Home In Brief

Paving the way to a greener home, an “Infusion” of new construction ideas and decorating with good ethics.

(page 1 of 3)

A special heating process saves materials for repairs, and that helps save the planet.Paving the Way

Fixing your driveway can be an exercise in going green. Just ask this contractor.

Need a pothole filled or your driveway repaired? Rest easy, says Richard Piendak. His Richards Paving in Wilmington has been using technology to repair and replace driving surfaces in an eco-friendly way since the early 1990s.

To repair a pothole under normal protocols, for example, a paving contractor would need to cut out the hole with a diamond blade, remove the chunks with a backhoe, transport them to a recycling facility, then fill the hole with fresh quarry aggregate and virgin asphalt material. Not Piendak. He’ll position a specialized 6-by-8 foot heating element above the damaged asphalt to essentially melt the material with infrared rays.

“In a few minutes time, we can re-rake, spray some rejuvenator on there. It becomes fresh asphalt,” Piendak says. “It’s almost like a microwave, how it heats from the inside out. It’s a one-step process, so it saves on removal and hauling.”

Another machine, which Piendak lovingly calls “the crusher,” is a 125,000-pound, 85-foot-long monster that pulverizes chunks of paving surface into reusable stone base. It eliminates the need to haul away the old base in heavy trucks, and it minimizes the need for new base materials to be brought in from a quarry.

For its green initiatives, Richards was the state’s first business accepted into Delaware’s Green Industries Program, earning valuable tax credits for its efforts.The company has its fingerprints all over the state’s biggest businesses: DuPont, AstraZeneca and more.

“We see it as putting those natural resources back into the environment instead of depleting them,” he says.         —Matt Amis

Page 2: An "Infusion" of New Ideas | Julie and Tony are building a new kind of home—a universally designed green home. They’d like to share their knowledge with you.