Great news for Asphalt Contractor readers, Cygnus Construction Network is launching a new digital magazine, Sustainable Construction, in December. Sustainable Construction, will focus on helping contractors better understand and embrace sustainable construction practices. Sustainability is not just an environmental benefit, it holds significant economic and social value as well.
According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), "Long before 'sustainability' became an eagerly pursued part of the American business plan, the asphalt industry initiated research and field practices that have constantly enhanced the viability of asphalt as an environmentally-sound building material."
Asphalt is the most recycled material in America. Approximately 100 million tons of old pavement material is reclaimed annually, with 60 million tons reused in new asphalt pavements and 40 million for other pavement-related applications like road base.
According to NAPA, powering the trend for recycling/reusing asphalt is economics. Decades of research and engineering have improved the cost efficiency of converting old asphalt into a reusable resource that has tangible value. It's estimated that 18 billion tons of asphalt pavement are already in place on U.S. roads, streets and highways. Today, pavement engineers, government agencies and contractors regard old asphalt as an asset, not waste, and the trend to recycling and reuse continues to gain momentum as a result.
The industry continues to develop other technologies that reduce air emissions including greenhouse gases and other contributors to climate change. These technologies include warm mix asphalt, with lower emissions due to reduced temperatures, and long life pavements that reduce greenhouse gas emission by reducing the frequency of repair and replacement.
Past, current and future advancements in asphalt as an environmentally sustainable paving material are vitally important to the overall economic health of America. According to NAPA, 94% of the 2.6 million miles of paved roads in the United States are surfaced with asphalt, and sustaining that valued resource can generate significant gains.
Sustainable construction is the right thing to do to protect our environment today and tomorrow, and conserve valuable resources for future generations. And while the construction industry could find social comfort in that alone, sustainable construction can and will generate a profitable return on investment for those who choose to participate. Sustainable Construction, will show you why it's important and how to profitably get involved.
Greg Udelhofen, editor, Asphalt Contractor
For more information on Sustainable Construction, contact Editor Michelle EauClaire.