Guidebook for Selecting and Implementing Sustainable Highway Construction Practices

A number of state departments of transportation (DOTS) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are exploring how best to integrate the principles of sustainability--meeting human needs for the present and future while preserving and restoring environmental and ecological systems, fostering community health and vitality, promoting economic development and prosperity, and ensuring equity between and among population groups and over generations--into their agency missions and operations (NCHRP Report 708: A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies, TRB, 2011). Under pressure from diminishing natural and economic and natural resources, ". . . using sustainable approaches in transportation will allow us to continue to enhance quality of life and serve the transportation needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs" (Federal Highway Administration's Sustainable Highways Self-Evaluation Tool INVEST. Significant progress has been made on developing and applying sustainability rating and scoring systems that apply to the continuum of a department of transportation's (DOT's) programs and activities, with most of the emphasis placed on decision making during the planning, programming, and design phases of a highway construction project. Relatively little progress, however, has been made on determining how sustainability can be integrated into highway construction means and methods.In the building construction industry, materials, means, and methods have been brought together under the common umbrella of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification program. (The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official's (AASHTO's) Center for Environmental Excellence lists numerous resources devoted to all aspects of sustainability, but few deal explicitly with construction means and methods. The Green Highways Partnership promotes a system called Greenroad™ that contains construction elements but is predominately focused on design. The New York State DOT's "GreenLITES" program is a comprehensive effort but with a focus on planning and design. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation currently uses a program called "GreenPave" that includes construction means and methods but is limited to pavement projects. There are other rating systems, including FHWA's INVEST that give limited attention to construction means and methods. Research is needed to identify sustainable highway construction practices for transportation projects, and to provide guidance on how to evaluate the effectiveness of these practices during construction. The objective of this research is to identify effective sustainability practices that can be implemented during the construction of highway projects and prepare a guidebook that can be used by DOTs, other transportation agencies, consulting engineers, and construction contractors, to aid them in identifying, evaluating, and selecting sustainable construction practices. The guidebook should also provide guidance on how to evaluate the relative costs and benefits of implementing various sustainability practices during construction.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $475000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 10-91

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Sundstrom, Lori

  • Performing Organizations:

    Parsons Brinckerhoff

    2545 Farmers Drive, Suite 350
    Columbus, OH  United States  43235
  • Principal Investigators:

    Meyer, Michael

  • Start Date: 20130422
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20150422
  • Source Data: RiP Project 38354

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01548177
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 10-91
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 18 2014 1:00AM