The objective of this research project is to conduct the qualitative and quantitative analysis on ten different sustainability rating tools for transportation projects to determine the most important sustainability determinants among the rating systems. The ultimate goal is to develop the framework of infrastructure sustainability rating system for California highways based on the sustainability determinants obtained from the qualitative and quantitative analysis. The unique nature of this project is to focus on the geographical, social, economic, and environmental aspects of California transportation projects. Several qualitative and quantitative assessment systems for infrastructure projects have been developed and under developing all over the world as a result of increasing interest in environmental assessments. These systems measure the sustainability of transportation projects or programs throughout their life cycles. With rising societal interest and their environmental effects of infrastructure projects, the use of quantitative rating systems is expected to grow even further. However, the lack of thorough and comprehensive research in this area is problematic, as it prevents transportation project teams from making reliable decisions in the best sustainability assessment tools for a given project. To address a gap in the extant research, the PI will conduct the qualitative and quantitative analysis on ten different sustainability rating tools to be used in the U.S. and develop a framework for California infrastructure sustainability rating system using the most important sustainability determinants among the rating systems. The PI will analyze credit score data from ten different rating tools for qualitative analysis, while conducting a survey with project planners, engineers, constructors, and policy-maker for quantitative analysis to assess their awareness of key high-performance sustainability requirements that are being built into the designs of transportation projects. The expected outcome will not only provide specific sustainable criteria for the development of California infrastructure sustainability rating system, but also it will enhance the sustainable strategies for the future transportation projects that may pursue the various certification in transportation projects.
California State University, Long Beach
The research outcome is to produce a high-quality qualitative and quantitative analysis results and the framework for development of sustainability rating systems for California transportation projects, which will be of great interest to the transportation agencies because it is applicable to new transportation projects in California. The research team will seamlessly continue the line of this research to fill the gap in the literature of the transportation sustainability rating systems.