Driveway Paving: Permeable Block Paving - What is it?

Dec 1, 2023

Concrete block permeable paving is a sustainable drainage system which is an alternative to traditional concrete block paving or tarmac and poured concrete driveways which complies with current Government Guidance.

Permeable Pavements are designed in a way that allows water to pass through the surface of the pavement and infiltrates back into the ground below, reducing the risk of surface water flooding and minimises the strain on traditional drainage systems. This innovative paving solution is gaining popularity with both homeowners and commercial applications throughout the UK due to its numerous benefits to the environment.

How does Permeable Concrete Block Paving work?

Standard, non-permeable, block paving is constructed so that surface water run-off is conveyed across its surface and is directed towards traditional drainage systems, this however can compound issues such as flash flooding.

Brett’s Concrete Block Permeable Paving has a unique interlock which performs both structurally and hydraulically. The nibs on the blocks create a 6mm joint which are filled with a specifically graded crushed rock chipping (2-6.3mm Aggregate) which allows water to pass through it whilst retaining structural integrity.

Cross section of a permeable block paved driveway

When it rains, the surface water then infiltrates through the 6mm joints into the underlying layers of the driveway or pavement. From there it can then either infiltrate back into the subgrade below, if the ground conditions are conducive to do so or can be attenuated and then conveyed into either another form of SuDS or into a drain.

What are the advantages of Permeable Concrete Block Paving?

1. Surface water management:

Permeable pavements manage surface water run-off and by their nature can absorb a 5mm rainfall event which helps to reduce the volume of water which will enter the drainage system.

Brett omega flow cross section image

2. Improved water quality:

Pollutants and fines are captured by the jointing material between the blocks whilst allowing water to pass through. Permeable pavements provide two levels of water treatment which helps to improve the quality of water which either infiltrates back into the subgrade or into the drainage system.

3. Enhanced aesthetics:

Permeable concrete block paving offers a wide range of design options compared with tarmac or poured concrete alternatives, allowing for creative and visually appealing patterns. It can be used to create beautiful driveways, walkways, and patios.

4. Durability:

Concrete block permeable pavements can be used in many applications from footpaths and driveways to heavy duty applications for Heavy Goods Vehicles. The unique interlock provided by the Brett range of permeable pavements ensures long term structural integrity as well as the hydraulic performance of the joints.

Why should I use permeable block paving?

From 1st October 2008, the Government introduced changes to the 'General Permitted Development Order' which would mean a hard-surfacing project of more than 5 square metres for domestic front gardens would only be a permitted development where the surface in question is rendered as permeable.

With a varied range of styles, colours and sizes available in permeable block paving, there will be a solution to suit most tastes, and therefore you can be more eco-friendly whilst not having to sacrifice on looks.

Brett Omega Flow block paving in Charcoal laid on permeable aggregate


Permeable concrete block paving is a sustainable and effective solution for managing surface water runoff and improving water quality. Its ability to allow water to infiltrate the ground reduces the risk of flooding and minimizes strain on drainage systems. With its durability and aesthetic appeal, permeable paving is an excellent choice for residential and commercial applications. Consider using permeable concrete block paving for your next paving project and contribute to a greener and more sustainable environment.

Check out our range of concrete permeable block paving here: 


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