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LCA Implementation in Road and Railway Planning​


The following chapter describes the goal and scope of the LCA at each planning stage as well data quality requirements. In addition, the study goal is linked to LCA integration in decision making. This section of the Guide is aimed to provide a hands-on tool for carrying out an LCA at different planning stages. This chapter is to be used as a hands-on tool when carrying out road and rail LCAs, where the user can navigate to the appropriate section for their planning stage. 


5.1 Feasibility Studies

5.1.1 Goal

During feasibility studies the LCA can provide decision support when selecting transportation solutions. An LCA study carried out at this planning stage will estimate the estimated environmental impact of each available option. At this point, the impact of not carrying out an infrastructure project should be assessed. Limitations will be expected as at this stage there will be limited understanding of the soil quality and terrain and the choice of construction method.


5.1.2 Scope 

Product system definition

During feasibility studies the product system under evaluation is a complete rail/road infrastructure system.

Functional unit

For feasibility studies where a transport solution is being decided upon, the functional unit is to be defined as:

  • One complete project in operation over the study assessment period. The result is to be presented as a total as well as individualy for all life cycle stages of the project.

System boundaries

The following activities are addressed that require specific consideration and are to be managed as instructed in this guide which may vary from the direction provided by EN 15804:2019 and EN 15978:2011:

Material and construction (A1-A5)

Climate impact from material production (A1-A3) and construction (A4-A5) should always be reported separately.

It is recommended that the following is included in the system boundaries:
  • ​Deforestation and clearing activities. 
  • Material production (A1-A3) of major materials needed for road, rail, tunnel and bridge construction, such as concrete, steel, pavement, gravel, piles, ballast, rails, sleepers, etc. 
  • Ground works for filling and excavation (A4 & A5). This applies to both rock shafts, crushed rock, earth fill and shaft and includes machine operation as well as production and use of explosives. Climate impact from A4 & A5 is to be reported separately. 
  • Emissions from production and combustion of fuel for vehicle and machine operation. 
  • Optional - Manufacture and maintenance of vehicles and machinery used in construction (A4-A5) of infrastructure.
  • Maintenance activities such as preventitive maintenance, resurfacing, or winter maintenance.
  • Operation activities such as lighting, energy required for contact wire, tunnel ventilation, operation of ferries and pumping in subsea tunnels.

Use of infrastructure

It is recommended that the following is included in the system boundaries:​
  • Traffic - Emissions from production of energy and the production and combustion of fuel used by vehicles in traffic over the applicable study assessment period. The calculation of emissions during operation is based on the assumption on Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT), the share of heavy traffic and the height of back slope as well as the applicable RSL. The RSL will have an impact on assumptions related to technology development and improved vehicle fuel/energy efficiency, though these will have a large degree of uncertainty.

The following may be excluded from the system boundaries as they are expected to have a minor contribution to the overall environmental impact:

  • Manufacturing and maintenance of vehicles in traffic.

5.13 Data Quality

Data quality requirements specific to material type and quantity as well as activities taking place as part of construction works should follow the principles laid out in EN 15804:2019. Any deviations should be documented in LCA reports to ensure transparency when communicating results.

During Feasibility studies data availability is limited. Approximations need to be made with respect to material types and quantities, energy and fuel use during construction as well as parameters related to infrastructure maintenance and in-traffic vehicle operation over the study assessment period.

It is recommended that data is sourced from previous LCA studies on similar infrastructure projects. This data should be combined with simulations on traffic conditions based on the specific parameters of the present feasibility study. Assumptions related to technology development and improved vehicle fuel/energy efficiency should be made and documented, as this is expected to have an increasingly significant impact over the operational lifetime.


5.2 Preliminary Engineering Planning

5.2.1 Goal

During preliminary engineering planning the environmental impact of alternative corridors can be assessed. At this point of the planning process it is also possible to assess specific elements within an infrastructure solution, such as alternative options for a bridge or a tunnel. There will be a high level of uncertainty in the results of these studies, but it is expected that they will give an indication on the way forward and provide a ‘’best guess’’.


5.2.2 Scope 

Product system definition
  • Project (e.g. road from point A to point B) 
  • Element (e.g. bridge, tunnel)

Functional unit

For preliminary engineering planning the functional unit is to be defined as:

  • One complete project in operation over the study assessment period. The result is to be presented as a total as well as individualy for all life cycle stages of the project.​

System boundaries

The following activities are addressed that require specific consideration and are to be managed as instructed in this guide which may vary from the direction provided by EN 15804:2019 and EN 15978:2011:

Material and construction

Climate impact from material production (A1-A3) and transport/construction (A4-A5) should always be reported separately.

It is recommended that the following is included in the system boundaries: 

  • Deforestation and clearing activities. 
  • Material production (A1-A3) of major materials needed for road, rail, tunnel and bridge construction, such as concrete, steel, reinforcement, pavement, gravel, piles, ballast, rails, sleepers, etc. 
  • Ground works, reinforcements and transportation for filling and excavation (A4 & A5). This applies to both rock shafts, crushed rock, earth fill and shaft and includes machine operation as well as production and use of explosives. Climate impact from A4 & A5 is to be reported separately. 
  • Emissions from production and combustion of fuel for vehicle and machine operation. 
  • Optional - Manufacture and maintenance of vehicles and machinery used in construction (A4-A5) of infrastructure
Operation and maintenance

It is recommended that the following is included in the system boundaries:

  • ​Maintenance activities such as preventitive maintenance, resurfacing, or winter maintenance. 
  • Operation activities such as lighting, energy required for contact wire, tunnel ventilation and pumping in subsea tunnels.
Use of infrastructure

It is recommended that the following is included in the system boundaries:

  • ​Traffic - Emissions from production of energy and the production and combustion of fuel used by vehicles in traffic over the applicable study assessment period. The calculation of emissions during operation is based on the assumption on Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT), the share of heavy traffic and the height of back slope as well as the applicable RSL. The RSL will have an impact on assumptions related to technology development and improved vehicle fuel/energy efficiency, though these will have a large degree of uncertainty. 
  • Manufacturing and maintenance of vehicles in traffic.
5.2.3 Data Quality 

Data quality requirements specific to material type and quantity as well as activities taking place as part of construction works should follow the principles laid out in EN 15804:2019. Any deviations should be documented to ensure transparency when communicating results.

During preliminary engineering planning data availability is limited. Approximations need to be made with respect to material types and quantities, energy and fuel use during construction as well as parameters related to infrastructure maintenance and in-traffic vehicle operation over the study assessment period.

 It is recommended that data is sourced from previous LCA studies on similar infrastructure projects. This data should be combined with simulations on traffic conditions based on the specific parameters of the present feasibility study. Assumptions related to technology development and improved vehicle fuel/energy efficiency should be made and documented, as this is expected to have an increasingly significant impact over the operational lifetime.

5.3 Final Engineering Planning


5.3.1 Goal 

During final engineering planning the environmental impact of alternative components of a transportation infrastructure solution, such as a pavement, asphalt type or railway sleepers, can be assessed.

 Increased availability of specific data during final engineering planning allows for refining the assessment carried out during the previous planning process stages on project and element product system levels.


5.3.2 Scope 

Product system definition

  • Project (e.g. road from point A to point B) 
  • Element (e.g. bridge, tunnel) 
  • Component (e.g. pavement) 
  • Material (e.g. bitumen)​
Functional unit

For final engineering planning the functional unit will vary for road and rail infrastructure and is to be defined as:

  • Road infrastructure: one km of road. The road’s overall environmental impact and the environmental impact per km shall be reported together  with the total amount of AADT, speed limit, dimensions and number of lanes. The option to define the functional unit as one m2 of road may also be considered when supported by the study goal and the product system definition.
  • Rail infrastructure: one km of railway (km of railway with a given function and number of tracks). The railway’s overall environmental impact and the environmental impact per km shall be reported together with type of vehicle operation (e.g high speed, metro, etc.).
System boundaries

The following activities are addressed that require specific consideration and are to be managed as instructed in this guide which may vary from the direction provided by EN 15804:2019 and EN 15978:2011:

Material and construction

Climate impact from producing material (A1-A3) and the transport/construction (A4-A5) should always be reported separately.

It is recommended that the following is included in the system boundaries: ​

  • ​Deforestation and clearing activities.
  • Material production (A1-A3) of materials needed for road, rail, tunnel and bridge construction, such as concrete, steel, reinforcement, pavement, gravel, piles, ballast, rails and sleepers. 
  • Material production (A1-A3) of materials needed for station buildings, such as shafts, filling and all material in road/rail substructures, construction works (bridges, tunnels, work and rescue tunnels, geotechnical reinforcement measures, grouting, road rails, fences and posts including foundations.
  • Ground works, reinforcement and transportation for filling and excavation (A4 & A5). This applies to both rock shafts, crushed rock, earth fill and shaft and includes machine operation as well as production and use of explosives. Climate impact from A4 & A5 is to be reported separately. 
  • Transports (A4) from the production site to the building site for materials such as concrete, grouting, steel beams, asphalt, grinders and rails. 
  • Energy use for construction equipment A5.
  • Emissions from production and combustion of fuel for vehicle and machine operation. 
  • Optional - Manufacture and maintenance of vehicles and machinery used in construction (A4-A5) of infrastructure.
Operation and maintenance

It is recommended that the following is included in the system boundaries:

  • Maintenance activities such as preventitive maintenance, resurfacing, or winter maintenance. 
  • Operation activities such as lighting, energy required for contact wire, tunnel ventilation, operation of ferries and pumping in subsea tunnels
  • Emissions from production and combustion of fuel for vehicle and machine operation during operation and maintenance activities
Use of infrastructure

It is recommended that the following is included in the system boundaries:
  •  Traffic - Emissions from production of energy and the production and combustion of fuel used by vehicles in traffic over the applicable study assessment period. The calculation of emissions during operation is based on the assumption on Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT), the share of heavy traffic and the height of back slope as well as the applicable RSL. The RSL will have an impact on assumptions related to technology development and improved vehicle fuel/energy efficiency, though these will have a large degree of uncertainty.
The following may be excluded from the system boundaries as they are expected to have a minor contribution to the overall environmental impact:
  • Manufacturing and maintenance of vehicles in traffic.

5.3.3 Data Quality

Data quality requirements specific to material type and quantity as well as activities taking place as part of construction works should follow the principles laid out in EN 15804:2019. Any deviations should be documented to ensure transparency when communicating results.

 During final engineering planning specific data on the material types, material quantities, energy and fuel use during construction as well as specific data parameters related to infrastructure maintenance and in-traffic vehicle operation are becoming available. Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) may be available from suppliers providing an even higher data quality level.

 For material types and quantities used in infrastructure construction (A1-A3) specific data is to be used and combined with generic average values for emission factors. In the event that a supplier EPD is available, the specific data published in the EPD should be used instead of generic data.

 For transport distances (A4) and energy use (A5) during the construction of the infrastructure project, general average values should be used together with general average values for emission factors. This is also applicable to ground works (A4-A5).

 For the assessment of traffic during the assessment period, simulations on traffic conditions are to be based on the specific parameters of the actual project studied. Assumptions related to technology development and improved vehicle fuel/energy efficiency should be made and documented, as this is expected to have an increasingly significant impact over the operational lifetime.


5.4 Construction

5.41 Defining the Goal

During construction the environmental impact of alternative materials and products, working methods and working order and components of a transportation infrastructure solution are assessed. These may be options for a pavement, asphalt type or railway sleepers.

 At this stage an LCA provides the background for any applicable environmental certification processes.


5.3.2 Defining the Scope

Product system definition

  • ​​Project (e.g. road from point A to point B)
  • Element (e.g. bridge, tunnel) 
  • Component (e.g. pavement)
  • Material (e.g. bitumen)
Functional unit

For construction the functional unit will vary for road and rail infrastructure and is to be defined as:

  • Road infrastructure: one km of road. The road’s overall environmental impact and the environmental impact per km shall be reported together  with the total amount of AADT, speed limit, road width and number of route file stated). The option to define the functional unit as one m2 of road may also be considered when supported by the study goal and the product system definition.
  • Rail infrastructure: one km of railway (km of railway with a given function and number of tracks). The railway’s overall environmental impact and the environmental impact per km shall be reported together with type of vehicle operation (e.g high speed, metro, etc.).
System boundaries

The following activities are addressed that require specific consideration  and are to be managed as instructed in this guide which may vary from the direction provided by EN 15804:2019 and EN 15978:2011:

Material and construction

Climate impact from producing material (A1-A3) and the transport/construction (A4-A5) should always be reported separately.

It is recommended that the following is included in the system boundaries:  

  • ​Deforestation and clearing activities. 
  • Material production (A1-A3) of materials needed for road, rail, tunnel and bridge construction, such as concrete, steel, reinforcement, pavement, gravel, piles, ballast, rails and sleepers. 
  • Material production (A1-A3) of materials needed for station buildings, such as shafts, filling and all material in road/rail substructures, construction works (bridges, tunnels, work and rescue tunnels, geotechnical reinforcement measures, grouting, road rails, fences and posts including foundations.
  • Ground works and transportation for filling and excavation (A4 & A5). This applies to both rock shafts, crushed rock, earth fill and shaft and includes machine operation as well as production and use of explosives. Climate impact from A4 & A5 is to be reported separately. 
  • Transports (A4) from the production site to the building site for materials such as concrete, grouting, steel beams, asphalt, grinders and rails.
  • Energy use for construction equipment A5. 
  • Emissions from production and combustion of fuel for vehicle and machine operation. 
  • Optional - Manufacture and maintenance of vehicles and machinery used in construction (A4-A5) of infrastructure.
Use of infrastructure

It is recommended that the following is included in the system boundaries:​
  • Traffic - Emissions from production of energy and the production and combustion of fuel used by vehicles in traffic over the applicable study assessment period. The calculation of emissions during operation is based on the assumption on Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT), the share of heavy traffic and the height of back slope as well as the applicable RSL. The RSL will have an impact on assumptions related to technology development and improved vehicle fuel/energy efficiency, though these will have a large degree of uncertainty.
The following may be excluded from the system boundaries as they are expected to have a minor contribution to the overall environmental impact:
  • Manufacturing and maintenance of vehicles in traffic.

5.4.3 Data Quality

Data quality requirements specific to material type and quantity as well as activities taking place as part of construction works should follow the principles laid out in EN 15804:2019. Any deviations should be documented to ensure transparency when communicating results.

 During construction specific data on the material types, material quantities, energy and fuel use during construction as well as specific data parameters related to infrastructure maintenance and in-traffic vehicle operation are available. Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) from suppliers provide a higher data quality level and shall be integrated in the assessment when available.

 For material types and quantities used in infrastructure construction (A1-A3) specific data is to be used and combined with generic average values for emission factors. In the event that a supplier EPD is available, the specific data published in the EPD should be used instead of generic data.

 For transport distances (A4) and energy use (A5) during the construction of the infrastructure project, real transport distances should be used together with general average values for emission factors. This is also applicable to ground works (A4-A5).

 For the assessment of traffic during the infrastructure project RSL or assessment period, simulations on traffic conditions are to be based on the specific parameters of the actual project studied. Assumptions related to technology development and improved vehicle fuel/energy efficiency should be made and documented, as this is expected to have an increasingly significant impact over the operational lifetime.


5.-5 Operation and Maintenance

5.5.1 Defining the Goal

During operation and maintenance, the LCA is used for certification and validation/evaluation of the LCA models developed under previous planning stages. In addition, LCA studies can assess alternative options considered during maintenance activities, such as resurfacing, rebuilding of pavement and the replacement of railway sleepers.


5.5.2 Scope

Product system definition

  • ​Project (e.g. road from point A to point B) 
  • Element (e.g. bridge, tunnel) 
  • Component (e.g. pavement)
  • Material (e.g. bitumen)
Functional unit

For construction the functional unit will vary for road and rail infrastructure and is to be defined as:

  • Road infrastructure: one km of road. The road’s overall environmental impact and the environmental impact per km shall be reported together  with the total amount of AADT, speed limit, road width and number of route file stated). The option to define the functional unit as one m2 of road may also be considered when supported by the study goal and the product system definition.
  • Rail infrastructure: one km of railway (km of railway with a given function and number of tracks). The railway’s overall environmental impact and the environmental impact per km shall be reported together with type of vehicle operation (e.g high speed, metro, etc.).
System boundaries

the following activities are addressed that require specific consideration  and are to be managed as instructed in this guide which may vary from the direction provided by EN 15804:2019 and EN 15978:2011:

Material and construction

Climate impact from producing material (A1-A3) and the transport/construction (A4-A5) should always be reported separately.

It is recommended that the following is included in the system boundaries:

  •  Deforestation and clearing activities
  • Material production (A1-A3) of materials needed for operation and maintenance.
  • Transports (A4) from the production site to the building site.
  • Energy use for construction equipment A5.
  • Emissions from production and combustion of fuel for vehicle and machine operation.
  • Optional - Manufacture and maintenance of vehicles and machinery used in construction (A4-A5) of infrastructure.
Operation and maintenance

It is recommended that the following is included in the system boundaries:

  •  Maintenance activities such as preventitive maintenance, resurfacing, or winter maintenance.
  • Operation activities such as lighting, energy required for contact wire, tunnel ventilation, operation of ferries and pumping in subsea tunnels
  • Emissions from production and combustion of fuel for vehicle and machine operation during operation and maintenance activities
Use of infrastructure

It is recommended that the following is included in the system boundaries:

  • Traffic - Emissions from production of energy and the production and combustion of fuel used by vehicles in traffic over the applicable study assessment period. The calculation of emissions during operation is based on the assumption on Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT), the share of heavy traffic and the height of back slope as well as the applicable RSL. The RSL will have an impact on assumptions related to technology development and improved vehicle fuel/energy efficiency, though these will have a large degree of uncertainty.​
LCA studies carried out during operation and maintenance may involve the evaluation of alternative products that may or may not have an impact on the emission resulting for vehicle operation. An example would be selecting between different asphalt types with a different rolling resistance. Both scenarios in an eventual LCA study would impact the emission coming from vehicle traffic to a possibly large extent. Therefore, it is recommended that traffic is included in the system boundaries when carrying out LCAs during the planning stages of operation and maintenance.

 

The following may be excluded from the system boundaries as they are expected to have a minor contribution to the overall environmental impact:

  •  Manufacturing and maintenance of vehicles in traffic.​
5.5.3 Data Quality

Data quality requirements specific to material type and quantity as well as activities taking place as part of manufacturing should follow the principles laid out in EN 15804:2019. Any deviations should be documented to ensure transparency when communicating results.

 During operation and maintenance specific data on the material types, material quantities, energy and fuel use during construction as well as specific data on infrastructure maintenance and in-traffic vehicle operation are available. Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) from suppliers provide a higher data quality level and shall be integrated in the assessment when available. Note that available EPDs may have been updated since integration in previous planning stage studies and that the most recent version should be used.

 For material types and quantities (A1-A3) specific data is to be used and combined with generic average values for emission factors. In the event that a supplier EPD is available, the specific and most recent data published in the EPD should be used instead of generic data.

 For transport distances (A4) and energy use (A5) during the construction of the infrastructure project, specific values should be used together with general average values for emission factors.

 For the assessment of traffic during the infrastructure project RSL or assessment period, specific data based on actual traffic conditions are to be used. Assumptions related to technology development and improved vehicle fuel/energy efficiency should be made and documented, as this is expected to have an increasingly significant impact over the operational lifetime.







 




Oprettet
15-05-2020.
Senest opdateret
02-11-2020.