What is gravel turf?

Gravel turf is an ecological and economical technology for surface consolidation, particularly suitable for parking areas. The vegetation base layer of gravel turf consists of recycling materials or natural gravel in combination with a certain allotment of soil and/or compost. The components have to be mixed according to a certain grain size distribution. On this base layer suitable grasses and herbs are planted.

In contrary to the prevailing methods of surface consolidation (asphalt, concrete) gravel turf allows laminar infiltration of precipitation. Consequently gravel turf contributes to passive flood prevention, releases the sewage system and enriches the groundwater. The green appearance of gravel turf is certainly a visual improvement of the otherwise grey cityscape. Furthermore the plant’s evapotranspiration have positive effects on the urban microclimate.


Gravel turf is most suitable for parking areas. It may also be used for emergency access e.g. in parks or to residential buildings and for infrequently used roads.

Brief characteristics

Economical benefits

  • Simple and inexpensive construction (EUR 15 to 25 per m² excl. VAT)
  • No seepage water collection system needed
  • Release of sewage water system

Ecological benefits

  • Species-rich planting with herbs and grasses
  • Habitat for plant, insects and animals
  • Pollutant decomposition by soil organisms
  • Renewal of groundwater

Urban ecological benefits

  • Improvement of microclimate
  • Aesthetic appearance

Constructional properties

  • Materials (natural gravel, recycling materials, compost and soil)
  • Defined grain size distribution
  • Certain composition of materials
  • One or two layer construction – depending on intensity of usage (cars, trucks,...)
  • Load bearing capacity (EV2 ~ 45 MN/m²)
  • Permeability (kf 10-4 to 10-6 m/s)
  • Maximum inclination 5%
  • Evenness (max. 3 cm on 4m slat)