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Comparative assessment of transportation sustainability rating systems




Oluwalaiye, Oluwatobi Temitope, author
Ozbel, Mehmet E., advisor
Olbina, Svetlana, committee member
Atadero, Rebecca A., committee member

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The construction industry contributes a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions to the environment. This highlights the need for this industry to implement sustainable practices to mitigate its negative effects. In the transportation sector of the construction industry, several transportation sustainability rating systems (TSRS) have been developed to measure and promote sustainability. However, studies show that these TSRS have not been developed within a consistent "sustainability scope". This raises the question of the consistency of these TSRS in measuring sustainability of transportation projects. This study assessed three prominent TSRS to determine how each measure sustainability with respect to the triple bottom line. The TSRS that are in the scope of this study are: ENVISION – a third-party rating system, INVEST – a self-assessed rating system and, GreenLITES – an in-house developed self-assessed rating system. The results show that these three rating systems assess and reward sustainability practices differently. Additionally, results suggest that it may be easier for a project to get awarded in GreenLITES compared to the other two TSRS. Notwithstanding all the above, a consistency was noted in all three rating systems in the Quality of Life/Social performance of projects. This study helps inform stakeholders in the transportation industry on how transportation projects perform when run through each of these rating systems. This will help stakeholders make informed decisions with respect to choosing one (or more) TSRS to assess their projects with and evaluating the results obtained from such TSRS.


Zip file contains the combined ratings report.

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transportation sustainability rating systems
triple bottom line


Associated Publications