ER1 Project

Definition of Sustainability Assessment Factors and Current State-of-the-Art in Sustainable  Practices


Experienced Researcher

Stefanie Brodie

Stefanie is originally from Waterbury, CT USA.APA headshot

She graduated from the University of Maryland with a BS in Civil Engineering. She then began working at STV, Inc. in Baltimore, MD as a highway/bridge engineer.  When she was assigned to work at Maryland Transit Administration she discovered an interest in transportation planning.


Stefanie returned to graduate school at the Georgia Institute of Technology and gained dual master’s degrees in Transportation Engineering and City and Regional Planning. She continued at Georgia Tech and completed her PhD in Civil Engineering focusing on incorporating equity into transportation decision making for program development.

Her interests center on social aspects of sustainability, especially equity and transportation decision making. She concluded her postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Nottingham December 2016. Through this research, she contributed to the development of a methodology and software tool to assess the sustainability of roadway pavement and railways.


Definition of Sustainability Assessment Factors and Current State-of-the-Art in Sustainable  Practices


Tony Parry, University of Nottingham

Davide Lo Presti, University of Nottingham


Work Package 3 aims to produce a broad sustainability assessment tool tailored to product development in road and rail pavement that can assess and compare alternative products and approaches in practice, especially emerging products and approaches, to prioritize promising sustainable technologies. As ER1, Stefanie has the following objectives:


  • Determine current state-of-practice for sustainability assessment in road pavement and railtrack construction in the EU and USA to develop conceptual framework.
  • Identify and justify indicators for sustainability assessment of pavement and define data requirements for assessment.
  • Develop an analysis methodology for incorporation in the SUP&R ITN tool.
  • Benchmark current sustainable practices against those researched in ESR projects to validate tool.


The conceptual framework has been established, the default indicators for the tool have been identified and a weighting methodology has been defined for the tool. The final step of validating the tool will be conducted by ER2 and ER3.


Establish Conceptual Framework

Hierarchy of sustainability objectives. Starting with a general concept for sustainability, this framework breaks down the goal for sustainable pavements into actionable objectives. The final row (highlighted) are the objectives that should be achieved by improving sustainability. These “means objectives” can be considered the desired sustainability outcomes.


DPSIR Framework and Performance Management. This diagram describes a process that connects the responses to environmental impacts from industry/practice and sustainability objectives (means objectives). This is a framework that integrates the Drivers-Pressures-State-Impacts- Response model for environmental impacts and the performance management cycle. According to this framework, responses to environmental stimuli should be evaluated by how their impact relates to the means objectives.



Define Indicators

Indicator selection process.  This flowchart explains the process used to define indicators to evaluate sustainable outcomes for pavement. It begins with a state-of-the-art of current sustainability assessment tools. The indicators in these tools were used to collect a large set of potential indicators that were then categorized using the means objectives and further into subcategories based on similarities among indicators. Six criteria were then used to shortlist indicators. The indicators in the shortlist were then organized in a matrix accounting for the means objectives and lifecycle phase. Finally, a set of default indicators was selected by debating the universality of the indicators.

The default indicators were then reviewed by professionals and adjusted based on their feedback.

Develop Weighting Methodology

The tool will weight the indicators based on the means objectives that they address and their related subcategory. It will use two methods.

The Analytical Hierarchic Process (AHP) will incorporate stakeholder values. The tool will feature the option to conduct an AHP specific to the users and will also contain default weightings determined based on an AHP survey of industry professionals.

The Entropy Method will provide objective weightings. These weights will be calculated within the tool.

There will also be an option to set user defined weights or to apply equal weighting for all means objectives and subcategories.

Validate Tool

ER2 and ER3 will validate the tool by comparing a benchmark case study to the technologies from the ESRs.

Scientific Dissemination


Bryce, J., Brodie, S., Parry, T. Lo Presti, D. “A Systematic Assessment of Road Pavement Sustainability through a Review of Rating Tools.” Resources, Conservation & Recycling, In press.


Brodie, S., Bryce, J., Lo Presti, D., Parry, T. “Using LCA for Comprehensive Sustainability Assessment” Lectern Session at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Nantes, FR, 2016.

Bryce, J., Parry, T., Lo Presti, D., Flintsch, G. “Approaches to Weighting within Transportation Infrastructure Sustainability Assessment” Poster Session at the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board. Washington, DC, USA, 2016.

Work Package 3






LinkedIn: Stefanie Brodie

SUP&R ITN Social Media:

Twitter: @SUPeRITNLogo

Facebook: SUP&R ITN

LinkedIn: SUP&R ITN

Previous work was done on this project by James Bryce. ER1 concluded work December 2016.