Permeable Pavers At Work and At Home

A misconception of permeable pavers is that they are only for commercial projects, or that they aren’t available in a variety of styles that a homeowner would want to use for their driveway, walkway, pool deck or patio.

Throw of all of those thoughts out the window because this week we’re going to talk about how being environmentally friendly is a beautiful thing for the workplace and the home.

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The key to understanding permeable pavers is to think of the pavement and the base aggregates – or the small stones and gravel that form the base under and around the pavers – as a system, instead of separate products. As water rains down on the pavement, it begins its journey by seeping through the pavement, and then through the base aggregates, which naturally filter the pollutants. As it travels down, the water is stored in the base, until it reaches the natural underlying soils and recharges the ground aquifers. Thus, permeable pavement serves as an underground storage basin that filters the water while allowing pedestrian and vehicular traffic on the surface.

Belgard permeable pavers are a beautiful solution to manage storm water and lessen homeowners’ environmental footprints. Besides a stylish aesthetic, benefits of permeable pavers include:

• Reduces pollution from rain water runoff
• Reduces runoff from the common rain storm by as much as 100%
• 50 year life-cycle for surface
• Outperforms similar systems in harsh climates or freeze thaw cycles
• Replaces detention/retention ponds

While there are pavers specifically labeled as permeable because they are more porous than regular pavers, any Belgard paver can be laid with aggregate material, such as this pool deck featuring Urbana pavers. So you can feel good about protecting the environment for the future while making your outdoor space look good for the party today.

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Visit Belgard.biz to request a complimentary Idea Book and start planning your permeable patio today!


Happy Earth Day! Celebrate with Environmental Permeable Pavers

Since 1970, we’ve been celebrating Earth Day – a day when 42 years ago on April 22nd, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.

While Earth Day is a great reminder to protect and nurture Mother Nature, we should be taking care of our planet every day. Environmental stress is increasingly being placed on our resources. As more land is developed, the natural water filtration provided by the soil is continually being diminished. In turn, storm water runoff, mixed with motor oil, fertilizers and other contaminants, can pollute lakes, rivers coastlines and groundwater.

Belgard permeable pavers are a beautiful solution to manage storm water and lessen homeowners’ environmental footprints. Besides a beautiful aesthetic, benefits of permeable pavers include:

• Reduces pollution from rain water runoff
• Reduces runoff from the common rain storm by as much as 100%
• 50 year life-cycle for surface
• Outperforms similar systems in harsh climates or freeze thaw cycles
• Replaces detention/retention ponds


Click here for more information about permeable pavers.


Contractor’s Corner: Storm Water Planning

Contractors play a pivotal role in helping homeowners bring their outdoor living visions to life. Each month, we’ll offer a Contractor’s Corner post to share tips to help our contractor partners offer even more to homeowners and their landscapes.

Contractors and homeowners alike are becoming more aware of their environmental footprint and seeking out solutions to decrease their impact. Whether for a commercial or residential project, careful storm water planning helps to account for Mother Nature’s needs while still developing land for our use.

Previous urban sprawl and the proliferation of impervious surfaces over the land and the transportation of rain water via urban infrastructure have had grave consequences over the natural hydrological cycle.

This rising impermeability of surfaces has limited the recharging of soil water reserves, thus drying out the soils from which plant roots draw their nutrients. Dry soils also become more prone to erosion. Unable to leech down through the surface, rain water gathers sediments and ground pollutants as they dramatically increase surface runoffs through urban infrastructure, flowing down to receiving waters.

This has affected humans at the expense of the environment around which we live, as well as economically, raising costs of development and maintenance of infrastructures.


Permeable pavements answer both qualitative and quantitative needs for storm water management. As water rains on the pavement, it seeps through to the ground, reducing surface flows, often even eliminating the need for sewers and manholes.

The key to understanding permeable pavers is to perceive the pavement and the base aggregates as a system, instead of separate products. As water rains down on the pavement, it begins its journey by seeping through the pavement, and then through the base aggregates, which naturally filter the pollutants. As it travels down, the water is stored in the base, until it reaches the natural underlying soils and recharges the ground aquifers. Thus, permeable pavement serves as an underground storage basin that filters the water while allowing pedestrian and vehicular traffic on the surface.

Depending on site conditions and owner preferences, permeable pavement can be designed to obtain full, partial or zero exfiltration. Full exfiltration is the most often desired and used application, which sees all the rain water stored in the base leeching down to the underlying subgrade. When natural soils are not permeable enough, or storms too heavy, perforated pipes are added to alleviate the excess water. Thirdly, an impermeable geo-membrane can be installed above the natural soils to prevent exfiltration of contaminated flows when the pavement is installed in industrial sites.

According to the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI), when choosing permeable pavement technology, the designer or owner will benefit from:

•    Conservation of space on the site and reduction of impervious cover
•    Reduction of runoff
•    Reduced peak discharge and stress on sewers
•    Reduction of downstream erosion
•    Improved water quality
•    Reduction of water temperature
•    Increased recharge of groundwater
•    Promote tree survival by providing air and water to the roots
•    Reduction of total development costs
•    Reduction of infrastructure construction
•    Decrease in retention basins and other unsellable land
•    Reduction in risk of accidents/injuries
•    Elimination of puddling and flooding on parking lots
•    Faster snow melt drainage
•    Urban heat island reduction
•    Eligibility for LEED® credits


To learn more about improving storm water management, click here.


Our Favorite Home Tip Videos

Videos are great tools for home improvement projects, providing visuals, instructions and inspiration. This week, we wanted to share some of our favorite home tip videos to help as you plan your own outdoor projects, enjoy!

Outdoor Decorating Tips
The summer season is here which means it’s all about living and entertaining outdoors. Target Style Expert for home and HGTV designer, Sabrina Soto shows us how to make our outdoor spaces beautiful and inviting without spending a fortune.

 

Fire Feature at Hamptons Showhouse
HGTV Host Chip Wade at the Traditional Home Hamptons Showhouse talks about outdoor living trends and incorporating a fire feature with Belgard pavers.

 

Smart Storm Water Management
In this video from HGTV, Jeff Wilson, host of the HGTV Green Home 2012 show, shares info on the benefits of smart storm water management. This video helps homeowners plan for storm water management during the home building process. Incorporating Belgard permeable pavers is a beautiful way to manage your storm water runoff.

 

Which video is most useful to you? Tell us about the outdoor projects you have planned in the comments section below.


Belgard Gives Sunset Magazine Smart Homes Green Solution

For the last 14 years, Sunset Magazine has spearheaded the construction of an annual “Idea House.” This year’s project, dubbed the “Smart Homes” is a duo of townhouses that premiered this month in Palo Alto, Calif., and incorporated a variety of integrated high-tech, eco-friendly, and efficient building practices, including over 2,800 square feet of Belgard® Hardscapes permeable Catalina™ pavers, which were used to create a pedestrian deck between the townhomes over the parking area.

“Belgard Catalina pavers, in addition to being a beautiful product, offer the eco-advantages of permeability, reducing run-off and pollution,” said Kathi McCalligan, Home Programs Director, Sunset Magazine.

The permeable paver system filters rainwater through the joints and an underlying bed of gradient gravel and drains into a collection area, keeping the walkway, parking area below, and surrounding streets free from excessive runoff and performing a vital storm water management function for the entire mixed-use development where the townhomes are located.

“Storm water management is one reason Belgard permeable pavers contribute towards a number of LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credits,” says Gene Weddle, LEED Green Associate, Belgard Hardscapes. “Many municipal projects mandate LEED point objectives, and more and more private sector projects pursue LEED credits as evidence of environmental stewardship. Depending on project needs, the filtered water can also be harvested for gray-water applications.”

Weddle ads that in addition to storm water management, the specific color of paver selected—Catalina Montecito Blend—offers the additional benefit of reducing the “heat island” effect. “In urban areas, replacing ground cover with buildings and pavement often results in higher overall temperatures, which in turn places higher demands on energy. Catalina Montecito offers more reflectivity than darker pavements, leading to cooler surrounding temperatures, and allowing lower wattage for area lighting, reducing both energy use and long-term cost.”

The Catalina pavers also offer ADA compliance for the pedestrian walkway because of the smooth paver-to-paver transitions.


Belgard Helps the Environment

Today, we are encouraged to be green, use green, and buy green. People who are familiar with the “go green” theme strive to help save the environment. Belgard®, with their line of Environmental Pavers is no different.

Subterra Permeable Paver

But how about, “Go Blue!” with regards to a watershed. A watershed, or drainage basin, is an area of water, such as a pond, lake, stream, or other body of water that collects runoff from surrounding areas. Rainwater landing on the non-absorbing surfaces, such as parking lots, walkways and roofs eventually journeys as runoff to a larger holding area. Unfortunately, this runoff collects surface debris and chemicals, such as car fluids, fertilizers, animal waste, and debris, carrying it into our waters.

A watershed may be as large as the Mississippi River spanning 33 states or more communal like Diamond Lake of Minneapolis. The 2010 Blue Community Makeover Program known as “Go Blue!” was developed by residents to improve water quality when their Diamond Lake received the grade “F” because of pollutants and heavy sedimentation in the river from storm water runoff.

“My theory on life is that you should leave the world a little better than you came into it,” said resident of Lake Diamond Community. “This is one way I can help make the earth a little greener and a little happier,” she commented next to her new, serene rainwater-fed pond and gutter rain barrels.

Subterra

Many residents became very interested and involved in this program by installing rain gardens and water recycling systems, which help to reduce direct storm water runoff. Belgard was called upon to take up the gauntlet. Their Environmental Collection of permeable pavers played a huge role in the fight to improve the situation by reducing water runoff.

With the installation of permeable pavers, pollution from rainwater runoff can be reduced by as much as 100%. Permeable pavers can be installed in any landscape, from a home patio to community streets. Belgard is pleased to offer three types: Subterra Stone, Eco Dublin and Aqua Roc.

Subterra

Aqua Rock

Turfstone

Eco Dublin

Subterra® Stone brings in a more natural chiseled look to your outdoor areas. This paver comes in two different patterns. The modular shapes allows easy installment. The newest addition, Eco Dublin™combines cut stone with contemporary material, to provide a classic look. Aqua Roc™is the strongest out of the permeable pavers. This paver can withstand heavy vehicular traffic, yet subtle enough for a small project. Turfstone, with its high tech design, not only allows water to be absorbed naturally in the soil, but it also prevents erosion. Plus, greenery can grow through it, disguising it, thus working in harmony with nature.

The reason these pavers are so environmentally friendly is their installation. Gaps between pavers, which are filled with sand, gravel or filler, allow water to seep through and into the soil below. Through this process, may contaminants are removed from the water that will eventually make its way to a watershed.

With any one of these permeable pavers, not only will you be able to enjoy your new outdoor area, but you’ll also be environment friendly! Remember, you can always count on a Belgard Contractor when it comes to installing these pavers. Also, local dealers can help and provide color samples for your outdoor living area. Belgard offers its lifetime guaranty with all products.

Nothing is more precious to life than clean water.  Because of this, it makes sense to do all we can to instill, in our people (and most especially our youth) an understanding of water and watersheds, and how the activities of man affects them. Make a difference!

Click for more on Go Blue!

For case studies on Belgard Permeable Pavers, visit our site.

Belgard pavers can be used commercially too.


Belgard at a Home Show Near You

Have you noticed signs about upcoming Home and Garden shows? Then you know Spring is here! Although the Northeast may have had a blistery April Fool’s Day, it is time to till the garden. Belgard has been the feature at many of the country’s largest shows. Below is a sample of the top of the line displays created for homeowners to be inspired. Double click on any photo to enlarge. Don’t forget to visit our website for inspiration.


Virginia Mid-Atlantic Show

Outdoor Kitchen Area

Garden Seat Wall

Lighting Adds Polish

Belgard’s Elements outdoor kitchen area was the main showcase. With a variety of Belgard pavers, including Old World and Arbel® Stone, plus Celtik® Wall and BelAir Wall® creating seating, and integrated lighting, you felt as though you were outdoors. You will see how Belgard pavers, plus an Elements Bristol Collection kitchen and fire place, work together. The complete look is fabulous.


Southern Spring Home & Garden Show, Charlotte, NC

Seat Walls

Contrasting Patterns

Lighting Adds Drama

The Southern Spring Home and Garden Show featured a stroll through “Belgard Gardens.” Within the Park Expo Center, a true romantic presence was felt. A circular path of Belgard’s Arbel Stone pavers and a seat wall from the double-sided Weston Collection invited you to linger. Lighting installed directly into the walls gave the beautiful landscaping a fairytale feel as well as its functional purpose, to light the path.

Mixing the paver products of Arbel and Lafitt pavers, allows two paths to come together in a carpet-like manner. One leads off through a castle gate towards a Belgard free standing Belair Wall®. Many design tips can be collected from this amazing display.


Southern Ideal Home Show, Greensboro, NC

Fire Pit, Column, Wall

Elements Kitchen

Mobile Show Room

Belgard’s Mobile Show Room parked outside the Southern Ideal Home Show. Visitors were welcomed by the Elements Bristol Collection and its unlimited possibilities of matching seat walls, cabinets, kitchens, and more.

Inside the show, Belgard Arbel® Stone pavers created a handsome flooring and Weston Wall™ created convenient seating, column and fire pit. Adding one (or more) of these features completes a backyard so the outdoor enjoyment continues throughout the year.


Rochester Home Show

Looking Great from the Back

Chicago Brick Oven

The Rochester Home Show set up a Chicago Brick Oven and Element Bristol Collection full kitchen display with seat walls.  The back of the kitchen and brick oven are as handsome as the front. You might consider planting a vegetable or herb garden. Pull off some fresh basil leaves and add to your homemade pizza!

This kitchen features a MediumRare grill, stainless steel cabinets, a cocktail station, bar, sink, and electricity – all part of Belgard’s Elements. The Bristol collection uses a granite counter top, edging of Dublin cobble, and Urbana banding. With Belgard, the attention to detail is impeccable. Using Elements, your outdoor kitchen planning is a snap, and it installs within a day or two.

Elements Brighton Fireplace, Water Features and Seat Wall

An Amazing Backyard Dream

The area also included an Elements Brighton fireplace with water features and matching seat walls. It coordinated with Arbel® Stone pavers in a circular fashion which delineates the outdoor living space. The dining area features Lafitt pavers and a Weston wall to add seating and separation.


Foot Bench Built-In

Milwaukee Realtor Show

This show took Belgard’s BelAir Wall™ and created a fabulous outdoor bedroom with built-in lighting! Notice the head and foot boards created from the Arbel® Stone Collection. The outdoor bath tub was a must-see. The look was completed with Belgard’s environmental line of permeable pavers from the Subterra® collection. Permeable pavers allow rainwater to be absorbed by the ground where nature filters the water, instead of becoming runoff.

Outdoor Bedroom Ideas

Bathtub!

Read our past post featuring Belgard’s Elements Collection.


Belgard Products Featured in IBS Show Homes

 

The New American Home

The New American Home in Orlando. Photo by James F. Wilson for NAHB.

Belgard® Environmental Collection permeable pavers are featured in the fabulous Greek Revival style “The New American Home” (TNAH 2011), the official show home of the National Association of Home Builders, open for tours this week to attendees of the International Builder’s Show 2011 (IBS 2011) in Orlando, FL.

Located a short shuttle bus ride from the IBS 2011, the home incorporates over 1,700 square feet of Belgard’s Eco-Holland Slate permeable pavers and 480 square feet of the Eco-Holland Charcoal permeable pavers. Permeable pavers allow rainwater to be absorbed into the ground, virtually eliminating destructive run off, potentially removing the need for retention ponds and underground sewer pipes. In addition, they contribute to LEED certification credits.

Eco Holland

Belgard Products Featured in IBS 2011 Homes
Eco-Holland
Available in a variety of colors, Eco-Holland can be laid out in numerous architectural designs, offering design flexibility and adding value to residential and commercial properties. Eco-Holland permeable pavers benefit the environment and have the strength to withstand both vehicular traffic and harsh weather conditions. Plus, they are ADA Compliant. Visit the Belgard website to learn more information on the entire Environmental Collection.

TNAH pool. Photo by James F. Wilson for NAHB

The New American Home
Featuring the latest in building products and innovative construction technologies, the home will be visited by industry professionals from across the globe. TNAH 2011 was certified by the National Green Building Standard with Emerald Status, the highest of the four levels of achievement in resource efficiency that the NAHB Research Center recognizes. Tours are available through Saturday, 1/15. Visit the show website for a schedule.

The Vision and ReVision Homes
Also in Orlando are the Vision and ReVision Homes, two ultra-energy-efficient homes featuring Belgard products. Shuttles from the IBS to both homes begin at 10am and last departure from the homes: 1/13 departs at 3pm; 1/14 departs at 4pm; 1/15 departs at 1:30pm.


Energy Efficiency & Environmental Solutions for Today’s Economy

ReVision House™ and Vision House Show Off Belgard® Products

Are you remodeling or starting new construction? Are energy efficiency and environmental impacts a concern for your next project?

Belgard Hardscapes and Suretouch® Veneer Systems, two product lines of Oldcastle Architectural Products, were selected to play a major role in Greenbuider Magazine’s ReVision House and Vision House (Orlando) demonstration homes, and are available for your projects.

Belgard pavers and Suretouch masonry are integrated into the homes, which are built with site-specific solutions for key green building issues.

ReVision Home

The ReVISION House will feature Oldcastle's Suretouch masonry on the outside and Belgard's concrete patio pavers and driveway pavers from the Environmental Collection. Photo Courtesy of Green Builder Magazine.

Suretouch Veneer System

The ReVision House will be retro-fitted with Oldcastle Masonry’s newest product, Suretouch. The patented veneering system, with an insulation factor of R-13.5, creates a more energy efficient and acoustically comfortable environment. The system’s simple installation process is available in both concrete masonry stone and clay brick options, creating a beautiful exterior in a fraction of the time.

Eco Dublin

Belgard Permeable Pavers

 

Belgard’s Environmental Collection products, Subterra and Eco Dublin, in driveway and patio pavers perform at more than five times 100-year storm standards. These concrete pavers are spaced to allow rainwater to absorb into the ground, thus reducing runoff, filtering impurities, and improving drainage.

These  natural looking concrete pavers are durable enough for vehicular traffic and attractive to use, giving your project the benefits of green without compromising beauty and style.

Home Tours

Home tours of both ultra-energy-efficient homes will be conducted at the upcoming NAHB International Builders’ Show to be held in Orlando January 12-15.

Shuttles start at 10am and depart the homes at the following times:

1/12 departs at 4pm; 1/13 departs at 3pm; 1/14 departs at 4pm; 1/15 departs at 1:30pm

About the Homes: The ReVision House project, a deep energy retrofit, remodels an existing home that is currently below current new-construction standards for energy efficiency to not only meet current standards, but to outperform them by a whopping 70%. The Vision House project is completely new construction with realistic, sustainable construction ideas. Both projects provide real, cost-effective, sustainable solutions that are appropriate for today’s economy. And Belgard plays a key role.

Going Green with Belgard Hardscapes

Homeowners looking for beautiful and eco-friendly hardscapes for patios, driveways, and walkways are turning to Belgard Hardscapes’ permeable pavers due to their ability to outperform both traditional concrete and asphalt paving in all areas—durability, wear, drainage, aesthetics, and long-term cost.

Belgard permeable pavers are installed over a gradient bed of gravel, which acts as a temporary reservoir and filters impurities before percolating down and back into the community water aquifer.  A self-sustaining home irrigation system can be easily created with the addition of an underground cistern and a pump.

With the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day less than a month away, what better time to make a commitment to sustainability? Request a free copy of the 2010 Belgard Catalog to view the newest products in Belgard’s environmental collection and learn design tips from America’s premier brand of hardscape products.