Powerful anti-ram bollards can look elegant, not industrial
Crash-rated bollards for a safer community
Congested urban centers and pedestrian areas often require protection from possible vehicle intrusion. Modern city planning highlights walkability for healthier, happier communities, and put issues of safety and protection at the forefront.
A standard bollard set over a security pipe serves as a visual marker and reminder for cars to stay out of pedestrian zones. When installed correctly, they also work to deter vehicle intrusion as they have some impact resistance. But when it comes to faster, stronger impact, a crash-rated bollard with certified ASTM ratings is the best option. They are built for one purpose: to prevent dangerous vehicle intrusion into people, storefronts, and infrastructure. Rated security bollards have been rigorously tested to prove their stopping power. ASTM ratings are assigned to bollards based on the barrier’s ability to stop vehicles of different weights and speeds.
In a car-centric society, site planners see the value in adding vehicle-stopping barriers to cultivate secure spaces. Crash-rated bollards are becoming more commonplace now as they fill the important role of protecting against high-speed and low-speed crashes in urban areas.
How to improve the appearance of crash-rated bollards
Crash-rated bollards are dutiful and tough, but like most industrial-grade products, they lack aesthetic flair. On their own, they are often bare and ill-fitting for urban, stylized surroundings. With the effort that goes into landscape design, architects and city planners seek site furnishings that meet modern aesthetic standards. How can crash-rated bollards fit into this vision?
The balance between security and aesthetic appeal is achievable using decorative bollard covers to hide the appearance of anti-ram bollards. Covers can be slipped over high-impact bollards and secured using easy installation methods. This simple step can turn a crash-rated bollard into an elegant, modernized post, one that readily complements cityscapes.
Different types of bollard covers for crash-rated bollards
Bollard covers are diverse. They come in a variety of materials, sizes, and designs. Although they all function to beautify steel pipes and anti-ram bollards, each offers their own unique aesthetic. The three main bollard cover categories are decorative metal, stainless steel, and plastic covers.
Decorative metal bollard covers
Decorative bollard covers have plentiful designs as well as intricate architectural details. These metal designs are often made from cast iron and offer a traditional, polished look. They fit well with historical buildings and traditional infrastructure. Black is a common default color, but powder coating allows for a range of colors as well. By furnishing anti-ram bollards with ornamental covers, the little posts go from being eyesores to architectural highlights. A row of uniform cast iron bollards can add regality to a site, giving it a sense of history and formality—perfect for courthouses, parliamentary buildings, and museums. Bollard covers can also be connected with chains. The heavy chains add visual accents and create a tighter perimeter, which works well when set up around sculptures or botanical gardens. Installing decorative metal bollard covers over crash-rated bollards is simple using threaded rods, drop-in concrete inserts, or adhesive anchoring.
Stainless steel bollard covers
Stainless steel bollard covers are contemporary. Stainless steel is a reflective metal that maintains luster over the long term, withstanding corrosion and winter weather. The natural sheen of stainless steel gives these bollard covers an understated, yet eye-catching appearance. Stainless steel bollard covers are machined into simple designs for a minimalist aesthetic that complements modernist steel and glass infrastructure. Slip stainless steel bollard covers over crash-rated bollards for an instant makeover, taking their appearance from industrial to stylish. Installation of stainless steel bollard covers is straightforward and can be used for new and existing concrete. For installation into new concrete, use a top hanger or J-hanger, and for existing concrete surfaces, set screws or spray foam installation methods can be used. Stainless steel chains can also be used to connect stainless steel bollards.
Stainless steel bollard covers have a minimalist charm and some creative expression can be achieved based on style. Subtle style options exist from flat-top, dome-top, to slant-top designs. Dome-tops give off a slighter softer look due to their rounded design, while slant-top covers have an edgier characteristic.
Plastic bollard covers
Plastic bollard covers are lightweight and more economical than their metal counterparts. Standard plastic covers are often simply designed and colored brightly, with attention-grabbing hues for high visibility. These plastic sleeves are commonly used to provide visual cues to drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. They’re often found in parking lots and retail storefronts.
Not all plastic bollards are meant to be loud. Some are designed to look more traditional, blending into the background rather than standing out. These decorative plastic bollards are molded into the same designs as cast-iron bollards. They’re available in six colors that permeate the plastic, meaning that chips or dings do not expose differently-colored inner cores.
At a glance, they take on the same appearance as metal bollards. Economically, they are a fraction of the cost.
Plastic bollard covers mask the lackluster look of crash-rated bollards. With different color options they can either be high-visibility or blend into architectural backdrops. Plastic covers are durable and made to withstand extreme temperatures and weathering. There is no threat of corrosion and regular painting is not required. The installation of plastic sleeves is very easy using foam compression strips that affix them onto existing posts.
Combining powerful security with attractive aesthetics
Powerful security does not have to come at the cost of losing aesthetics. Urban streetscapes and commercial areas place importance on visual appeal. This should not be compromised when urban planning. Not only should a place feel secure, it should also look inviting. When disguised with decorative bollard covers, crash-rated bollards no longer look industrial. They become elegant and versatile, offering both security and aesthetics—a much-needed combination in urban centers.