Modern infrastructure projects are designed with various aspects in mind: functionality, sustainability, accessibility, and above all, security. When talking about security of any architectural project, we have to keep in mind that it has to be implemented both on the outside and inside. The first line of security of any project is guaranteed by turnstiles, and bollards. We would like to give a short overview of various types of bollards and their application in modern architectural ensembles.
While all bollards are engineered to serve one main function – increase the security of areas surrounding parking lots, gas stations, shopping malls, storefronts, pedestrian areas, etc. – they come in different shapes and sizes, and with extra equipment allowing them to provide additional functionality.
When looking through all available crash-tested bollard designs you may encounter:
- Standard, non-automatic steel bollards. These are strong and long-lasting safety barriers that have simple, yet effective construction that lets pedestrians pass freely, while stopping four-wheeled transport of any sort. Steel bollards are not meant to be removed on a regular basis and can be extracted from its fitting using a special maintenance key only.
- Collapsible and retractable bollards can be raised and lowered to allow the passage of vehicles, when needed. They can be engaged with the help of a special key or access token remotely for authorized drivers. When lowered, retractable bollards become completely flush with the pavement surface, thus being nearly unnoticeable to the naked eye.
- Bollards with additional smart features hidden inside and models capable of accommodating additional gear, i.e. LED lighting, complex illumination systems, hidden power outlets for maintenance equipment, motion sensors that can increase safety by providing data for control systems, built-in battery packs that will provide additional lighting in emergency situations, as well as solar panels that can be used to recharge these backup power supply units.
Nowadays, architects, engineers and security specialists work together to design smarter urban environments and implement the most recent technological advancements to make them self-sustainable. So, it’s no wonder that the bollards featuring LED lighting and solar panels are more commonly used in such design projects.
The latest-generation smart bollards are built with materials that can withstand extreme temperature fluctuations and consist of three main components:
- Modular bollard tube that serves as a capsule for the equipment required based on the design project, i.e. power supply, LED illumination lamps, etc.
- Solar panels that are responsible for energy generation. They can be installed on top of the bollard or in a stand-alone position, the latter being more suitable for locating the most efficient source of the sun.
- Energy storage units, consisting of multiple batteries that collect the produced electricity. There are three possible placements for these units: it can be pinned to the bollard tube, solar panel holder or to a separate post, which can be located in an obscure place.
The modular construction of the smart bollards provides incredible customization options. The final construction can be built to reflect the needs of the client, suit the design project and incorporate a sufficient amount of energy storage even in places where sun radiation is readily available.