Durable pavement with an ancient look

If surface areas are modernized in historic urban districts, planners frequently fall back on solutions made of natural stones as such solutions are often the perfect complement to the buildings. However, there are more and more areas making higher demands in terms of function besides the look, because the surface areas are exposed to higher traffic loads caused by delivery vehicles, for example.

For more than ten years, the citizens of Seckenheim have been discussing the redesign of the town hall square. There was the desire to upgrade the square, which has so far exclusively been used for bus service and private transport, for the citizens as urban open space. The area of the square around the town hall had been considered as in need of rehabilitation both in terms of the visual appearance and technical conditions for a long time. On the one hand, the square with its surface paved with porphyry was badly affected over the years; on the other hand, the citizens desired a reorganization of local public transport connections. Therefore, the planning committee decided on a fundamental rehabilitation of the entire so-called “Planken” in Seckenheim.

Wanted: small pavers typical for a historic district

“The landmarked town hall is a very important part of the ‘Planken’,” Birgit Steinmaßl of the civil engineering department of the city of Mannheim stated describing the measure.  “The stability of the pavement played an important role, too,” Steinmaßl continued. “As the square is also used as farmer’s market, heavy vehicles are driving there regularly. This creates shear forces which individually laid blocks without any interlocking effect would not withstand for long.”

For this reason, the persons responsible were looking for a pavement that meets all criteria in terms of the visual appearance and that is able to withstand the traffic loads in the long run. Finally, they found the right solution for such kinds of application with the especially designed concrete paving system. The ArcoStrada segmental arc pavement of the CombiStabil series made by Beton Pfenning located in Lampertheim combines the attractive appearance of small paving blocks laid in segmental arcs with the advantages of fully interlocking pavement.

Optimum load transmission

In visual terms, this system of the so-called “Einstein” paver product line seems to consist of many different individual paving blocks, just like any other conventional segmental arc pavement made of natural stone. What is not visible is the fact that the concrete pavement in reality consists of only ten different block elements. The stunning appearance of individual pavers is obtained by visually separating two to four connected small blocks by sufficiently deep dummy joints. Angular blocks form the transition to the adjacent arc. All blocks are provided with side markings applied at the outside radius surface in order to make laying of the 10 cm thick blocks as easy as possible.

The major advantage of this pavement, however, are its stability properties. The so-called D-shaped Einstein joint technology ensures an optimum load transmission between the blocks. The joint width and/or joint gap that is required for adequately withstanding regular traffic loads is retained at all times, thus maintaining the elasticity of the block pavement in the long run.

In terms of color, the rehabilitated town hall square also matches the old porphyry pavement. The blocks with slightly broken edges and the irregular surface texture appear as real natural stone thanks to a special production method. “The color shade called ‘Heppenheim’ provides the surface with a warm red-brown complexion and perfectly goes with the traditional architectural style of the adjacent buildings,” Steinmaßl concluded.


Betonpflastersteine mit Einstein-Fugentechnik (www.einsteinpflaster.de) sind in Deutschland flächendeckend zu beziehen von folgenden Herstellern:

» Angermüller Bau GmbH, www.angermueller.de

» Berding Beton GmbH, www.berdingbeton.de

» Betonwerk Diephaus Reinschütz GmbH & Co. KG, www.diephaus.de

» Betonwerk Pfenning GmbH, www.beton-pfenning.de

Related articles:

Issue 2015-09 Adolf Blatt

Church Square upgraded with block pavement

The German community of Neckarwestheim, with more than 3500 inhabitants, is known far beyond its borders. This small town became prominent owing to the local power station, which was taken into...

Issue 2015-09 Beton Pfenning

Concrete paving blocks defeat natural stones

Planners frequently make use of natural stones when it comes to pave areas in historic town districts. Natural stones often perfectly complement the historic buildings of the district in their visual...

Issue 2021-02

Presentation of the advanced training program: “specialized engineer / specialized planner / specialized construction supervisor in block pavement construction”

In Germany, far more than half of the urban traffic areas, both in the municipal sector and private sector, are surfaced with block pavements and slab pavements. Despite the fact that comprehensive...

Issue 2017-04 ICCBP

ICCBP 2018: International Conference in Seoul

The 12th International Conference on Concrete Block Pavement (ICCBP 2018) will take place from 16 to 19 October 2018 in Seoul, Korea. The event will be organized by the Association of Block Pavement...

Issue 2017-02 Potentials for concrete block pavements

Environmental requirements for public street spaces

The type of road pavement is usually selected on the basis of technical specifications for road construction whereas design aspects come into play only in sophisticated planning scenarios in an...