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Energy Conservation in Road Pavement Design, Maintenance and Utilisation (ECRPD)

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During the three year duration of the ECRPD project, energy usage on road pavements over their lifespan were examined i.e. from the manufacture of materials, construction, maintenance and the energy used by vehicles on the road. Roads in each of the partner countries were assessed. Different pavements, including those constructed with new ‘low energy’ materials, were assessed. The energy used in different maintenance regimes for each of the pavements and the impact on vehicles energy as the road deteriorates were evaluated. A software programme, ‘Joulesave 2’, was produced which operates with the MX Suite Road Design Package. The software evaluates the energy used to construct a particular road alignment and the energy used by vehicles on the road, taking into account the effect of road deterioration on the vehicles’ energy.


  • A software programme which calculates the energy used to construct and maintain a road and also the energy used by vehicles on the road over a 20 year lifetime.
  • A reduction in the amount of energy used in the life of a road; the software programme can help to determine when a road should be maintained from an energy point of view.
  • Implementation of the findings of the report into road planning guidelines by the Roads Administrations in two of the partner countries.

Lessons learned

  • Energy savings of up to 47% in road construction, up to 20% in road operation and up to 30% in road maintenance are achievable by evaluating the energy implications of a road alignment in the planning stages of a scheme. The analysis can be quickly and easily carried out using the ‘Joulesave 2’ software.
  • There is a high level of interest in this topic in the National Roads Authorities of the partner countries and a determination to implement the findings of this study into the road planning process. It became clear during the project that energy considerations are a high priority among these organisation and that efforts are being made to address energy use on roads.
  • Low energy materials and low energy maintenance methods are becoming increasingly popular and are now commonly used in each of the partner countries.

Partners and coordinator

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Waterford County Council, Civic Offices
Contact point: 
Ray Butler
00353 51 390130


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In brief

01/01/2007 to 31/12/2009
Contract number: 

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