A popular and effective stormwater management tool, permeable paving has
been used in several commercial projects throughout Australia. Permeable paving
uses purpose designed paving units and specially graded base materials to allow
excess stormwater to filtrate through the pavement surface to the sub base
beneath where it can be harvested, recycled or returned to the water table.
The successful use of permeable paving in many commercial projects has
led to several residential and multi-residential projects adopting the same
technique in their landscaping. The ability to capture and reuse as much water
as possible is crucial to a sustainable future and the specification of a
permeable pavement is the starting point to a simple, environmentally
effective, water saving system beneath the surface.
Melbourne receives five hundred billion litres of rainwater each year but
only one per cent is captured. By installing permeable pavements that can
capture up to 95 per cent of all stormwater runoff, the city not only can enhance
its water recycling efforts but also mitigate the effects of stormwater
flooding. Given the drought conditions across Australia, uncertainty about
rainfall and ongoing water restrictions throughout the country, it is time to
consider permeable paving systems.
World-renowned paving engineer Dr Brian Shackel has identified six key
objectives achievable through the use of permeable paving in the whitepaper,
‘The Design, Construction and Evaluation of Permeable Pavement in Australia’.
Permeable paving can decrease the amount of rainfall runoff from
pavement surfaces, eliminating or minimising the extent of the stormwater
drainage system, leading to substantial savings in the overall project costs; reduce
the size and need for rainwater retention facilities in road works by using the
pavement for retention, improving land use; minimise or avoid downstream
flooding; recharge and maintain aquifers and the natural groundwater; trap
pollutants before they contaminate groundwater or drainage systems; and assist
in the biological decomposition of hydrocarbon contaminants.
Adbri Masonry’s Marketing Manager Karl Wood expects the growing preference
for permeable paving in residential projects to continue in 2015, with the
trend triggered and encouraged by the successes in some of Australia’s most
iconic commercial projects coupled with the environmental and practical
benefits of the paving system.
Adbri Masonry is already receiving several enquiries for their Ecopave
permeable pavers specifically developed for use in residential landscaping and
driveways. Wood adds that the trend is to use an underground water tank placed
under the permeable driveway to collect the percolated water.
Permeable pavers are
available in a large range of colours, textures and formats for both commercial
and residential projects.