One man’s waste is another man’s treasure: The story of stumbling upon ProFlow™ Permeable Pavers

The Inspirational development of ProFlow Permeable Pavers

While having produced some of the most prominent decking projects globally with Black Locust Decking, our philosophy at Black Locust Lumber has always been to build a sustainable business with zero-waste in manufacturing sustainable wood products. Today with ProFlow™ Permeable Pavers we are capable of utilizing every piece of lumber all the while giving back to the communities in which both people and trees are grown.

We would like to share the story of the past 8 years of developing our zero-waste Proflow™ Permeable Pavers product.

proflow pavers italy
D. Stubby Warmbold at The Grand Hotel Entourage | Gorizia in Italy

On a mission to becoming Zero Waste with ProFlow™ Permeable Pavers

We have always used Black Locust as a material for our products, as it has a natural longevity of 50+ years. It has water-resistant, rot-resistant, and anti-fungal properties without the help of any chemicals. No oils, stains or paint are necessary to maintain its beauty make it a perfect type of wood for sustainable architecture.

Black Locust has a uniqueness, but it is also a difficult log to cut. In the US there are native insects that cause damage to the inside that affects the quality of the material. However, we cannot determine these natural internal defects until we start cutting the log into lumber. Upon further sawing, we often find the recovery from that lumber can be reduced. Being firm believers of sustainability and zero-waste, we insisted on finding a way of using these small pieces of wood.

A response to climate change inspired by cobblestone pavers

During our travels across Europe and the USA we visited many historic sites. We were inspired by castles in Europe where pavements and buildings commonly use cobblestones. Inspiration also came from some of the streets in cities across the U.S. (Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco and New Orleans) that are also paved in cobblestones and setts.

proflow pavers for garden

A world covered in concrete is not prepared for the climate changes of the times we are living. Storms are becoming more and more common and flooding is a real issue. Water is a precious resource, however too much of it is destructive and we need a solution that absorbs water in a natural way. In contrast to concrete, permeable pavers are a great solution for stormwater management. They absorb water faster and have the environmental advantage of moving rather than cracking with movements in the ground.

hard proflow paver
Solid concrete surfaces in urban areas with no permeability is an issue globally

Our response to climate change in our field of expertise of lumber was born 8 years ago and grew into a the environmental product of ProFlow™ Permeable Pavers.

A permeable paver that has historic and traditional roots but giving it a modern, sustainable feature of being wood vs. concrete. ProFlow™ Pavers have much less impact and are softer to the feet and cooler to walk on in extreme summer weather.

Tested in real-world conditions

We have tested ProFlow™ Permeable Pavers in real world conditions. We have been developing this product for 8 years now. Our newest project was a residential project in San Francisco, California on the bay.

The pavers used for the project were assembled and manufactured in Los Angeles by our social community partners. To see these talented individuals do a great job and be proud of their work brings joy to our hearts. We are proud of our ability to give back to our communities to offer employment opportunities in marginalized communities.

It is a full circle. With the pandemic and change in global climate there is an ever-growing push to invest in green products and communities. We are hoping to give back to our communities and play our part in building a sustainable world. Our goal is to keep zero-waste and social responsibility at the heart of manufacturing Black Locust Lumber products.

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