HISTORY OF SEGMENTAL PAVING
Segmental paving is as old as the roads of the Roman Empire. For centuries, compacted soil and an aggregate base formed a lasting foundation for tightly fitted stone units that are still with us today. Production of dimensionally consistent, hand-sized concrete units began in the early 1950's in The Netherlands to replace clay brick streets damaged from World War II. Concrete pavers also spread quickly in Germany during the 1960's.
The early 1970's saw concrete pavers introduced to many other nations, notably the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. North American entrepreneurs, first in Canada and then in the U.S., saw the opportunity for a pavement system made of high-strength, durable concrete units that interlock and spread applied loads through shear transfer.
Unlike asphalt and cast-in-place concrete, concrete pavers eliminate cracking. Repairs to underground services could be made without wasted pavement or damage to the surrounding surface, and no ugly patches.
The North American paver industry grew from 80 million sf (8 million m2) in 1980 to over 755 million sf (75.5 million m2) in 2005. Growth has skyrocketed in other parts of the world as well. Globally, there is now at least one square foot (0.1 m2) produced for every person living on planet earth. During every second of the working day, 1,000 pavers are made throughout the world!
Started in 1993, the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute chartered 66 members from North America and Europe. Today, membership exceeds 900. Company sizes range from regional and national, some family-owned, to vertically integrated, publicly held multinational corporations. Members have a diverse background including extensive experience in construction and concrete products manufacturing, while others have marketing, management, financial or engineering backgrounds. Regardless of company size, the mix of experiences energizes the organization to deliver information to users like you.