Inclusive design for the built environment was right at the heart of the vision for The Games. As was a commitment to delivering the project using only fully certified timber for a truly sustainable build.
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, Marley Eternit 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.
Created after extensive testing and project development with the Principle Access Officer for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), Margaret Hickesh, new CitiDeck’ product was created.
The development of JB CitiDeck combines all the benefits of the bestselling JB AntiSlip Plus timber decking 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 wasn’t 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 didn’t become a trip hazard for children or those with mobility impairments.”