Landscape Architect & Specifier News

SEP 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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The slides of playgrounds have evolved, from metal slides to plastic and rubber slides. Despite the improvement of play equipment with newer materials, slides can still have a dangerous effect on kids. They can reach up to 150 degrees in the sun, resulting in 2nd or even 3rd degree burns on children. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), children two years old and younger are most at risk on playground equipment because their skin is more delicate, and therefore more susceptible to burn. Shade Protection There is one thing that has helped to alleviate this issue: the addition of shade. Shade has become a great tool to reduce ultraviolet exposure and heat gain on equipment. Park administrators and designers are moving towards shading the entire area; however, budgets oftentimes present limitations. Many companies have established to focus on the shade structures surrounding playground equipment, thereby easing the burning issue. LASN's advertisers provide structures in a variety of fabrics, colors and styles to improve the children's experiences on the playground. Codes While the options for shades are practically endless, there are specific codes and regulations that apply towards shade safety in all playgrounds. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Three custom-fabricated flowers provide shade for Greenwood Park, in Hayward, Calif. Designed by RRM Design Group, the support of the shade structure is a 17'x 8" galvanized rolled steel pipe, with a 20' flower span. Eight petals make up each flower. The flowers were designed to bring a sense of playfulness to the existing playground. They were made to be large and bright to distinguish them from the towering trees surrounding the playground, providing shade to the tables and stand-alone pieces of the play equipment. PHOTO CREDIT: CARL FERBER September 2018 33 by Chante' McKowan, LASN Cool for Cool Playgrounds Shade

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