Permeable Paving & SuDs

Block paving in bracken laid in a car park outside a shopping.

Permeable Paving & SuDs

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are a collection of simple philosophies and techniques which can help to reduce flooding - and Marshalls has an excellent SuDS solution in Priora permeable paving.

Marshalls Priora was launched in 2001 and fast became the UK’s most popular permeable concrete block paving (CBPP) system. In that time Marshalls has become a recognised leader in all aspects of permeable systems.

The documents and videos on this page provide potential customers with a comprehensive suite of information to make the specification, adoption and maintenance of CBPP easy. These assets are a combination of independent academic reports, industry case studies and Marshalls own data.

These are useful when dealing with some of the commonly held misconceptions about permeable paving, such as:

Does permeable paving get clogged up and stop working?
No. Independent studies have proven this time and again, and we’ve also carried out a field test with full size rainfall simulators to prove this point.

Is it difficult to maintain a permeable pavement?
No. Under normal conditions, a permeable pavement will work perfectly well with no maintenance whatsoever, but if it does need cleaning, it’s a very simple process. Learn more about maintenance from Marshalls here or from here for an independent study.

Are soft SuDS better at cleansing water runoff than permeable pavements?
No. A large-scale test with Coventry University proved that permeable pavements provide excellent water cleansing properties.

If you'd like to talk more about SuDS or permeable paving, please contact your local Marshalls Engineer or call 0870 600 2425.
Modal Priora for retail

Permeable Paving Design Guide

This detailed and comprehensive document has been developed using Marshalls’ vast experience in researching, promoting and designing the UK’s most popular permeable paving system. It covers all aspects of concrete block permeable paving including hydraulic and structural design, installation and maintenance as well as considering CBPP’s place within a holistic water management scheme.

Download the guide

Infiltration testing for Priora permeable paving

Video: Designing and Maintaining a Priora Permeable Pavement – Case Study

Martlesham Park & Ride car park, which was installed in 2003, is one of our oldest Priora permeable paving installations. We caught up again with the original designer, Simon Curl of Sussex County Council, to find out how his design is standing the test of time. Watch this video to hear Simon’s approach to common queries such as incorporating tree roots and services – and also to find out about the maintenance regime they’ve employed to keep the surface performing.

Watch the Video
Buff block paving used in the road in front of modern housing.

Report: When Does Permeable Paving Stop Working?

In spite of years of evidence to the contrary, people still assume that permeable paving will fail because the joints quickly get clogged up. We’ve been revisiting some of our older Priora systems and, using the American Standard method ASTMC1781/C1781M, undertaking in-situ permeability tests to see how they’re working. This report shares our observations along with the results of the tests.

Download the report
1. How to Maintain a Permeable Pavement
Marshalls’ simple advice for maintaining surface permeability in a CBPP system.  

2. Rationalising the Priora sub-base with Prof. John Knapton (2011)
A synopsis of the work we commissioned from Professor Knapton to redesign the sub-bases beyond the British Standards - saving time, money and carbon.

3. Marshalls Water Quality Research with Coventry University (2014)
The world’s largest study into water quality within permeable pavements, examining the effect differing sub-base depths has on the quality of discharged water.
4. Marshalls Interlock Testing (2014)
A report outlining the method devised to compare the surface stiffness of different types of block paving, which also demonstrates the interlock advantage provided by the Priora nib.

5. Marshalls approach to GeoTextiles and water quality within permeable pavements (2011)
A summary of a research project with Abertay University.

6. Marshalls water quality research with Abertay University (2011)
The full report from an early study into water quality within permeable pavements.

7. Marshalls Priora system cutaway
A simple cutaway diagram of a Priora permeable pavement to aid material specification.

8. Marshalls Design Warranty
An additional warranty that applies to systems that are installed to the design specified by Marshalls Design Team.
1. CIRIA SuDS Manual - Chapter 20, Permeable Paving
A chapter taken from the excellent CIRIA SuDS manual. Thorough and in-depth guidance for the specification, installation and maintenance of CBPP from the Construction Industry Research Information Association.

2. Long Term Infiltration Study - Dr Soenke Borgwardt
A thorough independent study into the long-term maintenance requirements of CBPP, which demonstrates that the infiltration rate plateaus at an acceptable rate even with no maintenance.

3. Design & Construction of CBPP - Interpave guidance
Straightforward installation guidance from the independent body for the UK block paving industry.

4. Maintenance of CBPP – Interpave Guidance
Straightforward maintenance guidance from the independent body for the UK block paving industry. 

5. Using SuDS Close to Buildings (Sept 2012) - fact sheet by SusDrain
A useful document detailing the use of infiltration systems near to the foundations of buildings.

6. Innovation with SuDS & Hard Landscape - Interpave case studies
Some independent case studies involving CBPP (not just Priora) and other SuDS features.

Priora System Cutaway Videos

A series of simple animations showing the differences between Type A (infiltration), Type B (partial infiltration) and Type C (tanked) permeable systems.

Case Studies

Browse a selection of permeable paving case studies.
Live Chat