Escaping the Hardship of Hardscapes
If you are contemplating laying a new concrete driveway or replacing an old asphalt parking lot, consider an environmentally friendly and potentially cost-saving option: permeable pavement. Traditional concrete and asphalt hardscapes are impervious, which means that storm water collects on the surface and runs to the storm drainage system. Standard hardscapes often lead to increased costs to install and maintain storm water management systems. They also create runoff which contributes to flooding and erosion. A green option such as permeable pavement allows a large portion of the rain water to drain through the material and filter into the ground below.
You may have heard of permeable pavement referred to by different name, including pervious pavement, porous pavement, or even popcorn pavement. Some of these pavements feature porous concrete or asphalt which literally allows water to drain through it via an interconnected system of voids. Other pavements feature a system of permeable pavers which allow water to travel through the material, as well as between the pavers. All these permeable hardscapes accomplish the same goals: helping the environment by reducing storm water runoff and helping your wallet by eliminating or reducing the need for retention ponds, underground retention tanks, swales, and other storm water management mechanisms.
There are just as many applications of permeable pavements as there are design considerations and limitations, so be sure to have a qualified professional discuss with you which options are best suited for your specific goals!