Eco Pavers

Eco Pavers

All properties, depending on the township and zoning, will have a limit on the amount of impervious surfaces that can exist on the lot at a time. This can be very frustrating for some as this percentage can be set low, limiting what they can do. The once expansive addition with a patio now has to be reduced in size or cannot be built at all due to the limitations placed on the property. To work around this issue, eco pavers and paving have been incorporated into designs in an effort to reduce the impervious coverage.

“Eco” pavers/paving work by allowing water to percolate through the paving or paver in question instead of just running off into the lawn or storm inlets and are designed in a way that is similar to a underground infiltration bed.

These systems can be designed in a couple of ways, depending on the needs of that particular project. One such way would be similar to a stone infiltration bed. The walkway would be designed to infiltrate the runoff from the pavers or paving directly beneath it and into an uncompact subgrade, exactly how a normal infiltration bed would. This method would also require infiltration testing to ensure that the soil has the capability to infiltrate the runoff into the ground. An alternate method would be to run a perforated collector pipe under the Eco Pavers to convey runoff to a nearby bed or basin, which would then eliminate the need for testing under the pavers while still allowing water to infiltrate into the soil.

After installation, these eco pavers will need to be maintained in order to continue to act as a permeable surface. Porous pavement, for example, requires the use of a Vacuum Sweep a couple times a year to ensure that the pavement is free from any sediment that would otherwise clog the system. This kind of paving can also never be sealed and must be repaved with porous materials to function properly.

While this might seem like a good idea to add to a project to help reduce the impervious coverage on the site it does have its downsides. These systems will need to be maintained by the owner to ensure that they continue to function as designed & not all townships approve of the use of Eco pavers as a way to reduce coverage on a property. So it’s always a good idea to check with the township to make sure that they will approve of the design.

Rustin Walk (Project Update)

Rustin Walk (Project Update)

 

The “Rustin Walk” subdivision should consider changing its name to “Rustin Run”!  After 2 years in the design and approval process, and another 9 months of infrastructure installation, West Chester’s newest development of luxury single-family estate homes opened for sales.Since the beginning of March, 20 homes are already under contract, 14 of which sold in the 1st two weeks.These homes are flying off the shelves faster than milk and bread during a forecasted snow storm and for good reason!

Designed by D.L. Howell & Associates for Behrle Construction, national home builder NV Homes (a division of Ryan Homes) has created some pretty breathtaking home selections for this equally as breathtaking site.Nestled in Westtown Township in central Chester County, this exclusive development offers spectacular vistas and rolling green meadows surrounded by mature forest and bordered by one of the most elite, privileged high schools in the County.NV Homes has really brought their “A” game to the table with the architecture and loaded amenities in a variety of home models that they offer in this community.Take a walk through the model and you’ll see what I mean.

With such an unbelievable selling pace, this site will be sold out before the end of the summer, so I highly suggest you get out there quick if this location is on your radar.This is truly a one-of-a-kind site!Check out the site in person and/or click on the link below to see what this development has to offer.

http://www.nvhomes.com/neighborhoods/pa/chester/west-chester/rustinwalk

Trouble in Paradise

Trouble in Paradise

Well maybe not PARADISE, but the Jersey Shore. Recently, the bridge connecting Avalon, NJ and Sea Isle, NJ was closed indefinitely after a dive team discovered a crack in one pile and severe deterioration in another one part of a three-pile group supporting a single pier. This deems the pier unstable, and therefore it cannot support the loads it was designed for. Until the pile is repaired, patrons will have to retreat to the Garden State Parkway or Route 9 to navigate between the two islands. Fortunately, this failure was detected before the start of the summer season…and before anyone was injured.

This is just a reminder for our industry that upkeep and observation is critical. Maintenance of erosion controls and stormwater collection systems is just as important as the implementation of these practices. Why? Why should I really care what happens once my project is approved and built? While the damages caused by failing erosion controls or stormwater basins aren’t as tangibly severe as a collapsing bridge, they can have long-term detriments to our water supplies and environment. For example, after all these April showers, it is necessary for contractors to go out to construction sites and ensure that silt fence or filter socks are still in place and continuing to prevent sediment from exiting the area of construction. If that sediment passes through the barrier, it and all the chemicals and toxins it garners along the way could enter the water system and pollute our natural habitat – harming plant, animal, and human life! Not to mention that this growing deposit of sediment in the stream reduces the stream’s capacity and can lead to flooding.

​Similarly, if an orifice is clogged, this could lead to system overflow, which could cause flooding downstream, or accelerated erosion. Even rain gardens could turn into ponds if the plants are not maintained with proper watering, weeding, and inspecting. Re-planting and the removal of sediment may be necessary to ensure that the gardens are collecting stormwater and thus preventing its flow through dirty roads and into nearby creeks and streams.

Our typical approach to civil engineering is Design, Build, Operate & Maintain (O&M). The above are just a few examples of why this third step of O&M should never be overlooked. While isolated incidents of failing systems may have minimal effect on our environment, repeated events will cause compounding damages. Regular maintenance habits should be developed now to prevent long term damages that will affect our future. Please contact D.L. Howell with any questions or concerns regarding stormwater management and erosion controls in your neighborhood.