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Stormwater-friendly Permeable Pavers

               Stormwater-friendly Permeable Pavers


Why planners, owners, architects and engineers are specifying permeable pavers in new development

Compact urban development and demands for new, sustainable construction methods are driving permeable paving solutions to the design forefront. However, awareness of all the benefits that permeable pavers offer is still not widespread.

Planners, owners, architects, engineers sometimes have the perception that including specifications for permeable pavement design is cost prohibitive. Over the 30- to 50-year lifespan of a permeable paver installation, the exact opposite tends to be true.

In most designs, the goal is to control stormwater and improve water quality with permeable pavers’ imbedded filtering system of substrata layers. But the benefits of these designs go much further (see sidebar), including an aesthetic appeal that improves user experience and boosts the environmental “brand” of new developments.

  • Reduces flooding, erosion and contamination of drinking water during extreme weather events
  • Decreases liability associated with sewer flow in CSO systems onto private property during extreme weather events
  • Can eliminate need for detention ponds and drain systems when soils are Types A or B
  • Reduces urban heat islands and allows more liberal use of tree canopies
  • Reduces de-icing salt use



Permeable Pavers Mechanical Installation

Mechanical installation reduces cost and shortens project time.

Although some porous paving materials appear nearly indistinguishable from nonporous materials, their environmental effects are qualitatively different.

Permeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP) is designed to be porous, allowing stormwater to flow into an aggregate base, often with no puddling or runoff. This reduces storm water runoff volume, rate, and pollutants entering the water tables.

Impervious units are designed with small openings that create permeable joints. The openings typically comprise 5% to 15% of the paver surface area and are filled with highly permeable, small-sized aggregates. The joints allow storm water to enter a crushed stone aggregate bedding layer and base that supports the pavers while providing water storage and filtration.

PICP is highly attractive, durable, easily repaired, require low maintenance, and can withstand heavy vehicle loads. PICP significantly reduces the total amount of impervious surface and water runoff.


Permeable Pavers Cape Fear Community College

Permeable walkways at Cape Fear Community College installed by Unit Paving

• Provides a sustainable ecological solutions and meets EPA requirements for onsite stormwater management.
• Contributes toward LEED NC-2009 and LID credits. Captures and treats storm water nutrient, metal, & oil loadings.




Unit Paving Permeable Pavers Installation

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