More and more we are seeing existing project that need a little or a lot of infiltration - and pervious concrete is just the material for the job! Pervious concrete is fast to install and rugged to withstand all the wheel turns, trash trucks and excitement of a busy parking lot. Here are some photos of a pervious concrete retrofit that we installed in 2014. 4 years in and it is still holding up very well.
Millwork, a beautiful event space in Downtown Los Angeles features an 1000 sqft polished pervious courtyard to host events, from product launches to weddings. This unique flooring looks almost Terrazzo like, with the Davis Salmon color used and the native local aggregates.
LID at its finest - a doctor's office in Santa Monica is having their parking lot do double duty by placing pervious concrete atop a gravel detention bed. The pervious pavement system is infiltrating surface flow from the lot as well as adjacent roof runoff, piped in underground. As you can see in the first photos, the asphalt parking lot is sloped to the pervious.
What you can't see is that they are piping in adjacent roof runoff underneath, using a detail similar to this one:
While directing surface flow from asphalt to pervious concrete is not necessarily the best design choice* it does do the job well of meeting LID requirements and the value requirements of the project. *The reason why it is not the best design choice is because the asphalt tends to clog the pervious over time. Sticky fines from the asphalt migrate in the surface flow to the pervious concrete which filters them out. Sticky asphalt fines are not possible to remove from pervious concrete so end up slowly encroaching on the pervious, reducing the available infiltration surface. Depending on the local rain fall, the frequency of asphalt resurfacing and the slope of the asphalt/speed of the surface flow it can very well take years if not decades to meaningfully impact the infiltration rate of the pervious concrete.
A private Malibu residence commissioned 22,500 sq ft of polished pervious concrete for their driveway, motor court and parking areas in 2015. The whole site was designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando, and the home is perched atop the Malibu cliffs, over looking the Pacific. We have a close up photo of the polished perivous, which exposes the aggregate. By virtue of the polished, however, this is a flat, rather then a textured look. Sawed score lines were used to enhance and maintain the planes of the design, lending to a very cohesive feel. Beeson Pervious Concrete won an ACI award for this project, due to the precision of the pour and the success of the installation. Because this is a private residence, going by the project is not possible.
More and more, we are seeing these little infiltration strips of driveways along the rear access alleys of homes and buildings here in Southern California. Here is the backside of a home in Santa Monica on 10th street. This is about 250 sq ft of classic pervious concrete, 6 inches thick, suitable for car and light truck traffic.
As you can see the light pavement is a lovely foil for the dark wall and angular accents. The pervious concrete's finish falls in line with the modern aesthetic of this home.
We installed the pervious parking lot here at the Chino Hills Wetland Area as an example of beautiful, palette pleasing pervious parking. Say that 5 times fast! We took color cues from the pavers which were at the center of the parking area. We applied this color as a stain. It is also possible to do integral color. Below are a couple more angles of the whole project.
The Chino Hills Wetland Area chose pervious concrete because they were protecting their delicate native ecosystem. By using pervious concrete, and not asphalt, they will have a low- maintenance, durable parking lot for years to come. Unlike asphalt, pervious concrete requires no regular sealing and resurfacing, is not made with oil products and has no odor, and leaves no trace in hot weather.
We left the far right panel unstained at the top to show the contrast of surface stained concrete and non-stained. As you can see, in this case, adding the color enhanced the project. It is always possible to add color, either integral (a more durable color choice) or stain (a more affordable choice with more flexibility). Contact us to discuss the details of your project!
This beautifully maintained home is in West Los Angeles. We poured this driveway a couple years ago, and this is a good example of colored pervious concrete adding to overall palette of a home. You can see the pervious is surrounded by traditional concrete, to frame in nicely.
In 2012 we installed i900 sq. ft. of pervious concrete around the back of the YMCA on 28th Street in Los Angeles. After 5 years it is still holding up well. You can see there have been a few drips from parked cars, which means it is getting used!
The other good news about those oil drips is that they are not contributing to stormwater pollution - pervious concrete provides a habitat for microbes that break down hydrocarbon-based pollutants. As the first filter that water hits on its way back into the aquifer, pervious concrete plays an integral role in a healthy developed watershed.
A Pavement Experiment: Pervious Concrete Gutters
Ventura County Government Offices needed to fix some flooding in their parking lot, so they added a pervious concrete retrofit near storm drain inlets and along some gutter areas. It is holding up well, and they are happy with it.
Generally, pervious concrete gutters along side a traditional impervious hardscape area is not a recommended design. Pervious concrete does not have an infiltration rate of a drain or filter, consequently, these applications can become clogged by debris much faster.
Best design practice: impervious area to pervious area ratio is ideal not greater then 2:1.
Laguna Blanca, a pristine private school tucked into the hills of Hope Ranch, just outside of Santa Barbara, California, commissioned pervious concrete as part of their comprehensive landscape improvement project. They used integral color to enhance the look and feel of the pervious, creating a cohesive natural palate that flatters the Spanish Mission style campus. They used pervious concrete in the driving lanes, some parking spaces, and through the bus paths. You can see in the photos below that this parking lot gets used daily. Bus traffic, cars, activity vans, maintenance vehicles - this installation was installed in 2013 and it still looks beautiful!
In our continuing series of our installed work in Southern California, we now go to Santa Clarita where we installed 30,000 sq ft of pervious concrete for the Church's expanding parking lot. They have EV charging stations and some lovely greenery to add color to their mixed pavement parking. They used pervious concrete for the parking stalls and asphalt for the driving lanes. While that is not an ideal design, the high ratio of pervious concrete to asphalt will allow this paveemnt to drain for many years.
You can see how expansive the parking is. This is in addition to the Church's original parking. With the beautiful drought-resistant plantings, it makes the walk to the front door a lovely stroll.
In the distance above you can see the Church building.
In the sunny wilds of Upland we poured just over 3200 sq ft of pervious concrete in 2015. It surrounds a peaceful flowing water feature memorial. The pervious concrete allows the green citrus trees to thrive, as you can see below. As part of the project, Beeson Pervious was able to sponsor a bench to sit and enjoy the space. Next time you are in Upland, swing by - 460 North Euclid Ave.
Spring has sprung in El Monte, and the finishing touches to the Jeff Seymour Family Center are done. As part of the comprehensive green infrastructure design Beeson Pervious Concrete installed the pervious concrete that welcomes visitors to the the new Center.
The design folks at Amigos De Los Rios have designed a beautiful green oasis for the local community. Their plan included demonstration elements on campus will allow community residents to learn about the San Gabriel Mountains & River Watershed. An important part of a watershed is how to return stormwater to the water table. The plan included bio-swales and pervious concrete. We, at Beeson Pervious, installed the pervious concrete in the front walk as well as the back parking lot.
When we went to take these photos, Jeremy Munns, a design associate at Amigos De Los Rios, was there, and we introduced ourselves. He told us that, before the pervious concrete had been installed, that section of the front walk had generally been a large puddle after a rain. Since the install, there had been 1 big rain and the pervious concrete did its job - it all infiltrated!
Pervious concrete is an infiltration technology that allows the water that falls on it, as well as water from adjacent impervious surfaces, to infiltrate into the ground. It allows for an air and moisture exchange between subsoil and surface, making it very good for adjacent trees. It filters out pollutants that are present in stormwater and you can bike, walk, park and drive all over it!
In a recent installation we did in a neighborhood in West Los Angeles - Santa Monica area, pervious concrete had been called in due to existing tree roots that needed to be protected. It turned out that the project owner was a potter and had kept broken pieces of ceramic, tile and broken concrete a frame for the installation.
The mix was great, the crew worked fast and the project turned out well. You can see above that it drains very quickly.
The Pacific Southwest Concrete Alliance has awarded its prestigious 2009 Promoter of the Year Award to Bill Beeson, of Beeson Pervious Concrete in Lake Hughes, CA. Beeson specializes in pervious concrete having recently completed a landmark Parking project at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) in time to absorb the record rainfalll of this winter season.
Beeson started his concrete and masonry contracting company in 1980 after migrating to Southern California from Chicago. Since then the company’s portfolio has expanded with expertise in stamped, colored and stained concrete, masonry and landscape features as well as pervious concrete for stormwater management.
Portland cement Association (PCA) Vice President, John M. Prentice noted of Bill Beeson, “I was struck by the selfless aspect of his committing to promotion. Helping his competitors by insuring installtion quality, training his own employees, ad helpig to improve the training itself with a Spanish language version, show me that he has the industry’s best interest at heart.”
Press Release: Pacific Southwest Concrete Alliance, January 2010 for Immediate release
There are so many reasons to include pervious concrete into your designs. Here are our top 10:
- LEED Point Contribution (both stormwater quantity and quality)
- Designer friendly
- Reduces site stormwater runoff
- Replenishes water tables and aquifers
- Allows for more efficient land development
- Minimizes flash flooding
- Inhibit mosquito breeding by removing standing water
- Prevents warm and polluted water from entering streams, ponds and waterways
- Surface pollutants are mitigated
- Eliminates need for retention ponds and other costly stormwater management practices, saving money