Green Construction? Think Asphalt
A report from the National Asphalt Pavement Association and the Federal Highway Administration shows that in 2011 asphalt recycling prevented the use of 21.2 million barrels of liquid asphalt binder. This not only spared the environment it also saved the taxpayers about $2.2 billion. The savings occurred due to a commitment to using recycled materials in new construction and the used of an energy saving warm-mix asphalt. These innovative techniques reached record highs in 2011 according to the report.
The survey showed that 66.7 million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement and 1.2 million tons of reclaim asphalt shingles were collected for future construction. Reclaimed asphalt pavement allows old roads to be mined for raw materials. Almost 100 percent of reclaimed asphalt went into new projects or pavement rehab.
Almost 20 percent of asphalt produced in the United States in 2011 fell into the category of warm-mix asphalt technology. Warm-mix asphalt creates pavement at lower temperatures. This means less energy consumption to produce the asphalt and fewer emissions during the production and paving processes.
Advances in asphalt are making this pavement material not only less expensive but also more environmentally friendly. environmentally friendly.