The increased use of outdoor areas for people to meet and social distance during the current coronavirus situation means a greater need for demarcation for wellbeing and the protection of buildings from anti-social behaviour.
According to Studmarc, a leading provider of architectural, pavement, anti-skate and road studs, temporary measures to define areas for social distancing will need to be made more permanent.
In addition, the increase in outdoor socialising is resulting in a rise of anti-social behaviour from activities such as skateboarding which could be damaging street furniture and property.
“The relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions has placed added pressure on outdoor recreational areas, such as parks, town centres and retail areas as a result of people wanting to get out to meet friends and family,” said Robert Hawgood, Managing Director of Studmarc.
“In many towns and cities, local authorities have implemented temporary social distancing measures, as well as pop-up cycle lanes.
“As a result, there has been a need to mark out clearly defined areas for pedestrians and to deal with the increase in cycling for recreation and commuting. All of this is likely to continue in the long-term requiring solutions that not only protect and safeguard people, but also the architectural environment they are in.”
The government has already suggested such social distancing measures might need to be more permanent.
Mr Hawgood said this means architects, property developers and planners will need to consider longer-term solutions.
So, what can be done?
Architectural, Tactile Warning, Road and Anti-Skating Studs
“Metal studs have a range of uses for marking out areas and have been used for some time in residential and commercial architectural environments. These can be for parking bays, areas on pavements, boundaries and walkways,” explained Mr Hawgood.
“They can be easily retrofitted into existing architectural environments making them a much more practical and permanent solution to define areas. This is particularly useful in areas where they might not previously have been needed, such as streets and open areas in residential or commercial environments.
Tactile warning for the visually impaired
“Tactile warning studs can also help identify areas for people with visual impairment. Whether on a seat, a walkway or a wall, they can mark out an area that can be felt by hand or underfoot.
“They provide a visual but aesthetically and architecturally pleasing solution to a problem such as social distancing.”
He added: “Similarly, anti-skate studs don’t have to be fierce pieces of equipment to deter skateboarders. Whether on pavements, seating, low-level walls, stairways or steps, and buildings, they provide a robust and visually pleasing solution.”
These include anti-skate blades, corner guards, bar studs, sphere studs and torpedo studs.
The public supports defensive architecture
Research undertaken by the company has already found that more than *80 per cent of the public believe defensive architecture is a good solution to preserve buildings.
And with nearly 50 per cent of people believing skateboarding damages property, anti-skating studs and other measures can help.
“The way we move around towns and cities and our recreational habits will have to change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We had to adapt and find new solutions,” said Mr Hawgood.
“In terms of demarcation, social distancing and protecting our urban environment, we must look at long-term solutions. Whether architects working on new projects or property management companies seeking solutions to an existing problem, we can discuss their needs and work with them.”
More details about Studmarc and its range of demarcation and anti-skate studs, as well as a range of Covid-19 safety products, can be found at www.studmarc.com. Or telephone 01686 689 198 or email [email protected].
*Research findings can be found here.