A challenging installation with a great end result!Thursday, 28th March 2019 10:02 am
We were delighted to be awarded the tender to install the Quayside Recreation Ground’s new play area. This project was made possible thanks to investment from Adur & Worthing DC’s funding programme and following an in-depth consultation with the local community. We worked closely with the council to ensure the design and specifications were exactly as agreed and the project would be delivered on time.
As far as playground projects go, this one was challenging to say the least, but as we’d installed equipment in similar circumstances and situations previously we were technically and logistically confident we could deliver a great end result! The area on which the playground sits was created from a reclaimed landfill site. Former landfill sites cannot be dug into as they are structurally unsound and the environmental impact could be devastating. Adur DC, therefore, concrete capped the whole area with a large 250mm thick structural concrete slab.
This meant that the steel ground fixings of all the chosen equipment needed to be surface fixed as opposed to the general way of being concreted into deep holes in the ground. Added to this, we could only drill down to a 150mm depth when fixing the metal plate footings to the concrete to avoid weakening (and possibly even cracking) of the concrete slab.
Our playground design team were then challenged even further when it was revealed that the slab had 50mm diameter drainage holes across it, spaced 1m apart. Each surface fixed plate had to be more than 200mm away from each drainage hole. The safe spacing and impact areas of our playground equipment are carefully calculated, so this certainly increased the maths!
The images below of the Little Hamlets Plus Brill Plus unit shows how many separate fixings there are on this type of unit. The Gravity Bowl behind it was a little more straightforward!
Through regular, maintained communication we were able to discuss issues, overcome problems and swiftly agree on solutions. To some extent, the project journey was a learning curve for everyone involved. It was a shared and joint project. Any necessary tweaks were made along the way, following discussion and joint decision making.
Then it was discovered that the site was not completely level and the concrete slab was actually on a fall. The equipment needed to be installed and fixed onto a flat level so we resolved this problem by using steel ‘packers’ (or plates) that sit under the surface fixing plate to level the area up. Another hurdle overcome!
The entire area was then laid with wet pour safety surfacing at differing depths to ensure it had sufficient level of impact absorbency according to the equipment it was beneath.
We were very proud to be able to have injected new life, excitement, colour and challenge into Quayside Recreation Ground that the whole community can now enjoy and feel part of. The new play area has equipment that caters for a wide age range of children (from toddlers right through to young teens!)as well as for a broad range of abilities. The steel perimeter fence around the play area allows families to enjoy a dog-free area that’s dedicated to play and fun, away from other park users. The benches to give visitors the opportunity to relax, socialise and enjoy the space together.
Although it wasn’t plain sailing all the way through, the successful completion of this project has provided us with further invaluable experience, skills and knowledge needed to install playground equipment onto sensitive sites such as landfill ones. Throughout the project we provided good solutions and maintained communication with our client; working together to create a positive outcome.
Click here if you would like to meet with your local Playdale Area Manager to discuss YOUR playground project.