associated with asphalt pavements is related to the cost of oil products such as bitumen, fuel oil and transportation fuel. Moreover, the cost of energy has been usually subjected to high fluctuations. However, the financial risk regarding the energy price is not reflected in the discount rate suggested by the Swedish transport administration. Therefore, application of the common range (i.e. 0-8%) for discount rate sensitivity analysis regarding road projects may lead to under-estimation of the financial risk. It is observed that the proper range for discount rate sensitivity analysis of asphalt pavement has to be between -20% and 30%. However, the financial risk regarding the cost of asphalt pavements, due to the presence of Price Adjustment Clauses (PACs) (for bitumen), is shared between the Swedish Transport Administration and contractors. Additionally, the presence of PACs, similar to other governmental support mechanisms such as loan and revenue guarantees, results in asymmetric project’s payoff function which cannot be assessed by traditional methods (e.g. NPV). In order to overcome this issue, an option pricing framework is suggested which can assess the project value and reflect the financial risks. Furthermore, the suggested framework can evaluate the project value under different features of highway projects such as limited liability of the public private partnership (PPP) firm and government revenue guarantees. It was observed that although the application of PACs significantly decreased the risk profile regarding the construction cost for the contractors it imposed a significant financial risk to the road administration and ultimately to the tax payers. Therefore, the value of PACs should be considered in the decision making process regarding large projects. As a general principle, a systematic risk should be borne by the party which either is best placed to manage it or has the possibility to minimize its impacts. Contractors and suppliers in large projects can sometimes be the best parties to minimize the financial and technical risks. They might have the possibility to depot the construction supply at the beginning of the project and by doing so hedge against the financial risk regarding the fuel/material cost escalations. Moreover, contractors may have the possibility to lower the financial and technical risks by implementing better solutions. For instance, application of preventive maintenance activities (i.e. thin asphalt layer) by smoothing the surface can lower the exerted dynamic loads and hence increase the pavement life span and decrease the technical and financial risk.

    Keywords: Road & Highways, Life Cycle Cost, Options Pricing, Pavement Design, Risk Assessment, Maintenance.

  • 6.
    Mirzadeh, Iman
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    Birgisson, Björn
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    Accommodating Energy Price Volatility in Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Asphalt PavementsIn: Journal of Civil Engineering and Management, ISSN 1392-3730, E-ISSN 1822-3605Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Mirzadeh, Iman
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    Butt, Ali Azhar
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    Toller, Susanna
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies (moved 20130630).
    Birgisson, Björn
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    A Life Cycle Cost Approach based on the Calibrated Mechanistic Asphalt Pavement Design Model2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) provides cost estimation over the life time of a project and thereby helps road administrations, designers, and contractors with choosing an economical design. Calculation of the costs can be based on a pavement design model, such as the Calibrated Mechanistic model (CM), in order to capture the mechanical behaviour of the asphalt pavement. This study aimed to develop an approach for performing comparative LCCA in order to find the most economical design alternative in terms of the total cost for the pavement design life. The integrated LCCA-CM approach was used to evaluate different design alternatives with different rehabilitation intervals for asphalt pavements. 

  • 8.
    Mirzadeh, Iman
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    Butt, Ali Azhar
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    Toller, Susanna
    Swedish Transport Administration, Sweden.
    Birgisson, Björn
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Highway and Railway Engineering.
    Life cycle cost analysis based on the fundamental cost contributors for asphalt pavements2014In: Structure and Infrastructure Engineering, ISSN 1573-2479, E-ISSN 1744-8980, Vol. 10, no 12, p. 1638-1647Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A life cycle costing system should include the key variables that drive future costs in order to provide a framework for reducing the risk of under- or overestimating the future costs for maintenance and rehabilitation activities. In Sweden, price of oil products is mostly affected by the global economy rather than by the national economy. Whereas the price index of oil products has had a high fluctuation in different time periods, the cost fluctuation related to labour and equipment has been steady and followed the consumer price index (CPI). Contribution of the oil products was shown to be more than 50% of the total costs regarding construction and rehabilitation of asphalt pavements in Sweden. Consequently, it was observed that neither Swedish road construction price index (Vagindex) nor CPI has properly reflected the price trend regarding the asphalt pavement construction at the project level. Therefore, in this study, a framework is suggested in which energy- and time-related costs are treated with different inflation indices in order to perform a better financial risk assessment regarding future costs.

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