First assignment of group n° 095


Resources used by the team


Book :  : Citystates II, The Case for Corporate Leadership in Urban Sustainability

BILS Caroline

Book : Benyus, J.M. (2011), Biomimétisme: Quand la nature inspire des innovations durables, Edition Rue de l'échiquier

PANGON Anne-Claire
  • Video 1 : Jonathan Trent: Energy from floating algea pods
  • Video 2 : the circular economy
  • Video 3 : les barbares attanquent l'énergie

Book : Rifkin : la troisième révolution industrielle

  • Video 1 : Circular Economy: Thomas Rau at TEDxZwolle

  • Video 2 : Les Barbares Attaquent les Politiques Publiques de l'Environnement!

  • Video 3 : Cruel sera le réveil Le Crash pétrolier Documentaire Arte
Book : Enough is enough : Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources (2012), Rob Dietz and Dan O'Neill

  • Article 1 Economie circulaire : rien ne se perd, tout se transforme, Courrier International…/rien-ne-se-perd-tout…

  • Article 2 Greening the Blacktop, Landscape Architecture Magazine

  • Article 3 Du bitume à base de microalgues pour « verdir » les routes, Le Monde…/du-bitume-a-base-de-microalgues-pou…

  • Article 4 Sustainable innovation: shaped for the circular economy, Financial Times…/…

  • Article 5 Asphalt Pavements and the environment, ISAP


Book : Anderson, C. (2012), Makers: La nouvelle révolution industrielle, Edition Pearson


Book : Manier B. (2012), Un million de révolutions tranquilles : travail, argent, habitat, santé, environnement, ... Comment les citoyens changent le monde, Editions Les Liens qui Libèrent


Book : Rifkin, J. (2011), La troisième révolution industrielle

1. What Problem do you want to solve ?

Today, the sustainable development question is more and more at heart of the development of cities. However, the construction and the renewal of roads of these continue to be centred on concrete.

This road concrete raises different problems. First of all, it is strongly waterproof. It does not allow the water to seep trough the ground to reach groundwater. Besides, the water that circulates on it can contain polluting components. Furthermore, this concrete isn’t fully recyclable, only a small part of it can be reused. It is a big issue when we know that the construction industry is the biggest generator of waste in France - 260 million tons in 2010.

The problem is thus the following: What less polluting and recyclable material, allowing the infiltration of water, could replace the road concrete? This material will have to have an equivalent cost/duration ratio and will also have to be as resistant and as safe.

2. Why does this problem exist?

Although it is arguable, Asphalt remains almost the unique way to pave the roads today, representing road construction methods up to 90%. It is very closely related to human health, ecological and sustainable issues.

The Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire pointed out the carcinogenic risks of asphalt in 2013 after the Eurovia scandal: a building worker died from a skin cancer after being exposed to asphalt pavements. Indeed, asphalt represents a major health risk during the mixing and heating stages because of the toxic gases but also during the wrecking of the asphalt pavements which produces toxic dust. This reality also causes a major problem in terms of road depreciation since they last 30 years at best. Furthermore, asphalt pavement causes a lot of recycling issues.

The ecological impact is also a burning issue : 1.6 millions tons of carbon dioxide are emitted every year by asphalt production. More than an atmospheric pollution problem, asphalt pavement also stops rain water from introducing the earth and supplying groundwater tables and rivers.

It is not only a current problem but it will be a problem in the future. Knowing that asphalt is a form of petroleum and that peak oil is supposed to occur in about 50 years, it is inevitable to find a solution. We have to figure it out now.

3. What breakthrough are you commited to creating?

We need to find a new material to solve the issue mentioned above. There are already several solutions in the sector of construction but there are not sufficient.

Several companies offer new ecological materials to build the floor. The example of the tiled floor for house is a good one. Bamboo is also a new material which is becoming more and more popular every day because it solves many ecological issues: deforestation, abusive use of water, use of pesticides and mudslides.

Bamboo is a good way to create more ecological roads but it is only restricted to inside house.

A french city, Dinan, also created a tarmac that absorbs the pollution created by vehicles. It could have been a major innovative idea if it didn’t only recover the old tarmac, thus hiding the problem we have just pointed. Our project fills into the “ecoconstruction’s” movement which gathers many people and companies who want to change the future and create a « sustainable society ».

We want to be part of this because we think that changing details is not a solution : we want to tackle something bigger. We create electric cars and promote the use of bicycles instead of cars and common transports but we still create polluting road network. Promoting non-polluant means of transport is effective only if transport networks are environmentally friendly first. Since EVERYBODY uses it we think it is a matter of general interest.

Potential experts already identified

  • DIEUSSAERT Franck- Dirige une entreprise dans le bâtiment RENOV IMMO - connaissance
  • BROSSIER Arthur - Ingénieur en bâtiment - connaissance
  • DEKONINCK Gregoire - dernière année de DUT génie civil à Amiens -connaissance

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