A key element of the sustainability goals underpinning the highways sector is the need to reduce emissions from road construction and maintenance.

This case study will focus on the role of decarbonising road maintenance in the transition to a circular economy. A whole systems approach (energy and asset management) will be undertaken to explore the plans and strategies currently in place to reduce the negative impacts of maintenance operations by continuous improvements such as energy efficient materials and working practices as well as the contribution that could be made by generating clean energy from currently ‘unproductive’ road infrastructure to offset residual emissions.

We will use the framework from WP3 to assess energy management within the context of maintenance operations, identify gaps in knowledge and processes and evaluate the potential to boost circularity.

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Case Studies

Testing the validity of the risk-based analysis framework

Our case studies will test the validity of the risk-based approach developed in WP3 over a range of technical areas at different levels of development and maturity.

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Comparing maintenance options for asphalt pavements

Assessing the technical, economic and long-term environmental viability of preservation techniques, high-recycled content asphalt, and incorporation of waste resource streams as secondary materials

Investigation of recycling concrete technologies

Comparison of current practice with innovative methods for concrete recycling into high-end products

Decarbonising pavement maintenance

Applying a whole systems approach to assess options for decarbonisation