Footprint is defined as the “measurement of how much land, water and natural resources a person, city, country or humanity as a whole requires to produce the resource it consumes”, (Edelman Darym). As the definition states, footprint is related to the needs of humanity, and every component of our lifestyles, as humans, contribute to it. Humans normally have different ways of living. The size of their footprint depends upon how they live. Even though not all the people live the same way, there are elements that everyone shares.
Nations, cities, and communities are designed with public features. These features are designed with the general population in mind. Even though not everyone will use them, there will always be an indirect relationship between people and the use of these features. Modern methods of transportation have made it possible for a person to live in America and to have an alarm clock made in China, while wearing clothes made in Italy. Or to have breakfast with Colombian coffee, lunch with a banana grown in Costa Rica, and chocolate from Switzerland made with Indonesian cacao.
This clearly states that transportation is the key to the modern lifestyle. Trains, cars, trucks, planes and boats are all ways in which humans transport goods. Each method of transportation has different applications and uses different types of systems. To sufficiently analyze the ecological effect of each method, every component of the system needs to be taken into consideration. The following study calculates the ecological impact of the construction, use and maintenance of a road segment, throughout its lifetime, by estimating CO2 emissions and energy and water consumption.
The primary intention of these studies is to determine the implications of building and using transportation systems, and its meaning in an ecological context. What was done? A model was created in an Excel Spreadsheet, to estimate different values of CO2 emissions and energy and water consumption of different aspects of construction and usage of pavement. The model uses data from a specific pavement segment located in the East zone of the Dominican Republic, which is part of Route No. 3 (Carretera Mella).
The data being used was taken from a thesis document named “Assessment of the Cayacoa-Quisqueya Roadway Segment (Evaluacion y Propuesta de Solucion al Deterioro del Tramo Vial Cruce de Quisqueya-Cruce de Cayacoa) written by, Efrain Morla Rafael Alcala and Dario E. Romero. Information about CO2 emissions and energy and water consumption related to the manufacturing of road materials, and the construction process were taken from different sources such as government web sites, books and published research reports. The pavement construction?
s ecological footprint was calculated by estimating the amount of fuel need to be burned in order to build individual components of the pavement (base, sub base etc. ). There are also materials needed that have been previously manufactured and the resulting ecological footprint was also estimated. Lifetime maintenance of the segment was also assessed as an ecological impact. In order to determine the ecological implication, as was done previously for the construction, CO2 emissions and energy and water consumption were estimated.
Different types of pavement and road maintenance (patching, inspection, cleaning, repainting etc) are taken into consideration. The final purpose of a roadway is to have vehicular traffic. Using traffic studies presented in the aforementioned thesis, the amount of vehicles using the road was determined. The type of vehicle using the road is also to taken into consideration. To determine the ecological impact of pavement use, fuel consumption was calculated.
Extra estimations were made under certain assumptions. Ecological impact caused by normal traffic was compared to the impact of a hypothetical situation where the vehicles traveling on the roadway were stopped for an hour on the pavement. The model was made to calculate the ecological footprint of a specific segment of the road, but this model can be used to estimate the impact of a different pavement segment with similar characteristics. Results One ton of CO2 occupies 531 cubic meters.
To produce one ton of CO2, a car would need to travel more than 1700 km, and an average Indian person would need one year to produce it. MJ (megajoules) is a unit used to measure energy, and is equal to about 0. 27778 kWh (kilowatt-hour). A kWh is the number of times 1000 watts of energy is used in an hour. To clarify, a normal refrigerator will work for a little bit more than 10 hours before it uses 1 kWh which means the refrigerator would need 3. 6 MJ. On average, a person drinks around 2. 2 liters of water per day.
This means, that in approximately 1 year and a quarter, one person consumes 1 m3 of water. With this basic information we can easily assess the results shown below: ? Construction As mentioned before, the footprint based on the pavement construction, was calculated by taking into consideration the footprint generated by operations and manufacturing of material needed. The CO2 emissions from the construction operations amounted to more than 760 tons while the material manufacturing resulted with more than 2000 tons.
Due to operations, the pavement construction consumed around 440 megawatts and more than 6,500 megawatts were consumed as a result of the material manufacturing. Water consumption due to operations accounted for more than 1,325 m3 of water. The material manufacturing resulted in consumptions of 9. 30 m3 of water. Construction Pavement Construction Process VS Material Manufacturing Maintenance CO2 emissions due to operations resulted in 71 tons. Due to material manufacturing the emissions rose to more than 350 tons.
Energy consumption, due to operations, resulted in 41 megawatts and material manufacturing resulted in 1,083 megawatts. Water consumption, due to operations, resulted in an even larger number with a value of 124. 67 m3, whereas water consumption due to material manufacturing resulted in only 0. 27 m3. It is important to point out that those results are related to the maintenance of the road during its entire lifetime. In this case the assumed lifespan was 15 years. Pavement Maintenance Construction Process VS Material Manufacturing