School playgrounds present a special kind of challenge when determining how to manage activities that take place in the space, plus safety elements and the environmental conditions created by the weather. As a manufacturer of paved surface systems and a member of the Master Builders Association, we are keenly aware of the issues contractors face in this type of commercial situation.
When designing a solution for a school grounds, looking at the particulars of each surface style and how it plays out, in the long run, leads to making an educated decision.
Case in point – resurfacing two large outdoor areas at Athena School
The biggest problem the school was having with the old surface (black bitumen) was the heat it conducted. In the summer it made outdoor activities uncomfortably hot for the students, as well as increasing the overall ambient temperature and energy costs to cool the building.
Removing the black bitumen and leaving a dirt surface was not feasible. It would result in polluted air from dust being kicked up, as well as the opportunity for weed growth. When it rained, the mud would be disastrous.
Plain crushed stone would not work either. Again, it would not stop weeds from growing, and it would be risky for slipping and falling. Not to mention, loose gravel is easily tracked inside buildings and is difficult to contain without retaining structures. Pavers are durable but would invite weeds to sprout between the stones.
We presented the school with a feasible solution that handled all the necessary criteria. Using a specific type of crushed stone noted for being slip resistant, we completed the install in only four days. Additional reinforcement was included to give it a very high load bearing rating. The system bonds the stones together, so there is no danger of tracking loose material where it is not wanted.
A cooler solution
The best part for the students and the school is the cooling effect that resulted. The light sandy grey tones of the stone mean the sunlight is reflected, rather than absorbed. And, to answer to the environment, the porous surface absorbs water, therefore reducing water runoff while keeping weed growth in check.
Need assistance designing a paved surface for your school? Contact us at StoneSet today.
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