In the process of creating a Brooklyn landscape design, a unique, sustainable solution for a residential driveway was created by my partner and I. 

Sustainable solution for residential driveway by Todd Haiman©2014

Sustainable solution for residential driveway by Todd Haiman©2014

Impervious surfaces (such as driveways) limit the amount of stormwater capture and retention. During rain storms these surfaces (built from materials such as asphalt, cement and concrete) along with rooftops, carry polluted stormwater to storm drains, instead of allowing the water to percolate through the soil. This causes flooding as there is no absorption into the ground. Most municipal storm sewer systems discharge stormwater, untreated to streams, rivers, bays. In New York City, (where my landscape design firm is based) my understanding is that the overtaxed sewage system then overflows into the East River. So,…controlling the amount of stormwater runoff from urban homes (in this case a NYC landscape design) is paramount in creating green infrastructure. The challenge is to allow the stormwater to percolate into the soil or ground, thereby reducing levels of urban runoff.  

On this residential driveway design in Brooklyn, NY,  the existing asphalt was cracking, pot-holed, consistently failing and flooding during rainstorms.  As per local NYC ordinances we could not repave + re-pitch the driveway to direct stormwater into the street.  As we were demolishing the pressure treated wood deck in the rear, we chose to create a pea gravel driveway with secured wood boards from the demolished deck (which would then allow the stormwater to percolate down.  The broken up asphalt driveway was then used to provide fill for the newly designed above grade stone deck.  Only the pea gravel was trucked in, since we salvaged material on-site to produce this.  Best of all, the client reaped a tremendous cost savings for the landscape design through this solution! 

This design by Todd Haiman Landscape Design in New York City was presented with an award from ASLA, Garden Design magazine, and the James Rose Center for Sustainability.

**all photos ©ToddHaimanLandscapeDesign2004