A concrete pavement is the most durable, strongest, and cost effective road surfaces readily available. It also has an important niche in commercial landscaping.

Concrete pavement, technically speaking, are one of two major pavements types: Flexible Pavements and Rigid Pavements.

pouring concrete roads

Pouring of concrete roads at a recent landscaping construction.

 

Bituminous ,or Asphalt, pavements and roads have layers of materials which transfer the load directly to the sub-grade. They are called flexible pavements since the pavement structure bends and deflects when under traffic loads and therefore provide a load to narrow as compared to concrete pavements.

asphalt pavement flexibility

The more flexible asphalt pavement transfers a more concentrated load to the lower layers.

Rigid Pavements, like concrete pavements, are usually reinforced with steel. They are stiffer when compared to asphalt roads owing to the comparatively high modulus of elasticity of reinforced concrete. It is for this reason that the concrete pavement will transfer the load over a wide area of the sub-grade. This results in much lower stress levels in the sub-grade and increases the road’s durability.

concrete-road-rigidity

Steel reinforced concrete pavement is stiff and transfers the load over a larger area.

Concrete pavements usually act as a concrete slab and therefore transfer the load to bigger area creating a lower stress. Concrete pavements, therefore, are usually thinner as compared to asphalt pavements [1]. This can be a great advantage when there is infrastructure under the road that the commercial road maker needs to avoid.

 

Commercial concrete pavement onstruction

In this news article we shall talk about seven reasons why concrete pavements are a better choice especially when it comes to commercial landscaping.

1.    Longevity of Concrete Pavement

Concrete pavements usually last longer. On average, the concrete pavements can last for 20-40 years as compared to 10-15 years of flexible pavements. These numbers are estimated for pavements under high traffic loads, with commercial landscaping pavement the lifetime of the road can be even higher.[1].

pot holed asphalt roads

An asphalt road with a series of pol-holes starting to appear.

2.    Ease of Construction of Concrete Pavement

As discussed earlier, concrete pavements distribute the load directly to the sub-grade or base course, in some cases, as compared to multiple layers of asphalt pavements. Such layers are difficult to prepare since special types of construction materials and machines are required.

Asphalt Pavement Road construction layers

An asphalt pavement can have up to 5 layers

The construction of concrete pavements are comparatively easy. No heavy road roller machines are required and the concrete material can be pumped in. This makes the concrete pavement the ideal solution for the construction of roads over basement car parks.

concrete pumping for concrete pavement construction

Concrete pumping for pavement construction

Additionally, concrete pavements are designed on scientific approaches and equations rather than empirical ones which are still used for certain asphalt pavements. Bitumen required for asphalt pavements comes in different grades depending on the weather conditions which can be a hectic process. Concrete comes in different grades based on its strength but is easily available due to its vast usage in the construction industry [3].

 

Typical concrete pavement layers.

Typical concrete pavement layers.

 

1.    Low Maintenance concrete pavements

A concrete pavement hardly requires any maintenance and/ or repair unless subjected to loads higher than it is designed for. In case of, commercial landscaping, the concrete pavements are not subjected to any high loads and therefore require almost no repair or maintenance as compared to its counterpart. Asphalt pavements, on the other hand, are prone to damage not only when subjected to higher loads but also when it is in contact oil and/ or other chemicals unlike concrete pavements [4].

2.    Lower Reliance on Pavement Sub-grade

Concrete pavements, unlike asphalt pavements, rely less on the subgrade material and more on the flexural strength of the concrete. The subgrade if fails or is weak at certain part of the pavement does not affect the concrete pavement since it works as a slab. It can ignore certain imperfections in the subgrade without affecting the quality of the pavement. Asphalt pavements as compared to its contender would require repair for such cases due to its high reliance on subgrade. Therefore the subgrade should be of high quality in case of asphalt pavement [4].

3.    Surface Characteristics

A good concrete surface is free from potholes, rutting, and/ or corrugations. These problems do come in localized failures which are avoidable in concrete due to its slab nature. Aforesaid problems are commonly faced when dealing with asphalt pavements [5].

4.    Impervious Layer

Concrete pavements are impervious and provide a better sealing as compared to asphalt pavements. Water tends to penetrate and affect the lower layers in the pavement [5]. This is another great reason to use concrete construction over subterranean basements.

5.    Innovative

With concrete being the most used construction material, a lot of research is conducted which deals with making concrete better. Innovations like self-healing of concrete, permeable concrete (aka pervious concrete) etc. prove that concrete is the construction material from past that is going stay with us in future [6]. Commercial landscaping can be the first industry to try out such innovative concrete types since the pavements in this industry are exposed to very high loads and such innovative concrete types can perform better in such conditions.

self healing concrete pavement

Innovations like self-healing of concrete could reduce the maintenance costs of concrete pavements.

Additionally, concrete tends to provide better visibility as compared to asphalt pavements which are black in colour and provide poor visibility especially in dark. Concrete is also easily available in bags which require mixing with water only or available from concrete plants which can pour concrete in a small time frame. Admixtures can be added to achieve special requirements such as air-entraining agents can be used to avoid freeze and thaw damage in areas where the temperatures can drop to a freezing point.

 

permeable concrete

Permeable concrete is another innovation that can be applied to concrete pavements.

 

Innovative concrete pavement decorative finishes

One of the greatest advantages of concrete pavements over asphalts is the enormous range of modern decorative finishes available. One of the most widely used decorative concrete finishes in both residential and commercial landscaping is exposed aggregate concrete. The aggregates are available in a wide range of colours to suit your landscape design.  The available colours include red, brown, dark grey basalt, green quarts as well as black and white. In combination with this selection, the fine grain aggregates or sands are also available in a wide range of selections. The colour of these these fine aggregate will also be the more dominant when the surface is lightly abraded.

Contrasting Exposed aggregate concrete

Creating some shade with a tree in the concreted area. The tree roots are protected with a slotted stainless steel grate. The lighter colour Hansen Galaxy forms a geometric pattern around the grate.

Contact us for your  next concrete pavement project.

Concrete Pavement Construction Melbourne

Concrete Pavement Construction in Melbourne for modern townhouses.

Related Commercial Landscaping News from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

Concreting Melbourne

 

4 types of Eco-Friendly Concrete

 

3 Best Types of Concrete Retaining Wall

 

3 Best Concrete Path Construction Techniques

 

7 Great Reasons to choose Permeable Concrete

 

In-situ Concrete

 

 

Concrete Pavement References

[1]      “Pavement Types – Pavement Interactive.” https://pavementinteractive.org/reference-desk/pavement-types-and-history/pavement-types/ (accessed Oct. 01, 2021).

[2]      “Difference Between Flexible And Rigid Pavement | Engineering Discoveries.” https://www.engineeringdiscoveries.net/2019/07/difference-between-flexible-and-rigid.html (accessed Oct. 01, 2021).

[3]      Neenu S K, “Difference Between Reinforced Concrete (RC) and Steel Structures.” https://theconstructor.org/building/difference-between-reinforced-concrete-rc-steel-structures/35075/ (accessed Apr. 23, 2021).

[4]      “Difference Between Flexible Pavement And Rigid Pavement.” https://dailycivil.com/difference-flexible-pavements-rigid-pavements/ (accessed Oct. 01, 2021).

[5]      “Difference Between Flexible Pavement and Rigid Pavement | What is Pavement | Types of Pavement -.” https://civiljungle.com/difference-between-flexible-pavement-rigid-pavement/ (accessed Oct. 01, 2021).

[6]      J. Yang and G. Jiang, “Experimental study on properties of pervious concrete pavement materials,” Cem. Concr. Res., vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 381–386, 2003, doi: 10.1016/S0008-8846(02)00966-3.

[7]      S. R. Tabiyar, D. V. R. Patel, and K. Nair, “A Review on Experimental Study of Bacterial based Self-Healing Concrete,” 2018.

[8]      “Carbon Fiber Reinforces Pervious Concrete | Fluence.” https://www.fluencecorp.com/pervious-concrete-with-recycled-carbon-fiber/ (accessed Oct. 01, 2021). Pervious Concrete

 

The history of road materials

 

CCAA Concrete Roads

 

Old dogs and new tricks: making roads work harder

 

ABS statistics – HISTORY OF ROADS IN AUSTRALIA