eco paving
What is Porous pavement?
Porous pavement, or pervious pavement, is the newest development in green technology for road construction.
It contains more rock and less oil than traditional asphalt. This combination provides a higher amount of air voids in the paved surface, causing it to be much more permeable than regular asphalt.

As illustrated in the diagram below, porous pavement is being used to return rainwater to the ground water system. Instead of rainwater stopping when it hits traditional asphalt and becoming runoff, porous pavement allows the rainwater to flow through its voids into a rock bed underneath. Once the rainwater passes through this filtering rock bed it is returned to the ground water system.

Why is it good?

Porous pavement is incredibly environmentally friendly. One of many ways this is illustrated is through its impact on the ground water system. Not only does porous pavement effectively transfer rainwater back into the ground, replenishing the underground aquifers, but the rock bed the rainwater flows through also acts as a filtration system. This means that the rainwater being returned to the ground system contains fewer pollutants and contaminants than it had previously.

Another eco-friendly aspect of porous pavement is its contribution to storm water management. Heavy rainfall on traditional asphalt causes water to pool and runoff, collecting contaminates such as fertilizers and pesticides, before flowing into ponds, lakes, and rivers. Traditionally holding ponds are dug to contain the storm water and prevent it from becoming contaminated runoff.  Because porous pavement filters and drains the rain water directly into the ground no holding ponds are needed. This allows more green space (grass, plants, etc.) to remain on project sites since it isn’t being dug up for holding ponds. Furthermore, the process of filtration and drainage allows the temperature of the rain water to cool before it reaches our ponds, lakes, and rivers, keeping the water temperature stabile for our wildlife’s ecological well-being.

Minnesotans can also appreciate that porous pavement provides a less slippery surface area during the winter months. Traditional pavement causes water to pool or run across its surface where it then freezes and becomes slippery. Alternatively, the voids in porous pavement allow more of the ice and snow to move through the pavement, leaving less precipitation on the surface to freeze.

Porous pavement works best on light duty paving, such as parking lots and driveways. It is also one of the most cost effective methods of meeting storm water management requirements set forth by local watershed districts.

T.A. Schifsky & Sons has been manufacturing and paving with porous pavement since 2007. Some of our most notable projects in recent years include the parking lots of Century College’s East and West campuses, Maplewood City Hall, Maplewood’s Geranium park, Tartan High School, and North Saint Paul’s bus garage.

If you are interested in more information or a quote on porous pavement please contact Rob Stangler. His information can be found on the Contact Us page.

2008 Geranium Park parking lot