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Additive, or Replacement, to Aggregate Fill and Embankment

Utilize Grind materials as an additive, or replacement, to aggregate fill material in non-structural civil construction applications.

Photo of Dylan Bochsler
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By mixing rubber with aggregate used for fill and/or embankement in civil construction, the reliance on rock mined from the earth can be reduced.

The compressible nature of rubber makes it the perfect additive as it can be easily handled and compacted as most all aggregate must be in a civil construction application. There are numerous studies and academic papers supporting this idea.

Because this would be used in either a non-structural or sub-surface application, appearance does not matter. Since the idea is to use it as an additive the only solution would be the correct percentage of mixture, and this would be the highest percentage of rubber without sacrificing long-tested and accepted performance standards of aggregate.

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

North Santiam Paving Co. and Northrock, Inc.

Website (if applicable)

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • Rubber Flashings
  • Rubber Granulate

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

Rubber granulate and/or flashings would be mixed into the desired (crushed) aggregate using a mixing plant such as those used for mixing soils.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing
  • Prototyping

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Municipalities including city, county and state governments looking to reduce reliance on mined aggregates for construction projects. Also, private owners of large building projects looking to utilize recycled materials.

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

As the owner of a small mining operation, we could scale immediately by utilizing existing equipment and material to mix. Could also help introduce to other aggregate producers in the area who our sister company frequently buys from to use in construction projects.

How is your idea innovative?

It introduces a recycled material into a product that is currently ONLY made from a raw, limited resource (aggregate).

What inspired this idea?

My career is in both construction and aggregate extraction and processing. Seeing how much aggregate is used in construction, coupled with the fact that it is a limited resource and has rising costs - implementing a recycled additive makes good sense all around.

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

North Santiam Paving Company has been in business since 1973. We are a site development and roadway contractor. Our sister company, Northrock, Inc. is a aggregate mining and processing company.

In what city are you located?


In what country are you located?


What is your legal / organizational structure? (if applicable)

S Corp.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

It would allow me to fund the purchase of a mixing cone, and begin testing the right percentages by taking the mixed material to a company who does aggregate testing frequently to ensure compliance with state and local specifications.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Aakar Mehra

Hi Dylan Bochsler ,
Its a neat idea to use the grind rubber in civil construction. From my limited knowledge about this, reading your brief, I am not very sure where exactly will this be used? Is it only used as a fill in substance on embankments?
It might be useful for your submission to have some more images or sketches.
Also, going a little more towards the main concept of this challenge, I would like to put forward the question, how would you make this system circular. It is really great to use some recycled material, but in the end what is happening to the raw grind? Can it be use reused somewhere? If yes, it might be cool to see how that process will work.
With your experience and company setup, it will be really cool to see prototypes in the future!
Looking forward to seeing this idea evolve.

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Dylan Bochsler ,

Great to see you in the Challenge! I'm curious, how might you begin to prototype your concept?

Tagging in additional individuals in the community. We'd encourage you to provide feedback on one another's concepts to accelerate the innovation process! Aakar Mehra , Jurijs Kovzels , Kimathi Laibuta .

Excited to learn more and tag me in with any additional questions!

Photo of Dylan Bochsler

Hi Lauren,

Prototyping would just require access to a fair amount of rubber Grind. I have access to the aggregate through our family of companies.

Different prototypes would be different percentage mixtures. Then we would need to have those different percentage mixtures tested for performance.

Thanks for your interest and I am happy to answer any other questions.

Photo of Chuck D

Hi Dylan Bochsler -- Unique proposal for giving Regrind a second life in paving to reduce the pressure on mining virgin rock materials for roads!

Given the processes, heat and other materials involved in paving, how do you propose creating a circular economy to give your Regrind paving product a third life, fourth life, etc.?

Photo of Dylan Bochsler

Thanks for the feedback! Let me clarify that this idea is for use only as an additive to aggregate base - not hot mix asphalt concrete - due to the high heat used in making and laying asphalt I don't think adding rubber would be a good choice.

However, because aggregate base structures are so often reused (in theory in perpetuity - except in the event of severe sub-base failure) in construction this could be considered a 3rd and 4th life as the base is given a new surface 3, 4 or 5+ times over.

Hope this answers your question, let me know if you have any more.

Photo of Chuck D

Hi again Dylan Bochsler -- Thanks for your reply!

Great explanation of the distinction between the base layer vs high-heat asphalt that I was missing in your proposal & diagrams.

In your scenario for 3rd life, 4th life, perpetuity: The aggregate base (including Regrind) stays in place and can be repeatedly resurfaced/repaved on an open-ended timeline? Am I getting that correctly?

Related: I see that you're based in Stayton, correct? I'm on the west side of Portland, potentially close enough to collaborate as our respective projects make their way into the world. Any thoughts?

Also, I'm interested in your surfacing expertise and insights on my proposals for ArtWall interior surfaces for design studios & art classrooms 
and Ciela Plata, urban rooftop vegetable farming components
Any thoughts to share in comments there?