Grasscrete – An Innovative Landscaping Idea

Grasscrete: Types and Cost

Grasscrete is a sustainable and environmentally friendly paving system designed to integrate vegetation with a concrete structure. It consists of a grid of concrete blocks or open-cell structures with voids that allow grass or other vegetation to grow. This innovative system combines the durability of concrete with the aesthetic and ecological benefits of green spaces.

Used in various applications such as parking lots, driveways, and pathways, Grasscrete provides structural support for vehicles and pedestrians while minimizing surface runoff and promoting the growth of vegetation.

What Is Grasscrete?

The Grasscrete is the reinforced cellular concrete (cast on-site) grass paving surface on which natural glass can be grown. It is an environmentally friendly solution for makes aesthetically pleasing urban surroundings. Grasscrete makes our country greener by mitigating the ill effects of modern construction technology.

It is manufactured by a simple process by pouring concrete over styrene void formers. Former has definite patterns of voids which were removed and replaced with grassed soil or stone.

Grasscrete Paving Blocks

It can also be employed as a stabilization product for areas that experience seasonal runoff, as the surface of Grasscrete is also used as a permeable surface.

Grasscrete is an environmentally friendly solution that offers us impervious pavement for vehicle parking and water management applications. It is therefore a sustainable product that largely uses recycled material.

It is also frequently used to heat effect on the island, efficient stormwater management, long life span, and low maintenance. So, it offers significant advantages over the precast concrete and plastic paving system.

Importance of Grasscrete

The unique properties of Grasscrete reduce the number of construction operations, hence it gives better flexibility. It also provides an even platform for vehicles and pedestrians.

The importance of Grasscrete in various aspects are explained below in detail:

A. Structural Stability of Grasscrete

B. Self-Draining and Resists Differential Settlement

C. Provides safe Emergency Access

A. Structural Stability of Grasscrete

Structural Stability of Surface
Structural Stability of Grasscrete

Grasscrete pavement has its solid concrete structural edge which allowing the surrounding ground levels to blend naturally into the surface without any breaking. The structure of Grasscrete is self-draining, enabling rainwater to discharge naturally to the ground.

Due to the self-absorption of water from its surface to the ground base, it also prevents differential settlement of ground.

1. Self-Draining and Resists Differential Settlement

Grasscrete -  An Innovative Landscaping Idea
Self-Draining and Resists Differential Settlement

The self-draining capacity of Grasscrete helps to preserve the natural beauty of the landscape, thereby providing a perfect perfect aesthetic outlook to the whole thing. The permeation rate of Grasscrete is about 90% that of the natural ground. It also helps to reduce the shrinkage in underlying clays.

2. Provides safe Emergency Access

The provision of safe emergency access and escape must ideally be allowed in the design of any building. In naturally grassed areas, the load-bearing capacity of soil can never be predicted.

A fire access route must be capable of sustaining not only a load of moving appliances but also the imposed load of static equipment.

It is therefore the right environment-friendly response to emergency access problems.

Types of Grasscrete

Followings are different types of Grasscrete based on different purposes to be served.

  1. Partially Concealed Grasscrete
  2. Concealed Grasscrete
  3. Stone Filled Grasscrete

1. Partially Concealed Grasscrete

Partially Concealed Grasscrete
Partially Concealed Grasscrete

In the partially concealed concrete, the grass or vegetation is arranged parallel to the concrete. Concrete of five and a half-inch thickness is provided along with half an inch root protection alongside the vegetation.

Partially concealed Grasscrete is ideal for sustained traffic areas. In addition to this, due to the presence of vegetation, it is functional, environmentally friendly, and pleasing in appearance.

Commonly, partially concealed Grasscrete can be used for the following applications

  • Vehicle parking
  • Access roads
  • Road shoulders
  • Driveways
  • Fire and emergency access

Read More: What is Porch? 15 Types of Porch used for Home

2. Concealed Grasscrete

Concealed System
Concealed Grasscrete

In concealed Grasscrete, there is a layer of soil of depth of 1 inch above the concrete. The concrete below this layer of soil is concealed and has a depth of five and a half-inch. This type of Grasscrete is ideal for low traffic areas, where traffic volume is minimum. Concealed Grasscrete is also one of the best options for the pavement of your home and garden areas.

Concealed Grasscrete generally used for the following applications:

  • Fire and emergency access
  • Overflow vehicle parking
  • Low traffic access roads

3. Stone Filled Grasscrete

In this type of Grasscrete, the soil between the concrete materials is replaced with crushed stone. The thickness of the crushed stone is limited up to 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch. Stone filled Grasscrete is efficient for draining at rates of up to 450 inches per hour with 100% retention of water.

Stone Filled Grasscrete
Stone Filled Grasscrete

Stone filled Grasscrete is perfect for heavy traffic areas.

  • Furthermore, it provides maximum percolation rates. It is both functional and environmentally friendly.
  • Stone filled Grasscrete generally used for various applications like,
  • Military installations
  • Spillway structure of a dam
  • Fire and emergency access
  • Vehicle parking

The following are grasscrete benifits,

Structural Benefits of Grasscrete

Followings are some main structural benefits of Grasscrete which mentioned below:

1. High Load Bearing Capacity

The major benefit from point of view of the structure of Grasscrete comes as its high load-bearing capacity effective with saturated sub-base. It can supports up to 114000 pounds (51858 kg) vehicles load.

Moreover, it also supports other applications such as military tank and light speed rail track access; even after the saturation of subbase in Grasscrete.

2. Resists Differential Settlement

 As we know, that a monolithic concrete slab uniformly distributes the weight of the load over a larger surface area, thus resisting differential settlement, which is often the case in modular Grasscrete system.

The structural strength of Grasscrete pavements does not depend upon the vegetation and it can be peddled once the concrete reaches its desirable compressive strength and flexural strength.

3. Grasscrete Withstands Freeze-Thaw & Protects Slope

The distinctive pocket profile present in the Grasscrete allows it to frost heave along with hydro-static pressure. This benefit of the Grasscrete pavement helps in demanding slope protection works.

4. Edge Details Not Required

Modular precast concrete requires edge restraints or curbs whereas, Grasscrete on the other hand requires no such things. It bends naturally with the adjacent edges and finishes which giving an aesthetic outlook.

5. Lesser Depth for Sub-base is Sufficient

Considering the thickness of the section and its continuous reinforcement, Grasscrete can be installed with a lesser thickness of sub-base that required for the other types of pervious pavements.

1. Longer Lifecycle

It has long lifecycle when comparison with the other conventional types of impervious paving systems. It has installations that go back in time as far as 1974 that are still in place today.

2. Reduce Costly Infrastructure

The effective properties of Grasscrete is that it allows natural water infiltration. The need for expensive stormwater infrastructures such as curbs, gutters, and underground piping can be reduced or even eliminated in some cases.

3. Low Maintenance Costs

The most effective option associated for low maintenance is the stone-filled Grasscrete in pavements. It also the most widely used Grasscrete.

Clogging of the voids in areas having a slope less than 1% is not typical, these voids can be cleaned out easily.

1. Increases Green Space and Reduces Heat Island Effect

Heat island is nothing but built-up areas that are hotter than the nearby rural areas. The visually appealing green space or vegetation reduces the heat island effect, thereby creating a comfortable, attractive, and calming atmosphere for civilians.

2. Used Recycled Materials

The use of recycled materials is encouraged in Grasscrete right from the manufacturing process of the concrete mix to fill the voids and the sub-base layers.

Grasscrete maintains its environmental focus by utilizing the recycled materials to its 100% capacity.

3. Infiltration of Stormwater

 It not only maintains the natural stability of the groundwater recharge but also significantly decreases the runoff.

Moreover, this infiltration promotes water quality improvement through bio-retention. In this process, the metals are naturally cleaned through vegetation & soil structure.

Read More: How to improve Indoor Air Quality At Home (15 Tips)

The construction process of Grasscrete to be cast on-site is simple and easy. Following are the steps to be followed at the time of the installation process of Grasscrete:

Installation of Grasscrete

1. Preparation

At the very beginning, make sure that your workspace is prepared with an edge framework and a consolidated sub base.

After removing the topsoil and excavating to reduce the level, the sub-base is laid.

Formwork is set up for the edge and a sharp sand blind covers the sub base. Ensure that the is a 10mm to 20mm binding layer of sand.

2. Lay Formers

Place 600mm x 600mm formers edge to edge. The formers can be cut wisely to fit in the available space.

The plastic formers of Grasscrete are now laid alongside to each other leaving a 100mm margin at the edge and the expansion joints.

3. Mesh Reinforcements

Place the mesh reinforcements on formers. Place the mesh on the up-spacers located between the main up-stand of the former.

The mesh needs to be purchased separately. The formers have integrally molded spacers to support the mesh reinforcement.

4. Pouring Concrete

Then the concrete is filled into the formers with the help of staging boards. Make sure that the concrete is placed around formers and mesh, and leveled to the top of the formers.

Absorb liquid duster (sweeper) are used to level off the concrete to the top of the formers. The solid margins are toweled and concrete is allowed for 48 hours to harden.  

5. Melt Former Tops with Flame Guns

The top of the plastic formers is burnt out with the help of an LPG flame gun. Sharped each former top with a long steel pipe is recommended to provide a leading-edge for the flame.

6. Top Soil and Seed

Fine soil fills the pocket in the Grasscrete which is then watered to allow settlement. After the initial settlement, the planting must be watered daily over 2 weeks to establish grass cover.

After that, the watering as required until the grass grows completely.

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