Asphalt pavements require about 20% less energy to produce and construct than other pavements.
The US Transportation Research Board has made LCI calculations: Energy used to construct various types of highway pavement surfaces
Asphalt 2,463–6,047; Slab concrete 6,341–9,558; Continuous reinforced concrete 7,628–10,844 (l/km-cm).
Results are expressed as the equivalent of diesel fuel per kilometre of the pavement for each centimetre of thickness.
More information on Sustainability (of asphalt pavements)
On 16-17 December 2020, EAPA and the research project PavementLCM co-organised a webinar on the Sustainability Assessment of Asphalt Pavements, which gathered more than 150 experts from 35 countries around the world. In this video, Dr Breixo Gomez, EAPA Technical Director and Prof. Davide LoPresti, Coordinator of PavementLCM, summarise the highlights of the Webinar and discuss how to further develop the topic in future events.
Winning with Asphalt/Environment/TRB: Energy involved in construction materials and procedures (Woodrow J. Halstead 1981)
More graphs can be found in:
Energy involved in construction materials and procedures (Woodrow J. TRB: Halstead 1981)
Asphalt Institute: Energy Requirements for Roadway Pavements (1975)
IVL report: Life Cycle Assessment of Road (H. Stripple 2001)
Gambatese, John A. and Sathyanarayanan Rajendran, “Sustainable Roadway Construction: Energy Consumption and Material Waste Generation of Roadways,” American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, VA. Proceedings of 2005 Construction Research Congress from http://tinyurl.com/yyapyts
Sime, M., et al. WesTrack Track Roughness, Fuel Consumption, and Maintenance Costs. Tech Brief published by Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC. January 2000
Total energy consumed over a 40 years period less than for concrete (figure WWA 19)
It is possible to have some beneficial impact on the environment by using asphalt as a warming and cooling element. Specially designed elements, such as pipes, can be put in an asphalt layer, through which water is running. The heat of the asphalt is stored in summer (and so the asphalt is cooled) and utilised in winter to warm buildings. 30% of the heating costs of a building by using this system. This in turn reduces the CO2 emissions considerably