Ipwea 2016 Sustainability Paper


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S Camarena (1)1Factor Ten, Vic

This paper summarises the latest research in the context of national and international asset climate resilience and life-cycle costs assessment trends. Based on Australian on-the-ground experience, it proposes a step by step approach to sustainable unsealed roads maintenance.

The realities of operating "as we always have" changed and maintaining roads in a world of finite resources requires a circular view of the work. This pushes all involved in public works to consider rejuvenating the road by re-cycling in-situ material, stabilising with environmentally friendly additives and ensuring quality water run off. The benefits need to be calculated over the life cycle of the asset and include externalities. However with ongoing cuts to their budgets, raw materials increasing cost and growing road users expectations, asset managers struggle to move out of the day to day priorities to establish more resilient and sustainable maintenance regimes. A series of case studies and research papers were conducted demonstrating the ability to use an environmentally friendly polymer-based product to stabilise unsealed roads with significant financial results (70% cost reduction over 5 years), environmental savings (90% carbon emissions, 80% water usage) and structural benefits (increased density, strength, elasticity and toughness). 

Collaboration between suppliers, local councils, universities, engineering and mining companies provided insights on how to integrate the use of innovative products and methods, and the ability to present a business case for the long-term financial, operational and environmental benefits.The results point to increased financial and climate resilience for the maintenance of the assets demonstrating that it is possible to cut the costs of the maintenance programme whilst improving the pavement performance. The demonstrated leadership also paid off in the level of innovation and collaboration shown by the teams involved and how they significantly reduced the environmental impacts of their activities.

Link to full Paper Here

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