If you’ve been following AquiPor for even a short amount of time, you know that we are developing a new type of permeable concrete that would help alleviate stormwater pollution in cities, and we’re really excited about that. It’s not every day you invent a technology that could not only make life better for people in cities but can also directly help make our communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
In short, our permeable concrete can help ease the pressure on already overused sewage systems and reduce pollution in the environment by providing a better way to handle rainwater and snow runoff. Instead of allowing polluted stormwater to run off of paved surfaces and into storm drains, our permeable pavers will allow this water to flow down through the material and into subsurface layers before naturally recharging groundwater.
There are many applications for our permeable concrete, and we thought it would be fun to share some ideas we have that you might not have thought of. Here are 5 possible applications of our permeable concrete:
1. Swimming pools: Not the actual swimming pools, that would be kind of silly to have porous material in your pool, but imagine that you have permeable pavers surrounding the pool. Excess water gets drained from around the pool, making it a safer place for your kids. Now, instead of yelling at your kids to “stop running around the pool!”, you can yell “kids, run and get me another beer!”. Honestly though, having less water around makes it less slick and therefore a lot safer for those you love. Just imagine!
2. Parking lots: You may not even notice it, but those random grassy swales in retail and commercial parking lots are actually there to deal with stormwater runoff. Instead of bulky, space consuming swales or stormwater ponds, AquiPor permeable pavers can take their place to manage stormwater without taking up all that usable space! Btw, did you know that 5.5% of all developed land in the U.S. is made up of impervious parking lots?! This is a problem we know can be reversed!
3. Sidewalk Panels: There are millions of miles of sidewalks throughout the U.S. and almost all of them are impermeable. What better way to manage stormwater from the street than to direct it to permeable sidewalks and manage it right there?! Now of course, these systems need to be designed and engineered to be structurally sound and to prevent road settling but we’ve considered that too. Our “steady-state”, porous detention tanks go underneath our permeable sidewalk panels and regulate how fast stormwater goes back into the ground based on the natural hydrology of those soils. As part of a fully engineered design, we can literally turn neighborhoods into stormwater infiltration corridors. Neat huh?
4. Bike lanes and walking paths: As more and more cities embrace micro-mobility and pedestrian friendly neighborhoods, why not turn the designated bike lanes and pathways in cities into permeable surfaces? Any opportunity to transform impervious pavement into permeable surfaces not only helps with stormwater and flooding issues, but it’s also known that permeable paving can help eliminate urban heat island. Pedestrian friendly + stormwater management + elimination of urban heat island = WIN WIN WIN!
5. Driveways and residential patios: Using permeable pavers in a residential driveway and / or patio can help alleviate all manner of groundwater and stormwater runoff issues, while also safeguarding local water quality by protecting against the infiltration of pollutants. In cold climates, electric or hydronic heating systems in conjunction with a well-designed permeable paver system can not only eliminate snow and ice, but it can get that precipitation back into the ground naturally. Of course, these system designs cost more but it goes to show you what’s possible with permeable concrete pavers!
At AquiPor, we’re hard at work developing our technology to meet the standards necessary for each and every one of these applications. What else haven’t we thought of?! Get in touch with us and let us know!
AquiPor was featured in Inhabitant magazine:
These upcycled bricks filter pollution from rainwater runoff
`Urban flooding from changing weather patterns is becoming more and more noticeable with each season. A startup called AquiPor has created a material that not only manages stormwater naturally, but also takes a fraction of the carbon to produce compared with standard concrete. AquiPort’s concrete-like material6 is highly permeable, allowing high volumes of rainwater to flow through it. This gets stormwater back into the ground naturally, reducing the threat of our cities flooding, while also filtering out pollutants. And given the colossal carbon footprint of concrete – 8% of global emissions come from the cement industry7 – the company’s paving the way for a greener urban landscape
Click Here to read the whole story
The current state of stormwater in the United States presents a unique challenge for design professionals of the present and future. The increased flooding and pollution problems associated with our changing weather patterns has become more noticeable with the passing of each season. The question now really is how bad will these problems become as the climate continues to change? For starters, recent studies indicate stormwater infrastructure built in the last 50 years was done so with data that did not account for climate change. In addition, infrastructure in 43 states are currently designed with data collected no sooner than 2015. Alarming for communities in the Pacific Northwest, rainfall records representing industry design storms date all the way back to 1973. The issues will continue to accelerate as long as The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Atlas 14, which provides the data that determines design storm criteria, looks at the past and not the future. But even with the most up-to-date rainfall information, climate scientists warn that infrastructure is still likely to fail. The growing awareness behind these issues has brought forth $1.4 billion in direct federal funding over 5 years to the EPA Sewer Overflow & Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant Program, reflecting only a small portion of an infrastructure bill that will directly impact stormwater improvement projects across the nation. The journey to bridge an $8 billion stormwater funding gap is now underway.
To help ease the fragmented planning efforts across the US, amendments to the Clean Water Act continue to legislate integrated planning, which identifies efficiency from separate wastewater and stormwater programs to best prioritize capital investments while achieving human health and water quality objectives. This holistic approach to planning builds community engagement, aligns objectives, and emphasizes a preparedness for change. The is a total of 30 integrated plans developed throughout the United States, a number expected to grow significantly through the decade.
Since 2015, the AquiPor team has recognized green infrastructure (GI) as a critical component to integrated planning efforts and are pleased to see this reflected in policy. Having said that, the current definition of GI as presented in the Clean Water Act falls short of incorporating the elements of integrated planning. GI is currently defined as "a range of measures that use plant or soil systems, permeable pavement or other permeable surfaces or substrates, stormwater harvest and reuse, or landscaping to store, infiltrate, or evapotranspirate stormwater and reduce flows to sewer systems or to surface waters." Defining green infrastructure simply by its performance characteristics detracts from the overall value of integrated planning. We aren't the only ones that feel this way. A recent study by The Frontiers of Ecology and the Environment reviewed 122 plans from 20 US cities, finding that city planning often fails to explicitly define green infrastructure, but when it does, stormwater concepts of GI are much more prevalent than landscape or integrative concepts. When defined, functions of GI are primarily hydrological. More functional diversity was found in landscape and integrative definitions of GI. In addition, stormwater concepts surrounding GI engage in greenwashing. The study calls for a broadened definition, one that focuses on the relations between ecological and built infrastructure systems to facilitate the production of social benefits. The review goes on to suggest the following definition : “A system of interconnected ecosystems, ecological–technological hybrids, and built infrastructures providing contextual social, environmental, and technological functions and benefits. As a planning concept, GI brings attention to how diverse types of urban ecosystems and built infrastructures function in relation to one another to meet socially negotiated goals”. We believe this broadened definition of GI incorporates the elements of integrated planning far greater than the one that currently sits in legislation.
AquiPors ecological-technological approach to stormwater management helps to redefine GI by incorporating current infrastructure improvement needs and applying them into a singular retrofit design. By simply modernizing our nation's sidewalks, we can re-imagine transportation by evolving complete street concepts, utilize existing gray infrastructure as real estate for a utility housing corridor, and decentralize the basic needs of our communities with a combination of ecological and built systems intended to thrive in the face of a changing climate. Resilient infrastructure requires a new and innovative approach for tomorrow, and AquiPor is excited to meet this moment.
Utilizing Innovative Materials to Reduce Urban Flooding
Our very own co-founder and V.P. of Market Development, Kevin Kunz, recently spoke with FreightWaves about the importance of innovative green infrastructure for flood mitigation and stormwater management.
FreightWaves provides supply chain organizations with fundamental data and context that help benchmark, analyze, monitor pricing and risks in the $9.6 Trillion dollar global logistics industry. On the heels of extreme flooding disrupting logistics in parts of the country, numerous industries have now been impacted by climate change.
As Tyler Cole, director of carbon intelligence at FreightWaves stated, “It’s refreshing to see that new, innovative solutions for replacing crumbling infrastructure are electing to focus on environmental upgrades alongside functionality. The hype around electrification and reducing emissions can at times overshadow other crucial areas of impact, such as efficient and safe water systems or gender equality. We need more firms like AquiPor to identify, develop and scale climate solutions.”
An AquiPor ad was recently spotted in Times Square and this was ironically the same day that NYC got blasted with extreme rain and flooding that same evening.
These types of weather events are exactly why we’re developing our permeable surface technologies and engineered solutions to manage stormwater and mitigate urban flooding.
The reality is that the majority of flooding issues in our country occur due to current water infrastructure being completely overwhelmed in the face of modern-day storms. Our solutions are being developed to help ease the burden on existing water infrastructure.
Thrive Global recently interviewed our CEO Greg Johnson and uncovered what drives him and the AquiPor team in our quest to solve large, challenging issues surrounding water infrastructure and climate change. At AquiPor we believe that the biggest challenges represent the biggest opportunities and we're fiercely committed to helping solve them.
As extreme weather events seem to become more commonplace, cities face big challenges when it comes to managing stormwater runoff pollution and mitigating urban flooding. Check out this feature in Fast Company, where AquiPor’s material technology is highlighted as a potential solution to these pressing issues.
Read the article here
At AquiPor, we believe that the bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity. Suffice to say, the enormous water challenges that our cities face today represent even bigger opportunities for AquiPor to make our mark. After five long years of ceaseless R&D, we’ve finally arrived at a technology that we believe can be paradigm shifting in urban stormwater management.
For those of you that have invested, you have invested in much more than just a new construction product for backyard patios. We are developing our material technology to be the future of on-site stormwater management in cities. In the future, this material could be used in engineered stormwater designs that we haven’t even thought of yet!
What makes AquiPor material different is the pore size. We use a completely novel chemical technology approach to get material that is strong and permeable, but which features sub-micron porosity. It is capable of filtering out dirt, debris, and particle pollutants that are known to compromise existing permeable pavements.
For cities and developers, this means a small footprint, low-maintenance permeable surface design capable of managing stormwater runoff naturally, right within existing corridors.
As you can probably imagine, there are a lot of urban street miles in the U.S. So to be able to supply the market, we’ve been diligently lining up our supply chain and future manufacturing plans. We are working on some exciting developments to that end, which I’ll be sure to announce when I can.
In the end, big things are possible with the right combination of vision, technology, people, and capital, and your support at the outset of this launch has been incredible. Keep sharing our story and spread the word. We’re extremely thankful for that!
We've put together a short video to explain "The AquiPor Difference" and hope you'll stay tuned to our page for further updates. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out with questions. Onward!