CD Designs Blog
Open cell concrete block has been heralded as a solution to creating more eco-friendly pavements in the future.
Traditionally, city planners have used asphalt to surface high-traffic areas. As a product made from fossil fuels, asphalt may be cost effective, but it is also impermeable and retains heat, as anyone who has walked barefoot on the surface in Summer will attest!
The impermeability issue strikes once rain, dirt, dog mess, oil and pollutants enter the mix – washing over the asphalt surface into storm drains and waterways, and creating a huge filtering and cleaning job for city sewer systems. Additionally with impermeable pavings, the heat interacts with rain water, warming it and endangering aquatic life when the water drains off.
However, alternatives such as open cell concrete blocks allow water to pass through to the underlying soil and filter pollutants there, on the spot. They also let air through and remain cool to the touch. Open cell concrete blocks retain the durability required for heavy load vehicles, but their open spaces allow water drainage, and for grass to grow in the cells.
An environmentally-friendly solution, town planners are finding that these permeable systems cool quickly overnight and reflect heat. Rain water can be stored for irrigation in cisterns, and trees are being grown within the open cell blocks to shade cars in car parks.
Porous paving offers benefits too for homeowners looking to invest in an alternative to traditional pattern imprinted concrete driveways. They offer all the cooling and filtering benefits described above, along with extra opportunities for grass and plants to grow – and are an interesting new twist on the more traditional driveways usually found outside homes.
Leave a Reply
14th June 2011