A Great Tool for Sustainable Roads

There's a lot of talk about green roads and green paving. Many of you in the asphalt industry already perform sustainable practices – warm mix asphalt, full-depth reclamation (FDR) and recycled asphalt shingles (RAS) are just a few ways asphalt contractors are "going green."

After reading an article today that suggested the industry should adopt a road rating system similar to the LEED system used for buildings, I did some research. Last spring I wrote an article on Illinois' sustainable rating system, I-LAST. In that article, there was some information on a program that was getting some traction at the national level, INVEST.

Here's a great website from the FHWA all about sustainable roads and green paving – what it is and why you should care. While in its pilot stage (none of this is required yet), INVEST is a collection of sustainability best practices, called criteria, intended to help transportation practitioners measure sustainability in highway projects. The purpose of this website tool is to identify these criteria, to assist organizations in researching and applying those criteria, and to establish an evaluation method to measure the benefits and progress of sustainable highway projects.

The Pilot Test Version of INVEST has two project scorecards for evaluation of projects. The website has been set up to enable selection of the project type which pre-identifies applicable criteria for consideration.

This is something that will become a reality for many asphalt contractors in the near future. Take a look at this website to get an idea of what's coming down the (green) road.