Porous Pavement Offers Sustainable Benefits at Nature Center

Sept. 7, 2016

GeoPave porous pavement was utilized for parking and walkways along with other environmental and sustainable products at a Wisconsin nature preserve, the Ridges Sanctuary, in its pursuit of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum rating.

Protecting the Lake Michigan watershed was a primary concern at this facility, located on the northeast shore of the Door Peninsula and the western shore of Lake Michigan. The porous pavement was an important part of the overall plan to protect the water from the negative effects of storm water runoff on water quality. 

The GeoPave system, infilled with highly porous stone, allows water infiltration and acts as a natural onsite storm water retention system, storing storm water in its aggregate base after rain events and allowing for natural percolation. Unlike hard pavement that sheds water from the surface, this system accepts water, reducing runoff into the surrounding sensitive areas.

The limestone crushed aggregate used for the parking area and the contrasting-colored buckshot crushed aggregate used for the walkways both were obtained locally. The paver structure is made from recycled polymer and its mesh bottom is designed specifically to contain aggregate infill. The pavement is designed to accept everyday traffic and can be designed with the appropriate base to accommodate heavier loads for emergency and utility lanes.

Other green design features at the Ridges Sanctuary included high-performance, low-energy materials including insulation, lighting, heating and cooling systems, plumbing fixtures and a number of recycled materials.