CHAPTER 6: SITE DESIGN
505 mm above adjacent surfaces. The top of the guardrail must be 765
6.7.6 Resilient Surfaces:
mm above the platform. The guardrail should not have openings be-
Resilient surfaces serve to reduce the impact from falls and are required in
tween 87 mm and 228 mm to avoid the possibility of head entrapment.
specific equipment areas referred to as "fall zones." Refer to ASTM F-355
To prevent finger entrapment, there must be no openings in the fence
(most recent addition), Shock Absorbing Properties of Playing Surface
between 9 mm and 25 mm wide.
Systems and Materials, and the most recent publication of the Consumer
Protective barriers must be provided for all children on all platforms
Product Safety Commission's Handbook for Public Playground Safety, for
greater than 760 mm above adjacent surfaces. The protective barrier
specific requirements concerning these resilient surfaces. Examples of
must be 740 mm above the platform, with no openings greater than 75
approved resilient surface materials are pre-engineered wood accessible
mm and no horizontal footholds.
hardwood (not simply wood mulch), preformed rubber matting, and poured-
in-place rubberized surfaces. Water needs to drain through these surfaces
Maximum platform height for infants is 455 mm above adjacent floor
and off the property.
Maximum platform height for toddlers is 915 mm above adjacent floor
Following EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG), rubber
play yard surfacing materials should be made from at least 90-100%
Maximum platform height for pre-school children is 1370 mm above
recycled tire rubber, including rubber pavers as well as loose granulated
adjacent floor level.
rubber surfacing, where appropriate, and where the product meets GSA's
Pathways under trees and constructed elements must have a minimum
of 2035 mm headroom.
There must be a fall zone with a resilient surface under all climbing and
moving fixed play equipment from which children could fall as per the
The fall-absorbing properties of each will depend upon the installed
current CPSC and local licensing. This is typically 1830 mm radius.
thickness and the method or system of installation. However, whichever
Criteria for resilient surfaces are discussed below.
type of fall attenuation is used, the CPSC recommendations and
There must be a 1830 mm clear radius approach zone to all play equip-
requirements must be achieved. These surfaces vary dramatically in cost.
ment, not including the fall zone. A tricycle path cannot run through a
The least expensive are the loose fill variety which typically require a much
higher level of maintenance to ensure that the required depth is maintained
fall zone area.
greatly increasing the life-cycle cost. This trade-off needs to be recognized,
during the design process. The designer may recommend the more
expensive rubberized solutions for ease of maintenance, but should receive
The correct mix of sun and shade is vitally important. At least 50 percent of
written assurances that its impact-absorptive properties are not lessened
the play area should be exposed to sunlight at any time during the morning
by exposure to sunlight and the color will not fade significantly. Adequate
and afternoon when the play yard will be used. The degree and orientation
drainage must be provided under any resilient material, including wood
of shade depends on local climatic conditions. Shade areas, including
chips. A combination of materials such as grass, resilient surface, and
porches, gazebos, and other structures, should provide a minimum shaded
pre-engineered wood chips incorporates the advantages of each material
area of 1832 mm in any direction. Shading structures and materials that
and renders a more natural, less institutional appearance than any one
may be used include trees, exterior screened rooms, park shelters and
structures, awnings, and umbrellas. See also 6.4.5.
The designer should also note the following:
6.7.5 Play Yard Surfaces:
Organic materials, such as wood chips, bark chips, and pre-engineered
Surfaces for play yards, based on their physical properties, can be
wheel chair accessible processed wood fibers, have good impact-ab-
categorized into three general types: resilient, hard, and grass/turf. A variety
sorbing potential, but require proper maintenance to ensure proper, con-
of ground surface texture is required in a playground.
PBS-140 - July 2003