Netpave 50 flying high at Bristol International
15 September 2005, News release from Netlon Turf Systems
Bristol International is the South West's largest airport, already handling over 4.5 million passengers per annum, and it is growing. As the number of passengers increases, so does the number of cars using the airport - and the need for extra on-site car parking spaces.
This requirement is particularly acute during the main summer holiday season and the airport decided to alleviate the problem by installing 18,000 square metres of additional car park - enough for between 1000 and 1500 cars - on land adjacent to the airport. The new car park provides serviced and long term parking, primarily for people jetting away on holiday.
However, the site selected for the car park stands above a local aquifer and, to protect the water source from potential pollution from vehicles, the Environment Agency insisted that the car park be equipped with a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS).
The solution, designed by Bristol Engineering Consultancy, a department of Bristol City Council, utilises Netpave 50, the unique, clip-together plastic paving system from Netlon Turf Systems which is capable of handling all types of vehicles, up to HGV. The 500mm square pavers, manufactured from recycled polyethylene have open cells which can be filled with either gravel or a growing medium and then seeded. In either case the effect is that rainwater permeates naturally through the pavers. The choice at Bristol International was for a gravel fill.
The SUDS design provides two stages of filtration to protect the aquifer . The first is provided by the Netpave 50 on a gravel bedding layer and a geotextile membrane. This "pavement" layer overlies a 200mm thick layer of porous sub-base, another layer of geotextile and an impermeable membrane which is laid to a crossfall.
The water then flows into linear soakaways where second stage filtration is effected by another geotextile layer. From here the water permeates naturally into the ground.
The first phase of the new car park, consisting of 9,400 square metres, was required for the start of this year's (2005) holiday season in May and whilst installation did not start until the beginning of April the contractors met their deadline.
Both main contractor M.J. Church and groundworks specialist Nuttalls were impressed with the speed of installation allowed by the Netpave 50 system.
"Whilst we've designed a number of SUDS car parks in the past, this was the first time we used Netpave 50," said Richard Adams, who led the design team at Bristol Engineering Consultancy. "We're happy with the way it has performed. We've had a lot of heavy storms since it was installed and it has coped well."
The second phase of the car park, providing a further 9000 square metres of on-site parking at the airport, will be installed over the coming winter and will utilise the same SUDS design complete with the Netpave 50 surface.
Netlon's Technical Sales Manager Phil Allen said that Bristol International Airport represented the single biggest application to date of Netpave 50 in a purpose designed SUDS system the UK.
"Bristol has been a real proving ground for the product, both as a SUDS element and as a parking surface, and it has come through with flying colours," he said.
For further information please email Netlon Turf Systems