Are there environmental benefits to using asphalt?
As you can see above, porous asphalt is a great option to help the environment. The fact that asphalt is 100% recyclable and over 80% of all old asphalt removed is recycled, making it the most recycled product in the world is also a bonus. The production of asphalt has also become the number one beneficial use of composite roofing shingles. There are currently over 11 million tons of both tear-off and manufactured waste shingles nationwide available each year and much of this goes into the production of asphalt. Making shingles, like asphalt, 100% recyclable. Asphalt has many more advantages; due to recent technological advancements it is now being produced at a vastly reduced temperature (warm mix), which greatly reduces both the carbon footprint and the release of fumes released that produce the “asphalt smell”. Asphalt contributes to a reduction of the urban heat island effect over concrete surfaces. In production, laydown and total lifecycle maintenance asphalt’s carbon footprint, by weight, is 1/3 that of concrete. If you are looking for LEED credits on your new project, look at your asphalt. Through recycling, locally produced products, drainage solutions, etc. there are many LEED credits available for use in your building certification and most of these practices are already being used in most projects being built today.