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Permeable paving

New products that flush out pollutants in surface water are becoming ever more popular, says Laura Mark

Flood risk, surface water runoff and pollution are among the most highly legislated and monitored areas of planning and construction. The Flood and Water Management Act (2010) provides a cohesive approach to water management and requires the use of SUDS in any new urban development. As a result, permeable paving is rapidly become the norm for hard surfacing in new projects.

BREEAM and the Code for Sustainable Homes are additional drivers. Surface water management is one of the four mandatory areas in the Code for Sustainable Homes, and the use of concrete permeable block pavers in landscaping achieves an A or an A+ rating in the BRE Green Guide, gaining BREEAM credits.

All this is not just about meeting legislation. It’s also about water quality. Pollutants from urban areas are being washed into rivers through groundwater. Permeable paving solutions have the added benefit of flushing out pollutants in surface water runoff, enhancing water and reducing the need for further treatment at a later stage.

According to CIRIA, 60-95% of suspended soils and 70-90% of hydrocarbons can be prevented from reaching groundwater by the use of permeable paving. Technical guidance and an online database of more than seventy-five SUDS projects across the UK can be found on the CIRIA website.

The push for SUDS has led manufacturers to develop a host of new products. Essentially, most perform similarly: paving blocks with additional nibs which allow transfer of excess surface water into the sub base below.

The nibs are very visible on some products. Ibstock have developed a more discrete tapered system, difficult to distinguish from standard paving. Manufacturers are also striving to improve the sustainability of these products by increasing recycled content. Pulverised fuel ash is added to concrete, lowering embodied energy.

The urgent need to address surface water management in urban areas is brought home by Thames Water’s proposed £3.6billion, 32km long super tunnel under the Thames, currently out for consultation. Permeable paving may not be as glamorous as green roofs, water gardens or pocket parks, but it is one of a host of local water management strategies which need to be integrated into city design.

BRETT

Brett Omega Flow

Brett

Omega Flow features a nib which allows water to permeate through the paving. This solution can be used for all paving applications and should be implemented in conjunction with a permeable sub base.

Product Omega Flow
Material Concrete
Colours Four
Size 215 x 115 x 60mm and 215 x 115 x 80mm
Laying pattern Herringbone
Recycled content None
Permeability 4,265L/m2/hour
Country of manufacture UK
www.brett.co.uk/landscaping

HANSON FORMPAVE

Hanson Formpave

Hanson Formpave

The Aquaflow allows water to pass through vertical channels created by nibs in the blocks. The product is particularly suitable for car parks, drives and areas with moderate traffic.

Product Aquaflow
Material Concrete
Colours Five
Size 100 x 200 x 60mm and 100 x 200 x 80mm
Laying pattern Herringbone
Recycled content 7%
Permeability 9,000L/m2/hour
Country of manufacture UK
www.heidelbergcement.com/uk/en/hanson

IBSTOCK

Ibstock

Ibstock

This product uses a more discreet, tapered system rather than the nibs found in most types of permeable paving, which makes it difficult to distinguish from standard paving.

Product SUDS Pavers
Material Clay
Colours Four
Size 200 x 100 x 65mm
Laying pattern Herringbone and basketweave
Recycled content 10%
Permeability Not tested
Country of manufacture UK
www.ibstock.com

MARSHALLS

Marshalls Olde Priora

Marshalls Olde Priora

This uses the concepts of the original Priora block, with its nibs allowing for transfer of surface water and its range of textures is useful in heritage and conservation projects.

Product Olde Priora
Material Concrete
Colours Eight
Size 200 x 100 x 80mm
Laying pattern Herringbone, stretcher course and and basketweave
Recycled content 6%
Permeability 6,750L/m2/hour
Country of manufacture UK
www.marshalls.co.uk/select/watermanagement

TOBERMORE

Tobermore Hydropave240

Tobermore Hydropave240

The Hydropave240 has been designed to be larger than conventional blocks in order to increase the speed of installation.

Product Hydropave240
Material Concrete
Colours Five
Size 240 x 120 x 80mm
Laying pattern Herringbone
Recycled content None
Permeability 648L/m2/hour
Country of manufacture UK
www.tobermore.co.uk/permeablepaving

CHARCON

Charcon Infilta

Charcon

The Infilta features a 5mm nib which allows for water permeation. When combined with a geotextile layer, the block can enhance water quality.

Product Infiltra
Material Concrete
Colours Three
Size 200 x100 x 60mm and 200 x 100 x 80mm
Laying pattern Herringbone
Recycled content 4-6%
Permeability 10,000L/m2/hour
Country of manufacture UK
www.aggregate.com

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