5 Reasons Why Asphalt Paving is a Sustainable Choice for Road Construction

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective | 5 Reasons Why Asphalt Paving is a Sustainable Choice for Road ConstructionAsphalt is a non-toxic material that does not leach chemicals into the groundwater and water bodies from which we get our drinking water. It also does not pollute the air with global warming gases (GHG), such as CO2, CH4, nitrous oxide, or waste materials, such as petroleum-based solvents or hazardous debris.

Environmentally Friendly

Asphalt paving requires less energy to produce and construct than other pavements. It uses recycled materials, emits fewer greenhouse gases, and conserves natural resources.

The asphalt binder used in a typical mix is a blend of complex hydrocarbons derived mainly from petroleum. Acquiring, transporting, and refining these hydrocarbons generates emissions of greenhouse gases and volatile organic compounds. Heating the mixture of aggregates and the asphalt binder during paving causes additional emissions.

When an asphalt road reaches the end of its life, it can be rehabilitated using a process known as rubblization. This process recycles the worn-out asphalt, reusing it to build a new road base, saving the energy and natural resources required to haul away and replace the old concrete pavement.


Asphalt is a durable choice for pavement construction because it holds up well over time. This helps to minimize the need for costly repairs or reconstruction.

Smooth roads are safer to drive on and make for a great ride. They also add to an area’s visual appeal, and a clean, paved surface shows that someone cares about a community.

Compared to concrete, asphalt uses less energy to produce. This helps to limit fossil fuel dependency and greenhouse gas emissions. It’s also easier and faster to maintain asphalt roads. For example, asphalt paving can be done at night to avoid causing traffic delays during the day. Moreover, asphalt roads are better at absorbing sound and can reduce highway noise by seven decibels. This significantly cuts down on the need for expensive and unsightly sound barriers.


Asphalt is a versatile choice for road construction because it can be tailored to specific traffic loads and climatic conditions. For example, it can be formulated to withstand rutting in the summer and freeze/thaw cycles in the winter.

Furthermore, asphalt pavements can be laid down relatively quickly compared to concrete pavement surfaces, as it doesn’t require curing time. This helps reduce the energy required for laying down and repairing a road.

Using asphalt pavements can also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these gases have global warming properties, including carbon dioxide, commonly produced by humans and can affect productivity, sleep, infectious disease, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Asphalt pavements can greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by properly designing roads and maintaining them and reducing vehicle congestion.

Easy to Maintain

Asphalt is easy to maintain and will last a long time when properly maintained. It is easily repaired, allowing for a quick return to use, and it looks great with regular seal coating.

Asphalt pavements are made from a mixture of aggregate, binder, and fillers. The aggregates are processed mineral materials, including rock, sand, and gravel. The binder is a black sticky petroleum byproduct called bitumen. Fillers are used to add strength and durability.

Asphalt is more environmentally friendly than concrete because it produces less energy. This is because it is melted at a lower temperature, and because of this, the production of asphalt requires less energy. This means fewer greenhouse gases are produced. The same goes for its maintenance, as it is much easier to repair cracks and potholes in asphalt than in concrete.


Asphalt is a recyclable material that can be reheated and reused for road construction. It also helps reduce the quarrying, mining, and oil consumption of making new asphalt, saving energy, machinery, transportation, and labor costs. This reduces the need to use non-renewable resources, protecting natural areas and resources like aggregate and asphalt.

Installing asphalt paving takes 20% less energy than other paving materials. This is great news for our environment, as it reduces GHG emissions contributing to climate change and lowers vehicle noise pollution.

Another earth-friendly aspect of asphalt paving is its ability to absorb noise. This reduces traffic noise and noise pollution, which can disrupt sleep and productivity.

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