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Consideration of uncertainties in LCA for infrastructure using probabilistic methods

Larsson Ivanov, Oskar LU ; Honfi, Dániel LU ; Santandrea, Fabio and Stripple, Håkan (2019) In Structure and Infrastructure Engineering
Abstract

The construction and usage of transport infrastructure are major causes of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. The effects of resource consumption and pollutant emissions are often quantified through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) models. All decisions made in infrastructure projects during the whole life cycle are afflicted by uncertainty, e.g. physical properties of materials or amount of pollutants emitted by certain processes. The pervasive role of uncertainty is reflected in LCA models, which therefore should consider uncertainty from various sources and provide a sound quantification of their effects. The aim of the work presented in this paper is to give an overview of different sources of uncertainty in LCA of... (More)

The construction and usage of transport infrastructure are major causes of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. The effects of resource consumption and pollutant emissions are often quantified through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) models. All decisions made in infrastructure projects during the whole life cycle are afflicted by uncertainty, e.g. physical properties of materials or amount of pollutants emitted by certain processes. The pervasive role of uncertainty is reflected in LCA models, which therefore should consider uncertainty from various sources and provide a sound quantification of their effects. The aim of the work presented in this paper is to give an overview of different sources of uncertainty in LCA of infrastructure projects and to describe systematic methods to evaluate their influence on the results. The possibility of including uncertainty in a LCA-tool for infrastructure is presented, studying the sensitivity of the model output to the input parameters and two alternative approaches for propagation of uncertainty using two case studies. It is shown that, besides the influence of uncertainty in emission factors, other inputs such as material amounts and service life could contribute significantly to the variability of model output and has to be considered if reliable results are sought.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
bridges, Life cycle assessment, Monte Carlo simulations, tunnels, uncertainty, variation mode and effect analysis
in
Structure and Infrastructure Engineering
external identifiers
  • scopus:85062357537
ISSN
1573-2479
DOI
10.1080/15732479.2019.1572200
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
379fe9ab-7faa-4366-a659-17ec0abb36ef
date added to LUP
2019-03-14 13:50:51
date last changed
2019-03-14 13:50:51
@article{379fe9ab-7faa-4366-a659-17ec0abb36ef,
  abstract     = {<p>The construction and usage of transport infrastructure are major causes of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. The effects of resource consumption and pollutant emissions are often quantified through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) models. All decisions made in infrastructure projects during the whole life cycle are afflicted by uncertainty, e.g. physical properties of materials or amount of pollutants emitted by certain processes. The pervasive role of uncertainty is reflected in LCA models, which therefore should consider uncertainty from various sources and provide a sound quantification of their effects. The aim of the work presented in this paper is to give an overview of different sources of uncertainty in LCA of infrastructure projects and to describe systematic methods to evaluate their influence on the results. The possibility of including uncertainty in a LCA-tool for infrastructure is presented, studying the sensitivity of the model output to the input parameters and two alternative approaches for propagation of uncertainty using two case studies. It is shown that, besides the influence of uncertainty in emission factors, other inputs such as material amounts and service life could contribute significantly to the variability of model output and has to be considered if reliable results are sought.</p>},
  author       = {Larsson Ivanov, Oskar and Honfi, Dániel and Santandrea, Fabio and Stripple, Håkan},
  issn         = {1573-2479},
  keyword      = {bridges,Life cycle assessment,Monte Carlo simulations,tunnels,uncertainty,variation mode and effect analysis},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  series       = {Structure and Infrastructure Engineering},
  title        = {Consideration of uncertainties in LCA for infrastructure using probabilistic methods},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15732479.2019.1572200},
  year         = {2019},
}