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EVALUATION OF STRENGTH PERFORMANCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL

BENEFITS OF USING PERVIOUS CONCRETE IN THE PHILIPPINES

Christian R. Orozco, M.Sc.1, Francis Jerome R. de Lara2 and April Eunice E. Esmilla2
Assistant Professor, Institute of Civil Engineering, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Telefax: (+632) 4343635 Email: crorozco@up.edu.ph
2
Institute of Civil Engineering, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

Abstract : Pervious concrete is a type of concrete having an increased number of interlocking voids as compared to the
conventional concrete. It is popular in many countries because of its advantages over conventional concrete and asphalt
pavements. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes pervious concrete as Best Management Practice for
managing storm water runoff and providing first-flush pollution control. In the Philippines, the use of pervious concrete is not
very popular. This paper discusses the environmental benefits of using pervious concrete in the Philippines for pavement
applications. Laboratory experiments were carried out in order to quantify and assess infiltration, noise reduction, temperature
and compressive strength of pervious concrete with varying mix proportions of water, cement, coarse aggregates and fine
aggregates. It was found out that while pervious concrete has relatively lower strength compared with conventional concrete, it
could significantly reduce noise and temperature. Statistical analysis showed that the water-to-cement ratio and percent fine
aggregates are significant factors affecting strength and infiltration. Results of infiltration experiments were correlated with
strength performance. A correlation coefficient value of -0.895 was obtained suggesting strong negative relationship between
strength and infiltration performance.
to mitigate
runoff in urban areas [2].
Key words : Times Roman, Italic, 10pt, 3 to 5 words, one black line
below ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION

Pervious concrete is a combination of coarse aggregates,


cement, water and sometimes with little (or no) fine
aggregates. Pervious concrete is a special type of concrete
used primarily for road pavement applications [1]. Addition
of fine aggregates enhances the strength but decreases
infiltration rate of concrete [5]. Since pervious concrete has
many voids, its compressive strength is lower than
conventional concrete but has the same useful life of about 20
to 40 years depending on the manner of installation. The
minimal amount of fine aggregates in pervious concrete
makes it highly porous which causes precipitation to directly
pass through it. The use of pervious concrete has been
recognized by LEED, a rating system developed by the US
Green Building Council (US GBC) to evaluate the
environmental performance of a building, as it has been found

1.1 Uses and Benefits of Pervious Concrete


While the use of pervious concrete is limited in the
Philippines, it has been in use in various countries all over the
world. As given by a lot of reviews and journals, this type of
concrete is considered an environmentally friendly paving
material. Thus, since its first introduction in the United States
in the mid of 1970s, pervious concrete has been applied in
different countries in the world according to Shu et al. [6].
Pervious concrete is importantly applied for sustainable
construction. According to Obla [3], it is recognized by the
EPA for pollution control and storm water management.
Hence, the use of pervious concrete enables more efficient
land use through the elimination of the need for retention
ponds and similar structures according to Tennis [7].
Common applications include parking lots, sidewalks,
greenhouse floors and swimming pool decks.

1.2 Manages Runoff


Pervious concrete effectively controls runoff by capturing the
first flush of surface runoff, where the pollutants in the initial
influent are then filtered. It serves as a medium where it
allows water to pass through it, thus, lowering the potential
flooding of an area by retaining water temporarily until it
infiltrates into the soil matrix. Yang et al. [9] also noted that
pervious concrete pavement includes advantages such as the

quick filtration of rainwater to the ground so that groundwater


can be renewed, the absorption of vehicular noises, and the
adjustment of temperatures.

1.3 Noise Reduction


The porous nature of the surface of pervious concrete is
believed to minimize the pumping of air (the pumping of air
in and out of the tread blocks of the tire, which is currently
thought to be one of the primary noise generation
mechanisms), thereby reducing the noise generation while the
pores inside the material also absorb sound energy through
internal friction [4]. Moreover, a porosity of 15-25% in the
material structure allows sound waves to pass through and
dissipate its energy
Reduces Temperature
Pervious concrete is used in warmer climates as a cooler
pavement alternative to asphalt or conventional concrete. One
such documented use of pervious concrete, specifically PCPC
(or Portland Cement Pervious Concrete), is that of a fully
monitored parking lot composed of half PCPC and half
conventional concrete at the Iowa State University as part of
the Iowa Pervious Concrete Storm water Project. In this
project, it was observed that pervious concrete pavements
become hotter than conventional concrete when subject to
direct sunlight, and are similar in temperature when the
general temperature in the area is low. Therefore, there is less
heat storage capacity in the pervious concrete than in the
conventional one.

1.4 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental


Design)
Pervious concrete has been considered as a green construction
material for road pavement, as it has been recognized by
LEED [8]. According to its official website, Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system
that is recognized as the international mark of excellence for
green building in over 132 countries. It is a rating system
developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (US GBC) to
provide independent, third-party verification that a building,

home or community was designed and built using strategies


aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human
and environmental health: sustainable site development,
water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and
indoor environmental quality. LEED provides building
owners and operators with a framework for identifying and
implementing practical and measurable green building design,
construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
Each category in a LEED rating system consists of
prerequisites and credits. Prerequisites are required elements,
or green building strategies that must be included in any
LEED certified project. Credits are optional elements, or
strategies that projects can elect to pursue to gain points
toward LEED certification. LEED prerequisites and credits
work together to provide a common foundation of
performance and a flexible set of tools and strategies to
accommodate the circumstances of individual projects. LEED
points are not gained directly by the use of a product but by
meeting a specific sustainability goal of the rating program.
Specific credits where pervious concrete can aid the designer
include:
LEED Credit SS-C6.1 Storm Water Management Rate and
Quantity
LEED Credit SS-C6.1 Storm Water Management Quality
Control
Pervious concrete is recognized by the US Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) as Best Management Practice for
managing stormwater runoff and providing first-flush
pollution control.
Pervious concrete offers a number of advantages over using
conventional concrete especially with respect to
environmental benefits. As a solution to mitigating urban
runoff, pervious concrete drains water to the ground thereby
minimizing the need of constructing a drainage system. More
areas can therefore be utilized for a different purpose. Due to
the interlocking voids of pervious concrete, water could pass
through this enabling the recharge of groundwater.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

To investigate the strength and infiltration performance of


pervious concrete, a total of forty-five (45) samples of 4
inches diameter by 8 inches length pervious concrete were
casted in the laboratory as shown in Figure 2. Different
parameters were varied such as the water to cement ratio and
percent of fine aggregates. The water cement-ratio used were
0.30, 0.35 and 0.40 while the percent fines were varied from
5% to 15% with an increment of 2.5% yielding 5 different %
fine aggregate cases per water-to-cement ratio. Three
specimens were prepared for each of the test cases. Coarse
aggregates used were those that passed through 9.5 mm and
retained in 4.75 mm sieves. The samples were cured for 28
days.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

3.1 Noise Reduction


In this experiment, several objects made from different
materials were subjected to free-fall on both conventional and
pervious concrete surfaces, respectively, from a height of 7.5
inches. The objects were an ornament made from glass, a
plastic container, a cork, a coin, a small block of concrete, and
a tin container as shown in Figure 4. The sound meter, as
shown in Figure 5 is 12 inches away from the conventional
and pervious concrete surface, respectively. After dropping
the objects onto the concrete surfaces, sound (in dB) is then
recorded after the values have registered on the sound meter.
Six graphs were produced for each object dropped on the
concrete surface. The graphs were produced by analyzing the
sound/noise produced (ordinate) and the corresponding
percent fines the sample has (abscissa).
The variability of the noise produced for each type of object
may be due to the fact that the objects fall on parts of the
pervious concrete randomly, therefore producing random
values for noise. There is the probability that the objects
might fall on the crevices or on the solid interfaces/edges in
the pore structure. The shape of the material to be dropped
could also be accounted for. Values become more random for
more irregularly-shaped objects. The w/c ratio does not pose
significant influence on the amount of sound produced per
type of object. Percent fines, however, has influence to the

sound produced after dropping the materials onto both the


pervious and the conventional concrete surfaces. The general
trend for all the objects was that the sound produced increases
at 10% fines and decreases at 12.5%.

3.2 Temperature Reduction


This experiment quantifies these observations by making
laboratory specimen of a standard conventional concrete
pavement in the Philippines and a pervious concrete
pavement. The specimen consisted of a compacted soil as
the bottom layer, the subbase as the middle layer, and the
pavement as the top layer. These were contained on a
12x12x18 inches mold. Sticks and straws were placed per
layer so that the slot for the laboratory thermometer for
measuring the temperature per layer interface is secured.
During mixing for the pervious concrete, the w/c used has a
value of 0.35, with zero fines added to the mix. On the other
hand, the conventional concrete mix was designed for the
common pavements in the Philippines with a strength of 24.1
MPa. The proportions for coarse aggregates, fine aggregates,
cement and water were obtained by measuring each of its
mass in kilograms. Table 6 presents the amount of proportions
of aggregates, cement and water for the pervious and
conventional concrete.
Data for the ambient temperature, the top interface
temperature and the bottom interface temperature were
obtained for this experiment. The results obtained were
graphed on the ordinate versus a 48-hour duration and fourhour increments on the graphs abscissa as shown in Figure 6 .
Two graphs were produced for each interface of soil layer. It
could be observed that the fluctuations in temperature for the
pervious and conventional concrete are consistent. Moreover,
it could also be observed that the pervious concrete
temperature is generally lower than those of the conventional
concrete. The inconsistency with the trend for the ambient
temperature when compared to the trend for the concrete
surfaces shows that the concrete surfaces have absorbed heat
during each day of the experiment duration. The graph for the
bottom interface temperatures, also has implications
regarding heat absorption of the concrete surfaces. The
temperatures are lower than the top interface and the ambient
temperature. From the 9.30AM mark for Day 1 until the day
ends, the trend for the pervious and conventional concrete

bottom interface temperatures increases as the temperature


during the day increases and relatively decreases as the
temperature decreases when the day goes on. This relatively
insignificant decrease in temperature is due to the temperature
absorption of the concrete surface on the topmost layer. As
the day changes to Day 2, ambient temperature decreases
more. Temperatures of both pavements also decrease with the
time and ambient temperature. It is, however, higher than
those of the ambient temperature because it is enclosed under
the concrete surfaces. As one can observe, there is a
threshold time for the behavior of temperatures for the
pervious and conventional concrete temperatures to change.
On hotter temperatures (during the afternoon), the
temperature for the bottom interface of conventional concrete
is lower than those of the pervious concrete since the top layer
absorbs more heat than the pervious surface. Conventional
concrete has higher temperature than pervious concrete on
lower ambient temperatures because as similarly observed
from previous documented experiments, conventional

unique characteristics with each other, 0.3 w/c is increasing,


0.4 w/c is decreasing and 0.35 w/c exhibits normal
distribution curve. It is increasing from 2.5% fines to 10%
fines and decreasing as it approaches 15% fines.
Adding more fine aggregates in 0.4 w/c increases
compressive strength in contrast to the compressive strength
of 0.3 w/c that decrease upon adding more fines. When using
0.4 w/c, fine aggregates function as filler to the voids caused
by coarse aggregates thus, increasing the pervious concretes
strength. On the other hand, when you increase the percent of
fines using 0.3 w/c, the mixture becomes gritty. This will
decrease the compressive strength of pervious concrete.

For 0.35 w/c, adding fine aggregates up to 10% by total


aggregates weight increases the strength of pervious concrete.
However, adding more fine aggregates makes the concrete
mix gritty thus decreasing the concretes strength.
Upon increasing the water content of pervious concrete
mixture, the compressive strength of sample also increases.
When water-cement ratio is increased, more water will
combine with cement and fine aggregates making the
pervious concrete mixture more pasty. This paste will
increase the binding strength so its compressive strength
increases.
concrete has larger heat storage capacity than the pervious
concrete. Therefore, both observing the trends for the top and
bottom interfaces of both conventional and pervious concrete
pavements, it could be deduced that the conventional concrete
has higher heat storage capacity than those of pervious
concrete pavements.

Correlation
Performance
3.4

between

Strength and Infiltration

3.3 Compressive Strength Test Results


Pervious concrete sample exhibits different behavior of
failure compared to conventional concrete. Since it has pores,
the coarse aggregates splatter when the maximum
compressive strength of the sample is achieved. Figure 7
shows the result of compressive strength experiment. Similar
to the result of the infiltration rate test, it was found out that
both the water-to-cement ratio and percent fines affect the
compressive strength of concrete. Two-way analysis of
variance (ANOVA) carried out using statistical software
Minitab gives a p-value of < 0.05 for both of the factors and
their interaction. The graphs of water-cement ratio exhibit

Figure 8 shows the scatterplot between the compressive


strength and the infiltration performance of pervious concrete.

Statistical analysis showed that there exist negative


relationship between the infiltration rate and the compressive
strength (p-value < 0.05 and Pearson correlation coefficient =
-0.895). This decrease in the infiltration performance of
concrete when the strength is increased can be attributed with
the presence of less voids or increased in percent fines which
limits the infiltration of water in the concrete.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

This paper has discussed the strength performance and the


environmental benefits that arise from the use of pervious
concrete over the conventional concrete. The environmental
benefits of pervious concrete include temperature reduction,
noise reduction, runoff management and filtering of
pollutants. The first three environmental benefits have been
confirmed and backed-up by related literature, and were
quantified and further investigated by the experiments as
indicated in this paper. Noise and temperature reduction
experiments had quantified results as concluded from prior
researches.
This paper also presented the result of experiment conducted
to evaluate strength and infiltration performance of pervious
concrete with varying percent fine aggregates. The result of
the study verified that as the percent of fine aggregate
increases, the compressive strength decreases and the
infiltration capacity increases.
It has been shown that one of the disadvantages regarding the
use of pervious concrete is its low compressive strength. In
order to increase the compressive strength of pervious
concrete, fine aggregates should be added. Based from the
experiment for compressive strength, it was further
investigated that for a w/c of 0.35 to 0.4, the fine aggregates
acts as fillers for the voids in between the coarse aggregates;
it is the value for the w/c by which the method of addition of
the fine aggregates for additional strength could be applied.
The addition of fine aggregates for a w/c of 0.3 makes the
pervious concrete mixture gritty, thus there occurs no increase
in strength. One of the effects that results from adding the fine
aggregates for additional strength of the concrete is that the
infiltration rate for the pervious concrete decreases because
the amount of voids that lets the water pass through decreases.
It was also shown that strong linear relationship exists
between the infiltration rate and strength performance of
concrete.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Further study needs to be conducted for the utilization of


pervious concrete in the Philippines. The need for quantifying
the amount of pollutants filtered by the pervious concrete
could be investigated further. The importance of this study
entails risks of pollutants reaching the water table. Through
this study, not only the amount of pollutants filtered could be
quantified but it could also investigate which type of
pollutants the pervious concrete could efficiently filter out
before it gets into the soil and eventually into the aquifer

below. Through this study, further measures could be


improved and advantages and improvements on the costing
(especially regarding maintenance) could further be
investigated. For further investigation on the compressive
strength of pervious concrete, the size of coarse aggregates
could also be varied. The variety of the size of coarse
aggregates to be used could also be taken into account; and
whether or not it has positive effects in increasing the strength
of pervious concrete while at the same time not having to
sacrifice the infiltration rate. In investigating the infiltration
rate for pervious concrete, different locations around the
Philippines could be selected in order to account for the
average amount of rainfall and the infiltration rate for a
specific type of soil for a certain location. Life Cycle Analysis
and Life Cycle Cost Analysis for pervious concrete could also
be analyzed in order to compare the usefulness of pervious
concrete versus conventional and asphalt concrete in terms of
cost and environmental impact.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The author would like to acknowledge the funding support
from the UP ERDFI and UPD College of Engineering thru the
Faculty Research and Incentive Award

REFERENCES
[1] American Concrete Institute (ACI), (2006) Pervious Concrete
(ACI 522R-06).
[2] Delatte, N., and Cleary J. (2006) Developing a structural design
method for pervious concrete pavements, International
Center for Aggregates Research (ICAR) 2006 14th Annual
Symposium
[3] Obla, K.H. (September 2007) Pervious concrete for sustainable
development, Recent Advances in Concrete Technology
[4] Neithalath, N., Weiss, J., and Olek J. (2006) Characterizing
Enhanced Porosity Concrete using electrical impedance to
predict acoustic and hydraulic performance, Cement and
Concrete Research, Vol. 36, Issue 11, 2074-2085
[5] Orozco, et al (2013). Evaluation of Strenth and Infiltration
Performance of Pervious Concrete with Varying Percent
Fine Aggregates. Proceedings of the 6th ASEAN Civil
Engineering Conference, Bangkok Thailand.
[6] Shu, X., Huang, B., Wu, H., Dong, Q., and Burdette, E.G. (2011)
Performance comparison of laboratory and field produced
pervious concrete mixtures, Construction and Building
Materials 25, 3187-3192.
[7] Tennis, P.D., Leming, M.L., and Akers, D.J. (2004) Pervious
concrete pavements, Portland Cement Association Serial
No. 2828.
[8] US Green Building Council (n.d.) Leadership in Energy &
Environmental Design, viewed 6 January 2013,
http://www.usgbc.org/leed
[9]
Yang, J., and Jiang, G. (2003) Experimental study on
properties of pervious concrete pavement materials,
Cement and Concrete Research 33, 381-386.

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