Environmental Benefits of Interlocking Paving Stones

Paving stones and related products allow you to make better use of your outdoor space, which is especially important here in the tri state area because we can only get to enjoy the outdoors for a limited number of months per year. It’s not likely that sustainability is at the forefront of your mind when planning an outdoor project. But, it’s a crucial element to any town and city-planning project; storm water management takes precedence in site design.

Some pavers are more “green’ than others, and choosing the right products can help you do your part for the good of the environment and may even save you some money over time.

The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) has listed numerous ways in which concrete pavers provide solutions to ecological problems. Permeable interlocking concrete pavers as well as “regular” interlocking concrete pavers are customarily made with local materials, labor and recycled content- all of which comes together to reduce energy requirements as well as the carbon footprint. More professionals are choosing permeable interlocking concrete pavements than ever before due to the environmental advantages of the material and its ability to meet low impact development goals.

The institute website quotes Neil Weinstein, Executive Director of the Low Impact Development Center, Inc.:

“Permeable pavement is a very important part of the low impact toolbox. It makes surfaces and sidewalks permeable so we can then infiltrate the runoff.”

According to ICPI brochure on permeable pavement comparison, these types of pavements rely on the open-graded aggregate in their surface and base to collect, store and infiltrate storm water run-off back into the soil beneath it.

Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers Help Reduce Storm Water Runoff

If you can’t quite remember some of the basics from school science class, storm water runoff is water from rain or melting snow that “runs off” from higher areas- harder surfaces- to lower areas, instead of the ground absorbing it. Many surfaces don’t have the ability to absorb this runoff, causing it to flow into the nearest body of water. The pollutants in the runoff can adversely effect drinking water as well as local wildlife, and cause a variety of ecologic and health problems.

The permeable surface of pavers is what allows water to penetrate into the ground, all while trapping solids, dispensing nutrients and oils, and immobilizing heavy metals- the pollutants.

In our next blog, we’ll take a look at some ways the products we offer here at Island Block & Masonry Supply can enhance and protect the environment’s natural balance.


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