Road industry could save £46.2m using ‘low energy materials’

The UK road industry could save millions of pounds in energy costs over the next 10 years by using low energy road building materials. That’s according to a three-year study […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The UK road industry could save millions of pounds in energy costs over the next 10 years by using low energy road building materials.

That’s according to a three-year study conducted by the Carbon Trust and Lafarge Tarmac, a sustainable building materials group, which claims improving the carbon efficiency of the manufacture of road materials can help cut energy costs by around £46.2 million.

It found heating and mixing asphalt (pictured) – used in road construction – in lower temperatures bonds materials as effectively as the conventional method but uses less energy. It could also help cut around 26,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over the next 10 years.

Dr Nizar Ghazireh, Project Director at Lafarge Tarmac said: “This pioneering project and the development of the national specification for LTA [Low Temperature Asphalt] will fundamentally change the asphalt industry in the UK, producing sustainable low carbon products. There are considerable carbon savings to be gained from using lower temperature asphalt, reduced traffic management time and less disruption to the road users which can all be translated into cost savings.”

Although the lower temperature technology is available today, it will take time for the market to adopt it as companies need to invest significant cash in installing equipment, according to the Carbon Trust.