Before you lay down a new concrete driveway, or a coating of asphalt, consider an aesthetic and environmental alternative: permeable paving. Traditional driveways tend to not only be unsightly, but also contribute to increased flooding, ambient temperatures and maintenance. Here's why permeable driveways are better.
Standard hardscapes, such as concrete and asphalt, are impervious, which means that they don't allow water to filter into the ground, and instead contribute to local flooding and overwhelmed storm sewer systems. A dark and hot material such as asphalt also contributes to the heat island effect, which results in undesirable increased temperature levels and air pollution. While concrete and asphalt are often selected for their cost savings, they do little to help the environment and often require regular maintenance.
Alternatively, there are several types of permeable surface options: glass, open-grid, permeable pavers and pervious concrete. While these choices install and look differently, they are similar in that they allow water to pass through and infiltrate the ground below. They cool, irrigate the surrounding greenspaces, and require little maintenance. They're strong enough to hold a car, but look nice enough to be a patio.
Check out these past posts for a more extensive look at permeable solutions for driveways, patios and beyond:
• The Benefits of Permeable Paving
• Green Your Drainage: Permeable Paving
• Permeable Solutions: 5 Recycled Driveway Ideas
• Beyond Concrete: Permeable Paving
• What Are the Green Options for Driveways?
(Images: As Linked)
RELATED PERMEABLE MATERIAL POSTS ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
• PaverSearch.com: A Permeable Paver Guide
• Recycled Glass Driveway by Filterpave
• Filtercrete by Ozinga: Pervious Concrete
• Porous Pavements by Presto Geosystems