After successfully completing the tough selection process required to become one of the 16 Timber Panel Member companies to supply timber to the Olympic venues, John Brash was delighted to supply over 78,000 linear metres of JB CITIDECK as part of the Olympic Park build. Delivered and installed through 4 specialist contractors over 2 years. The deck boards were walked on by hundreds of thousands of visitors for the duration of the games.
Initial concerns on the traditional anti-slip decking were that the castellations made the ride uneven and uncomfortable for wheelchair users and the high level of grip would make change in surface difficult for some pedestrians, in particular the less able. Whilst these product features provide exceptional performance and superior slip resistance in country rural areas (such as boardwalks, bridal ways and footpaths), they did not help meet the ODA objectives of an inclusive Olympic park for all visitors.
After extensive testing and project development with the Principle Access Officer for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), Margaret Hickesh, the new CitiDeck product was created.
The development of CitiDeck combines all the benefits of the bestselling John Brash AntiSlip Plus deck board, but with a host of other benefits deigned to improve the performance of the deck board in urban environments.
The smooth board and less abrasive grit give a more comfortable surface for urban footwear, wheelchair users and pushchairs whilst still exceeding the slip resistance requirements of the HSE guidelines.
Key areas of product development
Smooth deck boards to provide a more even surface, to aid ease of travel across the deck area. This is particularly beneficial for wheelchair users, pushchairs, children and the less able, providing a smoother less bumpy surface to travel over. Deck boards with a smooth profile provide greater walking comfort for urban footwear as grooved boards can be difficult to walk on.
A less abrasive grit provides less resistance than a standard anti-slip insert in a castellated deck board and so makes for an easier walking surface. This is beneficial for children, the less able and areas with high pedestrian traffic.
Ease of cleaning and maintenance
Smooth decking is frequently specified for outdoor urban areas where people congregate, food is served or hygiene is of high priority. Smooth boards prevent food, dirt or litter becoming trapped, making it much easier to clean and removing any further slip risk from trapped debris.
Use of colour
Coloured anti slip inserts can be used for aesthetic purposes such as decking for schools or hospitals or to help with inclusivity. For the visually impaired coloured inserts or wider anti slip strips can be used to indicate stairs or changes in level such as doorways, steps and ramp entrances.
I just wish people knew just how uncomfortable it feels to travel over the grooved deck boards says Margaret who is now Access and Inclusion Officer at Network Rail. The new CitiDeck board developed for the park was so much better, not just for wheelchair users, but for a wide range of visitors, from children to the elderly and less able. It wasnt just the grooves in the deck board that were a problem; the aggregate used was very coarse and could present a trip hazard when moving from one surface to another. It was important that the decking solution didnt become a trip hazard for children or those with mobility impairments.
Margaret concludes "The unique way in which this product was developed was key to its success at the park. The most important thing in the product development process was that the team at John Brash actually listened to the concerns over the specified product. By listening to the team of disabled people who face these challenges in everyday life they managed to find a solution; A solution that not only made a difference to accessibility in the Olympic park, but that could change the way we design decking in the external environment for true inclusivity."
Since its use for viewing areas, decks, bridges steps, balconies (standard decking) and boardwalks at the Olympic venues the popularity of CitiDeck has grown for use in urban areas. Recently used at the Library Street urban development, Kendray Hospital, Hilton Garden Inn Hotel Glasgow and, Belbroughton Primary School, the benefits of Citideck deliver improved access for all.
In addition to providing improved walking comfort in urban environments, JB CitiDeck® is frequently specified for outdoor areas where food is served. Its smooth surface prevents food, dirt or litter becoming trapped, making it much easier to clean for maintenance teams.
Natural timber decking has the lowest embodied energy of any mainstream building material and is a managed material to deliver a more sustainable product, enhancing the environmental credentials of the project. All John Brash anti-slip deck boards meet BS7976 with full FSC and PEFC chain of custody.