In today’s environmentally conscious climate, the sustainable benefits of pervious concrete have reinvigorated interest in these free-draining pavements. But, although it’s appealing for its technical benefits, pervious concrete hasn’t necessarily been attractive…until now. Renewed attention to pervious pavements has led some people to experiment with improvement of the surface aesthetics—and spawned a new type of concrete sometimes referred to as architectural pervious concrete (APC).
Most pervious paving has a sort of popcorn look about it. Uniformly sized aggregate, falling within a narrow aggregate gradation, leads to a concrete with open void areas that promote fast drainage of large volumes of water. Some like the organic, rough-textured look of plain pervious concrete. But for those who want a different look, there are several options for enhancing the aesthetics. Treatments include color, stamping, jointing, and grinding.
Why Use Pervious Concrete?
Use of pervious concrete is among the Best Management Practices (BMP) recommended by the EPA and other agencies for the management of stormwater runoff on a regional and local basis. 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 makes 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 than other alternatives and saves money in the long run due to its superior durability, strength, and long life span. Parking lot owners who use pervious spend fewer dollars on stormwater management systems and irrigation systems may be downsized or eliminated. Pervious can help property owners minimize sewer system usage and avoid municipal stormwater impact fees.