Made in Michigan: Porous Pave

GRANT, Mich. (WZZM) - As our towns and cities get more crowded, many municipalities are limiting how much water runoff buildings are allowed. Now, many municipalities are limiting how much asphalt, concrete, and even wood can be put on a piece of property.

Based in Grant, Michigan Porous Pave is a solution to that and many other problems. "Our materials can be used as a driveway or patio and it won't count against the impervious surface area, so the regulations are definitely helping us in that area," said Dave Ouwinga, president of Porous Pave.

The company makes permeable surfaces with approximately 29% void space, allowing water to run through. It's strong and flexible enough to be used on parking lots, driveways, and bike paths, all while withstanding Michigan's winters. It's also comfortable enough for bare feet.

Porous Pave is made with 50% ground tires and 50% small stone and comes in eight different colors. Even the tires are ground at a facility in southern Michigan.

Porous Pave can go on rooftops in one inch thickness. Patios and walkways use 1 1/2 inch of thickness and driving surfaces like parking lots and driveways use two inches of thickness. For every 1,000 square feet of Porous Pave, it uses about 300 tires. The tire and stones are held together with a special glue and mixed and poured right on site.

Porous Pave has seven full-time employees, but is actually much larger now that the company is laying paths across the country.

Ouwinga says business is booming for this Grant company. "We've already exceeded last year's sales which was double the year before, and we've already exceeded that by a lot."

The pricing varies based on a number of factors. One inch of thickness poured over existing asphalt, concrete or wood costs $3.50 per square foot. 1 1/2 inch of thickness used for paths, patios, and bike paths, the most common thickness costs $5.25 per square foot. Two inch thickness for driveways and any other place a vehicle may drive costs $6.95 per square foot. Porous Pave costs more than traditional concrete or asphalt, but based on its popularity seems to be worth the cost. Safe to say there is nothing porous about this business, except its product.


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