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Anyone Have Experience with Eco Pavers?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Humble Earth Mover, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. Humble Earth Mover

    Humble Earth Mover LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    I have a project that entails roughly 1100 sf of patio and the township is requiring a storm water infiltration basin to be engineered and installed as a result of greater than 15 percent of the total property being impervious. Needless to say the additional cost incurred is going to be substantial and the homeowner is becoming increasingly frustrated with the project as she is dead set on staying within a certain budget. Between the engineer, the permits and renting the equipment to dig the pit, I am looking at close to 5K in extra costs, or roughly 20% additional. The way I see it, my options are to either scale down the design, change my style of paver and eat some cost, or find a viable alternative such as the permeable paver. I've never personally installed the Eco Paver or know anyone who has. In researching it online, it seems like it may be designed for this type of situation. I was wondering if anyone on here perhaps has worked with this system and can give some pointers. Also, has anyone overcome storm water management issues with this approach? I'd hate to lose this customer because they also want to give me all the softscape as well.

    I must say, as an impassioned landscaper who is branching out into hardscaping, one of the biggest frustrations has been dealing with the variance in township permitting regulations. I had this particular customer give me a lot of grief for not knowing about the drainage pit up front, but the fact is, I built a patio of the same size not more than 2 minutes away from her house and this was not required, so how the hell was I to know?! (Sorry, had to vent!)

    Any help would be appreciated!!
  2. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,066

    That sounds like a load of crap. Pavers are NOT impervious. There are hundreds of joints. Asphalt/Concrete are impervious. If it was a driveway, you could use a open graded aggregate and eco-pavers, which will allow rain water to soak down back into the aquifer.

    I don't see the issue with a patio. A patio needs to be smooth for tables and chairs, shoes, heels , bare feet, etc. You don't have many options with pavers if you need to incorporate a holding basin. It sounds like you have a building inspector with a chip on his/her shoulder. Do some research first, as it may not be required.

    On another note, our local church recently re-paved their parking lot. In order to get the approvals from our town, they had to install a underground storm water reserve- about the size of an Olympic swimming pool. It took a full year to complete the project. Now comes 2007, and 3 days of rain. The church's basement and offices suddenly were under 4 FEET of water!. In 80 years, they never had a problem. Now theres a lawsuit going on.
  3. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Pervious pavers are a great way to meet the new regulations many communities are imposing, but you have to hope the powers that be understand the system and advantages. Not familiar with Ep Henry's Eco-Paver, but have experience with Techo-Bloc's Permea. http://www.techo-bloc.com/contractors/index.php?p=Products&e=view&productId=131

    Proper installation is very different from a standard paver installation as to allow the maximum amount of water infiltration into the soil or an infiltration system, depending on the permeability of the native soil. I'm sure if you contact the paver manufacturer of choice, they will be quite helpful in construction techniques as well as the information regarding the benefits. I am aware that many of the manufacturers are having their pavers evaluated at various universities to be able to calculate the true benefits and best installation techniques.

    In this situation, a meeting with the construction official should be of a huge benefit to you, so that you understand what they are demanding and perhaps you can educate the official on the alternatives. Always best to work with the inspector than to try and tell them how it should be done. Many communities are enacting restriction on impervious surfaces in regard to lot size, so this may be new and annoying now, but it will become more widespread as time goes on. The first thing we all should be doing when assessing any landscape project, especially hardscaping, is water or drainage management. Is their a drainage issue when you arrive and how will your work affect that drainage. Soils are also important as they will determine the rate of infiltration as well. You may have to incorporate a soil engineer into your plan to determine the best course of action for infiltration. Often the drainage can be right down through the pavers and into the soil below, but you may have to have a containment system and collection point to move the water to a better suited location for infiltration.

    We may not agree or like it, but the rules are the rules and if you wish to be a professional and do things correctly, sometimes we have to follow the rules, even though they don't really make sense. Your client needs to be educated in the environmental impact and either adjust the budget to reflect that or adjust the project to fit the budget.

    If you choose to go with the Eco Paver, contact an EP Henry Con-Serv rep and they should be able to steer you in the right direction as well as Techo-Bloc with a Permea installation.

  4. Humble Earth Mover

    Humble Earth Mover LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    Thanks for the advice. I would imagine pavers must be partially impermeable, or else there would be no need for EP Henry and Techo Bloc to put out products that are tagged as permeable. I think it's a good point that these are probably not the best solution for patio or walkway needs due to the space left between the things that could easily catch a high heel. What I think I'm going to do is to modify the design to shrink the square footage and allow for the additional cost incurred and go with the original paver I had in mind. We have found an engineer to come out and do a soil percolation test and determine the speed of water infiltration from the runoff and thus give us the dimensions needed for the seepage pit. It's unfortunate, but like you said, this is a reality that we all should be increasingly aware of. In the future, I will be sure to bring up the possibility of this additional cost to the homeowner, so as to not catch them off guard and seem unprofessional.

    Thanks again!

  5. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Messages: 1,209

    pavers are permeable until you fill the joint with poly sand.

    I have installed a few eco-stone driveways they are great because you do not have to worry about pitch. at 1% the water only will run 3' before it is well below grade. the 100% ground water recharge is the thing that get conservation all excited about. we used 3/8 pea gravel to fill the voids.
  6. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    Many towns i deal with wil not even let us install permable pavers. They do not consider grabel permable. So how could they let us install permable pavers?

    Dealing with imprevious coverage regulations occuppies alot of my time.
  7. bigviclbi

    bigviclbi LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 900

    Pavers are definately an impervious surface when it comes to lot coverage. In my area we need to keep 25% of the property open. I have used the eco paver before but I laid the base the same as normal pavers since it was more of an aesthetic application than a need based one.
  8. PAVER27

    PAVER27 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I have been installing pavers for over 8 years and have recently used Aqua-Bric manufactured by Cambridge Pavers. At first I was skeptical but these paving stones really help manage stormwater run off.

    Aqua-Brick provides the appearance and advantages of concrete pavingstones with the added benefits of a permeable system. Its nominal dimensions are 5" x 10" with a 3 1/8" thickness. Slightly elongated openings along the sides work in harmony with the rectangular form. Minimal openings in the pavement surface make walking comfortable while allowing natural stormwater drainage and groundwater recharge. Speaking from an engineering perspective, a permeable interlocking pavingstone system is a filtered infiltration trench with pavement over it. The perviousness and amount of infiltration are strickly dependent on the infiltration rates of the joint filling material and base materials, not the percentage of the open area on and around each paver. Water runoff is reduced by as much as 100%. The stormwater management system is designed to trap first-flush pollutants and reduce impervious areas. The system is built on an open graded series of stone bases, which offer infiltration and partial treatment of stomrwater pollutants.

    For more information you can visit the website www.cambridgepavers.com it has a lot of technical information that I found very helpful.
  9. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Messages: 1,209

    Ideal Pavers also makes Aqua brick I am meeting a customer this week looking for permeable surface driveway. I should send a letter thanking the Conservation Commision here on the Cape definitley making the upsell easier since it is required.
  10. patpls

    patpls LawnSite Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 80

    Hey Guys, this form of surface will only get bigger, the attraction up here, Minnesota, is the ability to increase the size of the house on the lot because the pavers turn what was imperv. into perv. so the % is kept below the maximum allowed.

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