In 2018 My Ideal House was an exciting initiative to build a landmark family home in a master-planned community, Crest by Mirvac, in Sydney’s south-west.
Australian House & Garden held a nationwide competition to seek a house design that was sustainable, flexible and future-proof in response to the needs of modern families.
Sydney architect Madeleine Blanchfield was selected as the winner with her modular solution that squeezes three generous bedrooms, a large double-car garage and more into a floor plan of just 230 square metres.
My Ideal House is packed with innovative features – and one of the most impressive had to be its grass driveway.
So how is a lawn driveway even possible? It’s all down to the durable Grass-Cel turf pavers that are laid over the soil base and under the grass.
“Grass-Cel pavers are made up of hexagonal cells that can be locked together to create a mat of just about any size,” says Vicki Weeks, director of Grass-Cel. “The walls of each cell are incredibly strong; they’re capable of withstanding a weight of 260 tonnes per square metre, which is far more than your average car or truck weighs.”
The pavers allow air, water and nutrients to move from the surface to the sub-soil making them an excellent porous paving system. The grass roots grow down through the holes into the sub-soil to bind and hold the turf paving blocks permanently in place.
“You won’t get tyre indentations in your lawn and while you do have to water your driveway like you would any patch of grass, it generally recovers pretty well after a period of neglect or having a vehicle parked there too long. The pavers allow for good drainage and deep roots, and that usually results in healthy grass.”
Perhaps the most impressive environmental benefit of using the Grass-Cel system is the product itself: every paver is made from recycled council wheelie bins.
“They’re constructed from HDPE plastic, which doesn’t rot, break or biodegrade,” says Weeks. “HDPE plastic will sit in landfill forever, so we’re pleased to be able to repurpose it in an environmentally affective way.” The lawn driveway has been planted with hardy TufTuf grass from Lawn Solutions Australia.
Grass-Cel, Gravel-Cel and Pebble-Cel is the product that is used for three separate applications: grassed areas, pebble retention areas, roof lawn and garden areas. It is GECA Certified (Good Environmental Choice Australia) supporting Government Sustainability Programs by Manufacturing in Australia (NSW) using your recycled council wheelie bins.
My Ideal Home was completed on June 4, 2018.