One of my responsibilities at barkman is acting as a participating member of the CSA committee for the standard for pavers and slabs. For my first couple of years, it seemed as if the committee was essentially asleep. Recently, the committee has woken up and has been looking at paver standards to see if any updates are required. Interestingly enough, there are several items that are being proposed, will be worked on, and perhaps voted on at a meeting in the last week in April.
These items need some work before they’re ready to be voted on and so the work effort has been delegated to the committee members. As luck would have it, I got the hot potato issue. Most of the items on for review are not very controversial and will most likely pass easily when voted on, except my issue.
My contribution is trying to address a growing trend in the hardscapes industry and that is essentially that paver sizes are getting larger. In fact, based on the present definition of the standard, many products that manufacturers sell as pavers fit the strict definition of a slab and some paver products don’t fit either definition. In a sense, these products are orphans when it comes to the standards.
The reason this is a big issue in the hardscapes world is that pavers and slabs function very differently in their various applications. In most cases, slabs will not withstand the kinds of forces that pavers are designed to take, especially in vehicle traffic uses.
What’s the solution and where will the committee go with this issue? I’m not sure, it’s a complicated issue. What I am fairly certain of is that most of these new shapes and sizes are very popular and the market is definitely moving in that direction.