Although not a new technology, pervious concrete(it was first used in 1852) is receiving renewed interest. The high flow rate of water through a pervious concrete pavement allows rainfall to be captured and to percolate into the ground, reducing storm water runoff, recharging groundwater this unique ability of pervious concrete offers advantages to the environment, public agencies, and building owners by controlling rainwater on-site and addressing storm water runoff issues. This can be of particular interest in urban areas, or where land is very expensive. Depending on local regulations and environment, a pervious concrete pavement and its sub-base may provide enough water storage capacity to reduce the need for retention ponds, rain-water harvesting projects and other precipitation runoff containment strategies. This provides more efficient land use and is one factor that has led to a renewed interest in pervious concrete. Other applications that take advantage of the high flow rate through pervious concrete include drainage media in parking lots, tennis courts, greenhouses, and pervious base layers under heavy-duty pavements.

Its high porosity also gives it other useful characteristics: it is thermally insulating (for example, in walls of buildings) and has good acoustical properties (for sound barrier walls).

All of these applications take advantage of the benefits of pervious concrete’s characteristics. However, to achieve these results, mix design and construction details must be planned and executed with care.

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