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In October 2008, legislation was introduced which required householders to gain planning permission to pave their front gardens using traditional impermeable driveways which allow uncontrolled runoff of rainwater to roadways, sewers and local watercourses.
Systems have been devised which will comply with regulations and permit the laying of driveways without the need for planning permission and yet offer the same aesthetic properties of traditional methods. One such system is Thomas Armstrong's Permeable Paving system.
What is Permeable Paving?
Traditional paving methods divert the rainwater quickly towards the edges and then to the local drains. A permeable paving driveway deliberately diverts the water into the paving structure which allows for a controlled release of rainwater into the environment. Therefore, the paving blocks, jointing, laying course and bedding materials used for permeable paving differs slightly from conventional block paving, the details of which are given below.
Our Products include:
For further information please take a look at our Literature section for our Permeable Block Paving Factsheet.
There are 3 types of Permeable Paving design (as defined in 'The SUDS Manual' by CIRIA) all of which are suitable for use with Thomas Armstrong's Permeable Paving blocks. These are:
System A - full infiltration:
Where all of the rainwater soaks into the sub base and eventually into the ground which is gradually released into the natural environment. The water is not sent to drains so there is no need for drainage pipes or gulleys making this the simplest and most economical system available. The schematic diagram opposite shows the make-up of the layers of a Type A system the details of which is described further here.
System C - no infiltration:
Suitable for contaminated land in particular where all of the rainwater is captured in the sub-base and diverted away via outlet pipes to other drainage systems such as swales, ponds and sewers. An impermeable, flexible membrane is placed beneath the sub-base and up the vertical sides effectively forming a storage tank for the rainwater soaked through the paving layer. This prevents contaminants in the ground from being washed into watercourses.
System B - partial infiltration:
Used where the ground may not be capable of absorbing water very well and the rainwater soaked into the sub-base is diverted via outlet pipes to other drainage systems such as swales, ponds and sewers.
Our Permeable Paving blocks are materially the same as traditional paving blocks offering the same durability, strength and range of styles and colours as traditional paving. They are manufactured to BS EN 1338:2003 and have a permeability exceeding the minimum required flow rate of 1800 litres / second / hectare, provided that the sub-base below the blocks is correctly specified and has similar flow-rate capabilities They are available in 60mm and 80mm thickness, with a range of colours and styles including rectangular and beamish cobbles. We are continually adding to our Permeable Paving range so please contact us for further up to date details.
Our Permeable Paving blocks include 4.5mm vertical 'nibs' on their sides so that when they are laid, the correct width void is immediately formed between the blocks which is then filled with a suitable permeable material grit resulting in an aesthetically pleasing permeable surface.
Block laying should be carried out in accordance with BS 7533 - Part 3:2005. The details here describe a 'Type A - Full Infiltration' system which is the simplest and most economical of the 3 recognised types (see above). Nevertheless, the same basic installation method and materials apply to all 3 system types.
Permeable Paving systems will require minimal ongoing maintenance as long as the above general site practice guidelines for avoiding contamination during construction have been followed.
Nevertheless, the only significant difference between conventional paving and permeable paving surfaces is the need to prevent the permeable filled gaps between the blocks becoming 'blinded' by soil and other fine material.
It is recommended that permeable surfaces be kept as free of mud, soil and other materials as far as possible and regularly swept clean. By doing so, the effectiveness and life of the system will be maintained. Weeds should be removed by hand or any other method which avoids the use of weed killer and subsequent contamination of the permeable layers beneath the paving.
Thomas Armstrong (Concrete Blocks) Ltd
Part of the Thomas Armstrong Group
T: 01900 68211
Registered No: England 818912
VAT No: 533724550