Industry News




05/22/2012

Stiffer Pavement for Fuel Savings and Sustainability

 
Stiffer pavement options may provide a sustainable and cost-effective solution.

A study released by civil engineers at MIT displays the potential of using stiffer pavements on the nation’s roads. The figures are significant, showing a reduction in fuel consumption of as much as 3% - adding up to about 273 barrels of crude oil per year or $15.6 billion at today’s prices.  It would also reduce CO2 emissions by 46.5 million metric tons per year.

The study is the first to use mathematical modeling rather than roadway experiments to look at the effect of pavement deflection on vehicle fuel consumption across the entire U.S. road network.

By modeling the physical forces at work when a rubber tire rolls over pavement, the study's authors, Professor Franz-Josef Ulm and PhD student Mehdi Akbarian, conclude that because of the way energy is dissipated, the maximum deflection of the load is behind the path of travel. This has the effect of making the tires on the vehicle drive continuously up a slight slope, which increases fuel use.

The deflection under the tires is similar to that of beach sand underfoot: With each step, the foot tamps down the sand from heel to toe, requiring the pedestrian to expend more energy than when walking on a hard surface. On the roadways, even a 1% increase in aggregate fuel consumption leaves a substantial environmental footprint. Stiffer pavements — which can be achieved by improving the material properties or increasing the thickness of the asphalt layers, switching to a concrete layer or asphalt-concrete composite structures, or changing the thickness or composition of the sublayers of the road — would decrease deflection and reduce that footprint.

"We're wasting fuel unnecessarily because pavement design has been based solely on minimizing initial costs more than performance — how well the pavement holds up — when it should also take into account the environmental footprint of pavements based on variations in external conditions," Akbarian says. "We can now include environmental impacts, pavement performance and — eventually — a cost model to optimize pavement design and obtain the lowest cost and lowest environmental impact with the best structural performance."

The researchers say the initial cost outlay for better pavements would quickly pay for itself not just in fuel efficiency and decreased CO2 emissions, but also in reduced maintenance costs.

"There's a misconception that if you want to go green you have to spend more money, but that's not necessarily true," Akbarian says. "Better pavement design over a lifetime would save much more money in fuel costs than the initial cost of improvements. And the state departments of transportation would save money while reducing their environmental footprint over time, because the roads won't deteriorate as quickly."

"This work is not about asphalt versus concrete," Ulm says. "The ultimate goal is to make our nation's infrastructure more sustainable. Our model will help make this possible by giving pavement engineers a tool for including sustainability as a design parameter, just like safety, cost and ride quality."

 


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality. 

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality. 

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


 
comments powered by Disqus
07/24/2015

Nearly 25% of workers don’t know proper safety procedures for emergency situations.

07/23/2015

Better Buildings Challenge to help FMs replace troffer fixtures for efficiency improvements.

07/22/2015

Environmentally friendly buildings can improve occupant wellbeing. 

07/21/2015

Performance ratings now available for thermal, weather, and air barriers.

07/20/2015

Survey finds over half of employees are frequently unhappy with office temperature.

07/17/2015

State stays on track to achieve greenhouse gas reduction target.

07/16/2015

Lighting, acoustics rated as top concerns.

07/15/2015

Study shows health risks to long periods of standing.

07/14/2015

Social media giant selects wind energy.

07/13/2015

Global capacity increases to 1,712 GW.

07/10/2015

Mass killings may inspire similar acts of violence.

07/09/2015

Regulation will reduce waste, improve use of sustainable products.

07/08/2015

Alternative certification path to improve sustainability in California buildings.

07/07/2015

Development could improve solar capacity, storage.

07/06/2015

Regulation will reduce GHG emissions, incentivize the use of greener refrigerants.

07/02/2015

Sustainable parking leaders recognized.

07/01/2015

Design ‘scatters’ sound without affecting aerodynamics.

06/30/2015

Survey shows lack of concrete commitment to efficiency improvements.

06/29/2015

Guideline will protect building water systems.

06/26/2015

Development could mitigate urban heat island effect.

Page 1 of 55
FirstPrevious[1]2345678910NextLast

Sponsored Links