In 2022, Yarra City Council and the University of Melbourne constructed an innovative permeable pavement made with recycled rubber to create a strong and resilient surface that allows water to pass through, reducing stormwater runoff and pollution in waterways.
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Product name and supplier
Permeable pavement, Porous Lane.
Recycled material/s contained in product
Waste tyres, sourced from a Victorian facility diverting this waste from landfill.
Percentage of recycled material in product
Total amount of recycled materials used
Half a tonne (500kg) of Australian recycled tyres.
Product specifications and standards
Yarra City Council created an overarching construction specification for the project. Council has now developed a standard drawing and specification to assist with future implementation of permeable pavement in the municipality.
6 car parking bays in Rutland Street, Clifton Hill (corner of Noone Street) Victoria.
Yarra City Council has limited space for traditional water sensitive urban design and recognises the need for solutions that improve urban tree health and reduce the urban heat island effect.
To better understand the effect of permeable pavements compared to more traditional options on ambient and surface temperatures, tree health, water runoff, lifecycle performance and maintenance requirements, Yarra City Council piloted the use of a new permeable pavement product at Rutland Street, Clifton Hill.
The permeable pavement contains recycled soft tyres bonded together by polyurethane binder to create a product that is flexible and strong at the same time. It will reduce stormwater runoff to local drains and waterways, withstanding one in one hundred year (1% AEP) storm events while cooling down the surrounding environment and providing better irrigation to street trees.
The Permeable Pavers project was supported by Sustainability Victoria’s Sustainable Infrastructure Fund.
Yarra City Council investigated potential permeable paving products to consider for upcoming projects, and during this process identified Porous Lane as a supplier who could work with Yarra City Council in the design, construction and post-construction evaluation and management of the product. Sourcing the product was straightforward due to the collaboration with Porous Lane.
The permeable pavement product required a more detailed design process than initially planned, particularly in relation to where the product could be used and drainage. Council has since developed a standard drawing and specification to assist with future implementation of permeable pavement in the municipality.
The construction contractors found that they needed to be more careful during the installation and that more effort was required than traditional asphalt to achieve a suitable finish, however, this was not difficult.
This project will set a new standard for water sensitive urban design and increase the lifespan of assets in inner city councils' limited spaces. High-filtration permeable pavers demonstrate how waste materials can be recycled and used in a new way to passively irrigate and grow trees by having a reservoir layer underneath.
“Yarra City Council is committed to exploring the value of innovative products such as the Porous Lane permeable pavement. This investment is not only in the trial of alternative and more sustainable products, but also in the long-term performance, assessing durability, positive effects on tree health and stormwater quality improvement.”
Sainath Tavate, Stormwater and Drainage Coordinator, Yarra City Council.
The permeable pavers parking bays will be monitored by The University of Melbourne for 2 years after construction, including moisture retention and mechanical performance under live traffic load for any movement or pavement settlement issues. Data from the trial will inform further improvements to the product.
The project will also assess the long-term value of the permeable pavement on tree health, by measuring the soil moisture and growth of the trees within the permeable pavement zone compared with control trees nearby.
For more information about this project, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The product required diligent installation and more effort was required to achieve a suitable finish than traditional asphalt; however overall, it was not a difficult process.
The permeable pavement contains recycled soft tyres bonded together by polyurethane binder to create a product that is flexible and strong at the same time.
This pavement will allow for high infiltration and treatment of stormwater runoff compared to conventional asphalt paving.
The project will assess the long-term value of the permeable pavement on tree health, by measuring the soil moisture and growth of the trees.