Most GallonDaily readers are probably at least somewhat familiar with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system for buildings but what about green roads? A US organization has risen to the challenge and has developed and is implementing an environmental rating system for road construction. Now the Greenroads Foundation is beginning to roll out certifications for road construction projects that meet its standard,
The South Fraser Perimeter Road in British Columbia is the first major project outside of the United States to achieve Greenroads Certification. The 38 kilometre road project with a mostly asphalt surface includes several wildlife crossings, preservation and restoration activities, and a variety of stormwater management facilities along its length.
In Tacoma, Washington, the Wapato Lake Drive project included replacement of an existing roadway with permeable pavement, allowing for better drainage than traditional stormwater management and an opportunity for groundwater recharge. Many sustainable street improvements were included to create a more environmentally friendly pedestrian link to Wapato Lake Park. The project included non-invasive and native planting, LED lighting with non-light polluting fixtures, as well as runoff flow control and runoff quality treatment.
In Bellingham, Washington, the Meador-Kansas-Ellis Trail Project provided an important connection for bicycle and pedestrian access to a recreational area. One of the most innovative strategies used on this project was the recycling of 400 old toilets, which were used as aggregate in the sidewalk concrete. This new concrete mix has been named “Poticrete.” [That is not GallonDaily’s moniker but we do love it!]
Somewhat like LEED for buildings, Greenroads scores a project on a wide range of criteria falling under the headings of:
- Project Requirements
- Environment & Water
- Access & Equity
- Construction Activities
- Materials & Resources
- Pavement Technologies
- Custom Credit
Points are awarded within each category and an overall rating of bronze, silver or gold is awarded based on the total score.
The manual, rating system, completed and in progress projects, and everything else you might need to know about Greenroads can be found at https://www.greenroads.org/