The parking lot outside of the ASU Art Museum is covered in pervious pavement, a technology that has a number of advantages in terms of its sustainability. Unlike conventional asphalt and concrete pavements, pervious pavement allows liquid and air to flow through it; so water that passes through the pavement flows directly into the earth below the pavement. This pavement minimizes water pollution; recharges groundwater aquifers by allowing direct passage of rainwater through the pavement and into the soil; and mitigates the urban heat island, a phenomenon that occurs when urban materials (such as conventional pavements and buildings) absorb and store heat, thereby raising the temperature of the air around them. Additionally, pervious pavement facilitates improved vegetation health because roots have access to the water that flows through the pavement.
Along with being ecologically-friendly, pervious pavement also improves safety because it prevents water-pooling that reduces visibility and increases the potential for vehicles to hydroplane. The pervious parking lot in front of the ASU Art Museum is a National Center for Excellence in SMART Innovations for Urban Climate and Energy project.