Case Studies

Porous Pave Inc.

The new highly permeable, durable and flexible revolutionary surfacing material

Every year since its inception, Porous Pave Inc. (PPI) has prevented thousands of tries from filling up landfills. In fact, for every 1,000 square feet of PPI’s highly permeable, durable and flexible asphalt-alternative surface installed, approximately 300 recycled tires are shredded down to produce small rubber chips.

The 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch chips are mixed with specialized granite rock and blended with a proprietary binder developed by PPI. “We came up with the product several years ago,” reveals Jay Oosterhouse, national sales manager of PPI. “The rock and rubber portion was not the difficult part of the puzzle; developing the binder that holds it all together was the real challenge.”

The glue holding it all together

As porous pavement becomes more the industry standard, required by states and local governments as a Porous Pave Inc.solution for rainwater runoff and groundwater concerns, more and more companies like PPI are entering the market. But Oosterhouse says Michigan-based PPI is one of the few to perfect the sticky part: the binding agent.

“The material had to be able to expand and contract with the rubber, while staying porous,” explains Oosterhouse. “The binder needed to hold up to all temperatures – from freeze to thaw and extreme heat.”

Once PPI developed the ideal urethane binder, it was far from the end of the road, according to Oosterhouse. “The next step was a slew of ASTM testing to meet standards, including compression, critical fall, flame, leach, slip-resistance and permeability testing; it was a lengthy process,” he recounts.

Since developing the product, PPI’s secret formula has been put to the test as far south as Aruba and as far north as Canada. “It’s all holding up excellent at all ends of the spectrum, from subzero temperatures in northern Canada to 108 degrees in Aruba,” assures Oosterhouse. “PPI’s signature blend expands and contracts with heat and cold, whereas other porous concrete or pavement eventually cracks.”

“The disadvantage is the binder makes the product more expensive than concrete or asphalt, but in the long run, there is minimal maintenance needed,” adds Oosterhouse. “It’s also a great application for a customer looking to save by not ripping up the existing surface. We call it over pour – our blend lays perfectly right overtop in a thin layer and will move with the bottom surface.”

When it rains, it’s porous

There are currently more than 500 certified PPI installers across the country. “When a company wants to get certified they can go to one of our distributors for training,” explains Oosterhouse.

PPI remains based in Grant, Mich., but the company’s sales span North America, and according to Oosterhouse, that’s growing as more cities across the country set porous as the new norm. “It’s fast becoming the standard, from the Midwest to the East Coast and all over to have more percentage porous than nonporous surface area,” he elaborates.

From Philadelphia to St. Louis to Cleveland, cities are cracking down on runoff regulations and PPI’s surface, which allows nearly 6,000 gallons of water an hour to penetrate a single square foot, is a serious solution. “Our blend is highly permeable, allowing large amounts of rainwater to pass through into the ground while providing a hard, strong surface,” says Oosterhouse

From pathways to trails, backyard patios to city sidewalks and parking lots, when it rains, it’s porous. “We’ve excelled in places like Ohio where cities have started to tax home and business owners on rainwater runoff, forcing more porous surfaces,” details Oosterhouse “Because we can over pour and cover existing surfaces, not only is it better for the environment, but we’re also saving municipalities money.”

A non-slip grip

PPI’s alternative is also saving private clients from shelling out money while keeping customers safe. “For Hyatt Regency Hotels in Denver, we did a test non-slip pool surround on an indoor pool,” recounts Oosterhouse. “It worked extremely well, lowers their liability insurance.”

In Grand Rapids, Mich., PPI is installing more than 800 tree-surround surfaces, an upgrade from the hazardous steel grates once in place. “Another application we are seeing more of is large projects that are located on expensive property, even though porous pave is more expensive than traditional asphalt, because of the porosity, there is no need for building large retention ponds for water runoff and in the long run, saving considerable time and money,” he continues.

The buzz around PPI is certainly building. “We made our second trip to Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in 2014, and in 2013, we had an overwhelming response to our product,” he shares. “It’s amazing to see the number of people who still have never seen or heard of porous alternatives. There was a crowd around our booth the entire time and people were amazed to see how much water actually runs through our porous product.”

Using a revolutionary new paving product that is both heavy duty, flexible, highly porous and importantly, made from recycled material, Porous Pave Inc. is paving the way to a better surface across America.

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Spring 2018



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