Permeable Parking Lots

Porous parking surfaces that deliver less flash flooding, reduce urban heat island impacts and support large trees

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Permeable Parking Lots

Local councils are increasingly choosing permeable services for parking lots due to a wide range of benefits;

  1. Permeable parking lots reduce risks of flash flooding 
  2. Parking lots with porous surfaces immediately return water into the local water tables below that then support large trees to thrive. 
  3. Porous parking lots reduce stormwater runoff where often harmful and toxic chemicals can enter local creeks impacting flora and fauna. 
  4. Permeable parking lot surfaces reduce urban heat island effect impacts. As this is a major contributor to climate change, parking lots that are permeable play a key role in reducing local temperature levels. 

Why choose a permeable surface for parking lots?

Frequently asked questions about permeable surfaces

Permeable parking lots materials: Pavers or Pavement?

Permeable parking lots can be built with either pavers or pavement, both materials provide different benefits that should be considered.


Permeable pavers are generally designed with inbuilt gaps between each paver that allows water to filter through.Porous pavement or asphalt allows water to filter straight through

its surface.


It's important to check the engineering capacity for each surface material to ensure that they can carry the projected loads.


What is the life cycle of a Porous parking surface

Porous parking lots can achieve a very similar lifespan as non-porous alternatives. 

With the right engineering porous parking lots have proven to be just as resilient. 


For example, they are more tolerant to flash flooding. They do not get as hot or cold, they are  subject to less cracking. Historically they have less potholes as water filters straight through the permeable surface. 


Contractors should be consulted on whether a permeable or non permeable surface is more appropriate for the parking lot under consideration, however lifespan should not be a deterrent when choosing to go with a porous solution. 


Can permeable asphalt carry vehicle weight?

Most permeable surfaces can carry the same, if not more weight as their non-permeable equivalents. It's important to distinguish this from porous resin that you will find commonly around tree roots. In the case for permeable asphalt, this is designed and engineered to carry significant weight. You will commonly find that permeable asphalt for parking lots are manufactured with similar ingredients, such as concrete, rock and bonding agents, to ensure appropriate strength of your porous parking lot.


How much do permeable parking lots cost?

The cost of a permeable parking lot will range, depending on the square meters of permeable asphalt required and also the material chosen. Some permeable parking lots are built with a mixture of non permeable and permeable asphalt to mitigate additional costs and still can function as effectively. 


For example, some permeable parking lots will choose to cover the areas where car’s park with permeable asphalt, and where cars drive through the parking lot they will choose not to put permeable asphalt in those areas. Water will still run off the non permeable surface into the permeable asphalt area to ensure that the benefits of a porous parking lot are achieved. 


Information Centre

What is Water Sensitive Urban Design?

What is Water Sensitive Urban Design?

A way of integrating the water cycle with the built environment for good planning.

Permeable Paving Solutions and insights from Adbri Masonry

Permeable Paving Solutions and insights from Adbri Masonry

Adbri Masonory provides solutions that tackle important water sensitive urban design issues.

What is a permeable walkway?

What is a permeable walkway?

How porous footpaths are transforming walking infrastructure