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These upcycled bricks filter pollution from rainwater runoff

These upcycled bricks filter pollution from rainwater runoff

AquiPor Technologies paver bricks absorb runoff water and pollution from rainwater runoff. Started in 2015, the Spokane, Washington-based company creates technology solutions for climate challenges around the world.

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Interlocking bricks with a centerpiece that looks like an upside down water droplet

Aquipor is labeled as “next generation green infrastructure engineering.” They develop construction materials with engineered designs for scalable on-site stormwater management and infiltration systems in cities. The main product offered by the startup is a permeable concrete-like material. It allows water to flow through it while filtering dirt, debris and particle pollution contained in stormwater runoff. The product helps cities and developers to manage stormwater runoff in an environmentally-friendly way.

Related: Eco-concrete blocks are used to protect sea life

A water droplet shaped brick in a pool of water

Specifically, many hardscapes in cities create extra water runoff because they are not permeable like the ground. This also introduces opportunities for stormwater to pick up even more pollutants on its way into the groundwater supply. AquiPor created a runoff management system that prevents particle pollution from reaching rivers and sewers, making sure that cleaner water reaches the ground.

Two cement bricks drying on a rack

Furthermore, the pavers trap pollutants on the surface for easy cleaning. The pavers naturally distribute water back to aquifers without additional drainage systems installed below. The AquiPor permeable concrete material filters large amounts of rainwater to manage runoff without large visible drains. Therefore, it also reduces flooding to the surrounding areas.

Two men sitting on a wooden stump barefoot

We’ve all seen the pollution that can contaminate floodwaters. By reducing the storm runoff and trapping pollution, this concrete material contributes to preventing large-scale flood pollution wherever it’s installed. It might make a good material for walkways and hardscapes near rivers that overflow their banks, or flood-prone, low-lying building areas.

A brick slab

Best of all, the material can be used in new infrastructures and retrofits. It’s also a low-carbon concrete made from industrial minerals and a catalyst, without using any Portland cement. That means no energy waste from using cement plants, which use nearly 8% of global CO2 emissions.

An Aquipor blue helmet on a cement floor

Additionally, industrial “leftover” materials are sourced from other industries to make an upcycled material. It is a model for the concrete industry for what’s possible with existing resources. AquiPor pavers can be set in forms in hours rather than days, which makes the product more efficient and affordable.

Finally, these blocks can be customized with different ranges of porosity, permeability and strength for different applications. They can be developed for freeze-thaw scenarios or licensed to concrete paver manufacturers who want to use a new technology for their own product line.

+ AquiPor

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