For more than 20 years, the Belgard name has been synonymous with stunning, durable pavers and retaining walls that professional landscapers and designers can trust. Now, Belgard has partnered with Lowe’s® Home Improvement stores to make beautiful outdoor living even more accessible to homeowners by bringing these professional grade products to over 1,100 locations nationwide with a new do-it-yourself collection sold exclusively at Lowe’s.
The new product line includes three featured paver systems and a wall system that are all a reflection of the premium Belgard offerings that have historically only been available to contractors and dealers.
The above featured lines will be in-stock items available nationwide*. In addition to these featured product lines, there will also be a variety of special-order Belgard pavers and wall products available online for in-store pickup. Each of the featured and special-order product lines come in multiple color options that will vary by location due to localized manufacturing, which utilizes local aggregates.
As one of the final qualifications for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, a scout must organize and complete a community service project. For his project recipient, Timothy Bedford of Troop 996 in Virginia Beach chose to help the Landing Zone Grace Warriors Retreat (LZ-Grace) build a relaxation area for special operations forces veterans returning from deployment.
“I chose the project because our family has a great appreciation for military personnel,” said Bedford, whose father is a retired Navy senior chief. “We are aware of the effects of wartime deployments on service members and their families. I wanted a project that would help those who serve our nation and sacrifice to protect us.”
With Cambridge Cobble pavers donated by Belgard and local dealer Lancaster Farms, Timothy organized over 35 volunteers to build a fire pit and patio area as a relaxing gathering spot where veterans can help each other decompress from the tensions of deployment and transition back to life at home.
The dream for the LZ-Grace retreat center was originally conceived by 32-year veteran Navy SEAL, Steve Bukowski, who himself had trouble transitioning from each deployment. But before Bukowski could achieve his dream, he died of a massive heart attack only six months after his retirement.
A little over four years later, Bukowki’s widow, Lynette, and the Bukowski family have now brought this dream to life by converting a rundown horse farm into LZ-Grace where special operations forces veterans will benefit from peer mentoring, recreation-based therapy, life skills instruction, and post-transition planning.
“Mrs. Bukowski shared her late husband’s vision of a place where service members could rest, heal, and reconnect,” Bedford said. “She told me recovery happens when people can talk over a meal or sitting around a fire. As a scout, I have always enjoyed campfires. I would have done whatever project she needed most, but my heart was to build the fire pit.”
Although, the retreat center is not scheduled to open until late summer or fall of this year, the Warrior Fire Pit, as it has been named, is already well used by the numerous volunteers working daily to renovate the property, many of whom are retired or former combat special operations forces, local firefighters or police officers, or SWAT team members.
“I often find many of the guys volunteering out here sitting around the fire talking after a full day of hard, dirty labor,” said Lynette Bukowski, LZ-Grace founder. “The comradery which naturally takes place around an outdoor fire opens a space for healing of hearts and minds and spirits in many. It’s easy to talk and tell stories around a fire. It’s also easy to sit quietly and listen and reflect.”
For the last 14 years, Sunset Magazine has spearheaded the construction of an annual “Idea House.” This year’s project, dubbed the “Smart Homes” is a duo of townhouses that premiered this month in Palo Alto, Calif., and incorporated a variety of integrated high-tech, eco-friendly, and efficient building practices, including over 2,800 square feet of Belgard® Hardscapes permeable Catalina™ pavers, which were used to create a pedestrian deck between the townhomes over the parking area.
“Belgard Catalina pavers, in addition to being a beautiful product, offer the eco-advantages of permeability, reducing run-off and pollution,” said Kathi McCalligan, Home Programs Director, Sunset Magazine.
The permeable paver system filters rainwater through the joints and an underlying bed of gradient gravel and drains into a collection area, keeping the walkway, parking area below, and surrounding streets free from excessive runoff and performing a vital stormwater management function for the entire mixed-use development where the townhomes are located.
“Stormwater management is one reason Belgard permeable pavers contribute towards a number of LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credits,” says Gene Weddle, LEED Green Associate, Belgard Hardscapes. “Many municipal projects mandate LEED point objectives, and more and more private sector projects pursue LEED credits as evidence of environmental stewardship. Depending on project needs, the filtered water can also be harvested for gray-water applications.”
Weddle ads that in addition to stormwater management, the specific color of paver selected—Catalina Montecito Blend—offers the additional benefit of reducing the “heat island” effect. “In urban areas, replacing the ground cover with buildings and pavement often results in higher overall temperatures, which in turn places higher demands on energy. Catalina Montecito offers more reflectivity than darker pavements, leading to cooler surrounding temperatures, and allowing lower wattage for area lighting, reducing both energy use and long-term cost.”
The Catalina pavers also offer ADA compliance for the pedestrian walkway because of the smooth paver-to-paver transitions.
This year, the city of Louisville, KY played host to the best and brightest in the Outdoor Landscaping arena. As a major exhibitor at the HNA (Hardscapes of North America) expo at the end of October, Belgard® stole the show with their displays and events. Using their most popular products, the versatility of Belgard’s pavers and walls made for a spectacular display area where visitors couldn’t help but linger and feel as if they were in a towne square. The area even included Oldcastle’s Glen Gerybrick veneer product to create the appearance of real “buildings.”
Using pavers from the Mega Lafitt®, Lafitt and Domino pavers line, plus the new product, Anglia Edgertm, walkways meandered in the Belgard booth. With Belgard’s wall pavers, fountains created a relaxing ambiance and landscape met with colored lights, all within the expo center. Speakers were integrated throughout so that visitors were attracted from across the facility. Visitors could touch and sample the Elements Outdoor Living products which Belgard offers to create your ideal outdoor room.
Over the three days, many thousands of industry professionals visited the Belgard booth. Thursday the Belgard “Block Party” was the hit. It featured a day of food, live music and festivities. The event was such a showstopper, even the country group Stealing Angels stopped by.
Friday was an even more exciting day as the Belgard Street Carnival attracted visitors and more than 500 people competed for the chance to be Carnival Champion. See videos (below) with Vice President of Belgard Marketing, Ken O’Neill on 2012 trends and carving a space.
On Saturday, the “Block Party Tailgate Extravaganza” enticed visitors to experience Belgard living as they could relax in Belgard’s outdoor living space and view ESPN’s College Game Day on the big screen and compete in the bean bag toss competitive games.
Outside, Belgard’s presence was evidenced by the wafting smells of pizza cooked non-stop (over 200!) in our Chicago Brick ovens. Belgard’s Elements Collection of fireplaces, columns and firepits were on display. This area had demonstrations and discussion on some of our latest product innovations from our R&D facility.
This event was made possible from the hard work of the following companies:
Today, we are encouraged to be green, use green, and buy green. People who are familiar with the “go green” theme strive to help save the environment. Belgard®, with their line of Environmental Pavers, is no different.
But how about, “Go Blue!” with regards to a watershed. A watershed, or drainage basin, is an area of water, such as a pond, lake, stream, or another body of water that collects runoff from surrounding areas. Rainwater landing on the non-absorbing surfaces, such as parking lots, walkways and roofs eventually journeys as runoff to a larger holding area. Unfortunately, this runoff collects surface debris and chemicals, such as car fluids, fertilizers, animal waste, and debris, carrying it into our waters.
A watershed may be as large as the Mississippi River spanning 33 states or more communal like Diamond Lake of Minneapolis. The 2010 Blue Community Makeover Program, known as “Go Blue!”, was developed by residents to improve water quality when their Diamond Lake received the grade “F” because of pollutants and heavy sedimentation in the river from stormwater runoff.
“My theory on life is that you should leave the world a little better than you came into it,” said a resident of Lake Diamond Community. “This is one way I can help make the earth a little greener and a little happier,” she commented next to her new, serene rainwater-fed pond and gutter rain barrels.
Many residents became very interested and involved in this program by installing rain gardens and water recycling systems, which help to reduce direct stormwater runoff. Belgard was called upon to take up the gauntlet. Their Environmental Collection of permeable pavers played a huge role in the fight to improve the situation by reducing water runoff.
With the installation of permeable pavers, pollution from rainwater runoff can be reduced by as much as 100%. Permeable pavers can be installed in any landscape, from a home patio to community streets. Belgard is pleased to offer three types: Subterra Stone, Eco Dublin and Aqua Roc.
Subterra® Stone brings in a more natural chiseled look to your outdoor areas. This paver comes in two different patterns. The modular shapes allow easy installment. The newest addition, Eco Dublin™combines cut stone with contemporary material, to provide a classic look. Aqua Roc™is the strongest out of the permeable pavers. This paver can withstand heavy vehicular traffic, yet subtle enough for a small project. Turfstone, with its high tech design, not only allows water to be absorbed naturally into the soil, but it also prevents erosion. Plus, greenery can grow through it, disguising it, thus working in harmony with nature.
The reason these pavers are so environmentally friendly is their installation. Gaps between pavers, which are filled with sand, gravel or filler, allow water to seep through and into the soil below. Through this process, may contaminants are removed from the water that will eventually make its way to a watershed.
With any one of these permeable pavers, not only will you be able to enjoy your new outdoor area, but you’ll also be environment-friendly! Remember, you can always count on a Belgard Contractor when it comes to installing these pavers. Also, local dealers can help and provide color samples for your outdoor living area. Belgard offers its lifetime guaranty with all products.
Nothing is more precious to life than clean water. Because of this, it makes sense to do all we can to instill, in our people (and most especially our youth) an understanding of water and watersheds, and how the activities of man affect them. Make a difference!
When it comes to your home, you want to achieve the best outcome for your investment. In today’s economy, it’s not only prices consumers are concerned about. Getting the best products, with a lifetime guaranty, are a must. Belgard® knows homeowners want the “biggest” bang for their buck – and we deliver!
Belgard offers “Mega” outdoor pavers: a larger scaled paver option. Belgard pavers are the best choice for your outdoor hardscape project: they look great, come in a variety of size and color options, and have a lifetime warranty.
If you have ever installed natural stone, it can be nerve-wracking. If it’s not done right, there can be an imbalance of the overall design. If you don’t pick your stones individually, their varying thicknesses can potentially mean dangerous dips or humps. Having evenly spaced joints may require multiple cuts with a wet saw. Last, creating the look requires sample placement, assessment, moving stones, and sometimes repeating the process all over to achieve a random, yet balanced appearance.
With the look of natural flagstone, and available in numerous hues of grey and reds, these concrete pavers are all the same thickness, pre-cut, and developed as interlocking pieces. Using up to twelve different shapes, and a simple pattern chart, you can achieve a natural appearance without the challenge of installation. Your guests will marvel at the beauty Belgard creates.
Our newest addition is already a hit! This 3-piece modular paver, plus a large square, offers various laying patterns to create a natural feel of rectangular, smooth flagstone. The larger size, as opposed to regular it sister, Lafitt Patio Pavers, gives a grander feel. In browns and reds, Mega Lafitt is the easy answer to your next landscape project. Its classic style will create a look to last generations.
Another of the Mega product lines, the Bergerac paver resembles a well-worn, hand-chiseled cobblestone. You can create different patterns using its 3-piece grouping, or add the large square for a different look.
The large paver, over 14” square, can interchange colors to create a checkerboard look. Offered in browns, greys and reds, this cobblestone look will last a lifetime while adding old world charm to your outdoor project. As the others, Belgard’s attention to detail with the texture of this paver, gives your outdoor living space a high-end look, with a down-to-earth price.
For each paver line, their natural appearance is due to Belgard’s advanced research and development department. “Many of our pavers and wall products are created by scanning natural stone with a 3-D scanner and using the dimensional imagery to create molds to produce hardscape products that mimic the look and texture of slate, flagstone, or hand-chiseled rock,” says Len Browning, Hardscape Technical Advisor for Belgard. “But unlike natural stone, pavers can be laid in a pattern that deceptively looks random but installs much more easily.”
If you are looking to achieve a natural, sophisticated look for your outdoor living areas, Belgard is here to help you make your next move. Belgard…Invite Possibility.