CHAPTER 6: SITE DESIGN
Tire chips have good resiliency and are relatively inexpensive, but can
Materials used for pathways must allow for use during inclement weather.
leave black marks on shoes and clothing. They have proven
Acceptable materials include concrete, asphalt, stone or masonry pav-
problemmatic and are not recommended, unless there is assurance
ers, rubberized surfaces, rubber matting, or wood chips. The edge of
that problems cannot occur. They also require maintenence to ensure
pathways should not create trip hazards, and may need to be tapered
that proper depths are maintained.
for transitions. Any surface must allow access by those in wheelchairs.
Ensure that manufactured resilient mats will retain slip resistance when
The main entrance pathway must be paved. Gravel and loose stone
wet and are tightly installed so as not to cause tripping hazards.
are not recommended for any walkway surfaces since children may put
Artificial turf alone does not have the resiliency for "fall zones" and can
them in their mouths or may throw them. Smooth surfaces provided for
be abrasive and convey an ugly, unnatural impression. This material is
wheeled toys should not have joints wider than 12 mm because they
not recommended for use as a play yard surface.
may cause toys to tip.
6.7.7 Hard Surfaces:
6.7.8 Grass/Turf Surfaces:
Hard surfaces should be provided in areas for wheeled riding, and game
Grass/turf is desirable for open play areas but is not appropriate in "fall
court areas, and on some all-weather pathways such as for wheelchair
zones." This surface is seasonal, and is not suitable during periods of
access. Hard surfaces are used for their durable, low-maintenance
rainfall or snow. Exposure to grass/turf allows children to experience natural
properties. Examples of hard surface materials are concrete, asphalt, stone,
materials and provides a pleasant texture to play on, but requires constant
or masonry pavers. The durability of each material will vary based on
maintenance and may need an irrigation system. The designer should
factors such as the method of installation and the thickness of the surface
consider using under-turf products to minimize turf root compaction, which
material. Surfacing concrete in particular, with 10 mm of rubberized
is a major cause of grass detenuation. There must be supervised access
surfacing, is highly recommended to minimize abrasions.
for maintenance of the play yard by facility maintenance teams.
The severity of weather will affect all paving surfaces, but cast-in-place
concrete over a well-compacted subgrade is the most durable,
maintenance-free paving material for hard surface areas, although it should
be finished to be non-slip. Asphalt paving is an acceptable alternative to
concrete in vehicular areas, but degrades more quickly than concrete.
Masonry pavers make a durable surface and have numerous options for
Consider the following:
The use of pavers may introduce joints and textures in the paving sur-
face that can become uneven over time if they are not laid over a con-
crete base. Uneveness may present a tripping hazard. Depending on
the method of installation, the cost of the surface will vary. Asphalt usu-
ally will be the least expensive and stone or masonry pavers the most
expensive. Again, it is possible to use a variety of surface configura-
tions and materials to increase the impression of "naturalness" in the
play yard. Specifications and supervision to ensure excellent compac-
tion will greatly affect the serviceability of the surface material.
PBS-140 - July 2003