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ACI 522R-06

Pervious Concrete
Reported by ACI Committee 522

Dan Brown*
Chair
Don Wade Reed Freeman
Vice Chair Secretary

David Akers Bruce Ferguson Frank Lennox George Seegebrecht


Richard Albright Dale Fisher Kamyar Mahboub David Suchorski
William Arent Melvyn Galinat Peter Martinez Diep Tu
Bob Banka Bruce Glaspey Patrick McDowell Woodward Vogt
Bruce Chattin James Holland Gregory McKinnon Charles Weiss
Deborah Chung James Howard Matthew Offenberg† W. Jason Weiss
John Cook Daniel Huffman Scott Palotta Kevin Wolf
Norbert Delatte Roy Keck Venkataswamy Ramakrishnan Peter Yen
Calvin Dodl Philip Kresge Stephen Rohrbach Robert Zellers
Aly Eldarwish Michael Leming
*
The members of ACI Committee 522 dedicate this document to the memory of Dan Brown.

Chair of the editorial subcommittee.

This report provides technical information on pervious concrete’s application, CONTENTS


design methods, materials, properties, mixture proportioning, construction Chapter 1—Introduction, p. 522R-2
methods, testing, and inspection.
The term “pervious concrete” typically describes a zero-slump, open- Chapter 2—Applications, p. 522R-2
graded material consisting of portland cement, coarse aggregate, little or no 2.1—General
fine aggregate, admixtures, and water. The combination of these ingredients
2.2—Building applications: history
will produce a hardened material with connected pores, ranging in size from
0.08 to 0.32 in. (2 to 8 mm), that allow water to pass through easily. The void 2.3—Pavement applications
content can range from 18 to 35%, with typical compressive strengths of 400 2.4—Other applications
to 4000 psi (2.8 to 28 MPa). The drainage rate of pervious concrete
pavement will vary with aggregate size and density of the mixture, but will Chapter 3—Materials, p. 522R-5
generally fall into the range of 2 to 18 gal./min/ft2 (81 to 730 L/min/m2). 3.1—General
3.2—Aggregates
Keywords: construction; design; drainage; permeability; pervious concrete
pavement; stormwater; testing.
3.3—Cementitious materials
3.4—Water
3.5—Admixtures
ACI Committee Reports, Guides, and Commentaries are
intended for guidance in planning, designing, executing, and Chapter 4—Properties, p. 522R-5
inspecting construction. This document is intended for the use 4.1—General
of individuals who are competent to evaluate the significance 4.2—Compressive strength
and limitations of its content and recommendations and who
will accept responsibility for the application of the material it 4.3—Flexural strength
contains. The American Concrete Institute disclaims any and 4.4—Air void content/unit weight
all responsibility for the stated principles. The Institute shall
not be liable for any loss or damage arising therefrom.
Reference to this document shall not be made in contract ACI 522R-06 became effective April 3, 2006.
documents. If items found in this document are desired by the Copyright © 2006, American Concrete Institute.
Architect/Engineer to be a part of the contract documents, they All rights reserved including rights of reproduction and use in any form or by any
means, including the making of copies by any photo process, or by electronic or
shall be restated in mandatory language for incorporation by mechanical device, printed, written, or oral, or recording for sound or visual reproduction
the Architect/Engineer. or for use in any knowledge or retrieval system or device, unless permission in writing
is obtained from the copyright proprietors.

522R-1
522R-2 ACI COMMITTEE REPORT

4.5—Percolation rate
4.6—Durability
4.7—Acoustic absorption

Chapter 5—Mixture proportioning, p. 522R-9


5.1—General
5.2—Proportioning criteria

Chapter 6—Pervious pavement design, p. 522R-9

Chapter 7—Pervious pavement construction,


p. 522R-9
7.1—Subgrade preparation and layout
7.2—Placing
7.3—Consolidation
7.4—Jointing Fig. 1.1—Pervious concrete pavement texture on parking lot.
7.5—Curing and protection
7.6—Cold weather protection The term “pervious concrete” typically describes a zero-
7.7—Hot weather protection slump, open-graded material consisting of portland cement,
7.8—Repairing pervious concrete pavements coarse aggregate, little or no fine aggregate, admixtures, and
7.9—Maintenance water. The combination of these ingredients will produce a
hardened material with connected pores (Fig. 1.1), ranging
Chapter 8—Quality control inspection and testing, in size from 0.08 to 0.32 in. (2 to 8 mm), that allow water to
p. 522R-14 pass through easily. The void content can range from 18 to
8.1—General 35%, with typical compressive strengths of 400 to 4000 psi
8.2—Preconstruction inspection and testing (2.8 to 28 MPa). The drainage rate of pervious concrete
8.3—Inspection and testing during construction pavement will vary with aggregate size and density of the
8.4—Postconstruction inspection and testing mixture, but will generally fall into the range of 2 to 18 gal./
min/ft2 (81 to 730 L/min/m2).
Chapter 9—Performance, p. 522R-15 Concern has been growing in recent years toward reducing
9.1—General the pollutants in water supplies and the environment. In the
9.2—Clogging 1960s, engineers realized that runoff from developed real
9.3—Structural distress estate had the potential to pollute surface and groundwater
9.4—Resistance to freezing and thawing supplies. Further, as land is developed, runoff leaves the site
in higher rates and volumes, leading to downstream flooding
Chapter 10—Limitations, potential applications, and bank erosion. Pervious concrete pavement reduces the
and research needs, p. 522R-16
10.1—Pervious concrete in cold climates impact of development by reducing runoff rates and
10.2—Compressive strength protecting water supplies.
10.3—Porous grout
10.4—Stormwater management CHAPTER 2—APPLICATIONS
2.1—General
Pervious concrete has been used in a wide range of appli-
Chapter 11—References, p. 522R-18 cations, including:
11.1—Referenced standards and reports
• Pervious pavement for parking lots (Fig. 1.1);
11.2—Cited references
• Rigid drainage layers under exterior mall areas;
• Greenhouse floors to keep the floor free of standing
Appendix A—Hydraulic design discussion,
p. 522R-20 water;
A.1—General • Structural wall applications where lightweight or better
A.2—Research to date thermal insulation characteristics, or both, are required;
A.3—Pervious pavement maintenance • Pavements, walls, and floors where better acoustic
A.4—Drainage design absorption characteristics are desired;
A.5—Pervious area credit • Base course for city streets, county roads, driveways,
A.6—Design examples and airports;
• Surface course for parking lots, tennis courts, zoo areas,
CHAPTER 1—INTRODUCTION and animal barns and stalls;
This report provides technical information on pervious • Bridge embankments;
concrete’s application, design methods, materials, properties, • Swimming pool decks;
mixture proportioning, construction methods, testing, and • Beach structures and seawalls;
inspection. • Sewage treatment plant sludge beds;
PERVIOUS CONCRETE 522R-3

• Solar energy storage systems;


• Wall linings for drilled water wells; and
• Artificial reefs where the open structure of pervious
concrete mimics the reef structure.
Typically, unreinforced pervious concrete is used in all
these applications because of the high risk of reinforcing
steel corrosion due to the open pore structure of the material.

2.2—Building applications: history


Pervious concrete has been used in building construction
since at least the middle of the nineteenth century (Francis
1965). Throughout this chapter, the term pervious concrete
is used to describe the material, but in the references and
historically, it may have been described as no-fines concrete
or gap-graded concrete. European countries have used Fig. 2.1—Pervious concrete pavement used within the drip
pervious concrete in different modes: cast-in-place load- line of tree.
bearing walls in single- and multistory houses and, in some
instances, in high-rise buildings, prefabricated panels, and proved impracticable. Examples of these impracticalities
steam-cured blocks. In 1852, pervious concrete was first include the high transportation costs of brick, the fire hazards
used in the construction of two houses in the United Kingdom. of timber, and the poor thermal insulation properties of plain
This concrete consisted of only coarse gravel and cement. It concrete (Malhotra 1976).
is not mentioned in the published literature again until 1923, Although pervious concrete has been used in Europe and
when a group of 50 two-story houses were built with clinker Australia for the past 60 years, its use as a building material
aggregate in Edinburgh, Scotland. In the late 1930s, the Scot- in North America has been extremely limited. One reason for
tish Special Housing Association Limited adopted the use of this limited use is that, after World War II, North America
pervious concrete for residential construction. By 1942, did not experience the materials shortage to the same degree
pervious concrete had been used to build over 900 houses. as Europe.
The havoc of World War II from 1939 to 1945 left almost In Canada, the first reported use of pervious concrete was
all of Europe with vast housing needs, which encouraged the in 1960. Pervious concrete was used in the construction of
development of new or previously unused methods of some houses in Toronto. It was also used on a nonstructural
building construction. Notably among them was pervious basis in a Federal Building in Ottawa.
concrete (Malhotra 1969). It used less cement per unit
volume of concrete as compared with conventional concrete, 2.3—Pavement applications
and the material was advantageous where manpower was Pervious concrete pavements’ advantages over conventional
scarce or expensive. Over the years, the pervious concrete concrete pavements include:
system contributed substantially to the production of new • Controlling stormwater pollution at the source;
houses in the United Kingdom, Germany, Holland, France, • Increasing facilities for parking by eliminating the need
Belgium, Scotland, Spain, Hungary, Venezuela, West for water-retention areas;
Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and Russia. Germany • Controlling stormwater runoff;
used this system because disposal of large quantities of brick • Reducing hydroplaning on the surface of roads and
rubble was a problem after the war, leading to research into highways;
the properties of pervious concrete. At other places, the • Creating additional lift to the aircraft during takeoff due
unprecedented demand for brick, and the subsequent to the cooling effect;
inability of the brick-making industry to provide an adequate • Reducing glare on the road surfaces to a great extent,
supply, led to the adoption of pervious concrete as a building particularly when wet at night;
material. Similarly in Scotland, between 1945 and 1956, • Reducing the interaction noise between the tire and the
many homes were built with pervious concrete. This was pavement;
mainly due to the presence of unlimited supplies of hard aggre- • Eliminating or reducing the size of storm sewers; and
gates and the absence of good facing bricks. The first reported • Allowing air and water to reach roots of trees, even
use of pervious concrete in Australia was as early as 1946. with the pavement within the tree drip line (Fig. 2.1).
Before World War II, production of pervious concrete was Engineers have specified pervious concrete in pavements as:
confined to two-story homes. After 1946, however, pervious • Surface course;
concrete was used for a much broader range of applications. • Permeable base and edge drains; and
It was specified as a material for load-bearing elements in • Shoulders.
buildings up to 10 stories tall (Francis 1965). The success of pervious pavement systems has been
Pervious concrete was extensively used for industrial, mixed. In some areas, pervious concrete pavement systems
public, and domestic buildings in areas north of the Arctic have been applied successfully, while in others, they have
Circle because the use of traditional building materials clogged in a short time. Many failures can be attributed to
522R-4 ACI COMMITTEE REPORT

pervious concrete surface course. Its use in Florida is due to


three factors. First, Florida frequently encounters heavy
storms that cause quick accumulation of large amounts of
stormwater, and the use of pervious concrete reduces the
runoff volume. Second, designers prefer that the stormwater
be retained on the site to recharge the groundwater system.
Third, the cost effectiveness of using pervious concrete over
conventional concrete is greatly enhanced with the elimination
of storm sewers.
2.3.1.1 Parking lots—Pervious concrete was referred to
as a parking lot paving material in the central Florida area as
early as the 1970s (Medico 1975). The concept developed as
a means of handling the enormous quantities of water running
off a parking lot during a storm; pervious concrete allows the
water to percolate into the ground under the pavement. The
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has adopted a
policy that recommends the use of pervious pavements as a
part of their Best Management Practice (BMP) as a way for
communities to mitigate the problem of stormwater runoff.
Pervious concrete parking lots have also been selected as an
Fig. 2.2—Parking lot built with pervious concrete pavement. integral solution to the problem of hot pavements in the Cool
Communities program. Generally, the air temperature over
pervious concrete parking lots is cooler than the temperature
contractor inexperience, higher compaction of soil than
over asphalt parking lots. Pervious concrete parking lots also
specified, and improper site design. For a pervious concrete
reduce snow and ice buildup. In addition, pervious concrete
pavement to work successfully:
is considered a nonpollutant to the environment. The practical
• Permeability of soils should be verified. A percolation range of design thicknesses for pervious concrete pavements
rate of 0.5 in./h (13 mm/h), and a soil layer of 4 ft (1.2 m)
is from 5 to 10 in. (125 to 250 mm) for plain parking lots.
or more are generally recommended. There are now
installations of pervious concrete and other porous 2.3.1.2 Roadways—Pervious concrete for roadways is
paving materials, however, in the red-clay Piedmont usually considered for two applications: 1) as a drainable
regions of the Carolinas and Georgia, where the base, or sub-base material; and 2) as a roadway surface, or
subgrade infiltration rate is much less than 0.5 in./h friction-course. In both categories, the drainage characteristics
(13 mm/h). These pavements facilitate infiltration and are required properties, but strength requirements may vary
filtering of runoff and recharging of groundwater, depending on the location of the material in the pavement
although they do not infiltrate all of the rain water in section. The practical range of design thicknesses for
large, rare storms; pervious concrete is from 6 to 10 in. (150 to 250 mm) for
• Construction site runoff and heavy equipment should plain roadway pavements. Bonded overlays (Maynard 1970),
be kept from entering the pervious pavement area. The however, have been as thin as 2 in. (50 mm). Many highways
pervious concrete pavement should not be placed into in Europe are being constructed using an overlay of latex-
service until all disturbed land that drains to it has been modified pervious concrete that allows for pavement
stabilized by vegetation. Strict erosion and sediment drainage and tire-noise reduction. The latex modification
controls during any construction or landscaping activity results in better mechanical properties (Pindado et al. 1999).
are essential to prevent clogging of the system and 2.3.2 Permeable bases and edge drains—A pervious
should be incorporated into the construction site storm- concrete base drains water that would normally accumulate
water management plan; beneath a pavement.* This type of construction helps to reduce
• Construction traffic (primarily vehicular) should be pumping of subgrade materials that could lead to the failure
directed away from the pervious pavement area during of the pavement. In some states, the departments of trans-
construction to prevent compaction of underlying soil portation have created standards for constructing drainable
layers and loss of infiltrative capacity; and bases and edge drains using pervious concrete. California,
• Maintenance may be performed on a regular basis. Illinois, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin have such standard spec-
Table 7.1 outlines a typical maintenance schedule for a ifications (Mathis 1990). Pervious concrete in these applica-
pervious concrete pavement system. tions is usually of a lower strength (1000 psi [7 MPa] or less),
2.3.1 Surface course—Pervious concrete may be used as a and is used in conjunction with a nonwoven geotextile
surface course for parking lots and minor road strips (Fig. 2.2). fabric. A similar system can be used in slope stabilization.
Its use in the U.S., to a large extent, has been in surface
courses (mainly in Florida, Utah, New Mexico, and a few *
Kozeliski, F., 1991, “Cement Treated Open Graded Base Course,” Gallup Sand and
other states). Several parking lots in Florida consist of a Gravel Co., N. Mex., 5 pp. (unpublished report)
PERVIOUS CONCRETE 522R-5

2.3.3 Shoulders—Pervious concrete shoulders have been however, contains high percentages of interconnected voids,
used in France in an effort to reduce pumping beneath which allows for the rapid passage of water through the body
concrete pavements. Air-entraining admixtures are used to of concrete.
increase the resistance to freezing and thawing. Porosities on
the order of 15 to 25% have been found to nearly eliminate 3.2—Aggregates
the risk due to freezing, unless the concrete is allowed to Aggregate gradings used in pervious concrete are typically
become saturated. Compressive strengths are often less than either single-sized coarse aggregate or grading between 3/4
2000 psi (14 MPa) at 28 days. and 3/8 in. (19 and 9.5 mm). Rounded and crushed aggre-
gates, both normal and lightweight, have been used to make
2.4—Other applications pervious concrete. The aggregate used should meet require-
2.4.1 Drains—Water and power resources services have ments of ASTM D 448 and C 33. Fine aggregates should not
used pervious concrete for the construction of permeable typically be used in pervious concrete mixtures because they
drain tiles as well as drains beneath hydraulic structures. The tend to compromise the connectedness of the pore system.
drains relieve uplift pressures and allow groundwater to be
drained from beneath sewer pipes. 3.3—Cementitious materials
2.4.2 Greenhouses—The use of pervious concrete as a Portland cement conforming to ASTM C 150, C 595, or
thermal storage system in greenhouse floors has been inves- C 1157 is used as the main binder. Fly ash, slag cement, and
tigated by researchers (Monahan 1981; Herod 1981). The silica fume should meet the requirements of ASTM C 618,
floor served as a storage area as well as a heat exchanger for C 989, and C 1240, respectively.
the solar-heated greenhouse. Pervious concrete has also been
used as paving in greenhouse floors to keep water from 3.4—Water
Water quality for pervious concrete is governed by the
ponding and to eliminate the growth of weeds while
same requirements as conventional concrete. Pervious
providing a durable, hard surface for moving equipment.
concretes should be proportioned with a relatively low water-
2.4.3 Tennis courts—Pervious concrete has been used
cement ratio (w/c) (0.30 to 0.40) because an excess amount
extensively for the construction of tennis courts in Europe.
of water will lead to drainage of the paste and subsequent
Pervious concrete slabs allow water to permeate, and then
clogging of the pore system. The addition of water, there-
drain through a gravel base to the edges of the slab. Fly ash is
fore, has to be monitored closely in the field.
included in some of the mixtures to increase the workability.
2.4.4 Noise barriers and building walls—Noises from 3.5—Admixtures
various traffic sources or occupants of a building can be Admixtures should meet the requirements of ASTM C
problematic. Pervious concrete noise barriers and interior 494. Water-reducing admixtures (high-range or medium-
walls are sometimes constructed to reduce noise. Its open- range) are used depending on the w/c. Retarding admixtures
graded structure tends to absorb and dissipate the sound in are used to stabilize and control cement hydration. Retarding
the material rather than reflecting it to another location. admixtures are frequently preferred when dealing with stiff
mixtures, such as pervious concrete, especially in hot
CHAPTER 3—MATERIALS weather applications. Retarding admixtures can act as
3.1—General lubricants to help discharge concrete from a mixer and can
Pervious concrete, also known as porous, gap-graded, improve handling and in-place performance characteristics.
permeable, or enhanced porosity concrete, mainly consists Accelerators can be used when pervious concretes are placed
of normal portland cement, uniform-sized coarse aggregate, in cold weather. Air-entraining admixtures have not been
and water. This combination forms an agglomeration of commonly used in pervious concretes, but can be used in
coarse aggregates surrounded by a thin layer of hardened environments susceptible to freezing and thawing. No reliable
cement paste at their points of contact. This configuration method exists, however, to quantify the entrained air volume
produces large voids between the coarse aggregate, which in these materials.
allows water to permeate at a much higher rate than conven-
tional concrete. Pervious concrete is considered a special CHAPTER 4—PROPERTIES
type of porous concrete. Porous concrete can be classified 4.1—General
into two types: one in which the porosity is present in the The various strength properties of pervious concrete are
aggregate component of the mixture (lightweight aggregate dependent on cementitious content, water-cementitious
concretes), and one in which porosity is introduced in the material ratio (w/cm), compaction level, and aggregate
nonaggregate component of the mixture (pervious concrete) gradation and quality. Although pervious concrete has been
(Neithalath 2004). Lightweight aggregate concrete can be used for paving for more than 20 years in the U.S., only a few
constructed by using extremely porous natural or synthetic investigations have been carried out to determine its perfor-
aggregates. Pervious concrete has little or no fine aggregate mance (Ghafoori 1995). These investigations have been
in the mixture. Another distinction between these two types based primarily on laboratory tests with little data from
of porous concrete is based mainly on the void structure. actual field installations obtained. Currently, few standard
Lightweight aggregate concretes contain large percentages procedures exist for fabricating and testing pervious
of relatively nonconnected voids. Pervious concrete, concrete specimens in the laboratory or field.
522R-6 ACI COMMITTEE REPORT

Fig. 4.3—Relationship between air content and compaction


energy for pervious concrete (Meininger 1988).

Fig. 4.1—Relationship between air content and compressive


strength for pervious concrete (Meininger 1988) (1 psi =
0.006895 MPa).

Fig. 4.4—Relationship between air content and flexural


strength for pervious concrete (Meininger 1988) (1 psi =
0.006895 MPa).

Fig. 4.2—Relationship between unit weight and compressive compressive strength of conventional concrete is not significant.
strength for pervious concrete (Mulligan 2005) (1 psi = A high w/cm can result in the paste flowing from the aggregate
0.006895 MPa; 1 lb/ft3 = 16.02 kg/m3). and filling the void structure. A low w/cm can result in
reduced adhesion between aggregate particles and placement
4.2—Compressive strength problems. Figure 4.3 (Meininger 1988) shows the relationship
The compressive strength of pervious concrete is strongly between the w/cm and air void content of a pervious concrete
affected by the matrix proportion and compaction effort mixture (with cement and aggregate content held constant) at
during placement. Figure 4.1 shows the relationship between two different compaction levels. Experience has shown that
pervious concrete compressive strength and air void content a w/cm of 0.26 to 0.45 provides good aggregate coating and
(Meininger 1988). The figure is based on a series of laboratory paste stability.
tests for which two sizes of coarse aggregate were used and The total cementitious material content of a pervious
compaction effort and the aggregate gradation were varied. concrete mixture is important for the development of
Figure 4.2 (Mulligan 2005) shows a relationship between compressive strength and void structure. A high paste
pervious concrete compressive strength and unit weight. The content will result in a filled void structure and, consequently,
figure is based on another series of laboratory tests where reduced porosity. An insufficient cementitious content can
one size of coarse aggregate was used and compaction effort result in reduced paste coating of the aggregate and reduced
and the aggregate-cement ratio was varied. Figure 4.1 shows compressive strength. The optimum cementitious material
that relatively high compressive strengths of pervious content is strongly dependent on aggregate size and gradation.
concrete mixtures are possible.
Although the w/cm of a pervious concrete mixture is 4.3—Flexural strength
important for the development of compressive strength and Figure 4.4 (Meininger 1988) shows the relationship
void structure, the relationship between the w/cm and between pervious concrete flexural strength and air void
PERVIOUS CONCRETE 522R-7

Fig. 4.5—Relationship between flexural strength and


compressive strength for pervious concrete (Meininger
1988) (1 psi = 0.006895 MPa). Fig. 4.6—Relationship between air content and percola-
tion rate for pervious concrete (Meininger 1988) (1 psi =
content based on beam specimens tested in the same series of 0.006895 MPa).
laboratory tests described for Fig. 4.1. Although these results
are based on a limited number of specimens, comparing the
data in Fig. 4.1 and 4.4 indicates that a relationship between
the compressive and the flexural strengths of pervious
concrete exists. This relationship, like compressive strength,
depends on several variables. Figure 4.5 (Meininger 1988)
shows the relationship between compressive and flexural
strengths of pervious concrete for one laboratory test series.

4.4—Air void content/unit weight


Air void content is calculated as percent air by the gravi-
metric method (ASTM C 138), and is directly related to the
unit weight of a given mixture of pervious concrete. Air void
content is highly dependent on several factors: aggregate
gradation, cementitious material content, w/cm, and
compactive effort.
Compactive effort has an influence on the air void content
(and related unit weight) of a given pervious concrete mixture.
In a laboratory test series (Meininger 1988), a single pervious
concrete mixture, compacted with eight different levels of
effort, produced unit weight values that varied from 105 to
120 lb/ft3 (1680 to 1920 kg/m3). Figure 4.2 shows that this
variation of unit weights (and related air void content) can Fig. 4.7—Apparatus for measuring permeability of pervious
have a measurable effect on the compressive strength of concrete by a simple falling-head permeameter (Neithalath
pervious concrete. et al. 2003).

4.5—Percolation rate achieving a balance between an acceptable percolation rate


One of the most important features of pervious concrete is and an acceptable compressive strength.
its ability to percolate water through the matrix. The perco- The permeability of pervious concrete can be measured by
lation rate of pervious concrete is directly related to the air a simple falling head permeameter as shown in Fig. 4.7
void content. Tests have shown (Meininger 1988) that a (Neithalath et al. 2003). Using this approach, the sample is
minimum air void content of approximately 15% is required enclosed in a latex membrane to avoid the water flowing
to achieve significant percolation. Figure 4.6 (Meininger along the sides of the specimen. Water is added to the graduated
1988) shows the relationship between the air void content cylinder to fill the specimen cell and the draining pipe. The
and the percolation rate of a pervious concrete mixture. specimen is preconditioned by allowing water to drain out
Because the percolation rate increases as air void content through the pipe until the level in the graduated cylinder is
increases, and, consequently, compressive strength decreases, the same as the top of the drain pipe. This minimizes any air
the challenge in pervious concrete mixture proportioning is pockets in the specimen and ensures that the specimen is
522R-8 ACI COMMITTEE REPORT

300 cycles for the test). The relative modulus stays well over
60%, however, for specimens that have the paste portion
protected by entrained air. Also, pervious concrete specimens
subjected to slow freezing and thawing (one cycle per day)
suffered less damage than those subjected to the ASTM C
666 Procedure A test (Neithalath et al. 2005) (five to 12 cycles
per day). Determination of the proper dosage of air-entraining
admixture, cement factor, and unit weight of the production
mixture can be achieved through laboratory trial batching.
Synthetic fibers can be employed to increase toughness,
defined as the energy absorption of concrete after cracking.
Toughness can be quantified in one of several test methods,
such as ASTM C 1399. This test produces a postcracking
value in psi that relates to the flexural strength of the
concrete matrix. Product testing of synthetic fibers in beam
Fig. 4.8—Impedance tube for measuring the sound absorption specimens of pervious concrete in accordance with ASTM C
characteristics of pervious concrete (Neithalath 2004; 1399 demonstrated that fibers 1.5 to 2.0 in. (38 to 51 mm) in
Marlof et al. 2004). length were the most effective in imparting toughness to the
concrete (SI Concrete Systems 2002).
completely saturated. With the valve closed, the graduated
cylinder is filled with water. The valve is then opened, and 4.7—Acoustic absorption
the time in seconds t required for water to fall from an initial Because of the presence of a large volume of interconnected
head h1 is to a final head h2 is measured. The equipment is pores of considerable sizes in the material, pervious concrete
calibrated for an initial head of 11.6 in. (290 mm) and a final is highly effective in acoustic absorption. The material can
head of 2.8 in. (70 mm). The coefficient of permeability k be employed as a means to reduce the noise generated by
(in./s [m/s]) can be expressed as tire-pavement interaction on concrete pavements. The noise
reduction occurs due to the combination of reduced noise
k = A/t generation and increased sound absorption. Pervious
pavements alter the generation of noise by minimizing the
where A = 0.35 in. (0.084 m). air pumping between the tire and road surface. In addition,
the pores absorb sound through internal friction between the
4.6—Durability moving air molecules and the pore walls.
Durability of pervious concrete refers to the service life To evaluate the sound absorption characteristics of
under given environmental conditions. Physical effects that pervious concrete, an impedance tube can be employed, as
adversely influence the durability of concrete include exposure shown in Fig. 4.8 (Neithalath 2004; Marlof et al. 2004).
to temperature extremes and chemicals such as sulfates and Cylindrical specimens with a diameter of 3.75 in. (95 mm)
acids. No research has been conducted on the resistance of can be accommodated in the impedance tube. The sample is
pervious concrete to aggressive attack by sulfate-bearing or placed inside a thin cylindrical Teflon sleeve, into which it
acidic water. The durability of pervious concrete under fits snugly. The sample assembly is placed against a rigid
freezing-and-thawing conditions is also not well documented. backing at one end of the impedance tube, which is equipped
Limited testing in freezing-and-thawing conditions indicates with a sound source. A plane acoustic wave is generated by
poor durability if the entire void structure is filled with water the sound source and propagates along the axis of the tube.
(NRMCA 2004). Other tests, however, have shown the pore Microphones placed along the length of the tube are used to
structure being filled with water has some, but not complete, detect the sound wave pressure transmitted to the sample and
correlation with the overall results. A slower freezing condition the portion of the wave that is reflected (ASTM E 1050). The
(one cycle per day as compared with five or six as per ASTM pressure reflection coefficient R is the ratio of the pressure of
C 666, Procedure A) may allow the water to drain from the reflected wave to that of incoming wave, at a particular
pervious concrete, improving durability. Little field data frequency.
exists on the long-term durability of pervious concrete in The absorption coefficient α is a measure of a material’s
northern climates. Caution should be exercised when using ability to absorb sound. A material with an absorption
pervious concrete in a situation where complete saturation coefficient of 1.0 indicates a purely absorbing material,
before a hard freeze may occur. whereas a material with an absorption coefficient of 0 indicates
Tests indicate that entraining air in the cement paste may that the material is purely reflective. Normal concrete, for
improve freezing-and-thawing durability. In the laboratory example, typically has an absorption coefficient of 0.03 to
under ASTM C 666 test conditions, non-air-entrained 0.05 (Neithalath 2004). Pervious concrete typically has an
pervious concrete fails (relative dynamic modulus drops to absorption range from 0.1 (for poorly performing mixtures)
less than 60%) in approximately 100 cycles of freezing and to nearly 1 (for mixtures with optimal pore volume and
thawing in the chamber (ASTM C 666 requires a standard sizes). The absorption coefficient depends on the frequency
PERVIOUS CONCRETE 522R-9

of the impinging sound waves, and hence, it is important to from 5 to 10 in. (125 to 250 mm) for plain pavements.
select a proper pervious concrete thickness in order to minimize Bonded overlays, however, have been as thin as 2 in. (50 mm).
sounds of the desired frequency (800 to 1200 Hz is the most Structural design is examined in this chapter; a full discussion
objectionable to the human ear). on hydrologic design can be found in Appendix A.
Structural thickness determination can be made by either
CHAPTER 5—MIXTURE PROPORTIONING the AASHTO or PCA design methods (Packard and Tayabji
5.1—General 1985; PCA 1990) for plain concrete pavements if the
For pervious concrete, the cement factor (aggregate- strength of the pervious concrete falls within the limits of
cement ratio) and w/cm are the major variables affecting the each design procedure (Ghafoori 1995). For such a design,
mechanical characteristics. A wide range of cement factors load transfer coefficients would be for aggregate interlock
has been found to be acceptable, depending on the specific conditions. Edge support may or may not be present,
application. Chemical admixtures, in addition to affecting depending on the use of curbs in the drainage design. The
the w/cm, are used to influence workability and setting times, modulus of subgrade reaction used in the design should
enhance various mechanical characteristics of pervious account for the lower levels of compaction used with
concrete, and improve long-term durability. pervious concrete pavements. Field-testing of site soils will
provide accurate modulus of subgrade reaction values.
5.2—Proportioning criteria Traffic loads may need to be limited to those described in
In the case of pervious concrete, the optimum water ACI 330R as B (ADTT = 25) for concrete mixtures that don’t
content produces a fully wetted cement paste with a high have successful local experience with heavy traffic loads
viscosity. This mixture will have a wet metallic appearance (such as for mixtures with Florida limestone). If local
or sheen. For a given mixture proportion and aggregate size experience shows heavier traffic loads can be withstood, as
and type, there is a narrow optimum range of w/cm. The with granite aggregates in Georgia, then design loads may
cement paste of this optimum mixture will create sufficient reflect said experience.
bond between the aggregate particles without seeping down The void structure of a pervious concrete mixture not only
through the pore network and closing the desired void structure. allows for the vertical transmission of water, but it will also
Predicting the optimum w/cm primarily depends on gradation allow horizontal flow. This unique ability should be considered
and physical characteristics of the coarse aggregates and the in establishing the drainage profiles. The vertical rate of flow
cementitious materials content of the mixture. For pervious is dependent on the permeability of the subgrade and also on
concrete, the w/cm to obtain the needed workability usually the thickness and void ratio of the pavement. To the greatest
falls within 0.26 to 0.45. extent possible, parking area profiles should be graded
The workability of pervious concrete is assumed to be without slope. This will allow increased time for the
satisfactory if sufficient mixing water is used to impart a wet subgrade to absorb and transmit water to the lower strata and
metallic appearance to the mixture. Squeezing and releasing reduce the horizontal flow rate. Where conditions do not
a handful of the mixture should result in a mixture that allow for flat grades, the designer may consider providing
neither crumbles nor becomes void-free, and no cement impervious barriers transverse to the direction of horizontal
paste should flow away from the aggregate particles. The flow. These barriers can be installed by increasing the
correct consistency is usually obtained through a trial-and- consolidation of the pavement strip along the edge of trans-
inspection process, which ensures that each mixture contains verse construction joints. The increased consolidation closes
sufficient cement paste to coat the coarse particles with a the void structure at this location. Installing transverse strips
shiny film, giving it a metallic gleam. of normal impervious concrete reduces lateral flow in the
down grade direction. Curbs around the perimeter of the
CHAPTER 6—PERVIOUS PAVEMENT DESIGN paved area also assist in reducing lateral flow rates, as well
In the thickness determination of a pervious pavement as meeting the stormwater retention requirements.
section, two distinct analyses should be conducted, one for
structural and one for hydraulic characteristics. For structural CHAPTER 7—PERVIOUS PAVEMENT
design of pervious concrete pavements, refer to ACI 330R CONSTRUCTION
for parking lots, and to ACI 325.12R for streets and roads. If Construction of pervious concrete should be accomplished
the strength of the pervious concrete produced does not lie in compliance with project plans and specifications to
within the design parameters of either of these two methods, provide a finished product that will meet the owner’s needs
other design procedures, including local experience, may be and local regulations. Construction starts with thorough
necessary. The resulting pavement thickness and subgrade planning. A preconstruction conference and construction of
criteria should then be analyzed for reservoir capacity and test sections are recommended to address issues such as:
permeability. In many cases, the void structure of the pave- • Determining the construction sequence;
ment is to be used as a storage reservoir for stormwater • Arranging for a realistic delivery rate of concrete;
runoff, so the thickness should also allow for anticipated • Arranging for adequate access to the project site for the
retention volumes. The greater thickness requirement of the concrete trucks;
two analyses, structural or storage, should be specified. The • Selecting the optimum equipment for the size of the
practical range of design thicknesses for pervious concrete is project;
522R-10 ACI COMMITTEE REPORT

muddy, saturated, or frozen when placement begins. The


subgrade soils should be moistened before concrete placement.
Failure to provide a moist subbase will result in a reduction
in strength of the pavement and can lead to a premature
pavement failure. To ensure uniform compaction, wheel ruts
should be raked and recompacted before concrete placement
operations. If the subgrade soil properties require that an
aggregate recharge bed be incorporated into the drainage
design of the site, it should be placed on the prepared
subgrade, compacted, and trimmed to the proper elevation.

7.2—Placing
A well-planned project layout can expedite construction
operations, permit efficient use of placement equipment, and
Fig. 7.1—Placement of pervious concrete by rear-discharge provide access for concrete delivery trucks. The contractor and
mixer truck. designer should agree on joint layout and construction methods
before construction begins. A drawing showing the location of
all joints and the placement sequence should be available before
construction begins. Locations of fixed objects should be estab-
lished with the joint pattern and construction methods in mind.
Placement of pervious concrete needs to be completed as
quickly as possible. As described in Section 4.2, pervious
concrete has little excess water in the mixture. Any time the
fresh material is allowed to sit exposed to the elements is
time that it is losing water needed for curing. Drying of the
cement paste can lead to a raveling failure of the pavement
surface. All placement operations and equipment should be
designed and selected with this in mind and scheduled for
rapid placement and immediate curing of the pavement.
7.2.1 Forms—Forms may be made of wood, plastic, or
steel and should be the depth of the pavement. Forms should
Fig. 7.2—Use of conveyor to place pervious concrete.
be of sufficient strength and stability to support mechanical
equipment. The subgrade under the forms should be compacted
in accordance with the designer’s recommendations and cut
to grade to support screed and roller equipment used. Enough
form pins or stakes should be used to resist lateral movement.
All forms should be cleaned and oiled as necessary.
7.2.2 Depositing concrete—Concrete should be deposited as
close to its final position as practical. This is commonly done by
direct discharge from the chute of the mixer truck directly onto
the subgrade (Fig. 7.1). For placements that mixers cannot
reach, or where the subgrade disturbance is to be minimized, a
conveyor may be used (Fig. 7.2). Because pervious concrete
mixtures are typically harsh (zero slump), pumping is not
Fig. 7.3—Raking of pervious concrete to rough elevation. recommended. After depositing concrete, it should be cut to a
rough elevation with a rake or similar hand tool (Fig. 7.3).
• Coordinating testing and inspection; Pervious concrete along the forms should be compacted by
• Demonstrating that the proposed mixture proportions hand tamp to ensure that the edges maintain structural integrity
perform as expected; and after the forms are removed and the concrete is put into
• Verifying that the pervious concrete contractor is service. During compaction of the concrete, the outside edge
adequately qualified. of the tamp should kept on the form to ensure that the
concrete is not compacted below the form elevation.
7.1—Subgrade preparation and layout In general, care should be taken to minimize:
A well-prepared, uniform subgrade at the correct elevation • Pulling or shoveling of fresh concrete into final position;
is essential to the construction of a quality pavement. The top • Filling voids in the concrete;
6 in. (150 mm) of the subgrade should be composed of granular • Contaminating the pervious concrete with deleterious
or gravelly material with no more than a moderate amount material; and
(10%) of silt or clay. The subgrade should not be disturbed, • Walking in the pervious concrete.
PERVIOUS CONCRETE 522R-11

Fig. 7.4—Example of riser strip in place.

Fig. 7.6—Result of riser strip use after removal.

Fig. 7.5—Use of vibratory screed for strikeoff of pervious


concrete.

7.2.3 Riser strips—Riser strips should be placed on top of


the forms for initial strikeoff (Fig. 7.4). These strips vary
from 3/8 to 3/4 in. thick (9 to 19 mm); the necessary thickness
will be dependent on the required thickness of the pavement
Fig. 7.7—Example of compaction of pervious concrete by
section, the aggregate used in the pervious concrete, and the
rolling.
contractor’s placement methods. Refer to Section 7.3 for
more details.
7.2.4 Strikeoff equipment—Strikeoff methods will vary 3. Remove the form board, exposing the fresh edge of the
depending on the size of the placement. For small jobs, such earlier placement;
as driveways, or for tight areas, a hand-held straightedge or 4. Place pervious concrete up to this edge;
jitterbug screed is acceptable. For larger jobs, the use of an 5. Strike off the freshly placed pervious concrete with the
A-frame vibrating screed is recommended (Fig. 7.5). It is screed riding on the plywood or OSB;
important to strike off the concrete as quickly as possible; 6. Continue with consolidation as usual; and
thus, handwork is not recommended due to its lack of speed. 7. Cover the pervious concrete as soon as possible.
7.2.5 Miscellaneous tools—Traditional concrete finishing
tools such as edgers and come-alongs (a tool that looks like 7.3—Consolidation
a hoe and has a long straight edged blade) may be used to Immediately after strikeoff, the first riser strips are
facilitate proper placement of pervious concrete. Bull floats removed on each form (Fig. 7.6) and the concrete is
should not be used. compacted to the form’s elevation with a weighted roller
7.2.6 Using pavement as form—Special care should be (Fig. 7.7). A hand tamp may be used along the edges to
taken when placing a pervious concrete section next to an facilitate compaction along the forms. The roller is used to
earlier placement from the same day to prevent damage to compact the concrete to create a strong cement paste bond
the earlier section. Whereas this procedure is not typically between aggregate particles and to provide an acceptable
recommended, it may be necessary in some applications. surface smoothness. The roller should be of adequate width
1. Carefully peel back the curing sheet covering the earlier to ride on the forms and should provide a minimum of 10 psi
placement to just reveal the inside edge of the form. Care (0.07 MPa) vertical force. The average roller of the size
should be taken to keep the earlier pervious concrete needed to span a 12 ft (3.7 m) lane width weighs approximately
completely covered; 600 to 700 lb (270 to 320 kg). A smaller landscape roller or
2. Place sheets of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) custom-built rolling tool (Fig. 7.8) can be used in tight areas and
(3/8 in. [10 mm] or thicker as required) on top of the curing for smaller placements; the roller in Fig. 7.8 weighs approxi-
sheet, along the edge of the earlier pervious placement; mately 200 to 300 lb (90 to 140 kg). Landscape rollers are not
522R-12 ACI COMMITTEE REPORT

Fig. 7.8—Example of small roller used for compacting


small paved area.
Fig. 7.11—Detailed view of jointing tool for pervious
concrete.

Fig. 7.12—Example of jointing tool built into primary roller.

Fig. 7.9—Secondary roller used for cross-rolling pervious


concrete to improve the ride quality of the pavement. 7.4—Jointing
Contraction joints should be installed as indicated by the
plans. They should have a depth of 1/3 to 1/4 of the thickness
of the pavement. Joints can be installed in the fresh concrete
with tools or saw cut after the concrete hardens. Tooled joints,
however, produce the best results. Conventional concrete
jointing tools cannot be used for pervious concrete. A
specially designed rolling jointer with a blade that is at least
1/4 (preferably 1/3) the thickness of the slab and with enough
weight to force the blade to cleanly cut the joint may be used
(Fig. 7.11). In placements with wide lane widths, a longitu-
dinal joint may be cut with the compacting roller (Fig. 7.12).
If saw cut, the procedure should begin as soon as the
pavement has hardened sufficiently to prevent damage to the
surface. Only enough plastic cover material (Fig. 7.13) to saw
cut the required areas should be removed. If early entry saws
Fig. 7.10—Edging pervious concrete to improve appearance with vacuum systems to collect dust are not being used, after
of corners. sawing, the exposed areas should be soaked with water, which
will flush the pores of the fines generated by sawing and
ensure that sufficient water is present for proper curing. It is
recommended for larger placements due to the extended rolling important to immediately recover the exposed area with a
time required that can lead to raveling failures. plastic curing material as soon as saw cuts have been made.
Some situations require extra effort to ensure a quality
pavement. In areas where ride quality is of special concern, 7.5—Curing and protection
the pavement should be cross-rolled to smooth out any The open pore structure of pervious concrete makes curing
vertical deviations in surface elevation (Fig. 7.9). Adjacent particularly important because drying can more readily
to sidewalks and at exposed pavement edges, the concrete occur. The cover material should be a clear, 6 mil (0.15 mm)
should be tooled to provide a smooth corner (Fig. 7.10). or thicker polyethylene sheet of sufficient dimension to be
After strikeoff, compaction, and edging, no other finishing able to cover the entire width of a lane along a reasonable
operations should be performed. distance (Fig. 7.13). Woven materials, such as burlap and
PERVIOUS CONCRETE 522R-13

Fig. 7.13—Demonstration of curing with plastic sheeting Fig. 7.14—Example of use of reinforcing bars to hold down
immediately after compaction. curing material.

geotextile fabric, should not be used, as they will not hold the
moisture in the concrete. Additionally, wax-based curing
compounds do not produce acceptable results.
Strikeoff, compaction, and curing operations should be
kept as close together as possible to prevent drying of the top
surface of the pervious concrete. Following the placement
process, as soon as the strikeoff operation has moved on to a
new riser strip, the used riser strips should be removed and
the compaction operations should begin. When adverse
ambient weather conditions exist, such as high temperature,
high wind, or low humidity, an evaporation retardant should
be lightly sprayed on the surface following strikeoff operations
and before compaction. Curing should begin within 20 minutes Fig. 7.15—Painted lines visible on pervious concrete
after the final compaction operations. Before covering, if pavements.
the concrete has lost its “sheen,” it should be lightly misted
with water.
prevent any traffic from traveling on the pervious concrete
The polyethylene cover should overlap all exposed
pavement. Additionally, the general contractor should not
surfaces so that it may be secured in place (Fig. 7.14).
allow storage of building and landscaping materials on the
Reinforcing bar, lumber, or concrete blocks may be used to
pavement surface as these materials can clog the pores or
secure the polyethylene cover to prevent it from being blown
otherwise damage pervious pavements.
off. Dirt, sand, or other granular material should not be used,
as they may wash away or into the pores of the concrete upon
7.6—Cold weather protection
removal. If wooden forms are used, the riser strips may be Cold weather measures should be used to protect the
used to secure the sheets in place. The sheets should first be pervious concrete from freezing while maintaining moisture for
attached to the top of the form on one side of the lane by the time necessary to achieve the desired physical properties.
reattaching the riser strips to the top of forms with button-cap Curing blankets work sufficiently to serve both purposes.
nails, with the plastic sheet sandwiched between the form
and riser strip. The sheet should then be pulled as tight as 7.7—Hot weather protection
possible to eliminate creases and minimize the possibility of In hot weather, transporting, placing, and compacting
discoloration or striping of the concrete. All edges of the should be done as quickly as possible. An evaporation retardant
pavement should be covered properly. Not doing so may may be applied to the surface of the concrete following the
result in raveling of the exposed edge. strikeoff process to retard the loss of moisture on the surface.
For proper curing, the pavement should typically remain After consolidation and before placing the polyethylene, the
covered for 7 days for straight cement concrete mixtures, and surface may be lightly misted with water or an evaporation
10 days for concrete mixtures that incorporate supplementary retardant if the surface appears to be losing its sheen appearance.
cementitious materials. Striping should be applied only after
the curing period has passed (Fig. 7.15). No traffic should be 7.8—Repairing pervious concrete pavements
allowed on the pavement during curing. The general contractor 7.8.1 Grinding—High spots can be ground with a
should take measures to prevent damage to the pavement due to weighted grinder. The grinder will cut through and expose
abuse from construction operations. Specifically, the general the aggregate in ground areas, however, changing the
contractor should prohibit removal of the curing material and appearance of the pavement.
522R-14 ACI COMMITTEE REPORT

Table 7.1—Typical maintenance activities for weight, thickness, and void space. Many of the present
pervious concrete placement ASTM and AASHTO testing methods are applicable to a
Activity Schedule pervious concrete pavement installation; however, due to the
• Ensure that paving area is clean of debris physical characteristics of the material, not all plain concrete
Monthly
• Ensure that the area is clean of sediments tests are appropriate for pervious concrete.
• Seed bare upland areas
As needed
• Vacuum sweep to keep the surface free of sediment 8.2—Preconstruction inspection and testing
• Inspect the surface for deterioration or spalling Annually
Determining the permeability of the subgrade and soil
analysis are particularly important in the design and
construction of the project. Basic tests of the properties of the
7.8.2 Holes or low spots—Small holes (low spots) should subgrade should include a particle size analysis (ASTM D 422),
be patched with an aggregate epoxy blend. To match the soil classification (ASTM D 2487), and standard proctor
appearance of the pavement surface, the aggregate should be (ASTM D 698). The results of these tests will provide the
coated with wet cement and cured before patching. Large designer with the necessary data.
holes should be patched with pervious concrete of the same The standard perk test used for designing septic fields is
mixture proportions as the original surface. When patching, not an appropriate test for determining subgrade perme-
it is highly unlikely that the color of the patch will match the ability for pervious pavements. A test section of the subgrade
original surface material. Epoxy bonding agents may be used should be compacted to the specified density as part of the
to ensure proper bonding between the old and new surfaces. soil analysis before completion of the project design. A
Acrylic paints have been used to disguise the area of the double ring infiltrometer (ASTM D 3385) or other suitable
patch with varied success. test should be performed to adequately test the permeability.
7.8.3 Utility cuts—In the event that a section of pervious For small projects, these tests may not be necessary, especially
concrete is cut, a full depth repair should be performed. This if the designer has previous experience with similar local soils.
would include removing a square section the width of a Normal testing procedures for density (compaction) in
placed lane such that the new material would be large accordance with a standard ASTM test procedure should be
enough to maintain its structural integrity under loading. performed without modification before concrete placement
as part of a normal quality control plan.
7.9—Maintenance
The two commonly accepted maintenance methods are
pressure washing and power vacuuming. Pressure washing 8.3—Inspection and testing during construction
Due to the physical characteristics of the concrete mixture,
forces the contaminants down through the pavement surface.
standard testing methods for unit weight (density), void
This is effective, but care should be taken not to use too
ratio, yield, percolation, and other properties of pervious
much pressure, as this will damage the pervious concrete. A
concrete pavements may not be appropriate. Until such time
small section of the pavement should be pressure washed
that new testing methods are fully developed, project
using varying water pressures to determine the appropriate
specifications should be based on specific mixture proportions
pressure for the given pavement. Power vacuuming removes
for pervious concrete. Specifications typically require
contaminants by extracting them from the pavement voids.
minimum cementitious contents, volumes of aggregate and
The most effective scheme, however, is to combine the two
gradation, admixtures, and water.
techniques and power vacuum after pressure washing. A
Acceptance criteria should have two distinct aspects. The first
suggested maintenance schedule can be found in Table 7.1.
criterion is based on the portland cement mixture as delivered
Research conducted by the Florida Concrete and Products
and is based on the unit weight. For each day’s placement, or
Association (1990) quantifies the extent of contaminant
when visual inspection indicates a change in appearance of
infiltration in pervious concrete parking lot pavements. Five
the fresh mixture, at least one test should be conducted to
parking lots were examined as part of the study, and the level
verify the density of the material. The test of the mixture
of contaminant infiltration was found to be quite low.
should be conducted in accordance with ASTM C 172 and
Infiltration was found to be in the range of 0.16 to 3.4% of
C 29. Acceptance should be on a value of ±5 lb/ft3 (80 kg/m3)
the total void volume after up to 8 years of service. Further,
of the design unit weight. The second criterion is outlined in
brooming the surface immediately restored over 50% of the
the following section.
permeability of a clogged pavement.

CHAPTER 8—QUALITY CONTROL INSPECTION 8.4—Postconstruction inspection and testing


AND TESTING The second acceptance criterion should be based on the
8.1—General completed pavement. The level of compaction of the fresh
As with any engineered material, it is important to verify mixture can have an impact on the life and permeability of
the quality of a pervious concrete pavement. Tests of the the finished product. Coring of three samples of the pavement
subgrade condition are performed to ensure adequate will result in acceptance samples for thickness, void content,
density, support value, and permeability. Testing of the and unit weight. Core samples should be obtained in
mixture should be conducted for both the fresh and hardened accordance with ASTM C 42 and tested at 28 days of age.
properties of the concrete for quality assurance of unit Standard test methods do not yet exist to determine unit
PERVIOUS CONCRETE 522R-15

weight. The Japanese Concrete Institute has a draft test routinely be deposited onto the surface of pervious concrete
method (Tamai et al. 2004) and ASTM D 1188 may be pavements, requiring periodic cleaning.
useful, but the precision and bias of these tests has not been A field-performance investigation was carried out in
determined for pervious concrete. Pavement acceptance Florida in 1989 on pervious concrete pavements up to 13 years
should be based on average unit weight of cores to be within old (Wingerter and Paine 1989). The study concluded that
±5 lb/ft3 (80 kg/m3) of the design unit weight. In addition, properly designed, constructed, and maintained pervious
visual inspection of the cores will allow for verification of concrete pavements showed small amounts of clogging after
the necessary open void space to facilitate drainage. A visual many years of service. The study also included the percolation
inspection that shows a fully closed or severely restricted rate measurement on clogged pervious concrete pavement.
pore structure may indicate a pavement that will not function The percolation rate of the clogged pervious concrete
properly, and those sections demonstrated to be essentially pavement was still equal to adjacent grass.
impervious should be removed and replaced. Agreement as
to what is essentially impervious and the method of 9.3—Structural distress
measurement should be achieved before initial placement. Structural distress in pervious concrete pavements generally
Tests are being developed for determining the in-place takes two forms: cracking or subsidence due to loss of
permeability of pavements. Additionally, testing methods subgrade support or surface raveling. Structural distress can
being developed for asphalt pavements may also work for be caused by heavy loads (beyond the structural capacity of
pervious concrete. the pavement), weak subgrade materials, or horizontal water
At no time should acceptance be based on the compressive flow through the pervious concrete paving that washes away
strength of the pervious concrete either as delivered, or as subgrade material. High surface contact pressures or a weak
cored from the pavement. Due to the relationship between pervious concrete surface can cause surface raveling.
compaction and compressive strength, there is a wide range The field performance investigation carried out in Florida
of strengths that can be generated from a single delivery of (Wingerter and Paine 1989) indicated that the pervious
pervious concrete. Additionally, there are not yet standard concrete pavements with surface raveling were due to
test methods for testing the compressive strength of pervious inadequate w/cm or inadequate compaction. The investigators
concrete. Local experience with materials through completed reported that the pervious concrete pavement projects had no
projects, test panels, or both should give an indication signs of structural distress.
whether a specific mixture proportion will have sufficient
strength to withstand the stresses of the design traffic loads. 9.4—Resistance to freezing and thawing
The void structure of pervious concrete is not the same as
CHAPTER 9—PERFORMANCE the entrained air in regular portland-cement concrete. In
9.1—General properly designed and installed pervious concrete pavements,
Limited information from controlled studies is available water drains through it to an underlying drainage layer and
concerning the long-term performance of pervious concrete soil, and will not be retained in its void structure. When the
pavements. The two major areas of concern are reduction in pervious concrete is completely saturated and subjected to
percolation rate due to clogging and structural distress due to freezing, however, the water has no place to go. This can result
wear. Pervious pavements more than 20 years old, however, in pressure on the thin cement paste coating the aggregates,
are still in service. and may cause deterioration of pervious concrete installations.
Some fully saturated non-air-entrained pervious concrete had
9.2—Clogging poor freezing-and-thawing resistance when tested in the labo-
Clogging occurs when foreign materials restrict the ability ratory according to Procedure A of ASTM C 666 (Neithalath
of water to flow through the pervious concrete pavements. et al. 2005). It is possible to add air-entraining admixture to
These foreign materials can be fines that enter the pervious pervious concrete mixtures to protect the coating paste, but the
concrete matrix or vegetative matter that collects on the surface entrainment of air cannot be verified or quantified by standard
or in the pores of the pervious concrete. Fines are either water- test methods. Pervious concrete that is partially saturated
borne, wind-borne, or tracked onto the pervious concrete should have sufficient voids for the movement of water, and
pavement by a vehicle. Vegetative matter comes from trees or thus demonstrates good freezing-and-thawing resistance.
plants adjacent to the pervious concrete pavement. ASTM C 666 is not the recommended method to evaluate
Water-borne fines come from stormwater runoff that starts resistance to freezing and thawing of pervious concrete, as it
outside the limits of the pervious concrete pavement and does not simulate the performance of the product in the field.
transports material onto the pavement. A geometric design Currently, there is no standard method for evaluating the
of the pervious concrete pavement that does not allow storm- resistance to freezing and thawing of pervious concrete. The
water to introduce fines onto the pavement will minimize important factor is its ability to drain any water entering its
clogging. For example, pervious concrete pavements should structure in the anticipated weather conditions.
be placed at elevations above adjacent landscaping, with the These precautions are recommended to enhance the
landscaping sloping away from the pavement. Wind-borne freezing-and-thawing resistance of pervious concrete:
fines are generally of limited volume in many areas, but • Use an 8 to 24 in. (200 to 600 mm) thick layer of clean
could be of concern in arid areas. Vegetative matter will aggregate base below the pervious concrete;
522R-16 ACI COMMITTEE REPORT

• Attempt to protect the paste by incorporating air- Laboratory (Korhonen and Bayer 1989). Samples of
entraining admixture in the pervious mixture. Limited pervious concrete without air entrainment, reinforcement,
and preliminary lab testing shows that fully saturated or other treatment for frost damage protection were repeatedly
air entrained pervious concrete had significantly better frozen and thawed. At intervals during the testing
freezing-and-thawing resistance when tested under sequence, samples were removed from the freezing cycle
ASTM C 666; and and put under compressive force to test their loss of
• Place a perforated PVC pipe in the aggregate base to breaking strength. Those that had been frozen in dry or
capture all of the water and let it drain away below damp (wetted, then drained) conditions showed little loss
the pavement. of strength over 160 freezing-and-thawing cycles.
Not every situation warrants all three safeguards. The A laboratory test conducted at Tsinghua University,
safeguards are organized in the order of preference. For Beijing (Yang and Jiang 2003), confirmed that after 25 cycles of
example, a pervious concrete sidewalk at Pennsylvania State freezing and thawing in air, the unconfined compressive
University in State College, Pa., which is a hard, wet-freeze strength of five samples decreased 15 to 23%. Similar
area, has shown good performance over five winters and has samples that had been frozen in water-filled containers,
only an 8 in. (200 mm) thick layer of aggregate base under- however, progressively deteriorated. Before the 45th cycle,
neath the pervious concrete. There are many other pervious they withstood forces of 2000 psi (14 MPa) or more, and
concrete projects in areas under various freezing-and-thawing when they broke under greater force, they broke into a few
conditions that are performing admirably (NRMCA 2004). large pieces. At the 45th cycle, they had lost 11 to 21% of
Pervious concrete is not recommended in freezing-and- their strength, and they broke into numerous small pieces.
thawing environments where the groundwater table rises By the 80th cycle, they showed numerous small internal
to a level less than 3 ft (0.9 m) from the top of the surface cracks, they had lost 37 to 38% of their strength and, under
of the subgrade. breaking pressure, they crumbled almost into powder. In
comparison, dense concrete during 80 cycles lost only 7% of
CHAPTER 10—LIMITATIONS, POTENTIAL its strength and broke only into a few large pieces.
APPLICATIONS, AND RESEARCH NEEDS It is not certain whether actual snowmelt conditions relate
The most widespread applications of pervious concrete
to the submerged or dry freezing-and-thawing durability test.
include paving and surface treatments to permit drainage.
Assuring rapid drainage of a pervious slab into a well-
Further research is necessary to extend its use in other
drained base reservoir, however, may be an important
applications and to verify its performance in various
preventative measure against the effects of freezing.
environments. Although widely used in warmer climates,
there is concern about low-temperature performance, and In cold regions, air-entraining agents are routinely added
freezing-and-thawing durability issues. One novel development to concrete to protect it from frost damage (AASHTO 1993).
is the use of pervious concrete as a pumpable, subsurface Experience primarily from building construction suggests
drainage material. In this application, pervious concrete could be that air entrainment improves the resistance of pervious
used as a grout material to backfill voids beneath the surface, concrete to damage from freezing-and-thawing cycles as it
which would combine the benefit of support with relief of pore does for dense concrete (Florida Concrete and Products
pressure. This is of particular interest in mitigating seepage, Association 1983; Kosmatka et al. 2002; Monahan 1981).
unstable foundation excavations, road cuts, and landslides. Liquid polymer and latex additives could help by sealing
the cement binder’s micropores and preventing the entry of
10.1—Pervious concrete in cold climates water. Pozzolans, polymer fibers, and liquid polymers can
Research is needed to evaluate the efficacy of known enhance a concrete’s strength, and thereby its resistance to
technologies in protecting pervious concrete in cold freezing-and-thawing conditions and deicing chemicals
climates. As of 2002, few pervious concrete pavements had (Pindado et al. 1999).
been installed in areas colder than North Carolina or the
Puget Sound area. Several questions remain to be conclusively 10.2—Compressive strength
answered before pervious concrete can be used confidently in Further research is needed to improve the strength and
cold climates. Technologies to protect pervious concrete from durability of pervious concrete. The ability of pervious
the effects of freezing and deicing salts probably exist, but have concrete to withstand heavy vehicular loads (typical highway
yet to be proven and standardized. traffic) and possess the strength of ordinary portland-cement
When water freezes, it expands by approximately 9%. concrete would enhance its use in a wide range of applications.
Growing ice crystals displace water. At low water contents, Experimental laboratory work determined that a composite
no hydraulic pressure develops. If the micropores in the cement consisting of a surface layer and base layer of pervious
binder are saturated or nearly saturated when freezing concretes with different aggregate gradations, and thus pore
begins, however, then hydraulic pressure builds up as sizes, attained a compressive strength of 7200 psi (50 MPa)
freezing progresses (Kosmatka et al. 2002). and a flexural strength of 870 psi (6 MPa) (Yang and Jiang
The first known direct observation of pervious concrete’s 2003). Additional research is needed to confirm that 28-day
behavior upon freezing was a laboratory experiment by the strength gains in the 4300 to 7200 psi (30 to 50 MPa) range
U.S. Army’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering can be reliably achieved in production applications.
PERVIOUS CONCRETE 522R-17

10.3—Porous grout they decay, using up available dissolved oxygen and


The technology of grout injection to provide structural increasing the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). Creating
support beneath foundations has been practiced in construction or increasing BOD stress, can, under the most extreme
since 1802 (Houlsby 1990). The materials have traditionally conditions, lead to events such as fish kills. Plant growth in
been a mixture of portland cement, water, and often a filler, pervious concrete systems should be minimal due to the lack
such as sand. This is mixed into a slurry and pumped into the of sunlight.
desired area, usually the interface between existing foundations In many cases, but not in all, the initial stormwater runoff
and the in-place soil or rock, forming a structural bond that will carry a higher concentration of contaminants than later
is rigid and not normally pervious. runoff. The initial rain will wash off the surface somewhat.
There are cases, however, in which hydraulic conductivity The part of the runoff with a higher contaminant concentration
is desired so that the natural hydrostatic forces can be is termed the first flush. In arid areas with long periods
relieved without causing deterioration due to saturation, between rains, a seasonal first flush may also occur. One of
erosion, and piping. This has led to the widespread use of the common goals of runoff control is to capture the first
French drains (gravel), drainage blankets, and woven fabrics flush. This is particularly true when dealing with small
for drainage and prevention of erosion (geotextiles), where catchment (drainage) areas.
foundations are accessible during construction. The first flush may not occur in some of the following
Research is continuing to develop this type of grout, which cases:
can be placed as a drainage material in place through holes • Large catchment areas rarely show a first flush, as a
drilled from the surface such that strength, rigidity, and steady stream of the first flush of areas farther and
hydraulic conductivity can be obtained simultaneously. This farther away from the outlet arrive over time;
type of pumped-in-place pervious grout would fill a basic • There may not be a first flush if pollutants are not easily
need in the construction industry, particularly in projects washed away or dissolved; and
involving site remediation and retrofit. • Differences in pollutant load over time may be difficult
Example applications of this pumped, porous material to detect if the supply of pollutants is essentially
include remediation of dams (Weaver 1991), tunnels, high- continuous. An example is the supply of sediment from
ways, canals, railroads, and environmental treatment. bare, easily eroded ground.
Porous grout materials that could be pumped were studied Relatively simple rules of thumb for selecting or
and reported by the Bechtel Corporation in 1995. The studies approving designs and control features have often been used
encompassed a wide range of pumped materials that had due to lack of sufficient local data combined with seasonal
drainage properties. Several mixture proportions were variations or effects and antecedent rainfall events. As a
developed, and are in the testing phase (Yen et al. 1995). crude rule of thumb, the first flush occurs during the first
30 minutes to 1 hour for small sites, such as parking lots. When
10.4—Stormwater management pervious concrete is used, the first hour of rain will generally
Water-quality issues for watersheds are increasingly be captured as a minimum. It is reasonable to assume that, at a
important. Much of the material washing into streams, minimum, the part of the runoff with the highest pollution load
rivers, and eventually into groundwater comes from surface will also be captured. Pervious concrete pavements will carry
runoff contaminated with materials applied to the ground the first flush into the pores of the concrete, and additional
surface. The contaminants can be excess fertilizers and rain will carry the pollutants further into the system without
nutrients, pesticides, road salts, or other materials intentionally returning them to the runoff stream. The natural cleaning
applied, from spills or debris such as gasoline and petroleum effects of soil may then further clean the runoff.
products from oil drips, and tire abrasion or other residue such as Adoption of specific types of mitigation devices and
litter, animal waste, and fine dust. Some materials are quickly features depends on the use of the site, the types and quantities
picked up or dissolved and carried by runoff. Others, including of pollutants anticipated, the estimated runoff, and site
insoluble greases and low-volatile content oils, may not be. characteristics. While capturing the first flush of an area is
Another source of runoff contaminant has been ineffective often desirable, the disposal of the first flush and cleaning of
or unenforced control of runoff on bare earth, often from the catch basin after removing the first flush can be technically
sites under development. Lack of effective controls has challenging and expensive.
resulted in significantly increased sediment loads in some Research is needed to establish or confirm many of the
areas. By controlling excess surface runoff, such as by using observations and assumptions regarding pollution trapped by
a properly designed pervious concrete pavement system, a pervious concrete pavements. Several of the assumptions
reduction in peak stream velocity is possible. Erosion of stream- related to water quality that need to be confirmed are:
beds is reduced, therefore also reducing the sediment load • Greases and low volatile content oils occurring
carried by the stream. routinely on parking areas, such as oil drips from
Washing large amounts of nutrients (compounds high in vehicles, will probably be adsorbed onto the surface of
nitrogen and phosphorus) into the watershed has numerous the pervious concrete or, at worst, into the pores of the
consequences. Plant growth, particularly microbial biomass pervious concrete, and will not be transferred to
such as phytoplankton and algal blooms, is increased. groundwater or surface water in any significantly
Although plants produce oxygen while alive, when they die different quantities than with detention ponds;
522R-18 ACI COMMITTEE REPORT

• Water carrying dissolved solids and nutrients into the should check directly with the sponsoring group if it is
soil from the pervious concrete will undergo natural desired to refer to the latest revision.
filtering and purification such that the water reaching
the groundwater table will be of roughly the same quality American Concrete Institute
as runoff soaking in directly from the surface; and 201.2R Guide to Durable Concrete
• The maximum draw-down time for a pervious concrete 301 Specifications for Structural Concrete
system should be 3 to 5 days, which is consistent with 325.12R Guide for Design of Jointed Concrete Pavements
detention pond design, and may occur with pervious for Streets and Local Roads
concrete pavements constructed on clayey soils. As 330R Guide for Design and Construction of Concrete
light is not available much past the surface, growth Parking Lots
and subsequent decomposition of biomass due to
high nutrient loads in the runoff will be minimal. As ASTM International
pervious concrete is not saturated for much of its C 29 Standard Test Method for Bulk Density (“Unit
service life, the pores are relatively small but not Weight”) and Voids in Aggregate
capillary in size, air is available to a large surface area C 33 Standard Specification for Concrete Aggregates
compared with the volume, and there is little difference C 39 Standard Test Method for Compressive
in the decomposition of biodegradable organic material Strength of Cylindrical Concrete Specimens
compared with decomposition on the surface. C 42 Standard Test Method for Obtaining and Testing
There are a number of current assumptions regarding Drilled Cores and Sawed Beams of Concrete
sedimentation that need to be confirmed by research, such as: C 78 Standard Test Method for Flexural Strength of
• Minor sediment loads alone can be managed by providing Concrete (Using Simple Beam with Third-Point
additional storage capacity, typically in the base course, Loading)
that is sufficient to account for the loss of storage C 138 Standard Test Method for Density (Unit Weight),
capacity due to sedimentation over time. Clearly, there Yield, and Air Content (Gravimetric) of Concrete
is a limit to the amount of sediment that can be handled C 150 Standard Specification for Portland Cement
in this manner, and in areas where heavy sediment C 157 Standard Test Method for Length Change of
loads are anticipated, either during construction or in Hardened Hydraulic-Cement, Mortar, and Concrete
service, pavements may be designed with additional C 172 Standard Practice for Sampling Freshly Mixed
control features, such as silt fences; Concrete
• Where sediments are comprised of sands, the material C 260 Standard Specification for Air-Entraining
will probably be held near the surface and will not Admixtures for Concrete
detrimentally affect permeability, but porosity should C 469 Standard Test Method for Static Modulus of
be maintained and vacuum sweeping or low-pressure Elasticity and Poisson’s Ratio of Concrete in
washing is needed for sites where this type of sediment Compression
load cannot be avoided; C 494 Standard Specification for Chemical Admixtures
• Where sediments are comprised of clayey materials, the for Concrete
material is small enough that it will probably be carried C 496 Standard Test Method for Splitting Tensile
to the bottom of the pervious concrete system. Over Strength of Cylindrical Concrete Specimens
time, it could clog the system, reducing storage capacity C 595 Standard Specification for Blended Hydraulic
and, conceivably, reduce the infiltration rate of storm- Cements
water into the underlying soil. As the sedimentation is C 617 Standard Practice for Capping Cylindrical
likely to come from the naturally occurring soils in the Concrete Specimens
area, which are expected to be similar to the pervious C 618 Standard Specification for Coal Fly Ash and Raw
concrete pavement subgrade, the effects are likely to be or Calcined Natural Pozzolan for Use in Concrete
minimal, assuming that the design initially incorporated C 666 Standard Test Method for Resistance of Concrete
a realistic infiltration rate; and to Rapid Freezing and Thawing
• Due to the high permeability of the pervious concrete C 779 Standard Test Method for Abrasion Resistance of
compared with the infiltration rate of most subgrades, a Horizontal Concrete Surfaces
local clog will not affect the overall performance of the C 989 Standard Specification for Ground Granulated
pervious concrete pavement system except by simple Blast-Furnace Slag for Use in Concrete and
reduction in storage capacity (porosity). Mortars
C 1157 Standard Performance Specification for
CHAPTER 11—REFERENCES Hydraulic Cement
11.1—Referenced standards and reports C 1240 Standard Specification for Silica Fume Used in
The documents of the various standards-producing Cementitious Mixtures
organizations referred to in this document are listed below C 1399 Standard Test Method for Obtaining Average
with their serial designations. The users of this document Residual-Strength of Fiber-Reinforced Concrete
PERVIOUS CONCRETE 522R-19

D 422 Standard Test Method for Particle-Size Analysis Herod, S., 1981, “Porous Concrete Market Blooms in
of Soils Greenhouse,” Modern Concrete, Mar., pp. 40-44.
D 448 Standard Classification for Sizes of Aggregate for Houlsby, A. C., 1990, Construction and Design of Cement
Road and Bridge Construction Grouting, John Wiley and Sons, 442 pp.
D 698 Standard Test Methods for Laboratory Compac- Korhonen, C. J., and Bayer, J. J., 1989, “Porous Portland
tion Characteristics of Soil Using Standard Effort Cement Concrete as an Airport Runway Overlay,” Special
(12,400 ft-lbf/ft3 (600 kN-m/m3)) Report 89-12, U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and
D 1188 Standard Test Method for Bulk Specific Gravity Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, N. H., 20 pp.
and Density of Compacted Bituminous Mixtures Kosmatka, S. H.; Kerkhoff, B.; and Panarese, W. C., 2002,
Using Paraffin-Coated Specimens Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures, 14th Edition,
D 2487 Standard Classification of Soils for Engineering Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill., 358 pp.
Purposes (Unified Soil Classification System) Malhotra, V. M., 1969, “A Low-Cost Concrete Building,”
D 3385 Standard Test Method for Infiltration Rate of Engineering News Record, pp. 62-63.
Soils in Field Using Double-Ring Infiltrometer Malhotra, V. M., 1976, “No-Fines Concrete—Its Properties
E 1050 Standard Test Method for Impedance and and Applications,” ACI JOURNAL, Proceedings V. 73, No. 11,
Absorption of Acoustical Materials Using a Nov., pp. 628-644.
Tube, Two Microphones, and a Digital Frequency Marlof, A.; Neithalath, N.; Sell, E.; Wegner, K.; Weiss,
Analysis System W. J.; and Olek, J., 2004, “The Influence of Aggregate
Grading on the Sound Absorption of Enhanced Porosity
These publications may be obtained from the following Concrete,” ACI Materials Journal, V. 101, No. 1, Jan.-Feb.,
organizations: pp. 82-91.
Mathis, D. E., 1990, “Permeable Bases—An Update,”
American Concrete Institute PCA, No. 8, Nov., pp. 3-4.
P.O. Box 9094
Maynard, D. P., 1970, “A No-Fines Road,” Concrete
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9094
Construction, V. 15, No. 3, pp. 116-117.
www.concrete.org
Medico, J. J., Jr., 1975, “Porous Pavement,” U.S. Patent
No. 3870422.
ASTM International
Meininger, R. C., 1988, “No-Fines Pervious Concrete for
100 Barr Harbor Dr.
Paving,” Concrete International, V. 10, Aug., pp. 20-27.
West Conshohocken, PA 19428
Monahan, A., 1981, “Porous Portland Cement Concrete;
www.astm.org
the State of Art,” U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment
Station, Structures Laboratory, Vicksburg, Miss., Jan., 27 pp.
11.2—Cited references
AASHTO, 1993, Guide for Design of Pavement Structures, Mulligan, A., 2005, “Attainable Compressive Strength of
Washington, D.C., 640 pp. Pervious Concrete Paving Systems,” Masters thesis, University
AASHTO, 2004, “Moisture-Density Relations of Soils of Central Florida, 132 pp.
Using a 4.54 kg (10-pound) Rammer and a 457-mm (18-in.) National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA),
Drop,” AASHTO T-180, Washington, D.C., 11 pp. 2004, “Freeze-Thaw Resistance of Pervious Concrete,”
Atlanta Regional Commission, 2001, Georgia Stormwater Silver Spring, Md., 17 pp.
Management Manual, pp. 3.3-33 to 3.3-40. Neithalath, N.; Weiss, W. J.; and Olek, J., 2005, “Modifying
Debo, T. N., and Reese, A. J., 2002, Municipal Storm the Surface Texture to Reduce Noise in Portland Cement
Water Management, 2nd Edition, CRC Press, 976 pp. Concrete Pavements,” Report No. SN 2878, Portland
Florida Concrete and Products Association (FCPA), 1990, Cement Association, Skokie, Ill., 67 pp.
Pervious Pavement Manual, Orlando, Fla., 57 pp. Neithalath, N., 2004, “Development and Characterization
Ferguson, B., 1994, Stormwater Infiltration, CRC, 288 pp. of Acoustically Efficient Cementitious Materials,” PhD
Ferguson, B., 1998, Introduction to Stormwater: Concept, thesis, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., 269 pp.
Purpose, Design, Wiley, 272 pp. Neithalath, N.; Weiss, W. J.; and Olek, J., 2003,
Francis, A. M., 1965, “Early Concrete Buildings in “Development of Quiet and Durable Porous Portland
Britain,” Concrete and Constructional Engineering, Cement Concrete Paving Materials,” Final Report, The
London, V. 60, No. 2, Feb., pp. 73-75. Institute for Safe, Quiet, and Durable Highways, 179 pp.
Ghafoori, N., 1995, “Development of No-Fines Concrete (available online at the National Transportation Libraries
Pavement Applications,” Journal of Transportation website (http://www.ntl.bts.gov/lib/24000/24600/24636/
Engineering, V. 126, No. 3, May-June, pp. 283-288. SQDH2003-5.cfm))
Gburek, W., and Urban, J., 1980, “Storm Water Detention Packard, R. G., and Tayabji, S. D., 1985, “New PCA
and Groundwater Recharge Using Porous Asphalt Experimental Thickness Design Procedure for Concrete Highway and Street
Site,” Proceedings: International Symposium on Urban Pavements,” Proceedings of Third International Conference
Storm Runoff, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky., of Concrete Pavement Design and Rehabilitation, Purdue
pp. 89-97. University, West Lafayette, Ind., Apr., pp. 225-236.
522R-20 ACI COMMITTEE REPORT

Paine, J. E., 1990. “Stormwater Design Guide, Portland the technology is not intended to purify water to a distilled
Cement Pervious Pavement,” Florida Concrete and Products type condition, as that is not practical, economical, or
Association, Orlando, Fla., 13 pp. necessary. The intent is only to remove as much pollutant
Pindado, M. A.; Aguado, A.; and Josa, A., 1999, “Fatigue load as possible in an attempt to discharge cleaner water and
Behavior of Polymer-Modified Porous Concretes,” Cement reduce the impact of urbanization on water supplies.
and Concrete Research, V. 29, No. 7, pp. 1077-1083. Typically, water supplies fall into two categories: surface
Portland Cement Association, 1990, “PCAPAV-Thickness water and groundwater. Site development on sandy soils
Design of Highway and Street Pavements,” PCA, Skokie, Ill. with deep groundwater deposits may follow a design
Rushton, B., 2000, “Low Impact Parking Lot Design philosophy of discharging water to the groundwater table as
Reduces Runoff and Pollutant Loads,” Southwest Florida cleanly as possible with discharge to surface water bodies
Water Management District, Brooksville, Fla., 225 pp. only in heavy storm events. When site development is on
SI Concrete Systems, 2002, “Fiber Reinforced Pervious clayey or silty soils, or in regions of shallow bedrock, the site
Concrete,” Project 2120-36, Chattanooga, Tenn., Oct. 25. drainage should typically treat the water before running it off
Soil Conservation Service, 1986, “Urban Hydrology for site to merge with a surface water body such as a stream,
Small Watersheds,” Technical Release No. 55, Soil river, or lake. On these low-permeability soils, however,
Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, some water infiltrates during every storm, just as it does in
Washington, D.C. high-permeability soils; only the amount is less. The
St. John’s River Water Management District (SJRWMD), cumulative effect on recharge and water-quality treatment
1999, Applicant’s Handbooks: Regulation of Stormwater over the course of a year can be considerable.
Management Systems, Palatka, Fla., 285 pp. There are three specific design features of pervious
Tamai, M.; Mitzuguchi, H.; Hatanaka, S.; Katahira, H.; concrete that the designer may benefit from: reduced runoff
Makazawa, T.; Yanagibashi, K.; and Kunieda, M., 2004, volume, reduced treatment volume, and reduced impervious
“Design, Construction, and Recent Applications of Porous area on the site.
Concrete in Japan,” Proceedings of the JCI Symposium on Runoff volume is the amount of stormwater that a piece of
Design, Construction, and Recent Applications of Porous developed property would discharge to an adjacent land or
Concrete, Japan Concrete Institute, Tokyo, 15 pp. water body if stormwater best management practices
Weaver, K., 1991, Dam Foundation Grouting, American (BMPs) were not in place; this is in excess of the predevel-
Society of Civil Engineers, pp. 29-30. opment discharge volume. Such BMPs include retention
Winer, R. R., 2000, National Pollutant Removal Database ponds, detention ponds, underdrains, swales, and wetlands.
for Stormwater Treatment Practices, 2nd Edition, Center for Most of these BMPs consume valuable, developable real estate.
Watershed Protection, Ellicott City, Md., 29 pp. By reducing the size of these facilities, a project can be more
Wingerter, R., and Paine, J. E., 1989, Field Performance profitable to the owner. This may reduce the amount of real
Investigation, Portland Cement Pervious Pavement, estate necessary, or increase the amount of rentable space.
Concrete and Products Association, Orlando, Fla., 16 pp.
Treatment volume is the quantity of stormwater that must be
Yang, J., and Jiang, G., 2003, “Experimental Study on
held on site and treated before leaving the property. Treatment
Properties of Pervious Concrete Pavement Materials,”
may occur through a combination of chemical, physical, and
Cement and Concrete Research, V. 33, pp. 381-386.
biological processes depending on the BMP type.
Yen, P. T.; Sundaram, P. N.; and Godwin, W. A., 2002,
Impervious area is the fraction of the land area that does
“Pumped-in-Place Permeable Grout Systems, Permeation
not allow infiltration of rainfall at the start of a rainfall event;
Grouting,” Bechtel Corporation Technical Grant, pp. 1-44.
this usually consists of building, sidewalk, and pavement
areas. Many municipalities limit the amount of impervious
APPENDIX A—HYDRAULIC DESIGN DISCUSSION
A.1—General area allowed on a given project site.
The major benefit of pervious concrete is its hydrological For a more thorough discussion of stormwater treatment
properties. From one state to another, local regulations BMPs, the reader is encouraged to review the information at
determine how much of this benefit the designer is able to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website (http://
capitalize. In fact, even within different geological areas www.epa.gov/waterscience/stormwater). More information
within a given city’s limits, the regulations have been known on local regulations can be found in the reader’s regional
to change. The basics of the technology are the same, stormwater management manual, such as the St. Johns River
however, regardless of geographic area. Water Management District’s (SJRWMD) Applicant’s
Attempts have been made to reduce the impact of urbanization Handbooks: Regulation of Stormwater Management
by reducing stormwater runoff volumes to predevelopment Systems (1999), or the Atlanta Regional Commission’s
levels and treating stormwater before it leaves the site. In the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual (2001). For
U.S., the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System general information on stormwater hydrology not linked to
(NPDES) requires treatment of all stormwater to reduce the specific jurisdictions, the reader may review any stormwater
pollutant levels of the water. This is an empirical science, not textbook, such as Ferguson’s Stormwater Infiltration (1994),
nearly as exact as treatment of drinking water supplies due to Ferguson’s Introduction to Stormwater (1998), and Debo
the variability of the pollutant loads and flows. Furthermore, and Reese’s Municipal Stormwater Management (2002).
PERVIOUS CONCRETE 522R-21

The use of pervious concrete pavements as a retention or Table A.1—Pollutant removal of porous pavement, %
infiltration system BMP is effective for improving runoff (Winer 2000)
water quality and reducing runoff volume when properly Pollutant Pollutant removal, %*
maintained. The SJRWMD, for example, defines retention to TSS 95
include “pervious pavement with subgrade.” The EPA TP 65
defines pervious concrete as an infiltration system. TN 82
The reduction in drainage facilities, as the result of NOx N/A
reduced runoff volumes through the use of pervious Metals 98 to 99
concrete, has an economic benefit to the developer. This Bacteria N/A
economic benefit can be evaluated by comparing the price of *Data based on fewer than five data points.
building a pervious concrete parking lot to building a pond
with drainage structures and buying the associated land. underlying soil. With respect to the stormwater that is
infiltrated, it takes only a few inches of soil to trap and
A.2—Research to date accumulate oils, metals, and nutrients. As long as the
A surprisingly small amount of research has been done on infiltrating runoff contains only the common, mostly biode-
pervious concrete. In what is currently available, documentation gradable, constituents from residential and commercial
exists on structural properties, test methods, and modeled development, then it is within most soil’s treatment capacity.
water-quality estimates, but there is little about measured water-
quality improvements and reduced runoff coefficients. A.3—Pervious pavement maintenance
There may be a reduction in the runoff quantity, but Maintenance has been the primary concern that has
measuring that impact depends on the specifics of the pavement prevented wide acceptance of pervious concrete. Specifically,
system, the design specifics of the site, and the properties of clogging of the pores prevents stormwater from percolating
the site soils. Some data suggest that as much as 70 to 80% through the concrete. It follows that if stormwater is not able
of annual rainfall on a pervious pavement will go toward to drain through the pervious concrete layer, then it is no
groundwater recharge (Gburek and Urban 1980). Other longer pervious, and the design benefit assumptions are no
favorable studies indicate that pervious pavements will have longer valid—the pavement has failed. For a pervious
less runoff than grassy areas, and that it might be appropriate pavement system to perform well, it should be maintained at
to use curve numbers of less than 40 (Soil Conservation some regular interval. If a pavement is in an harsh environment
Service [SCS] method [1986]). (such as a coastal area, or anywhere that would cause heavy
The purpose of treating stormwater is to prevent pollutants accumulations of fines), it may be necessary to perform this
from entering rivers, lakes, groundwater supplies, or other preventative maintenance more frequently. A qualified
water bodies (Rushton 2000). Typical pollution removal professional, such as a licensed professional engineer or
efficiencies for other accepted BMPs are well documented. landscape architect, should inspect the pavement to determine
Each treatment method has its advantages and disadvantages an appropriate maintenance schedule, if it is functioning
for removing specific pollutant types. None of the properly, or if cleaning is necessary.
commonly used technologies eliminates all pollutants, One nonstructural component that can help ensure proper
although they can be rated in terms of their pollution removal maintenance of pervious concrete pavement is the use of a
efficiency for removing certain types of pollutants. Treatment carefully worded maintenance agreement that provides
efficiency depends primarily on soil type, pollutant type, and specific guidance, including how to conduct routine mainte-
land use. For the many types of stormwater treatment nance and how the surface should be repaved. Ideally, signs
systems, removal efficiencies range from 10 to 98% reduction should be posted on the site that identify pervious concrete
in the pollutant load. A pervious pavement could be considered pavement areas. Such signs should direct maintenance crews
as either a retention or an infiltration system, as its behavior to the local NPDES enforcement authority, and might read,
would be similar in runoff control and treatment efficiency. “Pervious concrete pavement used on this site to reduce
Pollutant removal would occur through filtration, absorption, pollution. Heavy vehicles prohibited. Do not resurface with
and adsorption by the underlying soils. Additionally, micro- non-pervious material. Call XXX-XXX-XXXX for more
organisms can degrade organic pollutants that are contained information.”
in the stormwater. Treatment efficiency for pervious Designers can account for the clogging potential of a pervious
concrete pavements has been reported as seen in Table A.1. concrete pavement in their drainage design. If a site is designed
Pollutant sources for urban parking lots include atmospheric for a government facility, such as a stormwater utility with an
fallout; vegetation; fertilizers; pesticides; litter; spills and existing maintenance program and staff, clogging would not be
vehicle pollutants, such as heavy metals; greases; and oils. considered. In the situation of a private development, where
Conceptually, a pervious pavement should provide removal maintenance may not be performed, the designer may add a
for all of these pollutants. The EPA reports that any such factor of safety to the stormwater design to account for the
infiltration system can be considered 100% effective at anticipated level of clogging and accompanying reduction in
removing pollutants in the fraction of water that is infiltrated, the porosity of the pervious concrete pavement.
as the pollutants found in this volume are not discharged The designer of a pervious concrete pavement can reduce
directly to surface waters, but are instead discharged to the clogging potential by ensuring that the design of the site:
522R-22 ACI COMMITTEE REPORT

parts of the U.S., for other soil types, the compaction specifica-
tions are different. Glacial tills have been compacted to 90 to
95% of the standard proctor; in the Carolinas, compaction
has been to 92% of the modified proctor; and in Georgia,
clays are commonly compacted to 95% of the standard
proctor. In this situation, it may be necessary to add an open-
graded aggregate subbase (or recharge bed) to the pavement
system to compensate for the softness of subgrade soil—
with the benefit of added retention volume.
With the SCS method, soils are classified into hydrologic
soil groups (HSGs) to indicate the minimum rate of infiltration
obtained for bare soil after prolonged wetting. The HSGs, A,
Fig. A.1—Example of landscaped area at lower elevations B, C, and D, are one element used in determining runoff
than pervious concrete pavement. curve numbers. A-type soils have the highest permeability,
with each letter designation having lower permeability in B,
• Directs runoff from landscaped and unpaved areas of C, and D soils. This soil designation, in combination with the
the property away from the pervious concrete; land use, will identify a curve number (CN). The CN value
• Shows landscaped areas at lower elevations than the tells the designer which curve to reference to determine the
pervious concrete pavement (Fig. A.1); runoff volume for a given storm event. This method is more
• Prevents vehicles from driving from unpaved areas onto commonly used for generating a full hydrograph rather than
the pervious concrete pavement; just estimating peak flows. Pervious concrete pavements
• Does not lay in the path of wind from nearby unpaved have been assigned CNs ranging from 60 to 95. Once again,
or beachfront areas; and the subgrade soil type and degree of compaction have an impact
• Does not show asphaltic concrete pavement adjacent to on the CN and, thus, on the drainage properties of the system.
any pervious concrete pavement. When designing a pervious pavement system such as a
retention or infiltration system, the volume of both the
A.4—Drainage design pavement and subbase should be considered (Paine 1990).
Runoff is estimated through the use of many accepted As an example, consider a section of pervious concrete with
methods. Two of the more common tools are the rational 20% void space. In a 6 in. (150 mm) thick pavement section,
method and the SCS curve number. With either method, the this void space is sufficient to hold more than 1 in. (25 mm)
designer should consider in the runoff analysis a variety of of stormwater. Additionally, if the pervious concrete is
input and output variables, such as absorption, evaporation, placed on a 6 in. (150 mm) section of a crushed stone
rainfall intensity, and duration of the storm. Each of these subbase, the total capacity of the system increases to
variables will have an impact on the runoff volume and the approximately 2-1/2 in. (65 mm). The minimum thickness of
treatment volume necessary for the site. the pervious concrete pavement will be determined by the
The rational method uses a coefficient to determine the structural needs of the pavement system. It may be necessary,
peak runoff rate for a given rainfall intensity and drainage however, to build a thicker pervious concrete layer or
area. The runoff coefficient C accounts for land use, soil subbase layer to increase stormwater storage capacity, but
type, and slope of the area. Typical values for C range from this may not be the most economical solution. If further
0.05 for a flat lawn on a sandy soil to 0.95 for a rooftop. capacity is necessary, storage may be above the pavement
Pervious pavements have been assigned rational coefficients surface in a curbed parking area (Fig. A.2).
ranging from 0.65 to 0.95. For a pervious pavement, the Another typical pervious pavement design includes the use
underlying soil type and its permeability will have an impact of several soil layers. The Georgia Stormwater Management
on the runoff coefficient. In fact, a well-maintained pervious Manual uses the example schematic shown in Fig. A.3,
pavement will typically drain faster than the subgrade soils, which includes the use of a filter course above a stone reservoir
and it is the subgrade soils that limit the infiltration rate of (recharge bed), which in turn sits on another filter course
the system. Research shows that as soil density increases, the above filter fabric.
rate of infiltration, and thus the permeability of the soil, Other ways pervious pavements have been designed to
decreases significantly. A decrease in the permeability of a treat stormwater include the use of an underdrain system. In
soil would therefore justify an increase in the rational this method, groundwater recharge may be limited due to site
coefficient for a given design. Thus, subgrade soils for a soil conditions. The pervious pavement is placed over a
pervious concrete pavement should be compacted sufficiently perforated pipe that is laid in a bed surrounded by an open-
to provide proper pavement support, but not overcompacted graded aggregate. Stormwater infiltrates through the pave-
so as to reduce the permeability of the soils and increase the ment, through the gravel, and finds its way into the pipe.
rational coefficient. The Florida Concrete & Products From there, the treated stormwater is discharged into a
Association recommends compacting sandy subgrade soils receiving water body. Treatment efficiencies for this system
to a minimum density of 92 to 96% of maximum dry density average 66%. Additionally, there will be some direct
per AASHTO T-180 standards (AASHTO 2004). In other recharge of the groundwater that will reduce the total runoff
PERVIOUS CONCRETE 522R-23

by as much as 33% (Florida Department of Environmental


Protection [FDEP]).
Further groundwater recharge schemes include the use of
drilled shafts backfilled with an open-graded aggregate,
passing through clayey soils to more permeable strata. A
typical design for this system might include a layer of an
open-graded aggregate subbase for the pervious concrete
pavement laying on the fine-grained site soils. The shafts
would be spaced regularly to provide sufficient recharge
capacity. The subgrade would have to be sloped to provide
positive drainage to the shafts. Treatment efficiencies for this
system would be expected to be similar to the underdrain design.
Recharge rates, however, would be expected to be much higher.
Several other designs have been used to pass excess water-
quality volume, increase storage capacity, or increase treatment
volume. These include:
• Placing a perforated pipe at the top of a crushed stone
Fig. A.2—Schematic of pervious concrete pavement
reservoir to pass excess flow after the reservoir is filled; designed as stormwater retention system (1 in. = 25.4 mm).
• Providing surface detention storage in a parking lot,
adjacent swale, or detention pond with suitable over-
flow conveyance;
• Adding a sand layer and perforated pipe beneath a
recharge bed for filtration of the water quality volume; and
• Placing an underground detention tank or vault system
beneath the layers to store the treated water for reuse.
All of the intricacies of a stormwater drainage design
using pervious concrete pavement will be strongly tied to
local practices and regulations. There are two sample sets of
design calculations that have been published, one by the
Florida Concrete & Products Association (1990), and the
other by the Atlanta Regional Commission (2001). Both are
summarized in Section A.6. The reader is encouraged to
review the full text of each. Fig. A.3—Poorly designed pervious concrete section
In addition to runoff, the designer should approximate described by Georgia Stormwater Management Manual.
pollution loads, including their nature and approximate
range of concentration. This information, combined with
the necessary hydrograph, will allow the designer to design would be limited to having 30,500 ft2 (2800 m2) of
determine the appropriate size and design of the storm- impervious area. This includes the building, sidewalks, and
water management system. parking areas, and assumes no credit is given for the pervious
concrete. With a 50% pervious area credit for the concrete
A.5—Pervious area credit parking lot, the developable area would be expanded to
Many municipalities encourage green space and a reduction 35,500 ft2 (3300 m2)—a 16% increase in the amount of
of runoff in development through restrictions on the amount usable land on the site. Obviously, this can make a project
of impervious area on the project site. Typically, impervious much more appealing to a developer. Additionally, with a
area is limited to 25 to 75% of a developed piece of property. reduction in undeveloped land, there can be a similar reduction
Due to the nature of a pervious concrete pavement, it should in urban sprawl, as smaller sites could be used to fulfill
not be considered impervious. Due to concerns over green specific development needs.
space, however, it is rarely counted as pervious area. It is
common, however, for municipalities to assign a pervious A.6—Design examples
area credit for pervious concrete. Different municipalities A.6.1 Florida Concrete & Products Association: stormwater
have used values of 25, 50, and 100%. What this means to quality—
the owner is a reduction in required grassy or undeveloped Given:
area on the project site and an increase in the area that can • The pavement should store the first 1/2 in. (13 mm) of
be developed. untreated runoff and recover that volume within a 72-hour
As an example, consider a project site that is 1 acre time period following a storm; and
(43,600 ft2 [4000 m2]), with 10,000 ft2 (930 m2) of a • Instead of the first flush criteria, the pavement should
pervious concrete parking lot. If the local municipality be able to store 80% of the runoff from a 3-year, 1-hour
requires a 30% pervious area on the project site, then the site design storm.
522R-24 ACI COMMITTEE REPORT

The storage volume Vr required in the pervious pavement A.6.2 Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC): Design
may be calculated as criteria and specifications—The cross section referenced in
the ARC document typically consists of four layers, as
Vr = Rainfall (in.) × A × 43,560 (ft2/acre) (A-1) shown in Fig. A.3. The aggregate reservoir can sometimes be
avoided or minimized if the subgrade is sandy and there is
adequate time to infiltrate the necessary runoff volume into
× 1 (ft)/12 (in.) (ft3) the sandy soil without bypassing the water-quality volume.
Descriptions of each of the layers are presented as follows:
Vr = Rainfall (mm) × A × 1 (m)/1000 (mm) (m3) • Pervious concrete layer—This layer consists of an
open-graded concrete mixture usually ranging in
for a 1/2 in. (13 mm) first flush, then thickness from 4 to 12 in. (100 to 300 mm), depending
on required bearing strength and pavement design
requirements. Pervious concrete can be assumed to
Vr = 1/2(in.) × A × 43,560 (ft2/acre) × 1 (ft)/12 (in.)
contain 12 to 35% voids (porosity = 0.12 to 0.35) for
= 1.815A (ft3) design purposes. Thus, for example, a 4 in. (100 mm)
thick pervious concrete layer with 18% voids would
Vr = 13 (mm) × A × 1 (m)/1000 (mm) = 0.013 A (m3) hold 0.72 in. (18 mm) of rainfall;
• Top filter layer—This layer consists of a 0.5 in. (13 mm)
where Vr = volume of storage required, ft3 (m3); and A = size diameter crushed stone to a depth of 1 to 2 in. (25 to
of the facility plus any contributing area, acre (m2). 50 mm). This layer can be combined with the reservoir
The Florida Concrete & Products Association (FCPA) layer using suitable stone;
suggests that the storage capacity of a pervious pavement • Reservoir layer—The reservoir gravel base course
system on sandy subgrade soils should include the void consists of washed, bank-run gravel, 1.5 to 2.5 in. (38
space of the soil above the seasonal high groundwater table, to 64 mm) in diameter with a void space of approximately
and any storage of the pervious concrete pavement. This 40%. The depth of this layer depends on the desired
storage volume may be calculated as follows storage volume, which is a function of the soil infiltration
rate and void spaces, but typically ranges from 2 to 4 ft
Vp = A × d1 × p1/100 (A-2) (0.61 to 1.2 m). The layer should have a minimum
depth of 9 in. (230 mm). The layer should be designed
to drain completely in 48 hours. The reservoir layer
Vs = A × d2 × p2/100 (A-3)
should be designed to store at a minimum the water-
quality volume WQv. Aggregate contaminated with soil
where Vp = available storage in pavement, ft3 (m3); Vs = should not be used. A porosity value (void space/total
available storage in subgrade, ft3 (m3); A = area of the pave- volume) of 0.32 should be used in calculations unless
ment, acre, (m2); d1 = thickness of the pavement, ft (m); d2 aggregate specific data exist;
= thickness of the subgrade, ft (m); p1 = percentage of void
• Bottom filter layer—The surface of the subgrade should
space in the pavement (%); and p2 = percentage of void
be a 6 in. (150 mm) layer of sand or a 2 in. (50 mm)
space in the subgrade (%).
thick layer of 0.5 in. (13 mm) crushed stone, and be
Upon completion of calculating the required water-quality
graded completely flat to promote infiltration across the
storage volume Vr and deducting the subgrade soil volume
entire surface. This layer serves to stabilize the reservoir
Vs and available pavement storage volume Vp, the net
layer, protect the underlying soil from compaction, and
difference will either be negative, indicating the requirements
act as the interface between the reservoir layer and the
are met, or positive, indicating that additional storage is
filter fabric covering the underlying soil; and
necessary. A granular subbase, such as an ASTM No. 57
material with a void space of 30% or greater, could provide • Filter fabric—It is important to line the entire trench
additional storage. The area above the pavement is available area, including the sides, with filter fabric before place-
for storage as well. The designer is cautioned that when ment of the aggregate. The filter fabric serves an impor-
applying this design technique, however, the water height for tant function by inhibiting soil from migrating into the
the infrequent design storm may cause the water to rise reservoir layer and reducing storage capacity.
above the pavement surface. The pavement elevation should For the aforementioned system, the ARC recommends
be lower than adjacent building floor elevations to avoid that pervious concrete systems should not be used on slopes
flood damage. greater than 5%, with no slopes greater than 2% recommended.
The FCPA guide (1990) gives further design examples for For slopes greater than 1%, barriers perpendicular to the
calculating the retention capacity of a parking area, runoff direction of drainage should be installed in subgrade material
quantity, and recovery time. Some of these calculations are to keep it from washing away, or filter fabric should be
also given as examples in the Atlanta Regional Commis- placed at the bottom and sides of the aggregate to keep soil
sion’s Georgia Stormwater Management Manual (2001). from migrating into the aggregate and reducing porosity.
PERVIOUS CONCRETE 522R-25

Pervious concrete systems should be sited at least 10 ft (3 m) All infiltration systems should be designed to fully dewater
down gradient from buildings and 100 ft (30 m) away from the entire WQv within 24 to 48 hours after the rainfall event at
drinking water wells. the design percolation rate.
For treatment control, the design volume should be, at a A fill time T = 2 hours can be used for most designs.
minimum, equal to the water-quality volume. The water- Choose a gravel pit depth of 3 ft (0.91 m) (including layer
quality storage volume is contained in the surface layer, the under concrete), which fits the site with a 2 ft (0.61 m)
aggregate reservoir, and the subgrade above the seasonal minimum to the water table (other lesser depths could be
high-water table. The storm duration (fill time) is normally chosen, making the surface area larger). The minimum
short compared with the infiltration rate of the subgrade. The surface area of the trench can be determined, in a manner
total storage volume in a layer is equal to the percent of voids similar to the infiltration trench, from the following equation
times the volume of the layer. Alternatively, storage may be
created on the surface through temporary ponding.
A = WQv/(ngdg + kT/12 + npdp)
Sample calculations
An 1.5 acre (6070 m2) overflow parking area is to be
designed to provide water-quality treatment using = 6207 ft3/(0.32 × 3 ft + 1.02 in./h × 2 h/12 + 0.18 × 3 in./12)
pervious concrete for at least part of the site to handle the
runoff from the whole overflow parking area. Initial data = 5283 ft2
includes the following:
• Borings show that depth to water table is 5.0 ft (1.5 m); or
• Boring and infiltrometer tests show sand-loam with a
percolation rate (k) of 1.02 in./h (25.9 mm/h); and A = WQv/(ngdg + kT/1000 + npdp)
• Structural design indicates the thickness of the pervious
concrete should be at least 3 in (75 mm).
Water-quality volume = 175.9 m3/(0.32 × 0.91 m + 25.9 mm/h × 2 h/1000 + 0.18

Rv = 0.05 + 0.009I (where I = 100%) (A-4) × 0.075 m)

Rv = 0.95 = 493 m2

where Rv is the runoff coefficient, and I is percent of where A = surface area, ft2 (m2); WQv = water quality
impervious cover. volume (or total volume to be infiltrated), ft3 (m3); n =
porosity (g of the gravel, p of the concrete layer); d = depth
WQv = 1.2 × Rv × A × 43,560 (ft2/acre) × 1 (ft)/12 (in.) (ft3) or gravel layer (g of the gravel, p of the concrete layer), ft
(m); k = percolation, in./h (mm/h); and T = fill time (time for
WQv = 1.2 × 0.95 × 1.5 acre x 43,560 (ft2/acre) × 1 (ft)/12 (in.) the practice to fill with water), hour.
Check of drain time
WQv = 6207 ft3
Depth = 3 ft × 12 in./ft + 3 in. to sand layer = 39 in.
or
at 1.02 in./h = 38 h (OK)
WQv = 30.5 × Rv × A × 1 (m)/1000 (mm)(m3) (A-5)
or
2
= 30.5 × 0.95 × 6070 m × 1 (m)/1000(mm)
Depth = 910 mm + 75 mm to sand layer = 985 mm
= 175.9 m3
at 25.9 mm/h = 38 h (OK)
Surface area
A porosity value n = 0.32 should be used for the gravel and Overflow will be carried across the pervious concrete and
0.18 for the concrete layer. tied into the drainage system for the rest of the site.