1002 permeable concrete lo res

[Image above] Credit: Tarmac; YouTube

Good riddance, slippery sidewalks and puddle-ridden parking lots.

Tarmac, a U.K.-based sustainable building materials and solutions company, has pioneered a new permeable concrete that allows a ridiculous amount of water to flow right through its surface, preventing pooling and puddles.

Watch the surface in action in the video below, which shows 4,000 liters of water draining seamlessly through Tarmac’s Topmix Permeable concrete in just 60 seconds.

Credit: Tarmac; YouTube

The permeable concrete surface—with a high void content of 20%–35%—lets water flow right through to a porous draining aggregate sub-base layer.

Permeable concrete is nothing new, but Tarmac has made several improvements to the material’s specifications and capabilities.

According to the company, Topmix Permeable has an “average flow rate of 36,000 mm/hr/m2 with compressive and flexural strengths of 10–20 N/mm2 and 1.5–3 N/mm2, respectively.”

In addition to the added benefits of no puddles or icy spots in parking lots, permeable concrete offers some important environmental benefits, too.

Urban environments replete with impervious concrete surfaces prevent water from returning to the ground, as it naturally does in rural areas. Instead, water swirls around urban jungles, picking up pollution along the way, before emptying into drainage systems that spew into waterways.

Tarmac says their surface not only allows water to return to the ground, but it also filters it along the way, trapping pollutants in the pavement itself.

According to a Topmix Permeable brochure, “Initial larger particles are stopped at the surface reducing penetration to underlying sub-grades. Finer materials, hydrocarbons and heavy metals, whilst able to penetrate the top surface are trapped as they penetrate into the supporting layers. Organic materials, once trapped, breakdown over time reducing the amount and volume of contaminates that reach discharge watercourses.”