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Pervious Concrete

What's Pervious Concrete?

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Further Discussion About Pervious Concrete

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BRIEF SUMMARY: WHAT IS PERVIOUS CONCRETE?

Pervious concrete is a discontinuous mixture of coarse aggregate, Portland cement, and water. Storm water management is the most common reason for using pervious pavements. Pervious pavements also allow optimum land use, reducing development costs. Applications include driveways, pool decks, tennis courts, patios, parking lots, roads, etc.

Unlike traditional concrete or asphalt, porous pavements provide a void content of 15-25%, and it is placed over a highly permeable layer of open graded sand, gravel or crushed stone. The void spaces in the aggregate layers act as a storage reservoir for runoff, offering improved filtration and an enormous amount of surface area to catch oils and chemical pollutants. The bacteria living in these spaces or voids break down pollutants preventing much of the polluted runoff that normally occurs with traditional pavements. Parking areas, in particular, hold a tremendous potential for this material because of the amount of oil and other hydro-carbon liquids that seep from parked cars.

In the "Clean Water Act" of 1987, Congress directed the states to assess their waters for run-off damages and to create watershed-based programs to repair damages and prevent further pollution. According to a 1995 EPA compilation of state data, urban run-off contributes to a damage in more than 26,000 river and stream miles, and pollutes more than one million lake-acres.

Besides reducing the runoff from a site and surrounding areas, filtering pollutants, pervious concrete helps to decrease peak water flow into storm sewers and nearby streams, improves the preservation of the natural watershed areas and forestland, and reduces the effects of urban heat islands. Pervious concrete also eliminates surface water pockets and provides a safer, skid resistant surface.

Compromising public and private organizations, responsible for their own funding, promote the use of lighter colored, more reflective paving in combination with strategically planted shade trees. It comes as no surprise that the product of choice is pervious concrete. Studies from the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) show that light-colored concrete pavements can be 50% more light effective than dark-colored pavements.

For the owner, it means saving money, because the initial investment in lighting equipment is lower and a lower wattage usage is required. In the long term, less lighting results in lower energy consumption and lower electric maintenance bills. For the general public, parking with lighter-colored pavements are cooler in the daytime and brighter at nighttime. Cooler is a obvious benefit the summer heat, but brightly lit concrete parking areas provide a safer environment for tourists, customers, and employees at night.

Not only does concrete make economical and safety sense, but architects can design aesthetically pleasing driveways, parking lots, etc to match building or to create more obvious walkways and entrances. Concrete products are flexible in that they provide a multitude of colors and patterns without sacrificing integrity and durability. For life-cycle cost, concrete pavements outperforms any other type of paving products with virtually no maintenance for the life of the pavement, equating to no costly scheduling headaches for downtime, but also no annual repair expenses.

In addition to government officials, concerned citizens and organizations should have a voice in smart growth and development, where improving air and water quality, and conserving energy should be taken as a priority. The material’s ability to retain storm water while improving water quality and enhancing tree and vegetation growth, makes this material a very exciting example of green and sustainable building practice.

Never has the opportunity been so great for the Town officials and commissioners, the concrete industry and the developers to work together to create a win-win solution that will benefit the community and the environment.

COMPARISON BETWEEN PERVIOUS CONCRETE AND OPEN FACED CONCRETE BLOCK (ALSO KNOWN AS TURF STONE)

PROPERTIES PERVIOUS CONCRETE OPEN FACED CONCRETE BLOCK
VEGETATION IS WATERED, REDUCING THE NEED FOR IRRIGATION X X
GROUND WATER IS RECHARGED X X
PRESERVES WATER RESOURCES THROUGH A NATURAL FILTRATION SYSTEM X X
STORM WATER RUNOFF IS REDUCED X X
HELP TO PREVENT POLLUTANTS FROM ENTERING STREAMS, PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT & IMPROVES WATER QUALITY X X
SAFER ROADS, LESS TRAFFIC DELAYS - NATURAL WATER FILTRATION PREVENTS WATER POCKETS AND HYDROPLANING X X
SKID RESISTANCE X X
HELP IN ENERGY SAVING X X
REDUCTION OF EROSION AND SEDIMENT RUNOFF X X
INTEGRITY AND DURABILITY STRENGTH X
= or > 3000 PSI
X
N/A
MAINTENANCE
STRUCTURE
LITTLE ONE SOLID SURFACE OFTEN & COSTLY TEND TO SEPERATE
PRICE (MAY VARY DEPENDING ON LOCATION0 < $5.00/ sq ft. > $6.00 sq ft.
PLACEMENT BY WORKERS EASIER TO HANDLE BY THE USE OF TOOLS MANUALLY & HEAVY LABOR

Settlement With Open Face Paving Block

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