Pavement construction is both an art and a science, but the science behind it is often neglected. Traditionally built pavements are notorious for ignoring the environmental impact of loss of permeable surfaces, which lead to erosion and flooding. Permeable pavements offer solutions to the problem created by conventional pavements. The environmental benefits of porous urban surfaces cannot be discounted, especially in today’s time when urban landscapes are expanding.
What’s Wrong with Traditional Paving?
Conventional asphalt and concrete have affected the environment since they became a part of urban and suburban development. Designs of residential and commercial properties include pavements, which serve as walkways, car parks, driveways, courtyards, forecourts, and patios. As cities and towns get bigger, more ground surfaces are turned into concrete or asphalt, and we’re getting less soil cover.
Concrete and asphalt paving do not absorb rainwater, which will only collect on surfaces and form pools. Puddles on concrete on courtyards or forecourts look bad enough and cause inconvenience on rainy days, but these are minor drawbacks of traditional paving. What’s insidious is the runoff, that flowing storm water that collects in the streets and floods low lying areas in town. Not to mention, the debris and sediments on impervious pavement collect into and overwhelm drainage systems. Such problems incur hefty maintenance expenses.
Mitigating the Environmental Toll of Pavements
However, it’s not just the occasional local road and drainage maintenance inconvenience that’s the real issue. What people don’t see is the impact of urban runoff on different environmental systems. Here is where things get a bit complicated. Surface runoff carries pollutants to natural water systems. There’s no question that this has contributed to the urban water pollution in Melbourne. This is both a health issue and an ecological concern.
Permeable paving reduces these problems in a number of ways. The anatomy of this type of pavement system allows water to soak into the spaces between the pavers. The water reaches the gravel layer underneath the surface pavement and then reaches the soil below either through a sediment mix or a perforated piping.
The permeation of rainwater eliminates the problems caused by runoff. First, water doesn’t flow to nearby streets and carry pollutants and sediments to drainage systems. By so doing, it also minimises the need for drainage maintenance and cleanup. It also mitigates soil erosion. Second, water simply seeps through the different soil layers until it reaches an aquifer where it replenishes groundwater. The different soil layers act as a natural filtration system that removes contaminants. Thus, permeable pavements help minimise groundwater contamination.
Additional Benefits of Permeable Paving
One will probably not see puddles on porous pavements after a heavy rain. Standing water may not seem a big deal. It may bother some walkers. However, standing water on concrete can take days to dry up and encourage breeding of insects, including mosquitoes. Porous pavements eliminate this problem. Also, permeable paving creates surfaces with greater friction, which prevents vehicles from skidding on rainy days.
This type of paving system has other benefits, such as durability and sustainability. It also helps the local economy by creating environmental jobs. The installation can be more or less involved than traditional pavement installation. With a permeable pavement system, you need a perforated sub drain, which is then covered with layers of aggregate, usually gravel. On the surface, permeable pavements can look similar. But the system can be constructed with varied layers underneath. Some porous pavements just include a gravel layer underneath the pavers, while others have a more complex design with a bedding, a base reservoir, and a sub-base reservoir. The complexity of the design affects the overall cost of installation.
Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that a permeable pavement system is just as effective as the installation process. Badly done installation is a waste of labour and materials. Hence, calling a professional permeable pavement installer in Melbourne is a wise choice.
Permeable Paving Driveways
Driveways add to the amount of impervious surfaces that are affecting our environment more than people think. Building more concrete driveways means less open ground for rainwater to seep into. More property owners and developers are recognising this problem. They have since sought ways to not add to the burden to the environment by opting for permeable paving.
Driveways need a more robust reinforcement than walkways because of the load they have to support. Permeable driveways may have grid systems made of plastic or concrete. This design allows grass to grow between the pavers. The surface pavement stabilises the gravel underneath. Permeable grass driveways are easy to install. Once the grass thrives, it blends with the pavement and looks like a natural vegetation on the surface. The maintenance isn’t more involved than occasional mowing.
Permeable grass pavers aren’t always an option, especially for shaded driveways or driveways that lead to car parks. Plain permeable paving is the next option. Contrary to what people think, permeable pavements can handle heavy loads, including vehicles of any size. In addition, they are less likely to crack when exposed to heat and cold, because the spaces between the pavers allow for expansion and contraction. Also, if one paver cracks or chips off, you can just replace it — something you can’t do with asphalt or concrete.
Construction and maintenance of permeable driveways depend on the type of permeable paving. But construction generally involves a surface layer of pavers or blocks and a base layer of gravel. Maintenance, on the other hand, mainly involves removal of mud and dirt that clog the surface layer as well as removal of weeds.
Unique Permeable Paving
Owners of residential and commercial properties in Melbourne are looking for unique permeable paving solutions. You have numerous options if you wish to transform your outdoor spaces into modern and stylish surfaces. Permeable paving offers fantastic options that veer from the conventional look of concrete and asphalt. When installed by qualified professionals, your permeable pavement will dramatically change your outdoor space aesthetically and functionally.
Unique permeable paving in Melbourne is an affordable option for anyone with any budget. It’s also the versatile solution for property owners who are looking for eco-friendly alternatives to concrete and asphalt paving. It’s an environmentally sustainable solution to our urban drainage, soil erosion, and water quality woes.
The value of permeable paving in landscaping is understated. Blending perfectly with any landscape design, permeable paving isn’t just about aesthetics. What seasoned landscape architects will tell you is that good drainage of rainwater supports plant growth by reducing damage caused by moisture saturation and erosion.
Permeable paving also has a place in ensuring your health. Permeable pavers don’t keep standing water. Without puddles to allow breeding of mosquitoes and other insects, you keep insect-borne diseases at bay.
To get the most out of porous pavements, we have to use quality materials and carry out a standard installation process. Only an experienced permeable paving company in Melbourne strikes a good balance between function, durability, and aesthetics. Hence, working with the right professionals who know the ins and outs of permeable paving is a smart decision.
Commercial Permeable Paving
The installation of permeable pavements is a necessary part of water sensitive urban designs (WSUD). This is in response to the growing concerns of the effects of less permeable land area accompanying urban growth. Building and renovation of commercial establishments account for much of urban development, which inadvertently harm bodies of water. Urban development inevitably affects waterways by changing the way stormwater behaves in the environment. Permeable paving reduces the impact of surface runoff and allows rainwater to soak into the ground the way it does in natural ecosystems.
Porous paving for commercial properties is done in numerous ways. The manner of installation depends on your preference, function, and budget. From permeable concrete to porous pavers, you have different ways to build courtyards, forecourts, driveways, and car parks that serve your employees and customers or clients, as well as the environment. What needs extra attention is the amount of traffic and loading, which the outdoor space should be able to support. Porous surfaces are often shunned for commercial areas because they are thought to be weaker than concrete. But permeable pavements can be designed and reinforced to be as strong as concrete.
While permeable paving may not be the first choice for industrial purposes, they are a great option for many types of establishments like restaurants, schools, playgrounds, and shopping malls, whose outdoor pavements don’t deal with heavy loads. With permeable paving, you can choose from a wide range of colours, designs, and themes.
Permeable Paving Cost
Your permeable paving options eventually come down to your budget. That means that the cost becomes a huge, maybe even the main, deciding factor in your permeable pavement plan. But regardless of your aesthetic and functional choices, keep in mind that like any type of paving, the cost of permeable paving depends on how large your area is. Typically, you will get a cost-per-square-metre quote.
The cost per square metre of permeable pavement varies widely. It can be as low as $40 to as high as $100 per square metre. The cost depends on the following factors:
- Type of paving
- Materials used
- The area covered
- Amount of preparation
Some permeable paving projects are easy to accomplish. Others are more involved. Bigger pavers, for instance, are quicker to install than smaller pavers. If you’re dealing with irregular borders, the pavers in the edges or corners will need to be cut. Cutting pavers in irregular shapes adds more time and cost to the overall project. Pavement installation on sloping walkways or driveways is harder than on horizontal surfaces and is, thus, more expensive.
The best thing to do when you’ve decided to opt for permeable paving in Melbourne is to find a reputable contractor. At Permeable Paving Melbourne, we don’t just provide good service, we give assurance from the moment you contact us. We do a free inspection to see the area and write a precise quote. We don’t ask for fees before commencing the project, and we afford our clients years of service to keep their permeable pavements in good condition.