Development of a sustainability evaluation system for road design and construction
The purpose of this 6-month project was to initiate a more formal and visible way of incorporating sustainability into the design and construction of roads in Ireland in line with the National Road Authority’s (NRA) strategic objective of contributing to sustainable development. The project is based on the GreenRoads project developed in the US by CH2M-Hill and the University of Washington. GreenRoads is a sustainability performance rating system for roadway design and construction and is applicable to both new and reconstructed/rehabilitated roadways. The GreeenRoads system awards points to approved sustainable choices/practices and can be used to assess road project sustainability. The project will examine the current NRA operating procedures and provide a mechanism for identifying how sustainable they are, and how they can be improved from a sustainability point of view. This will assist in identifying the attributes which contribute to sustainability in road design and construction and communicating these attributes to stakeholders. Using the GreenRoad system, the NRA will be able to manage and ultimately enhance the sustainability of its operations.
The main objective of the proposal is to assess the sustainability of Irish roads and to indicate how current procedure and practices can be modified to enhance sustainability going forward. A secondary objective is to initiate the development of a sustainability rating system, in line with the GreenRoads system, to enable the NRA to assess and report on the sustainability of its road schemes.
The project produced a National Roads Sustainability Evaluation System that enables the Irish road authority to enhance the sustainability of road construction projects by identifying project attributes that contribute to the sustainability of roads. A sustainability accounting tool was also developed.