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Permeable Pavers Help Achieve LEED Certification
Sea Star Base Galveston, Texas

Chad Corley, Pavestone


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At the Sea Star Base in Galveston, Texas, a LEED-platinum certified facility, Gulf Coast Pavers installed 30,000 square feet of permeable interlocking concrete pavers. The marble and pewter colored pavers, interspersed with charcoal, have high solar reflectivity, which also contributed to the LEED certification.


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The 'Eco-Priora' pavers, manufactured by Pavestone and arranged in a herringbone pattern, are installed over geotextile fabric followed by 8" of ASTM No. 2 stone, 4" of ASTM No. 57 stone, and 2" of ASTM No. 8 stone. The joints are infilled with ASTM No. 89 stone. All of these areas are approved for vehicular use.


Designed to foster aquatic discovery, education and team building, the Sea Star Base Galveston (SSBG) is a world-class destination exposing thousands to the wonders of maritime life each year. The SSBG is located on the shores of Offatts Bayou and offers a wide range of certified nautical programs including kayaking, sailing and power boating available to people of all ages, as well as educational programs and internships.

The SSBG experience is grounded in a shared responsibility for the environment, so the campus features nearly 25,000 square-feet of permeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP) made of 'Eco-Priora' pavers from Pavestone(R). Installed by Gulf Coast Pavers, the permeable pavers not only serve the practical purpose of connecting various areas of the SSBG, but also contributed to achieving Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification.

In addition to the 60,000 square foot main building, the campus has an outdoor chapel shaped like a ship, a pool for swimming tests and scuba certification, docks to houseboats, a training deck and a parking lot. There are mooring facilities for three large teaching and training vessels, offshore sailing yachts, and smaller sailing vessels for racing. The permeable pavers provide a durable, beautiful and environmentally friendly alternative to concrete, asphalt and other material options for transportation and communal surfaces on the SSBG campus.

"Through collaboration with the design firm and contractors, we were able to provide a locally sourced permeable paver in the necessary customized colors to meet the challenging environmentally specifications of this job," said David Daughtry, architectural specifications and commercial sales representative for the manufacturer.



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The stormwater that flows through the permeable paver joints will end up in the sand subgrade. The remaining stormwater is collected in cisterns with a total combined capacity of 84,000 gallons. This water will be used for irrigation. Other rainwater is directed to a constructed wetland.


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The City Stone pavers have sand in the joints and are set on 1" of sand. Below the sand is a concrete surface, 4" thick for pedestrian areas and 6" thick under vehicular areas. The overall installation took a crew of six to 12 approximately three months to complete.


The use of 'Eco-Priora' pavers in 'shotblast pewter' (13,500 square feet) and 'marble quartex' (13,500 square feet), both colors with high solar reflectivity values, helped earn the SSBG sustainable site and conservation resource credits toward the U.S. Green Building Council's highest LEED recognition. Charcoal colored pavers were also used. In areas of the campus that did not require permeable pavers, Gulf Coast Pavers installed more than 20,000 square-feet of 'City Stone I' from the same manufacturer in sizes, colors, finishes and textures matching the permeable pavers. The paver base consisted of a combination of concrete sub-slab and open graded aggregate layers, depending on the paver application.

The PICP system allows excess rainwater from the main entrance, parking lot and associated driveways to be gathered in below-grade storage before joining rainwater gathered through a garden collection system. Purified in the process, the rainwater is recycled as a resource to maintain the SSBG landscape, aligned with the facility's belief that water is a pathway to independence. All water collected is used on site, and the facility is in the process of eliminating the use of supplemental potable water. Approximately 42 percent of the paving is permeable, and runoff from 19 percent of the impervious surfaces is cleansed in a constructed wetland situated at the front door of the project.

In addition, 10,000 square feet of new shoreline wetlands for wildlife was constructed, and a floating marina was built with 8,000 square feet of floating concrete breakwater.

The biggest challenge, according to the manufacturer, was coordinating the logistics and manpower necessary to meet the project deadline. But, with six to 12 people working, depending on the phase of the project, and no special equipment needed, the installation was completed in approximately three months.

"We are honored to be a part of a world class facility that will be enjoyed by so many and an asset to the community for generations to come," said Brent Brasseaux, vice president for Gulf Coast Pavers.



As seen in LC/DBM magazine, October 2017.






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