Wood is our primary construction material because it allows for increased play value and maximized customization. The senses of a child react positively to wood. Wood shows traces of hand-craftsmanship, signs of growth, as well as variations in structure and colour. These traits showcase unique properties as children feel, see and touch them without ever being too hot or too cold.
Our research regarding the best species of wood for use in a play space has been extensive. We estimate the lifespan of the wood used (depending on species) to be between 25 and 80 years; it has a very high resistance to rot, insects, disease and wear from children.
Children love to climb up, jump off and run around rocks. Each uniquely shaped rock offers a different challenge or opportunity. Large boulders are eye-catching and add interest and variation to a play space. They are used strategically to create play zones, as a play element, or to provide seating.
Colours found in nature are also found in our designs to add interest and tell a story. We don’t believe a playground needs to look like a circus but it does benefit from subtle colour variation, seen in our use of water-based stains and coloured ropes. The wood itself doesn’t need any artificial protection; the graying colour is part of the natural aging process.
Steel core-centre, polypropylene covered rope is most commonly added to our playgrounds. Ropes add colour and connect spaces and elements. Custom designed net structures and rope arrangements give us the flexibility to include challenging elements of varying heights and distances.
Stainless steel is a strong, elegant, high-quality material that allows us to create unique shapes in our designs. Oriented in a northerly direction, stainless steel is the preferred material for our slides and is also used to connect timber structures. It is an aesthetically pleasing and tactile material that is a sign of high standards alongside our other high-quality materials.
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Our playgrounds are compliant with the Canadian Playground Safety standard CSA-Z614-14. We have Canadian Certified Playground Inspectors on staff and, whenever appropriate, we contract a third party consultant to review our designs. All Earthscape staff that are involved in the playground design-build process have received training on the CSA Standard for Children’s Playspaces and Equipment, ensuring best practices and techniques are followed for playground design and construction.
We are commonly asked whether wood playgrounds are more susceptible to vandalism. We believe timber playgrounds are actually a better choice, and not any more likely to be destroyed by vandals than any other playground. [ … ]
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