Facility Profile - March 2010
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Bottom's Up!

Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL.

By Dawn Klingensmith

The porous system can be used for driveways, parking lots, trails and walkways, golf-cart paths, and patios. It can handle heavy vehicular traffic such as fully loaded semis and garbage trucks. The poured pavement needs to set for three to four hours before people can walk on it, and two days before people can drive on it, Donahue said.

At press time, the number of FilterPave installations was approaching 40. The first system ever to be installed was a 20-stall parking lot in Boulder, Colo., where it has successfully withstood freeze-thaw cycles and applications of salt. Snow plows with rubber-tipped blades are used to protect the pebbly surface.

At the Morton Arboretum, the walkway is holding up as expected, even when subjected to deliberate abuse. For example, to test porosity, a fire truck was brought in to blast the surface with a water hose. The water did not even leave the pavement. It just soaked right in, Bachtell said.

However, officials need to observe the walkway's performance over the course of three or four years before declaring the installation a success.

Meanwhile, the Arboretum has been fielding about one phone call per week from municipalities and homeowners who are impressed or intrigued by the glittery material and want to learn more.

According to Geosystems, FilterPave helps building projects earn LEED points in the following categories: reduced site disturbance, stormwater management, heat island effect, recycled material content and, in some cases, regional materials. The surfaces reduce site disturbance by minimizing use of land space for stormwater retention ponds, and reducing the need for structural storm water collection and discharge systems.

Maintenance requirements are minimal. Unlike other hard-surface pavements, no resealing, crack filling or resurfacing is needed, according to the manufacturer. FilterPave contains a UV stabilizer to prevent the sun's rays from breaking down the binding agent.

The anticipated lifespan of the system is at least 15 years.

As workers smoothed the newly poured FilterPave walkway, one reporter remarked that it was the color of a deep-amber ale. Later, in a prepared statement, Bachtell proposed a toast, of sorts, to the innovative, eco-friendly material. "This FilterPave porous pavement may be the way of the future," he said.

Cheers to that!


Morton Arboretum: www.mortonarb.org

Geosystems: www.reynoldspkg.com/alcoa-geo/en/home.asp

Emerald Site Services: www.emeraldsiteservices.com