Changes to the British Standard for Pavement Design

Monday 25th July, 2022

Tom Emerton is a Pavement Engineering Manager within the Design Team at Marshalls; he worked alongside industry colleagues and the British Standards Institution (BSI) to produce a new set of standards for the design of pavements in 2021.

At the end of August 2021, the British Standards Institute (BSI) updated the British Standard for the design of pavements constructed with natural stone or concrete, affecting the design of all modular paving in the UK.

This new standard, BS 7533-101, updates the existing BS 7533 series by consolidating several design standards into one document. These are BS 7533-1, BS 7533-2, BS 7533-6, BS 7533-7, BS 7533-8, BS 7533-10 and BS7533-12 and any new designs should follow this new Standard.

What do the BSI pavement design changes mean for the industry?

This is good news for the industry, which has grappled with various design codes for the installation of concrete blocks, stone setts as well as concrete and stone slabs, flags and kerb units since the original standards were first published 20 years ago. As public-realm improvement schemes have increased their hard landscaping projects and a more competitive and comprehensive portfolio of products has become available, a consolidated standard aims to remove inconsistencies, reduce errors and promote design expertise.

What are the main changes?

The principal changes involve the collation of the various pavement materials available on the market today, and set out a new selection and design process for each, so that their use for public and private sector designers is simplified and encouraged. The Standard also takes on board the changes to highway pavement design more generally over the last 10 to 15 years so that this new consolidated document can continue to provide definitive best practice.

The move from multiple standards and updating the material selection available means users are confident that they are designing to the best standards possible and are no longer at risk of confusion, design error and failure.

Landscape Architects, local and metropolitan authorities, as well as contractors, suppliers and their design teams will all benefit from adopting these new standards; this document is the only document of its kind in the UK and is the definitive guide in its field.

New CPD - Introduction to the BS 7533-101

We offer a CPD covering the various elements of the new standard and how specific job roles are effected. You can register your interest for this and our other CPD courses using our online booking form. Further details can also be found on the Marshalls website.

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