While most engineers opt for asphalt across the world’s roadways, it’s not an eco-friendly material. And the natural landscapes of forests, oceans, and fields suffer as a result.
Your firm is ultimately held responsible for the environmental impacts on local flora and fauna. Roads and driveways are major contributors in regards to increased heat island effects and aerosol emissions.
Even if you are on a tight budget or working on a small project, there are green alternatives to asphalt driveways and roads that you should consider.
You can choose asphalt paving alternatives that reduce the impact you have on the environment on all scales.
Best Practices for Environmentally Friendly Road Construction
It’s important to remain conscious of all environmental impacts, both short-term and long-term, when developing paved roads and driveways or other solid surfaces.
This is true whether you are working on a roadway that will be utilized by thousands of people daily for years to come or a simple driveway where you will park your cars,
When designing any road, you’ll need to take several considerations into mind that guide your work. They allow for the proper materials and enough funds to construct an asphalt road that doesn’t destroy native habitats.
- Ensure proper drainage
- Consider erosion control measures
- Keep your budget in mind
- Remember the intended use of the road or driveway
- Don’t disturb more areas than you need to
- Restore any disturbed area as quickly as possible
Experimental Alternatives for Asphalt
Many engineers have tried developing experimental road foundations that can replace asphalt foundations.
Reducing storm runoff, decreasing land disturbance from installation, and utilizing natural materials, these alternative methods can drastically change the way you construct roadways and driveways.
Some of the recent experiments include:
- Algae and microalgae
- Printer toner
- Cooking oil
Green Driveway and Road Materials
If you’re unsure about trying new and emerging foundations, many industries use several reliable eco-friendly options today. You’ll find them across the world’s roadways and driveways as viable bases for your firm to adopt.
Often referred to as pervious or porous pavement, this material allows rainfall to percolate to the subbase. Water either moves through a drainage system or soaks into the ground, depending on the type of permeable paver you use.
With permeable pavement, you can eliminate expensive storm drain or french drain costs that drive project costs up with higher square foot roads.
Most poured asphalt driveways and roadways struggle with impermeability and cause numerous ruts and potholes for incoming drivers. Permeable pavement helps prevent erosion and flooding in these contexts.
Recycled Asphalt and Concrete
Some roadway projects leave excess asphalt you can simply recycle it back into the new base. It’s a green option that doesn’t increase company costs or the fossil fuels of producing additional materials.
Although you’re still using a poor foundation for the environment, it reduces the impact with a less extensive implementation process. Recycling concrete or asphalt is a material-conscious choice for a driveway or road.
Geocell bases are an excellent foundation for any road or driveway that replaces or compliments asphalt surfaces. As a durable and cost-effective base, you can infill with less asphalt and still trust it for heavy vehicle support.
Regardless of the square footage, a geocell grid can combine with any common infill material, including asphalt, gravel, and even grass, to form a more reliable and environmentally friendly road.
Water can flow through geocell-supported roads and offload high water volumes from storms, floods, and other weather for groundwater recharging.
Open Concrete Grids
Finally, open concrete grid systems are viable asphalt alternatives that can also replace traditional poured concrete paving. The same materials are used for installation and production, but less concrete is needed because only some areas actually have concrete.
It is common to fill the four holes in each concrete block with soil and then plant durable grass inside. Depending on the situation, it may make sense to use gravel or aggregate as the fill.
Geocell as a Green Solution
Balancing factors like environmental concerns, budgets, timelines, and relationships with contractors can be difficult when constructing roads and driveways.
Permeable driveways developed with Basecore geocell systems are durable, cost-effective, and allow for efficient drainage. You can also take advantage of this material for constructing forest roads, stabilizing steep slopes, and more.
Have questions about environmentally-friendly development of roads with green alternatives? Our team is happy to help you understand how geocells are the perfect foundation for roads and driveways of all sizes and in any environment.
You can schedule a consultation or give us a call at (888)-511-1553 today.