Here’s How Asphalt Is Environmentally Friendly

If you’re considering investing in new pavement in the Saratoga Springs, NY, area, you’re probably worried about keeping up with green building recommendations and choosing the right materials. When it comes to pavement, sustainable asphalt is environmentally friendly. In everything from how it’s made to how it’s placed on the road, asphalt has minimal impact on the environment. Here are some things you should know about environmentally-friendly asphalt.

Sustainability

Along with requiring 20 percent less energy to make than other kinds of paving materials, asphalt is almost endlessly recyclable. When properly constructed, asphalt roads don’t wear out. They can be maintained by simply removing and replacing the top layer, which is a fast process and far less disruptive than complete reconstruction. The top layer can then be recycled into pavement that is just as good as new.

Compare all that to concrete pavement, which requires extremely expensive, time-consuming total removal and replacement, and it’s clear how much better an option environmentally-friendly asphalt is. The industry reclaims about 100 million tons of asphalt every year, and reuses or recycles about 95 million tons. In other words, asphalt is America’s number one recycled material. Other materials are even recycled into asphalt pavement!

Quick repairs

The ease with which asphalt can be repaired and maintained means that asphalt road maintenance causes far less traffic trouble than other kinds of road repair. In addition to cutting down on driver inconvenience, reducing the congestion that road repair so often causes means that asphalt results in fewer emissions to be produced by the cars that drive on it. This combined with the money saved by quick repairs makes asphalt very attractive for road construction.

Water quality

Importantly, studies have shown that asphalt pavement does not leach into the water supply. That means it has a lot of uses which would be impossible and dangerous for other materials that leach chemicals into water. For example, asphalt is often used to line drinking water reservoirs or to construct liners and caps for landfills. It makes an impermeable barrier, preventing leaks. Oregon and Washington even use asphalt to line their fish and wildlife agencies’ fish rearing ponds.

High environmental rating

The LEED Green Building Rating System is familiar to anyone who is in construction. There are many elements that go into a LEED rating, but pavement can contribute directly to a LEED score. There are many kinds of asphalt that will increase a LEED rating: asphalt made with recycled materials is eligible for credits under the materials and resources heading, porous asphalt systems earn credit for stormwater management, lighter colored asphalts are given credit for reducing the urban heat island effect and the list goes on. Asphalt is able to improve LEED credits more than any other paving material.

Environmentally-friendly asphalt in Saratoga Springs, NY

If you have a project that requires the use of sustainable asphalt in the Saratoga Springs, NY area, be sure to contact Asphalt Industries, LLC. From paving and sealcoating for expansive parking lots to providing excavation and drainage services before paving a lengthy private drive, we do it all. Contact us today to consult with one of our skilled professionals and get a quote.

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