Archives: Projects

Resurfacing Sandstone Driveway

This beautiful little carport and driveway backed on to bushland in the leafy northern suburbs of Sydney.

Being built on a bedrock of sandstone on the ridge-line, the driveway showed the bones of the hill – bare solid sandstone rock that been left exposed for decades since the original build.

As such the photo above shows a section of the driveway under the carport had advanced erosion. Decades of tyre sheer and compaction of parking under the carport near the entry.

Being a patchwork of loose compacted gravel, concrete and sandstone rock – needless to say the appearance of the area detracted from the property and was in need of a facelift.

Versatile paving resurfacing

The options to resurface were limited.

Paving – The thought of excavation was a nightmare – both with difficult access and an existing deck structure over head, and the base was heavily compacted and partly composed of rock. Overall the cost was prohibitive and complicated any option to re-base and re-pave the area properly.

Concreting – Whilst the side section could have been formed up and a self levelling cement based product could possibly have been poured, this would have needed to be at least 50mm thick for structural integrity and still the mottled patchwork base meant any contractor would not be able to warrant future cracking given they were not pouring on to a base up to full spec.

Coating – Spray coatings were similarly not an option, and any pavement paint applied to sandstone typically delaminates due to it being a porous surface.

StoneSet saves the day!

This was the ideal application for a product like StoneSet for a number of reasons.

Compacted base – The heavily compacted stone and dirt from years of vehicle traffic would normally be a hassle, but in this case, it was ready to be resurfaced. Not with a thin spray coating, but rather a durable 16mm layer of stone.

Levelling properties – Much like a self levelling screed, The thickness of the topping of StoneSet is not fixed like a paver, rather the cracks, potholes and divits is infilled with the stone and resin material easily – making the transformation from undulating patchwork to uniform and level brand new surface.

Natural – The repeated patterns of segmental paving just would not have been right here. Nestled amongst the trees, the appeal of a natural aggregate as the welcome mat to the home was irresistible.

Not only no-more cracked and dusty sandstone, the resin bound stone is guaranteed to last 10 years with no loose stone, meaning a maintenance free entry to the home. That meant no more mud being trudged in on rainy days, and an much more proud surface to sweep or blower vac free of leaves – not getting caught in the gaps between the sandstone.


Non-Slip School Courtyard

Project QuickStats

Location Muirfield High School, North Rocks NSW
Cost $26,026
Stone Colour  Tan
Total Area 160 square meters
Date Installed 14-09-2020
At first glance this newly landscaped students seating area may appear smart yet somewhat basic and underwhelming.
We look a little deeper at the logic of landscape design and materials used, to find an incredibly cost effective, functional, safe and natural looking courtyard.. We explore why!

Gravel binding courtyards

Located in Sydney’s West, Muirfield High School (HS) is a secondary school with around 700 students and as a state school had been approved budget for an upgrade of external areas, including this seniors lunch courtyard.

With the initiative and design driven in large part by particular school staff that had landscaping / trade background, works were carried out mid 2020 and StoneSet had the privilege as the finishing touch of decorative paving, completing the paving in September.

Working with Nathan Hunter as the Project manager at Urban Landscape Projects, Sydney paving company StoneSet was appointed with the objective of creating a natural appearing environment. Tan-brown Australian sourced natural stone was specified by the schools designer as the hard wearing, non slip main courtyard paving.

The natural theme was continued seamlessly with the yellows of natural sandstone blocks and greens of a highly durable synthetic turf product between the seated areas.

Porous Non-slip paving

Just last month We discussed University findings regarding an unfortunate Urban Heat Island effect troubling NSW schools and indeed nationally. Muirfield HS, located in greater Sydney is certainly not immune to the heat stress that too much concrete causes in the playground.

We must acknowledge the reality that Schools are decades and sometimes centuries old. Older building practices meant existing trees would have been removed long ago during development. This has had the effect of leaving playgrounds devoid of tree canopy at many schools.

Here, wedged in the urban street canyon (between two large buildings) here at Muirfield HS, any old tree would have either died or been removed due to the risk of falling limbs and the hazard posed to students. Safety in the school is paramount, and an all-concrete surface would not support a healthy tree, nor a health leaf canopy.

That’s why Shade sails were an excellent choice to provide reliable, long lasting and maintenance free shade to the seated areas, with the added benefit of theming the area with the vibrant school scarlet purple.

The video below explains, there is also the advantage of evaporative cooling of this area.

Whilst StoneSet’s porous paving surface is not supplying retained rainfall water to any roots – The water accumulated in the pores (after rain events) would eventually absorb energy from sunlight in the form of evaporation.

This would in-effect buffer any onset of paving radiation emission – a kind of reduction in the Urban Heat Island effect.

No-Loose stone paving

StoneSet is one of the most popular choices for paving Australian Schools, Childcare centres, municipal public areas, Hospitals.. the list goes on!

It’s due to a unique set of product characteristics that combine safety and functionality like no other paving product. This makes it practically unbeatable for feature landscaping in high traffic in applications where slip hazards pose serious consequences, such as mobility for Hospitals pathways and School children running in the occasional wet day etc.

When you factor in aesthetics, StoneSet is number one especially for feature landscaping areas;

  • 100s of colour possibilities with blending Natural Australian
  • 10 years no loose stone – guaranteed
  • Porous paving – No puddles form slip hazards!
  • Environmentally less waste-full that ripping out and replacing old concrete

In fact the whole landscaping design of this area is cleverly designed to remain clean, open and require zero to low maintenance. A number of elements make the overall remaining features functionally brilliant;

  1. Concrete pads below tables to withstand pressure cleaning of food waste
  2. Synthetic turf only applied in the lighter foot traffic sections between the seated areas
  3. Paved edging to emulate a garden appearance
  4. Shade sails positioned to compliment shadow thrown by adjacent buildings during lunch hours.
  5. Garden beds with low-water natives in courtyard corners

Whilst not economical to pave our roads with StoneSet, when compared with asphalt or concrete driveways – StoneSet is far more economical when you factor in decorative paving alternatives, safety,

Hassle free paving company

The final key advantage of StoneSet here was the rapid installation and cure time.

All up, applying StoneSet to this courtyard was a 2 day install, covering 160 square meters of resin bound stone giving the exposed aggregate look, at an average depth of 25mm.

It only took three days before the paving could be walked on! (Two day installation and one day dry time) This further minimised disruption to students and helped Urban Landscaping Projects to bring the project in on time for their client.

Students were reportedly mesmerized by the speed of installation and no doubt the seniors would have appreciated access to this area sooner, given the extent of disruption everyone has experience in 2020 with Coronavirus.

If you would like more information on this particular Porous pavement project, please contact us on 1300 392 155 and quote the job reference number VT6378, we would be more than happy to discuss similarities in your  project and we can fast track how StoneSet porous paving may suit your specific paving project.


Modern Contrasting Facade

Project QuickStats

Location Ryde, New South Wales
Cost $11,107
Stone Colour  3mm Charcoal
Total Area 57 square meters
Date Installed 22-12-2020

Heres a great little video of another StoneSet Overlay Paving Driveway which was installed 22-12-2020 over a new concrete surface and council crossover.

A very clean lined new build facade was looking to increase its modern frontage with a boldly contrasting charcoal 3mm mix. The video shows how the installation crew had to overcome a number of factors on site to ensure a clean installation.

With the views come the slopes

As the home was built on a hill with a significant slope, multiple drains had been provisioned for the street and on the property. StoneSet has to prepare these joins carefully to ensure the weak points do not lead to cracking, with years of vehicular traffic every day.

The natural stone finish is also ideal for non slip properties as the porous nature of the stone ensures puddles do not form and algal growth does not take hold, as can happen with hillside runoff and constant dripping on non porous surfaces like concrete.

Finally, when meeting the levels of the existing public pathway and steps at the crossover, the team were required to undertake significant grinding and chasing out of the existing concrete base.

StoneSet ensured a 16mm topping could be applied over the new section of concrete (shown with hairline cracks in the video) whilst the surface also met flush and continued the walkway, without any risk of trip hazards at the sizes of the driveway – where the steps and paths met.

If you would like more information on this particular Porous pavement project, please contact us on 1300 392 155 and quote the job reference number 7276, we would be more than happy to discuss similarities in your Driveway project and we can fast track how StoneSet porous paving may suit your specific paving project.



Bird Control with Gravel Binder

Project QuickStats

Location St Leonard’s, New South Wales
Cost $32,795.29
Product  Pour On Clear
Total Area  540 square meters
Date Installed 14-12-2020

Rooftop Gravel binder

Some great photos below show the the use of StoneSet’s Pour On Gravel binder as an alternative bird control solution, to lock together decorative pebble and rooftop ballast.

Located in a densely populated commercial centre of St.Leonards north of Sydney, the rooftop ballast at this Commercial block was at risk of being picked up and removed by birds onto pedestrians and traffic below.

The Northside Group Clinic Health facility had multiple levels that overlooked the rooftop area. Whilst the area could not be trafficked (other than services and facilities access) many of the private rooms were on levels higher than the rooftop ballast section as shown in the photos below.

BAllast bird control

Specified by architects, these large pebbles serve a highly useful purpose of absorbing the Sun’s UV rays and preventing them from damaging the roof’s waterproofing layer.

The larger pebble is normally about 40mm great looking and functional finish for rooftops – there is one major problem, and that is those pebbles falling off the top of your multi-storey building!

The legal reality is the buildings owner is responsible for peoples safety in and around their property. Unfortunately this makes the Owners Corporation (OC) of residential Strata
Title complex’s liable for damage caused by birds dropping loose stone from the complex rooftop.

That doesn’t stop the confusion between the OC or anyone in the public unlucky enough to have a stone dropped on themselves or their car! The photo above was taken near Strathfield NSW where the OC had obviously had a prior incident, taking it upon themselves to stop people parking in at-risk locations.

This shortcoming leads to investigation into various Bird control measures. Employed for various reasons, ranging from safety, right through to facade aesthetics, where the mess from bird poo, nests and other organic matter build up can detract significantly from a buildings appearance.


Bird deturants are complicated

Mechanical bird control measures such as bird spikes and electrified wires are visually obtrusive. For and for large sections of ballast stone rooftops such as this one, they can not be relied upon.

Bird netting would have proven particularly visually obtrusive and unbecoming of a modern facilities appearance. There is also the risk of animal cruelty as birds have been reported being stuck in nets recently in the media.

ABC News reported on these unfortunate photos in December 2020 –

The other shortcoming of this old fashioned approach to pest control was the high winds generated in commercial districts. During storms these wind speeds can become cyclonic, and rip older netting that has been damaged by UV exposure.

Pour’On ideal rooftop Bird Control

The whole reason natural, loose stone is architecturally specified for rooftops is to protect waterproofing membrane (a man-made, petrochemical product) from the damaging effects of the Sun’s UV rays.

Whilst netting is effective and reliable in the short term, it is still a plastic, polyethylene based material. Regardless of netting being UV stabilised and high density woven, it is constantly under tension and exposed to high winds and UV all day, every day.

Alternatively, the PourOn biding resin is never exposed to the sun! After being poured over dry, existing rooftop stone the polyurethane trickles down, coating the stone and curing dry in 12 hours. This binds the stone into a solid, cross – linked matrix under the surface, interlocking at multiple touch points between the stone.

Because there is no UV damage or water pooling on the surface layers, there is little to no friction, erosion and UV degradation of the binder. What is left is a strongly bound stone matrix covering the waterproofing.


Contact US for pest solutions

Modern facilities require modern solutions! So if you are a building manager or architect and have a new commercial development like this healthcare facility in a high density commercial district – call us! Lets discuss the option of investing in a durable solution and avoid unclean look of worn and damaged bird netting in years to come!

StoneSet great for side of the house

Project QuickStats

Location Concord, New South Wales
Cost $13,409.93
Stone Colour  Sterling
Total Area 61 square meters
Date Installed 25-05-2020


Porous pathway

This porous pathway was installed at the side of a new build home in concord. The sterling colour was chosen as a way of softening the side pathway look, without the need for loose gravel or a gravel binder solution.

Porous pathways are great for those narrow, enclosed spaces at the side of the home or in darker areas shaded by buildings. Because the surface is water porous, there is no chance for algae to build up and create slip hazards. This is particularly important for neighbouring properties which may experience heavy runoff from imperviously paved surfaces.

Such was the case for this new build development. Given the development restrictions and the overall footprint of the property on the block, the side pathway had to be porous to reduce the amount of runoff to the adjacent property.

Clean and Modern Porous paving

Named after the Pound Sterling – this vibrant silver aggregate is ideal to brighten the usually dark spaces at the sides of homes, particularly narrow pathways such as this one.

Sterling is almost exclusively a modern home masterpiece imparting an impression of a finished surface that is ‘truly stainless’.

Installed and dry in 24 hours

All up, applying StoneSet to this Pathway was a 1 day install, covering 61 square meters of resin bound stone giving the exposed aggregate look, at an average depth of 25mm.

View this map to read about StoneSet jobs installed in near you! Gravel binding is not one of the first things that comes to mind when looking for Pathway ideas and particularly when paving over existing hard surfaces. You can read more detail on Pathway we’ve done and see photos of these projects here.

Resurface Renovation

Project QuickStats

Location Narrabeen, New South Wales
Cost $11,405.8
Stone Colour 6mm Koonunga
Total Area 61 square meters
Date Installed 13-10-2020

crazy Paving as ‘natural landscaping’

Geologically the Sydney basin is made of sedimentary rock, primarily composed of sandstone. In Melbourne, slate is more often used for crazy paving, and features on pathways and often as a hard wearing foyers at the homes entry.

We’ve explained in previous posts why crazy paving generally is so ubiquitous in residential building, primarily its ultra low cost in building periods during post war decades.

However there is deeper subconscious reason why the disorderly, ‘crazy’ lack of pattern appeals. Conventional block ‘segmental’ pavers are mass manufactured and thus bring a uniform, ‘hard edges and corners’ man-made feel and appearance.


exposed aggregate Alternative

This lovely residence located on Sydneys Northern Beaches had existing charcoal colored crazy paving stencil. Undertaking renovations to the facade, including a new front door – The decision was to move away from the worn pattern imprinted concrete look.

Looking to retain a natural look without the disorderly pattern of crazy paving, our homeowners found StoneSet!

The alternative natural stone / exposed aggregate solution was not only instant match to suit the existing darker colors, but also imparted the feeling of ‘brining order to nature’.




Resurfacing the crazy paving

Crazy paving is chosen by many as a means of rejecting what can be called a visually overbearing, man made imposition on the homes appearance. The opposite of man made pattern and order – is the ‘crazy’ disorder of the natural world.

But as humans, the feeling of a good orderly home shows a mastery over disorder of nature. The photos below  demonstrate this, as stencil work around the ‘border’ takes the shape of regular pavers. Using the look of segmental pavers at the border ‘frames the natural’ to bestow order to the natural environment.

The Photos show the area in need of some driveway resurfacing with the condition typical of a 10 year old stencil concrete surface. Colour pigmentation of the stencil fades, and wear is particularly evident with the dark colour schemes as we see below.

UV damage is particularly evident on the pathway image – The ‘inner side’ shaded by the houses eaves are in better condition than the outer edge of the pathway showing more advanced wear.

driveway resurfacing to the rescue!

Theres not much that can be done to stop UV damage to any polymer coated driveways. Thats why natural stone is superior to resist UV colour fading, which we’ve discussed in previous posts.

The owners were thrilled with the final result of the 6mm Koonunga stone overlay which was installed 13-10-2020 taking a single day, covering both their driveway and side pathway. With a 10 year warranty, they won’t need to worry about going through the same process for 10 years or more.

Whilst Stenciled concrete ‘crazy paving’ is a more modern method of bringing the same natural appearance to your outdoor paving, It cant be relied upon to still look good for at least a decade when renovating your driveway paving or backyard landscaping.

If you would like more information on this particular Porous pavement project, please contact us on 1300 392 155 and quote the job reference number 6815, we would be more than happy to discuss similarities in your Driveway project and we can fast track how StoneSet porous paving may suit your specific paving project.

Paving the way for Indigenous education

Project QuickStats

Location Karabar, New South Wales
Cost $32,489.92
Stone Colour Tan Pebble
Total Area 173 square meters
Date Installed 04-12-2020

November 2020 saw the observance of NAIDOC week, organised by the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.

As well as a celebration of indigenous cultures, the event serves to drive indigenous issues forward into legislation.

We take a look at the landscaping design at this school just out of Canberra. Curated with a natural loose stone appearance, StoneSet resin bound pebble was the perfect balance between authenticity and practicality.

Environmental paving

Australia has seen significant progress toward recognition of the traditional land owners. However education institutions are being urged to do more, by incorporating indigenous teaching methods into the school curriculum.

Uncle Wade Man was one aboriginal elder campaigning for increased integration of indigenous education during NAIDOC week.

“Our culture is about us being strong, being connected, connected to the land, being connected to the trees, being connected to the stars..” – Aboriginal Elder Uncle Wade Man

This sentiment was one of the driving factors for StoneSet being installed at Tirriwirri School (Queanbeyan SSP – School of Special Purpose). In particular, planter beds to grow bush tucker and a custom designed natural stone ‘Yarning circle’ was a perfect way for students to feel connected to the natural environment when learning about indigenous culture.

This traditional ‘yarning circle’ is designed to inspire an indigenous connection between community and environment

porous paving ‘fit for purpose’

The Tirriwirri School of special purpose has been in construction most of 2020. The NSW K-12 school will cater for a relatively small sized student body, yet its build is designed for a large range of accessibility requirements.

Innovative building materials like StoneSet porous paving were critical throughout the project, to deliver authentic natural landscaping, whilst meeting non-slip safety requirements.

Framing the horticultural planter beds, crushed stone paving like decomposed granite was ruled out. Aside from looking common, loose stone posed a serious risk to safety given the range of mobility of students expected to attend the school. 

Other loose stone pathway options were ruled out given the potential for puddles to build and consequent erosion over time. The porous pathways around the garden beds meant water from irrigation or accidental spills would not form puddles, nor enable algal growth which are both significant longer term slip hazards with non porous paving. 

Porous Paving ‘Yarning’ Circle

Paving the uniquely themed ‘yarning circle’ with StoneSet’s natural Tan resin bound stone delivered on multiple outcomes.

Framing a beautiful large existing gum tree, porous paving was ideal to maintain ground water penetration. This of course supported the surrounding vegetation including this large tree’s health. Generous water penetration encourages a full development of its leaf canopy and simultaneously reduces risk of deadfall branches.

The Tan stone specified was a rounded pebble, meaning no sharp edges or corners. Much the same as pebblecrete, the surface is smooth to the touch and far less abrasive on the skin for those occasional falls children inevitably experience.

Finally, StoneSet porous paving consists of actual Australian stone. Paying respects to an aboriginal garden that originally existed on the eastern side of the site, the earthy brown colour was authentic indigenous choice, there is no artificial pigmentation of the paving!

StoneSet binds real stone that is set to retain its mineral character without fear of fading and brittleness that can come with other kiln fired paving alternatives.

Authentic Natural Stone

Having paved many colonial era heritage sites, StoneSet was particularly pleased to be involved in such a progressive development.

All up, applying StoneSet to these areas involved a 3 day install, covering 173 square meters of resin bound stone giving the exposed aggregate look, at an average depth of 25mm.

Unique in its dual purpose of enabling outdoor learning for all children and growing the awareness of the environmental complexity of indigenous culture, StoneSet was a great choice to optimise safety and environmental authenticity. 


Rockhampton Botanical Gardens

Project QuickStats

Location 100 Spencer Street, Botanic Gardens, Rockhampton, 4700
Stone Colour Kirribilli Red (Variant of Glensanda)
Total Area 190sqm
Date Installed 3rd December 2020

As we enter summer theres actually some good news in 2020, for trees and gardens – Australia is in the midst of a La Nina cycle, meaning more rainfall for south east Australia.

Thats particularly great news for trees around properties we’ve paved with thousands of square meters of porous surfaces in the last decade!


Porous Pathways Ideal for gardens

Whilst most of La Nina rain will only fall on south eastern Australia, high humidity and rainstorms are the norm in the central Queensland region of Rockhampton! This subtropical region experiences frequent thunderstorms, particularly now during the wet season spanning October to March, bringing a deluge of rain.

This makes porous pathways an excellent choice for Rockhampton Botanical Gardens where this week StoneSet partnered with our Queensland approved installers Heritage Tree Care. The replacement of non porous paving pathways was part of building works by  GT Jeffreys Builders on behalf of the people of Rockhampton, managed by Rockhampton Regional Council.


Following footsteps of Pioneers

This year the Gardens celebrated an incredible 150 years. The botanical gardens were founded in 1869, the spot chosen as it lies next to the Murray Lagoon. The gardens gained heritage status just 20 years ago demonstrating significant importance as a “major urban centre” to the central Queensland region.

Home to a separate heritage-listed ANZAC cenotaph, porous tree surrounds were of immense importance, as seeds from the Lone Pine at Gallipoli grew into pines that now form part of an avenue to and around the Cenotaph.

A photo of a Rockhampton Botanical Gardens tree more than 100 years old.

The ‘practical mid point’ of the state has seen increased domestic tourism in the state, through events such as the  Rockynats motor show planned for Easter 2021.

Last month Rockhampton host to the 2020 developing northern Australia conference. The event surely making for heated discussions given controversial QLD State border closures and the devastating impacts on tourist regions.

A council social post below shows the concern over conserving water, with the local desalination plant at peak usage.


A such, Rockhampton regional council was looking to invest in a long term porous paving solution, upgrading the gardens pathways with a modern, durable an water smart paving solution to replace the 40 year old paved Garden pathways.

Care in choice of paving required the rustic red-brick pathway ‘look and feel’ be conserved. Exposed aggregate gravel pathway would  best preserve the Gardens original look and feel, thus honoring the immense work and dedication of its 6 curators for decades to come.

Indeed StoneSet has been installed at multiple heritage listed locations around Australia, with the Governor Generals Sydney residence, Admiralty house using the same Kirribilli red stone, being one of the more prestigious heritage listed locations.

Improving Safety and Biodiversity

The obvious choice for tree health is porous paving and the stone colour kept the historic red-paved look and feel of the gardens in tact. Less less obvious was the no-puddle, non slip improvement to visitor safety in region which experiences heavy periods of rainfall.

With heavy rainfall, leaves and sticks are more frequently shed on to pathways. Where puddles form on non porous paving, this organic matter can encourage algal growth. With porous paving, the lack of puddles mean less stagnant puddles, and dried leaves and materials are more easily blown away by wind, or maintenance workers.

There was also the knock-on benefits healthier trees offer to the local ecosystem. In this video below, you can hear a vibrant colony of bats which rely on the humid climate to regulate their temperature. In turn many rainforest plant species require bat pollination.

With a ‘free draining‘ porosity rate of 60L/sqm/min the new porous pathways were a huge improvement adding a massive 190sqm of water permeable surface around the trees. The porous gravel adding an combined equivalent of approximately 1500 litre water tank of on-site retention each rain period. A durable porous paving solution that also;

  • Match colour profile of existing red pavers for heritage purposes
  • Increased tree health some almost 100 years old
  • Withstand vehicle traffic long term, from a service buggy  (800kg)
  • Cost effective and reliable installation, low impact on existing retaining walls/surrounds

All up, applying StoneSet to this Pathway was a 4 day install, covering 190 square meters of resin bound stone giving the exposed aggregate look, at an average depth of 25mm.

See more Heritage locations near You!

Enter your Suburb using the map (link above) to view the job profile webpage of StoneSet installed in your area. Resin bound stone is not one of the first things that comes to mind when looking for Pathway ideas and particularly when paving over existing hard surfaces. You can read more detail on Pathways we’ve done and see photos of these projects here.


Beer Garden Tree Surrounds

As Australian travel restrictions gradually lift, there is still a realistic potential for overnight border closures. Arguably the preference for holiday-makers as we approach Christmas is still to look at places to visit within our home states.

“When coronavirus hit.. we thought, why not trade Brazil for Betoota on an 8,000 kilometre adventure through Queensland?” – ABC news, Nov.

One New South Wales regional centre that can expect to benefit from the ‘Staycation effect’ is Narrabri, a pastoral and agricultural hub located in the beautiful north west plains of NSW.

Renowned for its rich history in cotton farming, and its importance to the states economy in Agribusiness, the region has made national headlines recently due to the controversial proposed SANTOs gas project, which has naturally caused tensions within region as to the economical merits and environmental threats to the largely farming based community.


outdoor paving gets hot

Its thirsty work being a tree in a hard paved area.. Like these below in the beautifully landscaped Beer Garden of Narrabri’s Crossroads Hotel.

Hard surface paving reflects sunlight and behaves a bit like metal – heating and cooling rapidly, not buffering the sun’s energy in any way. This is of course, what leads to the urban heat island effect in cities mostly paved with asphalt roads and concrete buildings

Soft-scaped or more ‘natural’ areas like bodies of water buffer the heat well. Landscaping with grass is ideal as this uses the sun for photosynthesis and this absorbs energy, making the surrounding area cooler.

Its certainly rigorous work involved in keeping farms running, particularly as now the region is affected by an ongoing drought, that has just last week necessitated a visit by Operation Drought relief.

Thats why its all the more important for the local ‘watering hole’ beer garden to provide natural shade, from a tree species that has a broad leaf, is tough and hardy to take the occasional knock, and is quick growing so it can be planted and reach maturity within a year.

The photos below show the previous state of tree pits, filled with loose-fill bark mulch. This  constantly needed sweeping back after big nights in a busy courtyard.


Tree surrounds vital

Its thirsty work being a tree in a hard paved area, thats why the original tree surrounds (above) were a loose-fill bark mulch. Commercial builders and landscapers know the problems that can result when installing something not designed to last.

Of course, loose fill bark became quite impractical – when the beer garden filled with patrons, the mulch got kicked around. The tree pits ended up making a mess and causing trip hazards especially for those who already had a few drinks under the belt.

Typically, the species of trees chosen for indoor courtyards are evergreen (rather than deciduous species that lose their leaves in winter) so that the pleasant look of the natural leaves appear in the space all year around.

This means they need lots of water, all year round, not only to grow, but just to remain healthy. The porous tree surround needed a form of permeable paving just to intake the sheer amount of moisture these broad leafed trees are losing to the sun each day.


Porous Paving the answer!

Thankfully, a local landscaper had the answer for the publican – a form of resin bound stone paving which is often know in the industry as Terrabond. Looking the material up, the landscaper found StoneSet DIY kits!

Resin bound stone was the perfect solution to solve multiple numbers of problems, with added benefits that were not even expected by the client.

  • Natural stone look with no loose stone
  • No more trip hazards or maintenance replacing loose fill bark mulch
  • Expanded foot traffic surface in a limited space courtyard
  • Slip resistant – R11 rating (suitable for public area ramps)
  • No puddles after drinks were spilt slip – drains rapidly during rain
  • Drainage for Pressure washing courtyard the next morning

In the end, unfortunately some of the trees also had to be removed. This was to allow for more space with sit down dining during the day. The porous pads were installed in these spots regardless, so that in future a small tree could be replanted by coring out the middle of the pad.

Given the regional location of the Hotel, it also made a big difference that StoneSets resin bound stone product was available in DIY kits. Typically StoneSet is installed by a team of local tradesmen trained and approved in mixing the polyurethane resin technology.

However StoneSet DIY kits employ a single part polyurethane binder which is mixed at a rate of 1kg to every 20kg bag of natural stone. This one-to-one ratio makes the use of DIY kits for smaller sized areas possible (areas over 50sqm require a mechanical mixer and the two-part polyurethane system which must be installed by an approved installer)

Set and forget paving!

So thanks to a proactive publican, an experienced landscaper and a novel DIY product like StoneSet DIY kits, tourists and hard working locals at the Crossroads Hotel can now walk safely with a full tray of beers! 

Better than that they can relax at the beer garden under the generous natural shade of healthy trees. All the while knowing that even in the midst of drought, Trees are quenching their thirst with StoneSet whilst patrons do the same with a few beers.

Subsurface Drainage Paving

Project QuickStats

Location 12 Chester Hill Rd, Chester Hill, New South Wales
Cost $15,576
Stone Colour 6mm Tan
Total Area 177
Date Installed 28-11-2013

One of the great things about Porous paving is its practical as well as its good looks!

There was no better example of this than an innovative subsurface drainage solution installed at the entry of Chester Hill library in Sydney.

limited options?

The trouble working in Sydney is so many buildings are heritage listed and the geology of the Sydney basin is such that roads and development have evolved in a haphazard way. Many buildings have had to work in with limitations of existing stone foundations and established drainage.

Such was the case in this situation for this public building in Canterbury Blacktown council. The entrance to the library had limited depth and so limited provisioning for new stormwater drainage.

There was not enough fall to allow for a standard strip drain, and the depth too shallow to go putting in a ‘french drain’ style perforated pipe in a channel. The video below demonstrates the concept of the subsurface drainage ‘french drain’ pipe.


A versatile product

The work around in this case was larger porous ‘drainage gravel’ pits just below the surface, designed with a fall that channel water collecting in these pits (where water collected) and guide it towards the single large stormwater drain (off to the left of the entranceway).

The below photos (unfortunately have a lower resolution) demonstrate the stages of installing a new gravel-only subsurface draining system designed to specification, before finishing the paving off with StoneSets’ 25mm layer of permeable paving.

The black plastic grid seen below is a HDPE cell, clipped together in segments in a similar manner to children’s foam mats. Basically a hard wearing durable moulded plastic, these grids give structure to the loose, larger drainage gravel.

Drainage gravel is used because its hard wearing, doesn’t biodegrade (thus lead to the pavement sinking) and when vibratory compacted, locks and holds together whilst still allowing water to trickle thorugh the gaps in between.

In this situation the majority of the foyer area was under cover and didn’t experience direct rainfall. Given there was no steep/incline leading down to the foyer, there was not the potential of ‘volume runoff’ one might see flood the area during significant rainfall events.


Can stoneSet act as drainage?

The short answer is, when overlaying existing surfaces then no, 16mm layer of porous resin bound stone is not suitable to be relied upon as drainage during heavy downpours. Similarly, for commercial applications, resin bound stone can not be used in place of the consulting engineers drainage provisions.

The longer answer – if the paved area is for foot traffic and graded to the correct falls, StoneSet can certainly be used to facilitate free-draining movement of water down below the surface. There it follows a subsurface drainage channel or point floor waste system for foot traffic areas.

Regardless, StoneSets porous surface is a far safer approach to reduce chance of pudlle slip hazards, a good example of this was the StoneSet applied in Sydney marina club foyer.


Now you see it..

The council were amazed with the final result, no additional surface drainage strips – no potential trip hazards, no collection points for leaf or rubbish litter. Just continuous natural stone paving and a beautiful new entrance way to the library.

If you would like more information on this particular Porous pavement project, please contact us on 1300 392 155 and quote the job reference number POT19603, we would be more than happy to discuss similarities in your patio, foyer or pathway project and we can fast track how StoneSet porous paving may suit your specific paving project.

See more Pathway near You!

Enter your Suburb using the map to view the job profile webpage of StoneSet installed in your area. Resin bound stone is not one of the first things that comes to mind when looking for Pathway ideas and particularly when paving over existing hard surfaces. You can read more detail on Pathway we’ve done and see photos of these projects here.