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Permeable paver or conventional clay paver?

October 14, 2009

Should you use permeable clay pavers or conventional clay pavers?


Kings Court hardscape by Alberto and Associates uses both conventional and permeable pavers.

Kings Court hardscape by Alberto and Associates uses both conventional and permeable pavers.

Using both can give you the look and durability that you get with clay brick pavers while adding in a new design element and stormwater control at the same time.

That’s how it was with Kings Court, an 11,000-square foot plaza that anchors one end of the pedestrian-friendly main street in Haddonfield, N.J, just outside Philadelphia. The installation won a Bronze Brick In Architecture Award from the Brick Industry Association.

Click image for enlarged view.

The installation had a not-uncommon problem, the ground in front of the Colonial-era buildings would quickly saturate in rainstorms and cause flooding.

Paul Monson, a project designer for Haddonfield.-based architecture firm Alberto & Associates, said that’s because the ground was effectively sealed against water. In the past, Kings Court was paved with clay brick pavers set in concrete, which meant that when the rains came, the water had nowhere to go.

Monson said that the solution was a combination of RainPave Full Range permeable pavers and Rumbled Full Range conventional pavers.

Monson said the combination of pavers was used as a visual design element, in keeping with the Colonial-era surroundings. The design includes directional herringbone patterns that encourage movement, while paver and stone patterns and borders define areas of rest and activity.

(Clay brick pavers) are less slippery, they’re durable and they can be repaired in small sections. To have sections that essentially look the same but are able to infiltrate the stormwater was a way that (both) could be used in the design.—Paul Monson

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