The International Pavement Life-Cycle Assessment Symposium Convened in Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign hosted the International Pavement Life-Cycle Assessment Symposium on April 12–13, 2017 at the I-Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign, bringing together more than 130 academic and industrial leaders from around the world to discuss the current status and future developments related to the implementation of life-cycle assessment in pavements.

While an increasing number of agencies, academic institutes, and governmental and industrial bodies are embracing the principles of sustainability in managing their activities and business, the life-cycle assessment (LCA) has emerged as a quantitative sustainability measurement tool increasingly used in Europe in the pavement construction industry and is now being integrated into green construction regulations in a number of countries in North America.

The pavement LCA Symposium provided a forum for assessing the status of pavement LCA development—including all aspects from goal and scope definition, to inventory databases, impact assessment and interpretation— and reviewing plans for implementation at the project- and network-levels, in addition to identifying the extent of consensus.

The technical program featured 30 oral sessions and three panel discussions, including a preliminary session presented by Catherine Batey, the Division Administrator for Federal Highway Administration’s Illinois Division,  Aaron Weatherholt, Illinois Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary for Program Development, and Paul Kovacs, Chief Engineering Officer for the Illinois Tollway. The remaining sessions emphasized the importance of building sustainable and cost-efficient pavements; current and future pavement LCA and environmental product declarations (EPD) from an international perspective; and steps to be taken moving forward. The event also hosted a keynote address delivered by Dr. Amgad Elgowainy of the Energy Systems Division at Argonne National Laboratory.

The Symposium was chaired by Imad L. Al-Qadi and Hasan Ozer of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Illinois and John T. Harvey of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis.  For more information about the International Pavement Life-Cycle Assessment Symposium, including presentations and published proceedings, please check the symposium’s homepage.

On April 11, pre-symposium activities were kicked off with the Federal Highway Administration’s Sustainable Pavements Technical Working Group (SPTWG) Meeting, followed by an evening reception and a poster session.  More information on the SPTWG can be found on its website.