As we all strive to make more environmentally conscious decisions in our day-to-day lives, the choice of driveway material may seem insignificant. However, the type of driveway you install can have a greater environmental impact than you might realise. One of the best options available from an ecological perspective are resin-bound driveways. Here’s why.
1. Permeability and Sustainable DrainageResin-bound driveways are fully permeable, which means they allow water to pass through their surface and directly into the underlying ground. This feature plays a critical role in sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS), a concept that’s at the heart of modern eco-friendly landscaping and construction.
Typically, when it rains, water falls onto non-porous surfaces, like traditional tarmac or concrete driveways, and can't be absorbed. Instead, it flows off these surfaces and into street drains, carrying with it pollutants and debris that eventually end up in local rivers and streams. This runoff not only pollutes local water bodies but can also contribute to flooding if the local drainage system is overwhelmed.
In contrast, the permeability of resin-bound driveways allows rainwater to naturally infiltrate back into the ground, replenishing local groundwater supplies and reducing the impact on municipal drainage systems. The ability to manage rainwater at its source and prevent runoff is one of the key reasons why resin-bound driveways are considered environmentally friendly.
2. Use of Recycled MaterialsAnother eco-friendly aspect of resin-bound driveways is the potential to use recycled materials. Many suppliers offer resin-bound aggregates made from recycled glass or other materials, reducing the demand for virgin resources. Additionally, using local materials reduces the carbon footprint associated with transportation.
3. Durability and LifespanResin-bound driveways are incredibly durable and resistant to wear and tear. They won’t crack or crumble under the impact of heavy traffic or severe weather, which means they won’t need to be replaced as often as other types of driveways. This long lifespan reduces the environmental impact associated with replacing or repairing the driveway.
Additionally, resin driveways require minimal maintenance. They don't need to be regularly sealed or treated with harsh chemicals that could potentially harm the environment.
4. Heat ReflectivityUnlike darker materials like asphalt, which absorb a high percentage of the sun's heat and contribute to the urban heat island effect, resin driveways reflect more of the sun's rays. This property can help mitigate the impact of urban development on local temperatures, contributing to a more stable local climate.
5. Compliance with LegislationResin-bound driveways comply with UK legislation regarding driveways and front gardens. According to these rules, you do not need planning permission for a new driveway of any size if rainwater can pass through its surface or be directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally, as is the case with a resin-bound driveway.
In conclusion, resin-bound driveways as a good idea because they offer multiple environmental benefits that make them a superior choice for eco-conscious homeowners. Their permeability plays a significant role in sustainable drainage and flood prevention, while their potential to incorporate recycled materials and their durability reduce the environmental impact over their lifespan. Finally, their ability to reflect heat can contribute to mitigating the urban heat island effect.
When you choose a resin-bound driveway, you’re not just opting for a durable, attractive addition to your home. You're also making an environmentally responsible choice that reduces your impact on the environment, protects local water bodies, and supports the overall health and well-being of your community.