Jun 23, 2021

Permeable Pavers Protect Watershed; Contribute to Stormwater Goals

Highly-Permeable GEOPAVE® Gravel Pavers Support Traffic Loading and Facilitate Stormwater Infiltration.
Highly-Permeable GEOPAVE® Gravel Pavers Support Traffic Loading and Facilitate Stormwater Infiltration.

In their pursuit for the highest USGBC LEED® green building rating, the Ridges Sanctuary, Bailey’s Harbor, utilized Presto Geosystems’ GEOPAVE® porous pavements, along with other environmental and sustainable products, at the popular Wisconsin nature preserve. In addition to incorporating the GEOPAVE gravel pavers for highly porous parking and walkways around the facility, other green design features included high-performance and low-energy materials: insulation, lighting, heating and cooling, water use, and a multitude of recycled materials.

Highly Porous System Protects Lake Michigan Waters

Design choices that encourage land preservation and conservation were of utmost importance to the 7,400 sf center and would serve as an exemplary example to the community, both homeowners and businesses, of how sustainable and low-environmental impact materials can be included in building design.

Protecting the Lake Michigan watershed was a primary concern at the facility’s location on the northeast shores of the Door County Peninsula, and Western shore of Lake Michigan. Located adjacent to Lake Michigan, the GEOPAVE permeable pavements were an important part of the overall plan to protect the waters against the negative effects of stormwater runoff on water quality. Infilled with highly permeable stone (open-graded base course), GEOPAVE pavers promote fast water infiltration. The pavement acts as a natural, on-site stormwater retention system, storing stormwater in its aggregate base after rain events for natural percolation. Unlike hard pavements that shed water from the surface, GEOPAVE pavements with permeable infill accept water and significantly reduce runoff into the surrounding sensitive areas. The use of highly-permeable pavements can make a big impact on reducing stormwater infrastructure (pipes and ponds).

Highly-Permeable GEOPAVE® Gravel Pavers Support Traffic Loading and Facilitate Stormwater Infiltration.
Installation of the rigid GEOPAVE pavers and local aggregate for the parking lot.

Use of Local Aggregate Resources

The limestone crushed aggregate used for the parking area and the contrasting colored buckshot crushed aggregate for the walkways were both obtained locally. The GEOPAVE paver structure is made from recycled polymer and is designed specifically to contain aggregate infill. The system’s integrally-molded mesh bottom contains the aggregate infill and minimizes aggregate movement under vehicle loading and turning stresses. GEOPAVE pavements are designed to accept every day traffic and can be designed with appropriate base to accommodate heavier loads such as for emergency and utility lanes.

The Results

Awarded LEED® Gold in January 2017, The Ridges Sanctuary is the first LEED® certified commercial building in Wisconsin’s Door County.

“We are extremely pleased with the level of interest visitors have expressed in the GEOPAVE product and delighted we’ve had the opportunity to talk with them about this very practical way of making a personal investment in the environment," notes Judy Drew, Assistant Director, The Ridges Sanctuary.


Editor's Note: Scranton Gillette Communications and the SGC Water Group are not liable for the accuracy, efficacy and validity of the claims made in this piece. The views expressed in this content do not reflect the position of the editorial teams of Water & Wastes Digest, Water Quality Products and Storm Water Solutions.

Presto Geosystems


670 N Perkins Street

PO Box 2399

Appleton, WI 54912

United States

Phone: 800-548-3424