Green pavement porous block designs by UNS students

Members and students of Civil Engineering Program Faculty of Engineering (FT) UNS Surakarta. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Solo – Several faculty members and students of Civil Engineering Program Faculty of Engineering (FT) Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS) Surakarta, under the direction of Roadmate Research Group, conducted community service in Kadokan Village, Grogol Subdistrict, Sukoharjo District, Central Java, by laying porous block green pavement on Saturday–Sunday (30- 31/5/2020). This event is the implementation of Higher Education Tri Dharma routinely performed by faculty members of UNS to fulfil their Teacher’s Workload (Beban Kerja Dosen – BKD) funded by Maintenance Research Group PNBP UNS of 2020 grant. Applying the COVID-19 transmission prevention protocol, the faculty members, students, and the local community worked together to perform the community service program. 

Porous concrete made in the form of the porous block was designed for low transportation level to support sustainable development. “We designed the porous concrete for low transportation level such as neighborhood roads, even now we only applied it for the roadside, not for the roads. We created the porous block for sustainable development, so the earth’s surface will be covered by building and becomes a forest of concrete; thus, rainwater will no longer get absorbed into the soil. Therefore, our concept is a strong pavement that can pass rainwater so that it can be absorbed into groundwater,” said Ir. Ary Setyawan, M.Sc., Ph.D., as quote by team on Sunday (7/5/2020). 

Initially, the Roadmate Research Group (Grup Riset Sahabat Jalan) team of Civil Engineering UNS designed porous asphalt, but structurally, it is weaker than concrete, thus, they decided to create porous concrete. “We have designed porous asphalt and applied it to the roadside in KKN UNS Community Service Program in Kadokan village in 2016 because porous asphalt is structurally weaker than concrete, we tried to create porous concrete instead and this is old research, starting from the porous concrete design on a laboratory scale, then implement the porous concrete as a roadside in Kadokan village in a community service program through Science and Technology for the Community (Iptek bagi Masyarakat – “IBM”) Grant in 2015, this year we tried to modify the conventional porous concrete into the porous block,” explained Ir. Ary Setyawan, the coordinator of Roadmate Research Group. 

The porous concrete installed in Kadokan Village is an element of building materials made from a mixture of coarse aggregate with a uniform grade, cement, water, a little sand and additives to improve the quality of the concrete. This mixture will create a structure with a fairly large amount of air (20%) which let rainwater goes through its pores and get absorbed into the soil. The porous block has several excellent features such as being environmentally-friendly, good surface roughness, and it can minimize accidents due to high skid resistance. It can also be reassembled. 

“The Skid resistance is good, thus, its roughness can reduce the risk of vehicles to lose traction on downhill roads, as what happened in Kadokan Village which geometrically descends and frequent slips and falls, resulting in accidents; the porous block the road surface will be coarser, thus, slippage will not occur when braking. In general, the superiority of porous concrete is reducing sideways splash and water sprays to the back of the vehicle, as well as quiet construction (whispering concrete), therefore, when the design meets the requirement it can be used for urban and inter-city roads as well,” Ir. Ary Setyawan stated. 

Until this stage, the porous concrete has been tested for compressive strength, porosity and permeability, and with the application of the porous block, the material will be tested as a paving block. However, as research material, this result is not maximized and various improvements are performed, aimed to implement this innovation as Appropriate Technology in the community. (*/est)