Flexipave: A Sustainable Concrete Alternative

shutterstock_154657292We are always doing our best to keep up with industry news. So when we stumbled across a super cool video about a polymer product that’s meeting a practical need we knew we had to share it with our audience. The video was about a construction material called FlexiPave being utilized in Yellowstone National Park. The video, published on the TechInsider YouTube channel, instantly grabbed our attention.

Developed in 2001, Flexi-Pave is the flagship product of KB Industries (KBI), located in Florida. The material is a sustainable, thirsty concrete able to absorb 50 gallons of water per minute, or 3,000 gallons an hour, and doesn’t need a draining system. It is made from a combination of recycled tires and stones, which makes it an excellent use for waste material. Not only that, there is an antimicrobial agent within the final product that helps purify the water as it moves through the pores of the material by reducing the dissolved phosphates and nitrates. The end result aids storm water management. In addition, Flexi-Pave does not crack with freezing and reheating, as traditional concrete paving does. 

We had the opportunity to speak with Kevin Bagnall, the Founder and CEO of KB Industries. His passion for providing a product that supports sustainability and excellent functionality was salient in our conversation.

“This product makes total sense because it is related to urbanization growth. As urbanization grows better solutions for storm water management are needed,” Kevin explained. “We’ve created a product to help solve that need.”

As we browsed YouTube comments related to the video there were questions about the safety of this product. In specific, viewers were concerned with pieces of recycled rubber coming loose and entering the environment, or dangerous chemicals leaching out of the material. People were questioning the safety of using recycled tires in a construction material designed for storm water management. As you may remember, crumb rubber has received much scrutiny in recent past.  Kevin was able to discuss this with us in detail.

In regards to safety, this product has been approved by the EPA and passed the scrutiny of storm water management certifications. It is also not a totally new product, as it has been in-use for 16 years, which gives the product a pedigree. It is currently installed in locations like the City of Key West, Yellowstone National Park, and Arlington National Cemetery. Kevin also explained that there is a binding agent that keeps the components together, thus preventing issues of debris and leaching. The KBI website also indicates, “Our results date back more than a decade and include testing related to porosity, flexibility, skid resistance, durability, water quality, heat, noise, compression as well as various ASTM standards.”

So while these types of innovations are slowly finding homes across our country, they’re doing so much more than what meets the eye and are ultimately making our walkways and parks more sustainable. What are your thoughts on Flexi-Pave?