THE GREEN CONCRETE ALTERNATIVEPERVIOUS CONCRETE PROVIDES A GREEN APPROACH TO PAVEMENT NEEDS
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The porous nature of pervious concrete allows natural elements such as rain water, melted snow or ice and air to pass into the underlying soil through small gaps in the concrete. This system allows this hard surfaced pavement to drain rain water the same as a grass lawn, while maintaining its structural properties.
WHERE IS THE BEST LOCATION FOR PERVIOUS CONCRETE?
The ideal environment for use of pervious concrete would be sidewalks, driveway and parking lots. Other locations that would benefit from this application would be greenhouses, tennis courts, paths and horse stalls.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE WATER
The unique porous voids in pervious concrete allow air to circulate through the slab, which, combined with the chemical nature of the concrete itself, gives this pavement the ability to breakdown pollutants, such as asphalt in the water as it passes through. The water then filters down to the aquifer through the stone base and the sub surface soils. In addition, the water and air that reaches the soil below assists in providing essential nutrients to surrounding tree roots and other plantings.
This unique ability to allow high rates of water flow to pass through it and the natural filtering aspect of pervious concrete ultimately provides a solution to costly storm water maintenance issues. Retention ponds and sewers retain not only storm water, but also environmental pollutants, which are re-introduced into the local environment. Furthermore, as federal standards for treating storm water take effect, the ability to allow the water to return underground in a “treated” state will save municipalities money.
PERVIOUS PAVEMENT IN THE WINTER SEASON
Concrete pavements are known to crack during the winter as a result of the de-icing chemicals and the expansion as a result of freezing weather. The unique composition of pervious concrete puts an end to the on-going cycle of the crack and patch repair. The costs of snow plowing and salting are greatly reduced, due to the increase in naturally melting snow from the warmer air rising through the voids in the concrete. Once the snow melts, it drains back into the pavement preventing slush and black ice. If a de-icing salt is required, the salts will not compromise the pervious concrete.
PERVIOUS PAVEMENT IN THE SUMMER SEASON
Concrete produces a light-colored surface, which naturally reflects the sun’s rays. By reducing the amount of heat the surface absorbs, which eventually is released and heats the surrounding air, the environment around the pavement is kept cooler, naturally. In addition, with pervious concrete, water in the voids will evaporate, which further reduces the heat that would radiate from the pavement. These factors reduce the heat island effect that is prevalent in developed areas with darker colored, non-porous pavements.