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Porous Pave XL saves the day at Texas nature center
Beth Hyatt | May 15, 2017
pavers lay porous pave xl installing

Photo: Porous Pave

Recently the four-acre park in Bellaire, Texas, the Hana and Arthur Ginzbarg Nature Discovery Center, underwent renovations to install a new permeable paved path, which features 2,500 square feet of Porous Pave XL.

The park was founded in 1988 and gives visitors the chance to experience a personal connection with nature amid Houston.

Porous Pave XL is a highly porous and durable pour-in-place paving material. It’s made from 50 percent recycled rubber chips and 50 percent kiln-dried aggregated mixed with a liquid binder.

“The Porous Pave path ensures that there is no standing water after it rains,” said Michael Bratton, chief operating officer, Piper Whitney Construction. “It also gives park goers a new, more interesting and more natural view of the park.”

Piper Whitney Construction, LLC in Houston, Texas, installed the new path. The company specializes in permeable paving and green hardscape solutions. The new path, elevated 1-2 inches above the surrounding ground, includes 1.5 inches of Porous Pave XL placed on top of a three-inch base of compacted #57 granite aggregate.

flooded park before porous pave

Before adding Porous Pave XL, the park would experience massive amounts of flooding. Photo: Porous Pave

“Flooding made our paver path unsafe and unusable, a problem we had to solve,” said Henry Owen, executive director, Nature Discovery Center. “The necessity of building a new permeable path gave us the opportunity to re-design it with more naturalistic curves, winding between four distinct habitat areas.”

When rainstorms would come to the park, old pathways could be covered with up to four inches of water. With Porous Pave XL in place, the company says water passes through the pervious surface of Porous Pave at a rate of 5,800-6,300 gallons per hour per square foot. This allows stormwater to percolate down through the base below.

Through the donation of the Robert L. Cook Charitable Fund, the Porous Pave path goes through Pocket Prairie, Prairie Wetland, Cypress Pond and Deciduous Woodland habitat zones. Resource Environmental Solutions (RES) donated their services to restore and improve the habitats.

“Our site was once a pecan orchard. We have 80-90-year-old pecan trees to protect,” Owen said. “With Porous Pave, there are no big trucks or heavy equipment, and the extent and depth of the required excavation were minimal.”

“The installation was relatively non-intrusive, and the path is now useable and safe right after it rains,” Bratton said. “Porous Pave pours in place, making it easy to shape the path’s curves. The color we chose complements the granite trails in other parts of the nature park.”

members walking along porous pave in park

Photo: Porous Pave

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