Pervious Concrete

     Pervious concrete is a rigid paving system that lets large volumes of water pass through it into a bed of drainage stone below. This feature eliminates poisonous run off, ponding, erosion, black ice and allows water to safely and quickly recharge the groundwater. Pervious concrete can be colored and is suitable for residential, commercial, and industrial application

     Pervious concrete is made from the same materials as regular concrete with the exception of sand (or fines). Little or no sand is used, and this lack of fine material along with special placing techniques creates a series of interconnected voids. These voids allow water to pass through at an average rate of 1500 inches per hour, no that is not a typo, 1500 inches per hour.So as you can see, pervious concrete is capable of handling any storm that Southeastern Mass has to offer.

     This important feature comes with many benefits:

  1. Recharging Groundwater- Cape Cod has one aquifer that supplies everyone's water. With increasing developement and decreasing precipitation, we are taxing that system more and more every year. Pervious concrete helps water infiltrate the ground at the same or faster rates than undeveloped ground, and since the water under the concrete isn't exposed to the open air , less is lost to evaporation, so more water perks into the ground.
  2. Pollution Control- Vehicles leave pollutants like oils (hydrocarbons), and heavy metals (brake pad dust) on pavement surfaces. According to the EPA the first 1/2 to 1 inch of rain carries most of these away and can convey them to environmentally sensitive places. They call this "first flush".We have all seen the rainbow colored puddles and streams in parking lots. On Cape Cod these waters can infiltrate the ponds where we swim, the marshes where we shellfish, cranberry bogs, and our many waterways. Pervious concrete traps heavy metals in the stone layer and microbes wich grow on the stone and filter fabric, digest the hydrocarbons, thus allowing clean water to return to the soil.
  3. Paving Under Trees -Most people have seen how both regular concrete and asphault paving buckles when placed too close to trees. This happens because the roots are looking for air and water that the impervious pavements have cut off. This does not happen with pervious concrete since air and water can pass through, so the roots remain happy and stay put.
  4. Black Ice Prevention- As snow sits piled on the sides of driveways and parking lots, etc., it melts and refreezes creating continuous unsafe conditions that need constant attention with sanding, shoveling and de-icing chemicals. With pervious concrete, the snowmelt just dissappears into the ground eliminating the need for constant vigilance and reducing liability.
  5. Erosion Control - When rain water runs off impervious surfaces, if not properly controlled, it can cause erosion. This erosion can cause serious and costly property damage in as little as one storm. The silty run off from erosion can cause damage to ponds, streams and other waterways. Pervious concrete eliminates this erosion.
  6. Reduces "Urban Heat Island Effect"-The lighter color of pervious concrete reflects more of the sun's warming rays, creating a cooler surface to walk on, and helping to reduce cooling costs of adjacent buildings by up to 18% during the cooling season.
  7. Irrigation -Water can be collected in cisterns and be used to supplement or completely fulfill irrigation needs for the property, decreasing overall potable water usage.
  8. Flat Surfaces -Pervious concrete can be placed level, unlike impervious paving, which needs to be sloped for drainage.
  9. Reduced Night Lighting - Increased reflectivity of pervious concrete reduces the amount of lighting needed  for a given area,there by reducing lighting costs in both fixtures and electricity.
  10. Low Life Cycle Costs - If pervious concrete is installed correctly, it is a durable long lasting surface with a life span of 30 to 40 years. It needs very little maintainance, and can be recycled at the end.
  11. LEED Point Certification -Pervious concrete qualifies for LEED points on up to seven different criteria.
  12. Lower Developement Costs -Pervious concrete can lower developement costs due to elimination for the need of curbs , gutters, storm drain outlets, and retention basins.
         If you are looking for a permeable paving material, porous concrete is the smart choice based on durability, low maintenance, and long life cycle. Pervious pavement is also an important tool in sustainable, low impact design, especially on Cape Cod with its ever increasing developement in a fragile environment and a higher demand for its clean water. Jones Concrete Design, recognizing the need for such an important tool , is proud to be one of the first companies to be certified in pervious concrete installation on Cape Cod and in Southeastern Massachusetts. Please visit our contact page if you have any other questions or would like to have site visit. 

Here are some informative links:

     1) Bay Area Pervious Blog-An Expert Pervious Installation Company
         2) EPA Web Page-
         3) Arizona State University- Pervious Questions Answered
         4) Clemson University- Lots of good info with great graphics
         5) Wisconsin DOT Info Bulletin-Lots of technical info
          6) Bay Area Pervious Videos-
Interesting Videos Below:     
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