SJUK Exclusive: Creating the balance between protection and design

October 17, 2022

Marshalls Landscape Protection MD, Chris Churm discusses the importance of ensuring Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) solutions not only provide protection but are easy on the eye at the same time.

Vehicular collisions, both accidental and terror-related, have become a major concern across the UK, most particularly in populated areas.

Protective street furniture solutions offer effective and reassuring protection from these threats; however, a measured approach is crucial in transforming spaces into secure areas without invoking the feeling of fear and anxiety.

Additionally, the protect duty legislation that is set to be announced in 2023 will mean that those responsible for public spaces such as sports stadia, arena or shopping centres will have a legal obligation to include measures that will protect people against attacks vehicular or other. It is therefore crucial that architects and designers are familiar with available protective solutions.

Protect Duty

In preparation for the Protect Duty legislation, businesses and local authorities must start planning. To ensure that the correct level of protection is specified, working with an industry expert is crucial. Marshalls Landscape Protection specialise in creating design-led protective street furniture innovations, providing proven assurance and peace of mind that the products selected will effectively protect people and property.

Specifying for Safety

Marshalls Landscape Protection offer a wide range of HVM solutions that provide assured protection against hostile and accidental vehicle attacks. But the key aspect of specifying HVM systems is to make people feel safe, not scared, something which Marshalls Landscape Protection champions in the design of all solutions.

HVM solutions have developed rapidly in recent years, from the incredibly imposing and industrial-looking concrete bollards and barriers of yesteryear. Instead, a wide array of crash-tested street furniture ranging from seating, planters, litter bins, benches and cycle stands are available, and can also be customised in different finishes, colours and even corporate branding.

The critical consideration here is to provide robust, strong and secure solutions that blend seamlessly into existing spaces with the focus on preventing any negative impact on the look and feel of the space.

HVM Placement

Correctly designed street furniture can easily integrate into the aesthetic of a public space, along with creating its own sense of place to rejuvenate an area. Appropriately selecting and placing street furniture can encourage more people into the outdoors and help them feel more relaxed and involved in the community. Therefore, the placement of street furniture should always be a key priority and should be based on a detailed analysis of the area’s layout in order to make the most effective selections.

To determine the correct placement of protective street furniture products, a vehicle dynamic assessment is recommended. This identifies the nature of potential threats and provides an analysis of their probability and impact. This will determine the locations and rating level of the products needed such as PAS 68, PAS 170 and IWA 14.1. 

The correct specification and installation of rated products ensure that they will reduce the impact of vehicle attacks and protect those in the area.

Due to the complexities involved in the selection of protective street furniture, it is vital to partner with a true expert in the industry, to plan out the safety of a space.

For example, a common obstacle to overcome relates to the depth and foundation requirements of HVM, as the strength of a product usually lies underground within the foundations.

In rural areas, this is seldom an issue, but in an urban setting the complexity of the utilities that sit below the street can cause issues for installation. Solutions such as shallow mount products help to overcome this common issue. 

A crucial consideration should always be to specify products that have been successfully crash-tested to PAS 68, PAS 170 and IWA 14.1 standards, providing independently proven and verified assurance and peace of mind that the products will effectively protect people and property in the event that disaster did occur.

Finding your style

Developments in manufacture, design and technology are opening up tons of aesthetically pleasing options to urban planners for landscape protection solutions. Industry experts are able to provide a wide array of materials and styles, along with bespoke solutions for some projects.

In the past, budget restrictions often limited the options that landscape designers had when specifying products, but this is no longer the case. There are a significant number of HVM systems that are functional, safe and cost effecting, meaning that landscape designers can maximise the return on investment across installations with an increase in footfall for the rejuvenated areas.

Risk and response – finding the right fit

High-risk locations generally already have protective measures in place however, lower-risk areas are typically less well protected. Quite often products currently on the market are predominantly aimed at high-level protection – usually at a high cost.

The response, therefore, tends to be at two opposite ends of the scale – all or nothing.

In response to the increased risk of Vehicle as Weapons (VAW) attacks and increasing demand from the market, Marshalls Landscape Protection has started to develop products that sit between these two extremes.

Having to think differently about the solutions that were being created, Marshalls Landscape Protection went about engineering existing street furniture products to perform at IWA14-1.

This not only expanded the options that could be made available to customers but also ensured that they could have a full suite of products to pick from. Where previously those responsibly for designing public spaces would have to select from separate ranges to fulfil their protective and non-protective street furniture requirements, these new developments mean that public spaces can be furnished with complementary and matching products.

The new RhinoGuard 15-30 street furniture range from Marshalls includes seating options from the popular Marshalls Distrikt, Festival, M3, Geo and Urbain seats and benches, and the Natural Elements litter bin. All which are also available as non-protective street furniture ranges.

The range delivers IWA-14 rated options that can withstand a 1500kg vehicle travelling at 48kph. The stylish, protective pieces negate the need for bulky and obtrusive products, enabling creativity in the design of our public spaces.

The range, which is simple and cost effective to specify, doesn’t require complex or deep foundations along with no need for additional rebar unlike traditional HVM solutions.

The RhinoGuard 15-30 Street Furniture Range allows for a truly multi-layered approach to perimeter protection for both present and future safety needs.

To find out more about Marshalls Landscape Protection, please visit: or call 0370 600 2425.

This article was originally published in the October 2022 edition of Security Journal UK. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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