Landscape Architect & Specifier News

AUG 2013

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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hardscapes The Power of Pavers: Education & Surfacing Standards Left Numerous examples of concrete pavers outperforming life span projections can be found in the U.S. These projects have an assortment of different dimensions and paver types, base materials and subgrade characteristics, all of which are working above and beyond the specifier's initial expectations. About 130,000 square feet of concrete paver parking and roadways in this Inverness, Ill., office development have required no maintenance through 33 years of harsh winters. Right The Port of Tampa, Fla., installed 500,000 square feet of pavers in 1996, which continue to support heavy loads from steel products storage and the trucks that move them. Millions of square feet of concrete pavers in the U.S. and across the globe are used in major urban street arterials, heavy material handling yards and in port facilities, supporting critical load applications. By Richard Bodie, Vice President of Commercial Sales, Pavestone, LLC An estimated 3-4 billion square feet of concrete pavers are installed worldwide every year. On a per capita basis, the United States lags behind many other developed countries in concrete paver usage. Throughout Europe, for example, concrete pavers are primarily used for vehicular parking and municipal streets. In the U.S., however, pavers are primarily used for pedestrian applications and residential driveways. Why are pavers used so much more in the U.S. for pedestrian and light vehicular applications instead of streets and parking lots? Design & Durability Concrete and asphalt pavements have been used since the 19th century. Concrete pavers originated in the Netherlands and have been used since the 1950s. Segmental paving, due to its higher aesthetic standard, is often held to a higher standard of performance. For instance, when a rut appears in a paver lot or street, the pavers are 20 Landscape Architect and Specifier News considered inefficient or substandard, despite the ease of replacement that comes from an interlocking paver system. When "D" cracks appear in concrete and "alligator cracks" appear in asphalt, however, the failure of the surfacing considered commonplace, if not likely. "Well, that's just concrete and asphalt," an installer might say, while arranging for repairs and replacements more demanding than fixing a loose or lost paver. As a result, classical architecture and engineering constantly struggle for supremacy in final pavement design. Architects and landscape architects are generally in favor of visually interesting site amenities, and like to push the envelope; engineers tend to design within established systems, particularly when their training is in a narrow area of discipline. Both trades, however, seek positive and proven performance. From a site designer's perspective, selecting hardscape boils down to a balance of scale, color and a congruent perspective of the (Continued on page 22)

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