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Environmental Engineering Research 2020;25(1): 52-61. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2018.399
Life cycle analysis of concrete and asphalt used in road pavements
Jocelyn Ivel1, Rachel Watson1, Bassim Abbassi1, and Ziad Salem Abu-Hamatteh2 
1School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada
2Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering Technology, Al-Balqa Applied University, Amman 11134, Jordan
Corresponding Author: Ziad Salem Abu-Hamatteh ,Tel: +962-777-484-772, Email: hamatteh@bau.edu.jo
Received: November 13, 2018;  Accepted: January 30, 2019.
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The article examines the impact differences between producing concrete and asphalt. Both materials are widely used in the construction industry. Construction activities account for a large portion of greenhouse gases. Therefore, it is important to consider the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) to reduce environmental impacts. In this study, the material processes were inputted into an LCA program called SimaPro. The database used for the study was Ecoinvent as it is one of the major databases within SimaPro. The materials were compared against impacts per kg of material produced as the functional unit. Each process was created using the materials, energy and transportation required to produce the materials. Waste streams were also included in the process to determine the impacts after the product was done with its useful life. Using the ReCiPe method, an LCA was conducted. Midpoint and endpoint categories were examined for both the productions. The processes had similar results for the human health and ecosystems categories; however asphalt was marginally higher for both. Asphalt had exceeded concrete in the resource impact category by 100 mPt. The results indicate that concrete is the more sustainable building material. Determination of various impacts of the materials is important for material selection.
Keywords: Asphalt | Concrete | Environmental impacts | Life cycle analysis | ReCiPe | SimaPro
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