Permeable grass driveways are an eco-friendly solution for creating functional and visually appealing driveways and parking spaces. Unlike traditional concrete or asphalt driveways, which are impermeable and contribute to stormwater runoff, permeable grass driveways use grass pavers to allow stormwater to pass through the surface and infiltrate the ground.

Benefits of Permeable Grass Driveways

Permeable grass driveways offer a number of benefits, including:

  • Reduced stormwater runoff: Permeable grass driveways allow rainwater to soak into the ground, rather than running off into storm drains. This can help to reduce flooding and improve water quality.
  • Increased groundwater recharge: Permeable grass driveways help to replenish groundwater supplies, which is important for drinking water, irrigation, and other uses.
  • Reduced urban heat island effect: Permeable grass driveways are cooler than traditional asphalt or concrete driveways, which can help to reduce the urban heat island effect.
  • Improved air quality: Permeable grass driveways help to filter pollutants from stormwater runoff, which can improve air quality.
  • Reduced noise pollution: Permeable grass driveways are quieter than traditional asphalt or concrete driveways, which can reduce noise pollution in urban areas.
  • Increased aesthetic appeal: Permeable grass driveways can add a natural and attractive touch to your property.
  • Increased soil health: Permeable grass driveways allow water and air to reach the soil below, which can improve soil health.
  • Reduced erosion: Permeable grass driveways help to reduce erosion by holding soil in place.
  • Increased biodiversity: Permeable grass driveways can provide habitat for a variety of plants and animals, which can increase biodiversity in your area.

Types of Permeable Grass Driveways

Permeable grass driveways offer a stylish and sustainable alternative to traditional concrete or asphalt. These eco-friendly options allow rainwater to filter through the surface, replenishing groundwater and reducing runoff. 

1. PaveCore™

PaveCore, or commonly referred to as a grass paver, is a hassle-free, eco-friendly driveway. These 2-inch tall, fixed square pavers interlock seamlessly, creating a stable yet permeable surface for your car and rainwater. Forget complex installations; PaveCore’s click-and-lock system makes it a DIY dream, perfect for transforming your driveway or parking area in a weekend.

What sets PaveCore apart? Unmatched strength to handle even heavy vehicle loads up to 44,000lbs and superior permeability that allows water to nourish your lawn and reduce runoff. Plus, PaveCore is proudly made with virgin high-density polyethylene (HDPE) for long-lasting performance and environmental responsibility.

  • Pros:
    • Easy installation: Click-and-lock system for DIY-friendly setup.
    • Durable: Withstands heavy loads, including vehicles.
  • Cons:
    • Cost: Is more expensive than BaseCore Geocell.
    • Maintenance: Requires regular grass mowing and edging.
    • Potential for settling: Over time, pavers might shift slightly.
    • Installation: The sub-base must be set like a traditional brick paver to ensure it is level

2. BaseCore Geocell and BaseCore Geocell HD

Modern and attractive BaseCore Geocell, the modular grid system transforming or extending driveways, parking pads and other areas, into permeable masterpieces. Choose between standard and heavy-duty options to handle any vehicle, then fill the grid with lush green grass, decorative gravel, or a creative blend to match your landscape perfectly. BaseCore Geocell’s true beauty lies in its adaptability. Need more coverage? Simply expand the grid seamlessly. Don’t worry about awkward cuts – the flexible grid trims effortlessly to fit any shape. And the unique design conforms to your existing sub-base, ensuring a smooth, even surface. The best part? Rainwater effortlessly flows through, replenishing groundwater and reducing runoff. Whether you tackle the project yourself with the DIY-friendly assembly or seek professional help, BaseCore Geocell empowers you to pave the way for a driveway that reflects your style and benefits the environment.

Description: Modular grid systems made from recycled plastic, available in standard and heavy-duty versions.

  • Pros:
    • Versatile: Can be filled with gravel, grass, or a combination for customization.
    • Strong: BaseCore Geocell HD handles heavy loads like trucks and RVs.
    • Drainage: Excellent water permeability.
    • Easy Install: Conforms to the sub-base surface. Excavation is optional.
  • Cons:
    • Installation: Requires more effort than PaveCore, however can be put down faster per square foot.
    • Gravel filling: May require periodic replenishment.

Other Permeable Grass Driveway Options:

  • Pervious concrete: A relatively new and expensive special concrete mix with voids that allow water infiltration. Offers a smooth, modern look but requires professional installation.
  • Open-graded gravel: Crushed stone with gaps for water to flow through. Affordable and easy to install, but remains unstable without a way to secure it.
  • Concrete Pavers: Concrete pavers with gaps filled with grass or moss. Offers a natural aesthetic but requires careful maintenance and might not be suitable for heavy loads.

How to Install Permeable Grass Driveways

Ready to turn your parking areas into grass? Or turn your grass into parking areas without ruts and mud? Both PaveCore and BaseCore Geocell offer different ways to achieve that modern, eco-friendly look. Let’s start with the basics of installation.

1. Excavation and Compaction:

  • Excavate the designated area to the required depth specified by your chosen system. PaveCore is typically excavated 3” while BaseCore Geocell can be put above grade or excavated based on your design needs.Aim for a level base, for PaveCore. You may need to put down some fines or sand to get each panel level. With BaseCore Geocell, the flexible geo panels conform to inconsistencies in the sub-base so you won’t have the same exactness required.
  • Once you’ve reached the desired depth, it’s time to compact. Compact the exposed soil layer using a plate compactor or a rented machine for larger areas. This ensures a stable base for your permeable driveway.

2. Geotextile:

  • This non-woven fabric plays a crucial role in preventing soil migration and maintaining the integrity of your system. Unroll the geotextile generously over the entire compacted sub-base, ensuring it covers the entire excavated area.
  • Secure the fabric’s edges using staples or by carefully tucking them under the surrounding soil. This prevents the fabric from shifting during subsequent steps.
  • Remember: this isn’t about a weed cloth or barrier and not all geotextiles are the same. You will require a non-woven and we recommend a 6oz thickness.

3. Optional Modern Edging Before adding your chosen green finishing touch, provide your system with some much-needed support. Install edging restraints around the perimeter of the excavated area. Choose materials like modern corten steel edging or even treated wood that can withstand the elements and vehicle weight.Ensure the edging extends slightly above the finished height of your chosen grid.

Now that you have your base and optional edging in place, it is time to add the PaveCore or BaseCore Geocell option selected. This layer would sit directly on top of the geotextile layer. Follow the instructions for installation for these unique products, then get ready to fill them in so you can get your grass parking pad.

Options for Planting Permeable Grass

1. Backfill & Seed the Natural Way

Embrace your local ecosystem! Fill the panels with native soil, fostering an environment for indigenous plants to thrive. Choose a diverse seed mix suitable for your region and climate, creating a natural meadow aesthetic. Remember, this option requires patience as the plants establish themselves.

2. Instant Green Grass with Sod

Craving immediate gratification? Skip the seeding stage and lay pre-grown sod over the filled panels. Choose a grass type tolerant of light to moderate traffic and ensure you use sod specifically designed for permeable systems. This approach provides an established grassy surface from day one.

3. Low-Maintenance with Synthetic Grass

Opt for convenience with artificial turf. Choose a high-quality, permeable synthetic grass option that allows water to drain through. While requiring minimal maintenance, this option comes with an upfront cost and may not offer the same aesthetic appeal as natural grass.

Maintenance Requirements of Permeable Grass Driveways

Permeable grass driveways require less maintenance than traditional asphalt or concrete driveways, but there are a few things you need to do to keep them in good condition. Here are some tips:

  • Water the grass regularly. This is especially important during the first year after installation, while the grass is getting established.
  • Mow the grass regularly. Mow to a height of 2-3 inches. This will help to keep the grass healthy and prevent weeds from growing.
  • Fertilize the grass twice a year. Use a slow-release fertilizer that is specifically designed for permeable grass driveways.
  • Remove debris regularly. This includes leaves, grass clippings, and trash.
  • Aerate the grass once a year. This will help to loosen the soil and improve drainage.
  • Reseed the grass as needed. If there are any bare patches in the driveway, reseed them with a grass that is specifically designed for permeable driveways.

Keep in mind, PaveCore and BaseCore Geocell products are engineered to stabilize and prevent ruts in grass and to support the weight load requirements of vehicles. If you begin to see the tops of the panels or geocells exposed, add additional soil or sand to these areas to ensure they keep their integrity as when installed properly and inspected occasionally, they will serve as a solid stabilizer for many decades.

The Many Uses of Permeable Grass Driveways

Your mind is the limit when coming to eco-friendly parking options using ground stabilizers. Permeable grass driveways have been used in a variety of residential and commercial applications, including:

  • Residential driveways: Permeable grass driveways are a popular choice for homeowners who want a natural-looking driveway that is also durable and eco-friendly.
  • Commercial parking lots: Permeable grass driveways can be used to create parking lots that are more sustainable and environmentally friendly than traditional asphalt or concrete parking lots.
  • Event parking: Permeable parking for events or even temporary use have been installed to protect the grass and sub-base from damage and mud.
  • Sidewalks and walkways: Permeable grass sidewalks and walkways can help to reduce stormwater runoff and improve water quality.
  • Golf courses: Permeable grass driveways and cart paths can help to reduce erosion and improve drainage on golf courses.
  • Athletic fields: Permeable grass athletic fields can help to reduce flooding and improve drainage.
  • Parks and recreation areas: Permeable grass driveways and walkways can be used to create more sustainable and environmentally friendly parks and recreation areas.

Permeable grass driveways can also be used in other applications, such as:

  • Fire lanes: Permeable grass fire lanes can help to reduce runoff and improve drainage.
  • Emergency access roads: Permeable grass emergency access roads can help to reduce flooding and improve drainage.
  • Rain gardens: Permeable grass pavers can be used to create rain gardens, which are areas that are designed to collect and filter rainwater.
  • Green roofs: Permeable grass pavers can be used to create green roofs, which are roofs that are covered with vegetation.

Explore the Benefits of a Permeable Green Driveway 

Permeable grass driveways offer a sustainable and aesthetically pleasing solution for creating functional outdoor spaces. They not only benefit the environment by reducing stormwater runoff and promoting vegetation growth but also enhance the visual appeal and value of properties. By using grass pavers or a mix of grass and gravel, permeable grass driveways provide a permeable surface that allows for proper drainage and helps prevent erosion. Whether for residential or commercial use, permeable grass driveways are an excellent eco-friendly choice for any outdoor space.

Contact a Backyard Bases specialist by calling today 888-897-2224. We will gladly help guide you to the correct product based on your unique project and budget.