Grassy pavers are interlocking grids that can be planted with turf grass to create a lawn surface that can withstand pedestrian and automobile traffic. The grid structure of the pavers typically is made of plastic or concrete and is a honeycomb-shaped lattice. The lattice design creates a rigid surface that can support weight without compacting the soil and the roots of the grass. Grassy pavers typically are used for parking lots, driveways, pedestrian paths, golf cart paths, soccer fields and other recreational surfaces.
Plastic paver grids are made from recycled post-consumer waste high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic and are lighter in weight than concrete paver grids. Plastic grids are ideal for light- to medium-traffic areas, and concrete grids are ideal for higher traffic areas. Both types are relatively easy to install, and after being locked into place, they are filled with a mixture of topsoil, sand and gravel. After the grass has grown in and is fully established, concrete pavers typically show more of the underlying grid structure than the grids made of plastic.
The main disadvantage of grassy pavers is that they are more expensive than regular lawn, concrete or asphalt surfaces. The cost of the grids varies by brand and also depends on the design requirements of the project. Grassy pavers also need to be maintained just like a regular lawn, including watering, fertilizing and mowing. Lattice pavers can also be filled with a sand-and-gravel mixture and left unplanted, if a lawn is not desired.
The main advantage of grassy pavers is that they form a permeable surface that stabilizes the soil and allows rain to infiltrate through into the ground. They can be incorporated into a landscape design as a form of stormwater management, providing for drainage and filtration while reducing runoff. Allowing rainfall to percolate into the groundwater reduces the burden on other drainage and water management systems. By stabilizing the soil, grassy pavers control erosion, and they can be installed on slopes or in other areas where erosion is a concern.
Driveable grass is an environmentally friendly option for landscape design. In terms of water management, permeable pavers offer significant advantages compared to impermeable concrete and asphalt surfaces. Grassy pavers are eligible for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) points in the United States Green Building Council rating system. The City of Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canada used grassy pavers in the design of its Sustainable Streets projects.