Resilience measure: Permeable paving


Permeable paving is a range of sustainable materials and techniques for permeable pavements with a base and sub base that allow the movement of water through the surface. It aims to attenuate the surface runoff. In addition, this effectively traps suspended solids and filters pollutants in the soil. Besides pavements examples include roads, lawns and lots that are subject to light vehicular traffic, such as parking lots.
(Wikipedia, Permeable paving, accessed on Sept. 2016)

Co-benefits and impacts

During a heavy rainfall our town's sewer systems can get overwhelmed, while the ground gets very little benefit of the natural irrigation. But by using permeable materials the ground can capture water runoff, absorb it and clean it during the process. By allowing the water to seep into the ground, the direct and surrounding areas will need much less man-produced irrigation. This will save people money and reduce the amount of water used for every day's irrigation needs. Additionally, local heat island effects might be diminished. By allowing water to filtrate into the ground, the surface and surrounding area temperatures will be cooler than a hard impervious surface. As such, permeable pavements have a positive effect on the evapotranspiration and the micro-climate within the location. Bonus points for using permeable surfaces are that they are light in colour, therefore they will also help reflect sun and heat to even further reduce the local ambient temperature, which will also improve the health of local vegetation and improves air quality. Generally, permeable surfaces just look better and lead to an overall better appearance. Instead of boring concrete of high maintenance, ugly and smelly asphalt, permeable surfaces come in a variety of styles that pretty much always look better. Options range from standard wood decking; brick, stone or concrete pavers; pervious concrete; interlocking open grid 'grasscrete' pavers; gravel, river rock or glass etc.
(Apartment therapy, Benefits of Permeable Paving, accessed on Sept. 2016)


Permeable pavement can be used as an alternative to most types of conventional pavement at residential, commercial and institutional developments, with two exceptions: Permeable pavement should not been used for high speed roads, although it has been successfully applied for low speed residential streets, parking lanes and roadway shoulders; and Permeable pavement should not be used to treat runoff from stormwater hotspots.
(Virginia Water Resources Research Center, 2011)

Related Links

Time scales (Show all)

Long term

Synonym of Resilience Measures (Show all)

Pervious pavement

Measure types (Show all)


Last modified: Sept. 21, 2016, 8:46 a.m.