Posts By: Calvac Paving
The saying “They don’t build ‘em like they used to” is literal truth in the concrete industry. For decades, modern science has struggled to work out how ancient societies such as the Romans were able to create buildings, monuments and roadways which are still visible and even in use today, when the average lifespan of modern concrete tends to be far more modest. Now, a team of scientists from the University of Utah believes they may have found the surprising answer to this centuries-old mystery.
Modern concrete uses Portland cement as its base, which is a fine powder created from lime, chalk, sandstone, iron and other materials and then combined with aggregates of varying sizes. However, the Romans used a type of cement created from the ash of certain volcanoes. These volcanoes’ emissions contained a rare combination of mineral elements which only occurs naturally in very specific areas with particular geological profiles. What’s most surprising is that the minerals which make Roman cement different from Portland cement appear to react to seawater, which encourages the crystalline structure of the minerals to continue growing. This actually makes the concrete self-healing and impedes cracking, a feat modern science is still trying to replicate.
This discovery of how Roman concrete was made is important because it could lead to greener and more eco-friendly concrete production and paving technologies, as well as structures with higher strength, structural integrity and longevity under adverse conditions than modern concrete allows for. In addition, Roman concrete did not use reinforcing steel such as a wire mesh mat or rebar, both of which Portland cement will corrode and degrade over time. This may lead to significant cost reductions for new construction on structures like bridges, building footings and other applications.
However, the research team warns it’s too early to get too excited about Roman concrete. First, Roman concrete relies on very specific minerals, namely tobermorite and phillipsite, being present in certain quantities. The researchers say the composition of Roman concrete was largely a matter of luck and being in the right place, at the right time, with access to the right materials. Second, we don’t yet know exactly how the Romans made their cement or what the process was for mixing it with aggregate and placing it. This by itself may leave us several years, or even decades, away from being able to use Roman concrete effectively.
Despite these hurdles, the concepts behind Roman concrete and other green discoveries from the ancient world are constantly being studied, evaluated and applied to our modern understanding of how to build things that last. At Calvac Paving, we’ve been serving the Bay Area for over 40 years in the most environmentally friendly, safe and expedient way possible. We’re always on the lookout for new developments, technologies and ideas which will let us do our jobs more effectively, with less impact on the world we all share. To learn more about our commitment to the environment, or how Calvac Paving can help you with your next project, contact us at:
2645 Pacer Ln
San Jose, CA 95111
From India to Indiana, from Cumbria, England to Corpus Christi, Texas, everyone agrees the amount of free-floating plastic in the environment is an ongoing problem. With an estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic adrift on the surface of the ocean alone and uncountable more tons of the material in landfills and vacant lots all over the world, plastic both makes our current standard of living possible and poses one of its most dire threats.
At Calvac Paving, we make a point of keeping current on the latest breakthroughs and experiments in building and paving technologies, and new processes for repurposing plastic as a paving material is very much in our wheelhouse. Several different processes are in the testing stage, including using plastic to coat paving aggregates and reduce the amount of bitumen necessary for traditional asphalt; adding pellets of recycled plastic as part or all of the aggregate portion of the asphalt; and a Lego-like process of building roads from paving blocks of recycled plastic.
Apart from the obvious advantages of reducing the environmental impact of discarded free-range plastic, the primary benefit of utilizing plastic-impregnated asphalt is twofold. First, using plastic seems to increase the tensile strength of asphalt significantly, up to 60% in certain mixes.
Second, by reducing the amount of bitumen, or tar, used as the binding agent in most industrial asphalt mixes, it may also cut the cost of paving by up to 15%. The higher tensile strength potentially increases the size and mass of traffic which can use these roadways, meaning it may be possible to move more freight and larger vehicles in areas where existing paving and statutes would simply not permit them. In turn, this could substantially reduce transportation costs and thus the costs of everything from steel to gasoline to milk.
In addition, plastic-impregnated asphalt may lend itself more readily to hybridization with innovations such as the self-charging roads which we’ve discussed recently. As the costs of developing and deploying these technologies shrink, the likelihood of incorporating multiple technologies into a single roadway increase at a similar rate.
Almost as interesting as what plastic asphalt can do is the story of the various ways in which its applications came to be. In India, a chemistry professor, annoyed with the potholes of his city, remembered seeing people in Mumbai patching similar potholes by filling them with empty plastic bottles
and then heating them to a liquid state. In Scotland, an engineer built on the India protocol by using pellets of recycled plastic, aggregate and a very small amount of bituminous binder to create a roadway surface which causes less wear on tires. Meanwhile, a company in the Netherlands backing the block paving strategy was inspired by the idea that using interlocking blocks would allow for easier infrastructure placement and damaged section replacement.
By reducing the amount of “trash” plastic in the open environment and repurposing it in new ways, these innovators are also challenging accepted notions of what is possible in large-scale construction. These changes in turn may serve to make not only the final product of construction initiatives, but the processes and techniques by which they are created, more efficient, effective and environmentally friendly.
Calvac Paving takes our role in environmental sustainability and finding better ways to accomplish the tasks we undertake more effectively and safely very seriously. It is the entire reason we keep such a close eye on how construction technology is changing and evolving. When and where possible, we make it a point to adopt and implement these changes ourselves, because while we know the “tried and true” methods have survived and been used as long as they have for very good reasons, we also understand there’s almost always a better way to do just about anything if you’re willing to look hard enough for it.
We at Calvac Paving believe we can best serve the communities we live and work in by emphasizing the fastest, safest and most c
ost-effective means available to do our jobs, while striving to reduce the impact our industry can have on the global as well as local environment. It’s all part of Calvac Paving’s commitment to not just doing the job, but doing it right. We do it for our clients/stakeholders, for our community and for a better, cleaner, healthier world. To learn more about Calvac’s commitment to the environment, or to put the four decades of experience we bring to every project to work for your job, please contact us at (408) 225-7700 or https://www.calvacpaving.com/contact-us/
At Calvac Paving, we love a challenge. When St. Francis Retreat in San Juan Bautista needed an overhaul of their existing roadway, we were pleased to lend our experience and expertise to the task. The retreat is in a secluded rural setting just outside the town proper, which created some specific concerns we needed to be cognizant of during the project.
Working in a rural area, we had to plan our work in such a way as to minimize the impact on the environment and existing flora and fauna, as well as ensure we avoided disruption of the operations and tranquility of the Retreat itself as much as possible. In addition, we had to consider the safety of our personnel and the general public. Finally, the historic nature of the Retreat had to be taken into account and treated with respect.
The roadway is approximately 1 3/4 miles long and required 2,300 tons of hot-mix asphalt. The rehabilitation consisted of pulverizing, regrading and compacting the existing asphalt as additional base material. Then we laid replacement hot-mix in one 3” lift, compacted.
We are pleased to report the renovation operation went very smoothly. The local residents, staff and visitors were very patient with the unavoidable disruption a project of this sort involves. We were able to complete the project ahead of schedule and within budget, without injury or harm to the area or anyone involved in or affected by it. Best of all, the Retreat now has a great-looking, high-performance roadway which can be expected to last for years to come.
Calvac Paving has been serving the Bay Area since 1972. Let us put our craftsmanship and knowledge to work for you on your next project. For quality, safety and efficiency without parallel, we’re proud to be the construction solution for all your paving project needs!
Happy Monday Everyone! In this edition of Maintenance Monday, one of our social media friends sent us this question. I own a strip mall in San Jose, we have 10 retail stores, with 75 parking spots. How do we figure out the correct amount of handicap parking spots to have? The answer is…
Thank you, In this case, 75 stalls. Three would need to be accessible spaces (not handicap), of which one of those would have to be van accessible. One thing to consider is the current count. If this property has 5 existing accessible spaces, it is best to put back those 5. The reasoning is that the standards are the minimum and it is not usually a good idea to decrease accessibility on a property. This is why it is important to plan these layouts with an ADA specialist, you don’t want to create a problem in the future by guessing or overestimating today.
At Calvac Paving, we have CASp (Certified Access Specialists) available. Our CASp specialists serve the San Jose area as well as the greater Bay Area.
Calvac Paving, a Bay Area asphalt and concrete maintenance company, is attending at CACM’s (California Association of Community Managers) Northern CA Law Seminar & Expo.
This event will be held January 24th and 25th at the Santa Clara Convention Center. According to a Calvac Paving spokesperson, the event is “California’s premier event for the community management industry!”
The Calvac Paving team will be exhibiting at Booth #1021 in the Paradise Found Exhibit Hall. Also, they are Welcome Reception Drink Ticket Sponsors, to be held on Thursday January 24th from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. The reception will include appetizers, a no-host bar and informal networking.
Beyond the exhibit, the event will enable many in California’s management industry to learn and grow professionally. CACM notes, “Let’s face it, the demands and expectations community managers face have never been greater. Do you have the knowledge, expertise and tools you need to meet and exceed those expectations and move your career forward? At this year’s Law Seminar & Expo, we’re bringing California’s best and brightest to help you get there.”
“We hope that all attendees can stop by our booth at the exhibit,” said a Calvac Paving spokesperson. “With over 40 years of experience in the industry, we are looking forward to sharing our expertise and meeting new clients!”
About Calvac Paving:
Calvac Paving is a full-service asphalt and concrete maintenance company that has been serving the greater Bay Area since 1974.
2645 Pacer Lane
San Jose, Ca 95111
Calvac Paving recently undertook a paving rehabilitation project for the San Harbour South HOA association located at 906 Beach Park Boulevard in Foster City, California. The existing pavement was over 45 years old and was starting to exhibit severe cracking and base failures.
Primary Client Concerns
The primary client concerns included:
Continuous access during the milling, repaving and striping operations
Schedule and time management
Quality surface at the project’s end
After reviewing the jobsite in person, we came up with a range of possible solutions that would meet the client’s needs.
Milling and grading operations
Tearout and rebuilding of existing valley gutter
Due to sub-grade issues. We proposed milling the existing pavement down 2” from the existing surface and laying approximately 2,500 tons of ½” aggregate hot mix, in addition to the replacement of 1,500 linear feet or 90 cubic yards of concrete valley gutter. Our recommendations and proposed fix were accepted by Calvac’s client and HOA Board. The job was undertaken in phases as to not disrupt the community at one time.
The end result of the San Harbour South HOA project looked fantastic! The project went off without any difficulty and was completed within the stated schedule and budget.
Calvac Paving is proud to have served the Bay Area for over 45 years with a wide range of paving, concrete and ADA access planning and implementation solutions. Why gamble with the outcome of your project? Make sure your contractor can get it done right the first time, every time. To learn more about how Calvac Paving can help service your construction job or to obtain a quote for services, please call us at 408-225-7700.
2645 Pacer Ln
San Jose, CA 95111
Since 1974, Calvac Paving has taken great pride in serving the Bay Area Asphalt & Concrete construction needs.
Consistently ensuring the highest possible quality and best results for clients means keeping pace with the latest innovations in paving technology and techniques. Calvac Paving’s dedicated and knowledgeable paving professionals have amassed considerable experience in everything from new construction to refurbishment and repair of old, worn paving such as sidewalks, parking lots, roadways and more. While many paving companies focus solely on one kind of paving, Calvac Paving can boast extensive experience with asphalt, concrete and earthwork, from initial grading to final striping. Among the services Calvac Paving offers to the public are:
Calvac Paving offers the following Services
- New Construction
- Concrete Placement
- Asphalt Placement & Compaction
- Asphalt Seal Coating
- Pulverizing In Place
- ADA upgrades to existing structures
- Crack Sealing & Repair
- Petromat Overlays
- Parking Lots
- Asphalt Repairs
In addition to these services, Calvac Paving takes its obligations to the environment we all share very seriously. We use the latest green and eco-friendly policies and practices at every stage of construction from the project’s start to the final cleanup and disposal of waste products at the end. Most business owners would agree that taking steps to be a greener business is a win-win for everyone.
While this phrase may sound oxymoronic, asphalt pavement has consistently been reported as the most frequently recycled material in the nation since 1993. Continuous improvements in recycling technology and paving practices and techniques that permit for more adaptive uses of existing paving materials have fueled this recycling boom with regards to asphalt and, to a lesser degree, concrete. Purely virgin asphalt, also known as “hot-mix,” is relatively rare today because of the numerous advantages of recycling asphalt in place. However, many old-school pavers often still refer to “warm-mix,” discussed below, as “hot-mix” regardless of this designation’s true accuracy.
Most asphalt you see on the road today consists of rocks, also called aggregates, sand, binder material and additives such as shredded rubber tires, pig manure and metal slag, to name a few. These additives are re-purposed and treated in such a way as to make them a cohesive part of the overall mix and increase the mix’s performance. This transforms relatively useless or even outright hazardous materials into reasonably safe and effective filler materials for asphalt mixes. However, the most common fillers are recycled asphalt paving and asphalt shingles. Using these materials in “warm-mix” asphalt paving sharply decreases the amount of virgin oil binder needed to create a safe driving surface with proper internal cohesion and compactive properties.
According to the National Asphalt Paving Association, in the 2013 construction season alone nearly 68 million tons of recycled asphalt and almost 2 million tons of asphalt shingles were used as recyclables, at a savings to taxpayers of around $2 billion. The use of recyclables has increased 21% since 2009 and represents over 99% of all in situ, or existing, asphalt paving being recycled and re-purposed instead of ending up in landfills.
Calvac Paving is proud to be part of an industry that is able to recycle and reuse apparent waste materials so efficiently and effectively. Calvac Paving takes a deep interest in ongoing advances in procedures and techniques that allow for new ways to re-purpose existing pavement, whether it is asphalt, concrete or something else.
The Future Of Asphalt & Concrete
The interest in new advances is not limited to asphalt, because Calvac Paving is dedicated to finding more efficient and ecologically sound ways of achieving the same overall goals. One development that Calvac Paving is watching with great interest is so-called “bio-concrete.” In this type of concrete, a regular concrete mix is impregnated with tiny plastic capsules containing a type of bacillus bacterium which feeds on calcium lactate and excretes limestone. The capsules dissolve when exposed to water, activating and freeing the dormant bacteria within to begin the healing process. This landmark technology could result in admixtures for other types of paving, increasing the strength, performance and longevity of all kinds of paving and reducing necessary time-of-life repairs dramatically.
As paving technology and techniques evolve, Calvac Paving intends to retain our leadership position in adopting new practices, prioritizing greater safety, security, durability and environmental awareness in every task we undertake. From new builds to maintenance and repair of existing paving projects, Calvac Paving wants to ensure that its products and services stand the test of time, just as we have since 1974. For your next paving project, whether you’re starting from scratch or trying to determine the most efficient and effective way to repair or replace worn, cracked or improperly placed paving materials, Calvac Paving’s experienced personnel can become stakeholders in your properties. We welcome the opportunity to show you why Calvac Paving has been building the Bay Area for over forty years, giving real results that stand the test of time!
Due to the current shelter in place order from the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department, Calvac is rapidly building a backlog of pending projects.
When this ordinance lifts, we will hit the ground running and we anticipate a need to increase our field staff by 50% to 100%. Although we have not laid off any employees, we understand that many Bay Area workers have been laid off during this difficult time and we hope that Calvac can alleviate some of this burden for dozens of locals.
Please fill out the application online and we will evaluate and contact potential candidates while the order is in effect. Then we will be ready to go back to work as soon as this ordinance is lifted.
Calvac Paving, a San Jose based Asphalt and Concrete maintenance, and construction Contractor is looking for Equipment Operators, Laborers, and Skilled Workers. We are looking for full-time workers and experience in Asphalt and Concrete construction is a plus.
To Apply Please Download The Application Below.
You can mail it to:
2645 Pacer Ln,
San Jose, CA 95111
To Fax Your Application, Please Fax To 408 225-7733
If you can’t download the above Application, please fill in the information below and Calvac Paving will contact you.
About Calvac Paving
Over the past 45-plus years, Calvac Paving has become one of the most experienced and reliable Asphalt and Concrete contractors in Central California. Our focus on individual project attention and meeting our STAKEHOLDER’S expectations has helped us to add scores of Property Managers/Owners, HOAs, Corporate buildings, and campuses, Retail as well as Multifamily properties to our list of appreciative clients/stakeholders.
Every year, about 6 trillion cigarette butts are produced worldwide, or about 800 discarded butts for every man, woman and child on the planet. Not only are these butts an unsightly and expensive waste disposal problem, but the toxic chemicals which the filters trap and contain leach out over time to poison soil, groundwater, rivers and oceans. Now, a researcher at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia says he may have found a surprising answer to this problem: incorporate cigarette butts into asphalt aggregate!
According to the researcher, by coating the butts with a combination of paraffin wax and bitumen, the black substance also known as “tar” that gives asphalt its distinctive properties, it is possible to trap toxins which used butts contain while repurposing them as a lightweight, flexible asphalt aggregate component. This reduces the overall weight of an asphalt mix design while removing a potential 1.2 million metric tons of waste from the planet’s biosphere.
Another interesting side effect of adding cigarette butts to asphalt is the reduction of heat. Asphaltic concrete has been directly linked to the so-called “urban heat island” effect, caused by vast amounts of asphalt in a relatively small area. Cigarette filters are mostly made from cellulose acetate, a fibrous material which is spun down to look and feel like cotton. This material serves as an insulator which filters out toxins in cigarette smoke while helping prevent burnt fingers for those who simply must light up. These filters reduce thermal conductivity and reduce the thermal density of the mix. When placed as part of a roadway the asphalt containing the filters absorb and diffuse more heat, resulting in a cooler surface temperature and less radiant heat being redirected into the environment.
The final paper on this study states that butts coated with bitumen satisfied requirements for medium- and heavy-traffic mix designs. This would apply to interstates and surface streets with heavy commercial volume. Streets in residential neighborhoods, parking lots not marked for commercial vehicles and similar applications might use paraffin-coated butts. In the study, the research team used 10kg, 15kg and 25kg (about 22, 33 and 55lbs respectively) of encapsulated cigarette butts per cubic meter (1.30795cu.yd) to determine the ideal asphalt mix.
Since cigarette smoking on a global scale isn’t likely to go away anytime soon, finding new ways to deal with this waste is becoming a more pressing problem every day. Estimates claim that the mass of discarded cigarette butts may increase by as much as 50% by 2025 because of the increase in global population. Knowing this, recycling these butts into asphalt and other lightweight construction materials, as the author of the study proposes, may help us all breathe just a little bit easier.
At Calvac Paving, we know we only have one planet, and it’s up to all of us to care for it the best way we know how. There’s no reason that building a solid product and being ecologically responsible should be mutually exclusive, and we’re always on the lookout for new ways to incorporate green ideas into our building design.. We will keep a close eye on this and other “green” developments in construction materials, so we can continue to deliver the most environmentally sound products and processes possible without compromising on quality or durability. It’s all part of our commitment to make the communities we serve, and the world we all share, a safer and healthier place for everyone.
The construction industry requires a delicate balance between worker safety and work completion and efficiency. At Calvac Paving, we value the safety and health of our employees as an integral part of our Business Plan. While many companies say this, we are pleased to be able to provide hard numbers to prove it. Our Ex-Mod(California Modification Rating System) rating of 74 with our workers’ compensation insurer is one of the lowest in the industry. This means that over the last three years, our experienced workers’ compensation losses have been 25% less than the conventional wisdom of the insurance industry said they should be. All this sounds very impressive, but what does it actually mean? Here’s a closer look at why this is big news for Calvac Paving and our valued clients.
What Does Ex-Mod Really Mean?
In simple terms a company’s experience modification compares actual losses to expected losses. The experience rating system, in essence, adjusts the premium an employer will pay based on a comparison of that employer’s history of payroll and claims (collectively referred to as “experience”) to the average experience of other employers within the same classification. The result of this comparison is an experience modification. A Ex-Mod rating of a 100 is average, and pays 100% of the customary premium for coverage. Likewise, a company with an ex-mod of 125 would pay 125% of the industry average premium, because of the higher risk and nearly certain greater expense involved in the carrier keeping this company on the books.
Calvac Paving’s rating of 74 is well below the industry standard and means that we pay less than 3/4 of what many of our competitors would for identical workers’ compensation coverage. The best performers in the industry rarely reach an ex-mod of below 70, because insurance carriers can hardly afford to give away their coverage. However, our ex-mod does provide a verifiable, actionable metric by which to measure worker safety and the likelihood of on-the-job accidents and injuries among our employees.
How Is Ex-Mod Calculated?
The State of California’s Worker’s Compensation Insurance Rating Board put new rules in place for 2012, based on recommendations from the state insurance commissioner in 2008. These rules state that insurance ex-mod is calculated every year as an average of the data from the three preceding calendar years. The WCIRB guidelines require that insurance carriers provide an ex-mod score statement each year, usually at least 30 days before renewing the premium. These guidelines are intended to incentivize good occupational health and safety practices and limit workers’ compensation claims, but at Calvac Paving, we just call that business as usual. The financial perks that come with having a great safety record are always welcome in the business world, but what really matters to us is what our ex-mod means in the real world: the fact that our employees go home every night to their families in the same condition they left the house in the morning.
What Does Our Insurance Broker Say?
Our insurance broker, NFP/Thoits Insurance, consistently praises our safety record and the programs we use to improve it. Because we take our people’s safety so seriously, we incorporate training on every aspect of construction safety, site and roadway hazards and first aid training. We work closely with our carrier to implement and maintain a sound, viable loss prevention strategy, including IIPP and Early Return to Work programs that help our employees get back to work sooner while remaining in compliance with their healthcare provider’s orders. Because of these factors, our broker has consistently praised our programs and proactive worker safety initiatives, even going so far as to note that our programs are paving the way for future improvements.
From The Principals
Calvac Paving’s Principals are justifiably proud of the company, management and employees for the way they have worked together to make a safer workplace a reality. By continuing to train employees in proper on-site safety protocols and emergency measures as part of a program that meets Cal-OSHA standards for workplace safety, Calvac Paving is leading the way in setting the highest benchmarks possible for worker safety and lost-time injury prevention. Even more importantly, it means Calvac Paving’s employees get to enjoy more productive working days and quality, healthy time with their loved ones when off the clock. While construction continues to be a challenging field in which to balance productivity and safety, we take great pride in proving it’s possible every day.