Brett Landscaping has used its permeable paving expertise to provide an effective Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) for an innovative development in Maidstone that combines an archive library and affordable housing.

Kent History and Library Centre, purpose built by the Warings Group, part of the International Bouygues Group, provides a 21st century resource centre in the heart of Maidstone.

In addition to housing around 14 kilometres of historic material relating to Kent dating back to 700AD, it also incorporates the main Maidstone library as well as 60 affordable residential housing units and 57 extra-care home units for the elderly.

Since the building has been built on a green site, Warings had to fulfil a legal requirement made by Kent County Council to manage water drainage. Crucially, the development needed to maintain the site’s ability to absorb rainwater directly into the subsoil prior to its development.

Permeable paving from Brett Landscaping was considered the ideal solution. Unlike other surface water management and attenuation systems, permeable paving enables the structure of the pavement to capture up to 95% of pollutants carried within the surface water run off. This significantly improves the water quality leaving the site and is a key feature of a true SuDS system.

Specifically designed with a community feel in mind, the development’s warm architecture is enhanced with a number of engaging features, including an outdoor space to hold events and a relaxing space for visitors. The paving solution therefore needed to complement the aesthetics of the development.

Brett Omega Flow was the chosen pavior as it was thought to be the most suitable material to deal both with the resource centre’s drainage needs and to maintain the overall look and feel of the project since Omega Flow paving comes with a classic rectangular block profile. However, unlike conventional paving it has purpose designed nibs to ensure optimum permeability rates, as well as creating an eye-catching modern attractive look.

After initial site investigations, Brett Landscaping determined that the SuDS requirements would be best met by utilising the ability of a permeably paved area to absorb surface water from surrounding areas of impermeable paving. In this way Warings were able to utilise conventional Omega block paving to help keep the overall project costs down. These calculations were validated using the innovative PermCalc software developed by Brett Landscaping to devise the optimum paving solution for projects and will ensure that the Kent History and Library Centre will allow surface water to drain into the permeably paved areas in an effective manner.

Since the paving was installed in 2011, the Brett Landscaping solution has provided a reliable SuDS solution to continually manage water flow on the site.

“After initial investigations, we found that Brett’s Omega Flow Paving would be the most suitable design method available on the market to deal with Kent History and Library Centre’s water management needs,” explains Paul Matthews, Procurement Manager at Warings Group.

“Not only is Brett Omega Block Paving competitive on price but it totally fitted the resource centre’s exact water drainage requirements. The permeable paving allows rainwater to permeate naturally through the subsoil without compromising the building by letting it flood or allowing pollutants to get into the eco-system."

“The Kent History and Library Centre provides the public with the opportunity to access their heritage in a modern and forward-looking manner,” confirms Andrew Gill, marketing manager at Brett Landscaping.

“We believe permeable paving offers similar virtues, in terms of providing attractive and durable urban renewal while maintaining the site’s green profile.”

PermCalc software from Brett Landscaping is available free-to-use to help planners and architects create permeable paving solutions. This works by assessing projects based on calculations of variables such as rainfall, traffic volumes and land composition to determine the appropriate sub-base composition.

Website: www.brettpaving.co.uk

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