Grass Pavers Cost
Grass pavers are a type of permeable pavement, a relatively recent innovation in construction and land management systems. Allowing rainwater to seep through and replenish groundwater supplies, grass pavers and other permeable pavements form an important part of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS).
- Grass pavers offer an affordable paving option.
- Concrete grass paving systems range from $3 to $10 per square foot.
- Plastic paving systems can be an even more affordable option, going as low as $1 and up to $10 per square foot.
Highlights of a grass paving system:
- Provides the functions of pavement with the aesthetic appeal of a lawn
- Functional durability ideal for spaces such as trails and overflow parking
- Improves environmental quality of landscape
- Reduces need for rainwater management systems
Permeable pavement is increasingly being incorporated into a variety of urban and residential landscapes. This provides water drainage more similar to natural rural landscapes while providing the functionally of a paved structure. The added aesthetic appeal of grass paving systems makes them a particularly popular choice. What follows is an overview of the features of this flexible and innovative paving system.
Understanding Grass Paver Design
Constructed as a type of open-cell paving system, grass pavers can be manufactured from either concrete or plastic. After installation, the infiltration cell of each paver is filled with soil and/or turf. Plastic paver systems tend to result in a more robustly green appearance. Concrete systems are more likely to remain visible, depending on the soil and installation, creating an appealing effect in many areas. In either case, the final result is a resilient, grass-filled area containing ample root support that is ideal for a multitude of functions.
The Key Components of a Grass Paver System
In order for rainwater to properly filter through the infiltration cells of grass pavers, four functional layers must be created at installation. They are as follows:
- Paver – The visible layer of stone or plastic. It defines the infiltration cells, which are filled with grass.
- Bedding – The pavers rest on a bed of crushed gravel or brick for stabilization. This layer also acts as a water filtration and purification system.
- Base – The bedding rests on a layer of larger crushed stones. This layer also aides in trapping contaminants and solid particles.
- Subgrade – The base rests on the natural soil of the area.
The Many Uses of Grass Pavers
With their many possible applications and proven benefits, grass pavers are popular options for pathways, trails, overflow parking or any other space prone to light or pedestrian-only traffic and in need of reinforcement.
As with all permeable pavement systems, grass pavers are an excellent solution in any area requiring rainwater drainage management or erosion control. They also aid in capturing and retaining airborne particulates, an attractive feature for creating a low-maintenance walkway.
In driveways, many homeowners appreciate the ability of grass pavers to capture the stray fluids and leaks that are aesthetically and environmentally disastrous on hardscape surfaces. The natural filter action of grass pavers trap such fluids within the paving structure, helping to keeping it out of the water supply.
Grass pavers can also serve to reinforce green spaces prone to wear-and-tear under foot traffic. Areas such as school playgrounds and parks are benefiting from the promotion and protection of a healthy root structure provided by plastic grass pavers.
The Advantages of Grass Pavers
The benefits of selecting a grass paving system are both environmental and aesthetic, largely through its capacity to increase the amount of green space in urban and residential areas. Both the design of the stones themselves and the grass that fills them make concrete grass pavers a pleasant addition to many landscapes. Plastic pavers created from 100 percent recycled materials enhance their appeal as an environmentally sound option.
While providing excellent erosion and rainwater control, grass paver systems offer an ecological advantage by allowing water to pass through and thereby replenish groundwater supplies. In the process, they also act as a type of natural filter that helps improves the quality of the water supply.
An additional environmental benefit of grass pavers is that less land is needed for storm water management, allowing for increasingly intelligent land use. In some cases, grass pavers satisfy green space requirements, allowing additional development within a given region without threatening building integrity or undue environmental strain.
Grass pavers also offer an effective means to mitigate the Urban Heat Island effect. Whereas traditional hardscapes absorb substantial heat, grass absorbs substantially less. Instead, it provides increased plant-filled, carbon-sequestering, environmentally friendly urban spaces.
The Disadvantages of Grass Pavers
Despite their multitude of functions and benefits, a grass paving system is not the most appropriate option in every location. For proper function, permeable paving should only be installed in areas well-suited to absorb rainwater. As such, an inappropriate incline near the foundations of buildings would negate the feasibility of a grass paving system. Also, certain soils may be insufficiently porous, a problem that may be overcome with soil preparation in some locations.
Areas that are most appropriate for grass pavers:
- Areas with pedestrian-only traffic
- Low volume, low speed vehicular area (eg. overflow parking, alleyways)
- Spaces with a slope away from foundations of up to 5 percent
- Appropriate subgrade soil (sandy loam soil is the best option)
Areas that are less than ideal for grass pavers:
- Anywhere excessive sediment can accumulate (filtration is less effective)
- Areas with clay-rich soils (however, adequate soil preparation may be possible)
Choosing a Grass Paving System
With this overview, a few ideas should already come to mind as the most appropriate options for creating a grass paved area. Proper guidance from an expert installation service is a great next step.
A useful question to ask any potential grass paving installation service is regarding the required compressive strength of materials to be used in a given area. Be sure the installer understands the intended use of the space in order to ensure the most appropriate choice of materials.
An expert eye is also the best way to identify site-specific attributes that may contribute to even more options, benefits or ideas to make the most of a grass paving system.
Last updated on Apr 3, 2014
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