Pavement Life-cycle Assessment Tool for Environmental and Economic Effects
PaLATE is an Excel-based tool for life-cycle assessment (LCA) of environmental and economic effects of pavements and roads. The tool takes user input for the design, initial construction, maintenance, equipment use, and costs for a roadway, and provides outputs for the life-cycle environmental effects and costs. Environmental effects investigated include:
Pavement designers, transportation agency decision-makers, civil engineers, and researchers are the intended users of this tool. Users should have a working knowledge of pavements and a desire to learn more about the environmental and economic implications of their decisions.
PaLATE users may enter data about an existing, proposed, or hypothetical roadway to determine the environmental and economic effects of their decisions. Some example questions that the user may keep in mind when working with PaLATE are:
o For a particular roadway, which material is better for the environment: concrete or asphalt?
o Will changing the recycled material content in a particular pavement affect the environmental results?
o Does sending demolished portions of a road to a processing plant or to a landfill make more environmental and economic sense?
o Which maintenance option(s) will minimize environmental and economic effects? For example, should full depth reclamation be performed instead of more frequent, smaller maintenance procedures?
o Will changing the type and/or capacity of equipment used on-site reduce emissions?
o How much of a difference do materials transportation distance and mode make for my case study? For example, should I use materials from a local source to reduce emissions? Is it better to transport via rail or truck?
The tool takes the user through a series of input worksheets to gather data about:
o the general design of the roadway
o initial construction materials as well as material transportation distances and modes
o maintenance materials as well as material transportation distances and modes
o on-site construction equipment (e.g., asphalt paver) and off-site processing equipment (e.g., rock crusher)
o life-cycle economic costs
Figure 1 depicts the Design worksheet in which the user is expected to provide inputs.
Output worksheets for PaLATE include:
o Cost Results
o Environmental Results
o Leachate information on roadway materials
Figures 2 and 3 show the Cost Results and Environmental Results worksheets, respectively.
Professor Arpad Horvath,
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
Sergio Pacca, Postdoctoral
Researcher, Energy and Resources Group,
Eric Masanet, Graduate Student
Researcher, Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Rachael Canapa, Graduate Student
Researcher, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
Professor Arpad Horvath
Engineering and Project Management Program
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712