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Permeable pavers help solve residential urban heat island effect

May 30, 2013
PHB - StormPave Heat 1

Students of Guilford Technical Community College, Greensboro, NC, installed permeable pavers at this new home as a class project.

It’s well-known that permeable pavers can filter stormwater runoff. New research now shows how they can address urban heat island effect in residential applications.

Landscape Online Weekly reports that conventional surfaces typically reflect only about five percent of the sun’s energy, absorbing the rest as heat. Since more than a third of most cities are covered by pavement – usually impermeable concrete or asphalt – urban air on a sunny afternoon can be 2-5 degrees warmer than air from rural areas nearby.

Elevated air temperatures, known as the “urban heat island” effect, strain the power grid by making air conditioners work harder to cool buildings, and can degrade air quality by accelerating smog formation.

“Reflective and permeable pavements are the most promising practices to address the built-environment issues related to heat-island mitigation, and permeable pavements are a promising strategy for stormwater runoff management,” Hui Li of the University of California, Davis, told environmentalresearchweb.

This innovative approach will potentially solve both problems, especially in urban areas.”

PHB - StormPave Heat 4

Pine Hall Bric StormPave pavers in red, buff, gray or rose colors are both reflective and permeable. They can help designers obtain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits within the Sustainable Sites Credit 7.1 for Heat Island Effect, Non-Roof, when used in more than 50 percent of the hardscape on a particular site. Those particular colors carry Solar Reflectance Index values of above 29. (Solar Reflectance Index numbers, or SRIs, range from 0 for a black surface to 100 for a white surface).

Red StormPave pavers were used in pursuit of that LEED credit and others in a demonstration project in Greensboro, North Carolina. Pine Hall Brick Company donated pavers and installation expertise to a project in which Guilford Technical Community College students built a three-bedroom, two-bath residential home to demonstrate that green construction techniques are within the financial reach of middle-income homebuyers.

Other LEED credits that StormPave pavers can qualify for include:

Sustainable Sites Credit 6.1: Stormwater Design: Quantity Control – By using Pine Hall Brick permeable clay pavers, RainPave or StormPave, in a permeable pavement system to maintain or reduce stormwater runoff (depending on impervious cover percentage).

Sustainable Sites Credit 6.2: Stormwater Design: Quality Control – By using Pine Hall Brick permeable clay pavers, RainPave and StormPave, in a permeable pavement system to remove total suspended solids from stormwater runoff.

Materials & Resources Credit 2 Construction: Waste Management – By recycling jobsite brick waste (as part of an overall recycling plan) into brick mulch or for use into alternate applications.

Materials & Resources Credit 4: Recycled Content – By using Pine Hall Brick Company’s Rose color pavers that incorporate 53% recycled pre-consumer waste aggregates or Siesta color pavers that incorporate 54% recycled pre-consumer waste aggregates.

Materials & Resources Credit 5.1 Regional Materials: Manufactured Regionally – By using clay brick made within 500 miles of a project site can help qualify for this credit. Our brick facilities are located in Madison, NC (27025) and Fairmont, GA (30139).

Materials & Resources Credit 5.2 Regional Materials: Extracted Regionally — Of the clay brick qualifying for Credit 5.1 above, 100 % of the materials used in their production are extracted within 500 miles of the manufacturing site. The clay brick used can help qualify for this credit.

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