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A colored pervious streetscape in California.
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A crew adds decorative joints to gold-colored pervious concrete.

Color dosage rates should be tested in advance. Based on the aggregate and cementitious blend, more or less pigment might be necessary. “Depending on the hue, it may require an increase in the dosage rate to maintain the color intensity,” says Richard Follette, area manager with Grace Construction Products.

Some words of caution: With pervious it is common to see striping and minor efflorescence from the sheeting used to cure. This will also happen with colored pervious concrete, but it seems to go away within the first few months of exposure.

Follette suggests improving the surface appearance of the colored pervious concrete. “They should utilize a clear, non-yellowing sealer on the concrete upon completion,” he says.

Beating the competition

The biggest competition to colored pervious concrete is decorative pavers. Collignon is confident in his advantage over the competition. “We run into pavers quite a bit,” he says. “Even with color, pervious beats them. Colored pervious will be more durable, require less maintenance, and have a lower cost.”

Producers like the financial advantage of bundling two value-added products, like pervious and color, into one sale. “Colored concrete and the Artevia brand allows a ready-mix producer like Lafarge an opportunity to offer our customers and the specifier community more options when approaching their client base,” says Alex Forrester, a project manager with Lafarge. “With colored concrete sales increasing over 300% per year nationally, this gives a ready-mix producer a viable profit center.”

Contractors and producers alike recognize the value that color can add to any concrete project. Advances in admixtures and construction techniques mean reduced risk for the concrete producer, so colored pervious concrete isn't as scary as many QC managers thought it to be a few years ago. With pervious concrete, adding color can also add to the bottom line.

CLICK HERE FOR THE WEB EXTRA SLIDESHOW: Colored Pervious Concrete

Matt Offenberg is the Southeast U.S. technical services manager for W.R. Grace & Co. E-mailmatthew.offenberg@grace.com.

Pervious Concrete Live

Learn more about pervious concrete. Pervious Concrete Live takes place at 2011 World of Concrete in the Gold Lot, west of the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Students from the Concrete Industry Management program at Middle Tennessee State University will place two pads while following ASTM water tests for pervious concrete. NRMCA pervious concrete installation procedures will also be demonstrated.

The show takes place Jan. 18-21; seminars begin Jan. 17. Look for further details in future issues of TCP and at www.worldofconcrete.com.