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All You Need to Know About Permeable Paving

The term, “paving,” refers to the process of covering or leveling a surface with concrete, stones, tiles, or bricks. One of the renowned methods of paving is referred to as, “permeable paving,” which allows penetration of fluids and is used for paving the pathways from where pedestrians and vehicles cross. Materials used for making permeable paving may either be porous or non-porous. Porous materials allow the liquid to pass through it and non-porous material furthermore allowing space in every block for liquid to flow. The blocks do not allow liquid to pass through it, but it is the gap between block that does the major portion of the work. Permeable pavements are also known as PICP (Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavement). When water gets collected from PICP it can be used for washing cars, watering plants and other activities.

Installation of Permeable Paving

  • Firstly, the thickness of paver must be 3 1/8 inches (80 mm).
  • Secondly; according to the volume of water to be managed, the width of joint of PICP can vary from 1/8 inch to ½ inch.
  • Thirdly, determine the type of soil by digging it up so that appropriate type of paver can be installed.
  • Fourthly, geotextile is placed to keep the soil moving into base layer. A layer of stone sub base is made at the bottom. A 4-inch layer of open graded base with 2-inch thick bedding course layer. This ensures that the paver is installed.
  • Lastly, the finishing is done with cast or stone concrete curb.

As listed, this is how permeable paving is installed. This process differs from the way traditional pavers are installed.

There are pros and cons for everything, including permeable paving. Here are some listed pros and cons for permeable paving:


  • Permeable paving can efficiently manage the overflow of water.
  • It is capable of controlling pollutants like it can easily capture hard materials.
  • It provides unban tress rooting space.
  • This helps in reducing erosion due to their structure and formation.
  • It is available in various designs so that walking area can be decorated according to your taste.
  • They are durable in nature.


  • If it is used in sloping areas its efficiency to manage overflow gets reduced
  • Cannot serve the purpose if the climate is too cold i.e., snowfall
  • Almost in every alternate month it requires maintenance.
  • The initial installation of permeable paving may cost more money, but it can be said that it is inexpensive in the long run.


After knowing about the pros and cons of permeable paving, you should know about the various types available for it.

The most commonly used permeable paving options are pervious concrete, permeable interlocking concrete pavers and porous asphalt. Other kinds include plastic and concrete grids, porous asphalt, porous turf, permeable clay brick, resin bound paving and more. Here are a few characteristics of these available options: –

  • Pervious Concrete
  • Widely available
  • Quality depends on the selection of person installing
  • Can take heavy traffic loads
  • Porous turf
  • Can be used where the vehicles are not regularly parked
  • Generally used outside church and stadiums
  • Plastic grids
  • The porous system is 100%
  • There are a wide variety of shapes and sizes available
  • It can be used anywhere from walkways to parking lots
  • Installation cast is comparatively low
  • Easy installation technique
  • Interlocking Concrete Pavements
  • It poses open and porous space between them
  • Can take the load of heavy traffic

In a nutshell, it can be said that permeable paving is eco-friendly, not leaving a significant carbon footprint, and that is also poses high durability. Here we have discussed about the installation process, pros and cons, types of permeable paving. Do keep them in mind to ensure longevity.

Author: Melissa Hamler

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