Structural Concrete, Vol. 12, no. 1, March 2011
Life cycle assessments of concrete structures - a step towards environmental savingsPetr Hajek, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic
Ctislav Fiala, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic
Magdalena Kynclova, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic
Considering the volume of concrete produced and the number of concrete structures built, the problem of the associated environmental impact forms a significant part of the entire global problem of sustainable development. Utilization of environmentally optimized concrete structures thus creates a potential for increasing the quality of construction and consequently a reduction of the environmental impact. A life cycle assessment (LCA) is a complex, multi-parametric assessment of the environmental impact of the structure over its whole life cycle. It covers, in one assessment process, all the essential environmental issues, including CO2 emissions, energy consumption, water consumption, waste generation, etc. In the case of concrete, selected criteria should support the design and construction of high-quality and at the same time environmentally friendly concrete structures. The principal problem is to collect relevant environmental input data for specific concrete types plus transport and production processes which can be used in the LCA procedure.