Boise Construction General Contractors Boise

 
 
 
 
 

PERVIOUS CONCRETE: THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

The Project: Siena K-8 School - Joint School District # 2, Meridian, Idaho 

The Problem: High ground water at the site of a new elementary school project in the Meridian School District required a modification of construction plans to prevent standing water on the school playground, in the parking lot and near the building foundations.

Traditionally, local contractors have addressed this problem by dramatically increasing the size of the drainage swales.  While taking care of the water, the approach significantly increases costs, uses up valuable real estate on the project, and means six to twelve year olds are playing near potentially dangerous swales filled with large drainage rocks. 

The Solution: Researching construction options used in other parts of the country where high water tables are common, CM Company, LKV Architect and The Land Group worked collaboratively to identify an alternative approach. Paving with a unique product, Pervious Concrete, would allow rain water to drain through the surface of the concrete and through the sub-surface drain rock; eventually filtering back into the aquifer. 

Pervious Concrete eliminates the need for an underground storm drain system as well as above ground seepage beds. While Pervious Concrete has been around for a long time in other areas, it was virtually unheard of in this area and few contractors had experience with this product.

After a thorough review of high ground water projects with successful results, CM Company sent several of our employees for training and certification. In addition, we spread the word to local concrete contractors and helped several become certified so they could bid on the project.

The Result: The entire 125,000 square foot parking lot of the new K-8 school was constructed using Pervious Concrete.  Even the school’s roof drains onto the surface of the parking lot!  There is a full size, dry playground which is not a continuous mud puddle. There are no hazardous drainage swales on the grounds, and there is no standing ground water. Last, but not least, the environmentally friendly paving solution added a very minimal cost to the project.

By thinking outside of the box without limiting ourselves to the standard paving practices for the area, the School District won, taxpayers won, the environment won and local concrete contractors have new technical skills and services to offer. 

The use of Pervious Concrete is recognized by the EPA as a best management practice for storm water management.  It also provides benefits in Sustainable Development which is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. 

Following is a list of ways Pervious Concrete works towards sustainable development, while at the same time, protecting the environment. 

  • Low Impact Development:  Environmentally friendly land use planning.  
  • Pollution Treatment:  Filters and treats rain fall in the same manner as before the parking lot was constructed rather then allowing it to convey pollutants to streams and water ways.  
  • Recharging Groundwater Aquifers: Allows rainfall to percolate back into the soil where it falls, which replenishes aquifers naturally. 
  • Parking Under Trees:  Allows water to reach tree roots that are growing under parking areas. 
  • LEED Recognized:  Recognized by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design to meet the standards of low impact and sustainable building designs.  
  • Cool Communities Program:  Pervious Concrete absorbs and stores less heat then conventional pavement. 
 
 
 

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