Greenhouse warming potential of infrastructure projects

Julia Sauer, Oliver Fischer, Sonja Xalter, Stephan Freudenstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In times of increasing environmental awareness it is important for scientific institutions and engineering practices to target a reduction of greenhouse warming potential. In the past many research projects focused on sustainability of building structures but not of infrastructure projects and related structures. We have assessed the CO2-equivalents (CO2E) of processes of the planning and construction of roads, bridges and tunnels. The influences of longitudinal gradients, cross sections and construction methods have been considered. Additionally every project impacts on traffic, which leads to an increase of emission, so called indirect effects. These indirect effects have to be taken into account over the whole life cycle. As an example an existing alignment and different alternatives to same have been analysed. To allow a better understanding of the relevance of CO2E-emissions of construction processes, the CO2E-emissions have been evaluated monetarily. Initial results show a small influence of CO2E-emission costs of production processes in comparison to life cycle costs. Indirect effects have a large range of dispersion and could lead to a lower level of the CO2E-emission costs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Thinking in Structural Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationRecent Achievements
PublisherInternational Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE)
ISBN (Electronic)9783857481253
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventIABSE 2012 Spring Conference on Global Thinking in Structural Engineering: Recent Achievements - Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Duration: 7 May 20129 May 2012

Publication series

NameGlobal Thinking in Structural Engineering: Recent Achievements


ConferenceIABSE 2012 Spring Conference on Global Thinking in Structural Engineering: Recent Achievements
CitySharm El Sheikh


  • Bridge construction
  • CO<inf>2</inf>-emission
  • Infrastructure planning
  • Road construction
  • Sustainability
  • Tunnel construction


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