Porous Paving?

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    Terry Naranjo

    How many of you out there advocate (support or promote) the use of porous paving versus impervious surfaces to your projects?
    How important is it that LA’s provide empirical data to support the use
    of porous paving?

    By advocate I do not mean force it as an issue, assign a personal value to its use, or use it as a marketing strategy.  Simply that you spread information that supports its use. 

    I personally promote it about as much as I do ‘green infrastructure’ which is about 3-5% of the time… does anyone seriously in support of it out there…beyond that which is allowable by the guy/ gal at the permitting agency…or that is not actively involved in selling a product?

    Keven Graham

    Permeable paving in the Chicago area is big. We have many installations and big high profile areas. It works and the cost is not as big a leap as some expect. There are good options available. It is our belief it it work in Chicago were we have great extreme in the freeze thaw cycle, alot of up and down it should work in alot of more consistent climates. We promote it as a sustainable good option in alot of different settings and project types.

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    Yes, I do. Not by default, but when there is a practical reason to do so.

    Gravel, clam shell, and a mix of the two are much more commonly used here.than porous pavers, especially on the ocean front homes believe it or not.

    Geoffrey Campbell

    Many of the engineers I work with who have been in practice for years are always extremely skeptical of it’s use. The most common excuses I hear seem to deal with the strength of the product in heavy duty applications. That being said, people have also complained about the maintenance, freeze thaw, and even high-heels getting stuck in the surface voids (seriously). Construction always seems to be an issue too . After your parking lot gets built, the runoff won’t infiltrate because the contractors compacted the hell out of the subgrade during construction . I think more research needs to be done and a finer mix would help as well. We have used it on a number of projects successfully. If you have light to meduim duty scenario in an area where runoff will be fairly clean, I don’t see why someone wouldn’t promote its use.

    jenny janis

    Hi Keven,

    I’m looking into porous pavers for a small urban park. Can you point me to a few good examples you know of?


    Keven Graham


    There are several good examples in the Chicago area. Alot of the projects are larger like the US Cellular Field (White Sox) parking lot, Buckingham fountain and othersdone by a variety of firms in Chicago. Our firm has done several for smaller parking lots at park districts. Not sure what type of info you are looking for we use Unilock and they have some good pictures of installations on their web site and good back up material. look up Unilock Chicago and you should find some good information. Their eco-optiloc and eco-preoria are the ones we use alot. You might also google the Morton Arboretum as they have a great installation.

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