5121 DB Rijen, Netherlands
Brick roads are beautiful and durable, but we don’t see them too often due to the effort it takes to produce them. What once was a labor-intensive, back-breaking job has now become a snap with this automatic Dutch paver laying machine, called the Tiger-Stone. The device rolls out a beautiful and sustainable hardscape, creating an instant road anywhere it travels. While the process may look magical, the secret lies in a smartly designed gravity-based system.
The machine consists of an angled plain that workers feed with paving stones or bricks. As the electric crawler inches forward along a sand base layer, the bricks are automatically packed together by gravity. A small telescoping forklift feeds the hopper, allowing the Tiger-Stone to lay out an impressive 400 square meters of road day, and the span can be adjusted up to six meters wide.
Brick roads have been around for centuries and they have been revisited lately by the green building community for a number of reasons. Bricks are easy to procure and reuse, cement pavers last a very long time, and they are easy to repair and replace. They tolerate water and freezing without forming cracks, and some newer systems actually absorb rainwater between the pavers and infuse it back into the ground again, reducing storm water runoff and helping improve the effectiveness of aquifers. Not to mention, the roads look pretty great too.