OK, so no names, no pack drill!

I recently attended one of our many surveys to supply and potentially for one of our approved contractors, to fit a permeable grass filled access route, leading to a grass filled car-park to a sports centre. I have to say that I even I was taken aback at the poor quality of the surfacing as existing and even more surprised that this was supposed to be reinforced plastic paving, on the surface that; to the lay-person would be similar to our World leading Ecogrid:Ecoraster.


When you stand back, it looks poor but not terrible, but look closer.


Smashed grids literally ripped up showing there was a lack of locking system to the surface


Areas without grids, showing that the product was far too thin and too shallow


Very un-safe surfacing now with plenty of trip hazards.

So this prompted the question as to fault. I was told that the surface was about twelve years old but “started tearing up months after it was laid”

1. The seller is at fault for publishing misleading information and or mis-information about the capabilities of the product offered?

2. The client/council/ is at fault for not insisting on a certain level of quality and a lack of research or consultation?

3. The architect is at fault because he didn’t research the quality of the product properly?

4. The tender document writer is at fault because the ubiquitous phrase …..such and such product ‘or similar’ was put in?

5. The main contractor is at fault because they did not ensure the quality of materials?

6. The sub-contractor is at fault because they go for the cheapest of this type of product, regardless of quality?

7. All are at fault because of a degree of apathy pre, during and after the installation, boxed ticked…moving on?


Now WE know that these type of products are usually imported from Asia.

WE know that they have no locking system.

WE know that they are way too thin to be fit for all but the lightest of duty.

But do the clients know this? They can only rely on the information given by the seller. Until such time that the UK landscape supply industry takes ownership for the supply of poor quality materials and the supplier is held ultimately liable for the product’s failure if it has been fitted as per instructions, then we will continue to see the failure of these types of installations and that does no-one any good. We lose as we know our Ecogrid product is the best and we can stand by our product’s longevity, quality and loading capacities; but we are unwillingly joined to ‘a plastic grid failure’. The client loses because they don’t get what they thought they were paying for. The contractor loses because they are paired with a poor quality installation even if they were not at fault. In fact:

The only people who win are the sellers who get they money and get away without blame….usually.

I would love to hear thoughts on this and any experience for similar scenarios in different sectors perhaps.


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