Professional Builder talks to Tom Parsons, partner at Rainbow Gardening, an established garden maintenance and landscaping company based in Epsom, about a recent driveway installation at a home in Coulsdon. This is what Tom had to say:
“In the quest for lower maintenance and increased off-street parking, we are seeing many front gardens having more paving and less lawn and planting areas. The increase in impermeable surfaces such as standard tarmac, concrete or block paving, greatly increases the amount of water that runs from it when it rains so ensuring the right drainage system is installed is an important aspect.
Our customer, Mrs Hunt’s driveway upgrade is a great example. The original driveway was made up of very old and tired crazy paving. As well as updating this, our customer wanted the driveway size increased and the general appearance to be improved. The upgrade would incorporate block paving throughout the entire space and therefore drainage needed to play an important role.
Having worked with ACO’s product a number of times, and having been very impressed with the quality and ease of installation, we recommended
ACO’s RainDrain B 125 - a polymer concrete light duty channel drainage system with cast iron grating.
One of the key considerations for selection of this product was the direction of the driveways slope, which meant that the drainage needed to be situated at the front of the driveway. With this in mind, we needed to ensure that the system selected could withstand heavier wheel loads when compared to Load Class A 15 products. ACO’s solution does just this - it is certified to Load Class B 125 BS EN 1433:2002 and is therefore ideal for this application.
Aesthetics also played a role in this product’s selection. A new driveway is a significant investment, where careful consideration is given to the style of the pavers. We always recommend that channel drainage is considered when selecting paving, as it can complete the look of a project. RainDrain B 125 is a product of high quality that allowed us to provide the perfect finish to this drive.
As the installer, it’s not just about ensuring that our customers are provided with the very best solution; it’s also important that products are easy to work with, which of course, helps enable us to provide the most
professional finish. Thanks to its lightweight 1m channel design, which interlock, and clip-locking grating, the product is extremely easy and quick to install – this makes our job much easier and far more efficient, which not only benefits our customer but also allows us to move on to the next job sooner.
An element that also needed consideration was the fact that homeowners in England need to gain planning permission to finish a drive with block paving, unless of course the surface is permeable or a method of collecting the surface water and letting it soakaway elsewhere is installed. As such, after collection, the rainwater from this driveway is firstly taken to the ACO RainDrain B 125 Sump unit, which features a sediment bucket for collecting silt. The unit is then connected to an attenuation system, which allows the water to be released into the surrounding ground at a controlled rate.
ACO’s solution has been ideal for this project and it’s been great working with the company’s products again. The drainage is in keeping with the customer’s property and certainly helps to enhance the overall finished look of the driveway. More importantly, our customer’s expectations have been well and truly met.”