2019 Highly Commended - Hawley Wharf, London

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Concrete paving blocks

Concrete block paving is available in a variety of colours, shapes and textures. Made of high strength concrete, they are very durable and resistant to most chemicals. They are used for driveways and pedestrian areas as designers can use changes in the colour, texture and shape of block paving to distinguish roads from footways, to define parking bays and public space from private space.

Individual blocks interlock with each other to act together, distributing large point loads evenly. Block paving is also suitable for heavily trafficked areas such as container ports and aircraft hard-standing. Proprietary drainage channels may be incorporated within block paved areas. Blocks are laid on a sand bedding, on a suitable sub-base, with an edge restraint of small precast units or kerbs.

The restraint must be adequately robust to withstand damage if over-run by vehicles is anticipated. Once the sand layer has been prepared, the blocks are laid in position either individually by hand or in groups mechanically. Fine dry sand is sprinkled over the area, that is then vibrated, with a flat plate vibrator, forcing sand between the individual blocks and helping them to interlock.

One of the advantages of using concrete block paving over solid paving is that it can be easily reinstated following work on underground services


Acknowledgement: The Concrete Society