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Permeable pavers cost-effective for streetscape

September 30, 2010

For the planners of a streetscape in the Village of New Albany, Ohio, the first question was cost. Would it be less expensive to apply new asphalt, conventional curb inlets and underground storm sewer piping or to install permeable pavers?

When the estimates came in, the cost was virtually the same. The village decided to go with the more attractive and green option of permeable clay pavers.

For Franco S. Manno, ASLA, LEED AP, senior landscape architect with Columbus, Ohio-based firm EMH&T, the Third Street Project is a makeover of one of the streets judged to be in the worst shape of any bordering the core of the downtown area.

“Working with the stormwater master plan associated with this project, we generated some concepts to explore the best methods to deal with stormwater drainage,” said Manno. “Our design concepts included bioretention, rain gardens, pervious pavement and other green infrastructure options. Pervious pavement was the one that made the most sense for this project.”

New Albany has a long history with clay bricks, both in pavers on the ground and as vertical walls in homes and businesses.

“It was important to the design team that the end result would be a street that complemented the area, and clearly the clay brick made the most sense, ” said Manno.  “It was an obvious decision. The Village staff, planners and the community wouldn’t have accepted any other kind of material when it came to the aesthetic of the brick.”

Several varieties were made into mockups on site to show how they would look in daily use and the StormPave™ paver, in the Ironspot color, rose to the top. The conventional English Edge paver, also from Pine Hall Brick, will be used for the sidewalks.

When completed, the $490,000 project will be a street approximately 600 feet long with roughly 13,000 square feet of pavers installed.

The Village’s maintenance responsibility will be limited to vacuuming or sweeping the debris out from in between the voids from time to time. What the Village won’t have to do is to go to the cost or trouble to resurface it in five years, which an asphalt street would require.

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