Colleges and universities often function similar to small towns or communities. Architects and planners definitely have their work cut out for them as many campuses have seen an increase in the construction of many of the facilities and amenities found in typical cities. Along with learning centres and student living quarters, post-secondary institutions now increasingly include: shops, banks, restaurants, pubs, large sports venues and business offices.
These rejuvenated campuses or communities have brought with them an increased strain on each institution’s infrastructure and a call for heightened safety and security (asset protection) on roads and in parking areas. Increased levels of foot and bicycle traffic also make the demands of campus planning very unique.
With all of these facility types, increased numbers of visitors, and unique traffic flow requirements, architects are tasked with finding ways to incorporate security and safety measures wherever possible. When planning or revitalizing campuses, precautionary measures should be taken to ensure the safety of students and prevent damage to institutions and businesses. Planning for traffic control and management is necessary.
One strategy increasingly put into action in successful traffic management plans is the installation of bollards. Indeed, bollards can play a pivotal role in ensuring safety and security when implemented in architectural planning for campus life.
Bollards are short posts, usually 36” - 52” high. Architects incorporate bollards into design plans most often as protective barriers, to give demarcation to an area, or to control the traffic flow of vehicles and pedestrians.
Basically, bollards are a simple way for an institution to communicate its traffic management plan and traffic flow expectations.
Because the needs of each campus are unique, a catalog of different bollards is available to suit each institution’s requirements. The type of bollard and its composition should be dictated by its intended role in the institution’s architectural design.
Surrounding any facility, several types of bollards are often seen. The following are the common functions of bollards on college and university campuses.
Bollards can manage both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. They are an efficient means of communicating the expected route people, bicycles, cars and trucks must take.
Flexible (bendable) bollards can bend 90° upon impact to reduce damage to vehicles. This makes them the top choice for areas where cars may swipe or hit them directly. Although flexible bollards provide no impact resistance, they do act as visual deterrent, stopping vehicles from taking the incorrect route.
Flexible bollards often separate traffic where travelers must remain in their lane for a period of time. They are often seen during the approach to a toll booth. These bollards keep cars from switching lanes close to the structures. Used in similar functions, flexible bollards often keep bicycle lanes and car lanes separate at dangerous curves, keep cars in place near campus stadiums, and ensure that cars safely navigate through designated paths in large parking lots.
In parking areas
Bollards (bumper posts) that are constructed from cement-filled steel pipes are often placed in campus parking lots to protect pedestrian walkways and ticket machines. Cars and trucks regularly misjudge turns and cut close to sidewalks. Strong, immovable bollards stand guard to absorb any accidental impact. These types of bollards can be enhanced by adding bright-colored, security sleeves. The plastic sleeve is an inexpensive, low-maintenance way to increase the bollard’s visibility and to protect it from the elements.
At access points
Campus stadiums and buildings often restrict vehicle access down the driveways, laneways, alleys or small roads surrounding them. Retractable bollards (bollards that telescope into the ground) or removable bollards installed across the thoroughfares, spaced close together enough that a car can’t fit through, are ideal. They deter the general public from entering restricted areas but can also be removed or collapsed to allow temporary access to maintenance, delivery, or emergency vehicles. The locking mechanisms can be opened quickly by authorized personnel, but the bollard does deter and discourage vehicles from trying to get through uninvited.
Retractable or bollards that allow for removability should be considered where seasonal access is granted or restricted for public vehicles. Parks often use them to close off areas in winter and to open them in the spring. Similarly, retractable and removable bollards can allow sports fields differing access in and off season.
Choosing between retractable or removable bollards can be as easy as determining if there is an adequate storage location for the bollards once they are removed. If storage space is not available, retractable bollards may be a suitable choice.
Safety bollards are not only a visual deterrent but also serve to prevent vehicles from accidentally breaching pedestrian areas. When used in safety applications bollards must offer high levels of impact resistance to protect pedestrians from possible injury. Incorporating safety bollards into a campus’ traffic management plan will also:
- Alert pedestrians on a sidewalk that they are approaching a road.
- Keep small motorized vehicles off of greenways, sidewalks and walking paths.
- Deter students from driving vehicles close to dormitories and residences when loading and unloading.
- Protect pedestrians near shops where they may be placing phone calls, window shopping or accessing bank machines.
- Designate the safest path for students to take. Bollards, for example can be used in cold climates to keep pedestrians at a safe distance from buildings where there may be an increased risk of ice-slide from the building’s roof.
When used in safety applications, bollards are often fixed, meaning they are set in place permanently. When using retractable or removable bollards in a safety application it is important to note that the bollards provide no impact resistance and will therefor act only as a visual deterrent.
Security (Asset Protection)
Security bollards prevent vehicles from accidentally or purposely damaging institutions and businesses. Found near buildings and structures, these bollards serve the active purpose of asset protection. Security bollards provide high levels of impact-resistance and anti-ramming support.
Generally, security bollards are cement-filled steel posts that can look industrial and unattractive from a design standpoint. Security, however, does not have to equal the loss of an institution’s design value. Decorative bollard covers made of iron, steel, stainless steel or even plastic can be fit over security posts to enhance their aesthetic appeal.
Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Reliance Foundry has supplied bollard covers to businesses and institutions all over North America. “We work constantly with architects and designers who need to maintain the design integrity of a building or set of buildings, while providing safety and security to the people, institutions and businesses,” says Reliance Foundry Vice President Brad Done, “This is especially important on college campuses where many buildings may have a highly public historical significance.”
On many campuses, providing security while matching the architectural style of the buildings can be a challenge. Bollards are available in wide array of design options that cover all function and design requirements. Architects can select options and colors that match the design of nearly every type of campus - from historical to contemporary.
Bike Parking Bollards
Increasing fuel costs, rising tuition fees and a growing social consciousness have given a boost to the amount of bicycles found on campuses across Canada. An increase in student biking raises an institution’s need for bicycle parking. Here, bollards can show their versatility by performing a dual function – traffic management and bicycle storage. To protect an institution’s landscape, installing bike parking bollards can also help to prevent cyclists from locking their bicycles to trees, signposts and fences.
As well as serving a community need, bike bollards also provide campuses with an opportunity to promote healthy lifestyles and reinforce green initiatives. A bicycle storage system created with bike parking bollards can showcase an institution’s commitment to improving air quality and reducing traffic congestion.
Bike parking bollards are constructed and operate in a simple manner. Putting a spin on the classic bollard, decorative arms are added to a standard bollard to create a bollard that allows for bike parking. Either chains or U-locks attach the bike to the stand through the arms of the bollard, making it impossible to slide them off. The arms are made from ductile iron, which makes them difficult for would be bike thieves to cut.
Signs that read “Keep off grass” can be easily overlooked and unsightly. As well as being more aesthetically pleasing, a row of decorative landscape bollards with an ornamental chain is more pronounced. Landscape bollards can help to restrict access on campus green areas, gardens and parks. Fountains, statues and monuments can also be given a perimeter with landscaping bollards.
Postsecondary institutes are often decorated with outdoor works of art, fountains and statues. Here, landscaping bollards can be used for historical preservation. Bollards placed around landmarks will create a visually protective perimeter that will keep visitors and vehicles from venturing too close.
- Before installing bollards, consider their function and the type of surface on which they will be placed. Ensuring that you are using the correct bollard for your intended function will aid in the implementation of a successful traffic management plan.
- Metal bollards can be quite heavy, depending on the model and material selected. Take precautions ahead of time and have everything needed for installation in order to prevent workers from being injured and product from being damaged.
- To install bollards on new concrete, set an anchor casting in the substrate (flush to the surface) and screw the threaded rod into the casting. When installing on existing concrete, secure the threaded rod into substrate using a concrete insert drill or concrete adhesive applicator.
- On new concrete applications, use an embedded anchor for fixed bollards. When installing on existing concrete, use a retrofitted metal insert.
- Place landscaping bollards on a stand-alone footing with an embedded anchor when they are surrounded by either brick paving or garden surface.
- Prior to installing removable or retractable bollards, determine the installation of locking mechanisms, the need for receiver covers and if the covers need to be flush with the ground. When setting the receivers, ensure that all receiver covers face the same direction to create consistency in the line of view.
- Ensure that the proper resources are available to lift bollards into place or onto their mountings. The steps to installation are fairly simple but the weight of the bollard can be an issue. Have extra hands available to prevent injuries and avoid damage to the product.
- Use a chalk line to ensure that bollard bases are aligned correctly. This is a critical step in creating a uniform look in a bollard row.
- Keep all parts in their packaging until the exact moment of installation and protect the surface of metal bollards during installation. Bollards constructed from metal, such as the ones offered by Reliance Foundry, are generally given a strong, long-lasting, powder-coat finish. This finish must be protected from scratches, scrapes and chips in order to ensure the proper life of the bollard.
- If during installation any powder-coated parts must be set down, place them on packaging foam or another non-abrasive material.
- Never slide or drag powder-coated parts across an asphalt or concrete surface.
- Use touch-up paint to repair abrasions or scratches that occur during installation. This will protect the bollard from possible rusting.
Heightened Calls for Safety
Recent upgrades and revitalization projects have created increased strain on campus infrastructures. Heightened calls for safety and the protection of assets mean that planning for the increased levels of traffic is necessary. Often overlooked, bollards are a clear way to communicate an institution’s traffic flow expectations. There is a bollard available to facilitate the application of every traffic management plan and to match the aesthetic design of every campus. Choosing the correct bollard for the correct function will ensure that the design integrity of an institution is maintained and that students, buildings and businesses are protected. Companies like Reliance Foundry offer a wide range of decorative and functional bollards that can complement the architecture and landscape of every campus.
R-7589 Bollards on Campus
R-7539 Bollards on CampusThe model R-7539 creates a classically themed streetscape.
R-7901 Removable Bollards on CampusModel R-7901 bollards can be used to restrict or grant access through laneways.
R-7535 Decorative Bollards on CampusModel R-7535 architectural bollards add an aesthetic enhancement to drab security posts.
R-8302 Flexible Bollards on CampusThe model R-8302 bollard will bend 90° upon impact to reduce potential damage to vehicles.
R-7301 Post Covers on Campus
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