Robbie Andrew

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Life-cycle energy and CO2 analysis of stormwater treatment devices


Environmental impacts associated with the construction, maintenance, and disposal of low-impact stormwater management devices are one aspect that should be considered during decision-making and life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a suitable method for quantifying such impacts.

This paper reports a pilot study that employs LCA to compare life-cycle energy requirements and CO2 emissions of two stormwater devices in New Zealand. The two devices are a raingarden servicing an urban feeder road, and a sand filter that could have been installed in its stead.

With an assumed life-time of 50 years, the life-cycle energy requirements of the built raingarden were almost 20% less than for the sand filter, while the CO2 emissions were 30% less.

Our analysis shows that given the difference between the infiltration rates used in the raingarden design (0.3 m/day) and measured during monitoring (3 m/day) there was potential to make significantly greater life-time savings using a smaller design for the raingarden that would have also met the treatment efficiency expectations. The analysis highlights the significant contribution of transportation-of both materials and staff-and ongoing maintenance to a treatment device's life-cycle energy and CO2 profiles.

Benefits of bioenergy

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Many options have been presented as cleaner alternatives to burning fossil fuels, but are they really cleaner? In these studies, Robbie Andrew and colleagues conduct detailed life-cycle energy, carbon emissions, and cost assessments of three proposed bioenergy options in New Zealand. Learn more »

How to build an MRIOT from GTAP

Glen Peters and colleagues lay out clearly the method for constructing a multi-regional input-output table using the GTAP (Global Trade Analysis Project) database. Learn more »

Sharing responsibility

The two prevalent approaches to allocating responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions – production and consumption perspectives – push responsibility to either end of the supply chain. In this study, Robbie Andrew and Vicky Forgie present the first national-level application of the shared responsibility perspective. Learn more »

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