Environmental Benefits (LEED)
Asphalt mixtures are a critical infrastructure building material. They consist of a blend of approximately 95% stone and sand, which is heated, dried, and bound together by bituminous binder (asphalt). Asphalt mixtures are used to pave roadways, highways, airfields, parking lots and driveways.
The asphalt industry reuses and recycles nearly 100 million tons of its own product every year, making it America’s number one recycler. Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) actually reduces the amount of virgin asphalt cement needed for constructing new roadways. Other materials – including rubber from used tires, glass, and asphalt roofing shingles – are recycled into asphalt pavements.
Smooth asphalt roads give vehicle tires superior contact with the road, improving safety.
Perpetual Pavements constructed from asphalt are the ultimate in sustainability. When appropriately designed and constructed, the road itself doesn’t wear out.
In congested conditions, cars and trucks consume fuel and produce excess greenhouse gases. Asphalt’s speed of construction allows planners and managers a way to fix congestion hot spots and bottlenecks, quickly and cost-effectively.
Drinking water reservoirs are often lined with asphalt, and asphalt cement is used to line water pipes that supply potable water to humans.
Emissions from asphalt plants, including greenhouse gases, are very low and well-controlled that the EPA removed asphalt plants from its list of major sources of hazardous air pollutants.
Definitive studies sponsored by government agencies show that pavement smoothness can reduce fuel consumption. When vehicles consume less fuel, they produce lower emissions. Also, because asphalt pavements are perpetual, less energy is consumed in maintenance and reconstruction. Asphalt pavement is a permanent resource that will never be consumed and will never emit greenhouse gases. Instead, it can be reused and recycled over and over again.
As concern for our environment grows, sustainable materials like asphalt and new production technologies are becoming even more important to the environment and the economy. A new technology has been developed to lower the production and placement temperatures of hot-mix asphalt (HMA). Generically, these technologies are referred to as warm-mix asphalt (WMA).
Warm-mix is an important step in sustainable development: it conserves natural resources, reduces the carbon footprint of the industry, and improves the quality of the pavements that Americans rely on. We are committed to implementing technologies that support a cleaner, greener environment, now and for future generations. We support the use of warm-mix technologies and are aggressively working towards being able to supply this new and innovative technology into all of the markets that we serve.