Saturday, October 10, 2009

Future wave . . .Flexi-Pave

Yesterday as I walked along Boylston Street, new trees appeared where there had been none. Rectangles carved out of the existing sidewalks days before were now homes to these delicate trees. Surrounding the base of each tree a layer of some kind of paving was being placed. When I asked the worker who was applying the surface if he thought the trees would survive the onslaught of winter, he said, "I don't know anything about the trees, I just put this stuff in around them."

It turns out that "this stuff" was a formula developed by a company in Florida that recycles tires.
This "paving" which sets up to a solid surface in 24 hours acts as a drainage material that allows the trees to breath underneath the solid surface. The worker told me that this Flexi-Pave was the wave of the future and that I'd be seeing lots and lots more of it. A trip to the Flexi-Pave web site told me lots more.

Here's a direct quote from the website: "The paving project comes out of a Duke Markets and Management Capstone course in which 12 Duke students consulted with Clearwater, Fla.,-based KB Industries (KBI). KBI Flexi-Pave manages stormwater runoff, and its largest ingredient (by volume) is recycled tires. The students and their professor, Sam Veraldi, helped to set up the installation on campus. By using recycled tires, the material helps reduce the disposal of tires in global landfills and incinerators while improving the management of stormwater runoff, one of the major issues facing urban areas today. Eliminating stormwater runoff is important to reduce flooding, prevent erosion, protect our environment and control water quality."

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