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Formpave Ltd, a leading UK manufacturer of quality concrete paving products, is believed to be the first block paving manufacturer to be awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation Category. The award is for the Formpave Storm Water Control/Water Harvesting System. The Company is one of only two recipients of the award in the South West Region. Nationally 37 were awarded from a total of 320 applicants.

Over a number of years Formpave has worked closely with Professor Chris Pratt, Dean of the School of the Built Environment at Coventry University, to develop permeable pavements and sub-bases which retain and clean storm water run-off. From this research the company developed their patented Storm Water Source Control System. Recent research and trials at the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) have resulted in further development of the system and new patent applications.

Formpave’s permeable Aquaflow pavers allow water to infiltrate through the surface into a specially designed sub-base which not only attenuates the water before releasing it in a controlled manner but also acts as a simple trickle filter to remove pollutants such as silts, loam and heavy metals. Oils are degraded by naturally occurring microbes and water exiting the system has a neutral Ph. The system complies with requirement H3 of the recently introduced Building Regulations and has Agrément Certification.

Formpave’s system prevents flooding, lowers pollution levels in rivers and can be used to re-charge ground water base flows thus reducing the burden on water treatment works. There are over 350 completed sites and the system is widely used by Local Authorities.

With less than five percent of tap water being used for cooking and drinking purposes, Formpave’s Storm Water Control System offers an environmental, and cost efficient solution for collecting, cleaning and reusing rain which falls onto hard surfaces and roofs. This water can then be used for non-potable purposes such as toilet flushing, garden watering and car washing etc.

Changes in the Building Regulations, which came into force on April 1, now promote the use of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems such as Formpave’s Storm Water Control System.

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