The Concrete Manufacturers Association (CMA) has introduced a new paving manual – A Step-by-Step Guide to Perfect Paving – to support skills development and boost employment opportunities in this field.
The manual has been developed primarily to be used by people who are unemployed and want to learn how to lay concrete block paving as a useful income-producing skill. However, it is sufficiently informative and technical to be of use as refresher material or a ‘How To’ reference for established contractors, big and small. The CMA is also offering the manual to training and technical institutions to be incorporated into construction-related course material.
Essentially a visual guide, with hand-drawn illustrations and captions, it covers all aspects of concrete block paving, starting with the ordering of materials, tool selection – including appropriate safety equipment – and site preparation. Subsequent sections cover the laying of edge restraints or kerbs, placement of bedding-sand, laying and compacting the paving blocks and the use of jointing sand. Maintenance is also covered in the final section.
The manual was edited by former CMA director and independent paving consultant, John Cairns, and the illustrations are by Anne Jonker-Colley.
CMA president, Taco Voogt, says that even the complete novice will be able to lay concrete pavers by studying the manual. “However, if anyone is unsure of any aspect and needs further information, they can contact the CMA for a more detailed explanation,” he adds.
Voogt also points to another aim of the manual which is to reduce the number of failures in the concrete block paving industry, “of which there are far too many,” he says. “Most paving failures result from insufficient or badly designed drainage and inadequate earthworks, and the manual addresses these aspects in detail.
“There are three important elements in the drainage of conventionally paved surfaces: the correct falls (slopes), the surface drainage and the sub-surface drainage. Any water which seeps into the bedding layer must be properly drained. If it is not, the whole structure is destabilised.”
The manual is available from the CMA at R20.00 per copy. It is also being distributed by manufacturers of concrete block paving that are members of the CMA.