One of the most important components of sustainable development is minimizing the impacts that projects impose on the environment. In the past, the impervious pavement surfaces on projects magnified the volume of stormwater runoff, as well as the size of the conveyance and treatment features required. To minimize these impacts, designers can now incorporate pervious concrete as part of the stormwater management system on projects to improve environmental and economic sustainability.
Pervious concrete is comprised of portland or blended cement, water, and uniformly sized aggregate falling within a narrow gradation. The aggregate gradation promotes the formation of open void areas in about 15% to 25% of the hardened mass that allow for fast drainage of large volumes of water through the material. The pervious concrete is part of a hydrologically designed stormwater management system, so the water passes through the material into the subgrade or subbase below which may have a variety of treatment, conveyance and/or storage features. There are also several options for enhancing the aesthetics with treatments such as coloring, stamping, jointing, and grinding.
Use of pervious concrete is among the Best Management Practices (BMP) recommended by the EPA and other agencies for the management of stormwater runoff. By eliminating the need for retention ponds, swales, and other stormwater devices, pervious concrete can lower overall project costs on a first-cost basis, and promote more efficient use of the land. Pervious concrete can also reduce operational costs and allow developers to increase utilization of available property. Pervious concrete has a significantly lower life cycle cost, superior durability and strength, and longer life span than other alternatives. Parking lot owners who use pervious concrete spend fewer dollars on stormwater management systems and irrigation systems may be downsized or eliminated. Pervious concrete can help property owners minimize sewer system usage and avoid municipal stormwater impact fees.
Pervious concrete is just one of several cement-specific materials. See how it and others can be used in the following applications:
PCA’s Research and Technology Department is staffed with engineers experienced in the use of cement-specific materials for a wide variety of infrastructure applications, and they are available to answer your questions. Learn more about their expertise and how to contact them here: Meet the Experts