Concrete Pipes

Video makes the case for concrete

The price of the pipes is not the only consideration when costing a drainage installation project, as a video launched by the BPDA explains. Drainage: the compelling case for concrete is a straightforward guide to assessing the whole cost of drainage projects.

Bedding design and infill material are the main variables affecting cost and they differ depending on the types of pipes used in a given project. As the video reveals, the savings go beyond the price of the aggregate itself - less granular bedding means less imported aggregate and less soil taken to landfill, resulting in far fewer lorry movements.

Flexible plastic pipes have very little inherent strength and are usually installed with a full surround of granular material known as Bedding Class S. This transfers the majority of imposed loads, such as those coming from ground-level traffic, into the surrounding bedding.

Pipes made from rigid materials such as precast concrete do not deform, using their inherent strength to withstand loads and stresses. Typically 60-90% of the design strength is built into concrete pipes during manufacture, so bedding classes requiring at least half the quantity of granular material – such as B and N - can be used.

The BPDA drainage video points specifiers to BPDA’s free Concrete Pipe Calculator app, which combines a structural design calculator and material cost calculator and can run whole-cost scenarios for pipes of various materials and dimensions. Visit for more information about the app.

Published on 6th February 2020

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