Permeable storm water channels
The days of slapping concrete and asphalt down to construct walkway, driveway or storm water channels may be numbered. Commercial properties, public spaces, and residential developments have upped the standard on what they require from a paved surface.
Land restrictions, storm water management, and other environmental regulations have turned the growing housing market and other land developers to seek solutions that can address these issues.
In 2013, the Port of Saldanha Bay was earmarked as an important resource for the sustainable growth and development of the West Coast region, and on the 31st October 2013 the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (SBIDZ) was officially designated as South Africa’s fifth Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
As development took place at the SBIDZ in recent years, the need for effective storm water control arose, especially with new tenants taking up residence this year. Following the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) laid out by the Saldanha Bay Municipality, to address all issues pertaining infrastructure development with a sustainable solution in mind, Power Group, South Africa’s largest family and employee-owned construction company and main contractor on site, stipulated a permeable, environmentally friendly solution.
Says Robbie Dreyer, Senior Site Agent, Power Group: “Having considered all options, we eventually settled with the Terracrete block manufactured by Van Dyk Precast in Vredenburg, confident to have found the best solution for the least environmental impact on the area.”
The Terracrete permeable paving blocks or “grass paver” blocks encourage water infiltration and prevent rain water runoff, to replenish our dwindling ground water reserves. The grass paver is ideal for areas prone to erosion, and the versatile blocks can be used for domestic, industrial, and agricultural applications such as drive ways, parking areas, vehicle tracks, hardstand for trucks and machinery, attenuation ponds, embankment stabilization, to name a few.
Installed by Keystar Trading and Cleophas Construction early 2017, the entire area has been supplied with a network of permeable storm water channels that will effectively collect any excess rain water and redirect it to the appropriate culverts, with some of it passing through the large holes in the Terracrete blocks into the sub-terrain water reservoir. This effect encourages low shrubs to take root on the surrounding soil, to reduce wind and water erosion in the area.
Many industry experts agree that permeable pavers can offer a good solution to increased storm water run-off. Says Dr Sönke Borgwardt, self-employed landscape architect and consulting engineer and leading expert on the subject in Germany: “the use of permeable paving is an important contribution to a sustainable and environmentally useful management of drainage systems. The handling of storm water runoff from sealed traffic areas is made less complicated and more affordable when it is decreased considerably by the application of filterable pavements.”
This type of infiltration management, he adds, has the added benefit that the already overstressed urban sewer systems are relieved. A further advantage is that secondary drainage measures, such as channels or swales, as well as detention ponds, can be greatly reduced.Contact person: Heinrich Insel Tel: +27 22 713 1244/5 Fax: +27 22 713 1500 Email: [email protected] Web address: www.vandykstene.co.za