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Middle East getting green

Kuwait City has been keen to show its green credentials, looking for greener construction and sustainable building developments.

Kuwait City has been keen to show its green credentials, looking for greener construction and sustainable building developments.

A recent Grasscrete installation highlights just how installing a grass concrete car parking can make a major green contribution.

Grass Concrete ltd have been in the business of grass concrete systems worldwide for 40 years and recently the demand for greener construction has made this product a popular choice.

The hostile desert climate of Kuwait is tough test for grass growth with summer daytime temperatures of over 45º c. To enable grass to develop and survive an efficient irrigation system had to be a feature in project design.

For this car park an irrigation system was introduced with feed pipes running beneath the edge margins to the Grasscrete bays with pop-up sprinkler heads able to extend from the concrete edge margin. With irrigation flow governed by timer switch the whole process became automatic and could be undertaken at night for maximum effect.

The 13 metre wide car park was divided into two long strip bays with a 6 metre parking aisle and a 7 metre access, as cars can be large in Kuwait. With temperatures over 35º during installation the plastic void formers were laid in position during late afternoon with casting taking place early the next day to see completion before the mid-day and the highest temperatures.

With irrigation pipes running across the site the client decided to crane concrete into position from an adjacent car park. Discharge being via a concrete skip with a delivery pipe that was manned by a ride-on operator. This enabled the bays to be pre-set to enable continuous pouring. The heads of the pop-up sprinklers were shrouded with a plastic tube that stood above the concrete level to enable subsequent identification.

With no requirement to traffic the area the access aisle could be sand blinded to level as soon as the formers were in position for the first 6 metre wide pour to the parking aisle.

Working under Grass Concrete mentoring and supervision the installation team quickly picked up the techniques of pouring the flowing concrete. Working from plywood boards for access and using the crane skip for discharge the first bay of 160m² was poured within 3 hours.

To prevent the concrete drying too quickly under heavy sun the surface was watered hourly until sunset.

Casting continued two days later to the second bay after which attention could be turned to landscaping. With a desire to achieve early grass growth paspalum grass was used with turfs pre-cut to the pocket shapes. With regular watering the turfs were quickly heeled in and the car park was ready for use just 2 weeks after concrete was placed.

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