An initiative by the Department of Transport and Main Roads and ARRB

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PAVEMENTS – Sustainability Assessment Tool

NACOE Project Number: P117

Contact email: info@nacoe.com.au

Project Stage of Completion: 50%

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In collaboration with the Western Australian Road Research and Innovation Program (WARRIP), the National Asset Centre of Excellence (NACOE) have been working together to develop a new, user-friendly Sustainability Assessment Tool (SAT) to calculate lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and lifecycle cost benefits of innovative road pavements designs and rehabilitation treatments.

The SAT addresses the capability gap of existing tool limitations which do not have the flexibility to quantify innovative pavements materials, (i.e., recycled) designs, (e.g., crumb rubber asphalt), and processes (e.g., warm-mixes and in-situ stabilisation).

The SAT will be used by Main Roads, TMR, and industry partners, to evaluate pavement options in Western Australia and Queensland with a focus on pavement designs or projects that incorporate innovative pavement materials/technologies.

The benefits will provide better-informed, long-term investment decision-making regarding alternate pavement design and material selection, and long-term maintenance strategy. The tool’s scope, processes, and outputs align with the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s (ISCA’s) Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating process and requirements and will provide data suitable for annual or sustainability reporting and provide key inputs in project assessments.

The design of the SAT has strategic linkages with Queensland and Western Australian government and departmental policy objectives and targets including:

  • GHG emissions reductions
  • Waste reduction and recycling targets
  • Supporting innovation and business growth, especially in waste management and pavement construction industries
  • Delivering high performing road infrastructure within budget constraints; and
  • Achieving economic sustainability goals, through reduced lifecycle costs.

The SAT will be a publicly available, online tool that will enable the industry to undertake sustainability and economic assessments of all pavement options, leading to better informed decision-making over the pavement lifecycle.

Future project work of the SAT will be undertaken in 2021/2022 to examine the feasibility of extending the tool’s capabilities beyond the pavement assessment scope to include all processes related to a road infrastructure project (i.e., earthworks, water, energy structures).