Researchers At IIT Bhubaneswar Come Up With Novel Initiative To Tackle Urban Flooding & Heat Islands

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Bhubaneswar: In a wonderful innovation, researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar have developed pervious concrete pavements which will help mitigate stormwater runoff and promote groundwater recharge.

Due to rapid urbanisation, there has been widespread construction of impervious pavements like bituminous and concrete surfaces, exacerbate stormwater runoff during rainfall, causing flood-like conditions in many Indian cities.

Impervious surfaces and growing urban population have also resulted in significant depletion of groundwater reserves.

Hence, IIT Bhubaneswar researchers have come up with a novel solution to tackle these challenges.

Pervious concrete features interconnected voids with at least 15% porosity, allowing stormwater to infiltrate through the pavement and recharge the groundwater, an IIT Bhubaneswar press release said.

This reduces runoff, mitigates urban flooding and is particularly suitable for areas like parking lots, cycle tracks and pedestrian walkways.

The School of Infrastructure at IIT Bhubaneswar recently implemented pervious concrete pavements in the cycle parking area, covering 150 square metres with 18 slabs.

Students from Transportation Engineering Section lent their hands in placing 150 mm thick pervious concrete slabs, 3.5 by 2.5 metres, over a 250-300 mm reservoir layer atop the subgrade.

The system can store over 20 cubic meters of water without runoff.

Pervious concrete, produced at a ready-mix concrete (RMC) plant, facilitates stormwater infiltration, promoting percolation into the subgrade and aiding groundwater recharge.

Rainfall data of June 27 was obtained from GMAG lab of the School of Earth, Ocean and Climate Sciences to assess the efficiency of pervious concrete pavements. It was found that the pavement infiltrated 6.8 cubic metres of stormwater per hour during 47.24 mm/hr rainfall from 1,30 pm to 4 pm without any runoff.

Dr Anush K Chandrappa, a faculty member of the School of Infrastructure, and his students conducted extensive research on the benefits of pervious concrete pavements. As per their findings, these pavements not only reduce runoff but also mitigate urban heat island (UHI) effects due to their increased porosity and latent heat flux.

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