There are many factors to consider when choosing the design of bollards for your site. Most bollard suppliers are happy to discuss the different types, variations in function, design and application. Your research will help you to select the best bollard design available for your budget.
Bollards are so common that most people don’t even notice them as part of the built environment. They have been around for centuries, and were originally, and still are, used for mooring ships in dock. However the practicalities and uses of bollards soon spread. Bollard suppliers these days offer a wide variety of bollard designs specifically for your needs.
One of the first things to consider is why you need bollards. The bollard function determines what type of bollard you will need, and following that, which design will suit your application best.
Bollards are used for a variety of reasons such as:-
- Safety for pedestrians
- Parking and pathway barricades and delineation
- Traffic control
- Protection for buildings or parkland
- Security and impact protection
- Decoration and aesthetic enhancement
It is important to identify which is the best type of bollard for your situation and budget. Once you have established this, then you will know what bollard strength, height and style will be best for the job. Reputable bollard suppliers are happy to assist with the best selection for your budget.
Bollard construction varies depending on the use. Generally bollards fall into the following categories:-
Fixed, or Bolt-down bollards
Fixed, or bolt-down bollards are basically surface mounted static posts used for guiding traffic or delineating areas such as parking. These bollards are easily installed as they are fixed to the ground surface and don’t require complicated ground preparation. Fixed bollards also come as a fold down option to allow secure access or for traffic management.
These bollards are not as secure as the in-ground varieties as they generally don’t have the strength, permanency and variety of aesthetic options. However, where that is not paramount, or if the budget is limited, these may a good option for many situations as you don’t need specialist equipment to install them. Fixed bollards are often used in industrial settings where simple and easy construction is required. However, stylish fixed bollards can be perfect and inexpensive for some domestic situations also.
In-ground bollards provide strength, flexibility and adjustability, as well as the opportunity for remote control. They are installed below ground, and should be installed by professional contractors who have the appropriate equipment and expertise, as some situations can be very complicated.
The style of bollard you choose will depend upon your budget, required use, level of flexibility needed and the environment where the bollards are to be installed. Fixed In-ground bollards have better strength qualities than the fixed or bolt-down bollards as a large proportion of the bollard is fixed below the surface, In-ground bollard types also include telescopic and automatic bollards to allow for traffic control or private access, as well as built-in or solar lighting. These, more sophisticated bollards are great for high end situations, as well as sites where remote access and privacy are paramount. There really is a bollard for your every need.
Aesthetics and Environment
Once the use, budget and bollard type has been established, then the aesthetics should be considered. Environment and location have a bearing on the aesthetics of the bollard design, for instance in an historic setting around a building or in a traditional park a more ‘period’ style, perhaps with chain links between might have the right aesthetic and blend into the situation. Whereas ultra-modern, high-tech bollards would be ideal in a contemporary architectural environment or where a cleaner more contemporary look is best.
Aesthetics matter because the wrong bollard design will detract from the overall setting and become an eyesore. So, apart from all of the practical decisions to make when choosing the best bollard design, don’t forget that the aesthetics of the design is a vital factor to take into account.
Bollard suppliers are experienced with all type of bollards requirements, it is recommended to discuss you requirements with potential suppliers, and if a standard manufactured bollard is not right for your site, then discuss whether custom-made options may suit best.