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Pervious Concrete: Futuristic Solution to Urban Runoff?

Pervious concrete is a high-porosity form of concrete used for concrete flatwork applications that allows water from precipitation and other sources to pass through directly, decreasing runoff and permitting groundwater recharging. The high porosity is achieved through a void content that is highly linked. Pervious concrete often contains little or no fine aggregate and only enough cementitious paste to coat the coarse aggregate particles while maintaining void interconnectivity. Parking lots, low-traffic zones, residential streets, pedestrian walkways, and greenhouses have all employed pervious concrete in the past.


The success of pervious concrete pavements depends on a skilled installer. Subgrade preparation is critical, as it is for any concrete pavement. To achieve a consistent and stable surface, the subgrade should be adequately compacted. When installing pervious pavement directly on sandy or gravelly soils, the subgrade should be compacted to 92 to 96 percent of the maximum density. The level of compaction required for silty or clayey soils will be determined by the pavement design, and a layer of open graded stone may be required to cover the soil. To separate fine-grained soils from the stone layer, engineering textiles are frequently utilised. It’s important not to overcompact soil that has the tendency to swell. Prior to installation, the subgrade should be hydrated.

It is necessary to rake and recompact the construction traffic.The water to cementitious materials (w/cm) ratio in pervious concrete is typically 0.25 to 0.35, with a void percentage of 15 to 25%. Cementitious ingredients, coarse aggregate, and water make up the combination, with little to no fine aggregates.A modest amount of fine aggregate added to the mix may minimise void content and boost strength, which may be desirable in some cases. Because this substance is sensitive to variations in water content, it is frequently essential to alter the fresh mixture in the field.It’s crucial to use the right amount of water in the concrete. Segregation will occur if there is too much water in the mixer, and too little water will result in balling in the mixer and sluggish mixer unloading. Whereas others

Pervious Concrete

While some loose stones are to be expected on a pervious concrete surface, too little water might prevent the concrete from curing properly, resulting in premature ravelling and surface collapse. The appearance or sheen of a correctly matched combination is wet-metallic. Fixed forms or slip-form pavers can be used to create a pervious concrete pavement. The most common method of laying pervious concrete is in forms on grade with a riser strip on the top of each form, allowing the strike off device to be 3/8-1/2 in. (9 to 12 mm) above the final pavement elevation.Vibratory or manual screeds can be used to strike off, however vibratory screens are preferred. The riser strips are removed after striking off the concrete.

Rolling the fresh concrete consolidates it, resulting in a stronger link between the paste and aggregate and a smoother riding surface. Excessive rolling pressure should be avoided to prevent the voids from collapsing. Rolling should be done as soon as possible following a strike. An illustration of how pervious concrete works in the form of a cube. depicts how pervious concrete works in the form of a cube. With a few exceptions, jointing pervious concrete pavement follows the same requirements as concrete slabs on grade. The rules of jointing geometry, on the other hand, remain unchanged. A rolling jointing tool is used to toole joints in pervious concrete. This allows joints to be cut in a short amount of time while curing continues unabated. It is critical to cure properly.

Immediate Application in India:

In India, the issue of urbanisation has resulted in the flooding of major metro cities. The floods in Mumbai, for example, are a wonderful example of how much pervious concrete may be used. One of the sites in Mumbai where a river that used to transport water out of the city and empty it into the sea was blocked owing to increased growth. After that, the result was unmistakable. Mumbai was hit by its worst floods in history, which not only crippled the city but also killed many people. Pervious concrete can provide a remedy to this rapid proliferation of cities as the scope of metropolitan cities expands. Disadvantage: This technology is unfamiliar to many pavement engineers and contractors.

If incorrectly placed or maintained, porous pavement has a tendency to become clogged. Porous pavements have a high failure rate. Depending on soil conditions and aquifer susceptibility, there is a chance of contaminating groundwater. Its installation may be prohibited by some building codes. If underlying soils are unable to dry out between storm events, anaerobic conditions may develop. Microbiological degradation may be hampered as a result of this.

Solution to Urban Runoff

water, admixtures, and aggregates (stone). Pervious concrete is defined as a “near zero-slump, open-graded material consisting of hydraulic cement, coarse aggregate, little or no fine aggregate, admixtures, and water,” according to ACI Committee 522. When correctly compacted, the cement and water in pervious concrete make a paste that uniformly coats and connects the particles together. To allow the fresh pervious concrete mixture to flow adequately when placed and to achieve point-to-point contact of the coarse aggregates, an optimised quantity and consistency of paste is used in the mixture, creating an interconnected void system to allow stormwater to infiltrate through the pavement system when installed. A typical pervious concrete mixture will have between 15 and 25% void content. The pace at which pervious surfaces drain.

Pervious concrete has been utilised in building in some form for almost a century. It is largely utilised as a pavement material for parking lots, roads, walks, and some lightly trafficked residential streets in the United States today. Stormwater pollution is primarily caused by parking lots and streets. When rain falls on a traditional, impervious parking lot or roadway, it carries a variety of contaminants with it, including debris, metals (brake linings), and hydrocarbons (oils and grease). Stormwater runoff is contaminated and eventually makes its way into streams, rivers, and lakes.


The advantages of pervious concrete for Low Impact Development are one of the main reasons for its popularity (LID). In the United States, federal regulations mandate that states, counties, and municipalities implement stormwater runoff and pollution control techniques. In general, these restrictions mandate property owners to collect and treat stormwater on site rather than allowing it to runoff onto nearby properties or into municipal stormwater management systems. Pervious concrete pavements and other infiltration systems can assist meet these standards. Pervious concrete is one of the greatest stormwater management strategies, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

A typical pervious concrete pavement system comprises of a pervious concrete layer supporting traffic loads over an aggregate foundation layer. Water can swiftly percolate into the aggregate base layer, also known as the storage layer, before slowly seeping into the subgrade soil thanks to the pervious concrete. The aggregate base layer is usually a clean, single-sized aggregate with a nominal size of 18 mm to 40 mm (3/4 in. to 1-1/2 in.). Perforated pipes are sometimes placed into the aggregate base layer to boost storage capacity or collect water from other surfaces on the property, including as roofs, pathways, and traditional impervious pavements. This supplementary drainage may also be required to boost the capacity of systems on fine-grained soils with slow percolation rates.

Is pervious concrete sustainable?

Pervious concrete pavement is a unique and effective means to address important environmental issues.

What are the benefits of using pervious concrete?

In reducing runoff from paved areas, pervious concrete reduces the need for separate.

Can you seal pervious concrete?

Avoid sealing or repaving with impervious materials. In particular, never use asphalt or other tar-type sealers on pervious concrete.

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