Use of concrete block paving – Constructions in Belgium

Paper by VARDEPUTTE HENDRIKX from ISCR 5th 1986 Aachen Germany

Concrete paving blocks are an ideal material for the sufacing of trafficked areas, storage yards and residential roads in urban built-up areas. A number of examples of block pavings installed at Hasselt illustrate how it i~ thereby possible to create a pleasing "street image" which complies wi th the rules of architecture and town planning. For bus stops as well as for cycle tracks and car parks, these paving elements are of great value because of their small size. Even the smallest details can be executed neatly and in a constructionally sound manner. In developing residential areas, a "complete system" can be based on the use of concrete paving blocks. With appropriate choice of accessories and suitable colours, clear-cut and aesthetically satisfactory lay-out for foot-ways, gutters, carriageways, car parks and pedestrian precincts can be obtained. The same material can be used also for flower tubs, speed-restricting road-humps ("sleeping policemen") and all other items of road equipment, so that a restrained and yet charming "street image" can be created. The use of concrete block paving can be a boon to contemporary aesthetic expression. In Belgium, and other countries as well, the use of concrete blocks has been increasingly successful, particularly in recent years; this is due to their technical, economic and attractive properties. Next to standard paving sets, whether interlocking or not, special small-sized paving blocks, mostly developed by Belgian manufacturers of concrete products and which look like former natural stone paving blocks, are often used in renewal schemes of old districts, public areas in particular, as well as for private purposes. In recent years, hundreds of thousands of square meters of port facilities areas, especially in Antwerp and Zeebrugge, were paved with concrete blocks. In Zeebrugge, a new type of sand bed was placed, i.e. a mixture of ground limestone, slag and lime which, further to compaction, slowly hardens to give a few months later improved mechanical properties as compared to ordinary sand. Finally it should also be pointed out that for the past few years, tramway tracks in Antwerp and Brussels in particular have been successfully paved with concrete blocks, especially at junctions.

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