Sustainable Roads | about the project
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About Sustain Euro Road

One of the main objectives of the European Union for the current decade is to boost a more sustainable growth and hence to achieve specific goals: 20% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in comparison with 1990s levels, 20% increase in energy efficiency and 20% of energy from renewables.

Current figures need to be improved specially in the road construction sector which alone is responsible for more than 5% of GHG emissions generated in Europe (i.e. double of emissions emitted by aircrafts). However, road industry is developing technologies, products and procedures able to reduce greenhouse emissions, energy consumption and natural resources used for the construction and maintenance of the road network in Europe.

Approximately 90% of the work related to road infrastructure covers maintenance, reconstruction and upgrade of the network, while only 10% consists of building new roads mainly in new member states. With a major part of the network built in the 1950s and 1960s and the need to ensure an infrastructure with a minimum safety and sustainable standards, work related to maintenance and upgrade will increase in coming years. These works which aim at improving mobility must minimize the environmental impact and being much more efficient.

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Objectives

The project aims at limiting the impact of industrial activities on climate change. It will assist to the European and National Authorities to reinforce the legislation, paving the way for a sustainable and harmonised approach in the road construction sector. In parallel, the industry will have a unique tool to optimize costs while improving quality of the road network.

A significant environmental improvement is expected to achieve compared to existing patterns. The ultimate objective of the project will make maintenance and construction of roads more sustainable achieving Europe2020 targets by:

 

 

 

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Reducing consumption of energy, including fossil fuel as well natural resources

 

 

 

road-s-iconReducing GHG emissions linked to road building and maintaining processes and the preservation of natural resources

Concept

Nowadays, construction and maintenance of roads are performed considering only technical conditions without giving a main role to the environmental impact. The SustainEuroRoad LIFE Project proposes to create, validate and implement an innovative software to evaluate and reduce the environmental impact of road construction and maintenance in Europe.

Considering the engineering divergences in the EU road network, the consortium will consequently validate the new software on different infrastructures and environments. SustainEuroRoad will be tested in four real scenarios (i.e. France, Germany, Hungary, Spain) under different technical requirements (new road vs renovation, motorways vs ordinary road) and meteorological conditions (Atlantic in France, Continental in Hungary and Germany, Mediterranean in Spain).

Once properly validated, the software could be used in the technical specifications of every work on roads in Europe, implying a significant improvement for the sector promoting sustainability which main results will be the reduction of 37% of energy consumption, 31% of CO2 emissions and 70% of natural resources.

The future SustainEuroRoad software will hence be a unique tool for stakeholders to complete a real assessment for the environmental of road activities optimizing public funding. Especially in public procurement processes the new tool will allow public authorities to move away from the ‘cheapest price’ model and select solutions that are cost-effective based not only on price but also on the tender’s environmental performance.

On the other hand, this will incentivise the road infrastructure industry to roll out further innovations in the market with a view to making road infrastructure construction and maintenance greener.