Last edited 29 Apr 2021




[edit] Introduction

Pavements are a form of exterior surface covering, typically raised and used by pedestrians, running parallel to, and on either side of a road. They provide an area that is separated from, and so protected from vehicular traffic. However, the term can also be used to refer to other paved areas, such as pedestrianised streets, patios, courtyards, driveways, and so on.

Pavements can be constructed using asphalt, concrete, flagstone, cobblestone, artificial stone, bricks, tiles and timber.

The term ‘paver’ or ‘paviour’ (pavior in the USA) refers to a paving stone, tile, brick or piece of concrete used to form a pavement surface. They are usually laid to a fall of 1:60 or more to drain water to one or both sides. They are usually built to a minimum width of 1.2 m where this is possible.

The main British and European Manufacturing Standards relating to paving are:

[edit] Types of pavement

[edit] Flexible paving

This may consist of the following layers:

[edit] Rigid paving

This may consist of the following layers:

[edit] Pavers

This may consist of the following layers:

[edit] Small unit pavers

This may consist of the following layers:

[edit] Cobblestones


Cobblestone were frequently used in early pavement construction. They are small stones or pebbles that were traditionally gathered from stream beds and hence had been rounded and smoothed by water. They are usually set in sand or bound together with mortar.

[edit] Setts


Setts are rectangular stones, usually made of granite, often used in landscape architecture as they can be arranged in various decorative ways with different patterns and colours.

The second edition of The Dictionary of Urbanism by Rob Cowan, published in 2020, suggests that a sett is: ‘A small rectangular quarried stone used for paving. Setts are often popularily called cobbles (see cobbled). Wooden and rubber setts have also occasionally been used.'

A Belgian block is: ‘A cubical paving block; a sett

[edit] Interlocking grids


These are concrete or stone units with open, permeable spaces between them.

[edit] Tactile paving

Tactile paving.jpg

These come in a variety of forms and are commonly used in urban areas as a means of hazard warning for visually-impaired pedestrians at kerb edges, road crossings and gradient changes. They can also be used on cycle paths as a way of demarcating the area to be used by cyclists.

For more information, see Hazard warning surfaces.

[edit] Green paving


New products are being developed that incorporate technology with to make pavements smarter and greener. For example, see Pavegen.

[edit] Other definitions

The second edition of The Dictionary of Urbanism by Rob Cowan, published in 2020, suggests that pavement can mean:

From the Latin pavire, to beat hard.'

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

[edit] External references

  • Building Construction Handbook’ (6th ed.), CHUDLEY, R., GREENO, R., Butterworth-Heinemann (2007)

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