Beyond the Build

Construction Trends

Cold-Process Asphalt Rehab, Beyond Roadways

It may be a matter of time before we see cold in-place recycling (CIPR) in commercial parking areas.

As an eco-friendly pavement process, CIPR rehabs old asphalt without using heat. In this process, existing asphalt is removed and then pulverized to the desired aggregate size, mixing in a rejuvenating asphalt emulsion. Almost 100% of the recycled product can be reused.

The cold process means very little pollution is created. Because there is no heat applied to the asphalt, noxious fumes are virtually eliminated.

Right now, one sees this process routinely in roadwork, but not yet in commercial parking. This may change with new technology and equipment but for now there is an alternative process called CCPR.

Cold Central Plant Recycling is where Recycled Asphalt Product (RAP) millings are hauled off site and stockpiled for later use. When needed, the millings are mixed with an emulsion or foamed asphalt stabilizing agent.

The resulting cold-recycled asphalt is trucked locally to the job and laid with conventional paving and compaction equipment. While shipping the millings to a plant adds a step, there are still cost and environmental savings all the way around.

Using CIPR or CCPR processes in parking areas presents several wins for the owner, including:

  • Total pavement resurfacing and rehabilitation of cracking, potholes, surface irregularities.
  • Curb heights and parking clearances are maintained.
  • Less carbon is expended, making a more environmentally friendly, green building process.
  • Preservation of both natural and human resources.

While reliable figures for the generation of asphalt millings are not readily available, it is estimated that as much as 45 million tons is presently being produced each year in the U.S. As we see it, it’s matter of time before more of both the methods maybe more commonplace in commercial parking.

Have you used CIPR or CCPR processes? Where else do you see the industry adapting these techniques?


Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.