Homeowners are putting their best feet forward to improve the curb appeal of their homes while helping to protect the environment. They are renovating their driveways and walkways with permeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP), which not only looks great, but allows water to filter through the pavement to infiltrate back into the ground.

Further good news is that some cities and counties offer rebate programs to homeowners who install a PICP driveway. Some examples include Palo Alto, California, Washington, D.C., and Montgomery County, Maryland. Because PICPs return rainwater to the ground, they help drought-stricken areas or places where storm sewers overflow from too much runoff.

How It Works.

PICP works like this: A surface of solid concrete pavers is separated by joints filled with small stones that make the joints highly permeable. Water enters the joints between solid concrete pavers and flows through an “open-graded” base – e.g., crushed stone layers with no small or fine particles.

The spaces among the crushed stones store water and infiltrate it back into the soil. The joints provide 100 percent surface permeability and the base stores and filters storm water and reduces pollutants.


Permeable pavers can be used for walks, patios and driveways, as well as for parking lots, alleys and residential streets. Homeowners particularly like the wide range of colors, shapes, sizes and textures available to complement the home style. Light-colored pavers can provide a cooler surface around patios as well. PICP should be cleaned regularly and can be snowplowed. In addition, because the snow melts faster on PICP, it reduces ice and slipping hazards.

Installer Training.

The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute offers a one day course on PICP installation. This is called the PICP Specialist Course. Passing the course exam earns a record of completion that does not expire.

Installers can become ICPI certified PICP Specialists by taking a prerequisite ICPI Concrete Paver Installer course and demonstrating at least 50,000 square feet of completed PICP projects. Certification is renewed every two years with proof of taking at least eight hours of training courses that benefit the contractor’s business. ICPI organizes some of these and recommends many more.

Certification is another great way to market yourself and your business.

Courses are held by ICPI manufacturing members as well as by ICPI. To find the nearest training event, visit the calendar of events on