The latest advancements in road asphalt materials and construction technologies have increased the difficulty for engineers to select the appropriate pavement design solution with consideration of life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. On the other hand, infrastructure building information modeling (BIM) tools allow practitioners to efficiently store and manage large amounts of data, supporting decision making in road asphalt pavement design and management. This research contributes to setting up a dynamic LCA tool for the specific evaluation of designed road asphalt pavement solutions involving alternative materials and advanced recycling technologies; the tool is structured to minimize the need of input data by the designer, that are usually unknown during the early design stage, and automate the entire LCA calculation process to reduce the designer efforts and avoid any errors during data transcription. A traditional BIM workflow was integrated with additional user-defined property sets to simultaneously compute the environmental impact of the entire life cycle of the asphalt pavement, and dynamically update the result basing on the design thickness of the pavement layers, the specific features of materials and an external database of several life cycle impact category indicators that can be edited and updated gradually during more advanced design stage. The proposed BIM-LCA aims to be a practical and dynamic way to integrate environmental considerations into road pavement design, encouraging the use of digital tools in road industry and ultimately supporting a pavement maintenance decision-making process oriented toward circular economy.
BIM, LCA, pavement maintenance
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