CHANGER has been developed to enable a detailed environmental analysis of road projects by estimating the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions released in the course of a road construction project.
Fully compatible with the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommendations, the system contains data from 188 countries covering all global regions and income groupings.
The calculation model is based on a set of equations that enable accurate assessment of overall emissions (output) generated by each source that has been identified and quantified (input).
An exhaustive list of construction techniques and materials assists the user in selecting the most appropriate means of quantifying inputs and relative outputs.
CHANGER currently comprises two main modules: 1) Pre-construction 2) Pavement
The pre-construction module takes into account:
The pavement module takes into account:
Work is underway on complementing the existing pre-construction and pavement modules with a new module devoted to maintenance activities.
The calculator has been designed as a flexible tool that can suit the different users’ needs. The system allows users willing to perform a gross estimation for the "pre-project phase" to fill in only the relevant sections on the basis of the data available at that stage. Users who wish to have a comprehensive end-project assessment will have to fill in all the sections.
CHANGER provides a structured hierarchy for entering and managing data. Dropdown menus listing the options available allow easy selection from a list, entering, editing, deletion and sorting of data records. Data entry wizards are also built in to assist the user in entering all the required data.
Once assessed, the GHG emissions generated throughout the various stages of the road construction process are converted to carbon dioxide equivalent. Carbon dioxide equivalents are commonly expressed as "million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2Eq)".
CHANGER automatically generates comprehensive reports – either aggregated (total) or disaggregated (inherent to only one or more steps of the process) – that can be conveniently exported to Excel, Word, PDF and HTML.
Throughout the development of the project, the IRF has benefited from technical support from a wide range of industry and technical partners. This has been particularly invaluable for ongoing review and validation of the modelling approach and databases, as well as for testing and comparison. The LAVOC (Traffic Facilities Laboratory) of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne - EPFL) has analysed and validated both the quality and reliability of the databases and the calculation procedures.