Monday, September 14, 2009

Harder than It Looks

                                     Porous Concrete Replaces Traditional Drainage Systems

Publication Date: 26-AUG-09
Author: Melissa Traynor, McGraw-Hill Construction newsletter

article is here

As storm water runoff from streets and parking lots becomes an ever-more sensitive environmental issue, eliminating it altogether with pervious pavement can be an elegant solution. All eyes are on a parking lot at the University of Connecticut where contractors have installed a pervious lot designed to handle all rainfall on the spot.

Chicago is also experimenting with eco-friendly paving material that is porous, keeps the surface cool with retained water, and also filters the water. I wonder how long before this kind of pavement gets clogged with oil and rubber residue? It turns out that
maintenance will require use of vacuum brooms to keep the pavement pores open.

The issue is the absorption of rainwater into the ground, which is necessary for the hydration of the soil and replenishment of underlying aquifers. Aside from removing hard surfaces and creating planted drainage swales, this is a means of retaining local  rainwater instead of shunting it off into storm drains.