With the introduction of the new sports areas and sixth form college, The Belper School had very limited parking available and the increasing need for extra spaces became apparent when staff, visitors and students found themselves needing to park on grassed areas. This in turn left a number of muddy patches around the school grounds, affecting the aesthetics of the area as well as becoming increasingly inaccessible. The amount of mud brought inside the school as a result of this increased, causing more work for caretaking and cleaning staff.
Pugh-Lewis Limited of Chesterfield, Derbyshire were awarded the contract to create a gravelled car parking area at the school to replace the currently used grass areas. To help alleviate drainage issues and as a more ecologically friendly alternative to concrete or tarmac, the school decided to use X-Grid® as a permeable alternative to traditional car parking surfacing. After excavating a number of areas around the school which were identified as being most suitable locations for the car parks, a compacted hardcore base of MoT type stone was used to provide the X-Grid® with a strong and stable sub-base. By laying a geotextile membrane over the hardcore, they reduced the risk of weeds and added separation between the build-up layers. The X-Grid was laid on top of a well screeded sand blinding layer and filled with a robust decorative gravel.
By replacing the existing grassed areas with gravel filled X-Grid®, Belper School alleviated their overcrowded car parks without the need to add any drainage infrastructure due to the X-Grid® being highly permeable and helping to disperse surface water back to the water table in a controlled manner. The amount of mud around the school grounds was dramatically reduced to practically zero and parking areas were available for use all year round. This allowed staff, visitors and students more areas in which to park without damaging the aesthetics of their surroundings. By using X-Grid® the gravel used in the car park was retained and does not migrate, meaning that the maintenance of the surface is massively reduced and keeps the areas looking as attractive as possible.