Written by Sarah Stukalin, AMAST Content
Commonly referred to as void structure concrete, grasscrete is reinforced, ready mixed concrete with a defined pattern of voids achieved through a disposable form that allows water to pass through it. Grasscrete is made by pouring concrete over “formers,” a mold that leaves voids in the ground. Because grasscrete acts as an alternative to concrete, it holds many benefits against concrete. Here are the benefits of building with grasscrete.
One of the primary structural benefits of grasscrete is that it is incredibly weight-bearing, supporting up 114,000-pound vehicles. Grasscrete also supports military tanks and light speed rail track access. Because grasscrete is a monolithic concrete slab, it distributes its weight over a larger surface area, allowing for a reduction of differential settlement and making it a great material for supporting sustained traffic.
Grasscrete has installations that date as far back as 1974 that are still in excellent condition. The material lasts much longer than typical paving systems, and as a result, the cost spent maintaining grasscrete is not as great as opposed to the cost of maintaining concrete. Heavy maintenance such as vacuum trucks and regularly scheduled maintenance is not required for grasscrete. As far as vegetation goes, grasscrete can be treated normally as a grassland. Grasscrete can also exist in a variety of climates, as it can be easily snow plowed with no damage.
Recycled material is typically used in the grasscrete production process right from the initial mixing process. Grasscrete also not only maintains the natural equilibrium of the groundwater recharge, but it significantly reduces runoff. The infiltration rate of stormwater in grasscrete is the same as an ordinary lawn located in the same area. This infiltration process improves water quality through bio-retention, as the metal and toxins in the water are cleansed through soil and vegetation structure.
While grasscrete may initially seem confined to a small number of uses, grasscrete can be used for overflow parking, fire and emergency access, pedestrian access, sustained access, water management, medians, daily parking, and roadways. Grasscrete has the ability to blend well into a landscape, so it is aesthetically pleasing as well as useful. Lawns will be able to stay uniform without any damage.
One of the greatest benefits of working with grasscrete is that it is easy to transport, assemble, and install. The grid system grasscrete provides requires no tools for assembly and can lay perfectly over uneven surfaces. The actual construction process of installing grasscrete is quick, and all of the grasscrete required for a construction project can typically be delivered with a single truck, saving time and money.
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