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Permeable Pavers Cost Guide

The cost of permeable pavers may depend upon the features that are included. For example, higher priced permeable pavers might be extra weather resistant, more durable and more attractive than lower priced pavers. 

The Costs

  • Minimum Cost of Permeable Pavers per Square Foot: $4.00

  • Maximum Cost of Permeable Pavers per Square Foot: $6.00

Permeable pavers permit the movement of storm water through the surface and filters pollutants from the water. The pavers are separated by joints filled with small stones that allow the water to infiltrate back into the soil subgrade. This is in contrast to traditional pavers where water picks up oil and additional chemicals before washing into the street, where it overloads storm drains and pollutes waterways. Permeable pavers are ideal for driveways, sidewalks, parking areas, courtyards and plazas. A summary of the advantages and disadvantages of permeable pavers are as follows:

Advantages of Permeable Pavers

Permeable pavers are extremely effective in controlling the runoff from paved surfaces. Normally, large volumes of runoff cause significant erosion and the deposit of undesirable sediments in surface water bodies. Permeable pavers allow pollutants to remain in position within the soil or other material that may lie beneath the pavers. 

When used on roadways, permeable pavers catch metals that may land on them, which stops them from washing downstream and collecting in the environment. Permeable pavers have an additional environmental impact as they allow trees to have the rooting space that is necessary to grow to full size. As a result, this contributes to a healthy ecology.

Disadvantages of Permeable Pavers

Permeable pavers can result in contaminated runoff if used in areas where pollutant concentrations are more than those normally found in storm water. Examples of these areas include recycling facilities, fueling stations, vehicle service and maintenance areas, public works yards and commercial nurseries. 

Permeable pavers may be inappropriate for areas of high traffic volume and weight. This may include areas such as truck loading docks and areas that experience a high volume of commercial traffic. 

Types of Permeable Pavers 

There are two options that are available for permeable pavers: porous concrete and pervious asphalt.

Porous concrete, also known as permeable concrete, porous pavement and pervious concrete, is available in all types of shapes, sizes and designs, from small bricks to large stones. Porous concrete is specifically designed to trap water and permit it to filter through the concrete to the ground. It uses identical materials as conventional concrete, except the fine aggregate is completely eliminated to create a significant void content. The advantage of porous concrete is that it lowers the volume of runoff from the site, reduces the amounts of pollutants that are carried away and helps with a reduction of peak runoff volume. It is ideal for areas of light use such as residential street parking lanes, emergency access lanes, sidewalks, bike paths and overflow parking areas. By maintaining porous concrete surfaces on a regular basis, these permeable pavers can experience a minimum life span of 20 years. As a benefit, porous concrete is available in multiple colors and can be constructed from recycled materials. 

Pervious asphalt is a permeable pavement system with an open graded surface on top of an underlying stone bed. The water drains through the asphalt and then slowly penetrates the soil. Any contaminants that were on the permeable paver during a storm are swept with the rainfall through the stone bed. At that point, they penetrate the sub-base and undergo natural processes that cleanse water. As with porous concrete, pervious asphalt has the advantage of decreasing runoff leaving a site and reduces the amount of pollutants that are carried off to a storm drain.

Cost of Permeable Pavers

The cost of permeable pavers is approximately $4.00 to $6.00 per square foot, with the cost varying slightly with the availability of materials. As an example, the cost of an average-sized permeable driveway is approximately $5,000 or more, including installation. Although these costs are generally 10 to 20 percent higher than costs for non-permeable pavers, the cost is offset by the elimination of the requirement for detention basins and additional storm water infrastructure. Also, the longevity of permeable pavers is about 20 to 30 years; repaving will likely be required every 15 to 25 years for those pavers existing in cold weather conditions. Some local governments provide tax breaks to property owners who install permeable pavement systems. This is due to the cost savings as a result of decreased investments in reservoirs and storm sewer extensions. Fortunately, permeable pavers require very little maintenance, usually just periodic removal of debris from joints with a small wet-dry vacuum. In general, permeable pavers are an excellent alternative to traditional pavement systems due to their excellent runoff control and significant positive environmental impacts.

Last updated on Apr 30, 2014

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