Why wood block paving is the next big trend in playground landscaping

Is your next landscaping project for designing a playground? Are you torn on what paving material you should use that is best for kids? The landscape design world is turning towards sustainable materials and architectural solutions. One surprising choice for paving is wood block paving. In our article we discuss wood block paving systems’ advantages and benefits both towards users and the environment. We hope this guide will help you make an informed decision. 

Why use wood block paving instead of concrete?

Wood pavers are little blocks of wood that are used to create driveways, walkways, terraces, and patios. They are very similar to brick pavers, however, wood block paving is a sustainable alternative to brick and concrete paving systems. Wood block pavers have been used for notable architectural projects such as the NVIDIA campus and we see more and more homeowners catching on to the design trends. Wood pavers are becoming popular for their natural beauty and look a great deal more impressive than regular concrete slabs. Another reason is that wood block pavers are permeable compared to concrete and help reduce flooding and heat island effect.  

What is the best wood material for paving projects?

Obviously, you might be wondering just how durable wood is as a paving material. And with good reason. If the wrong type of wood is used, it will result in early decay. Selecting the right type of wood, however, will provide you with a durable surface for at least 20 years. The best type of wood for exterior decking projects is Black Locust wood material. ProFlow Permeable Pavers™ made of Black Locust lumber have rot-resistant and anti-fungal properties without the help of toxic chemicals. No oils, stains, or paint are necessary to maintain its beauty.  

Benefits of wood block pavers for playgrounds

  1. Wood block pavers are soft and cool on the feet

Installing cool wood block paving in playgrounds can be part of an overall strategy to enhance the quality of life benefits by reducing heat stress on the body of kids during hot summer days. The wood block paving system allows air, water, and water vapor into the voids of the pavement. Moisture within the pavement structure evaporates as the surface heats, thus creating a cooling effect. Black Locust Lumber’s ProFlow Permeable Pavers™ is a green building lumber material that is cool and soft on the feet of kids during play.

The wood block paving system reduces heat stress on the body of kids during hot summer days
  1. Wood block paving requires low maintenance

When designing a playground, maintenance costs and needs are a focal point of deciding on materials and designs. Wood block pavers by Permeable Proflow Pavers™ are a 100% natural product that lasts without the use of chemical treatments. They also have minimal maintenance needs. Mostly a good sweeping is enough to keep the wood block paving clean. Due to their modular design, sections can be replaced if necessary which extends the life span of the overall surface.

The modular design allows for the replacement of wood block paving sections if necessary.

  1. Flooding combated with wood block paving

Wood blocks are an effective paving solution for reducing the impact of flooding. Schoolyards, childcare nature labs and playgrounds often face struggles of water staying trapped on the surface after rain and storm. Unabsorbed rain makes it impossible for children to play on the grounds. 

Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School students give tours of their new stormwater schoolyard at the school in the Sunset District on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. (DavÌd RodrÌguez/Special to S.F. Examiner)

When Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School in San Francisco approached us, they had a serious stormwater management issue. After having installed  ProFlow Permeable Pavers™ in the schoolyard, water is now absorbed in the surrounding environment allowing outdoor play.

To sum up…

Wood block paving system installed in playgrounds will allow for a surface that stays cool even during extreme heat. It has low maintenance needs which will save you money and labor. Children will play in an environment that is slip-resistant and generally safe for outdoor play.

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