Permeable pavements are alternatives to traditional asphalt or concrete which allow rainfall to infiltrate into the ground, reducing runoff. Pervious pavements have a pervious structure that also supports foot or vehicle traffic. They are typically underlain by a stone drainage layer and an underdrain system. Permeable pavers are generally best suited for locations that do not experience high traffic loads, such as sidewalks, parking areas, and driveways. Additionally, the free flowing water helps to promote the growth of trees and flower beds in the surrounding area.
There are a variety of different types of materials to pick from when choosing pervious pavements, including pervious concrete, pervious asphalt, pervious interlocking concrete pavers (PICPs), and plastic grid structures. Permeable Pavers can be less costly to repair than traditional pavements, but some maintenance may still be required to maintain the pervious surface.
The cost of installing permeable pavers when compared to asphalt depends upon the materials used and the size of the area being covered. Due to the construction required to put the multiple layers of rock and aggregate together, it is difficult to install permeable pavers for larger areas of space without a contractor but this would likely be the case for asphalt as well.
Permeable Pavements & Green Streets
University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center:
Environmental Effects of Pervious Pavement as a Low Impact Development Installation in Urban Regions, Ch. 13:
Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure Municipal Handbook, Green Streets: