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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    • CommentAuthormitchino
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2020
     
    Not much of a 'green' enquiry, but I am stripping a large gravel car park, which over the last 20 years has become more mud and weeds than gravel, then lay new gravel.

    It needs scraped down to the original sub base, some 4" of hard compacted gravel, stones and mud need removed.

    I've done a small area - approx 30m2, by hand - it's bloody hard graft. I am now looking at hiring either a mini digger or a skid steer to do the rest.

    Questions:

    Which would be better, the mini digger or the skid steer?

    I'd rather DIY, and play with the boys toys, but would I ultimately save more hiring an experienced driver?

    Is there an argument for buying a used machine, doing the job, then selling the machine on? Rather than renting?

    Thanks for any help.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2020
     
    Laser guided bulldozer would be my first choice. Of your three mini digger, the biggest one that you can get in with a skilled driver.
  1.  
    IMO it depends upon how big the large gravel car park is. As a rule of thumb I use the biggest machine that can reasonably be used for job. It also depends on what you are doing with the spoil.

    I would expect it to be cheaper with a skilled driver but that depends how you cost your time.

    Can the job be divided into sections so that gravel can be dumped in a cleared area ready for spreading whilst further section(s) are cleared. This might cut down on waiting/idle machine time if the same machine is used for clearing and spreading e.g. JCB.

    Perhaps talk to the machine contractors (pick one with several types of machines) and go with their guidance as to what machine is best to use, get a quote and then see if you can get a better quote from a small operator with the recommended type of machine.
    • CommentAuthormitchino
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2020 edited
     
    Thanks guys - further manual labour has revealed that below the weeds, mud and gravel there has been a layer of compacted stones or type 1 aggregate, and below that a relatively smooth compacted red ash surface. I'm finding I can scrape everything off the red ash surface quite easily, even by hand.

    That makes me think a skid steer might be the easy option, should just roll along and scrape it all off.

    Regarding the spoil, it'll be dumped down a wooded bank on my property, so no removal cost.

    Another question - can I just lay the new gravel straight on to the compacted red ash, or do I need a layer of type 1 again? I'll only be using 20mm builders gravel, nothing fancy. And is there any point in a weed membrane?
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2020
     
    Jcb type machine , with 4 in 1 bucket and good operator.
  2.  
    Posted By: mitchinoAnother question - can I just lay the new gravel straight on to the compacted red ash, or do I need a layer of type 1 again? I'll only be using 20mm builders gravel, nothing fancy. And is there any point in a weed membrane?

    what do you mean by 20mm builders gravel? IMO what should go down for roads /car parks should be a mixture of mixed gravel, fines, sand and clay/silt which should be compacted or rolled. Straight 20mm gravel will be continually moving because there will be nothing to consolidate it. Here I use as dug limestone because it is sharp stone which consolidates better than gravel which tends to be round and so moves easier.

    BTW how big is the area under discussion.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2020
     
    20mm stones for me or tarmac
    • CommentAuthorGreenPaddy
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2020
     
    Compacted type1 (say 75-100mm), then your 20mm washed chips (sharper edges that bind into the type1) on top, but just a thin crust, so it doesn't slop around under the car wheels.

    Don't bother with the membrane, as the weeds will likely grow from the top (ie. blown onto the surface, and growing down the way). A membrane is sometimes used over subsoil, to create a separation layer. You've red ash, so not an issue.

    Get a small local contractor, who will also know how to get a small vibro compactor, and the quarry suppliers, as co-ordinating deliveries will cut standing time. Quarries tend to supply their regular customers as a preference, so if say a road jod comes up, it will get the supply, and you might be bumped for the day.

    It's often a two man job anyway, so you can be man no.2, dealing with deliveries, driving the vibro compactor, ensuring waste gets dumped exactly where you want it, hand clearing the edges, coffee boy...
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2020
     
    I find the Paving Expert website very good for things like this. The site index has several entries under Gravel including a recommended spec for gravel hardstanding

    http://www.pavingexpert.com/specs01.htm#specgrav

    And on the size of gravel..scroll down..

    http://www.pavingexpert.com/gravel01.htm

    Lots of other good stuff such as recommended depth.

    The site index is worth a look. Has just about everything relating to landscaping, drainage, paving etc
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2020
     
    Ideally go see the gravel before buying.
    • CommentAuthormitchino
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2020
     
    • CommentAuthorbxman
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2020
     
    How did the stuff that was there before get contaminated ? and can you stop the same thing happening again
    • CommentAuthormitchino
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2020
     
    It got contaminated because the area is surrounded by beech, pine and larch trees. Leaves and needles drop, rot down and seeds germinate. Also it's a windy spot so lots of dandelion and other seeds blow in etc etc. It's taken 20 years to get to the stage where it's more mud and weeds than gravel, but it's now time to refurbish. Stopping it happening again is probably not possible, but in recent years I've used a leaf blower to get most of the fallen leaves off which helps.I could fell a lot of trees but that's not a green option, nor do I use weedkiller. If I refurbish now I'll be near dead by the time it needs done again. I'd love to tarmac it, but do not have the money.
    • CommentAuthorGreenPaddy
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2020
     
    just a thought. What about using the plastic rigid egg crate stuff?

    Scrape back the worst of the gravel and mulch, (maybe even back to the red ash). Lay the egg crate, and fill with fresh gravel. Could even fill with top soil, and grow grass through it.

    Much easier to leaf blow in the future.

    Never personally used it (used grasscrete for my sins, though it was for a spillway so needed to be robust)
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2020
     
    Posted By: GreenPaddyjust a thought. What about using the plastic rigid egg crate stuff?

    We have it and I'm not sure I'd choose it again. It seems to add a lot of cost to little benefit. The first lot we got broke up within a couple of years and we've had to replace it all. The second lot is a lot stronger so I'm hopeful it will last longer, but the main problem was a poor choice of sub-base material. I should have rejected it at the time but I'm no expert so I accepted the contractor's word and paid the penalty. So replacing that was the main goal. The reason we went for it is because it meets accessibility regs, which unbound gravel doesn't. In reality I don't see much difference with our neighbours unbound gravel drive, over dubious sub-base.

    I'm not sure why it would make any difference to a leaf blower?
    • CommentAuthorGreenPaddy
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2020
     
    Useful feedback on how important getting the sub base right is .

    Leaf blowing - with the gravel being more retained than a loose format, the blower won't carry the gravel so much, and also there won't be "washing" of the gravel as car wheels turn sharply, churning gravel with leaf/branch bits.

    If a more organic mix is tamped in, and grass allowed to grow, then tight mowing or strimming followed by leaf blowing could work well. Mowing grass, might be preferable to leaf blowing gravel?
    • CommentAuthormitchino
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2020
     
    not sure about egg crates - the car park is for my studio building, which I frequently rent out to production companies that use lighting companies that turn up in 7.5 ton trucks

    not sure the egg crates would survive and they add a lot of cost
  3.  
    We have used the gravel grids as a base to our potting shed and for a pathway. I really like them and will be using them for our driveway. I've seen them used on council car parks and coach parks and they seemed to cope - tho no doubt they use the heavier duty ones that are available.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2020
     
    Posted By: mitchinonot sure the egg crates would survive and they add a lot of cost

    You can get varieties that will survive. The design load for a domestic drive is basically an ambulance or a fire engine, which are usually more than 7.5 tons. The biggest wear occurs when people turn their wheels without moving the car. All too easy these days with power steering and very bad both for the tyres and the road surface. But of course the stronger ones are even more expensive. We got our second lot from Jewson.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2020 edited
     
    Posted By: ArtiglioJcb type machine , with 4 in 1 bucket and good operator.
    I'd second that, but it does depend on size of the drive.

    On the plastic grids, it does depend if you are turning on them. It is the sideways pressure that breaks them. Also, overfill; too often they are just filled to the top so the tops of the grids become exposed. True for soil or gravel.
    • CommentAuthormitchino
    • CommentTime2 days ago
     
    So I'm stripping the gravel car park next week, and was thinking about putting in some lengths of perforated pipe for added drainage. Will the bendy stuff be ok or do I need rigid?
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTime1 day ago
     
    It depends on the depth and the fall you have. I would want the top of the pipe to be at least 200mm below the surface and a minimum fall of 1.5%. Rigid is better than flexi but it all comes down to whether the difference in performance is worth the extra cost. If the amount is small then go rigid but once you are looking at 50m and above flexi is usually the better all round option.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime1 day ago
     
    Where does it drain to? And can you not arrange that the sub-base just drains directly to wherever that is? Sub-base material is permeable (or should be).
    • CommentAuthormitchino
    • CommentTime1 day ago
     
    It's just going to drain across the area and then poke out of a slope where it will dribble down into a stream. I'll try and grade the sub base to have a slight slope in the same direction.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime1 day ago
     
    As long as the outlet is low enough that the sub-base can drain through it, I don't think it matters what the bottom contour is. It doesn't matter if part of the bottom of the sub-base has pools of water in it, I don't think. I hope not, because the hardcore under my house floods every winter (all approved by the building inspector). As long as it's just the hardcore that is wet I don't care.
  4.  
    Unless I missed something above......How big is the area under discussion?
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTime23 hours ago
     
    Posted By: mitchinoIt's just going to drain across the area and then poke out of a slope where it will dribble down into a stream. I'll try and grade the sub base to have a slight slope in the same direction.


    Make sure that it is okay to 'dribble down into a stream' first. I would have thought it would need to go through a filtration basin first (SUDS)

    Might be wrong though
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime22 hours ago
     
    Posted By: JontiMake sure that it is okay to 'dribble down into a stream' first. I would have thought it would need to go through a filtration basin first (SUDS)

    Good point, but I suppose it depends on what the existing arrangements are.
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