Bluegrass-Aspendale- Lexington, KY

The challenge

Ten acres (187,000 sq. ft.) of the Bluegrass-Aspendale project required storage and management of the increased runoff from roofs, sidewalks, drives and parking areas.  With no available land for storage, Steve Garland, P.E. with Sherman Carter Barnhart (SCB) investigated several pavement resurfacing options that included: asphalt, porous pavement and permeable pavers.  With a total of 12 parking lots to pave, the goal was to find an economical solution while meeting the needs of the site.  The estimated project cost for traditional parking lots was $2.3M ($684K for asphalt, $1.5M for pipe system and $120K to address water quality issues).  Porous pavement was investigated as a possible solution; however, it too was cost prohibitive and eliminated as a solution to the challenge.

The solution

SCB was able to manage and store increased runoff while also saving money when he incorporated permeable pavers into the project design.  With land at a premium and society’s demand for more environmentally friendly solutions, paving the parking lots with permeable pavers was the most socially responsible option.  The water quality generated by the aggregate (reported by 3rd party testing), met or exceeded EPA requirements therefore, requiring no additional treatment devices.  Costing just $1M, (including the stone base, filter fabric for the detention and perforated pipe for edge and under drainage), permeable pavers was also the most economical solution for the project.

The results

Bluegrass-Aspendale’s permeable paver parking lots proved to be both an economical and environmental success; saving the project $1M, and today, serving as a model for future projects.  The parking lot has also generated excitement from surrounding universities, municipalities and business leaders as they too are interested in implementing socially responsible applications in their communities.