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The Dings, Bristol

The Dings, Bristol

Client: Bristol City Council/Sustrans
Type of works: supply of the Aquaflow system to Bristol City Council.

Formpave supplied its patented Aquaflow system to Bristol City Council for use in the pioneering development project, called a Home Zone, in a residential area of the city.

A Home Zone is a street or group of streets where pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles share the space on equal terms, with cars travelling at little more than walking pace. Home Zones eliminate the use of levelled carriageway, kerbs and footpaths and instead utilises one level paving using various colours and textured paving to enhance the street, indicate specific areas and play different roles.

Speeding motorists and excessive commuter parking were the main concerns amongst residents in the Dings area of Bristol, prior to the creation of the Home Zone. The objective was to shape the streetscape with minimal use of bollards and other obstacles that could impair pedestrian movement. The use of a permeable paving system throughout the first phase of the works was heavily influenced by this requirement. The Dings Home Zone is the first area of SUDS permeable paving to be laid as adopted highway in Bristol and is one of the largest areas in the UK to date.

Under the terms of the contract, Formpave supplied its patented Aquaflow permeable paving solution which was used to enhance feature areas in the Zone. Aquaflow was specified by the council for a number of reasons:

The existing combined sewer system in the area was already working at capacity and the drainage authority did not want to increase flow into these sewers. Many of the streets in the Dings Home Zone are completed as flush shared surfacing, as traditional drainage channels can form a barrier to the mobility impaired. Aquaflow allows for this. Traditional channels can also create informal delineation of the area and a visual guide in the carriageway for vehicle drivers to follow, possibly leading to increased speeds.

The design team, in consultation with local residents, concluded that the Aquaflow range with its choice in colours and textures, provided suitable variation with its standard 100mm x 200mm units to ensure that the scheme did not look too municipal in an area that will eventually be a conservation area.

The Formpave system allows rain to infiltrate through a permeable concrete block paved surface into a unique stone sub-base where it is cleaned, by filtration and microbial action, before being released in a controlled manner into sewers or water courses, or infiltrated directly into the sub-grade. Aquaflow paving blocks can be used in conjunction with either tanked or infiltration systems. All of the Aquaflow blocks and slabs provide drainage through vertical channels and allow water through the surface at a rate of approximately 9,000mm per hour (9,000 litres/m2 per hour).
The Dings Home Zone was developed in partnership with Sustrans - the sustainable transport charity - Barratts and other stakeholders using funding from the European Vivaldi project and the Government Community at Heart project, New Deal for Communities. It was completed in 2005.

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Established in 1989 Formpave, which is based in Coleford Gloucestershire, are manufacturers of concrete block paving and offer a range of block types to suit all purposes. Formpave were the pioneers of permeable paving and have completed numerous...
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