Design Problem
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Design Problem. Dorset County Council ‘Freedom to Play’ project Play as an important skill Mental, physical and social development of children A playground area Suitable for a variety of small Local urban areas Children between the ages of 3 and 11

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Design Problem

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Design problem

Design Problem

  • Dorset County Council

  • ‘Freedom to Play’ project

  • Play as an important skill

  • Mental, physical and social development of children

  • A playground area

  • Suitable for a variety of small

  • Local urban areas

  • Children between the ages of 3 and 11

  • Council guidelines in which the playground area must address

    • The size of the playground- it must be no greater than 400m2

    • The equipment must comply with BSI standards

    • The design should be feasible, cost effect and sustainable

    • The accessibility of the playground must also be taken into account, especially the access to disabled children

Design problem


  • Minimum of 5 pieces of playground equipment that will enhance the development of –

    • Mental

    • Physical

    • Social development

  • Visually striking and incorporate a theme

    • Giants

  • Designs and equipment will provide a safe environment

  • Children between the ages of 3 and 11

  • Needs and preferences to play at each age group

  • The park will be located in Branksome Recreation Ground in Dorset

Design problem


Existing playgrounds

Run down rusted and un-safe

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Pirate Ships


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Borrowers/Giant influence

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Disabled Children at Play

  • Physical Barriers

    • Fixed Equipment

    • Surfaces

  • Audit of play and playground action on the audit

  • Minimal Considerations of park managers

    • Specialised seat swing

    • Big round swing

    • Wide slides

    • Wide see-saws

    • Sensory gardens

Design problem

Life Span of Materials and Maintenance

  • Galvanized steel posts

  • Stainless steel hardware

  • Aluminium fittings

  • Aluminium post caps

    • Typically have a LIFETIME warranty

    • With proper care and maintenance

  • Rails, rungs, loops, rotationally moulded plastics and plastic sheet components

    • Typical 10 year warranty

    • Warranty terms are usually determined by manufacturers by average and expected use

  • An elementary school with hundreds of children per hour

    • Much more rugged use than a private facility that may only be open one or two days a week

  • Neighbourhood ‘hoodies’ and older children may break the equipment on purpose

  • Use, and the appropriate use is one of the most important factors in the life of the equipment

  • Vandalism and misuse place a strong toll on your life expectancy and value.

Design problem


  • A variety of businesses in the UK that provide play equipment

  • Most offer the same services and the prices vary

  • In Dorset, competition would arise with local companies:

  • > Monkee Puzzle Ltd – offers wooden equipment and climbing frames.

  • > Alvian Ltd – offers a variety of equipment, aimed mostly at the lower years.

  • > Wood Themes – offers mostly traditional and wooden equipment.

  • > Hagsplay Ltd – offers a wide range of products, with different themed equipment available. A range of materials used.

  • * Prices for the equipment are often on request, and brochure services are offered. The assumption is that they are roughly similar to each other, as the products sold are similar in characteristics.

  • * Playdale, A E Evans, Sovereign are just a few of the big names in the play equipment market.

Design problem


  • The equipment needs to be installed to the BSEN 1176, according to companies that offer the instillation service.

  • Many sources state the importance of the Health and Safety at Work Act, during installation

  • According the BSEN 1176, (6.2.2 Instillation) “the supplier of playground surfacing shall provide instructions on maintenance and inspection procedures”.

  • In the UK a risk assessment must be carried out on all playgrounds (see The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992).

  • European Standards that it may need to comply to:

  • * BS EN1176: 2008 – children’s playground equipment 

  • * BS EN1177: 1998 – impact absorbing surfaces 

  • * BS EN15312: 2007 - free access multi-sports equipment. Requirements, including safety, test methods.

  • * BS EN14974: 2006 – roller sports equipment 

  • Most companies looked at offer the instillation service as part of purchase – directly employed staff to do so.

  • CRB checks may be needed on the installation staff whilst working in areas frequented by children, as some businesses make sure this is carried out on all staff.

Design problem


  • All Equipment should be tested before being left for public use

  • Done according to the correct sections of the British Standards

Design problem


  • Understood as the prevention of injuries

  • Important that children gradually develop the skill of risk assessment

  • A completely safe environment does not allow that

  • Playgrounds with equipment that children may fall off often use mulch on the ground to help cushion the impact

  • Playgrounds are also made differently for different age groups

  • Often schools have a playground that is more advanced for the children in grades 3-6 and a safer playground for children in k-2

  • This is strictly done for the safety of the younger kids

  • Safety discussions do not normally include an evaluation of the unintended consequences of injury prevention

    • Older children who do not exercise at the playground because the playground is too boring

Design problem


Prevention Strategies

  • Reducing the maximum fall height of equipment, primarily by reducing the overall height of anything a child might climb on or into

  • Reducing the likelihood of falling from equipment, through using barriers, discouraging climbing, and making upper surfaces inconvenient or uncomfortable for climbing or sitting on

  • Installing a more flexible surface under and around play equipment, so that a child who falls is less likely to break a bone.

Design problem


Playground Injury

  • Percentage of injuries involving public equipment

    • About 46% occurred in schools.

    • About 31% occurred in public parks.

    • About 10% occurred in commercial childcare centers.

    • About 3% occurred in home childcare.

    • About 3% occurred in apartment complexes.

    • About 2% occurred in fast food restaurants.

    • About 9% occurred in other locations.

  • On public playgrounds, more injuries occur on climbers than on any other equipment. On home playgrounds, swings are responsible for most injuries.

  • Playgrounds in low-income areas have more maintenance-related hazards than playgrounds in high-income areas. For example, playgrounds in low-income areas had significantly more trash, rusty play equipment, and damaged fall surfaces.

Design problem


1.1 Aesthetics

1.2 Consumer

1.3 Environment used in

1.4 Safety

1.5 Size

1.6 Function

1.7 Life in service

1.8 Competition

1.9 Testing

2.0 Maintenance

2.1 Instillation

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Development - Morphology

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Final Ideas

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Final Piece – Tennis Racket Climbing Frame

Tennis Racket Climbing Frame

-galvanized steel frame extruded then moulded

-plastic coated netting

-handle structure made from steel with is galvanized and coated with polychlroprene due to high chemical stability, resistance to water, oil, gasoline and UV radiation. It also has the ability to be coloured. It is tough and has high tear resistance.

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Final Ideas

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Final Piece – Headphone Swings

Headphone swing

-chains made from hot dipped galvanized steel

-chair will be butyl rubber with steel plate inserts

-rail made from galvanized steel using extrusion

-headphones moulded steel galvanized and oil painted.

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Final Ideas

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Final Piece – Pencil Zip Wire

Pencil Zip Wire

-zip wire cable made from galvanized steel wire which is spun

-zip wire trolley made from stainless steel manufactured using injection moulding

-seat is injection moulded EPDM rubber

-pencils made from galvanized steel or cast iron

-rubber car tyre at the end of the zip wire to bounce off as they are shock and temperature resistant

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Final Ideas

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Final Piece – Gingerbread Swing

Gingerbread Seesaw

-Gingerbread made from stainless steel painted with an oil based paint and then galvanized.

-details on the gingerbread using stampings and painted.

- seat is injection moulded EPDM rubber

-welded hot dipped galvanized chains which are coated with rubber

-as its a one off use sheet metal and bending

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Final Ideas

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Final Piece – Flower Pot Climbing Frame

Flower Pot Climbing Frame

-slide manufactured from grey LDPE (low density polyethylene) from rotational moulding. (stop burning kids in the sunlight)

-Anti-static inhibitors for clothing

-UV stabilised

- the ladder is produced in a patented in line triple zinc flo-coating process that provides a smooth shiny uniform appearance with up to 25% greater strength and lighter weight for comparable sizes

-rubber flooring on the top of the plant pot

-pot is made from concrete, made smooth so that it can be painted, it has to be power washed first and has to be moulded.

Design problem

Compliance with Safety Standards

  • 4.1.4 Metals

  • 4.2 Design and manufacture

  • 4.2.3 Accessibility for adults

  • 4.2.4 Protection against falling

  • 4.2.5 Finish of equipment

  • 4.2.6 Moving parts

  • 4.2.7 Protection against entrapment

  • 4.2.13 Chains

  • 4.2.14 Foundations

  • 4.2.15 Heavy suspended beams

  • 6.2.2 Installation

  • 6.2.3 Inspection and maintenance

  • Annex A-F

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