As EPA, state and municipal stormwater regulations expand over the next few years, I anticipate plentiful business opportunities in the permeable, or pervious, pavement industry, especially with concrete.
Pervious concrete consists of water, various cementitious materials and aggregate (stone). It is poured, formed and allowed to harden like other concretes. The main difference is that pervious concrete contains little or no sand. When dried, the resulting concrete contains between 15% and 25% voids (air pockets), which enables it to drain water faster than rain ever falls.
Although pervious concrete is not quite as hard or strong as conventional concrete, it has sufficient strength for many applications, including paving, according to a National Ready Mixed Concrete Association website.
By capturing stormwater and allowing it to seep into the ground, pervious concrete is instrumental in recharging groundwater, reducing damage from runoff, and meeting EPA regulations. In fact, this pavement technology creates more efficient land use by eliminating the need for retention ponds, swales, and other stormwater management devices. In doing so, pervious concrete has the ability to lower overall project costs on a first-cost basis, according to NRMCA.
Very few pavement contractors have specialized in pervious concrete. Given the likely future demand for it, I think pervious concrete is poised to be a growth industry that will likely make early adopters wealthy. Something to think about…