If you're looking to install a new driveway, walkway, patio, or any other exterior surface, you should seriously consider using a permeable (porous) material. Permeable surfaces allow for water runoff and drainage on site, which helps alleviate municipal storm systems, cools the ambient air temperature, and provides a natural way of filtering and watering local vegetation. At the recent GreenBuild conference, we saw this nice collection of porous pavements by Presto Geosystems, which comes in a nice variety of textures, colors and price points.
Geoblock: If you don't want to give up your lawn to paved surfaces Geoblock might be a good compromise. Geoblock is essentially a high strength open paver system that allows grass to grow in it's open cells, which creates driveable grass — perfect for driveways. Paver units support and distribute concentrated loads in two styles: Geoblock5150 for heavy traffic loads and Geoblock2 for light-to-medium traffic loads.
GeoPave: Gravel surfaces are great permeable solutions, but can sometimes be a mess. GeoPave is a modular paver that creates a structural framework for gravel aggregates. It helps stabalize the aggregate while increasing the bearing strength for traffic loading.
FilterPave: Designed for light-to-heavy pedestrian or vehicular traffic loads, FilterPave is a colorful hardsurface made from 100% post-consumer recycled glass.
FirmaPave: FirmaPave is a highly porous natural stone hardsurface built for pedestrian and vehicular traffic loads. The material is a poured-in-place mix of architectural stone aggregate bonded with an elastomeric binder and is available in a variety of colors.
More GreenBuild 2010:
(Images: Presto Geostystems)