MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub Pavement Research
The MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub’s (CSHub) mission is to develop scientific breakthroughs that will lead to the construction of more sustainable and durable infrastructure and buildings. The CSHub’s research is based on four pillars: 1) life-cycle thinking, 2) innovation, 3) fiscal responsibility and 4) environmental leadership.
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Doing More with Less: Economically-Efficient Management of Pavement Networks
The project topics below can help states make the right choice when deciding on pavement solutions:
Pavement vehicle interaction (PVI), also known as rolling resistance, describes the interaction between a vehicle’s tires and roadway surface. CSHub research has led to models that quantify excess fuel consumption due to PVI for pavement segments and pavement networks. These models can be used to quantify economic and environmental impacts to consumers, states and local governments.
Pavement Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) quantifies the environmental impacts for the entire life-cycle of pavement, from initial construction to demolition. Life cycle matters because the environmental costs of using pavement can be two-thirds of the total environment impact over the lifespan of a pavement.
MIT researchers have created a pavement network optimization model that can be used to optimize the performance of a network for a given cost and support resource allocation decisions. Existing pavement management systems mainly explain and evaluate current conditions. MIT’s Performance-based planning approach combines data about current conditions with models that estimate likely future performance.
Pavement Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) is a way to evaluate the total economic cost of a road over its lifetime.Life cycle matters because while construction costs are significant, future costs can be equally high, comprising more than 50% of the final cost of a project
Albedo is the measure of solar energy reflected by the Earth’s surface. Lighter colored surfaces reflect more light, and have a higher albedo. Darker surfaces absorb light and have a lower albedo. Incorporating lighter colored pavement surfaces into urban planning can help lower average temperatures in cities and help reduce their environmental impact.