Robbie Andrew

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Life-cycle energy and CO2 analysis of stormwater treatment devices


Abstract

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

conference report

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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