Bridge Management, Inspection and Sustainability
Full Session with Abstracts
341437-4 - Sustainability and Bridge Structures: Life Cycle Analysis and the Construction Phase
Friday, April 20
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Understanding how building and maintaining the transportation infrastructure effects existing and future environmental conditions and societal needs is now required by the engineering and construction communities. Importantly, this understanding must be made at the local, regional and global scale. Applying sustainable practices in the four phases of a bridge structure's life can significantly affect how the material and energy resources dedicated to the structure adversely, or not, impact the environment and society. Important decisions need to be made by the engineer, owner, and contractor to balance the mandates of economics and, now, sustainability. How these mandates interact with each other, and how technology relates to these interactions, must be clearly understood so that economy and sustainability can be optimized simultaneously. This research will emphasize the construction phase of a bridge structure and discuss how execution of this phase impacts the sustainability of the structure in the context of a life cycle analysis. The authors will discuss state-of-the-art technology related to bridge design and construction, and show how this technology relates to sustainability. Theory related to quantification of sustainability considerations together with application of theory to case studies will be included. Importantly, the research will emphasize that sustainability is inherently context sensitive, and must recognize that location of the structure, availability of natural resources, access to transportation infrastructure, and other variables must be part of the decisions made in an effort to elevate the structure's impact on sustainability.