Roadscience - Rating Road Green-ness
Photo courtesy of Wirtgen America, Inc.
by Tom Kuennen, Contributing Editor
Cold milling of aged asphalt
produces reclaimed asphalt
pavement (RAP), and is
encouraged by various
Roadway Environmental Ratings:
What’s Best for Your Agency?
There’s a choice of programs to use in rating sustainable roads
he never-ending quest to deﬁne which pavements
and highways can be considered “environmentally
sustainable” has gotten a lot harder, just as it’s gotten
It’s gotten easier because state, county and municipal
agencies can choose from a variety of programs that enable
them to evaluate and rate the “green-ness” of a particular
But it’s gotten harder because, well, there are so many to
Unlike the nationally recognized LEED system – which is
the only accepted environmental certiﬁcation program for
buildings and structures – there are a variety of different
evaluation/certiﬁcation programs for roads or civil engineering structures at international, national and state levels.
For example, even as the Transportation Association of
Canada’s Green Guide for Roads poses sustainability guidance
for road construction for Canada, the Ontario Ministry of
Transportation is promulgating its own GreenPave points-
based rating system.
Similarly, the New York State DOT has developed the
GreenLITES (Green Leadership In Transportation Environmental Sustainability) pavement rating system, and in 2011Illinois introduced I-LAST, the Illinois-Livable and Sustainable Transportation rating guide.
Even so, in the United States Greenroads is the national
leader by its entrenched position. Established in 2010, the
Greenroads Foundation is developer of the Greenroads Rating System, and the foundation manages the certiﬁcation
process for sustainable roadway and bridge construction
projects in the United States and internationally.
Greenroads rates a project’s sustainable elements in seven
categories: Project Requirements, Environment and Water, Access and
Equity, Construction Activities, Materials and Resources, Pavement Technologies, and Custom Credits, which are intended to accommodate good ideas that don’t fall under the previous headings.
Accumulated points will position a project for one of four
levels of certiﬁcation: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Evergreen.
Better Roads November 2012 21