Environmental & Economic Benefits of using Percoa Slabs; Percoa Website
Imagine Clean Water
According to the Concrete Network pervious concrete has great Economic and Environmental benefits including lowering over all costs. While “initial costs for pervious concrete pavements are higher than those for conventional concrete or asphalt paving, total costs can be substantially lower.”
Percoa slabs are manufactured to be thicker than regular concrete, this is to support the weight from motorized vehicles. Percoa slabs are six inches thick versus the average four inches for conventional concrete.
In comparisons between poured in-place pervious and Percoa Slabs for overall installation and life-cycle costs, Percoa slabs are the clear winner over convential concrete or permeable pavers. When running comparisons you need to look at overall system costs not just square foot costs. You also need to factor in functionality and what the project is looking to accomplish. Percoa can be used like convential concrete with the added filtration benefits. Builders,parking lot owners and cities have found Percoa Slabs to be a sustainable product that will save them money, because it cuts down the space needed for retention ponds. In the end it ends up being less expensive than a conventional parking lot.
Reasons why:(from the Concrete Network)
- Lower installation costs
- According to the Center for Watershed Protection, installing traditional curbs, gutters, storm drain inlets, piping, and retention basins can cost two to three times more than low-impact strategies for handling water runoff, such as pervious concrete. Projects that use pervious concrete typically don’t need storm sewer ties-ins, which eliminates the cost of installing underground piping and storm drains. Grading requirements for the pavement are also reduced because there is no need to slope the parking area to storm drains.
- Permits the use of existing sewer systems
- Pervious concrete may also reduce the need for municipalities to increase the size of existing storm sewer systems to accommodate new residential and commercial developments. Cities love pervious concrete because it reduces the need to rebuild storm sewer systems when new developments go up, says Youngs.
- Increased land utilization
- Because a pervious concrete pavement doubles as a stormwater management system, there is no need to purchase additional land for installing large retention ponds and other water-retention and filtering systems. That means developers and property owners can use land more efficiently and maximize the return on their investment.
- Lower life-cycle costs
- Pervious concrete is a sustainable paving material, with a life expectancy equal to that of regular concrete. Most parking areas, when properly constructed, will last 20 to 40 years, according to the Southern California Ready Mixed Concrete Association.
Stormwater runoff is a leading source of the pollutants entering our waterways. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, about 90 percent of surface pollutants are carried by the first 1-1/2 inch of rainfall. Stormwater drains don’t typically channel this polluted runoff to treatment facilities, but instead convey it directly into local water bodies. This can increase algae content, harm aquatic life, and require expensive treatments to make the water potable.
According to Youngs, the big three pollutants in urban runoff are sediment (dirt and debris), heavy metals (from the brake linings of cars), and hydrocarbons. One source of hydrocarbons is the oil that drips onto pavements from vehicles. But the primary contributor is asphalt. Studies have shown that 90 to 95 percent of the hydrocarbons in urban runoff is from the binder and sealer used for asphalt pavements, he says.
To address these serious pollution concerns, the EPA and many local municipalities and regional watershed authorities are tightening environmental regulations and requiring more stringent stormwater management practices. Pervious concrete is becoming one of the most viable solutions.
Tree roots need air as well as water, Percoa slabs allow the passage of both.
Here are some of the reasons why. Percoa slabs can:
- Reduce the amount of untreated runoff discharging into storm sewers.
- Directly recharge groundwater to maintain aquifer levels.
- Channel more water to tree roots and landscaping, so there is less need for irrigation.
- Mitigate pollutants that can contaminate watersheds and harm sensitive ecosystems.
- Eliminate hydrocarbon pollution from asphalt pavements and sealers.
In addition to stormwater control, Percoa aids in reducing the urban heat-island effect. Because they are light in color and have an open-cell structure, Percoa slabs don’t absorb and store heat and then radiate it back into the environment like a typical asphalt surface. The open void structure of the pervious pavement also allows cooler earth temperatures from below to cool the pavement.
The lighter color of concrete is also beneficial from an energy-savings standpoint. Because the concrete is reflective, the need for lighting at night is reduced.
Beyond helping the environment, pervious concrete pavements are also safer for drivers and pedestrians. Because pervious concrete absorbs water rather than allowing it to puddle, it reduces hydroplaning and tire spray. In California, parks are installing pervious concrete pathways to provide disability access for people in wheelchairs.
This information on pervious concrete can be found on the Concrete Networks website www.concretenetwork.com