Drivable Grass is an absorbent concrete system that is flexible, plantable, and is strong enough to handle vehicle weight. Drivable Grass is typically used as an environmentally friendly option for driveways, parking stalls, RV Parking, and service vehicle access lanes. Product infill options include seed, sod, sand and stone.
*Please note that we do not allow returns for Drivable Grass or related accessories.
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Product Properties and Colors
Product PDF Downloads
- Erosion Control Spec Sheet
- Structural Design Guidelines
- Permeable, Flexible and Plantable Spec Sheet
- Calculations for Infiltrations Rates and Storage volumes
- Guideline for Planted Infill Installation
- Guidelines for Non-Planted Infill Installation
- Planted Arched Drainage Swale Detail
- Non-Planted Low Flow Channel Detail
- Non-Planted Arched Drainage Swale Detail
- Planted Low Flow Channel Detail
- Non-Planted Staking Detail for Drainage
Erosion Control Downloads
- Drivable Grass Pond Slope Stabilization
- Planted Slope Erosion Control Detail
- Non Planted Slope Erosion Control Detail
- Installation Guideline
- Planted Infill Installation
- Non-Planted Dry Infill Installation
- Installation Quick Reference Guide
- Drip Irrigation with Seed Detail
- Drip Irrigation with Sod Detail
Professional Detail Downloads
- Detail with Drivable Turf Infill
- Decomposed Granite Infill
- Non-Planted Detail for Driving
- Detail with Mulch Infill
- Parking Delineation Detail
- Adhesive Detail
- Aggregate Infill
- Transition Detail
- Typical Drivable Grass Detail
- Concrete to Drivable Grass Transition Detail
What is Drivable Grass made of?
Drivable Grass is manufactured with a polymer grid, which allows the product to remain flexible and conform to irregular ground surfaces along with pre-defined linear grooves while offering structural support.
Whether planted or not, this is a unique product and excellent choice for multiple applications for impact development strategies from commercial parking lots to drainage swales or sunken, marshy places and do it yourself projects.
A perfect solution for many existing and future governmental regulations, codes, and requirements. Everyone from contractors to local and state municipalities can use this on their projects to improve water quality, diminish stormwater runoff while increasing green space and reduce heat island effects.
What are the benefits of Drivable Grass?
- LID or Low Impact Development, Drivable Grass offers greater stormwater containment, biofiltration, infiltration, and storage.
- BMP or Best Management Practice provides long-term effective solutions including armored bioswales and rain gardens.
- Lower Runoff Coefficient “C” will help to decrease storm drain and inlet size.
- Biofiltration protects against insects and microorganisms in the grass infill to significantly break down pollutants in stormwater.
- Permeability reduces the site’s runoff and promotes groundwater recharge and onsite storage.
- Reduction in heat island effect is accomplished by using light color and grass surfaces to reflect solar radiation to help reduce regional heat gain.
Flexibility - The reinforcing grid and grooves provide the ability to conform to uneven surfaces and contours.
Strength - Through real-time testing, not crafted lab tests, it has proven to offer extreme loading.
Durability - Provides a compressive strength of 8,000 psi and lower water absorption that reduces wear and cracking.
Withstands the Elements - The design allows the pad to remain flexible with freeze and thaw cycles without cracking and harming the surface. With low moisture absorption and pad size, it will prevent cracking, spilling, and catching edges. Snowmelt infiltrates but does not pond and freeze over.
Allows For Less Excavation - It allows for less removal of sub-base than traditional pavers or thick blocks will be able to do.
Fast & Easy Installation - Installs in half the time of traditional pavers. The design and flexibility of this product provide significantly more forgiving placement compared to large rigid blocks.
Root Penetration - Offers superior root penetration into the underlying bedding by establishing a united root zone below the mats.
What infill should be used?
Alternative infills fall into 2 categories, alternative planting, and non-planted materials. Plants for this include the ground cover and non-turf grasses. By using alternative plants, the installation is the same as with turfgrass. It’s a mixture of sand and granular compost above and below the mats to act as a rooting zone.
In some cases, the plant material can be seeded like turf grass while others might require hydroseeding or hand installation of plant plugs in the void spaces between the mat pads or the periodic removal of individual pads for installing plants into up to 4-inch pots. Watering requirements will depend on the climate and the plant material. Non-planted infills can be chosen for their given properties and intended use.
Some popular choices include crushed rock, decomposed granite, sand, and Drivable Turf®. This is a thin layer of sand that’s placed for leveling below the mats and the selected infill is swept in just below the surface of the mat. Even though decorative rocks might to the best choice for a patio, angular rocks up to 3/8” is highly recommended for driving areas.
Case Study #1 - Oceanside, CA
This study will focus on the use of a penetrable, plantable, and flexible concrete pavement system. This pavement system is Drivable Grass® which was eventually used at a fire station located in Oceanside, California. The site is located next to the San Luis Rey River which has a watershed size of 558 square miles. On top of that, the San Luis Rey River flows into the Pacific Ocean and is considered one of the most polluted beach outlets in Southern California. The river mouth is closed most of the time to swimmers and recreation. It has become a huge threat to tourism and quality of life in the surrounding area
Up until a short time ago, firemen would wash their trucks on the asphalt outside the garage of the station. Unfortunately, the results were hundreds of gallons of polluted water allowing runoff to dump directly into the river on a daily basis. The Quality Control Board mandated the City of Oceanside should make immediate changes. The city chose to use an area next to the station to wash their trucks. With limited resources, the area was underlain with Visaqueen which is a polyethylene plastic and then topped with gravel. Unfortunately, the formula proved to be very unstable to drive on, it was dirty, and high levels of gravel would sink into the sub-grade and have to be replaced on a regular basis. It was also totally ineffective in controlling the polluted runoff.
Soil Retention, the manufacturer heard about the situation and proposed using the station as a test site for their new product. They hired GMU Geotechnical of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA to design, test, and monitor the installation and performance of the area. After checking the design, the department of city engineering made further recommendations.
The reason for the study was how Drivable Grass could handle heavy fire truck loading on a daily basis and solve the polluted fire truck wash runoff problem. Single rear axle trucks weighing 28,000 lbs were driven over the mats approximately 3 times a day since October 2005. Deflection monometers were monitored during intervals and the product was then inspected for wear and durability and successfully passed. Another study included truck boom loading and 75’ ladder extensions were also performed showing excellent success.
The original installation was with the 2’ by 4’ version of product. After listening to feedback, Soil Retention modified the size of the product to 2’ by 2’ making it easier to handle. Even though the product relies on butting up closely, which is similar to pavers, but due to the weight and shear against underlying soils, some areas wanted to see proof that the new 2’ by 2’ would take the same abuse. Soil Retention hired GMU Geotechnical to perform the additional work. The area they chose was a small 20’ by 20’ area that had shown some deflection during the transition between the original concrete, asphalt, and Drivable Grass®. The minor deflection resulted from a slight grade break from extreme use over 1200 fire trucks passing in the same place along with the sub-grade yielding.
A 2’ by 2’ trench was dug to observe the section and confirm that only the sub-grade had yielded. The truck wash, since then, has experienced over 400 and more passes over the past 6 months since the installation. The 2’ by 2’ had performed equally as well as the prior results and will be published in the spring. The product conformed to the underlying soils without any cracking or unraveling at the surface which has happened with asphalt.
The Oceanside fire department is more than satisfied with the results. More importantly, the truck wash off area has no more runoff. All the water was stored and infiltrated through the product and storage capacity of the surface is up to 4 inches of water. The infiltration rate was calculated to be greater than 3 in/hr due to the granular infill and base materials.
This product is now in high demand and available nationwide due to its permeable, flexible, and plantable capabilities. Both cities and counties across the nation are becoming more strict about their stormwater requirements and leaning toward using this material as their preferred product.
Case Study #2 - Carlsbad, CA
In an effort to stop polluted stormwater runoff from entering the Buena Vista Lagoon, Soil Retention chose to retrofit the existing asphalt parking lot with their absorbent, flexible, plantable pavement system – Drivable Grass® and placed at the lowest point of the parking lot. This site is located along the southern coastline in the City of Carlsbad which is approximately 2,000 feet from the Pacific Ocean and 1,000 feet from the lagoon which consists of 233 acres of wetland and is home to 103 bird species, 18 mammals, and frequenting fishermen.
The first idea was to flush the stormwater runoff from the parking lot with biofiltration. The second was to detain and store water during rainfall so that it can be reused for irrigation of the landscape. The Drivable Grass installation had to be durable enough to withstand vehicle traffic on a regular basis. It had to be planted for biofiltration of harmful pollutants, and be economical for installation and maintenance. It also needed to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Installation and preparation required removing the existing asphalt and soil down to 2-feet. After that, geotextile was laid to separate the subgrade from the structural base and storage section. This was an 18-inch thick crushed rock with approximately a void ratio of.38%. Afterward, a second geotextile layer was used to separate another 4-inch thick sand layer for turfgrass roots to grow. The Soil Retention product was then installed in 2-foot by two-foot mats and parking stalls were designated with road dots.
After one year, the grass was growing and there were no signs of rutting or product degradation, despite traffic over 5 days a week. The current system has the capacity to capture and retain approximately 636 cubic feet of stormwater runoff for the area made up of 3 parking stalls and a small driveway corner of installation. This was in order to comply with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements for stormwater treatment facilities in San Diego County.
In Carlsbad, a 24-hour storm would produce 0.6 inches of rain or approximately 360 cubic feet of water in the 20 car parking area and drive aisle. At this time, there are no regulations for existing development in Carlsbad. However, the state of Maryland is currently incorporating similar installations and regulations.
If you'd like to speak with one of our product specialist about drivable grass please feel free to use the quote request button, or call (800) 621-5381. you can also reach us by email at email@example.com
Many projects might require the use of geotextile fabric such as the case studies above, if this is the case then please go here for more info on geotextile fabric.