Posted on:February 22, 2016 By Truegrid
The costs of building a parking lot can vary dramatically depending on what is needed to prepare the site, what type of material is chosen for the surface, what type of system will be put into place for storm water management, and how the parking lot will be finished.
Traditional materials like asphalt and concrete require extensive site preparation before the surface is applied, including grading, installation of an appropriate base material, and compacting the subsurface. Due to their impermeable nature, asphalt and concrete also require an extensive drain system to be installed, which is designed to direct rainwater into storm drains and divert it away from the parking lot into an appropriate municipal waste system or a drainage area. This prevents parking lot flooding, erosion and damage to the finished surface.
With permeable pavers, however, much less preparation is required, and they do not need a complex and expensive storm water management system because rain water can pass through the finished surface and absorb into the ground beneath. This results in lower construction costs, as well as reduced maintenance costs in the future.
Here are a few of the ways permeable pavers can reduce
parking lot construction cost:
#1 Reduced Site Preparation
Permeable pavers, like asphalt and concrete, require some site preparation before installing the surface, including removal of vegetation, grading, installing a base material, and compacting it to support the required load. However, with asphalt and concrete, more steps are required, including careful crowning of the parking lot to direct runoff, installing a drainage system and other procedures.
Permeable pavers are installed over a simple layer of compacted angular rock, crushed granite or recycled road materials, and minimal or no additional drainage systems or detention ponds need to be installed. This allows for quicker site preparation, less labor and reduced installation costs.
#2 Elimination of Drainage Systems
One of the most time-consuming and expensive parts of installing a concrete or asphalt parking light is designing and installing a storm water management system. This includes storm drains, plumbing, and connection to either a municipal waste water system or the installation of a retention pond. In many cases, the water running off the parking lot will carry dangerous pollutants, such as petroleum products, so there are many regulations that need to be followed in order to dispose of the runoff water safely.
With permeable pavers, the surface is porous and requires no drain system. Any extra water passes through the surface and filters through the base materials into the ground below. Not only does this prevent flooding in the parking lot and reduce damage to the surface, but it also allows the ground to naturally filter pollutants out of the system. Thus, clean water is allowed to return to underground reservoirs, and any pollutants are trapped, so that they can easily be removed at a later time by disposing of the subsurface materials.
#3 Reduced Installation Labor and Time
Concrete and asphalt parking lot systems require large amounts of labor to install, as well as specialty equipment, such as paving machines or concrete tools. They also take much longer to install than permeable pavers, and once the labor and equipment costs are tallied, asphalt and, especially, concrete tend to be more expensive than a permeable paver system.
Permeable pavers are installed over the base material in large pallet-sized grids that can easily be cut to shape to fit around obstructions. Each grid can easily be carried by a single person, and covers a large area at a time. Once all the grids are snapped together and filled, they create a durable surface that can handle the heaviest vehicle traffic, with little or no maintenance required.
The fill material can be gravel, crushed limestone, crushed glass or even soil and grass, and it can easily be installed with the heavy equipment used to prepare the base material. Because permeable pavers have high compression strength even without fill, heavy equipment can be driven over the empty pavers carefully, and used to dump, spread and compact the fill material.
#4 Lower Finishing Costs
After concrete or asphalt is installed, the surface is typically sealed to reduce water absorption, and then the lane markings, parking delineation and other details are painted on the surface. These processes add to the labor, time and cost of the parking lot installation, make it harder to change the parking lot layout, if necessary, and add to the eventual maintenance costs.
With permeable pavers, once the fill material is compacted into the grid system, the surface is complete. No sealants or other finishes are required, and lanes, parking spots and other details can easily be added with small colored caps that insert into the grid system. If the parking lot design needs to be altered in the future, such as to add more parking spaces, the caps can easily be removed and repositioned. The caps make it easy to create lines, arrows, lettering and more complex shapes, and they are available in multiple colors.
#5 Fewer Ongoing Maintenance Costs
Concrete and asphalt surface require constant maintenance to remain serviceable. Pot holes and cracks need to be filled, the surface needs to be resealed periodically, and the lane markings and parking delineation need to be repainted every few years. In addition, the storm water management system may need periodic cleaning to prevent clogs, and any pipes that are corroded or damaged will need to be replaced.
With permeable pavers, there is very little maintenance required, if any, and there is no drainage system to keep clean and flowing properly. The caps used for lane marking and parking indicators can easily be replaced if they become damaged.
Overall, installing a permeable paver system can cost less than half of a concrete surface, and it tends to be similar or less than the cost of an asphalt surface, without considering the ongoing maintenance costs. Permeable pavers provide an extremely durable surface that does not have the typical problems of asphalt or concrete, such as pot holes, cracks, upheaval, runoff and heat storage.