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A plane flying over a railyard at dusk.

Mitigating the threat to Airport security

Mike Plaster
Wednesday 16th March, 2016

Airports must now have appropriate provision for protection of buildings, passengers and employees from hostile vehicle attack, but this does not mean designers must compromise on aesthetics, says Marshalls’ counter-terror product expert Paul Haggerty.

Damage to Critical National Infrastructure can have severe economic impacts and can lead to significant loss of life which makes transport hubs attractive targets for terrorist groups. Airport security is nothing new, but with the current UK terrorism threat level at severe, airports are constantly thinking of new ways to further heighten perimeter security to protect terminal buildings from the threat posed by international terrorist groups.

This means there is a real responsibility for both specifiers and end clients to provide public spaces which fulfil the triple protection plan of protecting people, places and infrastructure, whilst also being aesthetically pleasing and functional.

As the terrorist threat is constantly evolving, and as groups continue to seek new methods of attack, it is vital that those in charge of developing counter-terrorism design stay one step ahead by continuing to plan and design products which deter terrorists and detect or delay an intrusion.

There are a number of protective street furniture options to help designers create safe and functional public spaces however, some of the more traditional methods of hostile vehicle mitigation, such as large diameter bollards, can often have a negative visual impact on an environment when incorporated into landscape design.  For this reason, the concept of counter-terrorism design has received resistance from those involved in designing the built environment, with architects feeling restricted to designing bland, standardised areas, which create no real sense of character or individual identity.  In fact, often these products can detract from otherwise well designed and aesthetically pleasing spaces.

There are products available, including bollards, planters, seating, litter bins and even lighting columns, which protect buildings from vehicle-borne terror attacks, whilst also creating welcoming, useable, functional and attractive surroundings.

Marshalls RhinoGuard™ protective street furniture products possess both inner strength and outer beauty. The products are crash tested in accordance with the BSI PAS68 Standard for Vehicle Security Barriers and are available in a range of materials including steel, stainless steel, Ferrocast™ Polyurethane, concrete and Precious Stone, giving designers options to create safe public spaces using high-quality design.

The British standard Public Available Specification (PAS) has been prepared to address the needs of organisations which require assurance that vehicle security barriers will provide the required level of impact resistance. To accompany BSI PAS68, the PAS69 document provides guidance on the selection, installation, foundations and use of PAS68 tested security products, taking into account site specific conditions. A new standard, PAS170 aimed at developing a range of low energy impact test methods, will be published in the coming months.

The Bellitalia Giove large planter provides an elegant solution for introducing planting to the public realm. Fitted with innovative RhinoGuard™ technology, the Giove features a large 1,224litre capacity and is designed to accommodate the root ball of a tree.

Bellitalia Giove planter

The planter is cast from a mix of concrete and fine Italian marble aggregates sourced from specific regions of Italy. The use of high quality natural marble ensures long term colour consistency, meaning that the colour of the planter will not fade over time.

Marshalls RhinoGuard™ planter technology can also be incorporated into a range of styles from its European partner Sineu Graff.  Sineu Graff timber planters provide attractive planting solutions for urban landscapes.

Igneo is a modular seating system that offers unique styling, combined with functionality and exceptional impact performance.  The Igneo seat has been successfully crash tested in accordance with PAS68 using a 7.5 tonne vehicle travelling at 40mph. It can be specified in any length, using any number of modules. It is manufactured from Marshalls’ fibre reinforced precast concrete and further strengthened by RhinoGuard™ technology, which is cast into the individual modules.

Bollards tend to be the preferred method of securing the perimeter of public buildings against vehicle-borne attacks as they create a passive barrier, typically maintaining maximum pedestrian permeability. But often they can interfere with the look of the exterior and can contribute to an unattractive landscape. RhinoGuard™ product cores have been developed and tested to be specified with cosmetic sleeves in various materials to create a bespoke style which will complement any surrounding environment, as well as being designed to fulfil the security needs of locations which require varying levels of perimeter protection.

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