Paving options–permeable pavements

While I was at the Lexington National Home Association center this week for training, I was able to see two of the newer options that might be the future replacement for asphalt pavement and alternative drainage.  In these systems, the water is allowed to penetrate the pavement into a deep gravel bed equipped with drainage lines.  This system replaces gutters to channel water to a retention pond.  I have included photos of the systems.  The photos of the gray material shows a gravel/epoxy pavement system and the photos of a patterned material shows an open paver/gravel paving system.

Using either of these paving options can have a great advantage depending on the options used.  For example, retention basins might be eliminated because the water reservoir can be in the gravel bed below the pavement.  The possibility exists that the water can be further used for watering purposes if a membrane is installed below the gravel to capture the water.  Eliminating the retention basin, which is the lake you see in most communominiums, can potentially reduce maintenance costs and headaches for a community, such as needing to constantly treat the water for algae, replacing fountains and eventually dredging to remove accumulated sediment.    Catch basins might also be eliminated because the water runs down through the pavement rather to gutters and then to catch basins.  Another advantage is minimal icing in winter because the water does not sit on the pavement where it can refreeze.  Of course, the greatest advantage is not having the upkeep costs associated with asphalt, which is directly tied to oil prices.  One of the disadvantages, at least for the open paver/gravel system is that the community might have to mow the streets.

NHA is still experimenting with the pavements.  We will have to see where these go.

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