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SPECIAL FEATURE Playground Equipment

Proprietary Playground by Playworld. Photo courtesy of CT-Art Creation

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ith my experience in building both custom and proprietary playgrounds over the past 25 years, I thought that a summary of major issues will be timely for this issue. As developers and architects are tasked to build more exciting play facilities for their properties to provide better and unique facilities, they sometimes think about planning a custom playgrounds mostly to enhance the history or background of the property. I would summarise my thoughts by describing what they are and illustrate the pros and cons with a table of comparisons.

Proprietary (Catalogued) Playgrounds Many playground manufacturers have distinct styles, for example rope play, post and platform system; with slides, climbers etc, stainless steel designs, timber playgrounds, adventure slides tree house, themed playgrounds like insects, animals, independent play items like spinners and see saws. All the designs are in the catalog with details of safety zone, fall heights, play value and material specifications. Q u a l i t y m a n u f a c t u re r s h av e re s e a rc h a n d design teams to create new play ideas, use suitable materials, ensure safety compliance through laboratory certifications, provide finished product details, technical specifications, product

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liability insurance, maintenance and installation instructions.

Custom Build Playgrounds The designer creates a concept of a playground, may be nature, biophilic, animal, fruit, artistic design, designs that reflects the past and present character of the area, terrain, commemoration of famous persons, etc. The design can incorporate multi colours not available with proprietary playgrounds. Idea generation can come from the community and stakeholders on the design of the custom playground. A higher budget is required for custom playgrounds, and longer project period is required. A period of design and development is required to produce final drawings for approval of the property/ location. Ideas generated are exciting and some technical details are usually not available when the ideas are under design and development. The safety compliance of the playground is subjected to many factors and much unforeseen situations will arise where design reviews have to be conducted. Below is a summary of issues relating to building a custom or proprietary playground.

MAY-JUNE 2019

18/4/19 3:09 PM

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