When I read the initial press release on VAST® Composite Pavers , these pavers had me at hello. I know. How can pavers be so interesting? Using words like made out of recycled content materials, helps storm water management and the pavers looks like brick can give an eco- building girl palpitations! The fact that the use of these composite pavers contribute to several LEED credits was just the icing on the cake. I scratched my head and asked, where was VAST® Pavers when I installed my ugly unenvironmentally friendly asphalt driveway four years ago?
I had the pleasure of interviewing Andy Vander Woude, chief executive officer of VAST Enterprises LLC on the above podcast. He meticulously and patiently answered all my questions about the product. I encourage everyone to listen to it since it is more detailed then my summary of the product below.
So, why does VAST Pavers make me swoon? For starters, the composite pavers are made out of 95% post-consumer recycled materials consisting of tires and scrap plastics. At the end of their life, they can be recycled again into new materials. In addition, the Company offers a permeable composite paver , which allows water to infiltrate into the ground to reduce storm water run-off. Most towns, including mine, require storm water management for new construction.
In the summer, you could fry an egg on my asphalt driveway. The beauty of these pavers is there use eliminates the intense heat that you feel when you walk across an asphalt driveway or parking lot in the summer. That heat island effect causes the adjacent building, whether it is a house or office building, to use more energy to keep it cooler.
Have you sacrificed beauty or spent alot more green for these pavers? Absolutely not. They come in 6 different colors and are brick shaped ( 3″ by 6″.) According to Vande Woude, they are also cost competitive with the installation of ordinary pavers due to the unique grid systems, which make installation easy and reduces labor costs. Even someone like myself could install these pavers after a sub-base has been properly installed. See the installation video above.
There is virtually no waste left over from installing these pavers since the grids used are the packaging of the pavers. As I mentioned above, these pavers can contribute to LEED credits in the areas of recycled content, storm water management, waste reduction, innovative design, and reduction of heat island effect. In addition, depending on your location, using these pavers may contribute to the regional material credit. The Company is expanded rapidly and more regional manufacturing is anticipated.
Since the pavers are manufactured in Minnesota, they have undergone rigorous testing for cracking and fading. Minnesota has extreme variations in weather. Winters are extremely cold and summers can be very hot. According to the Company, the pavers have held up beautifully.
As I mentioned above, I had many questions about this product. I tend to be a skeptic about green claims. After my interview with Vander Woude, I was convinced that product was exceptional. He explained the following in the podcast:
- how the pavers differ from other pavers
- how the heat island effect is reduced by the pavers. I could not understand how rubber could reduce this effect since I thought rubber retains heat.
- how these rubber pavers differed from rubber mulch which can leach chemicals into our waterways.
- how easy it is to install the pavers
- why the pavers are cost competitive
- how exactly the pavers contribute to LEED points
- how the installation of these pavers could reduce the amount of sand being dragged around your house from ordinary paver installation.
Interested? I knew you would be. To find out more information on how to buy these pavers, visit here. The pavers can be purchased for US, Canada, and international projects. So, for your next outdoor project, consider using a VAST® Pavers as an environmental choices for your new path, driveway, or patio.