10 Reasons Why You Should Use Permeable Paving Over Standard Paving

Permeable paver demonstration. Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 by JJ Harrison

Article by Alexandra-Elena Ciocan – We take a look at the topic of permeable paving and see what advantages it has over standard paving in the world of landscape architecture.  Permeable paving, going by the nickname of “thirsty paving”, is a concept which echoes sustainability and durability. Even though we’ve been familiarized with it by now, this remains a rather new approach to laying the paths through beautiful landscapes. If it’s the first time you meet & greet the idea, learn that what it brings to the business is a clean structure, which is composed of a base and a sub base of different spacing, granulation or porosity. Its main purpose is to enable the stormwater to flow through the surface. As simple as it sounds, this choice stands with multiple benefits for your project and workflow, some of which you might never have thought of. As landscape design passionates, we believe we’ve made it easy, choosing what is best for you, the client and the environment!

Permeable Paving Over Standard Paving

Grid paving design - CC0 Public Domain

Grid paving design – CC0 Public Domain

1. Outstanding Creative Design

While many other paving options permit landscape designers and enthusiasts to explore, the range of options through which creativity is expressed is rather small. While you can easily choose colors or textures in a standard paving, your design will most probably meet a dead end in some situations. Take for example working around a tree or another object. Permeable paving promotes a visionary composition and design flexibility, as the specific shapes and spacing allow for grass or plants to grow between the units – the result; a living signature composition that will continue to remodel that space you’ve created. 2. Sustainable Means to Your Projects In spite of how a passable or porous surface might make you think it is fragile, the products are actually hardwearing. This is why, along with the pedestrian areas, they are also used for parking spaces, roads destined for light traffic, sidewalks and residential driveways.

Wikimedia Commons, user Achim Hering, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

Wikimedia Commons, user Achim Hering, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

3. Life Quality Improvement by Reducing the Negative Effects of Local Heat Islands

As we all know, paving is one of the main causes for excessive heating, especially in urban areas. The usual materials and the compact surfaces cause, over the day, gained heat to reflect into the immediate environment, influencing the plant and human life likewise. Most of the time, the temperature becomes unbearable, and a call for breathing is made. These temperatures will also affect the hydrological state of the surroundings as water will evaporate more quickly. If you want to find out more about the diversity of cool pavements and their benefits, check out this article on cool pavements.

4. Pollution and Erosion Cutback

By decreasing the runoff quantities and acting as a filter for pollutants affecting the soil and the waterways, the system is the solution we’ve been waiting for, to the so-far sustained issue of pollution. As Marta Ratajszczak, states about paving advantages in the article “Permeable Paving: The Essential Guide”: “They have been proven to be effective in removing pollutants from water.” In addition, using the “thirsty paving” as an element to reduce erosion, especially on slopes, natural or artificial, is taking measures into the assurance that property and even life damage will not be caused.

5. Recycling Militant

As preferences vary for the eco-friendly person, learn that many companies support the ecological attitude through waste or plastic conversion, such as the recycling of the plastic being used to obtain some of the grid systems. Under the same category, find out that some permeable paving systems allow part of the storm-water to be collected and reused. Contributing to the water management goal, the captured storm-water from the permeable paving is clearer; therefore the time it spends in different treatment facility companies is close to zero. Below: The benefits of an environmentally-friendly paving system made from recycled materials WATCH >>> TRUEGRID Permeable Pavers – Environmentally Friendly Paving System

6. Underground Water Reservoir Enrichment Most of the pedestrian and driveway surfaces in the cities are waterproof, leaving no room for water to continue its natural cycle. Did you know that “In the U.K. during the 1600 and 1700s, restrictive legislation was passed to adapt vehicles to the available pavements” (which apparently were in very poor condition) [Collins and Hart, 1936], as states? But nowadays, we are reversing the situation. The way the water on our streets would be nourishing the earth is by adding the flow to the groundwater. In this way puddles will be avoided and the ground reservoir will be filled with pollutant-free water.

Flooding in Albany Park (Chicago), April 18, 2013. Photo credit: Center for Neighborhood Technology. Licensed under CC 2.0

Flooding in Albany Park (Chicago), April 18, 2013. Photo credit: Center for Neighborhood Technology. Licensed under CC 2.0

7. Money Saver

This type of paving meets its promise to be economical, both cost-wise and by added benefits! The range of materials fluctuates from common gravel or sand to recycled concrete or brick, making multiple options affordable for all social layers. The concept will become more fashionable and the demand will rise, so we should keep in mind that expenses will lower. Moreover, the figures to be changed in time reflect the way permeable paving reduces the amount of irrigation during summertime and by depending upon very little maintenance.

8. Creator Opposed to Destroyer

The grid systems better favor the design scheme in order to adapt to a site’s current situation, regardless of its type. Perhaps our project requires a statue or a building to be maintained, while the paving arrangement would be changed to fit these either organic or formal shapes. This is where we can reinvest the respect each design should pay to history and nature.

9. Nature Lover

Permeable paving facilitates the growth of grass or crawling plants between the modules and by this, your project can reach a more naturalistic look. Moreover, the way the modules encompass a plant leaves room for its roots to grow accordingly and therefore, for the plant to develop beautifully and change the space’s look with each year’s growth.

CC0 Public Domain

CC0 Public Domain

10. Inspirational and Motivational

We think that we, as individuals, have little to say or do in order to be the change in the world. But the realistic truth is that, with each choice we make, we are doing just that. Permeable paving is not only a smart choice but an inspirational one. By committing to the concept we are joining the same club of people who love nature and design. Our first step, taken by using the “thirsty-paving”, is motivating both us and the people around us to act in good conscience and faith. Permeable paving is and will be, nevertheless, a debatable subject. But we think information is inspiration. Dear readers, have you decided? Are you advocates of permeable paving or protestors? Or are you resting indifferent to the subject? Dear readers, have you decided? Are you advocates of permeable paving or protestors? Or are you resting indifferent to the subject?


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Article by Alexandra-Elena Ciocan

Published in Blog

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