Skip to content
Idea school


A variety of permeable pavement concoctions have been installed at the IDEA school’s parking lot and bus lane. The purpose is to study these mixes side by side for desirable qualities in strength/longevity and stormwater pollutant reduction outcomes. The project is a collaborative effort with Tacoma Public Schools, Washington State Department of Ecology, Boeing, City of Tacoma Center for Urban Waters, and Washington State University.


Starting in the fall of 2019, stormwater will be collected during targeted rain events. Sections of targeted pavements have sensors tracking the durability component.

Project Summary

Permeable pavements have a proven track record of improving stormwater cleanliness, however, their durability is still a work in progress. Often, in high traffic volume areas, the pavement can start to break down, or ravel, from turning vehicle wheels. Working with Boeing, the pavement mixes at the Tacoma Idea School were created with different quantities/types of carbon fibers to study the added strength benefit.


2 years starting in the Fall of 2019

Parameters measured

Water quality/quantity

Pavement strength/durability

Elements Included in this Project

There are four water sampling stations:

  • Porous Asphalt with carbon fibers
  • Porous Asphalt without carbon fibers
  • Pervious Concrete with carbon fibers
  • Pervious Concrete without carbon fibers

There are temperature and strain sensors within the pavement types

Pavement Demonstration

The following brief video shows the way water behaves on both permeable and impermeable pavement types.