It’s been a little while, but our first pervious concrete project is finally ready for its close-up. Back in 2011 Franus Architectural Associates, Inc. specified pervious concrete for the overflow parking area of the Bi-Lo supermarket in Harmony, PA. This was one of the first uses of the environmentally-friendly material in the western Pennsylvania area.
What is pervious concrete, you ask? Without getting too technical, it’s a cement-based concrete product containing little to no sand. That makes the concrete mix porous. That allows rainwater to pass directly through the pavement and into the soil. And that makes it a good choice for light-duty paved areas, such as parking lots, driveways, and sidewalks – with the added environmental benefit of serving as storm-water management.
Actually, storm-water management is a very big benefit. The pervious concrete creates zero runoff. It can protect streams, watersheds, and ecosystems, and directly recharge groundwater. It can also reduce surface temperature and heat island effects (an urban area having a higher average temperature than its rural surroundings due to the greater absorption, retention, and generation of heat by its buildings, pavements, and human activities). Those benefits make pervious concrete a rising star in the eyes of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In fact, the proper utilization of the material is recognized as a Best Management Practice. That’s high praise!
Want to see how it really works? We invite you view this video from the Bi-Lo in Harmony, courtesy of the Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association. You’ll be amazed to see just how fast the pervious concrete surface is able to drain away the rushing water!