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Greening Infrastructure: The Road Ahead. Kimberly Cochran, PhD U.S. EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery IRWA Federal Agency Update January 26, 2010 Las Vegas, Nevada. EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. Promotes sustainable materials management

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greening infrastructure the road ahead

Greening Infrastructure: The Road Ahead

Kimberly Cochran, PhD

U.S. EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery

IRWA Federal Agency Update

January 26, 2010

Las Vegas, Nevada

epa office of resource conservation and recovery
EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery
  • Promotes sustainable materials management
  • What kinds of recycled materials?
    • Concrete
    • Asphalt shingles
    • Foundry sands
    • Tires
    • Asphalt pavement
why use recycled materials
Why use recycled materials?
  • Environmental Benefits
    • Avoided impacts from processing of virgin materials (e.g. GHG emissions)
  • Economic Benefits
    • Reduced costs associated with disposal
    • Cost savings from use instead of more costly materials
  • Performance Benefits
    • Perform as well as or better than traditional materials
      • Increased strength, improved workability, resistance to chemical attack; longer life
new executive order 13514 federal leadership in environmental energy and economic performance
New Executive Order 13514Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance
  • Sets sustainability goals for Federal agencies and focuses on making improvements in their environmental, energy and economic performance
  • Divert 50% of nonhazardous solid waste from landfills
  • Divert 50% of construction and demolition (C&D) materials from landfills
  • “ensuring that all new construction, major renovation, or repair and alteration of Federal buildings complies with the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings”
    • Recycled Content. For EPA-designated products, use products meeting or exceeding EPA’s recycled content recommendations. For other products, use materials with recycled content such that the sum of post-consumer recycled content plus one-half of the pre-consumer content constitutes at least 10% (based on cost) of the total value of the materials in the project.
    • Construction Waste Management
epa orcr supports green infrastructure in four ways
EPA ORCR Supports Green Infrastructure in Four Ways

Education and outreach

Support efforts to green highways

Supporting projects that develop capacity for green infrastructure

Measure progress and benefits

support efforts to green highways
Support Efforts to Green Highways
  • Collaborative effort between government, industry, and other groups to green highways

example green highways efforts
Example Green Highways Efforts

Specification Harmonization:

- State environmental and transportation officials working together to eliminate barriers to “green” highway efforts.

example green highways efforts9
Example Green Highways Efforts

Reward Program:

Rewards contractors for including “green” attributes in highways

example green highways efforts10
Example Green Highways Efforts

Asphalt Shingle Spec:

Encouraging multiple states to adopt specifications for tear-off asphalt shingles.

green road certification programs
Green Road Certification Programs
  • GreenLITES
    • Leadership In Transportation Environmental Sustainability
    • Developed by NYSDOT
    • Self-certification
  • Greenroads Sustainability Performance Metric
    • Developed by the University of Washington
    • Third-party certification
Green standards and guidelines for landscapes
  • EPA provides technical assistance
  • Standards and guidelines debuted November 2009 at:
  • Now in the pilot project phase.
    • Call for pilot projects went out in November
    • Submit any pilot project ideas you have by February 15th.

tools and resources publications
Tools and Resources: Publications

Available on our website:


Publication highlights benefits, provides resources and references, such as ASTM specifications

epa s warm model
EPA’s WaRM Model
  • EPA’s WaRM calculates GHG reductions from through recycling
  • Currently adding more C&D materials

  • Developed by University of Toledo
  • Calculates benefits of utilizing various materials in road construction

epa bart sustainable transit leadership pilot
EPA/BART Sustainable Transit Leadership Pilot
  • 2002 IWG Pilot - $45,000 grant
  • Focus on Greening Transit:
    • Energy Efficiency Pilot
    • Facility Standards/Specifications
      • Construction & Demolition Materials
      • Recycling
      • Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
    • +6,000 page Facility Standard “Greening”
  • Saved $711,000

Energy Efficiency Pilot

  • BART is one of the largest parking garage owners in CA
  • Lighting Control Power Reduction System
    • Dual metered parking garage
    • Transformer with centrally controls to reduce voltage and current
    • Sustained 25% reduction in energy use
      • Kwh Savings: 97,090/yr.
      • CO2 Reduction 130,108/yr
      • Cost $12,226/Return on Investment 1.8 yrs.
  • Required in Facility Specification for new construction
recycling less energy less waste lower life cycle cost
Utilized recycled plastic rail ties

Last twice as long & can be recycled

BART replaced 400 wooden railroad ties with recycled ties (1.1 million grocery bags, 246,400 plastic bottles and 1200 tires)

Old wood ties used to make electricity (state-of-the-art air quality controls)

Construction and demolition materials

Recycled all concrete and steel

50% of all other construction materials were diverted

RecyclingLess Energy, Less Waste, Lower Life-Cycle Cost
transit sustainability practice compendium draft
Transit Sustainability Practice Compendium (Draft)

house deconstruction in epa region 1
House Deconstruction in EPA Region 1
  • House owned by Burlington Regional Airport was deconstructed to make way for new development
  • The systematic dismantling of structures in an effort to maximize reuse and recycling.
  • Provides low cost building materials to the community.
  • Reduces greenhouse gases.
  • Provides green jobs.
  • Conserves resources.
  • Reduces need for landfill space.
house deconstruction
House Deconstruction
  • Approx. 12 tons of material was reused or recycled in the community
  • 55% recovery rate
  • Saved 8 metric tons of CO2 eq.
  • The airport is planning to deconstruct more homes in the future.
  • Many efforts regarding sustainable transportation happening around the country.
  • There are tools and other resources to help develop such efforts.
  • We can help you start greening your infrastructure project.
For more information on the EPA-HUD-DOT partnership, see the Sustainable Communities presentation tomorrow at 8:30 am

Thank you!

Kimberly Cochran

(703) 347-8950