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Environmentally friendly paving material that offers the durability of standard concrete

While retaining stormwater runoff and replenishing local watershed systems By Anne Balogh, Columnist

Article from The Concrete Network

Paved surfaces are so ubiquitous in urban areas today that most of us give little thought to the impact they have on water quality and the health of the environment. But here’s the sobering reality: As more available land area in the country gets paved over, a larger amount of rainwater ends up falling on impervious surfaces such as parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, and streets rather than soaking into the soil. This creates an imbalance in the natural ecosystem and leads to a host of problems including erosion, flash floods, water table depletion, and pollution of rivers, lakes, and coastal waters as rainwater rushing across pavement surfaces picks up everything from oil and grease spills to deicing salts and chemical fertilizers.

A simple solution to avoiding these problems is to stop installing the impervious surfaces that block natural water infiltration into the soil. But few of us are ready to give up our paved roads, driveways, and parking lots. Rather than building them with conventional concrete or asphalt, more and more communities, municipalities, and businesses are switching to pervious concrete or porous pavement, a material that offers the inherent durability and low life-cycle costs of a typical concrete pavement while retaining stormwater runoff and replenishing local watershed systems.

Instead of preventing infiltration of water into the soil, pervious pavement assists the process by capturing rainwater in a network of voids and allowing it to percolate into the underlying soil. In many cases, pervious concrete roadways and parking lots can double as water retention structures, reducing or eliminating the need for traditional stormwater management systems such as retention ponds and sewer tie-ins.


Market for Green Roofs, Walls Expected to Soar over the Next Five Years

At least one research firm is expecting a huge boom in the worldwide market for green roofs and walls over the next five years. Last month, Lux Research predicted that the market will reach approximately $7.7 billion in 2017 with green walls accounting for the lion’s share of that amount. And what does Lux foresee propelling the increase?


Mandates and incentives by cities across the globe will drive green roofs to roughly $7.0 billion in 2017 and green walls to about $680 million by that time, according to Lux. “With rising environmental awareness, growth of the green roof market is driven by cities in the developed world such as London, New York, Singapore, and Tokyo. Growth in the developing world will depend on the global economic environment.” Many policymakers see green roofs and green walls as a viable way to help mitigate problems involving air pollution, urban “heat islands,” and the loss of green spaces in cities.


Lux believes green roof installations will jump approximately 70 percent to 204 million square meters, “but costs and lack of validation will limit their rise.” Green roofs are expected to present a $2-billion opportunity to suppliers of polymeric materials such as geosynthetic fabrics and waterproof membranes. In addition, Lux sees green walls facilitating the use of $200 million worth of materials such as self-supporting polyurethane foam growth media.


“The environmental benefits of building-integrated vegetation [BIV] remain hard to monetize, and many wonder if it’s just a green curiosity,” said Aditya Ranade, Lux Research senior analyst and lead author of a report entitled “Building-Integrated Vegetation: Redefining the Landscape or Chasing a Mirage?” “But with key cities around the world putting incentives in place, a significant market opportunity is emerging.”


Lux Research analysts examined the drivers and barriers for growth in this emerging market. Lux reported that installed cost — $300-500 per square meter for green roofs and $900-1,100 per square meter for green walls — is far higher than alternatives. The firm also determined that building material suppliers will create special grades of waterproof membranes and geosynthetic fabrics suited for BIV, improving on existing offerings as the market enters the mainstream and performance standards become more established.

Source; ConstructionPro Network





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Precast pervious concrete mitigates stormwater issues – Related Stories – PCI Building Industry SmartBrief

Precast pervious concrete mitigates stormwater issues – Related Stories – PCI Building Industry SmartBrief.

Stormwater 101

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