Everything you need to know: Permeable Proflow Pavers™ ultimate guide

After telling the inspirational development of Permeable Proflow Pavers™ we are here to share an ultimate guide on Permeable Proflow Pavers™ the only natural renewable permeable paver system available. Permeable Proflow Pavers™ were invented by Stubby D. Warmbold at Black Locust Lumber based on several decades of experience. We summarised everything you need to know about what architectural projects use this product made of Black Locust wood and its installation.

About permeable pavers in general

Permeable pavers are becoming ever more popular in sustainable architecture. The reason behind this is that permeable surfaces make it possible for water to penetrate into the ground underneath. They are just as durable as traditional paving systems but have a better impact on the environment and fit especially well in cities that are affected by increased heat. 

Permeable pavers are an environmentally friendly solution that meets regulations to improve stormwater management. Traditional hardscape surfaces (concrete and asphalt for example) collect stormwater and do not allow the water to be absorbed in the ground, thus resulting in pools and even flooding in cities. On the other hand, permeable pavers have a porous surface and act very much like the natural ground allowing water to be absorbed naturally. 

Permeable pavers are often used for driveways, green rooftops, pedestrian walks, and footpaths. Permeable pavers are made of several different materials: asphalt, concrete, and even wood. We at Black Locust Lumber are lumbermen and believe in sustainability so we prefer a natural solution in our permeable paving system material, which is wood.

Why use wood pavers? Nature in its purity

Sustainable permeable pavers

In our previous article, we have discussed why it is beneficial and a sustainable choice to use wood permeable pavers. Today, environmental friendliness plays a major part when coming to a final decision on what material to select in any architectural project. Wood material has a better impact on the environment than concrete or asphalt. Using wood as a material in architecture is recognized by green building rating systems as well. Wood pavers have a low carbon footprint due to the purity of the product. No chemicals or high energy-intensive production methods are not required to produce it compared to other paver materials.

Black Locust hardwood Proflow Permeable Pavers™ provide a softer and cooler surface on the feet compared to concrete. Google, Assembly at North First, San José, CA
Black Locust hardwood Proflow Permeable Pavers™ provide a softer and cooler surface on the feet compared to concrete. Google, Assembly at North First, San José, CA

Low maintenance need and costs

Permeable Proflow Pavers™ is the first Black Locust wooden pavers design in the world. 

With deep roots in forestry we have always insisted on using Black Locust wood as a material for our products. The reason for that is that the wood has a natural longevity of 50+ years and has rot-resistant, and anti-fungal properties without the help of any toxic chemicals. No oils, stains, or paint are necessary to maintain its beauty. We have found that this makes Black Locust a perfect type of wood for sustainable architecture. 

Not only do Permeable Proflow Pavers™ last without the use of chemical treatments, but they also have minimal maintenance needs. Mostly a good sweeping is enough to keep it clean. Later in our article, you can also find information on the installation process and costs for Permeable Proflow Pavers™.

Beautiful wood permeable pavers

Yes, Permeable Proflow Pavers™ are sustainable and have low maintenance needs, but the third reason why architects choose permeable pavers system made of Black Locust wood is because of the beauty of the wood itself. Left natural, Black Locust permeable pavers will develop a silvery-gray patina due to exposure to the natural environment. The color is a result of natural elements of UV, rain, and snow.

Central European University rooftop covered in Black Locust hardwood Proflow Permeable Pavers™ in Budapest, Hungary

We are proud of how the unique design of Permeable Proflow Pavers™ has elevated prominent architectural projects such as Google, Assembly at North First, San José, CA, and Central European University rooftop in Budapest, Hungary among many others.

What places make best use of Permeable Proflow Pavers?

  1. Stormwater-solution for urban green spaces with permeable pavers

We experience that storms and flooding are becoming a real issue that need to be addressed by architectural solutions. Permeable pavers are a great solution to absorb water in a natural way. We found that the design of the permeable pavers made of Black Locust wood absorb water faster than concrete. Green roofs and urban green spaces are becoming a key player in managing stormwater, where the use of Permeable Proflow Pavers™ combined with vegetated surfaces for example reduce the volume of surface water runoff.

  1. Permeable pavers reduce heat island effect in urbanized areas

According to research concrete pavements can reach peak summertime temperatures of 145*F, hot enough to cook an egg on concrete and asphalt. To make urban areas such as parks, green roofs and playgrounds more livable Permeable ProFlow Pavers™ can combat heat island effect through natural evaporative cooling. It creates a localized cooling effect when the moisture within the pavement structure evaporates as the surface heats. Lower surface air temperatures are more healthy to spend time around and lower energy cooling costs compared to the burning heat of concrete or asphalt.

Permeable ProFlow Pavers™ can combat heat island effect through evaporative cooling.
Permeable ProFlow Pavers™ can combat heat island effect through natural evaporative cooling.

  1. Compressive strength of permeable pavers for driveways

ProFlow Permeable Pavers™ are extremely durable and provide a driveway surface that will last for decades. Compared to concrete pavers’ compressive strength of 55.158.058 Pascals, our Black Locust pavers exceed 70.188.629 Pascals. Our permeable pavers made of Black Locust create a stronger surface than poured asphalt (compressive strength of 3,000 PSI). This video shows the load testing of the surface with a 60-ton crane driving over it.

How to install Permeable Proflow Pavers™?

  1. Highest performer fIller material for Permeable Proflow Pavers™

The highest performer filler material for Permeable Proflow Pavers™ is ROMEX® Pavement Jointing Mortar. With ROMEX® we offer a solution that eliminates the need of maintenance of permeable pavers. It seals the surface in a way that there is no way organic matter other than water can pass through. The only maintenance the surface will occasionally require is  a good sweeping. 

Easy to install Permeable Proflow Pavers™with ROMEX permeable fillers.
Easy to install Permeable Proflow Pavers™with ROMEX permeable fillers.

  1. Modular design reduces installation cost 

Permeable Proflow Pavers™ come in panels or in other words setts. The setts are made up of multiple Black Locust blocks each and they are attached to a recycled wire mesh. The paver panels can be laid next to each other for quick and simple installation over large areas. To finish off, the joints are filled with the ROMEX joint mortar. The modular design allows faster installation and reduces installation labor costs.

We hope the Permeable Proflow Pavers™ ultimate guide has been informative to your specific project. Our permeable pavers made of Black Locust wood will give you the perfect finish for your next urban green space or green roof project. If you are looking for permeable pavers that are a sustainable alternative to tropical hardwoods with low maintenance needs and add a beautiful finishing touch, please contact a Black Locust Lumber specialist for further assistance. 

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