10/2020 – How to create a green eco-surface with Terracrete blocks

Why Terracrete?

Terracrete hard lawn blocks hold many benefits for landscape designers. From an aesthetic point of view, they are very versatile – a grass driveway, a rustic gravel driveway or an attractive pattern of pavers can provide the finishing touch to a residence or development that is looking to stand out. In addition, permeable grass pavers can add a parklike or pastoral feel to many areas that normally require hard paving, while providing effective storm water management and permeability at the same time.

Terracrete eco-surface for a driveway and parking, Glen Dirk Estate

Terracrete eco-surface for a driveway and parking, Glen Dirk Estate

Terracrete eco-surface for a driveway and parking, Glen Dirk Estate

Eco-surface for a driveway, Glen Dirk Estate

Recently grassed Terracrete blocks

Recently grassed Terracrete blocks, Glen Dirk

Lush, green eco-surfacce, Glen Dirk Estate

Lush, green eco-surfacce, Glen Dirk Estate

At Glen Dirk Estate, a Constantia estate with a historic Herbert Baker main House, the countryside quality of the blocks was used to maximum benefit. In the design of a new house on the property, the need for storm water management was a primary consideration along with the aesthetics, and the Terracrete grass pavers were chosen for their attractive and permeable qualities.

For more information on the blocks: https://www.terraforce.com/terraforce-products/terracrete/

Terracrete grass paver, recently planted, Glen Dirk Estate

Terracrete driveway, recently planted

Beautifully grassed driveway, Glen Dirk Estate

Three years later the driveway is fully grassed

Before. Glen Dirk Estate

Before: Glen Dirk Estate

After: Glen Dirk Estate

After: Glen Dirk Estate

Late 2017, 4000 Terracrete blocks were installed on 100mm sand fill, 100mm G5 sub-base and a 50mm laterite layer, cut to shape as needed around corners, and finally edged with E1 edging for a neat finish. To being grass planting, the blocks were filled will topsoil and seeded as per instructions below, by Alex Duigan. The now established grass is cut with a lawn mower as needed. Three years later and the site is grassed over beautifully and the client very happy.

Project Team

Architect: Rod Gurzynski
Engineer: Geoff Bold
Quantity Surveyor: Talani
Main Contractor: Westcape Tiling (Pty) Ltd
Sub-Contractor: Infinite Eco Solutions

Planting your Terracrete blocks, step by step:

Please note: Each site will be unique to area and country of installation

  1. All blocks to be brush filled with a topsoil and organic fertilizer mix of a high compost fraction (40/60). Aim for a mix best suited for whatever plant species chosen, in this case Cynodon Dactylon, which is relatively drought resistance once established.

  2. Soil to be lightly compacted and watered, and finally seeded with 40g per m² of warm season grass such as Cynodon Dactylon or other grass / plants suited to local climate. Alternatively use cuttings.

  3. Plants to be carefully selected using the following criteria: Conduct an on-site survey to identify the locally indigenous vegetation naturally occurring on site and surrounding areas. It is suggested to consult a national vegetation book and species carefully selected for rehabilitation.

  4. Seeds to be scattered, racked/swept and recompacted

Indigenous planted vegetation within the blocks will: 

  • Act as a natural filter, cleaning the water.
  • Will minimises and prevent erosion of the storm water channel.
  • Will slow down the flow of high-volumestorm water. 
  • Positively contribute to the visual and aesthetic value of the storm water channel.
  • Positively contribute to the biodiversity and ecological value of the area.
Driveway, Glen Dirk Estate, recently planted

Driveway, Glen Dirk Estate, recently planted

Three years later fully grassed

Three years later fully grassed

Grassed Terracrete permeable pavers

Grassed Terracrete permeable pavers, Glen Dirk Estate

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