What Is Green Paving?
A Sustainable Solution
Asphalt pavement is a permanent resource that will never be consumed. It will never be burned for fuel. It will never emit greenhouse gases. The carbon has been sequestered, unavailable to enter the atmosphere. The asphalt roadway can be reused and recycled over and over again.
An asphalt pavement can be made very smooth which lowers a vehicle’s fuel consumption, saving money and reducing noxious car exhaust emissions.
A porous pavement looks similar to conventional asphalt but has tiny pores that allow the water to drain directly through it. Rather than having rainwater and snow-melt become contaminated runoff, which may also contribute to flooding, porous asphalt lets the water enter the soil directly. Earth's natural hydrology both filters the water and stores it for a controlled release over time.
When a road needs to be re-paved the first step is to grind off the old asphalt. This process is called milling. You may have driven on the rough surface left behind after milling and before new asphalt has been laid down. Some of this reclaimed pavement material is recycled into shoulders and road base, but by far the most is reused for its original purpose.
When used for parking lots, roads, walking/biking paths, and other applications, porous pavements can turn runoff into infiltration and restore the hydrology of a site or even improve it. Porous pavements conserve water, replenish aquifers, and protect streams.
Warm mix technologies result in an asphalt that can be placed on the roadway at reduced temperatures. This results in a reduction of fuel needed to heat the asphalt mix. Since most emissions from asphalt plants are produced from the combustion of fuel to heat the aggregates, when fuel usage decreases, emissions decrease. Cooling of warm mixes is slower than cooling of hot mixes. This characteristic makes warm mix appropriate for paving in cooler weather.