Rasenberg Infra, a subsidiary of construction and civil engineering company Strukton, has placed asphalt in the Dutch city of Breda that consists of 97 percent reused materials. The so-called Greenfalt is made of reused asphalt and recycled railway materials. These reused materials are processed in every layer of the asphalt road. A higher percentage of reused materials in asphalt can lead to the reduction of carbon emissions. This conclusion is based on prior research conducted by the Technical University of Delft (TU Delft) in collaboration with SKAO.
The municipality of Breda assigned Rasenberg Infra to construct the Greenfalt asphalt road. The construction of this ‘green’ asphalt is the first of its kind in Breda. “I am proud of this great pilot. The first in Breda with a complete construction of sustainable and ‘quiet’ asphalt”, says Greetje Bos of the municipality of Breda in a press release. “Quality of life is another important aspect that comes to mind when we talk about sustainability. I believe that improving the wellbeing of citizens leads to an improvement in general. The coming eight years we will collaborate in monitoring the asphalt road.”
According to Strukton, the quality of Greenfalt is equal to ‘new’ asphalt. By using the asphalt that contains reused materials, Strukton manages to save up on the use of virgin materials which leads to CO2 reduction due to less transportation. In order to develop Greenfalt, the construction concern makes use of old asphalt and residuals of railway materials. By reusing these materials, they will not become landfill. This too leads to the reduction of carbon emissions. “We notice that our clients focus more on sustainability, circularity and sound reduction”, says Jan van de Riet, director of Rasenberg Infra, in a press release.
“We are moving along these market developments. Reusing materials in asphalt is not something new. The composition is continuously in development in order to adhere to the requests of our clients. We notice that the request for sound reduction of asphalt becomes more prominent. That is why we have placed test sections of the Greenfalt in the Province of Noord-Brabant to check the asphalts quality for sound reduction. Based on these tests, Greenfalt has proven to meet our clients’ expectations of sound reduction and other qualities. Greenfalt is a sustainable extension of our product range, which contributes to the sustainability goals of clients such as governments, but also private organizations.”
Based on the research ‘On the road to climate neutral infrastructure in the Netherlands’ conducted by the TU Delft in collaboration with SKAO, there is great potential for the Dutch asphalt industry to work towards becoming circular and climate neutral. This is possible by means of a high level of recycling, extending the life cycle of the asphalt used in infrastructure and local based production of asphalt. Recycling of used asphalt leads to less usage of virgin materials, such as stone and bitumen, which in turn leads to more opportunities to reduce carbon emissions.
According to the researchers, there are also plenty of opportunities to reduce CO2 by saving up on transportation of the asphalt. For example, the transport distance per asphalt project could be improved by means of using asphalt plants close to the project location, so that fewer kilometers are made to transport the asphalt. Moreover, the researchers find opportunities in extending the lifespan of asphalt and the use of biomass instead of gas to heat the materials necessary for asphalt production. By taking these opportunities in the asphalt industry, the researchers expect that the Netherlands can succeed in making infrastructure climate neutral.