- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 24 Mar 2015
The use of concrete structures to protect construction sites
To help develop this article, click 'Edit this article' above.
Once widely used in the Roman Empire, concrete has created some of the largest structures still standing today, such as the Pantheon and the Colosseum in Rome and more recently the Hoover Dam on the border between Arizona and Nevada in the USA.
Following the collapse of the Roman Empire, concrete was slowly phased out as a building material until its comeback in the middle of the 18th century. Nowadays it is a staple construction material and is one of the most widely used man-made materials throughout the modern world.
However concrete is not just useful as a building material for large scale projects. Concrete has a wide range of uses and because of its high density it can often be used as a security measure to deter trespassers, prevent people from breaking and entering and more. This makes it incredibly useful for building sites where the project has been briefly delayed for a few weeks or months and security measures need to be put in place to prevent intrusion, vandalism or theft.
When working in damp or muddy conditions, thick sludge and mucky earth can hinder construction progress. Concrete paving slabs provide a stable and secure platform upon which construction workers can progress with construction. They are durable, hard wearing and resistant to the elements, making them ideal for long-term construction projects or projects working in the open air. Concrete paving slabs come in a variety of colours and sizes. In some cases it is a good idea to choose a brighter colour as it is easier to spot in harsh weather.
A great and subtle way to increase security is to decorate the exterior of the building with concrete security planters. A concrete basin is placed outside the building that is made of 2/3rds concrete, 1/3rd earth and soil. This can then be planted, giving the illusion that it is only there to provide foliage and a pleasant atmosphere. However the concrete acts as a fantastic security barrier as it prevents vehicles from parking and works as a physical barrier if intruders want to try to force their way in using heavy machinery.
Often the classical method of security is the most popular, and temporary concrete vertical barriers do an excellent job of keeping trespassers out. Their large bulk and variety of sizes prevents vehicles from entering a building site and because of their weight they can easily cordon off sections of the site to prevent access.
It is important to be aware that a construction site may be perfectly secure during the day; however safety and security measures must be put in place when the employees and construction workers sign off for the day, otherwise the building may be target for vandalism or theft. Concrete barriers and security planters deter this so that construction can go ahead as planned.
Featured articles and news
Do you understand the different types of stone and which ones you should use where?
An ECA briefing for members about the commercial implications of leaving the EU.
A crucial moment on any project - and fraught with danger.
The performance gap from a Northern Ireland perspective.
Book review: Buildings of protestant nonconformity.
Design and testing for health and wellbeing - free download from BRE.
Retention in construction contracts.
Campaign for the reform of cash retentions.
The key points for the construction industry and BSRIA's response.
How to make roads safer: the debate continues.
What does the Northern Powerhouse mean for us?
The different types of bond in construction contracts.