Summers-Taylor Brings “Green” Paving to New Level with HydroFlo


hydroflo-logo.pngELIZABETHON, Tenn. – Summers-Taylor Inc., the largest heavy and highway construction company in the Northeast Tennessee-Southwest Virginia region, is bringing cutting-edge paving technology to the area with its offering of porous asphalt, an innovative pavement construction that is getting high marks in the industry.

Headquartered in Elizabethton, Tenn., Summers-Taylor piloted the technology – which the company has branded as “HydroFlo” – in 2009 while surfacing a parking lot at East Tennessee State University’s new soccer field in Johnson City, Tenn.

“We tested the porous pavement extensively before initially using it on the ETSU parking lot. It performed extremely well and now we offer it to all customers,” says Grant Summers, vice president of Summers-Taylor. “As a company, we’re always looking for ways to lessen our carbon footprint, and porous asphalt construction not only results in a better product, it is good for the environment as well.”

Summers says the new pavements are also more economical because they eliminate the need for complex water management systems that require pipes that collect rainwater, storm drains, curb and guttering, and retention ponds or sediment basins.

While porous asphalt has been around since the mid-1970s, the pavement has only recently gained in popularity due to higher standards and new government mandates related to reductions in carbon emissions.

Porous asphalt is also popular among builders seeking to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) points toward green building accreditation. Up to three LEED credits can be applied if porous asphalt is used instead of standard hot-mix asphalt on pavement surfaces.

According to Summers, porous asphalt is cooler and greener due to its structure, which is open-graded on the surface with a stone recharge bed positioned underneath. When it rains, water runs down through the porous surface into the stone bed, then slowly seeps into the soil.

Porous asphalt pavements are particularly appealing to site planners and public works departments because they eliminate the need for building costly storm-water management systems and detention basins. In terms of conservation, the pavements allow for better land use, reduce runoff, promote infiltration, conserve water, clean storm water, replenish ground water (aquifers) and protect streams and lakes.