Articles & Case Studies

Formpave Aquaflow Supplied to Bristol City

Posted: Thursday 9th February 2006

Formpave, a leading manufacturer of standard and specialist concrete block pavers and permeable paving solutions, has won a recent contract to supply its patented Aquaflow system to Bristol City Council for use in a pioneering, new development project, called a Home Zone, in a residential area of the city.

A Home Zone is a street or group of streets where pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles share the space on equal terms, with cars travelling at little more than walking pace. Home Zones eliminate the use of levelled carriageway, kerbs and footpaths and instead utilises one level paving using various colours and textured paving to enhance the street, indicate specific areas and play different roles.

“Speeding motorists and excessive commuter parking were the main concerns amongst residents in the Dings area of Bristol, prior to the creation of the Home Zone. Our objective was to shape the streetscape with minimal use of bollards and other obstacles that could impair pedestrian movement. The use of a permeable paving system throughout the first phase of the works was heavily influenced by this requirement. The Dings Home Zone is the first area of SUDS permeable paving to be laid as adopted highway in Bristol and will be one of the largest areas in the UK to date,” said Jonathon Sawyer, Home Zone Team, at Bristol City Council.

Under the terms of the contract, Formpave has supplied its patented Aquaflow permeable paving solution which is being used to enhance feature areas in the Zone. Aquaflow was specified by the council for a number of reasons:

· The existing combined sewer system in the area was already working at capacity and the drainage authority did not want to increase flow into these sewers.

· Many of the streets in the Dings Home Zone are completed as flush shared surfacing, as traditional drainage channels can form a barrier to the mobility impaired. Aquaflow allows for this.

· Traditional channels can also create informal delineation of the area and a visual guide in the carriageway for vehicle drivers to follow, possibly leading to increased speeds.

The design team, in consultation with local residents, concluded that the Aquaflow range with its choice in colours and textures, provided suitable variation with its standard 100mm x 200mm units to ensure that the scheme did not look too municipal in an area that will eventually be a conservation area.

The Formpave system allows rain to infiltrate through a permeable concrete block paved surface into a unique stone sub-base where it is cleaned, by filtration and microbial action, before being released in a controlled manner into sewers or water courses, or infiltrated directly into the sub-grade. Aquaflow paving blocks can be used in conjunction with either tanked or infiltration systems. All of the Aquaflow blocks and slabs provide drainage through vertical channels and allow water through the surface at a rate of approximately 9000mm per hour (9000 litres per m2 per hour).

The Dings Home Zone was developed in partnership with Sustrans - the sustainable transport charity, Barratts and other stakeholders using funding from the European Vivaldi project and the Government Community @ Heart project.

“The initial phase of the project has been awarded a Bristol Civic Society Environmental Award 2005, which is a great credit to the work undertaken by the local community, Bristol City Council, and other stakeholders whose input has been invaluable and helped shape this scheme,” said Alexandra Allen, Senior project officer at Sustrans. The charity that has led the community involvement process whereby residents are involved at each stage of the design of the new streets.

About Home Zones

The concept of the Home Zone development originated in Holland and Denmark where shared surfaces with priority given to pedestrians and cyclists is common in residential neighbourhoods. Home Zones remove the traditional distinction between carriageway and footway in order to redefine the street as a valuable part of the local community's living space. Single level shared surface tells the driver very clearly that this is a different space from a traditional road and segregated footway and somewhere they should behave differently.

Bristol City Council has helped to pioneer the development Home Zones in Britain with the development of the Victory Home Zone in Bedminster, a project that was completed in 2002. There are a further three new build Home Zones being constructed by various developers in the City.

About Formpave

Formpave Limited manufactures a wide range of standard and specialist concrete block pavers, permeable pavers, kerb systems and ancillaries. Located in Coleford, Gloucestershire, the Formpave works is one of the most sophisticated of its type in Europe. It has BS EN ISO 9001: 2000 Quality Assurance accreditation and Formpave is a BSI registered company.

Total flexibility and the ability to produce bespoke colours and surface textures makes Formpave the ideal paving partner - for all concrete block paving applications, from car parks, industrial estates, retail centres, to pedestrian areas, domestic drives, garage forecourts and other heavy duty applications. For more information visit


Katherine Robinson, Director

Tel: +44 (0)1594 836999

Read the magazine online

April 2021

About the magazine »
Magazine archive »


Information for advertisers »

Pulsar Button June 13 Huber Water Aid British Water buttonwood marketing Harvey Communications Cranfield University wateractive
Pulsar New Banner