Life cycle assessment of cost-optimized buttress earth-retaining walls: a parametric study

s09596526Nos acaban de publicar un artículo que versa sobre la evaluación del ciclo de vida de muros óptimos de contrafuertes. En este estudio se han analizado 30 muros optimizados de varias alturas (4-13 m), con terrenos de distintas capacidades portantes (0,2; 0,3 y 0,4 MPa). Os paso la referencia, el resumen y el enlace al artículo. Espero que os sea de interés.

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  • A life cycle assessment over 30 optimized earth-retaining walls is conducted
  • Concrete presents the highest contribution to all impact categories
  • Steel significance on every impact increases with wall size
  • The recycling rate influences each impact category to different degrees
  • Savings on abiotic resource depletion with 70% recycled steel are about 72%



In this paper life cycle assessments are carried out on 30 optimized earth-retaining walls of various heights (4–13 m) and involving different permissible soil stresses (0.2, 0.3 and 0.4 MPa) in Spain. Firstly, the environmental impacts considered in the assessment method developed by the Leiden University (CML 2001) are analyzed for each case, demonstrating the influence of the wall height and permissible soil stress. Secondly, this paper evaluates the contribution range of each element to each impact. The elements considered are: concrete, landfill, machinery, formwork, steel, and transport. Moreover, the influence of the wall height on the contribution of each element over the total impact is studied. This paper then provides the impact factors per unit of concrete, steel, and formwork. These values enable designers to quickly evaluate impacts from available measurements. Finally, the influence of steel recycling on the environmental impacts is highlighted. Findings indicate that concrete is the biggest contributor to all impact categories, especially the global warming potential. However, the steel doubles its contribution when the wall heights increase from 4 m to 13 m. Results show that recycling rates affect impacts differently.


Life cycle assessmentRetaining wallSustainability; Buttressed wall


ZASTROW, P.; MOLINA-MORENO, F.; GARCÍA-SEGURA, T.; MARTÍ, J.; YEPES, V. (2017). Life cycle assessment of cost-optimized buttress earth-retaining walls: a parametric study. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140:1037-1048. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.10.085



Sustainable design using multiobjective optimization of high-strength concrete I-beams

GARCÍA-SEGURA, T.; YEPES, V.; ALCALÁ, J. (2014). Sustainable design using multiobjective optimization of high-strength concrete I-beams. The 2014 International Conference on High Performance and Optimum Design of Structures and Materials HPSM/OPTI 2014, 9-11 June, Ostend, Belgium. WIT Transactions on The Built Environment, Vol 137, pp. 347-358. doi: 10.2495/HPSM140331 ISBN: 978-1-84564-774-2 / 1746-4498


imagesSustainable designs require long-term environmental vision. To this end, this study proposes a methodology to design reinforced concrete I-beams based on multiobjective optimization techniques. The objective funcions are the economic cost, the CO2 emissions, the service life, and the overall safety coefficient. The procedure was applied to a simply supported concrete I-beam including several high-strength concrete mix compositions. The solution of this 15 m beam was defined by a total of 20 variables. Results indicate that high-strength concrete is used for long-term solutions. Further, the economic feasibility of low-carbon structures remaining in service for long periods and ensuring safety is proven. This methodology is widely applicable to different structure designs and therefore, gives engineers a worthy guide to enhance the sustainability of their designs.


Multiobjective optimization, sustainability, high-strength concrete, I-beam, durability