WIT Press

Criteria And Methodology For An Indicator Of Energy Applied To Motorways


Free (open access)





Page Range

295 - 302




415 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


M. J. González Díaz & J. García-Navarro


The environmental impact of roadways is considered really important. Nevertheless, to establish a field of comparison some measures and parameters are needed. Those parameters allow, first, to establish sustainable criteria to develop new civil works, and secondly, they can suggest the best choice and options for any particular case. Sustainability itself and proper civil works are very complex concepts. The present methodology establishes criteria which allow unifying this complexity from a general point of view. As an example, this methodology will be applied to find out an indicator which measures the embodied energy along all the life cycle in the motorway. This indicator is open to be extended to and joined to other indicators, to reach the whole scope of sustainability. What is new in this methodology is the consideration of the motorway as a whole dimension and scope, to research its whole life cycle. This means that the aim is to include, in one single index, the embodied energy in the cycle of its whole useful life (project, construction, maintenance and demolition) and in the multiple aspects in which this index, including traffic, is appropriate. This considers the energetic consumption produced directly or indirectly by: - The act of construction and the materials used in highways, including tunnels and all structures, and extra services and toll facilities. - The energy utilized through management, periodic maintenance of all the previously mentioned elements and the energetic consumption of all vehicles that use the highway. - The energetic implication in the deconstruction or demolition of the highway, and the hypothetic recuperation of the natural space affected.


energy efficiency, methodology, indicator, motorways