Beyond the Build

Construction Trends

Pervious Paving

We’ve talked before about pervious concrete and how it can be a solid option in regards to storm water management. There are also times when, even thought it’s more expensive, pervious paving can be the more practical option.

We recently finished a project on the coast. Upon completion, our customer quickly realized that more parking was needed. They wanted a new lot to accommodate their employees and any overflow traffic. Unfortunately, the available space was a former pasture located across a state road. It offered no infrastructure. Our options were to tunnel under the road and connect to the existing detention system (which would have needed to be enlarged), purchase more land and build a new pond, or to pave in a way that the site would drain itself. We chose the latter.

Pervious paving has its challenges. The finished product must be poured so that it is permeable enough that rain water liquid may drain through to the thick base layer of rock we lay and then reach the ground underneath. It’s a very dry concrete mix with larger aggregates, eliminating fines. Conventional floating and troweling is not needed and only a steel roller is used to consolidate the concrete. The concrete is immediately covered for curing. Pours have to be sequenced in a checkboard pattern due to the curing process.

Like everything in construction, the situation was unique, and so was the solution. Our customer has the parking they need and a system that works.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.