New developments with permeable paving and SuDS

The trade association Interpave has published a new edition of ‘Understanding Permeable Paving and SuDS’, an essential introductory guide to all aspects of concrete block permeable paving for sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) – and much more. This comprehensive guide explores the latest innovations for new and retrofit paving, and potential with wider benefits for the urban environment.

Concrete block permeable paving is uniquely placed as an essential, multifunctional SuDS technique, providing an inherent drainage system that requires no additional land take for water storage. It combines proven engineering design solutions with water management replicating nature near the surface. Permeable paving can be used for direct infiltration of attenuated, treated water to the ground or conveyance to other SuDS or sewers. It should also cost less than conventional paving and piped drainage to install and maintain, as the guide demonstrates. The new edition then explains how to use straightforward flow controls to maximise storage and other capabilities of permeable paving, offering further cost savings.

And permeable paving is also very effective at removing pollution from surface water runoff, notably vehicle pollutants, identified in recent research as particularly harmful to our rivers.  In fact, permeable paving provides a gradual supply of clean, treated water as an asset, supporting landscape (including trees), biodiversity, water harvesting and safe open SuDS features downstream. But the wider benefits of concrete block permeable paving are also discussed in the guide. It offers ‘cool pavements’ helping to reduce the urban heat island effect, making our cities more comfortable in summer, with evaporation of rainwater from the surface and within the paving. This enhances the already high albedo – or heat reflectance – offered by concrete block or flag paving generally.

One particular innovation covered in the latest edition of the guide is set to play a major role in the post-pandemic public realm. Retrofitting concrete block permeable paving as an overlay to existing streets offers a low-intervention technique to transform the public realm in response to the raft of recent active travel and open space initiatives.

Download edition 6 of Understanding Permeable Paving and SuDS here: