Applying Sustainability in Life Cycle Phases 2, 3, and 4: Refinements

The purpose of refinements is to promote sustainability across all of the Core Values throughout the development, design, and construction of projects.

These lists are the starting point for Project Leadership Teams, Technical Teams, and Project Staff. Additional measures should be considered and added specific to the projects and the surrounding context. Teams should seek to scale the refinements to achieve excellence for their projects.

Alternative Refinement (Life Cycle Phase 2, 3, and 4)

Project Development (Life Cycle Phase 2):
When an alternative has been determined to best meet the purpose and need for the project, refinements should be considered that improve the alternative’s sustainability, support local objectives, and increase the environmentally friendly nature of the alternative.

These goals may be characterized by minimal disruption of ecological processes, maximum conservation of materials and energy, or added value through partnerships that complete local projects or objectives.

Planning and Design Refinement Considerations (Life Cycle Phases 2 and 3):

  • Decrease direct impacts to resources:
    • Increase the permeability of the project for wildlife.
    • Move the alignment or lessen the footprint of improvements.
    • Consider large relocations for damaged resources.
  • Decrease impacts to local businesses.
  • Form partnerships with agencies, local governments, non-profit organizations, or private businesses to further or complete projects and objectives.
  • Develop, improve, or distribute education materials related to the project area and resources available.
  • Reduce energy consumption by improving local roadways or non-motorized options.
  • Incorporate reduced maintenance options.
  • Research and utilize pavement technologies for increased pavement life.
  • Increase the use of locally produced materials.
  • Maximize the use of recycled materials.
  • Increase the use of renewable energy.
  • Reduce energy consumption with high-efficiency lighting fixtures.
  • Use native landscaping materials available locally.

Construction Refinement Considerations (Life Cycle Phase 4):

  • Reduce impacts to local businesses during construction.
  • Provide on-site recycling and trash collection.
  • Track water use during construction.
  • Reduce fossil fuel use with efficient equipment.
  • Reduce equipment emissions.
  • Provide environmental and safety training.