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Wirtgen ’Green Mix’ May Assist in LEED Certification

Mon December 03, 2007 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Energy-saving recycled asphalt “Green Mix” from the KMA 200 and other recycling equipment from Wirtgen America Inc. has been approved by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as eligible for points toward LEED certification of a structure or project.

That means that specification of Wirtgen Green Mix technology in significant volumes in project roadways and parking areas may help a project attain LEED certification, or may bump a certified structure into a LEED Silver, Gold or Platinum premium certification.

LEED certification is a new driving force behind value-added private and public sector infrastructure design and construction. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and the building industry has turned to the LEED system to evaluate the degree of “green” design a structure or development incorporates.

The LEED Green Building Rating System is a voluntary third-party rating system in which credits are earned for satisfying specified green building criteria. Projects are evaluated within six environmental categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources and Indoor Air Quality.

The LEED process certified that Wirtgen Green Mix technology may provide LEED Materials and Resources credits based on diversion of construction waste from landfills, resource reuse, recycled content, and use of regional materials.

Wirtgen Green Mix also provides LEED Innovation and Design credits as a reflection of its exceptional performance in design beyond LEED requirements.

“It’s easy to see why,” said Harold C. Green, chief executive officer, Chamberlain Contractors Inc., a Laurel, Md.-based pavement maintenance contractor who spearheaded the approval of Wirtgen Green Mix as LEED-certifiable.

“Wirtgen’s Green Mix technology uses up to 100 percent recycled asphalt pavement removed from existing roads and parking lots, diverting the reclaimed asphalt pavement [RAP] from landfills while it reduces the demand for virgin materials extracted and processed from quarries or pits. We’ve had great success in marketing Green Mix from our KMA 200 throughout the Baltimore-Washington DC region.”

The new LEED-ND (for Neighborhood Development) certification category addresses complete multi-unit projects and will make Green Mix using Wirtgen asphalt cold mix technology even more valuable for projects seeking LEED certification.

Wirtgen Green Mix technology incorporates liquid “foamed” asphalt, in which hot penetration-grade asphalt is foamed with water and air, and is injected into reclaimed materials and aggregate in a mixing chamber. This Green Mix is placed, graded and compacted, and can accommodate traffic — including heavy trucks — almost immediately. Most often it serves as a durable base to support a thin asphalt wearing course or surface treatment.

“In many ways, Wirtgen’s self-contained KMA 200 is the ultimate ’Green Machine’,” said Wayne Evans, Wirtgen vice president, business development/pavement technology.

“Its productivity is such that it can produce a 20-ton truck load of up to 100 percent recycled asphalt cold mix every six minutes. Contractors can locate this permit-free portable plant at or near their projects and cut dozens of trucks from long hauls, slashing traffic congestion and truck diesel exhaust.”

Wirtgen Green Mix technology also is produced in-situ using mobile reclaimers like Wirtgen’s big WR 2500 S or the new WR 2000 XL. These mobile machines grind up weathered, deteriorated asphalt pavement in-place, and incorporate foamed liquid asphalt into the mix inside the machine “on the fly”.

The ecological benefits of Green Mix from Wirtgen mobile equipment are such that it’s become a preferred means of rebuilding roads in ecologically sensitive areas such as Zion National Park, Utah, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Ariz., I-80 through California’s High Sierras, and in 2007, Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Monument.

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