50 Attend Pervious Concrete Workshop in Connecticut

By Joanne Ray | September 28, 2010

When looked at closely pervious concrete is highly porous. When hardened the concrete allows water from precipitation and other sources to pass through, thereby reducing the runoff from a site and recharging groundwater levels.

"Magic" was the word that many thought of during a demonstration of pervious concrete at a workshop held in the spring at Central Connecticut State University and Tilcon Connecticut, both of New Britain, Conn.

The workshop was part of a nationwide series entitled "Pervious Concrete — A Storm-water Solution" presented by the Sustainable Land Development International, the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and the Portland Cement Association. Attendees included approximately 50 designers, architects, landscape architects, and university professors.

The one-day workshop focused on how to implement pervious concrete pavements as a solution to reducing storm water runoff from building sites and other paved areas. Attendees learned the details of pervious concrete pavement systems, engineering properties and construction techniques. They were instructed specifically on how to write project specifications for pervious concrete applications.

The workshop agenda featured presentations by a varied group of individuals including Bruce Ferguson, a professor of landscape architecture at the University of Georgia. His presentation included the following important topics: "What is pervious concrete and what is it used for?" "How is it installed?" "How does pervious concrete perform?" "Designing the pervious concrete so it works and, lastly, seeing it work."

A sustainability presentation was given by Director of Codes and Sustainability Erin Ashley of NRMCA focusing on pervious concrete and LEED credit potential. Doug O'Neill, also of NRMCA, explained to the attendees the National Accounts Program, which focuses on bringing concrete knowledge to the national big box chains.

The classroom workshop was followed by a field trip to Tilcon Connecticut, a ready mixed producer, to observe a pervious installation by Leon Burch, of Concrete Crafters of Conn, Inc.

The pervious concrete was poured in a 12-foot by 70-foot section with one-half filled with typical gray concrete and the other half with a tan colored concrete to demonstrate a color application. Leon used the "Lightning Strike Roller Screed" and support equipment provided by Lura Enterprises, of West Fargo, N. D. The Lightning Strike roller screed is proven to be the popular choice for experienced pervious contractors throughout the U.S.

A previously installed pervious concrete section was available so that workshop attendees could see how the finished product functioned. When water was poured on the previously installed pervious section, workshop attendees said, "It's magic," as the water disappeared through the concrete.