Innovative paving prevents flooding in Castellón

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innovative paving

Castellón has introduced innovative paving capable of absorbing up to 10,000 litres of rainwater per square metre, effectively preventing urban flooding. This breakthrough involves water-permeable tiles designed by the Institute for Technological Ceramics (ITC).

Funded by the Valencia Institute for Competitiveness and Innovation (Ivace+i), ITC has developed a new permeable ceramic paving that can handle substantial amounts of rainwater. This solution is increasingly important as heavy rainfall events become more common due to climate change.

Sustainable and efficient

The sustainable ceramic tiles are installed almost dry and are designed to allow significant amounts of rainwater to seep into the ground, replenishing groundwater levels. Initial tests conducted on the campus of the Universitat Jaume I in Castellón have shown very promising results.

The importance of innovation

Jerónimo Mora, the Regional Secretary of Innovation, and Juan José Cortés, the Director-General of Innovation, recently visited the DRAIKER demonstration site to assess the project’s progress. Mora highlighted the importance of innovation in addressing climate change challenges and the government’s role in supporting technological institutes to promote research and development in this area.

“Our responsibility as the government is to foster collaboration between the public sector and businesses so that research results translate into products and services that benefit society,” said Mora.

Applications for businesses and governments

Yolanda Reig, director of the ITC, explained that the goal is for both businesses and governments to benefit from these innovative products. Businesses can expand their markets by producing the new paving, while governments can encourage its installation to make cities more resilient to extreme weather conditions.

Successful tests

Initial tests of the DRAIKER demonstration model indicate that the surface permeability of the new paving far exceeds current design requirements. Municipalities like Madrid and Barcelona require a minimum permeability of 2,000 litres per hour per square metre, while Valencia and Castellón de la Plana have higher standards of at least 4,500 litres per hour per square metre. The new paving significantly surpasses these requirements.

Reactivation of the Strategic Innovation Committee

During the visit, Juan José Cortés announced that the department, under the leadership of Nuria Montes, would reactivate the Strategic Innovation Committee for Sustainable Habitat. This advisory body, comprising representatives from the scientific community, technological institutes, and businesses, will review the priority challenges and solutions identified in 2019.

Since then, Ivace+i has financed 81 projects with a total of more than €10.3 million, of which at least €2.4 million have directly benefited the ceramic sector.

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