Análisis del ciclo de vida: comparación entre dos puentes postesados óptimos de sección en cajón

Acaban de publicarnos un artículo en la revista del JCR (Q2) Sustainability que compara dos puentes postesados óptimos de sección en cajón atendiendo a su ciclo de vida. Creemos que la metodología empleada puede ser de interés para casos de estructuras de hormigón similares a las presentadas. El artículo forma parte del proyecto de investigación BRIDLIFE “Puentes pretensados de alta eficiencia social y medioambiental bajo presupuestos restrictivos“.

Os paso a continuación el resumen y el artículo propiamente dicho, pues está publicado en abierto.




The goal of sustainability involves a consensus among economic, environmental and social factors. Due to climate change, environmental concerns have increased in society. The construction sector is among the most active high environmental impact sectors. This paper proposes new features to consider a more detailed life-cycle assessment (LCA) of reinforced or pre-stressed concrete structures. Besides, this study carries out a comparison between two optimal post-tensioned concrete box-girder road bridges with different maintenance scenarios. ReCiPe method is used to carry out the life-cycle assessment. The midpoint approach shows a complete environmental profile with 18 impact categories. In practice, all the impact categories make their highest contribution in the manufacturing and use and maintenance stages. Afterwards, these two stages are analyzed to identify the process which makes the greatest contribution. In addition, the contribution of CO2fixation is taken into account, reducing the environmental impact in the use and maintenance and end of life stages. The endpoint approach shows more interpretable results, enabling an easier comparison between different stages and solutions. The results show the importance of considering the whole life-cycle, since a better design reduces the global environmental impact despite a higher environmental impact in the manufacturing stage.


sustainabilityenvironmental impactlife-cycle assessmentconstruction LCAbridge LCAReCiPe;sustainable construction


PENADÉS-PLÀ, V.; MARTÍ, J.V.; GARCÍA-SEGURA, T.;  YEPES, V. (2017). Life-cycle assessment: A comparison between two optimal post-tensioned concrete box-girder road bridges. Sustainability, 9(10):1864. doi:10.3390/su9101864 (link)

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Sustainable assessment of retaining walls through an active learning method considering multiple stakeholders

ABSTRACT: The sustainability approach has changed the modern society. Currently, the sustainability takes into consideration, not only the economic and environmental facets, but also the social facet. Taking into account the three facets of sustainability, this paper shows the application of a method of active learning to assess the sustainability of three real retaining walls. A group of 29 students of the Master of Science in Planning and Management in Civil Engineering at the Universitat Politècnica de València has experienced this assessment. The method followed was proposed by academics of the School of Civil Engineering of the Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain) and Universidad de La Frontera (Chile). An approach multi-criteria and a clusters analysis are part of method, which allows developing a participative process with different points of view about the sustainability. The outcomes show that of this way students can forecast impacts from of the integration of design, planning and the location context of the infrastructure. Result evidence that personal values of each student influences the election of the optimal alternative. The paper also identifies the need to strengthen the conceptualization of social criteria in the students training.

KEYWORDS: Infrastructure, Education, Cluster analysis, Analytic hierarchy process, Civil engineering, Sustainability


SIERRA-VARELA, L.; YEPES, V.; PELLICER, E. (2017). Sustainable assessment of retaining walls through an active learning method considering multiple stakeholders. Proceedings of the Ninth International Structural Engineering and Construction Conference, Valencia, Spain, July 24-July 29.  doi: 10.14455/ISEC.res.2017.51

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Special Issue “Sustainable Construction”

High visibility: indexed by the Science Citation Index Expanded, the Social Sciences Citation Index (Web of Science) and other databases. Impact Factor: 1.343 (2015)

Special Issue “Sustainable Construction”

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section “Sustainable Engineering and Science“.

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2017

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor

Prof. Dr. Víctor Yepes
Concrete Science and Technology Institute (ICITECH), Department of Construction Engineering and Civil Engineering Projects, Universitat Politècnica de València Valencia, Spain
Interests: multi-objective optimization; life-cycle assessment; decision-making; sustainability; concrete structures; CO2 emissions; construction management

Guest Editor

Dr. Tatiana García-Segura
Concrete Science and Technology Institute (ICITECH), Department of Construction Engineering and Civil Engineering Projects, Universitat Politècnica de València Valencia, Spain
Interests: multi-objective optimization; durability; safety; sustainability; post-tensioned bridges; maintenance; blended cement; recycled concrete

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This “Sustainable Construction” Special Issue comprises selected papers for Sustainability. Construction is one of the main sectors generating greenhouse gases. This industry consumes large amounts of raw materials, such as stone, timber, water, etc. Additionally, infrastructure should provide service over many years without safety problems. Therefore, their correct design, construction, maintenance and dismantling are essential to reduce economic, environmental and societal consequences. That is why promoting sustainable construction is becoming extremely important nowadays. This Special Issue is seeking papers that explore new ways of reducing the environmental impacts caused by the construction sector, as well promoting social progress and economic growth. These objectives include, but are not limited to:

  • The use of sustainable materials in construction
  • The development of technologies and processes intended to improve sustainability in construction
  • The optimization of designs based on sustainable indicators
  • The reduction of the economic, environmental and social impact caused by production processes
  • The promotion of durable materials that reduce the future maintenance
  • The life-cycle assessment
  • Decision-making processes that integrate economic, social, and environmental aspects

Papers selected for this Special Issue are subject to a rigorous peer-review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments and applications.


Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.


  • sustainable materials
  • life-cycle assessment
  • sustainable and efficient technologies and processes
  • design optimization
  • durable materials
  • maintenance minimization
  • decision-making

Sostenibilidad del mantenimiento de carreteras bajo presupuestos restrictivos


¿Es posible un mantenimiento sostenible de las carreteras cuando apenas existen presupuestos para ello?

A continuación os dejo el enlace a un artículo científico que nos acaban de publicar donde se muestra la posibilidad de utilizar técnicas de optimización heurística para conseguirlo.






Puedes solicitar una copia gratuita de este artículo en la siguiente dirección:



TORRES-MACHI, C.; PELLICER, E.; YEPES, V.; CHAMORRO, A. (2017). Towards a sustainable optimization of pavement maintenance programs under budgetary restrictions. Journal of Cleaner Production, 148:90-102.


Transport sector constitutes the second largest source of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, being the road transportation the main contributor of these emissions. Efforts in the road sector have traditionally focused on vehicle emissions and infrastructure is typically not included in the emissions account. Road environmental impact is estimated to increase by 10% if the stages of road design, construction, and operation were considered. Previous literature has widely study sustainable practices in pavement design and construction, with little attention paid to maintenance. Current state of practice reveals that pavement managers barely consider environmental performance and their evaluations solely rely on technical and economic criteria. This situation creates the need to incorporate, in an integrated manner, technical, economic, and environmental aspects in the design of maintenance programs. The main objective of this research is to develop a tool for the optimal design of sustainable maintenance programs. Given a maintenance budget, the tool aims to maximize the long-term effectiveness of the network while minimizing GHG emissions derived from the application of maintenance treatments. The capability of the proposed tool is analyzed in a case study dealing with an urban pavement network. In comparison to the traditional maintenance policy, the proposed tool designs maintenance programs that increase the average network condition by up to 22% and reduces GHG emissions by 12%. This application also analyzes the effect of different budgetary scenarios in the technical and environmental performance of the network. This application helps pavement managers in the trade-off between budget and network performance.


  • Greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Long-term effectiveness;
  • Optimization;
  • Sustainability;
  • Pavement management;
  • Sensitivity analysis

Aplicación de los métodos de decisión multicriterio al diseño sostenible de puentes

Puente en cajón postesado sobre el Turia (Quart de Poblet). Proyectado por Javier Manterola y construído por Dragados y Construcciones en 1991.

Actualmente existe una tendencia clara hacia la sostenibilidad en los proyectos de estructuras, para lo cual es necesario equilibrar los criterios que apoyan esta sostenibilidad: la economía, el medio ambiente y la sociedad. Estos pilares básicos presentan objetivos diferentes y habitualmente enfrentados entre sí. Esta realidad conduce hacia la necesidad de adoptar procesos de toma de decisiones que permitan alumbrar soluciones capaces de satisfacer, de la mejor manera posible, los principios de sostenibilidad citados. Los puentes forman parte de las infraestructuras básicas de comunicación entre los distintos territorios. Por lo tanto, constituye una necesidad ineludible garantizar la sostenibilidad de este tipo de estructuras a lo largo de su ciclo de vida.

A continuación se presenta un artículo recién publicado que tiene como objetivo principal revisar la aplicación de las técnicas de decisión multicriterio al caso de los puentes. Esta investigación se enmarca dentro del proyecto BRIDLIFE (BIA2014-56574-R), en el cual participan los autores. La revisión se ha realizado atendiendo a las fases del ciclo de vida del puente, teniendo en cuenta aquellos trabajos que proponen soluciones y realizan un proceso directo de toma de decisiones respecto a estas soluciones. Asimismo, también se han considerado aquellas aportaciones que, a pesar de no realizar una selección entre varias soluciones, aplican un método de toma de decisiones para evaluar una solución en particular. La relevancia de estos trabajos estriba en la forma en que se realizan los procesos de evaluación, los cuales constituyen la piedra angular para el proyecto de un puente desde el punto de vista de la sostenibilidad, atendiendo a todas y cada una de las fases de su ciclo de vida.

Este artículo lo podéis descargar en el siguiente enlace:, aunque también os lo dejo en el post para vuestra descarga directa.


Penadés-Plà, V.; García-Segura, T.; Martí, J.V.; Yepes, V. A Review of Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Methods Applied to the Sustainable Bridge Design. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1295.

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Evaluación del ciclo de vida de muros óptimos de contrafuertes

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.

NOTICIA: Hasta el 21 de diciembre de 2016 podéis descargaros gratis el artículo directamente en:

Aprovecha la oportunidad para no pagar los costes de descarga.


  • 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



Appraisal of infrastructure sustainability by graduate students using an active-learning method

file.FeedFileLoaderAppraisal of infrastructure sustainability by graduate students using an active-learning method


Currently many university programs in the construction field do not take sustainability into account from a holistic viewpoint. This may cause a lack of sensitivity from future professionals concerning sustainability. Academics in construction must endeavor to instill a culture of sustainability in the curricula of their students. Therefore, this study proposes an active-learning method that allows graduate students in the construction field to take into consideration infrastructure sustainability from a variety of perspectives in a participatory process. The students applied an analytical hierarchical process to determine the appraisal degree of each criterion. A cluster statistical analysis was carried out, aiming to identify the profiles that influence decision-making. This method was applied to two classes of graduate students enrolled in the Master of Planning and Management in Civil Engineering at the Universitat Politècnica de València. This method identified a correlation between the profiles toward sustainability and the characteristics of the chosen infrastructure. It was also found that the method fulfills educational purposes: most of the students obtained more than 65% of the target learning outcomes. This approach promotes awareness and sensitivity to different points of view of the sustainability in a participatory context. It can be replicated in other contexts so as to obtain appraisals regarding various criteria that help enhance decision-making.


  • Proposal of a method that allows students to consider infrastructure sustainability.
  • Participatory learning method that promotes integral sustainability.
  • Students profiles’ identification influencing decision making toward sustainability.
  • The profiles of evaluators influence the prioritization among alternatives.


PELLICER, E.; SIERRA, L.A.; YEPES, V. (2016). Appraisal of infrastructure sustainability by graduate students using an active-learning method. Journal of Cleaner Production, 113:884-896. DOI:10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.11.010

Os dejo a continuación la versión autor del artículo:

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A first approach: Towards a sustainable civil engineering works with precast concrete solutions

I section beam. One of the most common profiles to design and build the deck bridge
I section beam. One of the most common profiles to design and build the deck bridge

LÓPEZ-VIDAL, A.; YEPES, V. (2016). A first approach: Towards a sustainable civil engineering works with precast concrete solutions. II International Conference on Concrete Sustainability, ICCS16, 13-15 June 2016, Madrid (Spain), pp. 1134-1143. ISBN: 978-84-945077-7-9

Abstract. Most of the advances carried out to set standardized methodologies to quantify the contribution to “sustainabilize” the construction are linked to buildings rather than infrastructures, and much more in particular to housing [1]. Global impact on housing are the widest and highest one, gathering the three sustainable axis: environmental (greenhouse gas emissions derived from heating or cooling to reach indoor comfort conditions), social (home is a basic need for families) and economic (it usually represents the main expense over the life of people). Meanwhile civil engineering work has not evolved as long on this topic. Although we generally refer to greater constructions, sustainable impacts are more diffused and don´t have such a direct repercussion into the citizens and daily life. For this reasons, there is no as many literature and investigation as in housing. It may implies a technical and promotional handicap to promote a higher use of precast concrete elements in a field governed by engineers that appreciate better their performance advantages. This paper is intended to describe the strengths (and weaknesses) that precast concrete construction will have into the upcoming standards for civil engineering, in order to enhance their possibilities to reach a greater market share. Sustainable indicators on current draft standards will be assessed.

Key words: precast concrete, industrialization, sustainability, civil engineering works

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El profesor Dan M. Frangopol de estancia con nosotros en la Universitat Politècnica de València

Tenemos la gran suerte de contar con el profesor Dan M. Frangopol como profesor visitante en la Universitat Politècnica de València. Se trata de una estancia que solicitó nuestro grupo de investigación dentro del proyecto de investigación BRIDLIFE y que también ha sido apoyada por nuestra universidad. Es una magnífica oportunidad de poder colaborar en líneas de investigación que confluyen en la optimización multiobjetivo de estructuras a lo largo de su ciclo de vida. Ya estuvo nuestra investigadora Tatiana García Segura cuatro meses de estancia en la Universidad de Lehigh.

El curriculum y la trayectoria académica del profesor Frangopol es impresionante. Es el primer titular de la Cátedra Fazlur R. Khan de Ingeniería Estructural y Arquitectura de la Universidad de Lehigh, en Bethlehem, Pensilvania. Antes de incorporarse a esta universidad, fue profesor de ingeniería civil en la Universidad de Colorado en Boulder, donde ahora es profesor emérito. Sus líneas de investigación se centran en la aplicación de los conceptos probabilísticos y métodos de la ingeniería civil tales como la fiabilidad estructural, el diseño basado en la probabilidad y la optimización de edificios, puentes y barcos navales, vigilancia de la salud estructural, mantenimiento y gestión a lo largo de su ciclo de vida, gestión de infraestructuras en condiciones de incertidumbre, evaluación basada en el riesgo, sostenibilidad y resistencia a los desastres.

De acuerdo con el ASCE (Sociedad Estadounidense de Ingenieros Civiles) “Dan M. Frangopol is a preeminent authority in bridge safety and maintenance management, structural system reliability, and life-cycle civil engineering. His contributions have defined much of the practice around design specifications, management methods, and optimization approaches. From the maintenance of deteriorated structures and the development of system redundancy factors to assessing the performance of long-span structures, Dr. Frangopol’s research has not only saved time and money, but very likely also saved lives… Dr. Frangopol is a renowned teacher and mentor to future engineers.”

A parte de cuatro doctorados honoris causa, el profesor Frangopol presenta un índice h de 54 y más de 11900 citas (Google Scholar, 2015). Ha dirigido más de 40 tesis doctorales y ha sido profesor visitante en numerosas universidades de todo el mundo. Lo mejor es que veáis su currículum entero en su página web:

Os dejo a continuación los seminarios y conferencias que impartirá este mes en la Universitat Politècnica de València. Si tenéis alguna duda, me podéis enviar un correo electrónico. La entrada es libre. Os iré contando en sucesivos posts más sobre nuestra actividad este mes con el profesor Frangopol.

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Gestión sostenible de pavimentos

trr.2015.issue-2523.coverLa gestión sostenible de los pavimentos supone la integración de aspectos económicos, técnicos y medioambientales en la toma de decisiones. A continuación dejo el resumen y la referencia de un artículo que nos acaban de publicar al respecto. El enlace al artículo completo lo tenéis en la siguiente dirección:

Lo podéis solicitar también a la siguiente dirección:


Sustainability, which is founded on the reconciliation of economic, environmental, and social aspects, has become a major issue for infrastructure managers. The economic and environmental impacts of pavement maintenance are not negligible. More than $400 billion are invested globally each year in pavement construction and maintenance. These projects increase the environmental impacts of vehicle operation by 10%. Because maintenance should be technically appropriate, infrastructure managers must integrate technical, economic, and environmental aspects in the evaluation of maintenance alternatives over the life cycle of a pavement. However, these aspects are normally assessed in measurement units that are difficult to combine in the decision-making process. This research examined and compared methods for the integrated consideration of technical, economic, and environmental aspects, and this study aimed to assist highway agencies, researchers, and practitioners with the integration of these aspects for the sustainable management of pavements. For this purpose, a set of maintenance alternatives for asphalt pavements was evaluated. Methods for the integration of these aspects were explored and led to recommendations for the most suitable methods for different scenarios. As a result of this analysis, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is recommended when the number of alternatives is small. In these situations, the AHP leads to results that are similar to those of the weighting-sum and multiattribute approaches that are frequently used for intuitive selection. However, when the number of alternatives is large, pair comparison becomes difficult with the AHP and the weighting-sum method becomes more appropriate.

Figura 1
Efectividad de las diferentes alternativas de tratamiento


TORRES-MACHÍ, C.; CHAMORRO, A.; PELLICER, E.; YEPES, V.; VIDELA, C. (2015). Sustainable pavement management: Integrating economic, technical, and environmental aspects in decision making. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2523, Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., 2015, pp. 56–63. DOI: 10.3141/2523-07