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Pervious concrete – A 'green' material that helps reduce water run-off and pollution
Our planet earth is under peril due to severe climatic changes. Raising population coupled with urbanisation has resulted in unprecedented problems to our cities. Unless we take urgent measures, these problems will result in catastrophic consequences. Out of these problems, the major one that affects most of the cities is water scarcity. This is compounded by the unmindful paving of roads, platforms, and areas around buildings by impermeable pavements, which results in runoff and flooding by precious rainwater. Though strict rainwater harvesting measures have been implemented by a few Governments, theses measures have some drawbacks. Pervious concrete pavements offer an attractive solution to water runoff and associated water pollution problems. This paper discusses the need for and advantages of pervious concrete pavements, and provides guidelines for their installation, hydraulic and structural design, curing, maintenance, cost and other important aspects. Pervious concrete also helps to achieve LEED points of the Green Building Council.
As per the UN World Urbanisation Prospects report (2007), the 20th century is witnessing 'the rapid urbanisation of the world’s population'. The global proportion of urban population rose dramatically from 13% (220 million) in 1900, to 29% (732 million) in 1950, and to 49% (3.2 billion) in 2005. The same report projects that about 60 per cent (4.9 billion) of the global population is expected to live in cities by 2030 (see Figure 1). In 1950, there were only two mega-cities with 10 million or more
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inhabitants. The number of mega cities increased to 5 in 1975 and 20 in 2005, and is expected to increase to 22 in 2015. Developing countries will have 17 of these 22 mega-cities in 2015. In India itself the percentage of urban population increased from 18.0 in 1961 to 27.8 in 2001. It is projected that Asia and Africa will have more urban dwellers than any other continent of the world, and Asia will contain 54 percent of the world’s urban population by 2030. Population growth coupled with urbanisation results in significant impacts on the environment and other problems, which include (Subramanian, 2007): (1) increased ambient temperature, (2) decreased air quality, (3) increased water run-off, (4) decreased quality of run-off water, (5) altered weather patterns, (6) loss of aesthetic beauty/character of the community, (7) reduction in farm lands and subsequent food shortage, and (8) deforestation (Deforestation is occurring at a rapid rate, with 0.8 hectares of rain forest disappearing every second. Deforestation is linked to negative environmental consequences such as bio-diversity loss, global warming, soil erosion and desertification). We will pay attention to one of the problems, i.e. water scarcity and reduction of increased run-off in this paper. remains the same. Since 1900, world population has doubled yet the amount of fresh water used has increased more than six-fold. Agriculture is by far the largest consumer of water, mostly because of the spread of irrigation. Irrigated area expanded nearly fivefold over this century. Nearly 70 percent of global water withdrawals from rivers, lakes, and aquifers are used for irrigation, while industry and households account for 20 and 10 percent, respectively. (More efficient irrigation techniques are clearly the first and crucial step to reducing water use. It may also be noted that, of late, world irrigated area is growing slower than population. Per capita irrigated area peaked in 1978 at 0.48 hectares per person. Since then, it has fallen 6 percent. Worsening shortages of fresh water along with rising costs of irrigation are placing global food supplies in jeopardy, according to a new study from the Worldwatch Institute, a research organisation in Washington, D.C.). This scarcity could put a major brake on most of the world’s development efforts. Assessments of global water resources indicate that water scarcity will increase dramatically during the next decades, with a disproportionate and severe effect on developing countries. Demand is growing, and with it, competition among different users. Unless we change the way we think about and manage our water resources, both people and planet could suffer irreparable damage.17 UNESCO predicts that many countries will still face “physical water scarcity in 2025” their water needs will outstrip supplies no matter what measures are taken. Others will be faced with “economic water
Water shortage and scarcity
About 97.5% of water on the earth is salt water, leaving only 2.5% as fresh water, of which over two thirds is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps which are also melting at a faster rate due to climatic change. Scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado have predicted that the North Pole may be briefly ice-free by September 2008). The remaining unfrozen freshwater is mainly found as groundwater, with only a small fraction present above ground or in the air (www.unesco.org). Fresh water is a renewable resource, yet the world’s supply of clean, fresh water is steadily decreasing. The population is not only growing but using more water even though the world’s total supply
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scarcity”- they will lack the financial and institutional capacity required to increase their water supplies by 25 percent (see Figure 2).1 Pressure on water resources is particularly acute in arid regions that support agricultural production or large populations—regions where water use is high relative to water availability. The Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, South Asia, China, Australia, the western United States, and Mexico are especially prone to water shortages (see Figure 2). Global per capita water availability decreased from 13,000 m3 in 1970 to 6,800 m3 in 2004. An optimistic calculation shows that assuming current trends, only 4,800 m3 will be available in 2025. When per capita water supply is less than 1,700 m3 per year, an area may be considered as water stressed.1 In many parts of the World, water supply is actually less than 1,000 m3 per capita which causes serious problems for food production and economic development. Today, 2.3 billion people live in water-stressed areas.1 If current trends continue, water stress will affect 3.5 billion—about 48 percent of the world’s projected population in 2025.1 Though India has about 16% of the world population, it has only 4% of average annual runoff in the rivers.15 In almost all parts of India, water deficiencies show an increasing trend and the surpluses show a decreasing trend. With the present population of just above 1000 million, the average per capita water availability comes to about 1170 m3/person/year (this average does not reflect the large disparities from region to region in different parts of the country).15 Water availability after three decades is estimated as 972 m3. The country will thus be water stressed even if the total available water is taken into account. At present, 4 states and 1 Union Territory have no annual surplus water from precipitation. India being a large country with different climate regimes, characteristics of the water cycle variables differs from one region to the other. Hence the water availability of different regions differ considerably (Monsoons contribute 78% India’s annual rainfall, which undergoes wide inter annual variations. Disparity in the rainfall distribution is so great - droughts and floods occur at different parts of the country at the same period and in the same place at different periods). One-third of the country is always under threat of drought and many states have serious river water sharing disputes with neighbouring states, which are going to be aggravated in future. Population growth and urbanisation pose significant challenges for water resources management throughout the world. In India, as of March, 2001, 285 million people lived in urban areas (which is about 27.8% of population). Urban populations consume much more food, energy, and durable goods than rural populations. In India, till now very little emphasis has been laid on research on hydrology of urban areas.15 Urbanisation increases surface runoff (Storm water runoff occurs when rain falls) due to more impervious surfaces, such as pavements and buildings. They do not allow percolation of the water down through the soil to the aquifer and hence result in lowering of water tables. Unlike rural roads, urban roads are paved with asphalt or concrete, which seldom provide percolation of rain water. Moreover the platforms of these roads are also covered with concrete slabs. The latest trend is to cover most of the areas around dwellings with concrete interlocking blocks, since they may add visual appeal to a building (see Figure 3). This means that runoff occurs more quickly in urban areas with greater peak flows. Flood volumes increase, as do floods and water pollution downstream. A few State Governments (e.g., Tamil Nadu) imposed compulsory rain water harvesting systems for individual house owners, which proved to be successful in increasing the underground water table. However such systems have to be maintained properly in order to be successful in the long run. Water runoff from pavements and terraces of buildings often creates erosion and siltation problems, causes flash floods, and loss of rainwater that could otherwise replenish water tables and aquifers (A land area producing runoff, draining to common point, is called a
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and can lead to eutrophication. Pesticides and herbicides can be harmful to human and aquatic life. In the past, engineers have dealt with issues connected with water runoff by designing gutters, permanent storm water retention/detention ponds, slope protection, or grass strips, and by providing temporary sediment traps, silt fences, and diversion trenches. All the above methods may help reduce runoff pollution. Lately, a different approach to the challenge has been gaining attention: Don’t let the water run off.
Conventional rainwater harvesting systems
In the conventional rainwater harvesting system, the water collected from building terrace or pavement within the compound wall of a building, is channeled into an underground storage tank or a soak pit that is connected to the well (thus recharging ground water), as shown in Figure 4 (The history of rainwater harvesting system can be traced back to biblical times. Extensive rain water harvesting apparatus existed 4000 years ago in Palestine, Greece and ancient Rome). The problem with this type of system is that, if the down pour is heavy, the tank or water collected in soak pit will overflow as the surface area for percolation is not considerable. Moreover, a system to eliminate the pollutants during the ‘first flush’ of rain should be provided - the contents of the soak pit have to replaced periodically for effective filtration or a mechanism should be available for removing any contaminants that accumulate at the bottom of the tank.
watershed). When runoff flows along the ground, it can pick up soil contaminants such as petroleum, pesticides (in particular herbicides and insecticides), or fertilisers, which may be dissolved or suspended in runoff. This pollutant load can reach various receiving waters such as streams, rivers, lakes, estuaries and oceans polluting these water systems and their related ecosystems (In a study of groundwater wells in agricultural southwestern Ontario (Canada), 35% of the wells tested positive for pesticides on at least one occasion (Lampman, 1995). Similar observations have been made in USA and other countries). In rivers, streams, lakes, and bays, fertilisers contribute to algal blooms and excessive plant growth,
The latest in runoff control is pervious concrete, though its earliest application dates back to 1852 (Tennis et al, 2005). Pervious concrete has a 15-25% void structure, allowing for 120- 320 liters of water per minute to pass through each square meter, with typical flow rate of 3.4 mm/s (200 L /m2/min) or more (see Figure 5). This flow rate is greater than that generated during any rain event, allowing water to flow through it. To demonstrate the effectiveness of pervious concrete, 6815 liters of water were released on a pavement in USA, far exceeding the heaviest rainfall possible, and it was found that the water drained effectively without runoff (Chusid and Paris, 2006). Thus, when pervious concrete pavements are used, storm water percolates into the ground beneath, recharging the natural water table instead of running off and causing erosion. The first flush from a storm (the first 25 mm to 35 mm of rainfall) carries away 90 percent of pollutants found on pavements. It can pollute streams and rivers, as they are normally allowed to flow into waterways, untreated.
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In the case of pervious concrete, when water percolates into the ground, natural bacteria found in soils break down organic pollutants. Hydrocarbons (for example, motor oil and fuel) become attached to the large surface area of the pervious concrete or the aggregate subbase and are reduced by natural attenuation, either through evaporation or biological degradation. It also mechanically filters out larger pieces of metal or biological material for later collection during routine maintenance. Thus, the majority of first-flush pollutants are removed by the pervious concrete system. This prevents the pollutants from entering storm water collectors and being conveyed to local surface waters (Note that pervious pavements may not be appropriate where inorganic pollutants are found). Hence, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated pervious pavement as a best management practice for storm water runoff. Pervious pavement can also help meet the storm water management criteria of the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED Credits SS-6.1 and SS-6.2. The advantages of pervious concrete pavements include the following (Chusid and Paris, 2006; Chusid and Miller, 2008): • Reduces (or even zero) peak storm water discharges from paved areas • Helps to mitigate flooding and at the same time increasing groundwater recharge, and tree growth. Moreover, it allows air to infiltrate the soil, making it practical to pave under the drip line of trees without suffocating them. • Improves storm water quality. Its cooler surface results in cooler storm water runoff, which benefits streams and lakes. • Its light-colored surface both reduces “heat island” effects and lowers lighting costs due to its more light-reflectance than asphalt, thus boosting safety for vehicles and pedestrians. The colour of concrete can be chosen to improve reflectivity even further. Light colors also help to earn LEED points. • Reduces area of land dedicated solely to storm water management. It may also eliminate the need for traditional storm water management systems such as retention ponds and swales. It can be considered a type of dry detention pond. A properly designed pavement-plus-sub-base
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holds several centimeters of storm water that can then be absorbed into the ground during a period of hours. • It is considered also "green" because it supports recycling in that it can be made using by-products from manufacturing and power plants, reducing landfill needs. The service life is measured in decades, but when the end finally comes, concrete can be crushed and recycled as a high-quality aggregate for hundreds of applications. • Concrete is also green in that it is manufactured from locally extracted and processed materials, and unlike asphalt, produces no toxic runoff. Due to this it attracts an additional LEED point. • Pervious concrete pavements have a significantly lower life-cycle cost than alternatives such as asphalt. Although the initial cost of pervious pavement may be slightly higher, due to its superior durability and strength, the life cycle cost is lower than asphalt. It requires fewer repairs than asphalt, and has a longer overall lifespan as well. • The aesthetic appeal may be enhanced by including colour in the concrete (see Figure 6). Color can be used to make concrete blend better with the natural features of the site, making it less visually intrusive. Alternatively, bright or contrasting colors can make concrete stand out as an artistic contribution, or to highlight certain areas (e.g., parking for handicapped persons).
However, pervious pavements may have the following drawbacks: they may have higher maintenance requirements than regular pavements or concrete, as they would be less effective at suppressing weed growth and the gravel between the joints would be prone to being washed away. Pervious concrete has been used in the United States for almost 40 years, Australia, Europe, and in many Olympic venues in and around Beijing. Increased awareness of environmental issues, however, has recently given much importance to pervious concrete as a solution to pollution and erosion associated with pavement runoff.
What is pervious concrete?
Pervious concrete is a performance-engineered concrete made with controlled amounts of cement, coarse aggregates, water, and admixtures to create a mass of aggregate particles covered with a thin coating of paste. A pervious concrete mixture contains little or no sand, creating a substantial void content. Using sufficient paste to coat and bind the aggregate particles together creates a system of highly permeable, interconnected voids that drains quickly. For strength, and to keep the paste from flowing and filling the voids, a low water/cementitious material (w/c) ratio is required. The w/c ratio is critical for the successful production. A typical w/c ratio of about 0.3 is often employed. Both the low mortar content and high porosity also reduce strength compared to conventional concrete mixtures, but sufficient strength for many applications is readily achieved. Pervious
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There are four key elements to the success of a pervious pavement surface (Offenberg, 2005): • Sub grade preparation: the subgrade should be uniform and properly compacted; • Concrete mixing water: the concrete should have the correct amount of water; • Concrete compaction/finishing: the concrete should be compacted and finished without excessive effort; and • Sufficient curing: curing should be performed in a timely manner and for sufficient duration. The simplest approach to placing pervious concrete is to cast it in conventional forms that have a riser strip on the top of each form such that the strikeoff device is actually 10 to 13 mm above the final elevation of the pavement. As the concrete leaves the truck or mixer, it should be raked to an approximate elevation. Strikeoff may then be performed by truss screed, roller screed, or straightedge (for small areas). After striking off the concrete, the riser strips are removed and the concrete is rolled to the proper elevation (see Figure 8). Rolling compacts the fresh concrete to provide strong bond between the paste and aggregate and creates a smooth riding surface. Caution should be exercised in rolling to prevent excessive force, which would cause the voids to collapse (Offenberg, 2005). To preserve the void structure, pervious concrete must not be consolidated by vibration. The pavement is also not floated or troweled. However, as the rollers will not compact sufficiently at the edges, the concrete may be hand floated to ensure quality at the edges. Concrete working time typically is reduced for pervious concrete mixtures. Usually one hour between mixing and placing is recommended. However, this can be controlled using retarders and hydration stabilisers that extend the working time by as much as 1.5 hours, depending on the dosage (Tennis et al 2005). The most complicated skill for a pervious concrete contractor to acquire is judging the proper quantity of mixing water in the fresh, no-fines concrete. This material is sensitive to minor changes in water content, so field adjustment of the fresh mixture is almost always necessary. Having the proper quantity of water in the concrete is critical because too much water causes the pores to collapse, and too little water prevents proper curing of the concrete, which will lead to a premature surface raveling failure (Offenberg, 2005).
concrete has also been referred to as porous concrete, permeable concrete, no-fines concrete, gap-graded concrete, and enhanced-porosity concrete (Jain, 1966; Meininger, 1988; Naik et al 2002; Brown, 2008). The pavement, after curing, results in a solid matrix with a network of interconnected voids. Typically, between 15% and 25% voids are achieved in the hardened concrete. The percentage of void space is partially dependent on the size of aggregate used: 10 mm aggregate produces 15- to 25-percent void content; 12 mm rock yields 30- to 40-percent void content and a noticeably coarser surface. ACI 522.1-08 restricts the maximum size of aggregate to one-third of the specified pavement thickness. Larger aggregate can be used, but the texture is so rough that it is not suitable for many paving applications.
Installation of pervious pavement
Installation of pervious pavement differs from conventional concrete pavement. The concrete is usually placed over a base of coarse course of clean, gap graded gravel or crushed rock (25 mm maximum size) that acts like a reservoir to hold water until it can infiltrate the underlying soil. A geosynthetic liner may be placed below the stone reservoir to prevent preferential flow paths and to maintain a flat bottom (see Figure 7). Designs also may incorporate some method to convey larger volumes of storm water runoff to the storm drain system, such as the inclusion of drain pipes below the pavement, diverting storm water flow to supplementary catchments areas for potential reuse.19,22 It is important not to over compact the subgrade soils, as the key design feature of a pervious concrete pavement system is its permeability.
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Colour Pervious concrete tends to be darker than other types of concrete because of the low w/cm in the mixture. Fly ash or blast furnace slag, when used, darken concrete, and must be taken into account if color is a concern. Iron oxide pigments are most frequently used for the wide spectrum of earth tones; other mineral oxides are used to create shades of green, yellow and blue (Chusid and Paris, 2006). Standard carbon black pigments should not be used because of their potential to leach out of concrete exposed to wet and dry cycles. Liquid colors may be more reliable because they can disperse readily in dry mixtures. The water contained in liquid colors and any water added by an automatic dosing system must be subtracted from the amount of batch water added to the concrete. Texture and pattern Pervious concrete has a rough, open texture that has been compared to a rice cake. Color may be more pronounced because the rough texture reduces the glare associated with conventional concrete pavement. The size and shape (round or angular) of the coarse aggregate in a mixture are significant visual design variables (Chusid and Paris, 2006). Joints: The low w/cm used for pervious concrete reduces the potential for shrinkage cracking. This allows joints to be spaced at greater distances than in conventional paving or to be eliminated altogether. ACI 522.1-08 recommends that the Spacing between contraction joints shall not exceed 6 m, and that the joint depth shall be 1/4 to 1/3 of the pavement thickness (with a minimum joint width for saw-cutting as 3 mm). Rather than saw cutting, joints in pervious concrete are tooled with a rolling/jointing tool. Joints cut in cured pervious concrete are prone to raveling. If pervious pavement adjoins conventional pavement, joints in the two materials should be aligned to reduce the potential for reflective cracking from one panel to the other. Curing Because of its low w/cm and large exposed surface area, pervious concrete requires aggressive curing techniques. ACI 522.1-08 recommends the following: • The curing of pervious concrete should start within 20 minutes of placement (it may be done by misting and then covering with a minimum 0.15 mm thick polyethylene sheet). This short period of time limits the amount of finishing work that can be done, although some types of stamping can be done after the plastic sheet is placed. • All exposed edges of the pavement should be covered with polyethylene sheet. • The curing cover material should be secured without using dirt. • The plastic should remain in place for not less than seven days. Contact between the concrete and plastic can cause uneven coloration of the concrete. If this discoloration is not acceptable in a pervious project, consider a method of tenting the pavement so the plastic does not come in direct contact with the concrete. With a dry mixture and large surface area, pervious concrete is prone to inconsistent evaporation due to workmanship, sunlight and wind. When either of these scenarios occurs, even small changes in w/cm will alter pavement appearance. Maintenance For pervious concrete to function properly, the void structure must remain unclogged. Conditions that can lead to clogging must be anticipated and avoided. For instance, pervious pavement should be higher than surrounding ground to avoid dirt being washed onto the pavement. Over time, pores in pervious concrete can become filled with silt and other particulate matter. Debris from trees can also clog voids. These can affect appearance, particularly if the fill is deeper in some portions of the slab than in others. Periodic vacuuming or power washing will restore the appearance of the pavement as well as assure its continued ability to drain (Chusid and Paris, 2006). Testing and specifications The acceptance of pervious concrete is not based on strength. More important to the success of a pervious pavement is its void content. Density (unit weight) is the only field test required for fresh pervious concrete. Slump and air content tests for conventional concrete are not applicable to this type of no-fines concrete mixture. In USA, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) has introduced a program to certify pervious concrete craftsmen, and the American Concrete Institute (ACI) has published standards that will provide guidelines.2,3,21 Cost Cost of materials and overall placement for pervious pavements varies considerably by region. In places
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where experience and supply are limited, however, materials and placement can cost 30 to 50 percent more. Integral coloring generally adds extra cost, depending on color intensity. The extra cost of pervious pavement, however, is often recovered in whole or in part by savings elsewhere in the project through elimination of other runoff-control structures. In some projects, extra buildable land made available by eliminating a retention pond can result in significant net profit. Moreover, as stated already, it has low life-cycle costs compared to asphalt pavements. In the long term, a small, but on-going maintenance cost is incurred for vacuuming or pressure-washing the pavement two to four times per year to prevent void clogging. In some locations, there may also be on-going savings because of reduced use of the local sewage system (Chusid and Miller, 2008).
Table 1. Typical mix proportions for pervious concrete
Material Cementitious materials* Narrowly graded aggregate (gravel or crushed stone) w/cm ratio Proportion (kg/m3) 270-415 1190-1480 0.25-0.34 (with chemical admixtures) 0.34- 0.40 (without chemical admixtures) 1: 0.21-0.25 0 to 1 :1 0.1% by volume or 0.9 kg/m3
Cementitious materials - Aggregate ratio Fine aggregate: Course aggregate ratio+ Polypropylene fibres (optional when no fine aggregate is present)**
hydraulic design of pervious concrete pavement
The combined volume of voids in the concrete and the base form a detention system with a calculable capacity. If the pervious concrete has 15% effective porosity, then every 25 mm of pavement depth can hold 3.8 mm of rain. Thus, a pervious concrete pavement 100 mm thick with 15% effective porosity can hold up to15 mm of rain (Leming et al, 2007). From the above example, if a 100 mm thick of pervious pavement with 15 percent porosity is placed over 150 mm thick sub-base of 25 mm gravel with 40 percent voids, it can absorb and hold 75 mm of rain: (100 x 0.15) + (150 x 0.40) = 15 + 60 = 75 m. As stated earlier, pervious pavement can drain at an average of 200 liters/m2/min. Thus, the 75 mm accumulation of rain water can be held within the pavement system. Depth of concrete and base can be adjusted to accommodate design assumptions of rainfall and the percolation capacity of the subgrade. A subgrade absorption rate of 12 mm of water per hour is considered a minimum (Chusid and Miller, 2008). More details of hydraulic design, including slope effects may be found in Leming et al, 2007.
*Cement may be replaced by about 10-30% of fly ash, 20-50% of blast furnace slag and 5% of silica fume; Chemical admixtures (retarders and hydration stabilisers) are also used, at dosages recommended by the manufacturer. + Addition of fine aggregate will decrease the porosity and increase strength; course aggregates of size 10-20mm are often used . **Fibres may be 13-19 mm or 50 mm long
Because of the open nature of the matrix, the attainable compressive strength is lower than would normally be expected from such a low w/c ratio. Compressive strength of properly placed pervious concrete pavements can be in the range in the range of 3.5 to 28 MPa, and flexural strengths 1 to 3.8 MPa, which is adequate for most low-volume pavement applications, including high axle loads for garbage truck and emergency vehicles such as fire trucks. NRMCA recommends assuming strength of 17 MPa. Measurement of compressive strength is complicated by the fact that no standard testing method exists. The difficulty of compressive strength testing is due to the way pervious pavement is made. Drilled cores are the best measure of in-place strengths, as compaction differences make cast cylinders less representative of field concrete. Typically, 150 mm thick pervious concrete provides suitable strength for parking lots and residential driveways; 200 to 250 mm thick pavements are appropriate for low-volume streets and commercial driveways. Pervious pavements should not be used for high-volume streets or pavements expecting heavy truck traffic. The maximum thickness of pavement that can be properly placed and compacted is of the order of 250-300 mm.
Structural design for traffic loads
Pervious pavement can be used for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. It can also be used for some street pavements, for tree wells, and even sea walls. Pervious pavements are also used to collect and redirect storm water into holding tanks for irrigation.
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In-place densities of pavements are of the order of 1600 kg/m3 to 2000 kg/m3. Typical proportions of mixes, suitable for pervious concrete are given in Table 1 (These proportions are given for information purposes only. Successful mix design must be tested in trial batches to establish required properties (setting time, rate of strength development, porosity, and permeability). Unlike conventional concrete, the relation between strength and water to cementitious materials ratio is not clear for pervious concrete. Air-entraining admixtures are used in pervious concrete, in cold regions where freeze-thaw is of concern. For heavy traffic, pervious concrete pavements can be designed using either a standard pavement procedure (e.g., AASHTO, ACI 325.9R, or ACI 330R) or using structural numbers derived from a flexible pavement design procedure (Tennis et al, 2005). Regardless of the procedure used, guidelines for subgrade soil properties, pervious concrete materials characteristics, and traffic loads should be considered. It is suggested that the modulus of subgrade reaction, k, of the supporting soil should not exceed 54 MPa/m and values of 40 to 48 MPa/m are often used for design purposes (Tennis et al, 2005). Software programs are available for the structural design of pervious concrete pavements (e.g., Streetpave developed by the Portland Cement Association, NRMCA’s Concrete Pavement Analyst (CPA)) • Replace a small portion (about 7% by mass) of the coarse aggregate with fine aggregate; • Add polypropylene fibres, particularly to mixtures that do not contain sand; • Use a slightly high w/cm (close to 0.32) to improve workability and density; • Increase compaction and lower porosity; • Include entrained air to increase paste volume, improve workability, and effectively enhance resistance to FT; • Replacing cement with fly ash may lower resistance to FT. No more than 10% fly ash replacement is suggested; • Replacing up to 5% of the cement with silica fume improves workability and resistance to FT. Above this limit, mixtures may become too dry to be well compacted, resulting in significantly increased concrete porosity and reduced resistance to FT;
Pervious pavement and leed points
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) is a rating system developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to evaluate the environmental performance of a building. Recently, the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) has launched a similar rating system in India (See: http://www.igbc. in). The LEED is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED provides a framework for evaluating building performance and meeting sustainability goals under five credit categories: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Note that LEED points can not be gained by the use of a specific product; but can be obtained by meeting a specific sustainability goal of the rating program. Pervious concrete can contribute to the following LEED categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Materials and Resources, and Innovation in Design. Specific credits where pervious concrete can help the designer/owner include (Ashley, 2008): • LEED Credit SS-C6.1 Storm water Design Quantity Control • LEED Credit SS-C6.2 Storm water Design – Quantity Control
Freezing and thawing (FT) performance, which is important in cold-weather regions has received much study. Pervious concrete has performed well in areas experiencing dry freeze, hard dry freeze, or wet freeze. No special design is needed, although 100 to 200 mm thick subbase is recommended, and clogging of voids must be avoided or cleaned out (Chusid and Miller, 2008). For areas experiencing hard wet freeze, an increased aggregate base depth of 600 mm is recommended. Perforated PVC pipe can also be placed in the aggregate base to drain water. In areas where the groundwater table rises to less than 1 m from the surface, or where there is substantial moisture flow from surrounding higher ground, pervious pavement is not recommended (Chusid and Miller, 2008). Recently, Kevern et al (2008) investigated the effects of the following nine parameters: fine aggregate content, fibre content, water-cementitious material ratio (w/cm), compaction level, air content, fly ash replacement, silica fume replacement, latex polymer addition, and coarse aggregate type. Based on their study they suggested the following for improving the FT resistance:
DECEMBER 2008 The IndIan ConCreTe Journal
• LEED Credit SS-C7.1 Heat Island Effect – NonRoof • LEED Credit WE C1.1 Water Efficient Landscaping • LEED Credits MR-C4.1 AND MR-C4.2 Recycled Content • LEED Credit MR-C5.1 AND MR-C5.2 Regional Materials Recently, Black Mountain Ranch House obtained Platinum LEED status (28th building in the world to get this highest eco-friendly LEED designation) due (in part) to the pervious pavements. Black Mountain Ranch House is a sustainable building at the center of the Del Sur master-planned community in north San Diego. The Del Sur project will comprise 3,050 homes in nine neighborhoods. Sustainable construction was considered into every aspect of the project, including the native stone that was excavated from the site to construct the building’s walls, and 950 m2 of pervious concrete walkways, driveways, and parking lot surrounding the building. The pervious pavement was integrally colored to blend with adjacent earth tones and the native stone (Chusid and Miller, 2008). references
1. A thirsty world, http://www.unesco.org/courier/2001_10/uk/doss02.htm, Retrieved on July 8th 2008. 2. ACI Committee 522, Specifications for pervious concrete pavement (ACI 522.1-08), American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, MI, 2008, pp. 7. 3. ACI Committee 522, Pervious Concrete (ACI 522R-06), American concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, MI, 2006, pp. 25. 4. Ashley, E., Using pervious concrete to achieve LEED points, Concrete InFocus, 2008, A Publication of NRMCA. 5. Brown, H.J., Pervious concrete research compilation: Past, present and future, Concrete Industry Management Program, 2008, RMC Research & Education Foundation, Middle Tennessee State University, pp. 34, http://www.rmcfoundation.org/newsite/images/PCRC%20Final%206-08.pdf 6. Chusid, M., and Paris, N., Decorative applications for pervious concrete, Concrete Decor, December-January 2006, Vol. 5, No. 6, pp. 3. http://www. concretedecor.net/All_Access/506/CD506-New_Technology.cfm 7. Chusid, M. and Miller, H.S., Controlling runoff beautifully, CE News, July 2008, Vol. 20, No. 6, pp. 33-35. 8. Color and texture in architectural concrete, Portland Cement Association, 1995, Skokie, IL. 9. Jain, O.P., Proportioning no-fines concrete, The Indian Concrete Journal, May 1966, Vol. 40, No. 5, pp. 183-189. 10. Kevern, J.T., Wang, K. and Schaefer, V.R., Pervious concrete in severe exposures: Development of pollution –reducing pavement for northern cities, Concrete International, ACI, July 2008, Vol. 30, No. 7, pp. 43-49. 11. Lampman, W., Susceptibility of groundwater to pesticide and nitrate contamination in predisposed areas of southwestern Ontario, Water Quality Research Journal, Canada, 1995, Vol. 30, pp. 443-468. 12. Leming, M.L., Malcom, H.R. and Tennis, P.D., Hydrologic Design of Pervious Concrete, 2007, Portland Cement Association, Skokie, IL, pp. 72. 13. Meininger, R.C., No-fines pervious concrete for paving, Concrete International, American Concrete Institute, August 1988, Vol. 10, No. 8, pp. 20-27. 14. Naik, T.R., Kraus, R.N. and Siddique, R., No fines concrete using nonspecification coal fly ash, Report No. CBU-2002-37, 2002, Center for By-Products Utilization, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 15. National Institute of Hydrology, Water Resources of India, http://www. nih.ernet.in/water.htm, Retrieved on July 8th 2008. 16. Offenberg, M., Producing pervious pavements; Hints for the engineer, contractor on placement of pervious concrete, Concrete International, March 2005, American Concrete Institute, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 50-54. 17. Scientific facts on water: State of the resource, GreenFacts Website, http:// www.greenfacts.org/en/water-resources/index.htm#2. Retrieved on July 8th 2008. 18. Subramanian. N., Sustainability - Challenges and Solutions, The Indian Concrete Journal, December 2007, Vol. 81, No. 12, pp. 39-50. 19. Tennis, P.D., Leming, M.L., and Akers, D.J., Pervious Concrete Pavements, EB 302, Portland Cement Association , 2005, Skokie, IL, and NRMCA, Silver Spring, MD, pp. 36. 20. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2007 Revision Population Database, Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations. http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/WUP2005/2005wup. htm, Retrieved on July 8th 2008. 21. www.nrmca.org/certifications/pervious. 22. www.perviouspavement.org/
Population growth and urbanisation pose significant challenges for water resources management throughout the world. In urban areas, pavement of roads, platforms, buildings and their surrounding areas by impermeable material results in rain water run-off and water pollution. There is an immediate need to stop this problem in order to have sustainable water management in urban areas. The traditional storm water harvesting techniques have some limitations. Pervious concrete pavements can store large quantities of rain water, allow it to percolate into the underlying soils and at the same time reduce the entrance of pollutants in stromwater systems. Hence they offer the best solution for rain water runoff and pollution problems in urban areas. Guidelines for their placements, design and other important aspects provided in this paper, may be useful to all those living in urban areas. It is hoped that the construction of pervious concrete pavements, will provide results similar to those of concrete check dams constructed in drought-stricken Saurashtra, Kachchh and northern Gujarat areas, which brought similes in the faces of farmers of rural areas, by harnessing precious rain water not only for irrigation but also to recharge ground water.
Dr. N. Subramanian received his doctorate from IIT, Madras. He is the chief executive of Computer Design Consultants, Chennai. Presently being based in USA, his interests include designing multi-storey concrete buildings, steel towers, industrial buildings and space frames. Dr. Subramanian has contributed more than 200 papers in journals and seminars and published more than 20 books. He is also on the editorial board of several journals including the International Journal of Space Structures.
The IndIan ConCreTe Journal DECEMBER 2008