The Value in Permeable Pavers in Parking Lots – Our Recently Completed Job

Our hardscape design team and paver installers designed and built a permeable paver parking lot for the Platinum Storage location in Brentwood, Tennessee. This project got our crew here at Smart Scapes LLC thinking about the importance of permeability in paving. It got us thinking about why it is so crucial that we, as a nation, transition over to paving stones and block paving that utilizes permeable technology.

And why is it so important that we make this transition? Because it is the right thing to do for the environment, primarily.

Cities are starting to catch on to this environmentally conscious trend. In Brentwood, many businesses are now being required by city ordinances and zoning to install permeable pavements and pavers in their parking lots and driveways. Such is sensible because the Nashville area is known for its stormwater, its flooding, and its erosion.

When a city lays down too much pavement too quickly, that creates a problem. When rainwater strikes the pavement, the water has nowhere to go. Had grass and soil been there instead of pavement, the rainwater would have seeped into the ground. But regular, poured pavement is impervious, hence heavy rains bringing floodwaters which rush down city streets and along sidewalks, causing erosion, overpowering storm drains, etc.

Permeable pavers can be used to correct this. Permeable pavers offer a perfect solution that still creates a paved surface but which does so while having zero negative effect on the environment.

Now, thanks to Smart Scapes LLC, thanks to our designers, our installation crew, our mechanical installation equipment, and the wise decisions of our clients, the parking lot at the Brentwood location for this storage company has a new and eco-friendly, permeable-paved parking lot.

Why Permeable Pavers?

William R Selbig, a research hydrologist at the USGS (United States Geological Survey) Upper Midwest Water Science Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota wrote an eye-opening research paper on how valuable permeable pavers are for the environment. He wrote about how these paver systems primarily serve to transfer water immediately through the pavers, down into rock layers installed below the pavers, and then into the ground beneath, just as nature intended.

Selbig writes about the negative impact of paving over the land, and how permeable pavers can reduce that negative impact. Quoting Selbig:

  • "Urbanization of the landscape has an appreciable negative impact on the quantity and quality of runoff water entering our lakes and streams. By replacing natural land covers (like grasslands and forests) with impervious surfaces (like parking lots and streets), we lose the water retaining role of the soil and vegetation. Increased runoff from impervious surfaces causes dangerous floods, severe erosion damage to our stream channels, diminished recharge of groundwater, and degraded habitat for our fisheries. These same impervious surfaces can transport the many pollutants deposited in urban areas, such as nutrients, sediment, bacteria, pesticides, and chloride. In the worst cases, the amount of pollutants in urban runoff are high enough to prevent us from being able to swim or fish in our local waters."

And finally, with the concisely stated solution:

  • "Permeable pavement is a porous urban surface which catches precipitation and surface runoff, storing it in the reservoir while slowly allowing it to infiltrate into the soil below."

In a somewhat neutral, very scientific manner, Selbig is essentially announcing that permeable pavements and pavers may yet be the 21st-century solution to overdeveloping and over-paving.

To learn more about Selbig's research, see the Sources section at the end of this article for a source citation to Selbig's study.

Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of questions about permeable pavers and, while we understand these systems and how they function, we are just as amazed by them as you are. Read on to our FAQ section below to learn more about permeable pavers. Keep in mind that you can also contact our office directly to get your questions answered by one of our helpful staff. Our phone number is (615) 266-6360.

  • How long do permeable pavers last?
  • Almost forever! Well-installed permeable paver systems that are maintained over the years will likely outlast their owners.
  • How much do permeable pavers cost?
  • About 1.5x the cost of traditional asphalt and concrete. But remember, these systems last longer and are helpful to the environment, not harmful to it.
  • What is the best type of permeable paver?
  • We work with the five leading brands, i.e., Belgard, Aqualine, Pavestone, PaveDrain, and Unilock.
  • How long does it take to install permeable pavers?
  • That varies quite a bit based on the size of the job at hand, but we can complete most permeable paver jobs in under a week.
  • Why choose permeable pavers over traditional asphalt or concrete?
  • Permeable pavers are the eco-friendly option, they last longer, they look more sophisticated and refined. Furthermore, they require less maintenance, and they do not break, crack, or crumble like asphalt and concrete eventually does.

Ready to move forward with your permeable paver project? Asking/searching for, "Who installs pavers near me?" or, "Where can I find a good paver?" or, "Which paving contractor is the best?" or, "Paver installation near me," or, "Hardscape contractor near me,"? Let our team help you in your quest to design and build an eco-friendly permeable paver driveway, parking lot, walkway, patio, deck, outdoor dining area, or sidewalk. We are here and ready to serve you! Call (615) 266-6360 today to schedule a free estimate.

Have questions?
We’d love to hear from you
To ensure the security of your information, we ask that
you type the code (displayed below) in the text box.