St. Francis Xavier Catholic School

  • Location: St. Francis Xavier Catholic School, Toronto, ON
  • Type: Institutional
  • Construction time: Summer 2013
  • Concrete Supplied: Hydromedia ™
  • Volume of Concrete: 29 m3
  • Construction Team: Innocon (Material Supplier), Bevcon Construction and Paving (General Contractor)
  • Key Benefits of Hydromedia™
    • Ideal solution for storm water management
    • Available in a wide variety of colours and finishes
    • Smoother, cleaner surface than traditional permeable pavements
    • Contains at least 25-35% void space
    • Allows water to pass directly through it at a permeability rate of 150- 1000 L/min/m2
    • Rapid water removal for a safer pedestrian-friendly walking area
    • Reduced risk of flash flooding

One of the primary initiatives of the Toronto Catholic District School Board was to decrease storm water discharge from hard surfaces and to reduce the urban heat island effect on the school grounds. The sustainable construction solution chosen by the school board to achieve this was Hydromedia permeable concrete.

Hydromedia is a fast draining concrete pavement solution that rapidly directs stormwater off driveways, walkways and parking surfaces. Hydromedia allows the system to rapidly direct water back to the natural subgrade reducing the effects of stormwater runoff. Standing water and ice formation are significantly reduced, leading to additional safety benefits in the winter time. An additional feature of Hydromedia is that any trees or vegetation in parking lots receive the benefits of natural watering. This is all achieved by a robust surface that provides natural groundwater recharge and filters particulates to reduce pollution.

Flexibility in design is a key feature of Hydromedia. It is available in a wide range of colours and finishes. Specialty coloured aggregate and various size aggregate can also be included in the mix design to acheive a unique look. For the project at St. Francis Catholic School the Hydromedia had a specialty black granite aggregate included in the mix design and the surface was finished with a HydroTereTM decorative finish.

This finish was created by Bevcon Construction and Paving. It can be customized to provide different surface traction levels and enables the exposure of any specialty aggregates included in the Hydromedia without affecting the functional characteristics of the system. For this application Hydromedia with a Hydro-Tere finish was used around a newly constructed tree planting area. This provided a hard decorative surface around the trees without inhibiting the ability of the tree to grow and establish a solid root structure. Hydromedia was used as the primary drainage system for the entire school parking lot which eliminated the use of catch basins. This area also acts as a natural drainage zone within the playground providing the trees with natural irrigation.

This sustainable planting system provides a safe and esthetically appealing hard surface perfect for school applications.