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Cellular paving uses a plastic grid to reinforce the ground and hold material that will provide a hard wearing surface. At Battleby, the Golpha's paving 'cells' have been filled with soil and seeded with grass seed, so the surface has become grass, but it is also possible to use gravel - the paving will hold it in place and prevent it scattering. The end result can be very robust, and cellular paving has even been used to build helicopter landing pads!

reinforced grass paving battleby

There are a number of different systems on the market, made by different companies. The cells are often honeycomb-shaped, but they can also be square. As with so many aspects of path design, the system you choose will depend on the type and number of users you expect, together with the ground conditions and drainage. Cost may well be factor too. Building a cellular paved path can be expensive, although it may well save money in the long run by allowing the grass to be cut by mower.

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The key difference between systems is the 'open surface void percentage' - the amount of open surface area at both the top and bottom of the cells. At the top, the open surface area indicates how much of the cell is visible when filled in. Most systems provide at least 90% open surface area at the top, so the cell edges are almost invisible if it is seeded and grassed over. At the bottom, a system that has 90% open surface area would drain freely but would be easily pushed down into the bedding layer by anything but the lightest traffic. If the cells were fully closed, they would carry a lot of weight but would not allow any water to drain through. A typical compromise is to have the cell bottom between 40-70% open surface area.

All systems are constructed along similar lines to the reinforced grass path at Battleby, with a formation tray, often lined with a geotextile sheet, a free-draining granular sub base to provide a foundation, a bedding layer of finer topsoil, and then the cellular paving itself, filled with either topsoil or gravel.

You can find more detailed technical information for the Golpla grass paving used at Battleby here including standard detail drawings with specification details for reinforced grass path and reinforced gravel path. There is also a lot of useful information about reinforced grass paving and ground reinforcement cellular systems on Paving Expert.

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