Feb 19, 2012

Brick Pavers gaining recognition by Pavement Industry

Interlocking pavers were once seen as a luxury item but now are a viable pavement solution

Interlocking brick pavers are becoming an increasingly viable & economical solution for residential, commercial, and municipal applications.  When properly designed & installed, interlocking concrete pavers will not only offer aesthetically pleasing appearance but offer substantially reduced long-term maintenance & replacement costs compared to poured concrete & asphalt.

These advantages that brick pavers offer have gained recognition throughout the pavement industry in the United States.  With almost 60 years of experience & feedback from Europe, Australia, & Canada, the interlocking paving stone's structural integrity, shapes, colors, textures, and permeability have greatly improved.  Education for architects, engineers, manufacturers, contractors, and the general public have contributed to the proper applications, designs, and installation techniques that best offers long-term success & performance.

The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institue (ICPI) released an article in their February 2012 magazine that states the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International has approved a new standard practice for rating the condition of interlocking concrete pavements.  The ASTM International develops international standards for materials, products, systems and services used in construction, manufacturing, and transportation.  Their guidelines are strictly used by the brick paver industry to insure maximum performance.

ASTM E2840-11 was added to an existing rating method known as the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) used for evaluating existing concrete & asphalt pavement conditions.  The ICPI was the driving force that proposed including interlocking concrete pavers for pavement management & data.  

ASTM E2840-11 provides private & commercial project owners and municipalities specific guidance for required maintenance needs & costs and rating severity of current conditions & distresses.  It is amazing how over the last 30 years, so many city street scape projects extensively used interlocking brick pavers but have left them for dead due to lack of maintenance & neglect.

One of the best advantages of including interlocking brick pavers into the PCI rating system with poured concrete & asphalt is that now a more accurate comparison can be made between these alternative pavements.  Evaluating long-term performance &  maintenance costs will especially help municipalities for future projects.  It will also help guide in setting maintenance budgets and schedules.

It is very important that the public is aware that there are standards set in the brick paver & modular retaining wall industry.  There needs to be minimum requirements for products, designs, base materials, and installation techniques to insure long-term success and satisfaction for any paving stone project.  Too often, inexperienced or uneducated contractors install paver patios, walkways, driveways, etc... that only result in failure and client frustration.

Interlocking brick pavers are gaining more and more momentum in the pavement industry.  In the past it was considered a luxury item because of the upfront higher cost versus  poured concrete & asphalt.  Stamped concrete cost is usually the same or more than interlocking brick pavers.  But when you factor in long-term maintenance & replacement costs, interlocking brick pavers are the most economical solution by far. When you factor in the flexibility of designs, colors, textures, and function, there is no comparison either!