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Permeable Grade face vertical loads, distributing them over a wider area. Selection of the type of cellular grid depends to an ex- tent on the surface material, traffic and loads. The cellular grids are installed on a prepared base layer of open-graded or engineered stone. The surface layer may be compacted gravel or topsoil seeded with grass. In addition to load support, the cellular grid re- duces soil compaction to maintain permeability. In some new suburban developments, porous pave- ments are being specified as for run-off mitigation, as well as for protecting the local watershed. In already de- veloped areas, redevelopment and reconstruction proj- ects offer opportunities to use permeable surfacing to address existing storm water problem areas. Porous surfacing is an important component in low- impact development, a process for land developments with goals to minimize impacts on water quality. Water Issues With water becoming a larger national issue, porous surfacing is the hardscape wave of the future. Savvy landscape contractors should embrace this niche as it increases in popularity with the public, and as it be- comes more requested (or legally required) by munici- palities and cities. LC/DBM Survey Results LC/DBM recently conducted an industry survey of hardscape processionals to get their views on the po- rous surfacing marketplace. Predicting the Future One the most telling statistics was that hardscape professionals see this niche as a major growth mar- ket. Nearly 73 percent predict that porous surfacing will increase over the next few years, while 22 per- cent see it staying the same and only five percent see a decrease. Contractor Comments When analyzing contractor comments, it becomes clear why they see this niche increasing. Comments range from increasing government requirements, to a continued need to manage storm water run-off. Con- tractors also see the desire of clients to be more "green" as a major factor as well. Top: This 35-percent grade, 700-foot long pathway presented a special challenge for contractor DeBest Landscape, as conventional products like crushed stone would not pass city inspector approval. The contractor used Porous Pave's durable rubber-based surfacing to deliver a slip- resistant surface. Bottom: Installation crews worked with DeBest workers to install this 9,000 square foot path- way in 2.5 days. To move the material from the mixer to the installation point, workers used Bobcat tractors. August 2012 21