New generation of water-permeable surfacing materials to be developed
Extreme weather conditions will occur more often in the future because of
climate change. In Northern Europe, this means an increasing trend of heavy
rainfall, particularly during the autumn and winter months. Flooding causes
problems in dense urban environments where the water often cannot penetrate
into the ground and rainwater collection systems lack the capacity for large
volumes of water. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is leading a
project that is seeking to identify flood water management solutions suitable
for northern conditions through development of surfacing materials, technical
design, and other means.
As cities grow and become more densely populated, an increasing portion of
their surface becomes covered by hard, impermeable materials, such as asphalt
and concrete. Together with the increase in rainfall, hard surface materials
make urban flood management more challenging. New environmental regulations
also require municipalities to find new ways of reducing the environmental
load caused by pollutants in runoff water.
The two-year project develops new kinds of water-permeable surface materials
to facilitate flood water management. These new materials can replace
traditional dense asphalt, concrete and stone surfaces and reduce the
accumulation of rainwater in areas such as streets and plazas. Flooding can
also be prevented by developing sub-base structures, such as aggregate, pipes,
geotextiles and water storage tanks.
The CLASS project is partly funded by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for
Technology and Innovation. In addition to VTT, project participants include
the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Oulu, as well as 12 industrial
partners and associations.
There is close cooperation with the parallel Swedish project that focuses on
sustainable urban development of solutions for green and grey surfaces. This
project is coordinated by CBI and financed by the Swedish Governmental Agency
for Innovation Systems VINNOVA. There are 22 project partners.
In both projects, the Finnish and Swedish cities that participate in the
projects plan to pilot the permeable materials developed in the project, as
well as the sub-base and water management systems.
Project web page: http://www.vtt.fi/sites/class/index.jsp?lang=en