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Asak FLYT permeable paving nips urban flooding in the bud

Asak FLYT is a permeable paver system for urban landscapes, reducing flooding from intense rainfall. “With the FLYT collection architects can create beautiful outdoor flooring that handles heavy rain efficiently and sustainably,” says Hanne Sønsteby, CEO of Asak Miljøstein.Published 22 Jan 2024 (updated 23 Jan 2024) · 3 min read

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At a glance

  • Permeable paving system for urban landscape
  • Allows heavy rainfall to infiltrate the ground
  • Prevents urban flooding, reduces damage and costs

Globally, urban flooding is one of the costliest types of natural disasters. The record flooding in Belgium and Germany in 2021, for instance, caused 209 fatalities and USD 43 billion in flood damage. In Europe, flooding is forecast to worsen in the future. While climate change is one culprit, urban development plays a huge role as well.

“Impervious urban surfaces, such as concrete, prevent excess water from infiltrating the soil, causing standing water. What we need is more permeable paving options that don’t seal the soil,” explains Sønsteby.

Anti-flood paving system captures architects’ attention

Asak FLYT is a permeable concrete paver system designed to reduce urban flooding during heavy rainfall. The FLYT collection consists of three hexagonal interlocking stones that can be combined to create seamless transitions when designing and programming outdoor spaces.

FLYT is a collaboration between Asak Miljøstein, a leading Norwegian paver manufacturer, and Snøhetta, the internationally recognised architecture and design firm which owns the design rights.

“FLYT is not only a product but a concept,” says Sønsteby. “We already deliver permeable paving for heavy truck areas. When customers began to request more aesthetic paving, we asked Snøhetta to develop a concept that would be permeable in the urban space and so attractive that landscape architects would prefer to use it.”

In addition, architects enjoy the FLYT system’s flexibility, which encourages creativity in the design process.

Woman walking on hexagonal paving tiles in the rain
The Asak FLYT system's hexagonal interlocking stones can be combined to create seamless transitions in outdoor spaces.

Asak FLYT supports sustainable water drainage

The FLYT system gives landscape architects a powerful tool for nature-based water management. The interlocking pavers are designed to create a sustainable drainage system (SuDS), avoiding flooding on the surface of public areas.

“FLYT allows the water to pass through the joints and into the permeable subbase, where the water is stored until it infiltrates the ground. The pavers give up to 28 per cent permeability per square metre of water,” says Sønsteby.

As a result, ice is less likely to form on the surface in cold weather, which keeps pedestrians safe from slipping and reduces costs related to salt, gravel and drainage pipes.

In addition, FLYT pavers are eco-friendly, with an expected lifetime of 60 years. Like all concrete paving, FLYT paver stones act as a carbon sink through “cement recarbonation”.

“We estimate that our paver stones reabsorb 50 per cent of CO2 emitted during the production of cement, a key component of concrete,” states Sønsteby.

New water management regulations fuel market

More and more governments, including in Norway and the UK, are making SuDS mandatory in all new building projects. Asak FLYT has therefore hit the market at an ideal time.

The company has received enquiries from landscape architects in Italy, Switzerland and the US. The FLYT collection was shortlisted for the Dezeen Awards and named “Best in Europe” for the Fast Company Innovation by Design Awards. It was also named a finalist in the Norwegian Construction Industry’s Innovation Award 2023.

With such initial success, the FLYT collection is ready to go global. “Today we are seeking international collaboration and licensing partners. Our product is most sustainable when it is produced locally,” concludes Sønsteby.

ASAK MILJØSTEIN AS

ASAK MILJØSTEIN AS

Hvamstubben 17, 2013 SKJETTEN, Norway

Website

Hanne Sønsteby

CEO

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