Techniques To Make A More Sustainable Highway Environmental Sciences Essay

I have been assigned a undertaking to set about an fact-finding undertaking into a topic of my pick. Without holding any summer experience to establish my undertaking around I chose to look at the sustainability environing main road design. The study is based around environmental sustainability and discusses the current building and care methods so every bit best to protect the environment.

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Background Information ; the route web is one of the most of import assets a state can hold. Guaranting good transit for both goods and people is of import to the states prosperity. It is of import nevertheless that this is done in a sustainable manner. The impacts of making and keeping a route web must non outweigh the benefits and a batch of consideration must be taken to understate these impacts.

Purposes and Aims ; the purposes and aims of the study were to set up to what degree sustainability is incorporated into building and care of roads at present, what the current countries of research are and recommendations for the hereafter development of sustainability.

Methodology ; the survey has been researched with the aid of people working in the industry and the usage of studies and paperss on the capable affair. The range of the undertaking developed throughout with the contracting down to environmental sustainability being discussed.

Review ; presently incorporation of sustainability into undertakings is non high on the docket for most companies. Leading route operators are seeking to include sustainability more in their web but cost is still the chief factor. The usage of sustainable methods is most widely used in applications where it is cheaper than utilizing a conventional method.

Discussion ; there is some advancement in the inclusion of sustainability in route undertakings but the cost associated, , and besides the attitude of being content with current methods is mostly responsible for suppressing development. Research is being conducted but the rate at which new engineerings emerge is slow due to the big disbursal and the sum of proving required to hold it dependable.

Recommendations ; the information gathered in my study suggests that the most effectual manner to better sustainability is to promote the usage and development of building and care techniques by manner of revenue enhancement, inducements, and statute law.

Table of Contentss

1. Executive Summary 2

Table of Contentss 3

List of Tables and Figures 5

List of Appendixs 5

2. Background information 7

2.1 The UK Road Network 7

2.1Sustainability 8

3. Aims, aims and study administration 9

3.1 Purposes 9

3.2 Aims 9

3.3 Organisation of Report 9

4. Methodology 10

4.1 Method of Study 10

4.2 Beginnings of Information 10

5. Review 11

5.1 Sustainable issues impacting the main road web 11

5.1.1 Material usage 11

5.1.2 Recycling 12

5.1.3 Energy usage 13

5.1.4 Emissions 14

5.1.4 Life Cycle assessment 15

5.2 Current Practice in Pavement Engineering 17

5.2.1 Legislation 17

5.2.2 Approved Design 17

5.3 Areas of Research 18

5.3.1 Bitumens 18

5.4 Sustainable Road Projects 19

5.4.1 A63 Selby Bypass 19

5.4.2 A6116 Rockingham Road, Corby 20

6. Discussion of findings 22

6.1 Factors impeding sustainable development 22

6.2 Good usage of sustainability at present 22

6.3 Areas for betterment 23

6.4 Research 23

7. Decisions and recommendations 24

7.1 Report Decisions 24

7.2 Recommendations 24


Table of Mentions 25

List of Tables and Figures

List of Figures

Figure 2.1 – Strategic Road Network England

Figure 2.2 – Sustainable Development

Figure 5.1 – Slate Militias in Wales

Figure 5.2 – Cold Milling Diagram

Figure 5.3 – Flow chart of the phases of an LCA

Figure 5.4 – Highways Agency Greenhouse Gas emanations 2009-10

Figure 5.5 – A63 Selby Bypass

Figure 5.6 – A6116 Recycled asphalt puting

List of Table

Table 5.1 – Methodology of aspect excessively

Table – Table of mentions

List of Appendixs

Appendix 1 – Communicationss with Engineers

Appendix 2 – Diary


I would wish to thank the undermentioned people for their aid in assisting me complete my undertaking on the how to integrate sustainability into the design and building of the Highway Network ;

Richard Bingley, John Read, Richard Taylor, Peter Stickley, Bachar Hackim, Simon Hilditcch.

Your support has been priceless.

2. Background information

The Background information subdivision develops and understanding so as to set the study in context.

2.1 The UK Road Network

Guaranting that the UK route web operates swimmingly and runs efficaciously is really of import. Roadss are used to transport cargo and consumer goods around the state, they are cardinal in leting people to acquire to work, kids to travel to school every bit good as leting people to see other countries and see friends and relations ( Kerwick-Chrisp, 2011 ) .

The Road web in the UK is the states biggest plus. The web is degrading and the Alarm Report published in March 2010 suggested that in some parts of the state non classified roads merely get resurfaced every 116 old ages, about three times their design life ( Mike Linley, 2010 ) .

Minor roads account for 98 % of the entire yardage of all England ‘s roads and these are maintained by local governments. The staying 2 % is the bole route web ( Kerwick-Chrisp, 2011 ) . Trunk roads carry a 3rd of all UK traffic and two tierces of all heavy goods traffic ( Highways Agency, 2009 )

The Highways Agency looks after the major bole roads, otherwise known as the strategic route web, in the UK and is responsible for continued care and betterment. It plans the undertakings necessary to maintain supplying a service suited to back up the states economic system. The strategic route web as mapped by the Highways bureau is shown below in figure 1. The UK main road web is worth an estimated & A ; lb ; 88 billion ( Kerwick-Chrisp, 2011 ) and has an one-year care and renewal spend of & A ; lb ; 3.1billion ( Mike Linley, 2010 ) .

Figure 2.1 Strategic Road web England – ( Highways Agency, 2009 )


Definition of sustainability:

Sustainability is defined as the ability to run into our current demands as a thickly settled, without endangering the ability of future coevalss to run into their demands, in footings of economic, societal and environmental issues ( DEFRA, 2005 ) . Sustainable development is when the right balance of all three is met, as shown in figure 2.

In this survey sustainability will be defined with regard to the environmental issues associated with main road design and care and guaranting the impact on the planet is minimised whilst maximizing economic potency. The ground for this definition is so to concentrate on the environment which is the focal point of the study

Figure 1.2 Sustainable development

3. Aims, aims and study administration

The purposes and nonsubjective subdivision describes what I wanted to accomplish and the aims needed to accomplish them. The purposes are identified foremost.

3.1 Purposes

There are several purposes that I set out to accomplish in this undertaking. I wanted to develop an apprehension of the current attitude towards sustainability and the incorporation of sustainable design and care techniques at present. I wanted to see the development of sustainable design and the advancement of research to better sustainability in roads, and at the terminal of the undertaking I aim to do recommendations based on my findings to better the sustainability of roads.

3.2 Aims

To accomplish the purposes set out in subdivision 3.1, the undermentioned aims were ; to garner information from a scope of beginnings including people in the industry so every bit best to understand current pattern, to garner information on countries of research and expression at countries presently being focused up on, to analyze and discourse my findings and expose them clearly and do critical remarks, and to do recommendations based on critical remarks and information analysed.

3.3 Organisation of Report

The study is organised into several chapters. The chapters are broken down into subchapters which are structured logically into subdivision. The chapters are as follows

Executive Summary

Background information

Aims aims and administration of study




Decisions and Recommendations

4. Methodology

Methodology looks at how the survey has been conducted. The methods used to transport out the undertaking and the beginnings of information used will be discussed in this chapter.

4.1 Method of Study

The purposes and aims of my survey were considered when make up one’s minding on the method of survey. Initially the way my undertaking was traveling to take was unsure. The undertaking was associated with the sustainability of roads.

After roll uping a big sum of general information and after run intoing John Read and Richard Taylor, from Shell Bitumen, I decided that the range of the undertaking needed narrowing. This was when the determination to concentrate mostly on the environmental issues of the sustainability of roads, was made.

More focused information was collected before I began to analyze my findings. For inside informations on how I sourced my information please see subdivision 4.2. All information used and a treatment of my findings along with decisions are laid out subsequently in this study.

4.2 Beginnings of Information

The information gathered has been from a figure of beginnings. The quality and certainty of the beginning had to be ascertained to make up one’s mind whether it was dependable. Sure beginnings of information included those published in studies and books. Online paperss, including company policies and instance surveies were besides treated as dependable.

The cyberspace has a wealth of information which can non be ignored. Information found on web sites was treated as unsure and where possible was backed up by other beginnings.

I have sourced information straight from applied scientists in the signifier of interviews and electronic mails.

5. Reappraisal

The reappraisal subdivision looks at information found either from old surveies or information gained from a scope of beginnings including people working in industry. Particular item to sustainable issues impacting main roads, current pattern, research countries and illustrations of sustainable incorporation in main road undertakings is shown.

5.1 Sustainable issues impacting the main road web

This sub-section looks at the assorted issues which contribute to the sustainability of the UK route web, and which factors are the most serious. These include, material usage, recycling, energy usage, emanations, noise and Life rhythm appraisal.

5.1.1 Material usage

Material usage in the route edifice industry is really big. The usage of sum is peculiarly big in all route types ; concrete roads, hot rolled asphalt and other route types ( Agg-net ) .

The dependence on quarried stuffs is big and in some instances is the most sustainable option. Quarrying requires big sums of energy and has a considerable environmental cost. From a route edifice transit distance from the beginning to the site has a big C footmark ( Read, 2010 ) .

There are alternate options to utilizing natural stuff which are discussed in subdivision 5.1.2, but if the preies are close enough the C footmark of processing and transporting the natural stuff will be less than that of the energy required to utilize recycled stuff ( Read, 2010 ) .

Many different types of sum can be used in route design and the design of the route should be based upon the most readily available in the vicinity. The burden bearing capacity of the stuff is of import but even weaker stuffs can be used for low quality fill intents ( Bituminous Surfacing Materials and Techniques Volume 7, Section 5, Part 2, 1997 ) . In North Wales there are big militias of slate ( see figure 1 ) . Slate is non a peculiarly strong stuff but can be utilised as a sub base bed in roads. North Wales is non to a great extent populated and the substructure in that part is thin compared to metropoliss and towns in England, this is the perfect illustration where utilizing a waste stuff makes sense until the C footmark required to transport the slate to major undertakings is considered. Therefore the costs outweigh the benefits ( Parry, Materials and Waste Lecture, 2011 ) .

Figure 5.1 Slate militias in Wales –

The demand on stuff used for fill in earthworks is immense in Roads. The Highways Design Manual for Roads and Bridges has guidelines on the maximal allowable gradients and cornering radiuses and despite good planning, earthworks are ineluctable on most undertakings. Materials should be moved the smallest possible distances and planning should promote minimum demand for stuff to travel to landfill and minimal new stuffs bought in ( Highways Agency, 2003 ) .

5.1.2 Recycling

Recycling is closely related to subdivision 4.1.1. The usage of stuffs is really of import in cut downing the C footmark of the route web, with avoiding waste going an built-in portion in today ‘s society. There are several sanctioned methods now being used to recycle stuff in route building and reclamation.

One of the most quickly developing attacks is recycling of the old surface when regenerating an bing route. The top surface is taken off the route by a cold milling machine, frequently called a planing machine. This churns and mills the surface into aggregative around 15mm in diameter, the procedure is shown in figure 2. This is so assorted with fresh sum and bitumen, to make the new route surface ( A J Mcormack and boies ) . Levels of recycled stuff included vary on the traffic burden and the location of the route, a set of design guidelines can be found in TFL611 study ( Merrill, 2004 ) . The staying sum can be used as a sub base stuff or on really low usage roads, such as farm paths ( A J Mcormack and boies ) .

Figure 5.2 Cold milling diagram ( WIRTGEN )

Materials used for fill in roads can supply chance for other waste merchandises to be used. The A421 in Bedfordshire used old Surs bundled together in its building every bit good as the usage of powdered fuel ash ( PFA ) as an embankment fill ( Caring for the environment, 2010 ) ( Highways Agency, 2011 ) .

PFA is a waste merchandise from coal power Stationss and is really inexpensive. It has first-class belongingss and if it is available within close propinquity to a site is an first-class replacement deviating waste from landfill every bit good as salvaging on CO2 emanations in the processing of sum and the transit C footmark ( UKQAA, 2007 ) ( UKQAA, 2009 ) .

The usage of recycled stuffs should be encouraged, nevertheless great cautiousness should be taken in guaranting that the recycled stuff does n’t hold a larger damaging impact than the benefits utilizing it offers ( Read, 2010 ) .

5.1.3 Energy usage

The corporal energy in roads is really high. Embodied energy, is defined as the energy required for taking stuffs from their natural signifier, and treating them to their concluding merchandise including all transit energy ( Residential Environmental Design, 2008 ) .

The energy required to treat the natural stuffs is extended, preies use big sums of energy, and the production of bitumen for asphalt roads and cement for concrete roads is high. However, asphalt roads require less energy than concrete roads to bring forth, and are frequently used in the UK ( Read, 2010 ) .

The procedure of acquiring bitumen is really energy intensive. Bitumens comes from rough oil, the boring required to pull out the petroleum oil uses a batch of energy. The lone petroleum oil left is sulfurous, frequently referred to as rancid. This means that before bitumen can be produced it needs to be de-sulphurised ( Read, 2010 ) . This produces big stocks of sulfur and uses big sums of energy. The usage of sulfur in pavings is being looked at as replacing some of the bitumen with a sulfur based merchandise would intend less wastage and hence less energy ( Shell Bitumen, 2010 ) .

One of the simplest ways to cut down energy usage is to take down the binder temperature. This means that it can be assorted, stored and laid at a lower temperature ( Sustainable Development ) .

The operating energy required to run a route is dependent on the traffic degrees and frequently the site geometry. A route which is busy and has rather a complex geometry is traveling to necessitate more street illuming than a consecutive minor route. The energy used in street furniture can be reduced by guaranting low energy contraptions are installed and decently maintained ( Kerwick-Chrisp, 2011 ) .

5.1.4 Emissions

Emissions are closely related to energy usage ( subdivision 4.1.3 ) . This is as most of the energy used in building and operation of the route comes from firing dodo fuels which produces nursery gases ( GHG ) . The focal point of this subdivision is on C dioxide emanations as most attempt is presently focussed on cut downing CO2 so as to understate the effects of planetary heating.

A tool has been developed called Asphalt Pavement embodied C tool ( aspect ) , it is a joint enterprise of the Highways Agency, Mineral Products Association, Refined Bitumen Association and TRL Limited ( Highways Agency et Al, 2009 ) . This bundle provides a methodological analysis to cipher the C emanations produced by a main road over its life rhythm. Particular item is in the building as the C footmark of transporting and treating stuffs is high. The tool is limited to the building and care stages and does n’t take into history the emanations from traffic. A sum-up of the methodological analysis used is shown in table 1.

Table 5.1 Methodology of aspect tool

From asPECT website – hypertext transfer protocol: //

There are several simple stairss which can cut down emanations by up to 20 % ; the covering over of sums so as to cut down the wet content therefore the energy spent drying out the sum is reduced and the emanations besides. Guaranting that sum is right graded and that burner temperature is carefully controlled so as to be the most efficient ( Read, 2010 ) .

5.1.4 Life Cycle appraisal

Transporting out a Life rhythm appraisal on a route is a procedure which attempts to unite all the above facets into one appraisal. Life Cycle Assessments ( LCA ) are designed to assist place chances for the betterment in the environmental public presentation and sustainability of merchandises or undertakings throughout the continuance of their lives. In this case the LCA of a route is considered. LCA are designed to inform determination shapers in the industry so as they can more easy construe the best solution to assist them to be after, design and prioritise certain undertakings for improved sustainability in route undertakings ( Parry, Life Cycle Assessments, 2011 ) .

The life rhythm appraisal ( LCA ) of a route is split into several subdivisions so every bit best to depict and critically analyze its findings.

Goal definition and range – The end definition and range of an LCA should specify precisely what is to be included in the appraisal, this should include the restrictions of the system used. The intended usage of the concluding study should be clearly defined so every bit best to plan the LCA around the terminal user ( BS EN ISO 14040:2006, 2006 ) .

Inventory analysis – Inventory analysis is a dislocation of all the points to be considered in the LCA. Everything which is relevant to that defined in the end definition and range of the LCA should be listed here. The parametric quantities of what is being measured are collected in this subdivision ( BS EN ISO 14040:2006, 2006 ) .

Impact assessment – The life rhythm impact appraisal is where extra information quantifies the environmental impact the merchandise has. Information available is shown in the simplest signifier so as to better understand what the system is demoing the terminal user ( BS EN ISO 14040:2006, 2006 ) .

Interpretation of consequences – The reading of consequences is where the information collected in the Inventory analysis and the Impact Assessment is discussed. Recommendations and decisions are stated, with a position to help determination devising in conformity with the ends and range set out ab initio ( BS EN ISO 14040:2006, 2006 ) .

A flow chart demoing the procedures of an LCA is shown in figure 4.

Figure 5.3 – Flow chart demoing the phases of an LCA – Taken from BS EN ISO 14040:2006

Figure 4 shows how the four chief phases in LCA interact. It is a recurrent procedure which looks to invariably better the appraisal for more sustainable merchandises in the hereafter.

5.2 Current Practice in Pavement Engineering

Section 5.2 looks at the current pattern taking topographic point on route undertakings at present. This includes the effects of Legislation and internal codifications of patterns.


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