With the arrival of the snowfall season in New England, most community associations are hurriedly pulling out their snow blowers and double checking their plowing contracts. At a few condominiums, however, the arrival of winter is being greeted with a little less urgency.
These condominiums are part of a growing number using heated pavement, where electrical wires or hot piping underneath the sidewalks or driveways turn falling snowflakes into harmless water.
Heated pavement is expensive to install and operate, but it has a number of advantages over plowing, especially for communities with special circumstances.
Properties with a small footprint and little open space to dump snow -- typically mid- or high-rises in downtown areas – don’t have to struggle to find places to store excess snow.
Growing numbers of condominiums are in municipalities that restrict salt or salt-substitutes, out of concern over ground water contamination. Condos with heated pavements contribute nothing but pure melted snow (water) to the local aquifer.