Development of Graduate Level Course on Sustainable Asphalt Pavements

PI: James Richard Willis, Ph.D., Auburn University

UTC Project Information

Course Website

Final Report

The purpose of this Education and Workforce Development project is to instill in architectural and civil engineering students at the graduate level the importance of sustainability aspects of pavement design and application that will enhance the prospect of developing livable communities. This is already being done in many areas of paving and building.  For instance, asphalt pavements are the most recycled product in the country. Use of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) is now commonplace on most public and private construction projects. Using porous pavements have also been shown to reduce the need for storm-water retention basins and improve the quality of storm-water runoff.

The course will provide online, web-based training to help students understand urban energy systems and the impact that pavement design and infrastructure development may have on minimizing the demand for energy in urban environments. Students will learn to use standard and innovative test procedures to measure the ability of both asphalt and concrete pavements to reduce the community carbon footprint, contribute to noise reduction, improve driver safety, and conserve natural resources through recycling.

The National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) will work with the Continuing Education and Outreach Office of Auburn University to develop interactive audio-visual aids and online access. Auburn University faculty, and selected other faculty from around the country will be used to obtain information regarding sustainability of concrete pavements.

The course will include, but is not limited to the following topics:

  1. Introduction to Sustainable Pavements

  2. Determination of Energy Consumption and Ways to Conserve Energy

  3. Life Cycled Assessment

  4. Ways to Minimize Urban Heat Island Effect

  5. LEED System for Green Building Emphasis

  6. Reflectivity Assessments

  7. Green Pavement Rating Systems

During development of the course curriculum, the research team will contact the local consortium members in order to allow individuals from the local university the opportunity to offer their suggestions and expertise. Universities outside the consortium will also be contacted for information about any sustainability courses they may have. Once the curriculum is developed, it will be made available to other consortium members for implementation in their respective university coursework.

This proposed work will provide a graduate-level, interactive, online course of instruction for methods of designing sustainable and energy efficient pavements that will provide livable communities and improved quality of life. Technology transfer workshops and webinars will also be held to provide this information at the state and local government level.