Machine Lay provides a beautiful solution

Project: Southminster Social Housing
Client: Rose Builders and Contractors
Product: Alpha 80m Machine Lay
Size: 250m2

A new social housing development in Southminster, Essex has benefitted from having an access road installed with machine lay block paving from Brett Landscaping to deliver speed, consistency and a high quality finish – all in outstanding time.

The main access road to the 24 unit Woodside development is only 3m wide. Using traditional hand laying techniques, there would have been only enough room for two operatives to work side by side. This would have meant the entire 83m stretch of road would have taken three days to complete. The builder, Rose Builders and Contractors of Manningtree, Essex, had concerns about the delay to follow-on trades and wanted the laying of the road surface to be completed as quickly as possible.

Tolly Paving of Colchester suggested machine lay block paving as a solution. This process involves the laying of 80 mm Alpha blocks in rectangular clusters each measuring 1m2. These clusters are arranged specifically for this purpose by the Alpha block paving manufacturer, Brett Landscaping, and are dispatched directly to site ready for the mechanical laying process. While mechanical laying is very fast, alternate rows of clusters are ‘side-shifted’ to provide a finish as good as hand laying. However, by using mechanical laying, Tolly Paving was able to reduce installation time to little over a day.

The Woodside development specified the use of Charcoal colour blocks and was the first time Brett Landscaping’s Alpha block paving had been installed in this way. The blocks, which have been rumbled to give them an antique style, perfectly suit the development. The road through the development could have been asphalted in the same timeframe, however the finished effect would not have been as impressive.

Russell Gardner, Site Manager at Rose Builders and Contractors said; “The benefit of using the mechanical lay paving as an alternative to manual labour was minimum disruption to the work plan, which was quick and efficient and benefited the economics of the project”.

Brett Alpha is a modular surface tumbled paving unit comprising three plan sizes, specifically designed to create the appearance of a traditional aged pavement. The blocks come in a pre-formatted 42 block stretcher design to create a random paved appearance with no discernible clusters visible thereby saving design time and installer effort in creating a random pattern compared to hand laying.

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