Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Road Pavements: Comparing the Quality and Point of Application of Existing Software Tools on the basis of a Norwegian Case Study


Various software tools have been developed to evaluate the life cycle performances of roads toprovide decision supports for road authorities and contractors. It is therefore important to comparethe strengths and limitations of these software tools to understand the appropriate application andto identify the points for optimization. This study evaluated EFFEKT 6.6, EKA, and LICCERsoftware tools, by applying the environmental life cycle assessment following the ISO 14040standard. The assessment was based on an open-air road (excluding tunnels and bridges) with afunctional unit of one kilometer and greenhouse gas emissions as well as embodied energyindicators were evaluated in the considered software tools. The open-air road was modeled foreach software tool with respects to road class H9 characteristic in Norway, classed as a nationalroad. The assessment showed that the system boundary and purpose of use differed between theconsidered software tools. This resulted in performing the assessment only over A1 – 4 and B6modules according to EN 15978 standard for the hypothetical open-air road to provide acomparable boundary condition. The results demonstrated that EFFEKT overall yielded highervalues for greenhouse gas emissions and embodied energy compared to the two other softwaretools, while, the three software tools quantified nearly the same amount of asphalt use within the20-year analysis period.

CIB World Building Congress 2016
Holger Wallbaum
Holger Wallbaum
Full Professor, Vice-Head of Department and Vice-Dean for Research

Holger is a Full Professor in sustainable building at the Division of Building Technology, research group Sustainable Building, and in the Area of advance Building Futures. Holger works within sustainable building on concepts, tools and strategies to enhance the sustainability performance of construction materials, building products, buildings as well as entire cities.