Landscape Architect & Specifier News

AUG 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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What are some things to take into consideration when selecting a safety surface for your playground? Choosing a surface for your playground can be complicated and have a significant impact on the overall project budget. Oftentimes, these decisions are based only on the upfront investment and do not consider the long-term costs like maintenance and replenishment. There are multiple factors and compliance standards for safety surfaces that should be considered. The two most important are ASTM 1292, which establishes minimum performance requirements for impact attenuation, and ASTM 1951, which addresses accessibility requirements. Compared to other surfacing systems, DuraPlay's Dual Layer Poured- In-Place (PIP) Surfacing provides the most consistent fall protection and accessibility while being exceptionally durable. What are some of the advantages of a poured-in-place (PIP) surfacing system? PIP surfacing can significantly add to your projects' play value with exciting colors, contours, and graphic designs. It also adds consistent fall protection with its unitary and resilient features. With loose-fill systems, consistent fall protection is only achieved with frequent maintenance and costly replenishment, while PIP requires minimal maintenance. The expense of premium raw materials and a labor-intensive installation process by specialized technicians can result in a higher upfront cost with PIP than with other surfacing options. However, this cost is largely offset by the long-term durability and performance of a well-built PIP system like we provide at DuraPlay. We are proud of our reputation for producing top quality surfacing systems that we confidently stand behind. What elements can affect the longevity of PIP playground surfacing? There are several factors that impact the quality and longevity of a PIP system: substrate stability, site drainage, quality and amount of raw materials used, and installer experience. The use of quality rubber materials with minimal dust content combined with a high-grade binding agent is critical to the strength and performance of a PIP system. Additionally, there must be an adequate amount of binder in the system to hold it together. Quality PIP systems should contain no less than 22% binder (by weight) in the top layer and 13% in the base layer. A knowledgeable and experienced installation team is just as important as the materials used. The installers have to understand and adjust to the atmospheric conditions that affect the moisture-curing binder and have thorough knowledge of associated ASTM regulations and CPSC guidelines. Mistakes made during installation can greatly affect the longevity of the surface. This is where DuraPlay has the advantage. We have over 30 years of PIP surfacing and commercial construction experience, so we provide a high level of expertise on every project we install. What are the most important things to consider when preparing a job site for a PIP system? PIP surfacing systems should always be installed over a stable substrate. Preferably concrete or asphalt, but sometimes highly compacted angular stone can be used. The substrate and project site must also have positive drainage away from the surfacing system. Without adequate drainage, the system's base layer and compacted stone substrate will deteriorate due to standing water, possibly even displacing and creating voids under the PIP surface leading to costly repairs. Another common mistake occurs with compacted stone substrates when holes created while installing playground equipment are backfilled with loose dirt or spoils. If this mistake is not properly addressed prior to PIP installation, it can cause the substrate to sink as the dirt settles, thereby negatively affecting the stability of the PIP surface. The experts at DuraPlay help our customers avoid costly problems like these by providing preconstruction coordination support to ensure your project site and associated trade work are well prepared for the PIP installation. What do you think the future of the industry will hold? There are currently PIP systems on the market that use different variations of rubber type and base course or substrate composition. DuraPlay has experimented with some of these different techniques as well, but we haven't been able to find one that outperforms the tried and true method that has been in place since 1985. While we always look for opportunities for continuous improvement, DuraPlay is not interested in sacrificing our reputation of providing top quality PIP surfacing and exceptional customer support at a great overall value. Q & A w i t h t h e e x p e r t s a conversation with Featuring Darren Toomey, CEO of DuraPlay, Inc. DURAPLAY, INC. 36 Landscape Architect and Specifier News

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