Concrete has become a huge part of our everyday lives. While this grey material is ubiquitous in construction projects around the globe, it has a few downsides, one of which is that the manufacturing process releases a lot of carbon dioxide—a big contributor to climate change. Fortunately, grasscrete is a great alternative to concrete that is both good for the environment and a strong building material. This guide contains general information on grasscrete and how you can use it for a walkway or driveway on your own property.
What Is Grasscrete?
Grasscrete incorporates a mixture of concrete and natural soil in a patterned layout. The mixture is generally about 47 percent concrete and 53 percent holes for the grass. Over time, the grass will eventually grow over the concrete and conceal it in areas of low traffic. This green alternative might seem strange at first, but there are actually a lot of benefits to using grasscrete over concrete.
For starters, grasscrete drains much better than concrete surfaces. In fact, this green material drains with about the same consistency as an all-grass field. Not only does this prolong the life of the material, but it also leads to less road damage over time.
Uses Less Concrete
Another great benefit of grasscrete is that it uses less concrete than traditional paved surfaces. This makes grasscrete better for the environment than its concrete counterpart and leads to less manufacturing in the long run.
Despite using less concrete, grasscrete is just as strong and hardy. Grasscrete will stand up to even the heaviest of loads and requires less maintenance than a fully paved area.
With so many benefits, it’s easy to understand why so many people are switching to grasscrete. Fortunately, installing a grasscrete driveway or walkway is an easy process that just takes some time and effort.
Step 1 - Outline and Preparation
Before you break ground, make sure you have a clear idea of the boundaries of the your grasscrete driveway. Create an outline with spray paint and double-check that you have enough material to cover the entire area.
Step 2 - Sod Removal
With the area clearly defined, it’s time to start removing the top layer of sod. Install some drainage pipes for ground water removal and make sure the driveway is slightly sloped to ensure proper drainage.
Step 3 - Install Base
The base layer of the grasscrete is crushed rock. Place the rock directly on top of the soil and spread it out evenly across the entire surface. The depth of the rock should be around two inches. To add more structural integrity, pack the rock with a compactor. Lastly, add about half an inch of sand to the base and compact.
Step 4 - Grass Forms
With the crushed rock and sand mixture in place, you can install the grass forms. Begin with the edge work before working your way up from the bottom. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure everything fits correctly before cutting some of the forms to fit in place.
Step 5 - Top Soil
After all the forms are installed, pour a few layers of top soil over the driveway. You want the top soil to fill in the gaps between the forms and don’t stop until the soil is at the same height as the forms. You can also seed the top soil with grass to help with new growth.
Step 6 - Pour Concrete
Install a wire mesh over the forms and then pour a concrete mix into the holes. The concrete should fill to a depth of around 5.5 inches. Smooth out the concrete with a wood board. If you want a non-slip surface, run a stiff broom along the wet concrete.
Step 7 - Drying
You don’t want the concrete to dry too fast because it will crack. To prevent fractures, gently sprinkle the concrete with water every day for one week. Once the concrete is dry, you can either keep the grass trim or allow it to grow over.