Police departments and related agencies like SIRA in Dubai have lobbied for the need to improve safety and security in places where vehicles move near to buildings with glass facades. For property owners, retrofitting security measures in existing facilities is the most viable solution. Thus, there is a growing demand for aesthetically pleasing, less complicated but cost-effective measures to save public lives, secure buildings and protect assets through the use of common street furniture like HVM planters.
What are HVM or PAS 68 Planters?
HVM planters are a combination of two elements from different industries. HVM which stands for Hostile Vehicle Mitigation referring to a suite of anti-terrorist protective measures used by the security industry. On the other hand, planters are an important element of street furniture commonly used in urban design. Integrating an HVM bollard into a planter will form an HVM planter or PAS 68 planter.
HVM planters can serve its function of adorning sidewalks, storefronts or entryways with welcoming greenery but also double up as a security barrier while giving easy pedestrian access.
HVM bollard core can be integrated perfectly into any decorative planter with any shape to form the HVM planter provided the planter meets the minimum height of 1000 mm. This height allows the planter to accommodate a security bollard with a minimum height of 900 mm within its core.
For cost efficiency, crash-rated bollards should be integrated into planters facing the side exposed to the risk of vehicle impact. The planters can be built from any material, heavy or light (stainless steel, concrete or wood). The HVM bollards will take the load of the vehicle crash impact and prevent any vehicle intrusion into any facility.
The planters can be finished with granite or wood to turn them into elegant and strong planters that feel and look good. With a bit of creativity and engineering innovation, security planters can form a formidable security barrier but also preserve or add to the character of the location.
For public places, security or HVM planters can be located just outside the main entrance or doorways and near the taxi waiting area of the following facilities.
- Banks and shopping centers may choose to implement security planters to adorn the building facade while providing security against vehicle ramming incidents.
- Stadiums and sports arenas that can host thousands of people at any given event have also started using security planters designed to complement existing security bollards and bring their HVM strategy to a higher level.
- Major railway stations connecting business districts and tourist spots have also integrated security planters as part of landscaping. This technique helps the crash rated bollards appear part of the landscape and effectively prevent vehicles from ramming into pedestrians that access the stations.
- Hotel owners in the UAE, Dubai started to use HVM security planters to protect and keep the privacy of their guests while they have outdoor dining. This also will help to maintain aesthetics and exude a welcoming environment.
Finding the Right Supplier
It is important to find the right supplier of security planters as not all planters labeled as security planters in the market can actually prevent or withstand vehicle impact. This is because most suppliers have abused the term “security planters” just like the abuse of the term “security bollards.” Currently, security companies supplying traditional physical barrier products like fences and concrete blocks have designed their own security planters. It is also common to find landscaping suppliers boasting about providing security planters. In all cases, ask for the crash test certificate of the HVM planter to ensure that you have the right product.
The crash rating and the location of the integrated bollards will be specified by a security consultant according to site layout and hardscape design.
Security planters can be permanent or temporary and do not require days to install but the integrated HVM bollards are permanent structures with two options of foundation, the deep foundation and the shallow foundation that require less excavation.
In addition, security planters may need to be fitted with LED decorative lights to add illumination to sidewalks, doorways, and storefronts. When lighting is required, coordination with the electrical wiring drawing is important during installation.
As crash rated planters are for outdoor use, it is important to bear in mind that metal pots are prone to overheat. Excessive heat in a container can stress plants and damage their roots. White painted metal could be a good solution to reflect the sunlight and reduce overheating, or a clay pot may be a better option. Talk to the concerned specialists to discuss and explore the best options for security planters based on site-specific conditions.
Some planter manufacturers will not issue a guarantee to repair and replace damaged planters from cracks, leaks, and dents that may occur under normal use and service. It is important to have this warranty with a specific period as HVM planters may need to be replaced if simple repairs cannot resolve the problem. Cracks to the planter will expose the HVM bollard within the planter to environmental conditions that can lead to corrosion, compromise the product’s crash rating and ruin the site aesthetics where the planters are located