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Pervious Concrete

Photo courtesy of Ferndale Ready Mix & Gravel
Wilson Motors has a mix of pervious concrete and porous asphalt surfaces. So far, the concrete has been more durable.

Wilson Motors

Location: Bellingham

Owner/developer: Wilson Motors

Project team: Fisher & Sons, general contractor; Backstrom Curb & Sidewalk, concrete contractor; Sid Nesbit, architect; 2020 Engineering, civil engineer; Ferndale Ready Mix & Gravel, ready-mix supplier

Wilson Motors is serving as a showpiece on how well more than 100,000 square feet of pervious concrete paving performs.

The new location for Wilson is along the banks of Whatcom Creek. In order to prevent runoff from contaminating the creek, Wilson and its architect and engineer designed a pervious concrete parking lot. Pervious paving was selected over traditional paving with a required underground vault due to financial and environmental benefits.

A unique feature of the dealership is a portion of the auto display area was made of porous asphalt. This allows for a head-to-head comparison of porous asphalt and pervious concrete. Early reports indicate some small areas of the asphalt surface are sealing, causing the surface to be non-porous in those areas.

Pervious concrete was placed strategically throughout the site, including areas where high traffic was anticipated as well as areas subject to heavy loads from car-carrier trucks. So far, the material has held up to the frequent turning and twisting of tires and other impacts.

One thing not noted in the original designs was the reflective value of pervious concrete over asphalt. There is a noticeable difference when viewing autos under the lights in the evening in the concrete areas versus the asphalt areas.

In addition to using concrete in its pavement, Wilson Motors used concrete in the tilt-up panels that make up the walls of its showroom and offices.

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