Green Street Calculator
With more attention than ever being focused on energy conservation, most people
have focused on vehicles as the main target for improvements. Vehicle fuel efficiency and hybrid
technology, as well as other eco-friendly improvements such as bio-diesel will
help make great strides to improving vehicles and saving energy. When it comes to energy conservation,
the road surface can also make a significant contribution!
This calculator provides a way for you to see the positive contribution concrete
pavements can make as part of a “Green Streets” program. It allows you to see how much less
energy is consumed with concrete pavement than other common materials.
What are Green Streets?
Green Streets are about more than energy consumption. Green Streets are those that:
Have superior longevity and do not require frequent
maintenance or resurfacing, which in turn provides these eco-friendly benefits:
Consume lower quantities of raw materials, like
aggregates, steel, asphalt, cement, etc.
Reduce energy consumption associated with:
Raw material processing
Reduce congestion – a huge and needless consumer
of energy, which can be avoided with more investment in road capacity and more
use of stronger pavements designed for longer life spans (+25 years)
Improve environmental impacts, such as air
quality and carbon dioxide (CO2) associated with:
Manufacturing of materials and elements for road
Construction of the infrastructure
Congestion – again, as this is a huge consumer of
energy and significant source of CO2, which could be avoided with more
investment in road capacity
Maximize the incorporation of industrial by-products such as
fly-ash and slag cement, allowing for:
Reduced disposal of these materials (taking them out of the
Improved pavement performance and longevity, and
Reduced material costs
Can be effectively renewed through surface planing or
grinding (extending its service life by 10-20 years) and ultimately recycled at
the end of its service life, resulting in:
Lower pressures on our virgin aggregate resources, and
Reduced energy use as a result of fewer materials-intensive pavement resurfacing (overlay) cycles, and less
need for natural stone, gravel and sand extraction.
Have a surface that reflects light and does not
intensify the Urban Heat Island effect, providing
associated economic and eco-friendly benefits:
Improved pedestrian and vehicle nighttime visibility
Reduced energy demand for street lighting,
Realization of positive CO2 offsets, and
Improved air quality
Have a structure and surface that reduces energy consumption
Requiring less fuel to build and maintain the pavement
Deflecting less under loads so the vehicles travel with less resistance and improved fuel efficiency
How can Concrete Pavements Reduce Energy Consumption
Concrete is the strongest of all road surfacing materials. It is designed to be very rigid. As a result, concrete roads do not
deflect much under heavy loads, so vehicles get better fuel mileage per gallon
than on any other type of surface.
Several studies have concluded that less energy is required to propel a vehicle
on a rigid surface than on a flexible one.
It is analogous to rolling a bowling ball on a hardwood floor versus on a
rubber mat – on which surface will the bowling ball roll farther (or with
greater ease)? Physics, as well as
simple intuition, gives us the answer.
Rigid pavements, like concrete, are built in just one layer and as a result
require less fuel to construct than conventional pavements made from more
asphalt, that are built in several
thin layers. Every layer requires
more delivery trucks, passes of the paving machine, rollers, etc. In addition, concrete does not need
to be heated to mix properly, and does not need to be maintained at a high
temperature during placement like flexible pavement materials. For these reasons, a concrete roadway
requires less fuel to construct.
Just how much fuel and money can be saved using concrete pavement from these two
factors alone? Use the Green Street
Calculator below to see…