KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 481–490 | Cite as

Life-cycle Assessment-based Environmental Impact Estimation Model for Earthwork-type Road Projects in the Design Phase

  • Jin-Young Park
  • Byung-Soo KimEmail author
Construction Management


To encourage environmentally friendly construction, reasonable data (such as Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) performance results) that determines the potential environmental impact of construction works should be provided during the decision-making process in the early design phase. However, it is difficult to acquire the data necessary to carry out an LCA prior to completing the design, so LCA is not typically used in the design phase. In order to overcome this limitation, this study developed an LCA-based environmental impact estimation model that uses the information available during the design phase to provide an estimate of the environmental impact of an earthwork-type road project. Earth, drainage, and pavement were defined as major work categories that have a significant effect on environmental impact and were accordingly made the focus of the developed model. The impact of the earthwork category was determined by case-based reasoning methodology, and the work quantity methodology using standardized cross sections was used to determine the impact of the drainage and pavement categories. Test results indicate that the proposed model provides a mean absolute error rate of 8.20%, demonstrating that it is valid and offers significant benefits for the early project estimation of environmental impact.


environmental impact LCA design phase road project standardized cross section 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aamodt, A. and Plaza, E. (1994). “Case-based reasoning: foundational issues, methodological variation and system approaches.” AI Communications, IOS Press, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 39–59.Google Scholar
  2. Bae, E. S. (2013). An analysis of the carbon dioxide emission from housing by Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), MSc Thesis, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea (in Korean).Google Scholar
  3. De Jong, K. A. (1975). Analysis of the behavior of a class of genetic adaptive systems, PhD Thesis, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.Google Scholar
  4. Ecoinvent (2015). “Ecoinvent version 3.”
  5. Elazouni, A. M., Ali, A. E., and Abdel-Razek, R., H. (2005). “Estimating the acceptability of new formwork systems using neural networks.” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, Vol. 131, No. 1, pp. 33–41, DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9364(2005) 131:1(33).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fonseca, M. and Fleming, J. (1998). “Multiobjective optimization and multiple constraint handling with evolutionary algorithms-Part I: A unified formulation.” IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics-Part A: Systems and Humans, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 26–37, DOI: 10.1109/3468.650319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Goldberg, D. E. (1989) Genetic algorithms in search, optimization and machine learning, Addison-Wesley Longman Publishing, Boston, USA.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  8. Holland, J. H. (1975). Adaptation in natural and artificial system, The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.Google Scholar
  9. Jeong, K., Ji, C., Koo, C., Hong, T., and Park, H. S. (2015). “A model for predicting the environmental impacts of educational facilities in the project planning phase.” Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 107, pp. 538–549, DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.01.027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jun, H. P. (2007). A study on the application method of life cycle assessment to evaluate environmental impact in construction, PhD Thesis, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea (in Korean).Google Scholar
  11. Kim, T. G. (2006). U-Can regression analysis, Human and Welfare, Seoul, Korea (in Korean).Google Scholar
  12. Kim, J. H. (2012). A revision method considering qualitative variables in a CBR based cost prediction model, MSc Thesis, University of Seoul, Seoul, Korea (in Korean).Google Scholar
  13. Kim, K. J., Yun, W. G., Cho, N., and Ha, J. (2017). “Life cycle assessment based environmental impact estimation model for pre-stressed concrete beam bridge in the early design phase.” Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Vol. 64, pp. 47–56, DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2017.02.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (KETTI) (2015). “Korea LCI database information network.”
  15. Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) (2015). “Korea LCI database for construction materials.”
  16. Korean Ministry of Environment (ME) (2003). Korean environmental impact assessment index methodology, Korea (in Korean).Google Scholar
  17. Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) (2011). Guide-line to assessment of CO2 emission for facilities, Korea (in Korean).Google Scholar
  18. Kwon, S. H. (2008). Development of assessment model for environmental economics of construction projects, PhD Thesis, Chung-ang University, Seoul, Korea (in Korean).Google Scholar
  19. Lee, J. H., Kim, K. J., Kim, E. W., and Kim, H. R. (2017). “Environmental load estimating model of NATM tunnel based on standard quantity of major works in the early design phase.” KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering, KSCE, Published Online August 1, 2017, DOI: 10.1007/s12205-017-1795-z.Google Scholar
  20. Liu, C., Ahn, C., An, X., and Lee, S. (2013). “Life-cycle assessment of concrete dam construction: Comparison of environmental impact of rock-filled and conventional concrete.” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, Vol. 139, No. 12, A4013009–1–11, DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0000752.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lounis, Z. and Daigle L. (2007). “Environmental benefits of life cycle design of concrete bridges.” Proc. 3rd International Conference on Life Cycle Management, Zurich, Switzerland, pp. 1–6.Google Scholar
  22. Min, S. G. (2013). A study on the establishment of an environmentalload reduction plan for airport pavement, MSc Thesis, Seoul National University of Science and Technology, Seoul, Korea (in Korean).Google Scholar
  23. Moon, J. S., Ju, K. B., Seo, M. B., and Kang, L. S. (2014). “Evaluation of environmental stress for highway construction project by life cycle assessment method.” Korea Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, KICEM, Vol. 15, No. 6, pp. 83–91, DOI: 10.6106/KJCEM.2014.15.6.083 (in Korean).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Park, J. Y., Lee, D. E., and Kim, B. S. (2018). “Development of environmental load-estimating model for road planning phase: focus on road earthwork.” KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering, KSCE, Vol. 22, No. 2, 459–466, DOI: 10.1007/s12205-017-0029-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Parrish, K. and Chester, M. (2014). “Life-cycle assessment for construction of sustainable infrastructure.” Practice Periodical Structural Design and Construction, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 89–94, DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE) SC.1943-5576.0000187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Seo, S. W. and Hwang, Y. W. (1998). “Life cycle CO2 assessment of residential building.” Journal of the Korean Society of Civil Engineers, KSCE, Vol. 18, No. II–5, pp. 521–529 (in Korean).Google Scholar
  27. Son, H. L. (2013). A study on life cycle assessment (LCA) and development of simplified LCA methodology in industrial steel frame building, MSc Thesis, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea (in Korean).Google Scholar
  28. Thiel, C., Stengel, T., and Gehlen, C. (2014). “Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of road pavement materials.” Eco-Efficient Construction and Building Materials, 2014, pp. 368–403, DOI: 10.1533/9780857097729.2.368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Treloar, G., Love, P., and Crawford, R. (2004). “Hybrid life-cycle inventory for road construction and use.” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, Vol. 130, No. 1, pp. 43–49, DOI: 10.1061/(asce)0733-9364(2004)130:1(43).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (2015). “Submission by the Republic of Korea Intended Nationally Determined Contribution.”
  31. Yue, H., Roger, B., and Oliver, H. (2008). “Development of a life cycle assessment tool for construction and maintenance of asphalt pavements.” Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 283–296, DOI: 10.1016/j.clepro.2008.06.005.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Korean Society of Civil Engineers and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of Civil EngineeringKyungpook National UniversityDaeguKorea

Personalised recommendations