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TECHNICAL DATA SHEET

CONVENTIONAL (NON PERMEABLE)


BLOCK PAVEMENT DESIGN FOR
TRAFFICKED PAVEMENTS
Introduction
This document provides guidance on the design of trafficked
pavements surfaced with conventional (non-permeable) block
paving manufactured by Brett Landscaping and Building Products.
It applies to a spectrum of road legal axle loads up to 11,000kg
and cumulative standard axles up to 12 million standard axles
(msa). It is recommended that the designer has knowledge of the
relevant British Standards and the Specification of Highway Works.
This guidance is based upon the recommendations in the following
British Standards:BS 7533-2: 2002, Pavements constructed with clay, natural stone
or concrete pavers, Part 2: Guide for the structural design of light
duty pavements constructed of clay pavers or precast concrete
paving blocks.
This standard is applicable for light duty pavements trafficked by
up to 0.5 msa.
BS 7533-1: 2001, Pavements constructed with clay, natural stone
or concrete pavers, Part 1: Guide for the structural design of heavy
duty pavements constructed of clay pavers or precast concrete
paving blocks. This standard is applicable for heavy duty
pavements trafficked by 0.5 to 12 msa.

Design methodology
The determination of the pavement depth and structure is basically
a function of the strength of the sub grade (after construction)
measured as a California Bearing Ratio (CBR) and the volume of
traffic that is predicted to traffic the pavement over the projected
life of the pavement.
BS 7533 - 1 provides information reducing the thickness of the
dense bitumen macadam (DBM) layer for different pen values and
information of material conversion factors (MCFs) for evaluating
pavement materials.

Step 1 - Determine the strength of the


sub grade
The strength of the subgrade is quantified as the California Bearing
Ratio (CBR) and value(s) used for the design should take into
account the condition and likely values of the subgrade CBR, at the
estimated level of the sub grade, when the moisture content of the
sub grade has stabilised, is sufficiently compacted i.e. values likely
after the completion of the construction and for the life of the
pavement. (The depth of the pavement is unknown at this stage of
the design process but an experienced designer should have
knowledge of typical pavement depths).
The design CBR value of the sub grade can be determined by on
site testing or testing of soil samples taken from site. It is
important that the soils are selected at the estimated sub grade
level. Alternatively, CBR values can be estimated from observations
and empirical on site testing, but this method should only be
undertaken by experienced designers or geotechnical engineers.
Both BS 7533 - 1 & 2 gives advice on determining CBR values
which is summarised as follows:The degree of subgrade drainage must also be considered when
deciding the appropriate CBR value to be assumed.
On sites where the CBR varies from place to place then the lowest
recorded value should be used.
Site investigation data should be analysed carefully and advice
sought if in doubt. The equivalent equilibrium suction index CBR
values may be estimated from the Plasticity Index (PI) from the
following table (taken from BS7533-1.)
Equilibrium suction index CBR
Type of soil

PI

Poor

Average

Good

Poor

Heavy clay

70

1.5 to 2

1.5 to 2

Concrete flags

60

1.5 to 2

Laying course material

50

1.5 to 2 2 to 2.5 2 to 2.5

2 to 2.5 2.5 to 3 2.5 to 3

2.5

40

Subbase
Formation
Subgrade

Silty clay

30

Sandy clay

20
10

Typical pavement construction

Silt

High water table


construction conditions

Low water table


construction conditions

2 to 2.5 1.5 to 2

4 to 5 4.5 to 7

3 to 4

1.5 to 3.5 3 to 6 3.5 to 7 2.5 to 4


1

Poorly graded
sand

20

Well graded
sand

40

Sandy gravel

60

Good

1.5 to 2 2 to 2.5
2

2 to 2.5

2 to 2.5 2 to 2.5

2.5 to 3.5 3 to 4 3.5 to 4 3 to 3.5


2.5 to 4

Average

3 to 3.5

4 to 6

5 to 6

6 to 8

4.5 to 7

7 to >8

See overleaf for note relating to table

Brett Landscaping Sileby Road Barrow upon Soar Leicestershire LE12 8LX
Commercial Support Phone: 0845 60 80 579 Fax: 0845 60 80 575
Email projectdesigner@brett.co.uk

www.brettpaving.co.uk

LANDSCAPING AND BUILDING PRODUCTS

Brett Landscaping operate to the highest levels of independent certification:


BS EN ISO 9001 Quality Management System
BS EN ISO 14001 Environmental Management System
OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety Management System
In addition, when designing projects under BREEAM we are also holders of
BES 6001 Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products (Very Good)
All of these can help significantly when designing for sustainability.

www.brettpaving.co.uk

CONVENTIONAL (NON PERMEABLE) BLOCK


PAVEMENT DESIGN FOR TRAFFICKED PAVEMENTS
CONTINUED

Step 1 Continued

Simple field test to estimate sub grade CBR

The construction conditions referred to in the table above relate to


the general conditions on site during the construction period. This
factor has a significant effect on the assessment of the CBR value
to be used.

Alternatively the subgrade CBR value can be estimated using


simple field tests (after initial compaction of the trimmed ground).
For loose, soft and very soft materials comprising sand, silt and
clay, specialist advice should be sought.
The guidance below applies where the water table is 300 mm or
more below sub grade level. Specialist advice should be sought
where this is less, standing water is present or there are any doubts
about the ground conditions.

A high water table is one which is 300 mm or less below the


formation level, while a low water table is 1000 mm or more below
the formation level.
Good conditions are where the subgrade is protected promptly
with an improvement layer or sub-base, while Poor conditions are
where little or no subgrade protection is provided.

Rock or soil
Condition
Type
Rock

The value used for the CBR should be based on the worst results
obtained on site. If it is considered to be economical, a localised
design can be introduced for the poorer areas or poor materials can
be replaced.
Effective subgrade drainage can have a significant effect on longterm CBR values and should be considered during this design
procedure. Filter drains set at the appropriate level and discharging
to a satisfactory outfall or main drainage system have been found
to perform satisfactorily.
Soft spots should be removed and replaced with suitable materials.
Where this is done, it may be permissible to ignore those low CBR
values which relate to the removed material.
Care should be exercised in the interpretation of site investigation
data. In the case of soils whose strength is a function of their
moisture content, the in-service strength may be much lower than
the recorded value. Care should also be exercised in using CBR
values measured in summer as artificially high figures may be
obtained due to dryness of the soil.

Sand
Gravel

Hard

Simple field test


Requires mechanical pick for excavation

Compact

50mm square peg hard to drive in 150mm

CBR
Above 5%
>5%

Clay
Sandy clay

Stiff

Cannot be moulded by fingers


Need pick for excavation

5%-2%

Clay
Sandy clay

Firm

Can be moulded by fingers


Need spade for excavation

5%-2%

Clay
Silty clay
Clayey sand

Loose

Dry lumps easily broken down


50mm square peg driven in easily

2%

Silt
Sandy clay
Silty clay
Clay

Soft

Can easily be moulded by fingers

<2%

Silt
Very soft
Sandy clay
Silty clay
Clay

Exudes between fingers when squeezed

Seek
specialist
advice

NOTE 1 This table is based on the principles in BS 8103-1.


NOTE 2 The CBR of the rock or soil is significantly affected by moisture content

Particular care should be exercised with subgrades having


measured CBPs of 3% or less.

Brett Landscaping Sileby Road Barrow upon Soar Leicestershire LE12 8LX
Commercial Support Phone: 0845 60 80 579 Fax: 0845 60 80 575
Email projectdesigner@brett.co.uk

www.brettpaving.co.uk
2

Brett Landscaping operate to the highest levels of independent certification:


BS EN ISO 9001 Quality Management System
BS EN ISO 14001 Environmental Management System
OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety Management System
In addition, when designing projects under BREEAM we are also holders of
BES 6001 Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products (Very Good)
All of these can help significantly when designing for sustainability.

CONVENTIONAL (NON PERMEABLE) BLOCK


PAVEMENT DESIGN FOR TRAFFICKED PAVEMENTS
CONTINUED

Light Duty Pavements


Step 2 - Determine the traffic category

Step 3 - Determine the pavement construction

The number of commercial vehicles using the area should be


estimated. As a guide to typical applications and number of
commercial vehicles per day (cv/d) the following table can be used.

The construction thicknesses are based on the category of


application and the CBR of the sub grade, and are obtained from
the following table.

Category

Maximum
trafficking (msa)

>0.5

II

0.5

cv/d

5
<5

Typical
applications

Category Sub-base thickness mm


CBR

Use the methodology set out


in BS 7533 - 1 for heavy duty
pavements. Go to page ? Step 3
Heavy duty pavements

II

400 350 250 150 150

125

30

IIIa

350 300 225 150 150

50

50

300 250 175 100 100

50

50

Adopted highways and other roads


Car parks with occasional heavy
traffic
Footpaths overridden by
vehicular traffic

IIIa

<1

Pedestrian areas with occasional


vehicular traffic

IIIb

nil

Car parks and footways

IV

Private drives, paths, patio

A typical design life of 20 years can be adopted for concrete block


paving. The volume of traffic to be carried by the pavement is
expressed as standard axles. This theoretical figure is calculated by
taking the number of commercial vehicles using the pavement
during its design lifetime.
Where channelised traffic in highways and roadways occurs, the
traffic figure should be multiplied by 3. If the application of this
factor results in a figure greater than 0.5 msa then use the
methodology set out in BS 7533 - 1 for heavy duty pavements.
Go to Step 3 Heavy duty pavements.

2% 3%

Email projectdesigner@brett.co.uk

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5% 6%
60

IIIb

200 150 125 100 0

50

50

IV

200 150 125 100 100

100

30

60

NOTE 1 Under adverse weather conditions, or for CBRs of 2% or less, the use of a
suitable geotextile separating membrane is recommended
NOTE 2 Where a category IIIa pavement may be used as an access road during
construction or where the heavy vehicles using the pavement consist of heavy trucks
or large buses with axle loads of 8t, the use of a bound roadbase is recommended as
shown in table 5.

A design example
A driveway is to be constructed overlying firm clay with an
estimated CBR value between 2 and 5.
The traffic category is IV and the construction thickness, using the
lowest CBR value, the design is as follows:Sub base thickness (DoT Type1)

200 mm

Laying course thickness

30 mm

Minimum block thickness

50 mm

Brett Landscaping Sileby Road Barrow upon Soar Leicestershire LE12 8LX
Commercial Support Phone: 0845 60 80 579 Fax: 0845 60 80 575

4%

Roadbase
Laying Paving thickness
mm
course mm minimum mm

Brett Landscaping operate to the highest levels of independent certification:


BS EN ISO 9001 Quality Management System
BS EN ISO 14001 Environmental Management System
OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety Management System
In addition, when designing projects under BREEAM we are also holders of
BES 6001 Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products (Very Good)
All of these can help significantly when designing for sustainability.

CONVENTIONAL (NON PERMEABLE) BLOCK


PAVEMENT DESIGN FOR TRAFFICKED PAVEMENTS
CONTINUED

Heavy Duty Pavements


Step 2 - Determine the traffic category

Step 3 - Determine the pavement construction

Assess the number of commercial vehicles per day (cv/d) passing


in each direction and determine the number of standard axles for
the required design life from the following table.

Use the table below to determine the thickness of the


improvement layer (capping) and sub-base, or sub-base alone.
The thicknesses are dependent upon the subgrade CBR value
and trafficking.

Conversion of commercial vehicles per day (cv/d) to number of


standard axles in millions of axles (msa)

The number of standard axles in the table is based on traffic during


the construction phase, i.e. those designed to impose directly on to
the sub base during the construction period.

Volume of
traffic cv/d

Cumulative traffic (msa)


20 years design life
40 years design life
2% growth
zero growth
2% growth
zero growth

30

0.2

0.3

0.4

120

0.8

250

500

15*

22*

1000

16*

22*

Using the combination of improvement layer with sub-base or


sub-base only may result in a pavement design of equivalent
structural performance.

0.6

Sub base materials should be DoT Type 1 aggregate as in the


Specification for Highway Works.
Any soft or poorly compacted materials must be removed from the
subgrade. If the subgrade materials are susceptible to frost attack,
the total pavement thickness of sub base, laying course sand and
concrete blocks must not be less than 450 mm.

* Volumes exceed the scope of BS 7533: Part 1

This table applies to normal pavements on which commercial


vehicles constitute less than 50% of the flow. In other cases,
guidance should be sought from TRL1132**.

The nominal compacted laying course thickness should be 30 mm.

Particular care should be taken in the selection of the laying course


material to be used for areas subjected to loading by heavy
channelised traffic, particularly in areas of high rainfall. See BS
7533 - 3 for details.
The minimum block thickness for roads carrying averages of more
than 5 commercial vehicles per day should be 80 mm. In cases of
lesser flows the block thickness may be 50 mm.
Foundation option
Untrafficked

Sub-base/
improvement layer

Up to 4 dwellings
20002 or
100 sa

Sub-base/
improvement layer

Up to 20 dwellings
or 200 sa

Sub-base/
improvement layer

<2%

>2%
<3%

150/150

150/150
170

150

150/210

150/180

150/150

250

190

160

150

150

150

150/370

150/250

150/170

150/160

150/150

150/150

150/0

310

240

210

180

150

150

150/470

150/340

150/250

150/220

150/200

150/150

150/0

350

270

230

200

160

150

150/600

150/450

150/350

150/300

150/250

150/180

150/0

400

310

270

225

180

150

200/600

200/450

150/450

150/350

150/300

150/250

150/150

450

350

310

270

240

225

Sub-base

Sub-base

Sub-base
Up to 50 dwellings
5000m2 commercial or 500 sa

Sub-base/
improvement layer

Up to 80 dwellings
8000m2 commercial or 1000 sa

Sub-base/
improvement layer

Large
development
50002

Sub-base/
improvement layer

Sub-base

Sub-base

Sub-base

>3%
<4%

Commercial Support Phone: 0845 60 80 579 Fax: 0845 60 80 575

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4

>5%
<10%

>10%
<15%

>15%
<30%

150

150

Sub-base alone

Brett Landscaping Sileby Road Barrow upon Soar Leicestershire LE12 8LX
Email projectdesigner@brett.co.uk

>4%
<5%

150

150
Sub-base alone

Brett Landscaping operate to the highest levels of independent certification:


BS EN ISO 9001 Quality Management System
BS EN ISO 14001 Environmental Management System
OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety Management System
In addition, when designing projects under BREEAM we are also holders of
BES 6001 Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products (Very Good)
All of these can help significantly when designing for sustainability.

CONVENTIONAL (NON PERMEABLE) BLOCK


PAVEMENT DESIGN FOR TRAFFICKED PAVEMENTS
CONTINUED

Heavy Duty Pavements


Step 4 - Special cases
In some cases unusual or particularly onerous loading effects or
other conditions should be taken into account, e.g. the following:Where channelised traffic is expected, the traffic prediction (msa)
should be multiplied by three before carrying out the design, to
allow for the increase in the concentrated application of loads at a
particular location on the pavement.
Normal lane widths in a highway do not generally constitute
channelised traffic but channelised traffic can develop on any road,
e.g. on steep hills, approaches to traffic signals and pinch points
within traffic calming measures
Where speeds in excess of 30 mph (50 km/h) are expected, the
traffic prediction (msa) should be multiplied by two before carrying
out the design to allow for dynamic loading effects.
Where both channelised traffic and speeds in excess of 30 mph
(50 km/h) occur only the higher multiplier, i.e. three, should be
applied.
Pavements constructed over frost-susceptible soils should have an
overall thickness of non frost-susceptible aggregate of not less
than 450mm.

For pavements with msas in the range of >1.5 to 8, it is


permissible to reduce the blocks thickness if the road base
thickness is increased to compensate. The table below gives
guidance on the increase in road base necessary.

Alternative design for roadbase and surfacing


Design in millions
Roadbase
Dense bitumen Laying course block thickness
of standard
thickness macadam roadbase thickness
(mm)
(mm) CBM3
(mm)
(mm)
axles
>1.5 to 4

150

150

30

60

>1.5 to 4

145

145

30

65

>4 to 8

195

170

30

65

The materials used in the roadbase should be as specified in


Clauses 906 or 1038 of the Specification for Highway Works.
Other materials may be substituted and guidance may be found in
BS7533 -1.
A design example
A housing development of 50 dwellings will be served by an access
road, which will be trafficked by 120 commercial vehicles per day.
The traffic is estimated to grow at 2% over 20 years.
The road sub-base will be used for site access and the CBR of the
subgrade value is between 4 and 5%.
The speed limit for the road is 50 kph but traffic is channelised.

The thickness of roadbase required can be ascertained from the


number of standard axles (msa) using the pavement in its design
life and the type of road base employed from the table below:

Step

Task

Result

Step 1

Determine Subgrade
CBR value

CBR = 4 to 5%

Step 2

Assess the number of


commercial vehicles
passing - determine the
number of standard
axles for the design life
of the pavement

Traffic estimated to grow at 2% over


20 years Cumulative traffic = 1msa, but
allow for channelised traffic, 1 x 3 = 3 msa

Step 3

Determine Sub
base/improvement layer

CBR = 4 to 5%
Sub base/improvement layer =
150/220mm or sub base only = 230mm

Step 4

Determine Road base


and block thickness

msa = 3
Road base CBM 3 = 130 mm or
DBM = 130 mm
Block thickness = 80 mm
Laying course = 30 mm

Structural design for road base and surfacing


Design in millions
Roadbase
Dense bitumen Laying course block thickness
of standard
thickness macadam roadbase thickness
(mm)
axles
(mm) CBM3
(mm)
(mm)
0.5 to 1.5

130

130

30

50,60,65 or 80

>1.5 to 4

130

130

30

80

>4 to 8

180

155

30

80

>8 to 12

230

170

30

80

Brett Landscaping Sileby Road Barrow upon Soar Leicestershire LE12 8LX
Commercial Support Phone: 0845 60 80 579 Fax: 0845 60 80 575
Email projectdesigner@brett.co.uk

www.brettpaving.co.uk

Brett Landscaping operate to the highest levels of independent certification:


BS EN ISO 9001 Quality Management System
BS EN ISO 14001 Environmental Management System
OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety Management System
In addition, when designing projects under BREEAM we are also holders of
BES 6001 Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products (Very Good)
All of these can help significantly when designing for sustainability.