Urban environments are becoming densified, with a greater percentage of horizontal surfacing covered with structures and hard, impermeable surfacing. Finnish climate forecasts indicate we will be subjected to higher volumes of rainfall and more intense storms. Simultaneously, society aims at having better environment protection and less run-off water carrying pollutants. Governmental directive require municipalities to implement new methods for handling stormwater. This project will provide new material solutions to address these issues. Permeable surfacing combined with sub-surfacing materials has not been utilized in Finnish due to the lack of quantitative dimensioning and performance uncertainties for winter durability.

The project includes: 1) Industrial participants identifying urban planning needs related to climate and water handling. 2) Laboratory experimental development of permeable solutions using Finnish materials, durable for Finnish climate and maintenance. 3) Quantitative measures of filtration ability and water storage capacity are input to stormwater design tools. Evaluating improvements to stormwater runoff chemistry, with Finnish climate forecasting and rain intensity modeling. 4) Writing Finnish permeable paving guidelines for design, construction & maintenance, while ensuring cost & service-life. 5) International cooperation with a parallel Swedish project provides added value with respect to vegetation solutions interacting with permeable surfacing to enhance plant growth & lower urban heat island effects.

Within 3 years the Finnish building industry & municipalities will have the confidence to specify, produce, construct, maintain & market permeable surfacing solutions, both domestically & abroad. This project is novel by approaching environmental & water handling demands from a building materials & infrastructural design perspective, by providing new technical solutions to combat urban planning needs.