Pervious concrete has been around for 156 years but it is only since the federal clean water legislation moved to the forefront and going green has become all the rage that it has received much attention. Pervious concrete allows rainfall to be captured and percolate into the ground, which reduces storm water runoff and recharges groundwater, making it a valuable environmental tool.
The Environmental Protection Agency lists the use of pervious concrete as a Best Management Practice for storm water management. It may be used to control not only the volume of run-off, but also the quality of the storm water that “filters” through the concrete and into the aquifer below. Using pervious concrete can reduce or eliminate the need for swales, retention ponds and other types of storm water management.
In concert with the marketing of pervious concrete, the National Ready Mix Concrete Association (NRMCA) has developed a certification program to train concrete contractors, producers and designers on all aspects of pervious concrete design, manufacturing, and placement.
Delaware Valley Concrete (DVC), Hatboro, Pa., hosted one of these programs on Sept. 10 and 11 at its New Britain, Pa., facility.
Twenty participants attended the class on Sept. 10, which was conducted by the Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association (PACA), a local sponsoring group for the NRMCA. A written exam followed four hours of classroom training and review. Following the exam the attendees placed a small pervious concrete pad.
On Sept. 11, more than 30 attendees came to DVC for a demonstration of pervious concrete sponsored by DVC, Vito Braccia Concrete and Building Contractors Inc., Horsham, Pa.; Lehigh Cement Co., Allentown, Pa., Axim Chemicals, Middlebranch, Ohio; and Solomon Colors, Springfield, Ill.
Those attending included members of the contracting, design, and materials communities.
“We wanted to conduct this demonstration for two reasons” stated DVC President Mario Diliberto. “First to deliver the message that concrete should now be considered the material of choice for parking areas, and second to promote the benefits of pervious concrete.
“The volatility of oil prices has driven the cost of asphalt to all time highs and concrete is positioned as not only the more durable product but now also the least costly on an initial basis” continued Diliberto.
PACA Director of Concrete Promotion Ken Crank provided a background on pervious concrete during a one-hour presentation. After the presentation, a crew from Vito Braccia placed roughly 20 cu. yd. of pervious concrete.
As attendees witnessed the placement of the material, an existing pervious concrete walkway was sprayed with a hose to demonstrate the permeability of the concrete. As expected, the water passed completely through the material.
“We were pleased with the turnout and interest that the event drew” mentioned Diliberto. “Another class and demonstration will be conducted at our facility located in Kennett Square on November 5th and 6th.” CEGl