For urban building designers, the work doesn’t end with just creating an aesthetically pleasing infrastructure design. With crime rates soaring and terror attacks happening in cities targeting high-profile and crowded areas, property owners want a higher level of safety and security built into the building design. Fortunately, safety and security bollards can be tailored to suit design requirements. Designers must work hand in hand with engineers, and safety and security specialists to plan and select the right bollard design that complements a building’s architectural style, landscape or color schemes while improving site safety and security.
What are decorative bollards?
Decorative bollards are commonly used to enhance a building or a whole community’s architecture or landscape design. When installed along the perimeter or driveway leading to the entrance of the building, they serve as a welcoming visual guide to visitors leading them in the right direction and providing low-lighting at night. While it’s easy to disregard them as street ornaments, these decorative bollards can serve as part of a property’s hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) strategy especially if they are exposed to heavy vehicle traffic. With careful planning and selection, a mix of crash-rated security bollards, safety bollards, and lighting bollards can unobtrusively reinforce a property’s security while enhancing aesthetics.
Lighting Bollards, also often referred to as landscape bollards can be tailored in a wide array of designs, colors, caps, and finishes to complement the look and feel of the site. They are used to illuminate or draw attention to landscaping, buildings, parks, plazas, and other urban architectures. They also improve safety by increasing visibility at night and clearly separating pedestrian pathways and driveways.
Hotels, resorts, parks, museums, and commercial facilities use lighting bollards to add a warm welcoming environment to their premises at night. The smallest lighting bollards can serve as ground lighting to bring depth and texture to architectural features, facades, or sculptures.
Safety bollards can be tailored to include LED strips, stamped with a company’s logo or emblem, or painted to match the brand’s color palette. These kinds of branded safety bollards can be found in malls and other highly recognizable brands and establishments. They are mostly seen as vehicle barriers. However, the main purpose of safety bollards is to clearly mark a safe lane or access for pedestrians.
Safety bollards can be crash-rated to increase the safety level it provides. As such, they can be installed in accident-prone areas such as intersections, islands, and curves to safeguard pedestrians from vehicle accidents. It can also be used in hospitals, petrol stations, restaurants, and several places to allow pedestrians to move freely and safely.
To be discreet, crash-rated bollards are often tailored to look and appear like a natural part of the surrounding environment. The Westminster bollard, for example, installed after the series of terror attacks in London, was specially designed to complement the surrounding architecture and landscape that it protects.
HVM bollards are used in vulnerable and crowded areas at risk of hostile vehicle-borne threats and criminal attacks, such as shopping centers, banks, tourist areas, stadiums, and airports. They are part of a property’s HVM measure as they can withstand vehicle impact but can be designed so as not to disrupt existing design but complement it even more.
There are four standards used to test and certify vehicle security barrier systems. In the UK, they refer to PAS 68:2013 and IWA 14-1. In Europe, they refer to CWA 16221: 2010. In the US, the first standard used was the DOS K-Rating which was superseded by ASTM F2656-07.
More recently, there is increasing use of K4 rated bollards as part of landscaping for major projects. PAS 68 bollards can provide perimeter security without the restrictive look and feel of fences and concrete barriers. They are also now being integrated with planters and bicycle parking racks to provide unobtrusive security and protection in crowded commercial and public spaces such as sidewalks, parks, and other urban green spaces.