PLUS Assessing Sustainability Recycled Plastic Waste & High RAP Content Can You Spell EPD? Paving Against the Clock: Chambers Field-NS Norfolk A PUBL I CAT ION OF THE VIRG INIA ASPHALT ASSOC IAT ION // SPRING & SUMMER I SSUE 2023
VAASPHALT.ORG 05 Spring/Summer 2023 INSIDE THIS ISSUE Visit vaasphalt.org and follow us on Facebook for up-to-date industry and association news. Download the VAA News App and get timely information delivered to your cell phone. COLUMNS 06 PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE 08 CHAIRMAN’S PERSPECTIVE DEPARTMENTS 34 VAA 2023 PARTNERS 35 ASSOCIATE MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: PREDESTINED HAULING, LLC 35 ASSOCIATE MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: BROTHERS PAVING ON THE COVER Chambers Field Runway at NS Norfolk. ASSESSING SUSTAINABILITY 10 Sustainability is the name of the game in modern pavement design. PAVING AGAINST THE CLOCK: CHAMBERS FIELDNS NORFOLK 14 An in-depth look at the unique project that won the Golden Lute Award from the Virginia Asphalt Association for 2021. CAN YOU SPELL EPD? 18 This spelling bee comes with an important update for construction material consistency. THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT FOR WOMEN OF ASPHALT 24 What does the future of the asphalt industry look like for the current and future generations of women workers? BACK TO BASICS: STOCKPILE MANAGEMENT 26 Optimizing aggregate storage and transportation is key for cost and consistency. BACK TO BASICS: JOINT CONSTRUCTION 28 Promising techniques based on decades of experience with joint construction and compaction. PLANT TECHNICIAN 101 30 Congratulations to the inaugural class from the Virginia Education Center for Asphalt Technology! GETTING TO KNOW THE DEPUTY CHIEF ENGINEER 32 A brief Q&A with the Virginia Department of Transportation’s new Deputy Chief Engineer, Shane Mann. VIRGINIA ASPHALT A PUBLICATION OF THE VIRGINIA ASPHALT ASSOCIATION 7814 Carousel Lane, Suite 310 Richmond, VA 23294 Phone: (804) 288-3169 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org OFFICERS Chairman Chris Blevins Vice Chairman David White Secretary Bobby Hedrick Treasurer F. Marshall Luck, Jr. 1st Ex-Officio David Horton 2nd Ex-Officio Scott Claud Directors Ken Arthur; Tim Boone; David Branscome, Jr.; Sheila Cramer; Ed Dalrymple, Jr.; David Helmick; C.R. Langhorne; Buddy League; Ben Miller; Lonnie Minson; Blair Williamson STAFF President Trenton M. Clark, PE Vice President David T. Lee, PE Director Mike C. Dudley Administration Caroline R. Fahed Member Relations Specialist Tigre J. Fortune DESIGN & ADVERTISING Advertising Sales: Ronnie Jacko Design & Layout: Jon Cannon For advertising opportunities and deadlines, contact LLM Publications at (503)445-2234 or email@example.com. ©2023 Virginia Asphalt Association All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the publisher. PUBLISHED MAY 2023
06 SPRING/SUMMER 2023 Those who know me know I am not an avid reader—at least not in terms of novels. However, I read many technical articles and journals related to the paving industry. Now and then, I may read a book on history, but often when I read, it’s a leadership title. I may pick up one of these books at the airport to read on the plane, or I buy their book when I hear a great speaker. So, when did my interest in leadership begin? Well, Nicky (my wife) and I were at Pawleys Island, and I was looking for something to read while on vacation. While walking through a bookstore, two books caught my eye: Start with Why by Simon Sinek and Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. Over the next week or so, I read both books, which fueled my desire to read and listen to podcasts on the same topic. I listened to a variety of experts like Jim Collins and John Maxwell. What did I learn? I thought leading and managing were synonymous until I dove into these books and podcasts. Boy, was I wrong! Leaders do not have to be managers, and managers are not necessarily leaders. I experienced this confusion early in my career when I wanted to be a manager. Managers had great titles and positions on the organizational chart. No one in the company had the title of leader, but I instinctively knew a few. In time, I decided I wanted to be something other than a manager. I did not want to manage myself or others. I preferred helping others succeed. That was more fulfilling for me. Managing is about the here and now: completing a task, finishing a project. Leading looks to the future and influences others to see a vision, then inspires them to pursue it. Virginia Asphalt Association’s (VAA) Vision 2030 Team has been tasked with forming that vision for VAA and the asphalt industry. PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE Vision 2030: Look to the Future Trenton M. Clark, PE, President, Virginia Asphalt Association The VAA Vision 2030 Team was established in late 2020 to propose a path forward by investigating two questions. One, what does the transportation industry look like in 2030, and two, how should their association be structured to meet future needs? In the time since this team was created, board members and others have been busy answering those questions and developing recommendations to consider. At the 72nd annual meeting in June, delegates will get updates on new committees, committee structure, board of directors structure, and more. This is an exciting time for VAA! As we move forward in 2023 and beyond, the Vision 2030 implementation team will lay the groundwork to lead Virginia’s paving industry. This will adhere to the four pillars of the association’s strategic plan: connecting, representing, educating, and leading. Efforts and activities undertaken by the association will require support and participation by the entire membership. It will take all of us to promote, protect, and advance the asphalt industry—as leaders. Stay safe! As we move forward in 2023 and beyond, the Vision 2030 implementation team will lay the groundwork to lead Virginia’s paving industry. Efforts and activities undertaken by the association will require support and participation by the entire membership. It will take all of us to promote, protect, and advance the asphalt industry—as leaders.
08 SPRING/SUMMER 2023 Having been in the industry since 1989, I have had many opportunities to attend conferences and seminars throughout the US. They often feel like information overload over a few days, listening to numerous motivational speakers and technical presentations. Because of this, I always strive to find a few good ideas at each conference that I call “golden nuggets,” tips that I could apply to my career as well as my life. Some are as simple as taking extra time to recognize a job well done. Others are a bit tougher, like find and use an accountability partner. By concentrating my efforts on a few key ideas presented at each conference, though, I can focus on areas that are beneficial for me going forward. One golden nugget I remember from early in my career was advice from a motivational speaker at an industry conference. While I don’t remember the speaker’s name, his message resonates in my life today. The guidance he gave was something that could be used for any time, place or situation. It was the 7-7-7 rule. The idea is that when something is affecting your day, week, career or even life, stop and consider how long it will really matter. Will it be an issue seven minutes from now? Will it even matter seven days from now? Can it possibly matter seven years from now? While an easy concept, it is often hard to follow. I find myself sitting in traffic worrying about being late for an appointment. In all reality, it will not matter if I am a little late after all. Or, I get cut off on the interstate, and I feel a flood of road rage. We have all been there but beyond that split second, does it really matter? A few minutes later, the entire incident is forgotten. The daily pressures of being overwhelmed at work with too many tasks that I don’t know where to start. Will it matter by the end of the day? Typically, most of my worries have taken care of themselves. It is easy to look back and see how silly I was to be concerned about problems that aren’t problems after all. As you can see from my photo, my wife and I are Dallas Cowboys fans. I have been a fan since the age of four when Roger Staubach led the Cowboys to a 24–3 Superbowl victory over the Miami Dolphins. Unfortunately for myself and many other Cowboy fans, the last 25 years haven’t been productive. Nothing gets me frustrated like another Cowboy loss knowing they have the talent to be successful. If I only used the 7-7-7 rule, I would know that it CHAIRMAN’S PERSPECTIVE The 7-7-7 Rule Chris Blevins, PE, Vice President, W-L Construction & Paving, Inc. really doesn’t matter to me—except for the normal office jokes I will endure the following day. I should be used to those by now! As I get older, it is easier to see the things that will really matter seven years from now: family, health, integrity, and faith. I challenge each of you that the next time a crisis happens, consider if it will really matter seven minutes, seven days or seven years from now. I leave you with this thought from author Roy T. Bennett. “No amount of regretting can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future.” When something is affecting your day, week, career or even life, stop and consider how long it will really matter. Will it be an issue seven minutes from now? Will it even matter seven days from now? Can it possibly matter seven years from now? Chris and Jennifer at Dallas Cowboys home field
Assessing Sustainability What Is Sustainability? In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development defined sustainability as a “development concept that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Known as the “triple-bottom line,” sustainability is a system that encompasses three major components: economy, environment, and society. As a result of this decision, transportation agencies increased consideration of sustainability principles and practices to meet public demand. The economic component has been the dominant determining factor for transportation-related industries; however, the environmental and social components have grown in significance in recent years despite the limitations associated with their measurement and assessment. Sustainability is now a critical concern in modern pavement design. A sustainable pavement achieves its intended purpose while minimizing its environmental and societal impact. It is designed to meet engineering goals such as durability, safety, and performance while ensuring that basic human needs are met, resources are used efficiently, and surrounding ecosystems are preserved or restored. Pavement sustainability can be better understood when applied to the six phases of a pavement’s life cycle: production of materials, pavement design, construction, use, maintenance and preservation, and end life. With the ultimate goal of improving pavement sustainability over its life cycle, transportation professionals face numerous challenges regarding pavement materials decisions. These challenges include long-lasting materials used to offset higher costs and potentially higher production- related and transportation-related impacts. They also include using particular materials that may increase the frequency of required repairs because of high variability in projected performance. Further, some specifications already restrict the use of “lower impact” materials, which may prevent the opportunity to support and improve sustainability. Both economic and environmental perspectives must be accommodated when considering the sustainability of asphalt materials and mixtures. Numerous objectives currently exist for improving pavement sustainability with asphalt materials production. These objectives mainly focus on reducing the use of raw materials in terms of virgin binder and virgin aggregate in asphalt mixtures. This could be achieved using greater quantities of recycled materials such as reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP); wastes such as rubber, plastics, etc.; bio-binders; and modified binders. Other objectives focus on reducing the energy consumed and emissions generated to produce asphalt mixtures, extending the life of asphalt materials, and reducing the transportation of materials. Promoting Sustainability in Virginia Over the last several decades, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has evaluated the use and performance of several technologies in asphalt mixtures that can help reduce environmental burdens from the transportation systems. For Jhony Habbouche, Ph.D., PE, Senior Research Scientist, Virginia Transportation Research Council Recycled PlasticWaste &High RAP Content — Sustainability is now a critical concern in modern pavement design. A sustainable pavement achieves its intended purpose while minimizing its environmental and societal impact. It is designed to meet engineering goals such as durability, safety, and performance while ensuring that basic human needs are met, resources are used efficiently, and surrounding ecosystems are preserved or restored. 10 SPRING/SUMMER 2023
VAASPHALT.ORG 11 ASSESSING SUSTAINABILITY continues on page 12 △ example, asphalt mixtures that incorporate warm mix asphalt (WMA) technologies, highly polymer-modified asphalt (HP) binders, and bio-binders can increase sustainability in a number of ways. WMA technologies can reduce temperatures and emissions at the plant; HP binders can extend the performance life of asphalt materials; and bio-binders can reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Further, like many other state highway agencies, VDOT is extensively working to determine how best to incorporate recycled materials— such as recycled plastic waste, RAP at higher contents both with and without recycling agents (RA), recycled asphalt shingles (RAS), recycled tire rubber, and hybrid rubber—into their roads. During the 2021 construction season, the Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC) partnered with VDOT’s Richmond District to conduct a significant benchmarking experiment. The study focused on the performance of recycled plastic modified (RPM) dense-graded surface mixtures (SMs) with a nominal maximum aggregate size (NMAS) of 12.5 mm. Two RPM mixtures featuring the use of polyethylene-based polymer (P1) and polyethylene terephthalate-based plastomeric amorphous polymer (P2) were designed and constructed on Old Stage Road in Chesterfield County, Virginia, alongside two typical VDOT reference dense-graded mixtures (SM-12.5 D and SM-12.5 E). 2022 Field Trials The 2021 field trial provided valuable insights into mixture design and production. However, further investigation proved necessary to better understand and address the laboratory-related and field-related attributes of mixtures with recycled materials. To that end, construction of demonstration trials of two RPM and one high RAP with RA mixtures took place during the 2022 construction season. The first trial, constructed by Colony Construction, Inc. on State Routes (SRs) 630 and 645 in Prince George County, included two RPM SMs alongside one reference mixture (i.e., SM-D). The first RPM mixture had an NMAS of 9.5mm and featured recycled plastic P1 again (5% by total weight of binder) using the dry process. The second RPM mixture was a 9.5mm NMAS high RAP mixture (40% RAP) that featured the use of an engineered blend of polymers (P3) (8% by total weight of binder) using the dry process. The corresponding mixtures are ideally suited to surfacing parking lots, driveways, and local roads, where sustainability and economics are the primary drivers for applying this material (See Figure 1). The second trial, constructed by Allan Myers on SR 622, Dorset Road, in Powhatan County, included two RPM SMs alongside one SM-D reference mixture. The first RPM mixture was a 9.5mm NMAS mixture that featured a highly engineered polymer (P4) made from post-consumer and post-commercial plastic (2% by total weight of binder) using the dry process. The second RPM mixture was a 9.5mm NMAS mixture that featured the use of a plastic-based value-added wax and specialty polymer (P5) incorporated using the wet process (3% by total weight of binder) (See Figure 2). The high RAP with RA mixture was a 9.5mm NMAS mixture with 40% RAP content that featured a green bio-based asphalt rejuvenator. This RA was expected to soften and restore the functional properties of the aged binder; aid the workability and compactibility of the asphalt mixture; deliver the required roadway performance and durability; and reduce the need for virgin binder. The corresponding mixture was produced over two days by Superior Paving Corp. and placed on Riverside Parkway/ Woodridge Parkway in Ashburn, Virginia (See Figure 3). Figure 1. Production, Paving Operations, and Placement of Recycled Plastic Modified Mixture with Plastic Additive P3 P3 P3 Figure 2. Production, Paving Operations, and Placement of Recycled Plastic Modified Mixtures with Plastic Additives P4 and P5 P5 P4 P4 P4 P5
12 SPRING/SUMMER 2023 △ continued from page 11 ASSESSING SUSTAINABILITY All mixtures were designed using the balanced mix design (BMD) concept to provide equal or better performance than the associated control mixture. The BMD concept uses performance-related tests during mix design to incorporate performance into the materials selection and design process. Quantifying Greener Pavements in Virginia The purpose of the 2022 trials was to build on previous efforts undertaken by VTRC and VDOT on RPM and high RAP mixtures. The RPM trials specifically help evaluate the feasibility and process of recycling asphalt mixtures already containing recycled plastic waste. Results will highlight the impact of further recycling on the performance properties of such mixtures and the potential generation of hazardous emissions to the environment in the laboratory (during design), during production at the plant, and during placement in the field. The 2022 trial of high RAP with RA will also help validate the performance-based parameter(s) with threshold limits and criteria currently being established in-house to screen and differentiate compatible and non-compatible RA products for mixtures produced using locally available material in Virginia. Finally, VTRC also recently initiated an effort to quantify greener pavements in Virginia in response to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Climate Challenge, with a major focus on quantifying — Currently, VDOT does not quantify the potential environmental benefits of using the technologies and practices adopted because the data required to do so either do not exist or do not exist in an open-source format. Therefore, there is a growing need to develop these background data to determine and communicate the environmental impacts and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the production and use of [sustainable pavement] materials. emissions of sustainable pavements. Currently, VDOT does not quantify the potential environmental benefits of using the technologies and practices adopted because the data required to do so either do not exist or do not exist in an open-source format. Therefore, there is a growing need to develop these background data to determine and communicate the environmental impacts and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the production and use of these materials. Relatedly, efforts will need to be raised to educate users, collect open-sourced data, modify and implement GHG accounting frameworks, and disseminate findings through case studies. The data generated in these trials will be used as seed data inputs to conduct life cycle assessments (LCAs) and develop corresponding environmental product declarations (EPDs) as part of the FHWA Climate Challenge effort. Acknowledgments These important and extensive trials were accomplished with the contribution and hard work of several parties. We wish to extend our appreciation to Thomas Schinkel (District Materials Engineer, VDOT’s Richmond District) and David Shiells (District Materials Engineer, VDOT’s Northern Virginia District) for allowing these trials to occur in their districts. Also, to Travis Cable (Vice President of Quality Control) and his team at Colony Construction, Inc.; Aleksandra Wojcik (Quality Control Manager), Rob Schwear (Area Operations Manager) and their team at Allan Myers; and Danny Poole (Director of Quality Assurance) and his team at Superior Paving Corp. We also received support from additional personnel in VDOT’s Richmond District, VDOT’s Northern Virginia District, and VDOT’s Materials Division, so thank you. In addition, the assistance and support provided by the plastic suppliers MacRebur Ltd, Kao Chemicals, NVI Advanced Material Group, and GreenMantra Technologies; the recycling agent supplier of Sripath Technologies®, LLC; and the supplier of fiber feeders/ machines, Hi-Tech Asphalt Solutions, are greatly appreciated. Finally, thank you to VTRC leadership and staff for their continuous support of such innovative efforts. Figure 3. Production, Paving Operations, and Placement of Mixture with High Content of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement and Recycling Agent Recycling Agent
14 SPRING/SUMMER 2023 Parker Wallace, Project Engineer, Branscome CHAMBERSFIELD‐ NSNORFOLK PAVINGAGAINST THECLOCK: Golden LuteWinner Virginia’s Top Paving Project of 2021
VAASPHALT.ORG 15 PAVING AGAINST THE CLOCK CHAMBERS FIELD RUNWAY-NS NORFOLK continues on page 16 △ The Golden LuteAward is given to the top paving project inVirginia completed the previous year and is based on the quality ofmaterials, workmanship and complexity. In addition, subjective and objectivemeasures are used to select the ultimatewinner. During the Mid-Atlantic Asphalt Expo and Conference in December, the 2021 Golden Lutewas awarded to Branscome, Inc. for the Chambers Field at Naval Station Norfolk project. Project Overview The Chambers Field Runway 10-28 repair was a high- profile, fast-tracked project commissioned by the Norfolk Naval Facility, or NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic, completed between March 2021 and July 2021. It required a complete resurfacing of a 200 by 6,500 foot-long runway, with three to six feet of variable depth P401 asphalt. The project also involved upgrading the Instrument Landing System (ILS) or airfield lighting and signage, as well as environmental improvement, reverting approximately 94,000 square yards of paved surfaces to green space. As the primary contractor, Branscome was responsible for the complete site package, including repairing cracks and other deficiencies in the existing concrete and asphalt; demolition and regrading the existing runway by way of Universal Total Station (UTS) milling; placing a surface treatment on the runway subgrade paving; pavement marking of the new runway; support for the ILS with micropile foundations; and new electrical duct banks. The runway consisted of 39,000 tons of asphalt using three different mix designs and 176,000 square yards of milling, which varied in thickness from 3 to 8 inches. The infield area involved an additional 94,000 square yards of milling, which varied in thickness from six to 48 inches. The schedule was the most significant concern going into this project. To support the construction effort, the Navy had to completely shut down the runway, rerouting all mission-essential air traffic operations away from one of the largest naval airports in the country. Due to this level of effort, all construction work had to be done on an accelerated schedule to reopen the runway on time. Four milling crews, two paving crews, and 70 trucks per day were required to meet the demanding schedule, which required all paving work to be completed in 12 days. Special Considerations Chambers Field was one of the first government- commissioned jobs that required personnel to undergo the Airfield Asphalt Certification Program to meet Unified Facilities Guide Specifications (UFGS). Branscome sent personnel to the National Center for Asphalt Technology at Auburn University to earn these certifications and hosted the Navy-led inspection of Branscome’s Hampton Asphalt lab and plant to confirm specific requirements, including accreditation by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Each lot’s pay factor was determined by taking the lowest computed pay factor based on either laboratory air voids, in-place density, or grade/smoothness; all while meeting strict government specifications. For example, the lab air voids pay factor was based on the mean absolute deviation of lab voids from the job mix formula. Mat cores were to be within 94–96% theoretical maximum density (TMD), with joint cores above 92.5% TMD. In addition, joints that ran along concrete had to be cored six inches away from the plain cement concrete joint and only rolled by a rubber-tired roller, requiring the same density as regular mat cores. Surface smoothness was also essential for this project, so grades were checked at several stages throughout the paving process to keep them on target. The Branscome-produced asphalt material underwent thorough lab testing, then was verified by profilograph and other performance QC checks after paving was complete. The job included three mix designs: • 30,217.08 tons of P401 (¾ inch nominal maximum) virgin, 75 gyrations, that required PG 76-22 liquid. This design also had a very tight specification on coarse aggregate, requiring specialized stone matrix asphalt from a different quarry (which also added to logistical and planning issues). This mix design was tested over 13 lots, with 60 samples. Some days required as many as six samples to keep up with production. In addition, 126 joint/mat cores were cut and weighed out by a third-party testing firm. The asphalt content of this mix was kept to a 0.12 standard deviation throughout the project. The schedule was the most significant concern going into this project. To support the construction effort, the Navy had to completely shut down the runway, rerouting all mission-essential air traffic operations away from one of the largest naval airports in the country. Due to this level of effort, all construction work had to be done on an accelerated schedule to reopen the runway on time.
16 SPRING/SUMMER 2023 • 3,144.94 tons of P403 (⅜ inch nominal) 30% reclaimed asphalt pavement, 75 gyrations, PG 70-22 liquid. This mix design was tested in two lots, resulting in seven samples, with 19 joint/mat cores cut. • 6,291 tons of assorted Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) 9.5A mix, used for scratch courses or roadways around the runway. This mix was produced and tested under VDOT specifications. Not only was this project fast-paced, but it also required rigorous quality control checks throughout the production process. Every longitudinal joint had to be saw cut and cleaned before placing the adjacent lane, and each concrete tie-in was paved parallel to the concrete surface and compacted with a special rubber tire roller. Branscome utilized a tandem paving operation to reduce the number of longitudinal joints that had to be saw cut and improve the overall joint quality and appearance. Both milling and paving were performed with UTS machine control to meet the variable grades and precise tolerances on the final elevation of +/- 0.03 feet. The quality control (QC) data demonstrated that all 12 lanes exceeded target smoothness criteria (seven inch/ mile) with an overall average reading of 0.77 inch/mile and a single maximum reading of 1.78 inch/mile. After paving was complete, the asphalt was required to cure for 30 days before being grooved and striped. Another significant challenge was related to updated contract agreements and change orders with limited deadline extensions. During the milling phase, the team encountered an unanticipated concrete subgrade beneath the runway surface that required several inches of milling to meet final grades. This required Branscome’s team to modify the milling equipment before proceeding. After completing profile milling, Branscome received a redesigned runway profile to accommodate elevation issues on the runway ILS unaccounted for in the original design. This change added over 5,000 tons of production paving to the scope of work, including a UTS-paved leveling course. The scope of paving work also expanded to include shoulders and taxiways, increasing the scope △ continued from page 15 PAVING AGAINST THE CLOCK CHAMBERS FIELD RUNWAY-NS NORFOLK
VAASPHALT.ORG 17 Not only was this project fast-paced, but it also required rigorous quality control checks throughout the production process. Every longitudinal joint had to be saw cut and cleaned before placing the adjacent lane, and each concrete tie-in was paved parallel to the concrete surface and compacted with a special rubber tire roller. of the concrete joint sealant on the concrete runway overruns and other miscellaneous work. These updates forced the team to completely reschedule the paving sequence of work to maximize daily productions while working concurrently through redesign. In addition, the final paving sequence was designed to eliminate all transverse joints except those at concrete tie-ins to improve the surface smoothness of the final product. Branscome worked efficiently through these conditions and recycled over 90% of the waste material on the project, which diverted over 100,000 tons of concrete, asphalt, and soils from landfills. The mile-long runway was ready for military aircraft operations on July 19, 2021. PAVING AGAINST THE CLOCK CHAMBERS FIELD RUNWAY-NS NORFOLK
18 SPRING/SUMMER 2023 CAN YOU SPELL EPD? “Can you spell EPD?” asked National Asphalt Pavement Association’s (NAPA) 2022 chairman and Virginia Asphalt Association (VAA) member Jim Mitchell at the VAA 71st Annual Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina. Clearly, everyone can literally spell “EPD,” but what does it mean? EPDs, or environmental product declarations, were not used in Virginia or the United States a decade ago. Today, however, with the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Inflation Reduction Act, EPDs are a big part of most conversations in the transportation and construction materials industries. So, what is an EPD, and why should you care? Joseph Shacat, Director of Sustainable Pavements, National Asphalt Pavement Association Trenton M. Clark, PE, President Virginia Asphalt Association Superior Paving Corp. Bull Run Plant.
VAASPHALT.ORG 19 What Are Environmental Product Declarations? Joseph Shacat, National Asphalt Pavement Association’s Director of Sustainable Pavements, compares an EPD to the nutrition label on the side of a box of macaroni and cheese. Based on the ingredients, the nutrition label lists the vitamins and minerals in the delicious pasta and “cheese” package, but it also includes information about the approximate amount of calories, carbohydrates, and sugars. An EPD for asphalt, concrete, steel, and flat glass—the four construction materials targeted in President Biden’s Buy Clean initiative—comprises various components to make the materials. Depending on the origin or source of the components, how far it takes to get the “raw” components to the manufacturing facility and how the components are processed into the final material will determine the “environmental nutrition label” or EPD for the material. While an EPD seems simple on the surface, no two asphalt mixes, plants, or companies are the same. Each one has unique characteristics. So, the question often asked is how can two mixes be compared if nothing is exactly the same? Another common question is how does asphalt compare to concrete? We will answer, or attempt to answer, the latter question at the end of this article. What Is Included in an Asphalt EPD? An EPD includes a cover page identifying the manufacturer and the asphalt plant that produced the mix, and a product description providing further information about what comprises the mix. While the importance of being able to identify the mix type may seem obvious, this is an important consideration for comparability. Since asphalt mixes are designed to meet agency-defined specifications, you should only compare them if they meet the same design and performance requirements defined in the specification. continues on page 21 △ Product Description This EPD reports the potential environmental impacts and additional environmental information for an asphalt mixture, which falls under the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code 30111509. Asphalt mixtures are typically incorporated as part of the structure of a roadway, parking lot, driveway, airfield, bike lane, pedestrian path, railroad track bed, or recreation surface. Mix Name: 6007-2022-05WM Specification Entity: VDOT Specification: BM-25.0A Gradiation Type: Dense Mix Design Method: Superpave Nominal Maximum Aggregate Size: 25.0 mm Performance Grade of Asphalt Binder: PG 64-22 Customer [Project/Contract] Number: Not Reported Figure 1. Product Description CAN YOU SPELL EPD?
20 SPRING/SUMMER 2023 ACRONYM INDICATOR UNIT QUANTITY PER METRIC TONNE ASPHALT MIXTURE (PER SHORT TON ASPHALT MIXTURE) MATERIALS (A1) TRANSPORT (A2) PRODUCTION (A3) TOTAL (A1–A3) GWP-100 Global warming potential, incl. biogenetic CO2 kg CO2 Equiv. 22.40 (20.32) 3.31 (3.00) 24.97 (22.65) 50.68 (45.98) ODP Ozone depletion potential kg CFC-11 Equiv. 1.40e-08 (1.27e-08) 2.00e-08 (1.81e-08) 6.64e-08 (6.02e-08) 1.00e-07 (9.11e-08) EP Eutrophication potential kg N Equiv. 6.04e-03 (5.48e-03) 9.87e-04 (8.95e-04) 1.99e-03 (1.80e-03) 9.02e-03 (8.18e-03) AP Acidification potential kg SO2 Equiv. 6.61e-02 (6.00e-02) 1.69e-02 (1.53e-02) 8.16e-02 (7.40e-02) 1.65e-01 (1.49e-01) POCP Photochemical ozone creation potential kg O3 Equiv. 1.40 (1.27) 0.54 (0.49) 1.03 (0.93) 2.97 (2.69) Figure 2. Life Cycle Impact Indicators ACRONYM INDICATOR UNIT QUANTITY PERMETRIC TONNE ASPHALTMIXTURE (PER SHORT TONASPHALTMIXTURE) MATERIALS (A1) TRANSPORT (A2) PRODUCTION (A3) TOTAL (A1–A3) RPRE Renewable primary resources used as an energy carrier (fuel) MJ 6.67 (6.05) 0.00 (0.00) 0.01 (0.01) 6.68 (6.06) RPRM Renewable primary resources with energy content used as material MJ 0.00 (0.00) N/A N/A 0.00 (0.00) NRPRE Non-renewable primary resources used as an energy carrier (fuel) MJ 423 (383) 44 (40) 93 (85) 560 (508) RPRM Non-renewable primary resources with energy content used asmaterial MJ 1354 (1228) N/A N/A 1354 (1228) SM Secondary (recycled) materials kg 290 (263) N/A 0 290 (263) RSF Renewable secondary fuels MJ N/A N/A 0.00 (0.00) 0.00 (0.00) NRSF Non-renewable secondary fuels MJ N/A N/A 231.84 (210.32) 231.84 (210.32) RE Recovered energy MJ N/A N/A 0.00 (0.00) 0.00 (0.00) FW Consumption of fresh water M3 4.54e+00 (4.12e+00) N/A 4.70e-03 (4.27e-03) 4.55e+00 (4.13e+00) ADPfossil Abiotic depletion potential for fossil resources MJ 1768 1604 9 8 307 278 2084 1890 Figure 3. Resource Use Indicators CAN YOU SPELL EPD?
VAASPHALT.ORG 21 The EPD contains data specific to a mix, organized into tables. Table 4 of an EPD for asphalt mixture quantifies a set of environmental impact indicators associated with raw material extraction and processing (A1), transporting those materials to the asphalt plant (A2), and plant operations (A3). The indicator that most people are focused on is global warming potential (GWP-100), which measures greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as reported in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2 Equiv.). The “100” refers to a 100-year time scale, which characterizes how short-lived GHG compounds, such as methane, may impact global warming over 100 years after being emitted. Other indicators provide information about emissions that cause acid rain, smog, and eutrophication (nutrient loading of water bodies), among others. Resource Use Indicators, shown in Table 5 of an EPD for asphalt mixture, quantify information related to the energy and materials used during the three stages of the asphalt mix production life cycle. A variety of factors break down energy. Some of these, such as renewable versus non-renewable, are fairly straightforward. Recognizing that some materials, such as asphalt binder, are combustible and have energy content, energy is also broken down into energy used as fuel versus energy used as a material. Energy is further broken down into primary or “first use” energy and secondary or “recycled” energy used as a fuel, (i.e., combusting used oil as a burner fuel). Table 5 also shows the total secondary material content as well as the consumption of fresh water. What Are the Requirements? For EPDs, a set of Product Category Rules (PCR) were established based on the expertise of a group NAPA assembled to identify how energy and other metrics would be assessed. For instance, the PCR for asphalt mixtures had to adhere to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standard 14025 and ISO Standard 21930. Once developed, PCRs undergo a public comment period and are then peer-reviewed and approved by an additional panel of experts. Numerous data sets are necessary for the PCR for asphalt mixtures. Data provided by the mix producer, referred to as “primary data,” include information about asphalt plant operations and materials used in the mix. These data sets include the amount of fuel a plant uses over a calendar year, the amount of electricity, the volume of water, the source of aggregates and asphalt, and the haul distances from the raw material sources to the asphalt plant. The EPD program also relies on background data to quantify the environmental impacts associated with the upstream manufacturing of raw materials. Currently, aggregates and asphalt binders do not have an EPD for each product, such as a #8 or #78 stone or PG 64S-22 or PG 64E-22 binders. Therefore, industry averages are used until those PCRs, and the resulting verified EPDs for each unique material, are developed. NAPA has also worked on a software program to simplify EPD development. NAPA and third-party vendor WAP Sustainability launched the Emerald Eco-Label program, which has since been independently verified and is highly respected among industry, agencies, and life cycle assessment (LCA) practitioners due to its thoroughness and ease of use. What Have We Learned from EPDs? As with any new process, there are many lessons learned. The biggest lessons from the creation of EPDs by asphalt contractors have been tied to the production processes or the “cradle to gate” portion of the LCA process. Within this are the extractional upstream production of the input materials (i.e., aggregates, binder, reclaimed asphalt, additives, etc.), the transport of the materials △ continued from page 19 Cradle-to-Gate Transport (A2) Materials (A1) End of Life (C1–C4) Maintenance & Rehabilitation (B2–B5) Use (B1, B6, B7) Construction (A4–A5) Production (A3) Figure 4. Life Cycle Diagram continues on page 22 △ CAN YOU SPELL EPD? While an EPD seems simple on the surface, no two asphalt mixes, plants, or companies are the same. Each one has unique characteristics. So, the question often asked is how can two mixes be compared if nothing is exactly the same?
22 SPRING/SUMMER 2023 to the production facility, and the manufacturing process. The extractional upstream production (A1) uses industry-wide EPDs and LCAs for background data, not source-specific EPDs. For example, extracting asphalt binder from crude oil does not distinguish between crude sources, refinery plant designs, or transport of the crude oil to the refinery or the terminal. Though the asphalt binder industry is developing an EPD program, no EPDs for asphalt binders have been published to date. The same can be said for aggregates and many of the additives used. For reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), the Emerald Eco-Label program uses a default fuel consumption value to account for the energy and emissions associated with processing, as specified in the PCR for asphalt mixtures. However, the effective use of RAP in new asphalt mixes reduces the material cost by replacing the amount of virgin aggregates and binder. Likewise, this saves on the environmental cost by substituting for asphalt binder and aggregate. The asphalt mix design comprises three main components: virgin asphalt binder, virgin aggregates, and recycled materials (i.e., RAP, reclaimed asphalt shingles, ground tire rubber, plastics, etc.). From discussions with contractors who have developed EPDs for some of their mixes, we have learned that the amount of virgin asphalt binder required for a mix design can increase or decrease the GWP on comparable mixes (i.e., surface mixes with ½” nominal maximum aggregate size and PG 64S-22 binder). Since the standard dataset used for asphalt binder includes all processes up to and including terminal operations, EPDs for asphalt mixtures do not differentiate supply chain-specific differences between asphalt binder suppliers. Therefore, EPD results scale with the virgin asphalt binder content of the mix. However, if the asphalt binder in RAP can offset a portion of the added virgin binder, then the asphalt binder used decreases. The same can be said for replacing virgin aggregates with RAP aggregates. Transport to the factory (or A2 on Figure 4) will be an important factor in the EPD, depending on the location of the asphalt plant. Simply put, the A2 deals with the trucking, railing, or barging of upstream materials, primarily aggregates and asphalt binder. For asphalt plants that sit in a quarry, aggregate transport is minor in terms of energy consumption. However, a standalone plant supplied only by haul trucks will have a much higher A2 depending on the length of haul. The same can be said for plants supplied by a rail line or barge. For RAP, transport of the material is accounted for from the initial storage or processing location. Transport of RAP from the milling site to the initial storage or processing location is part of the previous pavement’s life cycle and is not included in the EPD. Therefore, virgin aggregate and asphalt binder offset using RAP will reduce the A2 impact on the overall EPD for most plants. Another consideration is projects where non-polishing aggregate must be transported for use in asphalt surface mixes, which will cause the A2 to be higher. Finally, several lessons can be found in the manufacturing (or A3) stage of the life cycle. The A3 stage relies heavily on the burner fuel type and quantity used to produce one ton of mix. Some fuels, such as natural gas, burn much cleaner than diesel. Fuel consumption can be reduced through burner tuning and managing aggregate moisture content. The fuel needed to dry the aggregates or drive off moisture is critical. NAPA’s QIS-126 publication “Energy Conservation in HotMix Asphalt Production” shows that paving and sloping the stockpile areas can help reduce moisture in aggregates. Covering stockpiles, particularly RAP, high absorption aggregates and fine aggregates, keeps the materials dry. The drier the input materials to the drum, the less heat is needed, thus improving EPD results by reducing fuel consumption. Other areas to reduce fuel usage are burner efficiency, drum flighting, and baghouse performance. While all of these are common sense, EPDs can help plants benchmark and quantify the environmental benefits of operational improvements. Understanding which parameters affect the EPD is crucial for a contractor. The contractor will learn the drivers that increase or decrease the EPD results and areas of cost savings and efficiencies. For example, some plants may not have the ability to switch fuel sources, but paving stockyards and covering stockpiles can have a huge benefit. In addition, running plants at lower temperatures can minimize fuel use and reduce the A3 impacts and fuel costs. How Does This Apply to Concrete? The most common question asked at asphalt meetings regarding EPDs is, “What about concrete?” It seems like a straightforward question since engineers are accustomed to comparing thickness designs, unit costs, and performance. However, it is not that simple at the moment. The units for concrete are cubic meters, and short tons are used for asphalt. Not a big deal—we can make the conversions for a set thickness design using unit weights. But dig a little deeper: are the system boundaries, background datasets, and other key parameters for asphalt and concrete the same within the PCRs? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Until these parameters are harmonized across different PCRs, comparing EPDs for different pavement material types is problematic. △ continued from page 21 CAN YOU SPELL EPD? EPDs are another metric to show a material’s environmental and economic advantages. Like putting together the first cost for a project, the first EPD for a mix or plant will take time. However, once the information is gathered, processed, and input into the Emerald Eco-Label program or other verified processes, the next iterations of EPDs will take less time.
VAASPHALT.ORG 23 Ronnie Jacko firstname.lastname@example.org 503.445.2234 Another major challenge comes once again in the LCA portion of the concrete and asphalt pavement comparison. Just as the industries have disagreed over the performance cycles and timelines in a life cycle cost analysis, the same holds for LCAs. Beyond the “cradle to gate” or even the construction stage of the LCA, the use stage and end of life stage will be the components determining the overall environmental impacts of a pavement structure. The use stage includes considerations such as maintenance operations, traffic impacts, performance cycles, rehabilitation and reconstruction. Fortunately, with asphalt pavements, the speed of construction and maintenance reduces impacts on traffic. Additionally, asphalt pavements can be maintained at a higher level of smoothness and condition, thereby reducing vehicle operating costs, and very few asphalt pavements are removed at the end-of-life stage. Unless significant design changes are needed, existing asphalt pavements become integrated into new roadways. To maintain functionality, the use stage for concrete pavements includes grinding, patching, and asphalt overlays. At the end of concrete pavement’s performance life, the slabs are either removed, structurally overlaid, or fractured and overlaid as part of new roadways. Agreeing on the LCA details will be a major hurdle to comparing the pavement types. Now That You Can Spell EPD, Do You Understand EPD? Simply put, EPDs are another metric to show a material’s environmental and economic advantages. Like putting together the first cost for a project, the first EPD for a mix or plant will take time. However, once the information is gathered, processed, and input into the Emerald Eco-Label program or other verified processes, the next iterations of EPDs will take less time. Companies that run multiple plants with various aggregates and fuel sources can analyze the EPDs to fine-tune their processes and become more economical. Also, companies with just a single plant or two will be able to compare their EPDs with other published EPDs in their state and nationally. It will be critical for the asphalt industry to develop and publish its EPDs with timeliness and efficiency. As of January 2023, over 400 EPDs were published nationally. While that seems like a large sample, it is just a start. Within Virginia, where nearly 100 asphalt plants operate, each plant could produce as many as a dozen different mix types, from surface to base mixes, since the A1, A2, and A3 inputs will vastly differ depending on the plant’s location. That alone would equate to 1,200 EPDs. Developing and publishing EPDs will be crucial in future conversations with legislators and regulators regarding the proper use of EPDs in the pavement type selection and project delivery process. Although agencies like the GeneralServices Agency have struck out on requiring EPDs for specific federal projects, other agencies like the US Department of Transportation, US Department of Defense and US Department of Interior will also require EPDs as part of the federal Buy Clean Initiatives. In addition, several states have implemented EPDs at the state level. It is imperative for everyone to become educated and join in the EPD conversation. CAN YOU SPELL EPD?
24 SPRING/SUMMER 2023 THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT FOR WOMEN OF ASPHALT Tigre J. Fortune, Member Relations Specialist, Virginia Asphalt Association Since its inception in April 2021, the Women of Asphalt (WofA) has grown to 165 members across the state and is adding more and more members each month. Though the WofA Virginia branch has worked hard to achieve this level of growth and is dedicated to reaching more people, its focus is more than growth in size. The mission of the national WofA organization is to empower women in asphalt industry careers and to lead and inspire women to join the asphalt industry, which is no different for WofA Virginia. We aim to foster long-standing local communities where women feel included and set up to succeed in a historically male-dominant industry. These goals keep the branch leaders working hard to provide space and opportunity for members to feel empowered and inspired. Some may ask, Why is there such an emphasis on having a space solely for women when they want to be included? Is this separate group necessary? One answer is that WofA is not exclusive to women but permits people of all genders to join. However, research shows that women in particular need a network of support to thrive in industries like ours. These communities serve as an instrumental source of social, emotional, and career support for women that helps propel many forward in their careers. They also provide a safe space for women to have honest conversations about some of the challenges and concerns that they may face within their organization and industry as a whole. Significantly, a recent survey performed by Women in Design and Construction further concluded that the number one answer from women after being asked what holds them back was confidence. In male-dominant industries, women lack confidence in their abilities, career pathways, potential, networking, and comfortability speaking up or disagreeing in professional settings. Creating these spaces for women to form support networks gives them the community they need to develop that confidence. However, this is only half the battle when it comes to equalizing representation in male-dominant fields such as asphalt. With the support of men, and specifically men in positions of power, we will overcome the remaining challenges. When women pursue and excel in careers seen as “jobs for men,” empowering them to do so will be vital in our work toward equal representation. Having the support of male counterparts and managers will enhance the confidence and community of women in the workplace. Hence WofA’s premium on male membership and engagement. Although they might not feel obliged to participate in all meetings and events, men prepared to back and support the mission and community WofA is trying to build is truly inspiring. It shows that change is occurring and space is being created for women to feel valuable to this industry. So, what is the WofA branch doing to nurture Virginia’s women and to help them feel seen, heard, and connected in this industry? Since February, WofA Virginia has emphasized meeting every month (#WofAWednesdays) to check in with members, provide updates, and open the floor for members to share information and accomplishments. Anyone can tune in, including non-members and potential members. Through thisvaasphalt.org