Which of these photos shows permeable interlocking concrete paving? Both!
A concrete grid system (left) was once the only permeable option. As municipalities have increased pressure on developers to minimize storm water runoff, a number of attractive permeable pavers like Permea (right) have come on the market. These concrete pavers look like cobblestone, brick, or traditional pavers, but spacers allow water to flow between them, when filled with a fine, clean aggregate.
Much of the flooding in urban and suburban areas is the result of large impermeable areas of asphalt and rooftops. Porous paving options can reduce runoff up to 100% when properly installed and maintained. Other benefits of permeable paving include:
- Reduces construction costs for underground drainage systems
- Qualifies for LEED credits for new construction
- Easy to repair and maintain
- Recharges groundwater rather than dumping to streams and waterways
- Cleans water through biological filtration, removing chemicals and pollutants
- Makes nearby streams safer for wildlife and human enjoyment
- Eliminates puddles, standing water, and icy patches
This short ICPI video presents more detail on the benefits, performance, and applications of permeable pavers.