Evaluating the life cycle environmental impact of short span bridges

Guangli Du, Lars Pettersson, Raid Karoumi

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


Bridge infrastructure consumes large amount of energy and raw materials, leading to considerable environmental burdens. The traditional infrastructure construction prioritizes its technical and economic viability. In recent years, the society devotes an ever-increased attention to the environmental impact of the construction sector. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a systematic method for assessing the environmental impact of products and systems, but its application in bridges is scarce. In Swede, most of the bridges are short spans and the type of concrete slab-frame bridge (CFB) accounts for a large share. Soil steel composite bridge (SSCB) is a functional equivalent solution for CFB. In order to mitigate the environmental burdens of short span bridges, this paper performed a comparative LCA study between these two types of bridge. The results indicate that the initial material consumption is critical through the whole life cycle. The case of SSCB shows preferable environmental performance over CFB in most of the examined indicators.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChallenges in Design and Construction of an Innovative and Sustainable Built Environment : 19th IABSE Congress Stockholm
Number of pages7
Place of PublicationZurich
PublisherInternational Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering
Publication date2016
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-85748-144-4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event19th Congress of IABSE : Challenges in Design and Construction - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 21 Sep 201623 Sep 2016


Conference19th Congress of IABSE
Internet address


  • LCA
  • soil steel composite bridge
  • sustainable construction
  • CO2 emission


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