Permeable Paving Systems - Three Options

Posted by Keith Severson on Mar 18, 2015

In today’s construction environment, “green” building choices which are cost effective and long lasting are often a developer’s best option for building and pavement installation. Pervious concrete, permeable pavers and crushed top and bottom stone for synthetic athletic fields are all excellent selections for storm water management and drainage. 

Pervious concrete pavement is a unique cement-based product that has a porous structure that allows rainwater to pass directly and naturally, through the pavement and into the soil. This is achieved without compromising the strength, durability or integrity of the concrete structure itself.

The pavement is comprised of a special blend of Portland Cement, coarse aggregate rock, and water. Once dried, the pavement has a porous texture that allows water to drain through it at the rate of 3 to 5 gallons per square foot per minute. This is impressive, considering that tests conclude that a square foot of bahia sod drains at the rate of 2 ½ to 3 gallons per minute. This remarkable flow through ratio inspired us to coin the phrase, “the pavement drinks water.” 

Permeable pavers are another design choice which is becoming increasingly popular. People and agencies are striving to protect the environment, and permeable pavers help prevent water runoff and also promote charging aquifers. Permeable pavers can only achieve designed drainage when specific aggregates are installed to create a totally permeable system. The Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute has worked with several agencies, architects, and manufacturers to develop recommendations for aggregates. With the use of Graniterock’s locally produced aggregates, end users can earn LEED points to achieve their desired results. 

Synthetic turf athletic fields are a third permeable paving option, frequently chosen as an alternative to natural grass. Lower maintenance costs, consistent footing, improved traction, and year-round, all-weather play ability are factors that are increasingly causing end-users to choose synthetic turf fields.

Crushed Athletic Field Top Stone is a well-sorted, crushed aggregate gravel blend which can be used to enhance the planarity of the athletic field surface base, without reducing permeability. This material is typically placed in a 2” deep layer above Graniterock Crushed Athletic Field Bottom Stone. This bottom stone is a well-graded blend of crushed aggregate, used to provide a stable, yet permeable, drainage media for a synthetic field. It is typically placed, under light compaction, in an 8 inch deep layer. It may be used as a single layer stone, or in conjunction with the top stone.

These three options, all available from Graniterock along with Porous Asphalt Pavement, are excellent "green" alternatives for sustainable and environmentally responsible construction and landscaping.

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