I'm going to have a house built in Redmond, OR next year. Is it worth putting in a permeable driveway?
The annual rain fall is about 9 inches. Should I just put the money in other eco-friendly projects instead?
A permeable driveway comes in many forms, such as pavers, permeable concrete, turf pavement, gravel over a structural grid and they all have their place for traffic, maintenance, and look.
- Each paver system has its issues connected with it such as snow plowing for example.
- The permeable driveway is a very ecologically friendly component of your overall project by slowing the runoff to the streets, and nearby waterways thus helping to control flash flooding, and allowing the water table to be recharged.
- The use of permeable pavement should be considered within the entire project, because most municipalities are asking for tighter and tighter controls of rainwater runoff from home owners, and permeable pavement usually fits into the solution.
I have completed several projects that use permeable driveways, and the owners have been very happy with the performance and the aesthetic of the permeable systems. Since the regulations are so tight a permeable system allows for additional parking areas etc. while actually covering less area.
You need to work with your architect in considering the use of a permeable driveway in the overall scheme of your project for access driveways, short term and long term parking areas etc. and terrain as they fit best into what you want to accomplish.
For more information:
Read Rick Goyette's Q&A "What are the green options for driveways?"