For the last 14 years, Sunset Magazine has spearheaded the construction of an annual “Idea House.” This year’s project, dubbed the “Smart Homes” is a duo of townhouses that premiered this month in Palo Alto, Calif., and incorporated a variety of integrated high-tech, eco-friendly, and efficient building practices, including over 2,800 square feet of Belgard® Hardscapes permeable Catalina™ pavers, which were used to create a pedestrian deck between the townhomes over the parking area.
“Belgard Catalina pavers, in addition to being a beautiful product, offer the eco-advantages of permeability, reducing run-off and pollution,” said Kathi McCalligan, Home Programs Director, Sunset Magazine.
The permeable paver system filters rainwater through the joints and an underlying bed of gradient gravel and drains into a collection area, keeping the walkway, parking area below, and surrounding streets free from excessive runoff and performing a vital storm water management function for the entire mixed-use development where the townhomes are located.
“Storm water management is one reason Belgard permeable pavers contribute towards a number of LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credits,” says Gene Weddle, LEED Green Associate, Belgard Hardscapes. “Many municipal projects mandate LEED point objectives, and more and more private sector projects pursue LEED credits as evidence of environmental stewardship. Depending on project needs, the filtered water can also be harvested for gray-water applications.”
Weddle ads that in addition to storm water management, the specific color of paver selected—Catalina Montecito Blend—offers the additional benefit of reducing the “heat island” effect. “In urban areas, replacing ground cover with buildings and pavement often results in higher overall temperatures, which in turn places higher demands on energy. Catalina Montecito offers more reflectivity than darker pavements, leading to cooler surrounding temperatures, and allowing lower wattage for area lighting, reducing both energy use and long-term cost.”
The Catalina pavers also offer ADA compliance for the pedestrian walkway because of the smooth paver-to-paver transitions.
This year, the city of Louisville, KY played host to the best and brightest in the Outdoor Landscaping arena. As a major exhibitor at the HNA (Hardscapes of North America) expo at the end of October, Belgard® stole the show with their displays and events. Using their most popular products, the versatility of Belgard’s pavers and walls made for a spectacular display area where visitors couldn’t help but linger and feel as if they were in a towne square. The area even included Oldcastle’s Glen Gery brick veneer product to create the appearance of real “buildings.”
Using pavers from the Mega Lafitt®, Lafitt and Domino pavers line, plus the new product, Anglia Edgertm, walkways meandered in the Belgard booth. With Belgard’s wall pavers, fountains created a relaxing ambiance and landscape met with colored lights, all within the expo center. Speakers were integrated throughout so that visitors were attracted from across the facility. Visitors could touch and sample the Elements Outdoor Living products which Belgard offers to create your ideal outdoor room.
Over the three days, many thousands of industry professionals visited the Belgard booth. Thursday the Belgard “Block Party” was the hit. It featured a day of food, live music and festivity. The event was such a showstopper, even the country group Stealing Angels stopped by.
Friday was an even more exciting day as the Belgard Street Carnival attracted visitors and more than 500 people competed for the chance to be Carnival Champion. See videos (below) with Vice President of Belgard Marketing, Ken O’Neill on 2012 trends and carving a space.
On Saturday, the “Block Party Tailgate Extravaganza” enticed visitor to experience Belgard living as they could relax in Belgard’s outdoor living space and view ESPN’s College Game Day on the big screen and compete in bean bag toss competitive games.
Outside, Belgard’s presence was evidenced by the wafting smells of pizza cooked non-stop (over 200!) in our Chicago Brick ovens. Belgard’s Elements Collection of fireplaces, columns and firepits were on display. This area had demonstrations and discussion on some of our latest product innovations from our R&D facility.
This event was made possible from the hard work of the following companies:
- Harmony Outdoor Living/Belgard Elements Collection: Two full outdoor room displays
- Chicago Brick Oven: cooking 200 pizzas
- Outdoor Audio: audio for inside/outside and providing great music
- Night Time Décor: Landscape lighting
- Techniseal: providing shuttles
- Stephen Wood of Picture Perfect Landscaping, Louisville, KY
- Synthetic Grass Warehouse: Indoor park.
See videos on the trends for 2012 as Ken O’Neill, VP of Marketing, speaks about hardscapes trends on the horizon.
Hardscape Trends for 2012
Today, we are encouraged to be green, use green, and buy green. People who are familiar with the “go green” theme strive to help save the environment. Belgard®, with their line of Environmental Pavers is no different.
But how about, “Go Blue!” with regards to a watershed. A watershed, or drainage basin, is an area of water, such as a pond, lake, stream, or other body of water that collects runoff from surrounding areas. Rainwater landing on the non-absorbing surfaces, such as parking lots, walkways and roofs eventually journeys as runoff to a larger holding area. Unfortunately, this runoff collects surface debris and chemicals, such as car fluids, fertilizers, animal waste, and debris, carrying it into our waters.
A watershed may be as large as the Mississippi River spanning 33 states or more communal like Diamond Lake of Minneapolis. The 2010 Blue Community Makeover Program known as “Go Blue!” was developed by residents to improve water quality when their Diamond Lake received the grade “F” because of pollutants and heavy sedimentation in the river from storm water runoff.
“My theory on life is that you should leave the world a little better than you came into it,” said resident of Lake Diamond Community. “This is one way I can help make the earth a little greener and a little happier,” she commented next to her new, serene rainwater-fed pond and gutter rain barrels.
Many residents became very interested and involved in this program by installing rain gardens and water recycling systems, which help to reduce direct storm water runoff. Belgard was called upon to take up the gauntlet. Their Environmental Collection of permeable pavers played a huge role in the fight to improve the situation by reducing water runoff.
With the installation of permeable pavers, pollution from rainwater runoff can be reduced by as much as 100%. Permeable pavers can be installed in any landscape, from a home patio to community streets. Belgard is pleased to offer three types: Subterra Stone, Eco Dublin and Aqua Roc.
Subterra® Stone brings in a more natural chiseled look to your outdoor areas. This paver comes in two different patterns. The modular shapes allows easy installment. The newest addition, Eco Dublin™combines cut stone with contemporary material, to provide a classic look. Aqua Roc™is the strongest out of the permeable pavers. This paver can withstand heavy vehicular traffic, yet subtle enough for a small project. Turfstone, with its high tech design, not only allows water to be absorbed naturally in the soil, but it also prevents erosion. Plus, greenery can grow through it, disguising it, thus working in harmony with nature.
The reason these pavers are so environmentally friendly is their installation. Gaps between pavers, which are filled with sand, gravel or filler, allow water to seep through and into the soil below. Through this process, may contaminants are removed from the water that will eventually make its way to a watershed.
With any one of these permeable pavers, not only will you be able to enjoy your new outdoor area, but you’ll also be environment friendly! Remember, you can always count on a Belgard Contractor when it comes to installing these pavers. Also, local dealers can help and provide color samples for your outdoor living area. Belgard offers its lifetime guaranty with all products.
Nothing is more precious to life than clean water. Because of this, it makes sense to do all we can to instill, in our people (and most especially our youth) an understanding of water and watersheds, and how the activities of man affects them. Make a difference!
Click for more on Go Blue!
For case studies on Belgard Permeable Pavers, visit our site.
Belgard pavers can be used commercially too.
When it comes to your home, you want to achieve the best outcome for your investment. In today’s economy, it’s not only prices consumers are concerned about. Getting the best products, with a lifetime guaranty, are a must. Belgard® knows homeowners want the “biggest” bang from their buck – and we deliver!
Belgard offers “Mega” outdoor pavers: a larger scaled paver option. Belgard pavers are the best choice for your outdoor hardscape project: they look great, come in a variety of size and color options, and have a lifetime warranty.
If you have ever installed natural stone, it can be nerve-wracking. If it’s not done right, there can be an imbalance of the overall design. If you don’t pick your stones individually, their varying thicknesses can potentially mean dangerous dips or humps. Having evenly spaced joints may require multiple cuts with a wet saw. Last, creating the look requires sample placement, assessment, moving stones, and sometimes repeating the process all over to achieve a random, yet balanced appearance.
Enter Mega Arbel®.
With the look of natural flagstone, and available in numerous hues of grey and reds, these concrete pavers are all the same thickness, pre-cut, and developed as interlocking pieces. Using up to twelve different shapes, and a simple pattern chart, you can achieve a natural appearance without the challenge of installation. Your guests will marvel at the beauty Belgard creates.
Open the door for Mega LafittTM.
Our newest addition is already a hit! This 3-piece modular paver, plus a large square, offers various laying patterns to create a natural feel of rectangular, smooth flagstone. The larger size, as opposed to regular it sister, Lafitt Patio Pavers, gives a grander feel. In browns and reds, Mega Lafitt is the easy answer to your next landscape project. Its classic style will create a look to last generations.
Step out on to Mega Bergerac®.
Another of the Mega product lines, the Bergerac paver resembles a well-worn, hand-chiseld cooble stone. You can create different patterns using its 3-piece grouping, or add the large square for a different look.
The large paver, over 14” square, can interchange colors to create a checkerboard look. Offered in browns, greys and reds, this cobble stone look will last a lifetime while adding old world charm to your outdoor project. As the others, Belgard’s attention to detail with the texture of this paver, gives your outdoor living space a high-end look, with a down-to-earth price.
For each paver line, their natural appearance is due to Belgard’s advanced research and development department. “Many of our pavers and wall products are created by scanning natural stone with a 3-D scanner and using the dimensional imagery to create molds to produce hardscape products that mimic the look and texture of slate, flagstone, or hand-chiseled rock,” says Len Browning, Hardscape Technical Advisor for Belgard. “But unlike natural stone, pavers can be laid in a pattern that deceptively looks random but installs much more easily.”
If you are looking to achiece a natural, sophisticated look for your outdoor living areas, Belgard is here to help you make your next move. Belgard…Invite Possibility.
Homeowners dream what their home will look like when its “done.” The finished product is what homeowners strive for, but the hard work of planning and making it happen (usually on a budget) can be the challenge. Belgard® has many offerings of products, from pavers to full kitchen to entire outdoor rooms, can put you on the right path.
This blog will show you the 2011 Coastal Living Magazine Ultimate Beach House in Norfolk, Virginia. Belgard provided pavers for the outdoor areas. This exceptional three-story home overlooking the Chesapeake Bay in East Beach has more than 1,500 square feet of outdoor living space.
Belgard’s Mega-Lafitt™ pavers were chosen to complement the beach feel of the home. Mega-Lafitt pavers offer the natural, flagstone appearance throughout the driveway and patio areas. Produced in numerous colors, these pavers look at home anywhere, whether at the beach or in the mountains.
For this home, pavers in the “Mega” or larger size are from the modular collection, which come in a three or four-piece shapes that layout in a particular, repeating yet natural pattern. With a simple installation, the three-piece pavers were used in the outdoor garden rooms to give it a more intimate feel, while the four-piece modular pavers were used for the driveway allowing for an expansive appearance. Both offer the strength and the durability that Mega-Lafitt pavers provide plus the Belgard lifetime warranty.
Even though the garden rooms were scaled down to a smaller size to fit this house’s limited outdoor patio space, Belgard pavers made this backyard area a “dream” outdoor living area for beach living. Never overlook a side yard – it may become your next favorite spot!
The Belgard driveway of your home will scream “Look at me!” While your neighbors might settle for a poured concrete driveway, you can make your dreams come true with Belgard. Plus, you will sleep better knowing your driveway won’t crack like concrete.
Not only does Belgard provide pavers, but you can also think about other decorations for your outdoor living areas. When the seasons get cooler, you don’t have to come inside. Belgard can enlighten and warm your outdoor space with an ever-popular fire pit or more elaborate outdoor fireplace.
Belgard also offers many different collections that can appease your lifestyle anywhere. Each paver has a lifetime warranty and you can count on your local Belgard contractor to get the job done for you new outdoor area.
For you to get a taste of what it’s like to experience Belgard pavers along the coast, The Coastal Living Ultimate Beach House will be open for tours from now until November 27, and it will cost $10.
Belgard® is excited about their progress on the House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year, opening Monday, July 18th in NYC’s Rockefeller Plaza. The area went from a plain plaza to an indoor/outdoor chef-inspired entertaining space. Chef Tyler Florence has made the design in such a way that you can’t help but want to linger, smell the cooking and enjoy friends. They say the most popular place when entertaining is in the kitchen – and this set-up has both indoor and outdoor ones!
The outdoor space is designed around Belgard’s Bristol Elements Collection, including a U-shaped kitchen with a Chicago brick oven and a living area with a fireplace. To keep the design cohesive, the Bristol line’s coordinating kitchen pieces are used as design elements for the counters and cooking spaces. Medium Rare grills and accessories are integrated with this kitchen and come standard with the Elements line.
For the covered outdoor living room, the Element’s Bristol line outlines the living space using planters, columns and walls. In this space, seating will be abundant and the smells of Chef Florence’s cooking waft through the air. Visitors can relax and sip a glass of wine alfresco. Adding an outdoor space to your home is like adding on a new room.
The senses will have so much to take in, but not to be overlooked is the transformation of the grey road and sidewalk from drab to fab! The look now includes lively colors of the natural collection’s popular Mega Lafitt with its look of cut flagstone yet with the strength and long-term durability of a paver. Natural looking Mega-Arbel is used on the patio entrance and as accents, while Urbana pavers, also part of the natural collection, are used as trim throughout the project.
Below are some pictures of the building process. Using Belgard products makes installation a breeze! The Element’s items arrive in pre-made components, so they are set into place. All Belgard pavers are designed with the simplicity of installation in mind.
Can installing pavers versus concrete make a different in the look of your yard? This project gives a resounding “YES!”
At Sunset headquarters in Menlo Park, CA, the aging and cracked concrete was a deterrent to the beauty of the gardens and rolling grassy areas. It is common for concrete to expand and contract in areas with varying climates. This causes unsightly and dangerous cracks, which with the addition of rainwater, or even water from sprinklers, will increase over time.
To create a more inviting and visually appealing landscape, “Belgard’s Cambridge Cobble pavers were selected to pave the garden walkways. More than 10,000 square feet of asphalt walkways were replaced in the Autumn Blend color. This color provides a rich accent to the lush green garden,” states Sarah Smith of Sunset Magazine.
“Sunset Magazine is all about showcasing the best of the region’s unique lifestyle, so much of which is related to the outdoors. Their gardens were intended to be an extension of that mission, but the asphalt walkways were detracting from the beauty,” says Ken O’Neill, Vice President of Belgard Hardscapes. “Cambridge Cobble offers a tailored look that embodies their corporate image.”
The high-traffic capacity of Cambridge Cobble was put to the test earlier this month when the magazine hosted its annual Celebration Weekend. Over 18,000 readers and travellers converged on the grounds for product demonstrations, food exhibits, gardening tips, artisan exhibits, and what the magazine called its “glam camping” exhibit showcasing ways of roughing it with style.
Creating a New Walkway
For the homeowner, replacing a walkway, no matter the size, requires knowledge and skill. Although many will take it on as a DIY project, others leave it to the pros. Belgard has contractors throughout the US trained in installation (click here to find one near you). The Belgard website also offers a “Visualizer” tool which allows you to upload a photo of your home and add products and colors to “visualize” various outcomes.
If you are looking to replace your dirt, concrete or asphalt walkway or patio, Belgard’s pavers are today’s answer.
- Paving stones are several times stronger than concrete.
- Paths and patios can be installed in any weather.
- Concrete is hard and “brittle” and thus prone to cracking and cannot be repaired without leaving “scar” marks.
- Permeable pavers allow rainwater to return to the soil, eliminating runoff.
- Paving Stones are set in a friction base sand mixture, thus they do not move around at all, but remain flexible. This flexibility allows cold and hot weather expansion and contraction.
- Paving stones are even earthquake resistant.
- Paving stones can be easily replaced should the need ever arise.
- Most importantly paving stones add beauty and aesthetics to your environment and value to your home.
Picking your product can be fun and here are a few tips to keep in mind. Color. Ask your dealer what colors are available in your area. You will want to consider your home’s color and landscaping elements. Shape. Depending on the product, Belgard offers squares, rectangular, and irregular/natural stone shapes. Textures and Patterns. Belgard offers numerous options with regards to texture and patterns. You can choose from smooth squares to the look of rough natural stone. Depending on the pattern you choose, the layout created can be a simple running bond, to circular, to multi-patterned.
The choice of Cambridge Cobble for Sunset’s project combines rich, earth tone colors with textured surfaces and creates an authentic “old world” appearance. Consider the patterns available with your product. Sunset’s existing paths weaved around the landscape, so they needed a pattern with a serpentine flow.
Once you have your plan and product, you can start getting your hands dirty.* This project started with extensive demolition. After removal of existing hardscape, you will need to prepare the area by staking out the path or patio. Then get excavating! The depth depends on the level of traffic and the size of the pavers. Compaction of the exposed surface is important – by machine or by hand.
The additional of a base to create a level surface is a must. Use crushed stone or aggregate and compact. Start with a few inches and compact. You can move on to the next layer when you can walk on the surface without leaving footprints. Repeat until you are within the depth of your desired grade. Then add edging restraints, and start laying out the pavers. Cutting pavers will allow for a better fit and a more professional look. Then, enjoy!
* the instructions listed here are generalized. Please consult a contractor or the Belgard.biz site for more installation procedures.
Have you noticed signs about upcoming Home and Garden shows? Then you know Spring is here! Although the Northeast may have had a blistery April Fool’s Day, it is time to till the garden. Belgard has been the feature at many of the country’s largest shows. Below is a sample of the top of the line displays created for homeowners to be inspired. Double click on any photo to enlarge. Don’t forget to visit our website for inspiration.
Virginia Mid-Atlantic Show
Belgard’s Elements outdoor kitchen area was the main showcase. With a variety of Belgard pavers, including Old World and Arbel® Stone, plus Celtik® Wall and BelAir Wall® creating seating, and integrated lighting, you felt as though you were outdoors. You will see how Belgard pavers, plus an Elements Bristol Collection kitchen and fire place, work together. The complete look is fabulous.
Southern Spring Home & Garden Show, Charlotte, NC
The Southern Spring Home and Garden Show featured a stroll through “Belgard Gardens.” Within the Park Expo Center, a true romantic presence was felt. A circular path of Belgard’s Arbel Stone pavers and a seat wall from the double-sided Weston Collection invited you to linger. Lighting installed directly into the walls gave the beautiful landscaping a fairytale feel as well as its functional purpose, to light the path.
Mixing the paver products of Arbel and Lafitt pavers, allows two paths to come together in a carpet-like manner. One leads off through a castle gate towards a Belgard free standing Belair Wall®. Many design tips can be collected from this amazing display.
Southern Ideal Home Show, Greensboro, NC
Belgard’s Mobile Show Room parked outside the Southern Ideal Home Show. Visitors were welcomed by the Elements Bristol Collection and its unlimited possibilities of matching seat walls, cabinets, kitchens, and more.
Inside the show, Belgard Arbel® Stone pavers created a handsome flooring and Weston Wall™ created convenient seating, column and fire pit. Adding one (or more) of these features completes a backyard so the outdoor enjoyment continues throughout the year.
Rochester Home Show
The Rochester Home Show set up a Chicago Brick Oven and Element Bristol Collection full kitchen display with seat walls. The back of the kitchen and brick oven are as handsome as the front. You might consider planting a vegetable or herb garden. Pull off some fresh basil leaves and add to your homemade pizza!
This kitchen features a MediumRare grill, stainless steel cabinets, a cocktail station, bar, sink, and electricity – all part of Belgard’s Elements. The Bristol collection uses a granite counter top, edging of Dublin cobble, and Urbana banding. With Belgard, the attention to detail is impeccable. Using Elements, your outdoor kitchen planning is a snap, and it installs within a day or two.
The area also included an Elements Brighton fireplace with water features and matching seat walls. It coordinated with Arbel® Stone pavers in a circular fashion which delineates the outdoor living space. The dining area features Lafitt pavers and a Weston wall to add seating and separation.
Milwaukee Realtor Show
This show took Belgard’s BelAir Wall™ and created a fabulous outdoor bedroom with built-in lighting! Notice the head and foot boards created from the Arbel® Stone Collection. The outdoor bath tub was a must-see. The look was completed with Belgard’s environmental line of permeable pavers from the Subterra® collection. Permeable pavers allow rainwater to be absorbed by the ground where nature filters the water, instead of becoming runoff.