Jackson Civil Engineering and its supply chain have developed an asphalt mix that the firm says can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of surfacing works.
The process was used to construct a new cycle path being built for Birmingham City Council as part of the Bromford Flood Alleviation Scheme, which Jackson is currently building for the Environment Agency.
Jackson said early calculations show the new low carbon foamed asphalt path, made from recycled aggregates and processed waste products, could bring CO2 savings of up to 90% compared with using a traditional hot AC20 asphalt mix.
Phase I of the 2.5km cycle path has been built and work on the remainder is expected to start this month. The firm said it is projected that up to 70 tonnes of CO2 could be saved on its entire construction.
In addition, 30 tonnes of CO2 was saved using ultra low carbon Cemfree concrete to bed and surround the kerb stones alongside the path. The product was developed by DB Group and produced by Accumix Concrete.
Jackson’s supply chain manager, Andy Lusher, said: ‘The cycle path provided an opportunity to look at the original design and ask ourselves how we could do this in a more carbon-friendly way.
‘We brought our supply chain together to use their expertise and come up with a solution that was truly innovative.’
Mr Lusher said the success of the trial means Jackson can be confident in specifying low-carbon concrete and asphalt in future projects.
He said: ‘We’ve learnt lots of lessons from this trial and we know we can do something that pushes the boundaries but only with the full support and buy-in from our supply chain partners.’
Another partner on the trial scheme was O.C.O Technology Ltd, which Jackson said has developed a ‘carbon negative’ aggregate made from waste material from the treatment of flue gases from Energy from Waste plants.
The firm said this is the first time it has been used in a foamed asphalt application.
Stephen Roscoe, O.C.O’s technical director, said: ‘With Zero Carbon being a global target, the construction industry must source alternative, more sustainable products, to not only reduce the carbon footprint but to preserve the finite reserves of natural aggregate in the UK’.
Jackson said surfacing specialist Toppesfield has been ‘central to the project’. Its team took the O.C.O product and mixed it with ToppFoam, its own cold foamed bitumen asphalt that incorporates recycled aggregates that would normally go to landfill.