Thursday, November 26, 2015

Local workshop to highlight sustainable technologies

(Originally published in the 11/26/15 edition)

   Bio-Pave Products, an Angwin-based green pavement technology company, will be hosting their Green Technology and Demonstration event “Sustainable Solutions to Preserve and Enhance Infrastructure” at Carter’s Biz Cafe on Tuesday. The workshop will aim to raise the issue of protecting and enhancing aging infrastructures and stress the importance of choosing sustainable products over ones that are harmful to the environment. 
   Bio-Pave Products was started by four brothers- Curtis, Douglas, Dennis and Maurice Helmer-  who have worked in the construction and pavement industry for 40 years. With their new company, they have chosen to focus on green pavement technology to not only provide a products that are environmentally friendly but are also more affordable than regular green technologies.
  “Our customers were asking if we provided a green, eco-friendly product to apply to road and street services but were concerned about cost,” Bio-Pave CEO Dennis Helmer said in a press release. “They heard products that are promoted as green were inherently more expensive to apply. Our mission was to find a product that was truly green, yet feasible, so we partnered with BioSpan Technologies. Feasibility for us means saving communities time, money and making sure we provide the highest quality in reliable products.”
   One of Bio-Pave’s products is RePlay, an asphalt sealer and preservation agent that is 88 percent bio-based material and contains 40 percent soybean oil. Additionally, the company claims the product does not exude carob dioxide emissions. 
   Helmer will be delivering an address at the event, and keynote speeches will also be given by Dr. Sheldon Chesky, the inventor of RePlay and the CEO of BioSpan technologies, and by Dr. Melanie Harrison, the CEO of Eco-Alpha Environmental Services. Harrison also says Mayor Elizabeth Patterson will be present. 
   “We’ll be discussing what’s going on in green sustainability and green infrastructure as we face climate change and what the technologies are out there right now,” Harrison said.
   Harrison will open up the event by talking about green sustainability in the face of climate change, and Helmer will show how such products have been used in Vallejo, Napa and Medford, Ore.
   At the end of the day, there will be a live demonstration where attendees will see the technologies in action.
   “You can touch it and feel it and see the efficiency of the products and how they would actually be used in the field,” Harrison said. 
   Harrison feels the discussion is crucial because of how time has affected certain foundations.
   “We have major streets and highways that are in really horrible condition,” she said. “When you look at Solano County in general, we have an average pavement index rating that’s pretty low on the scale- about 77 average.”
   “We have infrastructure that’s aging that’s gonna cost us money to fix,” she added. “We want to talk about this in an open forum, and we want to provide those types of solutions that are now going to be environmentally friendly but feasible as well.”
   She also hopes that people come away with a better understanding on what terms like “green infrastructure” and “sustainability” actually mean.
   “I want cities to understand that you can be sustainable and you can have green products that are gonna work and be reliable, but they’re also gonna be cost-effective so it’s not gonna cost the public,” she said. “I also want people to understand that when we do these kinds of projects, they’re not disconnected from the science. We can provide a scientifically sound solution that is easy for cities to implement and understand, and we can directly show how they’re gonna get there.”

   “Sustainable Solutions to Preserve and Enhance Infrastructure” will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Carter’s Biz Cafe, located on 1 Commandants Lane. Registration will begin at 8:30. The event is free, and a lunch will be provided. Come prepared with questions. For more information, contact Dennis Helmer at (707) 286-4390 or visit to RSVP.

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