[Posted on November 15th, 2015 by: Barry Stiles]
10 Areas Where Permeable Pavers Can Outperform Other Options
Building a strong and durable surface that can withstand constant traffic from people, regular automobiles, commercial vehicles and heavy equipment typically requires materials like concrete or asphalt, or, in some cases, gravel or compacted soil. Both concrete and asphalt are expensive and permanent solutions, while gravel and soil, which are subject to forces of weather and erosion, can be temporary. In many of the situations where these materials would be used, permeable pavers, like the TRUEGRID system, can offer significant advantages.
Not only are permeable pavers quick and easy to install, but they are also lightweight, made from recycled materials, and, when filled with the appropriate materials, extremely durable. During bad weather, permeable pavers provide a surface that absorbs ground water, preventing flooding, reducing erosion and virtually eliminating muddy conditions, and the surface can be either permanent or temporary.
Here are some of the places where permeable pavers can make a great replacement for concrete, asphalt, gravel or other similar materials:
#1 Parking Lots
Like concrete and asphalt, permeable pavers are often used to create parking areas in commercial buildings, which must withstand high amounts of vehicular traffic from both personal vehicles and heavy commercial vehicles. When filled with gravel, limestone or other solid materials, permeable pavers provide a durable surface that can withstand the heaviest commercial traffic, including loaded tractor trailers. Parking areas must also stand up to extreme temperatures, from well below freezing to over 100 degrees in the shade. By using permeable pavers as a base, the surface of the parking area is flexible and can expand and contract with the temperature changes, leading to less cracking, deformation, and other maintenance problems than asphalt or concrete surfaces, and because permeable pavers allow water to drain easily, they virtually eliminate flooding and muddy spots in the parking area.
#2 Overflow Parking
Many places like fairgrounds, parks, museums or ranches that hold large events periodically make use of grassy areas for overflow parking. While this works reasonably well, it can cause damage to the grass, create ruts, or lead to a muddy mess during bad weather. Permeable pavers can be used to create temporary parking areas by filling them with gravel or sod and removing it later, or they can be used to create permanent overflow parking by filling the pavers with soil and grass seed, and leaving them in place to allow the grass to grow naturally. Both options lead to a durable parking area that can be used for other purposes after the event is over.
#3 Solid Driveways
When building a driveway for a home or business, permeable pavers can be used in place of concrete or asphalt, both of which require frequent sealing and other maintenance. Surfaces made from permeable pavers and packed gravel or limestone are just as durable as asphalt or concrete, with fewer maintenance requirements.
#4 Grass Driveways
For a driveway that is not used as often, a grass driveway can be created that blends in with the surrounding lawn. By filling permeable pavers with soil and grass seed, the driveway can bear the full weight of a vehicle, without damaging the lawn or causing ruts in the soil underneath the permeable pavers. When necessary, the grass growing over the driveway can be mowed using a standard lawnmower.
#5 Construction Sites
When building a home or any other type of building, vehicles and heavy equipment often must travel throughout the property to deliver supplies, assist in construction or to grade the property. To prevent lasting damage like ruts cavused by the heavy traffic, and to prevent things like mud from slowing progress on the job, permeable pavers can be used with gravel to create durable temporary roads where needed. Once the job is complete, the pavers and the road can easily be removed.
#6 Oil Field Roads
Like construction sites, the roads serving oil field operations have large amounts of heavy vehicle traffic and are subject to bad weather conditions. If the roads become impassable, it can cost the operator of the site large amounts of money in downtime. Permeable pavers can be used with gravel or limestone to create durable temporary access roads and parking for oil field equipment or vehicles.
#7 Staging Areas
With permeable pavers, gravel can be used to create temporary staging areas for heavy equipment or temporary storage areas for equipment that will be moved elsewhere soon. This can allow a business to expand its operations for a brief time without investing heavily in unneeded permanent infrastructure. When the extra storage is no longer needed, the storage area can be easily dismantled.
#8 Emergency Access Roads
In remote job sites or other areas with poor access, permeable pavers can be used to quickly and easily create temporary or permanent roads that provide access to police, fire, medical and other emergency services. They can also be used to create fire lanes for commercial and industrial buildings to allow emergency services unfettered access to a building when necessary.
#9 Helicopter Pads
Permeable pavers with compacted stone or gravel can be used to create temporary or permanent helicopter pads, which are often necessary in remote job locations, such as oil fields or mines. With a strong base material and the right fill material, the pad will be able to support even the heaviest airframes. Permeable pavers can also be used to create taxiways and storage areas for fixed-wing aircraft.
In addition to creating durable surfaces for parking, driveways and roads, permeable pavers can also be used for landscaping purposes. They can be installed with gravel to create walking paths, or wheel-chair-accessible paths and ramps, or they can be filled with grass to create grassy areas that stand up to large amounts of foot traffic. They can also help to control erosion on slopes and hills.
These are just a few of the applications where permeable pavers offer major benefits over traditional materials like concrete or asphalt. With their ability to let water absorb into the ground naturally, they are finding more and more uses both residentially and commercially, and some local governments have even started to require permeable pavers for new paving projects to avoid overtaxing their aging storm water systems. With quality permeable pavers, you can easily create a surface that outperforms asphalt or concrete at a significantly lower cost.