Feature Article

Porous Pavement: A Win-Win Stormwater Strategy

Impervious surfaces and the resulting stormwater runoff are to blame for surface water pollution, flooding, erosion, and low urban tree survival rates, but porous pavement can solve these and other environmental problems.

This walkway at the Pier A Park in Hoboken, New Jersey is made with concrete pavers from Capitol Concrete. The 1⁄4” (6 mm) joints are filled with uniform-size angular aggregate.

Photo: Bruce Ferguson
There’s a lot of pavement in the United States—nearly 38,000 square miles (9.9 Million ha) or an area about the size of Indiana, according to calculations EBN has done (Vol. 5, No. 1). The vast majority of this is impermeable surface that contributes to stormwater runoff. In certain applications, that pavement can be made porous so that the rainwater falling on it can soak into the ground instead of contributing to stormwater runoff.

Using porous paving is a relatively new practice, going back just a few decades, and there are significant limitations and challenges. But there are also huge opportunities. This article takes a look at porous pavement, examining various products and addressing strategies for making it work. The article will be relevant to anyone involved with projects that include parking lots, driveways, roadways, sidewalks, courtyards, or patios.

Published September 1, 2004

(2004, September 1). Porous Pavement: A Win-Win Stormwater Strategy. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/feature/porous-pavement-win-win-stormwater-strategy