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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Nania Award winners showcase benefits of pervious concrete

STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State University’s Jason Vogel is a member of a City of Tulsa project team whose environmental protection and sustainability efforts earned them the 2013 Nania Corporate Campaign Award this summer.

Presented by the nonprofit Tulsa Partners Inc. group, the award honors a campaign, event or project that is an outstanding example of using partnerships to promote mitigation, preparedness, response or sustainability. Nania is a Cherokee word that means “all together.”

“This year’s honorees are well-deserving of this award, and represent a multi-partner endeavor to test and demonstrate the use of pervious concrete to decrease stormwater runoff, flash flooding, erosion and stream pollution,” said Tim Lovell, executive director of Tulsa Partners Inc.

Team leaders for the 2013 award-winning project were the City of Tulsa, Cantera Concrete and OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

Vogel, an OSU Cooperative Extension stormwater specialist, said pervious concrete is part of a new methodology in stormwater management known as low impact development.

“LID uses the built environment to infiltrate, evaporate, store or detain stormwater runoff as close to where it originates as possible to limit detrimental effects on our streams and waterways,” he said.

Pervious concrete is a concrete formulated with little or no sand. It can be used in parking lots, sidewalks and other low-traffic areas where conventional concrete can be traditionally installed. Instead of running off, rainwater infiltrates into the concrete and rock and soil sub-base below.

As part of the project, five Tulsa-area concrete companies donated their own pervious concrete mixes for a 10-stall demonstration parking lot that was installed by personnel from Cantera Concrete.

“The division’s department of biosystems and agricultural engineering is continuing to conduct quarterly infiltration tests on demonstration-site parking stalls to determine the extent of clogging that occurs over time for each of the pervious concrete mix designs,” Vogel said.

These measurements are expected to continue for another one to two years without cleaning of the pervious concrete, with the goal of developing research-based maintenance recommendations for practitioners in the region that will help them prevent clogging.

“Our pervious concrete pilot demonstration site is currently parked on every day, and is used a number of times per month to promote greater awareness about the benefits of this type of building material,” Vogel said. “Tulsa officials bring developers and contractors to the site so they can get a firsthand look at local use of pervious concrete.”

As part of the pilot program, the Oklahoma Ready-Mixed Concrete Association, the South-Central Cement Promotion Association and Vogel trained, tested and certified 20 new pervious concrete technicians, increasing the number of certified technicians in Oklahoma by 1,000 percent.

Dan Thomas, head of OSU’s department of biosystems and agricultural engineering, cited the award-winning project as an example of universities, municipalities and industry working together in collaborative partnerships to address issues and concerns of importance to Oklahoma and the region.

“Advances in technology – and local demonstration of those technological advances – provide opportunities for development ventures that are economically viable while promoting environmental stewardship,” he said.

Additional information about pervious concrete is available online at http://lid.okstate.edu. Information about Tulsa Partners Inc. is available online at http://tulsapartners.org

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