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The Concrete that Drinks: Pervious Concrete

Generally, anytime concrete paving absorbs water it is a concern about freeze thaw durability, particularly here in the Northeast. However, F.A. Rohrbach has recently begun trials and promotions of pervious concrete-the concrete that drinks.

Pervious concrete is a cement based concrete with 20% void space. The voids are produced through the elimination of the fine aggregate generally found in typical concrete mixes. It is placed with standard paving equipment and compacted with rollers. The final product looks like a loose granular base, but it is glued together by the cement.

Pervious concrete has been used for erosion control on embankments (Highway 100, Washington Missouri) and parking lots with rain collection systems (Finley Stadium, Chattanooga, Tennessee). Additional uses may include:

  • Greenhouses-construct a flat surface that would drain water into a collection system.
  • Industry Developments-construct pervious pavements, thus eliminating impervious surfaces, to reduce the size and number of detention basins allowing more useable land for building.
  • Nature Trails/Park Paths-construct pervious concrete paths using pea gravel for naturally looking paths and eliminate maintenance. Paths would be smooth enough for walking/running, but skateboarding and in-line skating would be restricted from use by the texture.
  • Water Run-off Systems-construct pervious concrete swales as a substitute for expensive and difficult to handle cable-concrete systems. Do you have any uses for pervious concrete? Please contact us with your ideas and feedback.