Porous, Permeable and Pervious Pavers: Are they the Same?

A lot of professionals use permeable, pervious and porous pavers interchangeably. And while they have some similar characteristics, they are actually not fully same. Each of these types of pavers comes with certain aesthetic and physical qualities which must be taken into account before the project design and installation. Project objectives and site characteristics must be carefully considered to reduce stormwater runoff and maximize the benefits of these pavers especially in terms of water quality. Here are important pieces of information about these pavers that can help you how they work and how one is different from the other.

Porous Pavers

These pavers are made in various materials and designs. In general, they are a cellular grid system that has gravel, sand or dirty. The system is meant to stabilize the ground, reinforce grass and retain gravel. The grid structure gives infill reinforcement and moves vertical loads from the surface, ensuring a wider area distribution. The choice of cellular grid depends on the traffic, surface material and loads. Selections for surface layer include topsoil with grass seed and fertilizer as well as compacted gravel. Furthermore, the cellular grid minimizes soil compaction which is necessary to maintain permeability while improving infiltration.

Permeable Pavers

These pavers have a layer of fired clay brick or concrete. Joints that are filled with crushed aggregate separate the pavers. This type of pavers is different from the other two as they let rainwater pass around them instead of through them. Permeable pavers let water and air movement around the paving material.  Per square meter, they provide less stormwater infiltration than pervious and porous pavers. Therefore, additional pavers are required to achieve lasting stormwater transfer beyond the paver layer.

Pervious Pavers

This kind of pavers lets stormwater percolate through the surface instead of runoff into the storm drains or to the areas that surround them. While water runs through, these pavers filter pollutants. As with grass, pervious pavers allow the ground below to breathe. They enable the interaction of tree roots and their supporting microbes.

Pervious pavers are a great help in terms of stormwater management.  As a matter o fact, they are used as a storm drainage flirtation system which improves stormwater quality by capturing debris, clutter and sediment. Also, they aid in preventing viruses. They can be installed in stormwater catch basins to decrease the number of mosquitoes by ensuring water is not stored beneath the surface.


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