Life cycle optimization of flexible pavement design and management based on the principles of sustainability

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Life cycle optimization of flexible pavement design and management based on the principles of sustainability

 

Author: Chong, Dan
Title: Life cycle optimization of flexible pavement design and management based on the principles of sustainability
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2015
Subject: Pavements -- Performance.
Pavements -- Design and construction -- Estimates.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Pages: xxii, 305 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2826161
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/8246
Abstract: Highway pavement is an essential component of transportation infrastructures. While providing important services to the society, highway pavement also consumes a large amount of capital investments and creates significant impacts to the environment. Consequently, sustainable development principles need to be adopted in highway pavement management to balance the needs from different stakeholders in the present and future. However, an integrated approach to assessing and enhancing the multiple dimensions of sustainability in the pavement's life cycle is currently lacking. This affects the ability of highway agencies to develop proper strategies to promote sustainability when making engineering and management decisions.The research aims to develop methods and tools to assist highway agencies implementing sustainability principles in the management of highway pavement. The overall goal is addressed through interconnected objectives, including the identification of critical sustainability concerns throughout the pavement's life cycle, the assessment of the influences of management decisions on the different aspects of sustainability, and the optimization of the management decisions guided by sustainability principles.
The major outcomes of the research are summarized as follows. (1) Critical sustainability concerns in the life cycle of highway pavement are identified and quantified. The economic impacts are represented by life cycle costs (LCC); the environmental impacts are represented by energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; the social impacts are represented by mobility,safety, and health. (2) A methodological framework is developed to assess the identified critical sustainability concerns. (3) Thermodynamic models and a software tool are developed for estimating energy consumption and GHG emissions in asphalt mixture production. (4) The exposure levels of pavement construction workers to harmful pollutants including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matters (PMs) are identified and the health risks of the workers are assessed. (5) Polynomial regression models are developed to quantitatively assess the impacts of pavement thickness design and maintenance decisions on LCC, energy consumption, and GHG emissions. (6) Multi-objective nonlinear programming models are developed and solved to find the optimum solutions for enhancing flexible highway pavement sustainability.By identifying the specific sustainability concerns in the life cycle of flexible highway pavement, this study is expected to help highway administrators enhance pavement sustainability through addressing such critical concerns. The methods and tools developed in this study are expected to help highway administrators quantitatively evaluate the effects of their decisions on the different dimensions of sustainability. The multi-objective decision analysis models are expected to help highway administrators identify the most sustainable solutions and assess the tradeoffs of potentially conflicting sustainability goals. Although this study is carried out in the context of highway pavement management in Hong Kong, the methods and tools may be easily adapted to the sustainable management of highway pavement in other regions.

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