Why Berkeley California Residents Choose Permeable Pavers


In California’s Bay Area, water quality is a crucial issue for everyone. Throughout California, urban and suburban neighborhoods are generally paved with large areas of impermeable surfaces. From highways, and freeways to city streets, parking lots, and residential neighborhoods, sidewalks, driveways and garden paths, are constructed with traditional materials like poured concrete and asphalt.

These surfaces don’t allow water to penetrate or percolate into aquifers. Instead, they are sources of stormwater runoff that then flows into storm drains carrying pollutants and contaminants to the ocean, lakes, streams, and rivers at a huge volume.

Permeable pavers offer a good solution. Here’s why smart, environmentally conscious Berkeley, California residents are upgrading their hardscaping to permeable pavers.


Permeable pavers allow runoff to pass through the pavement into an underlying stone bed, then into the soil below a layer of sand. This base material allows water to filter through the elements removing pollutants and recharging the groundwater supply. Studies have indicated that permeable pavers can remove between 65 and 85% of undissolved pollutants and up to 95% of sediment from stormwater runoff. Unlike traditional pavers, permeable pavers allow oxygen, carbon dioxide, water, and nutrients to pass freely. This means you can plant trees and shrubs closer to a surface paved with permeable pavers to create beautiful, lush, low maintenance gardens.

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Permeable paving is not a new concept. In fact, it’s been around since the beginning of the 20th century and has been used in Europe for over fifty years. Concrete turf block was invented and used in the mid-forties, and plastic versions were used in the 1970’s and 80’s.

The permeable paver movement began in the U.S. In the 1970’s when John Paine, a civil engineer developed a formula called Portland Cement Pervious Pavement. Today, California is a leader in the use of permeable materials, and many municipalities are mandating that new residential hardscaping construction must use permeable materials.


Berkeley homeowners appreciate that permeable pavers are environmentally friendly, but they also appreciate that they’re durable and beautiful.Permeable pavers are available in a wide variety of colors, styles, textures, patterns, and sizes. Applications include driveways, walkways, patios and outdoor living spaces.

Permeable concrete pavers are durable in fact, their load bearing capacity is two to three times that of poured concrete or asphalt. When correctly installed they have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years with little or no maintenance needed. Hardscaping can improve your homes curb appeal and add value when it comes time to sell.

Interlocking pavers form a flexible surface that resists cracking or buckling. This can be a benefit in the California bay area which can experience shifting from earthquakes. Another benefit homeowners love is that with permeable pavers, there is no curing time needed. You can park your car in the driveway on the very the day the workmen leave. Poured concrete can take up to 30 days to fully cure, and cannot be walked on for three to five days after it’s installed.


The key to permeable pavers lies in the installation process. A typical installation consists of four separate layers which act as a filtration system to clean stormwater runoff.

First Layer: The top layer consists of the concrete pavers

Second Layer: The layer just below the pavers is a 6 to an 8-inch gravel bed

Third Layer: The third layer is filter fabric

Fourth Layer: The bottom layer is a bed of compacted sand.

When choosing a contractor, make sure that they have experience with permeable paver installation. The installation process is different than traditional pavers. Make sure that your contractor is properly licensed, bonded and insured. Check to see if they have paving stone industry association memberships and certifications like that provided by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute. A quality contractor will have access to the highest quality materials. Ask to see their portfolio of recently completed projects.

Hardscaping with permeable concrete pavers is a great investment in your home. It not only provides you with a beautiful outdoor space but can increase its value and curb appeal. If you’re considering a hardscaping project for your Berkeley California home, give the experts at Bayside Pavers a call!

At Bayside Pavers, we have the experience, and expertise to make your hardscaping project a reality. We also carry an extensive line of high-quality materials from the top manufacturers in the industry.  We service South Bay areas including San Mateo, Redwood City, Palo Alto and San Jose. If you’re in the East Bay stop by our location in Concord, CA at 2455 Bates Ave, Ste K Our North Bay location is in Santa Rosa at 1619 4th Street Ste 12.

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