Australian Standards (https://www.standards.org.au/) cover just about everything that you might build, buy or encounter in life in Australia. They’re the way to ensure that products have comparable minimum performance standards, and to ensure that works (including almost all aspects of construction) are completed to a safe, high quality standard.
For example, there are various standards that cover concrete work and pavement construction such as:
AS 3727.1:2016 – Residential pavements
AS 3600-2009 – Concrete structures
Industry bodies also produce guidelines for members such as this one from the Cement, Concrete and Aggregates Australia body on residential pavements:
But what about permeable paving? There is currently no Australian Standard for permeable paving, and no industry body yet established. Even architects and civil engineers brush their hands of it, commonly writing on plans “to future specifications”.
So how should you choose a permeable paving product and installer? The short answer is carefully.
Because there is no industry standards, all the warrantable aspects of a permeable paving installation fall squarely with the paving installer. Therefore as a homeowner or builder, you should be asking:
- what experience does the installer have?
- How long have they been installing permeable paving?
- How exactly do they install permeable paving and why do they do it like that?
- What sort of jobs do they specialise in (paths and domestic, or driveways and commercial work)?
- Do they have public liability and professional indemnity insurance?
- Have they got examples of their work that you can go and see?
- And what warranties do they give?
You should also ask what independent testing has been performed on the product being installed, and for a pros and cons analysis compared to other options.
As with choosing any building contractor, also look for signs that the business is reputable, such as being a registered building practitioner and not asking for deposits larger than that allowed under the building act.
If a paving company can answer all these points then hopefully you’ll get a successful paving installation that will last for years to come!