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Life cycle auditor Athena revises pavement software program

Sources: Athena Sustainable Materials Institute, Ottawa; CP staff

The Athena Pavement LCA Web App has been updated to further simplify life cycle assessment (LCA) and make paving more environmentally sustainable and cost effective. Version 3.1 reflects plant process data based on the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association 2016 industry average LCA and Environmental Product Declaration for concrete, along with these companion improvements:

  • New life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) module enables users to assess different paving options’ environmental and cost burdens;
  • Embedded-steel reinforcement input mass estimator for portland cement concrete roadways frees users from having to calculate figure in another application;
  • Roller compacted concrete addition to the software includes a process profile plus default, but editable, RCC mix design; 
  • Reworked aggregate profiles (natural, crushed, coarse and fine) to better handle project-specific transportation mode and distance specifications;
  • U.S. sample projects migrated from the desktop version; and,
  • Expanded regional results for multiple Canadian and U.S. locations, including Atlantic Canada Provinces to British Columbia, plus California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington.

The LCCA feature uses a model developed by Dr. Mehdi Akbarian, Concrete Sustainability Hub postdoctoral associate and Federal Highway Administration Sustainable Pavement Technical Working Group member. Pavement LCA Web App Version 3.1 programming was funded by the Cement Association of Canada and members of the Athena Institute, which has supported development of environmental documentation for cast-in-place and precast concrete interests. The app can be obtained free of charge here.