50 years of
Over the last 50 years Grass Concrete Ltd has set the benchmark for sustainable environmental building products. Innovative and ground breaking products that introduced a greener more environmental landscape.
Take a trip down memory lane to see how Grass Concrete evolved.
It all started back in 1970 when Yorkshire architect Jack Blackburn invented a unique type of grass paving, known as Grasscrete and the company Grass Concrete Ltd was established.
The unique grass paving design of Grasscrete was ground-breaking at that time. Slowly but surely the construction world took notice and quickly became converts to the benefits of grass paving.
Grasscrete immediately provided the benefits on flood, water, and highways projects. Grasscrete was seen to improve and enhance the environment, providing resilient and robust ground engineering.
With their increasing industry expertise came continuous product development and new products evolved including Grassblock, a precast grass paving alternative.
remains as resilient today as it was some 50 years ago, with 50 year old projects
still growing strong
The 1980s really established Grasscrete's credentials both in the UK and Internationally.
The company set up Chantry Contracts, a dedicated supply and lay division for all types of grass paving projects.
The company continued to change mindsets - conventional hard engineering projects became enlightened and sustainable greener solutions.
In 1986 the CIRIA Trials benchmarked spillway flow tests on Grasscrete and accelerated the need for UK flood defence measures. Grasscrete has become the go-to product on flood alleviation for reservoirs, spillways, river and sea defences, swales and drainage channels.
Over time it was the Grasscrete attributes for flood alleviation that soon got noticed globally.
In 1986, 21,000m² of Grasscrete was used on the Lam Tsuen River Training Scheme in the New Territories of Hong Kong to become the standard for subsequent drain-channel construction in Hong Kong.
The 1990s saw flood alleviation become a worldwide issue. Grasscrete’s proven performance and longevity established a leading global construction brand.
As the popularity of Grasscrete grew, so did Licensees for the product, with distributors located right around the world.
Grass Concrete's environmental leadership has always been fundamental to the business and didn’t stop at ground level.
A range of Betoconcept retaining walls complete with soil pockets for vertical planting and landscapes was introduced. The green landscaped walling was soon followed by bee friendly Grassroof systems with sedum packed planting.
With increasing demand for Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) in towns and cities, the unbeatable permeable paving qualities of Grasscrete and Grassblock saw applications ranging from emergency access roads to domestic driveways to significantly sized parking areas.
In the UK CIRIA tested Grasscrete performance and set the benchmark for grass reinforcement capability.
Grasscrete can permeate at up to 90% the rate of natural grass, providing a safe lag time to alleviate pressure on rain water infrastructure during heavy rainfall.
Moving into the 2000s Grasscrete became the generic term for infrastructure grass paving - major civil engineering projects adopted Grasscrete as the must-have resilient and robust ground engineering product.
Grasscrete's ability to combine a natural grass environment with some really hardcore engineering, saw applications in a wide variety of applications: flood alleviation projects, highways and hard shoulders, trams and railways; and increasing grass paved driveways and car parks.
Manchester’s Metrolink an area of smart regeneration, around Salford Quays enhancing this urban area with more green space in and around the tram trackways, bespoke drainage channels and capability of heavy weight vehicles for on-going maintenance.
Regular trafficking necessitates a strong ground structure which plastic systems cannot withstand. Grasscrete is designed for heavy weight and regular traffic – a cast on-site structure can be trafficked within 24 hours of installation.
The heavy-duty nature of Grasscrete has been critical to its success and longevity with Grasscrete installations still growing strong, some close to 50 years after installation.
In the last 10 years with increasing drive for environmentally sustainable construction Grass Concrete's product range has flourished.
Grass Concrete’s 50-year commitment has been towards providing structural solutions, whilst at the same time safeguarding a natural and sustainable environment. Over the decades what might once have been considered a niche concept has now become very much mainstream thinking.
The Pickering North Yorkshire "Holding the Flow" project - flood alleviation civils included river diversion and Grasscrete armoured flood bonds.
Architects and specifiers have embraced grass paving and Betoconcept for hard landscaping external works; extensive grass carparking alongside landscaped retaining walls all add to a greener external envelope.
The UK has seen major investment in flood alleviation projects and Grasscrete has been an essential part of these civil engineering installations.