Contractors who can establish themselves as a leader in the permeable industry can develop a niche market, which will only expand as the use of permeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP) continues to become more mainstream with each passing year. According to recent surveys by the Landscape Contractor/Design Build Maintain (LC/DBM) magazine and the Association of Landscape Architects (ASLA), 94 percent of landscape contractors and 79 percent of landscape architects predict continued growth in the permeable paver market.

Whether for residential or commercial use, many companies look to PICP both as a way to earn LEED® credits for sustainable building practices and as a way of satisfying increasingly stringent stormwater regulations.

According to Charles A. McGrath, CAE, Executive Director of the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI), since PICP supports low-impact development goals and is a best management practice for controlling stormwater runoff and conserving water resources, many municipalities are mandating the use of PICP. In addition, the International Green Building Code, LEED, and other sustainable rating systems are encouraging the use of permeable pavements.

As for growth in the industry, "ICPI has been tracking the sales of PICP for the past three years, and have recorded growth from 15 to 20 percent (yearly). We expect this trend to continue," said McGrath, as reported by Landscape Online.

As manufacturer of the country's leading brand of concrete pavers, Belgard Hardscapes, Oldcastle® Architectural has also seen this rising trend.

"We've seen about a 25 percent increase in sales of permeable pavers over the last few years, said Ken O'Neill, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Oldcastle Architectural. "Roughly 85 percent of that comes from new construction and commercial, and the balance is residential retrofitting."

While few expect permeable surfacing to overtake traditional hardscapes anytime soon, professionals surveyed by LC/DBM offered the following observations about the rising trend.

  • Taxes and regulations on impervious cover can actually make PICP the more economical option.
  • Land owners and developers are beginning to see the benefits of improved drainage and increased usable/buildable land.
  • Increases in both government regulation and consumer awareness will continue to drive sales.