Part 2

With permeable interlocking concrete pavers (PICPs) or eco-surfaces the latest trend, Holger Rust, founder and managing director of Terraforce, says: “A little belated but at last, the market is now willing to look at new directions and ideas in paving practice.”

It is a great new method of creating permeable and efficient drainage/infiltration in existing paved areas or in new areas that are to be paved with asphalt or interlocking clay/concrete pavers. The Terracrete block is ideally suitable for this purpose, as it is a paving block with openings. The bigger openings allow for coarse infill to be used, which means better infiltration and easier maintenance.

The early research into PICPs

Dr Sohnke Borgwardt, landscape architect, consulting engineer and leading expert on the subject in Germany, had these findings about PICPs:

  • A high rate of infiltration demands the maximum open surface area possible without compromising stability.
  • Infiltration rates are higher with coarse infill and regular maintenance by vacuum washing the gravel is very feasible in a way that would not be possible with finer infill.
  • This method is very suitable for upgrading the drainage of existing areas or new ones, where the presence of heavy vehicles or high-traffic volumes could compromise conventional permeable paving.
  • Effective long-term performance depends on professional design, the proper choice of materials and aggregates as well as accurate installation, supervision of the building process and maintenance.

What are the benefits of eco-pavers?

  1. Promotes the reduction of stormwater load into natural discharge channels and sewerage conveyance systems.
  2. Can reduce excessive flooding in urban areas.
  3. Encourages bi-directional flow of water, either into subterranean aquifers or to allow high water tables to release moisture into the atmosphere.
  4. Allows beneficial soil-borne microorganisms, which can neutralise harmful contaminants, to flourish and migrate.
  5. Can significantly reduce the effect of heat-generating islands in urban areas.
  6. Can be employed to reverse the sealed nature of large expanses of asphalt to create infiltration lines that can also host significant tree cover.

Terracrete blocks, with good infiltration and easy maintenance should definitely be considered as they are so versatile and aesthetically pleasing.

For more information, contact Terraforce:
Tel: +27 21 465 1907

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