New ultra porous concrete is being used in flood prevention to great effect

Although parts of South Africa may be in the midst of their worst drought in years, other parts of the country face serious floods. Now Topmix Permeable, a newly developed brand of concrete, can absorb all that water from accumulating on the surface of roads and footpaths, saving municipalities millions in damages.

The a new type of uber porous concrete, invented by UK company Tarmac, can absorb up to 4,000 litres of water in the first 60 seconds, and an average of 600 litres per minute, per metre squared. The concrete works by having a permeable layer on the surface, made up of relatively large pebbles through which water can drain almost instantly. This is followed by an ‘attenuation layer’, which feeds the water into a drainage system that connects with the city’s groundwater reservoirs.

Absorbent concrete such as the type used in Topmix Permeable has been around for many years, but not until now has it been used on the surface level of tarmac. It may seem a small innovation but could signal big change for future-thinking cities that keep nature’s unpredictability in mind.

Watch short product demonstration here.