We have recently been asked by a couple of Primary Schools if we can build play equipment that conforms to British Standards but does not cost a small fortune.
Well in short the answer is…Yes of course we can!
Schools budgets are getting ever tighter and public money needs to go further and further these days. That’s where Arbworx comes in.
As usual we researched the products out there and looked at what could be built for the restricted budget that the schools had. Certain items that cost more than others were slides and features with an increased critical fall height. All these would need safety flooring to compensate for the additional height and so we soon realised that savings could be made if we lowered the construction height to remove the need for the flooring. Other areas of savings could also be made if specialist mouldings and fabricated structures could be avoided. So out with the bright coloured plastic slide and fireman’s pole and in with the timber ramp and climbing bars.
Kids imaginations are amazing things and just because its not a bright flashing structure or its a stainless steel pole does not mean that it isn’t a pirate ship sailing the high seas. At primary school age its all about the imagination and where the kids go with it.
So when we looked a little deeper we found that it was possible to make a quality play ground and not break the bank in the process. We started by creating 3D computer images of each of the chosen playground equipment and the built a virtual playground for the staff of the school to tweak so that it was unique to their requirements and location.
Then we applied safety distances to the model so that we could use the final plans to construct the playground from.
Once we had settled on a firm plan orders were placed with our suppliers to deliver the materials and start the work. We chose a supplier who offered a 25 year guarantee on the posts and I am now convinced that we will never get a warranty problem when I saw the delivered materials!
Then it was all hands to getting the positioning of the timbers correct and setting out all the pieces in the way that we had designed it. Not so easy when some of the materials were approx 45kg + and about 3M long!
We got busy with the post hole borer and in no time there were posts going in and frame works being attached to the posts. With some many staff on site we were all required to complete CRB checks which the school kindly did on our behalf. Our only real hold up with the works was having to stop whilst the kids were in the playground for their breaks. We actually managed to get our own tea breaks coinciding with their so it was smiles all round. (and one eye on the tools in relation to where any of the children were of course!)
As the playground took shape the overall size of the project started to show through and we were very happy that the planning stage had ironed out many of the potential problems so that we avoided them whilst on site. It is obviously much easier to get the works done out of school time but we were conscious of the costings so with good planning this was avoided.