Urban environments are becoming densified, with a high amount of horizontal surfacing covered by structures and pavements. Climate change expectations are for greater rainfall intensities, while governmental directives require municipalities to implement new methods for handling stormwater. Research has been done to develop new materials and subbase structures for pervious pavements while verifying their performance for Nordic winter conditions. The pavements allow for direct filtration to the ground, thus reducing flooding and ice accumulation, enhancing societal well-being, and promoting green urban areas.
Who will use pervious pavements?
Cities, owners, stormwater management companies, and urban planners will have greater confidence in specifying, designing, constructing, and maintaining urban areas with pervious pavement surfacing. There is an understanding of the lifetime performance of materials and their interaction with the environment, which is ensured by monitoring the infrastructure’s filtration and durability behavior. A new product market has been created with a focus on environmental and water quality technologies, which can also be promoted internationally.
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Pervious pavement development
The project has looked at cities’ needs for stormwater management and new materials, prior to implementation in new urban constructions. Material studies have been conducted in cooperation with industrial partners to develop pervious concrete, asphalt, and natural stone paver systems. The geotechnical structural designs have been modified based on international experience but adapted to Finnish demands. This has also included information on how the previous pavements are linked to other material parameters, such as drainage layers, geotextiles, and stormwater collection systems. Stormwater modeling tools have been developed to incorporate new materials and their respective designs and functionality. Climate change forecasts have been taken into account when evaluating filtration potential and stormwater model case studies with the new pervious pavements. Parallel work has been done in Sweden on the benefits of previous pavements to water quality and urban horticulture for green environments. With all of these aspects, it has been important to plan the future demonstration and implementation work, including how the performance will be monitored through the use of ICT to ensure filtration functionality, water quality, and winter durability.
Urban impacts and implementation
Finnish guidelines have been published detailing how previous materials can be implemented in urban environments. The guidelines include aspects of material and component production that create new business opportunities. Geotechnical dimensioning, construction and maintenance are detailed, which ensures the lifetime performance of the new structures. Cities and municipalities are moving forward with plans to implement the previous solutions, including the use of ICT to assess performance and optimize urban stormwater management. The pavement functionality improves the networking of the city for an enhanced environment, sustainability, and better quality of life.