Have you ever considered the impact of traditional paving materials on the environment? Conventional asphalt and concrete surfaces contribute to increased stormwater runoff, flooding, and water pollution. Enter permeable paving – an environmentally friendly solution with the potential to revolutionise the way we approach urban development. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of permeable paving, exploring its benefits and applications while guiding you towards making an informed decision for your next paving project. So, what is permeable paving? Let’s find out.

Key Takeaways

  • Permeable paving is an environmentally friendly urban surface designed to reduce the effects of impervious surfaces and facilitate water infiltration.
  • It offers a range of environmental benefits, including decreased surface runoff, flooding risks, and pollution as well as improved water quality.
  • Professional consultation is essential for selecting the right permeable paving material for optimal long-term success.

Defining Permeable Paving

Permeable pavement is an increasingly used form of urban paving material developed to diminish the unfavourable effects caused by traditional impervious surfaces like asphalt and concrete. Its main goal is to facilitate water infiltration through porous materials, thus relieving pressure from drainage systems and avoiding potential harm to nature. A more detailed understanding about permeable pavings can be achieved by studying various kinds of components that make up these pavements as well as their purposeful functions in facilitating a smooth flow with less environmental risks.

Types of Permeable Paving Materials

Permeable paving comes in a variety of forms, each providing different advantages and drawbacks. Popular types include porous asphalt (also known as permeable asphalt), permeable concrete for drainage elements, interlocking pavers, and resin-bound paving using small decorative aggregates bound together with UV stable binders. All these materials can provide excellent surfaces while controlling the effects of surface runoff on water quality. Porous asphalt is particularly beneficial when used in highway surfacing because it allows the infiltration of liquid through its structure . Permeable concrete offers an effective way to manage stormwater by letting liquids penetrate into it quickly whereas interlocking pavers are commonly selected due to their strength and durability characteristics that reduce ground compaction or displacement over time.. Resin bonded pavements give users more choice when deciding upon aesthetic appeal whilst also delivering improved imperviousness rates compared to other solutions such as traditional paved options like sandstone cobbles or recycled bricks laid flat on top of existing substrata.

How Permeable Paving Works

Permeable paving, otherwise known as porous paving, helps to reduce surface runoff and promotes natural groundwater replenishment due its capacity for water absorption. In contrast to impervious surfaces which are not capable of retaining or absorbing any liquid at all. This often increases the risk of flooding and other environmental issues such as reduced water quality. Through permeable materials we can overcome these problems by allowing rainwater to filter through them while simultaneously eliminating contaminants in order to maximise eco-friendly benefits associated with traditional methods used on paved surfaces.

Environmental Advantages of Permeable Paving

Permeable paving provides various environmental gains, such as diminished surface runoff and lower risk of flooding which consequently leads to an improved water quality. Gravel is a type of permeable pavement that can offer these benefits. Porous asphalt pavements are one form of permeable paving and aid in reducing urban runoff while maintaining the purity level of the water at its highest point. The advantages provided by this kind of covering for road surfaces consist mainly in reduction on runoffs from rainwater, pollution control, recharging groundwater resources. Decreasing temperature variations between day-night (heat island effect) plus erosion prevention .

Reduction in Surface Runoff

Permeable concrete pavers can be used to minimise surface runoff and provide protection from flooding and erosion. They offer an effective way of improving water quality by absorbing pollutants through filtration as well as reducing the amount that needs to be processed at treatment plants. Pavers enable stormwater or meltwater runoff across ground surfaces, creating a permeable layer on top which increases infiltration into the earth below it.

Enhanced Water Quality

Permeable paving offers numerous advantages to the environment, such as filtration of pollutants and contaminants from stormwater which improves water quality. Reducing surface runoff for lesser environmental impact, contributing to a reduction in local ecosystem pressure. Plus presenting an environmentally sound option when it comes to urban development projects. Permeable interlocking concrete pavers are ideal for developing sustainable & eco-friendly structures thanks to its benefits that permeable pavements offer. Using this kind of pavement consisting of concrete blocks brings many practical things like lessened surface runoff or minimised effects on nearby ecosystems while capturing any harmful polluting particles present in stormwaters instead letting them discharge into larger bodies close by Improving overall water quality at same time protecting the environment around us!

Practical Applications of Permeable Paving

Permeable paving is a great option for many different settings, especially permeable pavements used in parking lots, car parks and driveways. It offers both aesthetic and practical advantages which are beneficial to homeowners, business owners or city planners alike.

The use of this type of pavement can help reduce surface runoff and improve water quality in these places – it’s an ideal choice if you want aesthetically pleasing results that also provide environmental benefits such as improved sustainability through better management of our natural resources like clean drinking water. Employing this kind of solution helps with the reduction of surface runoffs from walkways too! All these factors combined make permeable paving a superior solution that makes sense on all fronts: ecologically sound while still being visually appealing .

Parking Lots and Car Parks

The use of permeable paving materials for parking lots and car parks can be highly beneficial, providing both a practical space that is suitable for pedestrian as well as vehicular traffic while also helping to reduce the risk of flooding by preventing surplus runoff from entering stormwater systems. To this, it has been noted that the implementation of such pavements can minimise water temperatures before they enter into their local environment – making them an eco-friendly alternative when compared with traditional surfaces. In order for these benefits to truly manifest themselves successfully installing permeable paving whilst maintaining vigilant upkeep are key elements one must consider prior getting started on any project.

Driveways and Walkways

Permeable paving materials provide many advantages for driveways and walkways, including improved natural drainage, reduced pollution levels, a decrease in erosion concerns, as well as lower maintenance needs. These permeable resources are an effective way to manage stormwater while creating attractive landscapes that have sustainable impacts on the surrounding urban areas. When these products are installed with care and precision using only suitable components from trusted sources , you can enjoy all of these benefits without compromising your property’s visual appeal or functionality.

Installation and Maintenance Considerations

The key to making permeable paving systems a long-term success lies in proper installation and regular maintenance. Following the instructions of suppliers is critical for ensuring quality performance from these systems. Otherwise, issues such as ground movement could arise which would interfere with its effectiveness. Regular upkeep should also be done on the surface of porous pavement structures if one wishes for it to remain functioning optimally over time while keeping its level of preciousness intact.

Proper Installation Techniques

Adhering to the correct installation methods of permeable paving systems is essential for optimal performance, as it provides benefits such as proper drainage and longevity. This includes testing the soil first, excavating and preparing the stone base layers before screeding a bedding layer with compacted Class 2 road base overtop. Then place waterproof permeable pavers on top followed by gravel filling any gaps between them so that rainwater can be channelled through into underlying soil below. With all these elements in their appropriate places, you will guarantee maximum efficiency from your paved surface!

Maintenance Requirements

Maintaining permeable paving systems is essential to preserving their porosity and performance. This includes pressure washing at least once annually, resealing the surface every two years for private driveways, sweeping and inspecting after intense rainfall, as well as vacuuming or power cleaning three times a year. Keeping up with these procedures keeps your investment intact while maintaining the preciousness of surfaces such as sidewalks and parking lots which in turn supports environmental sustainability.

Choosing the Right Permeable Paving Option

The selection of the correct permeable paving solution for a given project is essential in order to guarantee its long-term success and maximise any positive benefits. Variables such as location, climate and intended use should be taken into account when making an informed decision about which material would best suit these conditions. Thus requiring consideration of factors like aesthetics, previousness rates, endurance qualities alongside the experienced opinions from experts within this domain. Making sure that all aspects are considered will ensure that the ideal permeable paving option has been identified accurately allowing it to be installed with confidence.

Factors to Consider

When selecting permeable paving, the colour, texture and pattern should match with one’s aesthetic preferences. It is important to note that concrete has a rate of 0.1-0.2 cm/hr for permeability while gravel offers 1-2 cm/hr in this regard. Apart from these factors, it is essential to evaluate how durable the material will be when exposed to wear and tear or extreme weather conditions such as cracking due to damage etcetera .

Consultation with Professionals

When it comes to selecting an appropriate permeable paving solution, talking with experts such as landscape architects, civil engineers and contractors can be immensely helpful. Professional advice ensures that the best possible material for your project is chosen along with optimal installation methods which will ensure maximum efficiency and durability of the outcome. Paving professionals have all essential information on what type of permeable pavements should be used for maintenance needs associated with them.


Permeable paving has a variety of ecological and practical advantages which make it the optimal selection for various urban development plans. Its ability to curtail surface runoff as well as improve water quality while providing an eco-friendly alternative to traditional pavement materials mean that this kind of solution is sustainable when used in parking lots, car parks, walkways or driveways.

If correctly installed with help from professionals taking into account aspects such as aesthetics, durability and permeability rates then one can be sure they are making an informed choice contributing towards constructing more environment friendly cities via their use of permeable pavements systems which promise attractive long lasting surfaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the disadvantage of permeable paving?

Permeable paving, although not as strong as asphalt pavements, can provide numerous benefits in certain settings and conditions. Due to its porous nature it is unsuitable for heavy loads such as on airport runways or highways where the risk of collapse under consistent pressure remains a concern.

What is the difference between pavers and permeable pavers?

Permeable pavers have larger joints between them which allows for water to go through, thus entering the base layer beneath. The joint gaps of these particular pavers are bigger than those not designed with permeability in mind.

What is a permeable paving system?

Permeable paving systems are designed using either permeable material, enabling water to move through it without a problem or nonporous blocks with spaces that allow for the passage of liquid back into drains and even Down into the ground. This helps to stop pollutants from entering any nearby stormwater bodies such as lakes and rivers. The implementation of this type of paving is crucial in order to preserve our surrounding environment while providing a functional use out on pavements.

Is permeable paving expensive?

Permeable paving can vary in cost, from approximately $3 to as much as $30 per square foot. Paving materials like natural stone pavers are pricier compared with others such as the TRUEGRID system, which is more economical and still permeable. All these choices depend on what your needs require of them.

Images: Supplied.

This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Paving SA.