Permeable car park ‘avoids the gap’ as BSP Consulting chooses Brett Landscaping

With a focus on bringing permeable paving to one of its latest projects in Yorkshire, award-winning civil and structural engineering practice, BSP Consulting has praised Brett Landscaping for its ingenious solution to the installation of a permeably paved car park within a new retail development.

Brett Landscaping, a specialist in the manufacture and supply of permeable hard landscaping solutions, provided the necessary technical expertise to ensure that such a solution was possible.

The car park, which services a new 28,000sq ft ‘eco-store,’ has been laid using a combination of Brett permeable Beta Flow and Omega Pencil Edge. The design is particularly noteworthy as it fulfils the environmental advantage of reducing the impact of flooding by providing a proven Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS), while providing a reduced chamfer paving block smooth enough to enable shopping trollies to glide easily over the surface with minimal wheel ‘chatter’.

Joseph Round, Principal Civil Technician at BSP Consulting, which is based in Nottingham and works across the UK, confirmed:

“Brett were able to guide us with regard to the ‘outfall’, or discharge point from which surface water would be directed, together with cross sectional details on how the parking bays would be constructed to meet the current British Standards. They’ve been brilliant, and also very patient.”

The use of Beta Flow allows surface water to pass between each block and into the purpose designed sub-base beneath. This helps to reduce the risk of onsite flooding or overflow to neighbouring urban development. However, it was the recent addition of Beta Flow to the Brett permeable paving range which has helped to reduce the potential irritation to customers and trolley operatives while manoeuvring trollies around the car park, making it a great long term solution.

With designs for the new brownfield site retail development including 100% PFC certified timber, BSP Consulting felt it would be appropriate to attempt the inclusion of a permeably paved car park for environmental reasons, but were also attracted to the idea of a ‘gapless’ solution, as Joseph explains:

“The aesthetics of a block car park can be a prominent visual feature, and the drainage technology of permeable paving advantageous; however, in addition, we wanted a solution without the interblock gaps typically seen on a permeably paved site. We needed to present a concept to the planning authorities that would enable creation of an environmentally sound car park facility, which quite literally, avoided the gap.”

BSP Consulting understands the development is set to be awarded a ‘very good’ BREEAM rating, (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology), a development framework which sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation.

Having lent his knowledge to the project John Howe, Technical Development Manager at Brett Landscaping explains why the Beta Flow paving works so effectively and equally the environmental benefit their installation affords:

“While conventional car park coverings can be impenetrable to excess water, our permeable solutions allow surface water to drain downwards and into an underlying permeable sub-base.”

“From here, water can be stored, channelled or slowly released either into the ground, a drainage system or alternatively, on to the next stage in the SuDS water management train.”

“Furthermore – and of particular worth to buildings with an ecological intention – permeable surfaces also have an ability to reduce pollutants, which are drawn through to the paving’s sub-base layers, where they’re stored and degraded over time.”

“As the issue of SuDS becomes ever more prominent, with ongoing climate change together with increasing urbanisation adversely affecting our land’s natural drainage ability the need to create ‘man-made solutions’ to address the issue is imperative. Here at Brett we believe that our permeable paving concepts provide one such valuable solution.”