Durability

Composite is demonstrably better for our environment.
But let us not jump to conclusions on the basis of environmental studies.

Politicians, environmental organizations, companies and sector organizations are closely involved in drawing up the various ‘environmental labels’. It may be a long time before the environmental impact of all products and processes will be transparent. Read the article by Ben Drogt.

We must not jump to conclusions on the basis of environmental studies. It is essential to not just look at the sustainability of the product (i.e. the bridge deck), but also take into account the impact of environmental nuisance, construction time, equipment use, the total costs (including foundation) etc. A sound and objective starting point is the research published in 2013 by the engineering firm Ingenieursbureau Rotterdam, called ‘Ontwerpen van duurzame bruggen, handleiding voor een milieubewust ontwerp van parkbruggen’ (‘Designing sustainable bridges, a manual for an environmentally conscious design of park bridges’).

Ontwerpen van duurzame bruggen, handleiding voor een milieubewust ontwerp van parkbruggen [PDF].
(‘Designing sustainable bridges, a manual for an environmentally conscious design of park bridges’).
The list below shows the most important studies. Although we have to be careful not to draw premature conclusions, almost all results show that composite is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional materials such as steel and concrete.

Environmental considerations to structural material selection for a bridge
Ryszard A. Daniels/RWS, March 2003 [PDF]

Technische innovaties voor het verlagen van integrale kosten en milieubelasting (Technical innovations for reducing integral costs and environmental impact)
D. Ros/RWS, May 2003 [PDF]

Vergelijkende LCA studie bruggen (Comparative LCA study bridges)
Agentschap NL/Beco, May 2009 [PDF]

Focus op duurzaamheid in het GWW-aanbestedingsproces, een verkenning (Focus on sustainability in the GWW tender process, an exploration)
RWS/ProRail/CROW/e.a., October 2010 [PDF]

Bridge decks of fibre reinforced polymer (FRP): a sustainable solution
V. Mara, R. Haghani, P. Harryson/Chalmers University Gotenborg, June 2013 [PDF]

Vergelijkende LCA studie bruggen (Comparative LCA study bridges)
Agentschap NL/Beco, September 2013 [PDF]

Ketenanalyse composietbrug (Chain analysis composite bridges)
Primum/IV-groep, September 2013 [PDF]

Ontwerpen van duurzame bruggen, handleiding voor een milieubewust ontwerp van parkbruggen (Designing sustainable bridges, manual for an environmentally-friendly design of park bridges)
Ingenieursbureau Rotterdam, 2013 [PDF]

R&D and LCA across the supply chain: Choice of Unsaturated Polyester Resins for cc-GRP Pipe Systems
Marcin Pazdro, Thomas Simoner, Victor Vladimirov/Reichhold AS/Hobas Enginee, May 2014 [PDF]