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No Matter How You Flip-It - Laying the foundation for better driveways and paver installations.

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Oftentimes, you never know where an idea is going to come from and this is really what happened with what we call affectionately No-Matter-How-You-Flip-It. It was really in the shower one day thinking what would happen if we flipped the panels, and we flipped them upside down? How would they be able to work as a load bearing system for pavers and ultimately maybe for stone for driveway and parks, parking lots and such. So again being the type of company that we are we came back to my staff said, “I got an idea. This is what we’re going to try.” So we basically went to the front of our facility, and we set out to prove that this could work.

What we did, we used both panels. We used the UltraBaseSystems Professional panel, which is just a core sample and then we used the UltraBaseSystems Champion panel. Let’s talk about pavers first. We knew that … and we’ve done pavers on top of the panel where we put the fabric down and the cell side down and the pavers on top and it worked really well. I will tell you right now still … Where does that work really well? On a roof. If you’re going to put pavers or porcelain tile on a rooftop and you want to basically be able to build directly on top of this and let water run through, awesome.

Easy Load-Bearing Way to Install Pavers and Driveways

But on the ground what concerned me was that was it going to create enough load-bearing capacity. Now there are other products on the market that are creating a base replacement system for pavers. The drawback on those is that they’re not meant for vehicular traffic. In my way of thinking well that’s what we need. We want to be able to drive a car on it for a driveway or a parking lot. I mean, so we figured out very easily that if we could take this panel and flip it upside down, prepare the ground … Basically in some cases down here in Florida just strip away the sod … up north where you’re dealing with frost heave, might take a little bit more stone but use this panel as the final resting place for the pavers.

What does that do for you? Number one, you grade the area and put a fabric, geo-fabric down, a permeable fabric but when you put this panel down on the ground, you’ve got all this surface resting on the subgrade. That’s an incredible amount of strength for a capacity of a vehicle to drive on. You’re not going to embed this thing down into the subgrade. I mean you got all of this surface area coupled with the stabilization fabric underneath which is … I always describe as like snowshoes for our panels. It keeps the panel sitting on top. This system now of a prepared ground, fabric and a panel and then pavers is an unbelievable way, an easy way to install pavers. Now if you’re going to put a polymeric sand between each paver or just dry sand then you’ll want to put any inexpensive geo-fabric on top to keep the sand from running through.

Now some guys are actually even taking this product and then filling these quadrants with sand because they want even more stability because they’re concerned that some of the thinner pavers … They don’t ever want to step on a corner and see that paver rock. We’re not seeing that with or without. In fact, I don’t really see the advantage of doing it but I have come across a couple customers who want to do that.

But by putting this product down and building on top of pavers you create an area that you can drive on, it’s strong, it’s flat. What’s so great about it is when you talk about what typically you see happening with paver failures where an animal gets underneath and a gopher or something and also you see a paver pop up or you see a root grow under and a particular paver pops up, you’re building this in a large interlocked quadrant. So I’m not going to say that in a severe situation you might see … something could happen where the ground is not what you thought and you could see a little motion of this, but you’re not going to individual pavers pop out of alignment because they can’t because they’re resting on this structural base here. We’re actually doing a large test right now in Canada to see what exactly we have to do in preparation of frost heave, fall frost heave situations, how those panels will react to that, how little stone can we get away with.

So it’s a work in progress. But Mason-Dixon line down where you’re not dealing with frost heave issues, this is a really a no-brainer for installing pavers, very, very easy to do and strong. But we believe it’s going to have the ability to be used anywhere in the world. There might be some modifications to the sub-base but that’s what we’re working on.

Now in that same vein, we said, “Okay, we want to do a stone driveway.” Recently, I went to a major PGA tour event and all the parking lots were gravel. I’m personally building up in Virginia. I bought property and I’ve got a barn. We’re going to surround the barn with gravel. Well, I don’t want to put gravel on the ground. It disappears. I remember being a kid watching my dad every couple of years putting stone into the driveway because it went … it just settled into the ground. Well, what we figured out was that if we took a panel like the Pro panel … It could be done with the Champion panel. I’m just talking about this one is like really a beast. I mean this is strong. You take this panel, prepare the subgrade. Here again, we just cut away the sod, graded it, compacted it, permeable fabric and then turned the Professional panel upside down. Then when we filled this with stone, we were able to create this incredible load bearing scenario.

Load Bearing Capacity of 16,000 Pounds Per Axle

If you watch the video what a lot of guys are blown away by is watch the truck that drives on to just the panels. The panels don’t move. Even with this dump truck dumping three yards of stone. It doesn’t even flex. In fact, when this was tested, it tested out as 16,000 pounds per axle for load capacity without any deformation of the panel or the locking joints. But you take this down and you fill it with stone and what’s really cool about it you create what’s called cellular containment. Not only do you have the ability for the water to drain through every cell, which is what we’ve done to make sure that water can drain through every cell but the stone gets locked into the cell. As you’re compressing stone down it’s going against the side walls and that whole cell becomes even stronger.

Best of all, there’s no place for the stone to go. It can’t fall out. So you basically almost got this situation where you should never really have to do much other than maybe grading the stone every once and a while because you’ve driven away … you maybe spun some tires in a little area but you’re not going to see ruts. You’re not going to see stone disappear.

So this is a … we think a tremendous, tremendous way to create carports, driveways, parking lots, RV pads, any place that you want a permeable load bearing, vehicular load bearing stone area. This is a great, great solution. It came to me in the shower. So there you go. Call our staff and we’ll talk to you more about it. The videos that you’re seeing show how to do it. We have really good documentation on this. But again one of my really favorite things that we’ve done over the last year or so.

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