O’Hare Recycles Shingles Into New Runway

Most people know Chicaco’s O’Hare International Airport as the busiest airport in the world, it will soon be known with another distinction. O’Hare will be the first airport in the United States to use recycled asphalt roofing material as part of a new runway according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The underlay will contain two layers of asphalt underneath that will use up to 3% of oil, sand and fiber repurposed from asphalt shingles from residential roofs in the Chicago area.

The project will utilize roughly 9,500 tons of recycled material of recycled shingles into new taxiways and service roads as part of a new south airfield. The recycled material will be shredded to the consistency of coarse coffee before being added into virgin materials to make the asphalt mixture.

The city of Chicago has been working with consultants and engineers from the University of Illinois since 2012 to figure out ways to use the recycled material so it doesn’t end up in Chicago dumps. The two worked together with different ratios and materials to make sure it met certain strength and durability requirements before going to the FAA for approval on the new runway.

“It’s the right environmental thing to do,” said Jonathan Leach, chief operating officer at Chicago’s Aviation Department. He stated that the use of recycled shingles will be used in all future paving projects at both O’Hare and Midway Airport. Leach added, “The hope also is that as fuel costs rise, the recycled shingles will reduce some of our construction costs.”

The process is good for manufacturers and contractors as well, it can cost nearly $45 per ton of material to dump at a conventional waste facility while recycling centers charge only $15.

The Aviation Department estimated that O’Hare will save close to $665,000 by using the recycled material in the new runways, taxiways and service roads. That is only a small fraction of the approximately $82.5 million dollar project but officials are looking more than just to save money.

The FAA’s approval of the recycled material could open up possibilities of more use of recycled materials for further projects including blast pads, access roads and even the airport adjacent Interstate Highway 190. The new runway is expected to be open by late 2015.

How to Choose Roof Shingles

Roofcorp understands that choosing your roof shingles can seem like a daunting process at first. There are many different kinds of roofing options and even the simple asphalt shingle has a subset of categories. Luckily the experts here at Roofcorp are here to try to give you a brief summary of different types of asphalt roofing shingles.

Choosing Roof Shingles

3-Tab Shingles

This type of asphalt roofing shingle is one of the mostly widely used in today’s roofing world. The material is cheap and easy to install to which leads to lower overall costs. There are hundreds of different patterns and colors to choose from so it is easy to match the character of your home.

3-Tab shingles have a front end portion that is one solid piece that remains exposed while the back end is separated into three tabs that slide easily into place in an overlooking pattern. This ease of installation leads to low costs. Theshingles itself has a very uniform appearance which appeals to some homeowners.

3-Tab shingles are cheap but a have a fairly short lifetime of around 20 years.

Dimensional Shingles

Dimensional shingles were created around the 1970s to appeal to homeowners who wanted the small price of asphalt shingle installation but the curb appeal of higher end roofing materials. The main difference in dimensional shingles compared to 3 tab shingles is in the cut. 3 tabs are all cut in one uniform size and shape while dimensional shingles are cut to imitate wooden shakes, slate or clay and concrete roofing tiles.

A subset of dimensional shingles are “designer” roofing shingles. These are shingles designed with a specific style in mind such as rustic or Victorian. Designer roofing shingles may also be referred to as architectural, premium or high definition.

Dimensional shingles are more costly than 3-tab shingles but can last up to twice as long from 40-50 years.

Impact Resistant Shingles

Impact resistant shingles are manufactured like most asphalt roofing shingles except they are reinforced with a fiberglass layer that leads to extra strength. They are better able to stand up to high winds and hail damage. They can also be ordered in many distinct styles and colors.

Like dimensional shingles, impact resistant are usually higher in cost. However, this type of roofing material can often qualify you for discounts on your insurance premiums.