New British Standard

Paving Design

New British Standard

Paving Design

What’s happened? 

The British Standard for the design of pavements constructed with natural stone or concrete has been updated by BSI, the British Standards company, as of August 2021. This affects the design of all modular paving in the UK.

The 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.

A further update BS 7533-102 will be launched in the near future which will cover off the installation of these systems and will replace BS 7533-3, BS 7533-4, BS 7533-7 and BS 7533-11.

All modular paving designs made after August 2021 should be made in accordance with the BS 7533-101 code of practice.
What is the new standard intended to achieve?

The British Standard provides recommendations and guidance on the design of pavements surfaced with modular paving units. This new version covers the design and installation of concrete blocks, clay pavers, stone setts, and concrete and stone slabs or flags and kerb units. Use of these products has significantly increased since the original standards were published between 10 and 20 years ago.  Public-realm improvement schemes have increased their hard landscaping and the cost of the products has become more competitive; a comprehensive portfolio of design standards will provide consistency and promote their further use.

Over time the provisions contained within previous standards had become obsolete and the many versions caused confusion amongst designers and installers, leading to risk of errors and a risk of premature failure. Revising and updating the parts of the BS 7533 series concerned with design, and consolidating seven parts into one has simplified the design process for users and will reduce significant errors.
Sett paving on an access road to a housing estate
Conservation X Block in Silver Grey outside an apartment building
Changes to the new edition

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.
Who will benefit from the change?

Anybody already using the old standards will benefit from using the new standards, this includes anyone designing with concrete blocks, clay pavers, stone setts, and concrete and stone slabs. Typical industries and roles include:
  • Landscape architects for commercial and residential developments
  • Public sector designers and suppliers
  • UK local authorities (including county and district councils)
  • Metropolitan authorities such as TfL, Highways England, Transport Scotland, the National Assembly for Wales and the Department for Regional Development Northern Ireland
  • Network Rail for station platforms
  • Airport owners for landside operations that make extensive use of modular paving
  • Contractors, suppliers and their design teams who need to provide design and install services for modular paving
pavement engineering design services
Why will users adopt the standard?

This document is the only document of its kind in the UK and is the definitive guide in its field. 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.

Marshalls Design Team is committed to working to the latest BS codes and Marshalls Pavement Engineer Manager, Tom Emerton, has been part of the panel that worked on the new consolidated code. Any users unsure how best to use the new codes can contact Marshalls who will be holding training sessions for those who would like to find out more in the near future.
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