Kane Construction

What is a Permeable Surface for Car Parking?

When it comes to designing a sustainable and environmentally friendly car parking area, using permeable surfaces is a smart choice. A permeable surface allows rainwater to infiltrate through the surface and replenish groundwater, reducing the burden on drainage systems and preventing surface runoff. Among various options available, gravel car parks and porous plastic paving grids are popular choices for providing a solid, stabilised, and free-draining surface suitable for different vehicles. 


Gravel Car Parks – An Eco-Friendly Solution

Gravel car parks have long been recognised as an eco-friendly solution for car parking areas. The open structure of gravel provides an ideal free-draining surface, allowing rainwater to seep through and percolate into the sub-base. By integrating the correct construction and drainage systems, a gravel car park can be incorporated into a Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS). In a SuDS approach, rainwater is naturally infiltrated into the ground, reducing the risk of flooding and minimising the load on conventional drainage systems. 


Key Advantages of Gravel Car Parks

  1. Sustainable Drainage: Gravel car parks contributed to the natural infiltration of rainwater, promoting sustainable urban development and reducing the risk of flooding.
  2. Versatility: Gravel car parks are suitable for various vehicles, including cars, vans, trucks, coaches, and lorries, making them a versatile choice for different parking requirements. 


Porous Plastic Paving Grids – A Modern Solution

Porous plastic paving grids are a contemporary advancement in permeable surface technology. These grids are specifically designed to stabilise trafficked gravel surfaces and retain the gravel within their cellular structure. The interlocking design of these plastic grids limits the displacement of gravel by vehicle tires, ensuring a durable and stable surface. 


Notable Benefits of Porous Plastic Paving Grids

  1. Enhanced Stability: The cellular structure of the plastic grids enhances stability, making them ideal for areas with high-load traffic, such as truck parking lots. 
  2. Eco-Friendly: Like gravel car parks, porous plastic paving grids promote sustainable drainage and are a part of the SuDS approach. 


Applications of Permeable Surfaces

Permeable surfaces find applications in various settings, from large public car parks to smaller commercial or educational institutions. Some common applications include:


Park & Ride Car Parks

Park and ride facilities benefit from permeable surfaces as they accommodate a large number of vehicles during peak hours, making it crucial to manage rainwater effectively. 


National Trust Car Parks

To preserve the natural beauty of national trust sites, permeable surfaces help maintain proper drainage without disrupting the environment. 


Event / Tourist Attraction Car Parks

Areas attracting high volumes of visitors can benefit from permeable surfaces to manage stormwater runoff. 


School & University Car Parks

Educational institutions can incorporate permeable surfaces to teach students about sustainable practices and lead by example.




Choosing a permeable surface for car parking areas not only contributes to sustainable urban development but also helps in protecting the environment and preserving groundwater resources. Gravel car parks and porous plastic paving grids are two excellent options, each offering unique benefits. However, there are other great options like Tarmac which we haven’t mentioned in this article. Whether you opt for the simplicity of a gravel car park or the modern efficiency of plastic grids, working with experienced companies like Kane Construction ensures a successful and sustainable parking area design. 


If your next project requires a permeable surface for car parking, consider reaching out to Kane Constructions team. Our expertise and years of experience will help you create an eco-friendly and durable parking solution, tailored to your specific needs. Embrace the benefits of permeable surfaces and join the movement towards a greener, more sustainable future.