LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) applied to the construction of tunnel
LCA has already been applied to evaluate the potential impacts of tunnels on the environment. Indeed, this method which has been first developed for products and services is now usually used for buildings and turned out to be also very useful for other civil engineering structures like bridges and tunnels, and for public works. According to the Nordic Concrete Network, cited by the FIB in its guidelines for green concrete structures : “An environmentally sustainable concrete structure is a structure that is constructed so that the total environmental impact during the entire life cycle, including use of the structure, is reduced to a minimum. This means that the structure shall be designed and produced in a manner that is tailor-made for the use, i.e. to the specific lifetime, loads, environmental impact, maintenance strategy, heating needs, etc. This shall be achieved by utilizing the inherent environmentally beneficial properties of concrete, e.g. the strength, durability, and the thermal capacity. Furthermore, the concrete constituents shall be extracted and produced in an environmentally friendly manner.” That means that one can talk about “green tunnels” by addressing the choice of materials and the optimization of design and construction methods regarding the expected use.