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Water permeable paving helps define the future of hardscapes in municipal, instutional and residential projects

October 24, 2011

Water permeable paving continues to blossom as a solution for sustainable hardscapes and landscaping. The American Society of Landscape Architects’ (ASLA) 2011 Trend Study sees a growing interest among homeowners.

ASLA noted that it when it comes to landscape elements, efficiency and sustainability reign supreme. The most popular for 2011 include low maintenance landscapes (94.2 percent), native plants (87.2), water-efficient irrigation (83.1 percent), ornamental water features (81 percent) and food/vegetable gardens (80.3 percent). Other popular sustainability features for 2011 include permeable paving (77 percent), reduced lawn (72.6 percent) and rainwater harvesting (63.6 percent).

As water permeable clay pavers demonstrate their combination of performance and beauty in municipal and institutional applications, look for more homes featuring water-conserving patios, driveways and walkways.

This fall, two water permeable paving projects using StormPave clay pavers have been  recognized in the Hardscape North America Fourth Annual Hardscape Project Awards competition.

The projects are separated by almost 800 miles and are widely different uses, but both had to treat an existing stormwater problem and while fitting in with nearby historic structures.

The Plaza at Kenan Hall, an installation at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, won for paver installation firm PaverScape Inc.

Gotts’ Court, a parking plaza and garden in Annapolis, Maryland, won an honorable mention for contractor Avon Construction.

The Plaza at Kenan Hall is in front of a main classroom building, equipped with seating and access to outdoor electrical outlets, to power laptops, lighting and sound systems. Since its completion, the 5,300-square-foot space has become a popular gathering spot. Classes sometimes meet there and after class, it's used for student-sponsored events, meals and parties, or fairs where potential employers and representatives of graduate schools set up tables and meet with students.

Gott’s Court serves as the entry point for visitors to Historic Annapolis and the Annapolis and Chesapeake Bay Visitor’s Center. Traditional red clay brick is the most common material found in the Annapolis Historic District, in both buildings and sidewalks, and Stormpave pavers match these surroundings. The project was designed to redirect stormwater to six rain gardens and from there, to an overflow pipe. In winter, it eliminates ice from building up and causing the parking lot to be shut down. In late summer and autumn, heavy rains have barely registered a trickle from the overflow pipe.

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