Roads are the largest built structures we come into contact with and yet they are so ubiquitous and familiar that they have become an impervious given, the dark matter of the motor vehicle cosmos.
Building a one mile long single road lane uses as much energy to build as 50 American households in a single year.
But when society thinks about green building, those thoughts are almost universally of buildings (be it offices or schools or homes) and not of infrastructure like roads and bridges. As sustainability increasingly becomes a mainstream concern, one of the strategies some government departments of transportation have adopted for providing a more sustainable approach is a “green streets and highways rating system.”
The Greenroads Rating System is a collection of sustainable roadway design and construction best practices that encompass water, environment, access, community impact, construction practices and materials.
If green building is going to save the planet, society will have to think with a broader mindset than only buildings and Greenroads need to be at the forefront.