Groundbreaking concrete paves way for parking lots
Issue date: 11/8/07 Section: Campus
While many riders use the new motorcycle parking lot outside Caldwell Laboratory, which was installed in August, few realize the significance of the lot: It is made of eco-friendly pervious concrete and is the first project of its kind at Ohio State.
Pervious concrete leaks water like a sieve, allowing water to return to the ground and eliminates the need for a drainage system. It is created by leaving most of the sand out of a concrete mixture and replacing some of the cement with fly ash, a coal by-product. The removal of most of the sand from the concrete mixture creates small holes that allow rainwater and snow to filter directly into the ground.
Tarunjit Butalia, a research scientist in civil and environmental engineering and coordinator of the Ohio Coal Combustion Product Center, said replacing cement with fly ash has environmental benefits.
“For every ton of cement in concrete that you replace with fly ash, you avoid 0.8 tons of CO2 emissions,” he said. “And with pervious concrete, you’re also recharging the groundwater instead of having standing water, which can be a health hazard.”
The design of a pervious concrete lot also helps reduce the amount of car-related pollutants released into nearby waterways, he said.
The lots are particularly appealing to areas at OSU where there is not enough available land to build drainage basins, said Sarah Blouch, OSU’s Director of Traffic, Parking and Transportation.