California Style Eco-Friendly Driveway Design with Permeable Pavers


Permeable pavers can help turn your driveway much more environmentally friendly. Unlike concrete or asphalt driveway, permeable pavers don’t accumulate rainwater since it’s porous and help to keep your driveway cleaner. If you want a California-style eco-friendly driveway, simply search “paving companies near me” to hire professionals that can install permeable pavers on your driveway.

Now, let’s take a deep dive into permeable pavers. Once you understand the details of permeable pavers and the pros and cons associated with them, it can help you make a better decision.

What are permeable pavers and how do they work?

Permeable pavers are just as strong and durable as traditional paving systems such as asphalt, concrete, or compacted gravel pavers. However, they are designed in a manner that allows rainwater to drain or infiltrate into the ground and settle over the sub-base rock underneath since permeable pavers are porous.

Unlike hardscape paving systems such as compacted gravel, concrete, asphalt that accumulate stormwater and cause it to run off or pool in the surrounding area, permeable pavers mimic the natural reaction of water of ground. These contain open cells filled with grass or gravel to make the surface porous.

The benefits of permeable pavers over traditional paving methods

The biggest benefit of using permeable pavers is stormwater management since it reduces the risk of floods and run-offs. During heavy rain, the water collects over conventional gravel-only pavement, asphalt, and concrete pavement and causes runoff which collects contaminants and flows into the natural waterways.

As a result, the natural waterways get polluted, and the extra water overwhelms the stormwater management systems. During severe cases, it causes floods and damage to the surrounding area.

However, permeable pavers actually help to protect natural waterways, regulate stormwater, and reduce flooding risks since they are compliant with impervious cover code restrictions. As a result, they are much more environmentally friendly and suited for use in industrial yards, fire lance, parking lots, driveways, roadways, and more.

Another benefit of installing permeable pavers is that they don’t require separate detention ponds which allow developers to maximize the land usage and create a natural aesthetics that isn’t possible to achieve when using hardscape materials.

The cost of permeable pavers

There are many different types of permeable pavers available nowadays such as those made with recycled plastics or those that are made with porous asphalt. As a result, there is a lot of flexibility in terms of cost when installing a permeable paving system. Generally, it’s cheaper to install a permeable paving system when compared to building a permeable system made of asphalt and concrete.

Plus, when you consider the benefits of safe drainage, flood protection, and effective land utilization, it makes more sense to install permeable pavers.

The different types of permeable pavers

Now that you have understood the basics of permeable pavers and the host of benefits that they provide, it’s time to learn about the various types of permeable pavers so that you can make a more informed decision. Given below are some of the most popular permeable pavers:

  1. Porous asphalt – Although asphalt is not a naturally porous pavement material, it can be made porous for a permeable pavement system. Typically, the porous asphalt is laid on top of a storage bed made of stone that allows water to drain through it into the underlying soil.

However, it’s not a suitable permeable system since it requires frequent maintenance and is of low strength. In fact, over time, it can lead to severe clogging due to small pore size and can even lead to the development of ruts and potholes.

  1. Permeable concrete – When concrete is mixed with stone and laid without a gravel sub-base or sand, it has the ability to absorb water slow which reduces water runoff. However, such concretes are more brittle and require frequent maintenance without which can lead to the formation of potholes and cracks. Plus, it has limited water drainage capacity.
  1. Plastic grid pavers – Plastic grid pavers offer maximum permeability and optimal soil and gravel retention. These are made with industrial or commercial strength semi-flexible, cellular plastic grids and are filled with grass or gravel which allows them to become 100 percent pervious.

Plus, they are the best choice for regions that witness heavy automobiles, truck traffic, heavy-load, and heavy-use paving applications. These also offer the best value for money since they are virtually maintenance-free and suited for long-term use.

  1. Interlocking concrete or brick paver – Interlocking concrete or brick paver contains gaps in them that allow water to drain through these gaps. Although the concrete itself is not porous, the gaps reduce water clogging by improving the drain rate. However, such as paving system is expensive to install and restricted to light commercial applications or small residential applications.
  1. Rolled plastic paving – Rolled plastic paving systems offer more flexibility for easy storage and shipping. However, they can only be used for foot traffic and light load applications since the cells are small and not conjoined which reduces the load strength. Thus, they are not suitable for commercial applications. Plus, these have a high installation cost since they require staking.
  1. Rigid plastic pavers – Rigid plastic pavers are generally only used for glass-filled applications. These can be made into rigid structures such as hexagonal cells which make them stiffer and less flexible. Now, although such a design offers better compression strength during product lab tests, they don’t perform well in the real world due to a lack of flexibility in their design structure. Thus, they are not suitable for heavy loads or commercial traffic.


There are a lot of build and design options to choose from when you are looking to install eco-friendly permeable pavers on your driveway. Thus, making a sound decision becomes much more daunting. Fortunately, you can search “paving companies near me” on Google to consult with experts and follow their advice and guidance. They can help you make up your mind and build a California-style eco-friendly driveway for you.