Grass & Gravel Reinforcement
The consistent and growing attention to environmental issues, together with the requirements of PPS25, has led to an increased need for paving products which combine high quality aesthetics with the capability of adoption within modern SUDS stormwater management schemes.
This is a rapidly expanding area of the UK market with the government advocating the use of porous surfacing and cellular paving in preference to sealed surface systems in an attempt to deal with the growing over capacity of our aging sewer system. Recent legislation has even gone as far as advising porous paving systems for front hard-standings parking spaces rather than concrete or traditional paving.
With porous paving there are two possible finishes:
Everyone likes the look of freshly mown grass but this is set against a need for more and more hard surfacing to allow the movement of vehicles. The advantage of using grass protection/reinforcement is that you don’t have to worry about drainage – providing the area is already free draining. If you reinforce the area by the use of a grass grid system (Integra AdPave or Enviroblock) to take vehicles then no additional drainage is needed.
There are many systems to choose from:
If you are creating an area of reinforced grass on a commercial scale then a free draining sub base (DoT Type 1x or Type 3) according to the loading will be required together with geotextile above & below to stop migration of both this and the sand bedding, plus a good quality topsoil & seed to allow the grass to germinate and ensure longevity to your grass reinforced area.
If your grass area already exists and you want to reinforce or protect it for occasional or temporary car park use then rolls of grass reinforcement can be laid on top of the grass to provide an instant reinforced grass solution (see our Grass Protection range).
If your proposed grass area has not yet been built then you need to decide whether you want a grid reinforcement finish such as the Integra AdPave or Enviroblock (these are best suited to regularly used areas) or whether you want to support vehicular use but don’t want to see any grid reinforcement within the grass, in which case TechTurf should be considered (suitable for heavy pedestrian occasional light vehicles or HGV’s).
Points to consider:
- If cars are going to be parked all day, the grass within the parking won’t grow, so consider a reinforced gravel finish instead.
- If the current area is waterlogged when it rains then putting a porous surface down is unlikely to help, consider the use of Hydroblox, stormwater management or another SUDs solution, such as soakaways.
- Keep traffic off the grass paving surface until the grass has grown (this is vital if you want a long lasting finish)
- Use good quality topsoil & seed – the faster grass establishes the quicker you can use the cellular paving area
- Don’t install grass reinforcement areas in the “non growing” season and expect to use them straight away
2. Gravel Finish
The look of a gravel drive or car park can be spoilt by ruts of gravel washed up in piles around the area. This is caused because gravel tends to roll on itself as vehicles run over it moving the gravel aside as they go.
The solution is to use a gravel reinforcement grid system (such as Integra AdPave or Enviroblock) to provide a stable surface for vehicles to run over. Again, this sort of surface is a free draining porous paving so you can virtually ignore traditional drainage methods and choose your system according to the needs of the area. For commercial & constantly used areas Integra and AdPave provide a hard wearing porous surface and will probably need an appropriate free draining sub base with geotextile above & below to stop migration of the sand or grit bedding. Enviroblock is appropriate for porous driveways and temporary or occasional use whilst providing gravel retention.
Points to look out for with gravel finishes:
- Choose gravel that’s locally available if you want it to blend in naturally with the surroundings.
- A gravel size within the range of 5-15mm is ideal
- When choosing a reinforced gravel type you MUST choose angular gravel – this compacts well and prevents the rolling effect of more rounded gravels
- Use gravel that doesn’t crush with movement – something like granite is ideal