It’s encouraging to travel the world and see that concrete folks share many common obstacles to success.
When I met Luis Leme at The Concrete Show in Sao Paulo last month, he welcomed me to his exhibit on pervious concrete. He was eager to show me the slab. “It’s not as fancy as what your guys did in Las Vegas, but it’s a great improvement of what we showed last year here,” said Leme.
The slab was a great improvement. The 2014 slab was well constructed. Last year, the slab had been over consolidated. There had been areas on which there was no drainage. And the slab’s texture looked rough and uneven.
Leme is the Director of Ecoconcreto – Brazil. His firm specializes in pervious concrete pavement construction. To grow his business, Leme has become Brazil’s strongest proponent for pervious. For the last two years, he provided lunchbox presentations, field demonstrations, and lectures. His efforts are starting to pay off, as he has actually been paid to install some pavements.
I asked Leme about his challenges. His responses were very similar to those I heard from North American pervious concrete promoters. As in the US, Leme’s greatest obstacle is convincing engineers and specifiers that the pervious pavements are durable and serviceable.
But the other two constraints might surprise you. Only about 30% of all the concrete produced in Brazil is ready-mixed. So Leme often finds it difficult to find a reliable supplier willing to take on the project.
And the second constraint is lack of pervious concrete installation equipment. Brazil has some strict equipment import regulations. Non-Brazilian manufacturers are charged high tariffs to bring in equipment. These rules limit the availability of small tools and equipment.
Leme plans to attend World of Concrete in February. I made a promise to introduce him to folks with whom he can share insights on how we gain increase the pervious concrete market. If you’d like to offer Leme some insights, his email address is email@example.com.