DURHAM, N.H. Kevin Gardner sees green roads right around the corner.
A lot of the infrastructure in this country needs to be re-built, says Gardner, University of New Hampshire associate professor of civil engineering and director of the Environmental Research Group. We have a real opportunity to re-build the infrastructure the right way with sustainable materials and socially sensitive designs that protect air, water, land, and human resources.
Funded by the Federal Highway Administration and pooled state highway funds, as well as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants for specific research projects, Gardner established the new Recycled Materials Resource Management Center (RMRC) at UNH on June 1, 2007. The RRMC is a collaboration between UNH environmental and social impact researchers and University Wisconsin-Madison geotechnical, or soil behavior, faculty. Working closely with a board of advisors composed of representatives from the EPA, the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, as well as numerous other stakeholders, one of the Centers activities is to establish a green roads program that develops criteria for what makes a roadway green.
Similar to the green buildings program established by the U.S. Green Building Council, which triggered a boom in green building construction, a green roads program, it is believed, will give the green light to sweeping reforms in the way we build roads. The project is full of twists and turns. Todays urban sprawl requires road builders to confront a range of sensitive issues involving air, water, land, building materials, energy use, biodiversity, and social capitalan index of social productivity and quality of life.
To jump-start the process, the RMRC faculty teamed up with the UNH Stormwater Center in Durham. Their task is to account for both environmental and social impacts of road-building, as well as estab
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University of New Hampshire