The use of cement conglomerate for outdoor paving is very common, both in the form of prefabricated elements such as solid wood or slabs, and by cast in situ .
The large surfaces can be treated with architectural floors in cement conglomerate with exposed gravel effect , which thanks to the color gradation of the aggregates allow to manage the final yield of the surface, giving a natural and lasting effect.
Architectural concrete paving with gray gravel (Photo Archive Marsiglilab)
For use on large surfaces, in the casting it is necessary to provide expansion joints every 2-3 meters , which can become ornamental motifs if prepared with other materials.
Prefabricated slabs are generally square (30 to 50 centimeters) or rectangular (60 x 40 centimeters) with a thickness between 35 and 40 millimeters.
The concrete slabs can be laid dry on a sand bed with a thickness of 4-5 centimeters, or on a bed of bastard mortar . Sealing can be done with dry fine sand or cement grout.
The use of self – locking concrete blocks is very widespread , as they have the qualities of adaptability and versatility due to the great variety of sizes and colors. For the installation, the blocks have spacer profiles to simplify the approach and keep the distance between the joints constant.
Very interesting are the self-locking grating elements in vibrocompressed concrete for the realization of drive-over grassy floors : in the holes of the grilled element it is possible to place arable vegetable soil that allows the growth of herbaceous plants. A permeable surface is thus obtained which allows the permeation of meteoric water, maintaining the hydrogeological balance of the site.
These gratings are installed on a leveled sand foundation and a stabilized layer sized according to use.
The most frequent use of this type of solution is in car parks and driveways , especially when a more discreet entry is required.
Consider that the driveway needs a sub-irrigation system and its use is effective only in not too hot climates.
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Filippo Marsigli Rossi Lombardi, born in Bologna in 1970, graduated from the University of Bologna at the Faculty of Agriculture and completed his studies in London, with a specialization course in Landscape Architecture at the Inchbald School of Design (1996-1997 ). During his time in London he collaborated with the studio “The Master Gardeners design consultant and landscape contractors” with John Plummer and Andrew Perley, working on the design and restoration of historic parks and public gardens, and then started, in 1998, the London study of design and construction of “Mediterranean Garden Landscape Architects” gardens. Back in Italy, in 1999, he worked as an associate at Studio Creative and since 2001 he has also started his teaching activity at the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Bologna.