Presto Geosystems’ GEOPAVE® porous pavements were utilised, along with other environmental and sustainable products in a popular Wisconsin nature preserve, the Ridges Sanctuary, in their pursuit for a LEED® Platinum rating.

With certification expected by year-end, this facility will be the first LEED certified commercial building in Wisconsin’s Door County. In addition to the GEOPAVE aggregate system delivering highly porous parking and walkways around the facility, other green design features incorporated include high-performance and low-energy materials such as insulation, lighting, heating and cooling, water use, and a multitude of recycled materials.

Design choices that encourage land preservation and conservation were of utmost importance to the 7,400sf centre and serve as an exemplary example to the community, both homeowners and businesses, of how sustainable and low-environmental impact materials can be included in buildings.

Protecting the Lake Michigan watershed was a primary concern at this facility’s location on the northeast shores of the Door County Peninsula, and Western shore of Lake Michigan. Located adjacent to Lake Michigan, the GEOPAVE system was an important part of the overall plan to protect the waters against the negative effects of storm water runoff on water quality. The GEOPAVE system, infilled with highly porous stone, allows water infiltration, and acts as a natural, on-site storm water retention system, storing storm water in its aggregate base after rain events and allowing for natural percolation. Unlike hard pavements that shed water from the surface, the GEOPAVE system with its permeable infill accepts water, significantly reducing runoff into the surrounding sensitive areas.

The limestone crushed aggregate used for the parking area and the contrasting coloured buckshot crushed aggregate for the walkways were both obtained locally. The GEOPAVE paver structure is made from recycled polymer and is designed specifically to contain aggregate infill. The system’s integrally-moulded mesh bottom contains the aggregate infill and minimises aggregate movement under vehicle loading and turning stresses. GEOPAVE pavements are designed to accept every day traffic and can be designed with appropriate base to accommodate heavier loads such as for emergency and utility lanes.

"We are extremely pleased with the level of interest visitors have expressed in the GEOPAVE product and delighted we’ve had the opportunity to talk with them about this very practical way of making a personal investment in the environment", notes Judy Drew, assistant director, the Ridges Sanctuary.