Today is Earth Day, so it’s a good time to think about sustainability. One of ways in which the concrete industry contributes to the environment is through the use of Pervious Concrete. Construction and demolition waste in the U.S. is approximately 135 million tons a year. Concrete and the constituents of concrete can be recycled at the end of their useful live for use in buildings, pavement or other structures. This not only reduces the amount of material that is sent to landfills, it also reduces the need for virgin materials in new construction.
Pervious concrete is made from carefully controlled amounts of water and cementitious materials used to create a paste that forms a thick coating around aggregate particles. Unlike conventional concrete, the mixture contains little or no sand, creating a substantial void content of between 15% and 25%. With the use of paste to coat and bind the aggregate particles together, a system of highly permeable, interconnection voids can be created.
This makes for a material that drains quickly: Pervious concrete allows three to eight gallons of water per minute to pass through each square foot of material. By allowing rainwater to seep into the ground, pervious concrete can be instrumental in recharging groundwater and reducing storm-water runoff. This capability can reduce the need for retention ponds, swales and other storm-water management devices. Applications can include: residential roads, alleys and driveways; parking lots; patios; sidewalks and pathways; tennis courts, swimming pool decks; foundations and floors for greenhouses, fisheries, aquatic centers and zoos; slope stabilization; artificial reefs, well linings, hydraulic structures and many others.
Use of pervious concrete is among the Best Management Practices recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency. Just one more reason to THINK HARDER on this 40th anniversary of Earth Day.