Life cycle approach for Kerbing in Wakefield, UK
Wakefield Metropolitan Council traditionally used pre-cast concrete kerb edgings when building or maintaining its 1,400km road network. The Council recognised there may be an opportunity to use alternative products that would lessen the risk of injury to its staff, make use of waste material that would otherwise end up in landfill sites, and provide a better service to its road users by reducing road disruption time.
By using whole life costing principles, the Council determined that a product called Durakerb offered better value for money than comparable cheaper traditional products, despite a 235% higher purchase price. This whole life costing approach took account of delivery, use, and disposal costs, in addition to the purchase price. The Council also identified the potential social, environmental and economic impacts and costs throughout the product’s lifecycle when evaluating the range of products offered by suppliers.
The Council used an output performance specification when requesting supplier tenders for kerbing. Instead of tightly specifying the traditional pre-cast concrete kerb edging, the performance based specification enabled a proposal for the lightweight Durakerb edging made from entirely recycled materials to be considered. The lightweight construction improved health and safety associated with manual lifting and vibration from cutting and shaping as well as the need for lifting machinery while the product also improved durability.
Environmentally, the use of Durakerb also enabled a 73% reduction in carbon emissions from transportation of the kerbs, due to much lower weight and the ability to transport 1248 units of Durakerb per load rather than 364 units of traditional concrete (247kgCO2e rather than 925kgCO2e) while embodied carbon per unit was also 17% less (8.7kgCO2e rather than 10.5kgCO2e).
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