Innovative public square design can improve neighborhood morale, increase home values, generate more retail sales, plus so much more. No space needs to go wasted, not with these great public square design ideas implemented in some of the world’s most highly trafficked locations, such as Times Square in New York City.
TerraCast played a role in the development of all projects listed below. TerraCast durable planters were used to complete each picture-perfect public square. There’s a reason our planters are continually chosen for high traffic areas:
- They are impervious to the elements.
- They can withstand impact damage, drastic temperature fluctuations, and just about anything else thrown their way.
- Thanks to their resin-based non-porous material, graffiti does not stain planters. You can wipe surfaces clean using a little elbow grease and a Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser® Wipe.
- They are lightweight + easy and affordable to transport.
- Our products are made right here in the USA using sustainably sourced materials and earth-conscious manufacturing processes.
5 Pedestrian Plazas Created With Our Planters
1. Times Square Plaza in Manhattan, New York
Times Square is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet and as a result it’s congested with people every single second of every single day. The famous Square’s previous design left it highly crowded with cars and pedestrians. The redesigned Times Square is a much more functional space with wider pedestrian walkways and a plaza complete with seating.
“We saw retail sales soar along the corridors where we put bus lanes and bike lanes and pedestrian plazas,” Janette Sadik-Khan, New York City’s transportation commissioner between 2007 and 2013, told NPR station KCR. Shortly after renovations were complete, Times Square was awarded as one of Crain’s Top 10 Retail Locations around the globe.
TerraCast planters are used throughout Times Square to beautify the space. Our planters were specifically chosen for their durability—you can hit, throw and even mark our planters with graffiti, and yet still, they remain in supreme condition.
2. Pearl Street Triangle Plaza, in Brooklyn, New York
Pearl Street was the first public square redevelopment project Ms. Sadik-Khan worked on in NYC. The success of this project helped fuel the redevelopment of other sections of New York, such as Times Square. Back in the day, Pearl Street contained small sidewalks, roadways and an awkward collection of parking spots. Post renovation, Pearl Street offers a nice public square for people to congregate, hail an Uber, jump on the bus, or just enjoy the neighborhood.
Our planters are proudly featured at this public space, because what’s a square without some pretty pops of color from plants and trees?
3. 6 ½ Avenue in Manhattan
This revamped public square earned itself a street marker that reads 6 ½ Avenue, a tribute to Harry Potter’s Platform 9 ¾. The renovation included the expansion of pedestrian space and the addition of large TerraCast planters overflowing with greenery.
4. Baruch College
Baruch College had a largely unused road running between campus buildings and so they decided to turn it into a public square for students. The renovated student plaza includes TerraCast commercial planters, which are used as a beautiful barrier to outline the space.
5. Sunset Triangle Plaza
In Los Angeles, the City Planning Commission turned a generic street in Silver Lake into a pedestrian plaza that features TerraCast step planters. The planters provide a barrier between Sunset Boulevard and the people walking and dining outside.
What Do These Successful Public Squares Have in Common?
1. Public Square Planters
First and foremost, we are proud to point out they all include TerraCast planters!
2. A Place to Sit
If a public square is large enough, add at least one or two areas where people can sit and enjoy the space, wait for a friend or the next bus. This will encourage people to congregate here, as opposed to just passing through.
3. Something Worth Talking About
Maybe it’s a unique name like 6 ½ Avenue, or a fun installation people can climb inside of, whatever is, the best public squares have something unique to offer. Give people something worth talking about, something that sets your square apart from the rest.
A successful public square must pass the test of time. It’s important to consider the longevity of each feature and product used to outfit public squares. Maintenance is something else you want to avoid as much as possible. Go with native plants, rust-free furniture and no-maintenance planters– or else run the risk of spending a fortune on maintenance all the time.
Sustainability also relates to how products, labor and materials are sourced. Public squares are all about brightening areas for everyone, we believe this level of care should be engrained into everything about a project. That’s why we make all our planters right here in the USA using sustainable materials and earth-conscious manufacturing processes.
5. New Opportunities
Most importantly, public squares should breathe new life to a location. For instance, Baruch College turned a hardly-used street into a popular student plaza. Utilize every inch of space to your advantage and watch the benefits pour in. We are here to help any way we can; shop our vast selection of planters: http://www.terracastproducts.com/our-shop/planters/
Company: TerraCast Products LLC
Ogden by Maglin Site Furniture offers flexible straight, curved or circular bench options to suit any style
Ogden offers flexible curved, circular or straight bench options to configure any style that you visualize. Available in a variety of radii, various seat material and leg options for you to design your individual creation.
Company: Maglin Site Furniture
When unsightly, old and damaged concrete is no longer acceptable the option for concrete resurfacing should be your top choice. Concrete floors over time will often develop cracks, show surface spalling, stain, and begin to deteriorate.
Typically the structural concrete slab will be fine but its surface is in need of repair and concrete resurfacing. Elite Crete Systems has been leading the concrete resurfacing industry for decades and has a wide variety of products and systems to choose from.
Once it has been determined that something needs to be done about the old concrete, the fun begins! Concrete resurfacing systems open the door to wide range of design and decor options. There are purely functional concrete resurfacing products that will look and feel similar to standard grey concrete floor, but for those who want to take their concrete flooring to whole new level, decorative concrete systems should be considered.
Here are some common concrete resurfacing systems with overviews of what the look and design can be expected from each:
Broom Finish Concrete - Skim, Bond or Broom Coat
This system is designed to resurface concrete with a very thin layer of polymer modified cement. This thin layer can be squeegeed and smoothed out at 1/8th inch thick or less to provide a vibrant new surface to damaged concrete. Because of its thin nature, the concrete should be patched and leveled prior to the application so that any imperfections are corrected. This product can be colored and applied with a variety of textures to create a cost effective and limitless design to beautify concrete slabs and floors.
Splatter Texture - Splatter, Knock down, Sprayed texture concrete
Often found around pool decks and large outdoor patios and walkways. This functional concrete resurfacing system provides a textured, slip resistant finish that can be efficiently applied with a hopper spray gun. The final look is that similar to a splattered wall finish standard in many homes. The texture helps the surface stay cool for bare feet in the hot sun and creates a functional anti-slip surface for wet areas. This texture is most often installed on top of a skim or bond coat and can then be coated in any color similar to a painted surface top while providing a sealed, consistent floor finish.
Thin Stamped Overlay - Stamped topping, Stamped concrete overlay, Texture Pave
When a natural custom look is what you are after, a thin stamped overlay will provide a new surface to your concrete that resembles stone, rock, slate or wood. When resurfacing concrete with a thin stamped overlay, you can expect to cover the concrete with 3/16” to 5/8” of material and then imprint or stamp a pattern into the freshly placed material. When using thin stamped materials you are limited to thin, or shallow stamp mats that require only minimal material displacement. These systems are ideal for interior and exterior spaces where a textured finish is desired that resembles a natural material or paver.
Design Options for Concrete Resurfacing:
- Color Choices:
Integral Color, Stains, Dyes, Solid Coatings
Matte, Satin, High Gloss
- Surface Textures:
Stone, Brick, Rock, Wood, Pavers.
Also includes a range of anti-slip additives that can be incorporated in to the sealer system.
For more information about concrete resurfacing, please feel free to contact Elite Crete Systems with any questions.
Product: Concrete Surface Restoration
Keep your bicycles safe from thieves—and other threats you may not have considered
Because of the health benefits and cost savings it provides, cycling continues to grow as a form of transportation. But as the number commuters who cycle increases, so too does the demand for secure bike parking. Providing safe options will increase traffic to your location, but there are a lot of considerations to make when choosing what form is right for your building. Whether you are managing a business park, apartment complex, or office tower, you must recognize the vulnerabilities present at your site. There are more threats than just thieves out there, and in many situations, providing the optimal level of security will require more than a traditional bike rack can offer.
When deciding on the appropriate level of bike security required, the first questions that should be asked are how long the bikes need to be stored for and how frequently they will have eyes on them. These two questions address the two potential threats to bicycle security most commonly forgotten when deciding what type of bike storage unit to install: the elements and vandalism.
Damp weather can quickly wear at a bike’s mechanisms and finish, and bikes stored in areas not regularly frequented are not only more likely stolen but also defaced. This means in high-traffic areas where bicycles are only secured for a few minutes at a time, like a store front, a traditional bike rack will provide an adequate level of security. But in isolated areas where bicycles are stored for long periods of time out of public view, such as schools, gyms, transit terminals, and theatres, a higher level of protection is recommended.
The wedge-shaped design allows individual bike locker units to fit together easily.
A fully enclosed bike parking infrastructure is best for these settings; bike lockers offer the optimal level of security. A bike locker is a compact and durable storage unit with box-like construction that prohibits contact from would-be thieves and vandals. Bike lockers can be considered “mini garages” for bicycles and they providepeace of mind in ways a standard bike rack cannot. Many models are also designed to prevent moisture entering. Most models feature a solid door-locking mechanism and feature enough room to protect additional equipment such as helmets, lights, water bottles, and pannier bags.
While bike lockers have been popular in urban cities across Europe and parts of Asia for some time, the market has just started to grow in North America. Bike lockers are now available in many designs, ranging from the rectangular box-type, to the triangle-shaped type, where the widest part accommodates the bicycle’s handlebars. Many designs also feature components that allow multiple lockers to be formed into a modular arrangement.
Installation requires very little in terms of mechanical ability, and if a concrete base or footing is available, it can usually be completed within minutes. Bike lockers are generally held in place with washers and bolts that pass through the locker’s floor and into a concrete anchor that sits in a hole drilled into the concrete base or footing. In most cases, all that is required to secure a bike locker is a drill with masonry bit and a wrench to tighten the lug bolts. Bike locker maintenance is also very easy. Polyethylene units can endure any weather nature throws their way with minimal wear-and-tear to the bike locker. Both plastic and powder-coated metal units can usually be cleaned with only warm soap and water.
Bike lockers are not only good for people and the environment, but they are good for business. They do require a more substantial initial investment than traditional bike racks, but the peace-of-mind security they provide also attracts the business cyclists. Some facility managers have even offset the initial purchase cost of bike lockers by renting the units.
These low-maintenance bicycle lockers are made with low-density durable polyethylene.
As the urban landscape changes and an increasing number of urbanites eschew driving a vehicle in favour of a bicycle, the demand for storage solutions that are both weather and vandal proof will continue to grow. Traditional racks may be the right solution for many applications but many vulnerable areas require the increased level of protection that can only be provided by bike lockers. Keeping building occupants happy, easing vehicle parking demand, and preventing property damage will require the correct decision by facility managers.
Company: Reliance Foundry Co. Ltd.
Product: Bike Lockers
If you’re looking for comfortable, durable, and beautiful seating, look to Thomas Steele for a wide selection of handcrafted outdoor benches. Pick the perfect piece for your project from a variety of styles, finishes, and customization options. Browse our current selection of commercial and outdoor park benches, or contact a Thomas Steele site furnishings expert at 608-849-1080 or at email@example.com with your questions and unique design needs.
Volare modular benches in addition with the modular tables will create several unique seating arrangements. The modular benches are available with 1, 2, 3, or 4 seats. Volare is constructed of 5/8" round steel rod. The frame is made with 3” Steel Tube with all welded construction. The bench is available with three installation methods: free standing, in-ground, and surface mount.
Volare flat benches in addition with the modular tables will create several unique seating arrangements. The benches are available with 1, 2, 3, or 4 seats. Volare is constructed of 5/8" round steel rod. The frame is made with 3” Steel Tube with all welded construction. The bench is available with three installation methods: free standing, in-ground, and surface mount.
Company: Thomas Steele
This light pole was originally installed in the City of Pasadena in the early 1920s. Its design consists of intricately detailed cast iron sections. After 85 years of service the need for additional light poles down Pasadena's famous Lake Avenue Drive became apparent. Representatives with the city expressed a desire to duplicate this early design and provide a period luminaire cast in solid bronze. Our in-house pattern and machine shop recreated the cast iron foundry tooling needed for an exact replication. Each section of the iron casting was sand blasted and several layers of paint removed revealed the raw iron casting.
Secrets of the early artisans that created the original tooling began to surface. The master journeyman of that era indeed had a story to tell and their work and creative ingenuity came to light. We estimated the original carvings in the original all wood tooling to be just over 4,000 man-hours back in 1920. Each individual section of detail had to be individually hand carved back then. The use of pillow blocks and triple radii shrink ratios allowed for a tight level uniform fit with an "as cast" casting. We came to discover this "trick of the trade" through careful analyzing the core prints after the old paint layers had been completely removed. We pulled sections of original detail out of the castings with a high performance non-shrinking reproduction polymer resin. The shrink ratios were added back to the wood turnings and the detail added back to the top of the pattern to bring the castings back into original tolerance. With the use of reproduction polymer resins and fine dental tools we were able to complete all the tooling on this job in less than 1,000 man-hours, allowing us the luxury of winning this work and learning from the master craftsmen of a bygone era.
Innovations in the casting process have come along way in the last century. One hundred years ago, wet "green sand" was the standard method of production. Erratic shrinks and tooling pulls would justify the use of triple radii shrink and pillow blocks. Today modern chemistry has given the age old foundry process the ability to control shrink more accurately. The use of chemically bonded "dry sand" to cast the individual parts allowed us to tighten up the tolerances and ensured a crisp detail throughout every pour. Very little machine time was spent preparing these castings for their final end use, yet the rich grain texture of fine iron castings gives each pole an individuality unique to itself. High performance acrylic primers and finish coatings completed this pole which will provide a maintenance free finish for at least 20 years.
The luminaire itself was also duplicated, only Niland was able to cast this tool in bronze, keeping with the original design from 85 years ago. Over the years most of the luminaires had been replaced with cast aluminum recreations. Our ability to cast this luminaire in bronze got the design back to its original historical intention. The light source recommended to the city utilizes electronic ballasts fully enclosed and potted in resin. This ballast allows increased life of the lamp and increased performance due to the decreased light loss factor associated with these high performance products.
Company: Niland Co.
TerraCast Products dazzle reclaimed public spaces with installations of planter pots across various pedestrian plazas in New York City. Following in the wake of the NYC Department of Transportation’s success, other municipalities have taken to tactical urbanism utilizing the loose guidelines which help their citizens safely hang outside more.
The New York Department of Transportation (DOT) in collaboration with the NYC Plaza Program, along with Baruch College in NYC, and the Los Angeles City Planning Commission launched independent projects to transform community spaces utilizing innovative resin based planters. Designed by Florida-based TerraCast Products, an American owned and operated company; the planters are manufactured in the United States from a durable resin blend that resists sun and salt as well as the abuses of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The lightweight material allows for easy relocation during events or with seasonal changes.
"Areas all over the country are utilizing tactical urbanism for emerging public spaces, such as pedestrian plazas, streetscapes and parklets," said Brad Goldring, TerraCast Products’ CEO. "We are incredibly excited to have worked with NYDOT, many colleges, business improvement districts and the LA City Planning Commission to help design these new sites. We hope they highlight distinct approaches to public space management, and that these projects initiate other entities to succeed in creating thriving public spaces in their communities."
Successful public spaces require modernization, acceptance and maintenance: These projects implement all three. Under NYDOT and the NYC Plaza Program, Union Square, Madison Square and Times Square all feature TerraCast planters, which adhere to New York City’s exacting design requirements while ensuring the areas to be energetic centers of activity.
Baruch College introduced TerraCast commercial planters to convert a road located between two of their campus buildings into a student plaza. The planters were chosen as decorative barriers which best met the needs of the college because they are maintenance free and durable. The LA City Planning Commission accomplished something similar at Sunset Triangle Plaza when they renovated a street in Silver Lake into a pedestrian plaza utilizing TerraCast Products step planters. These planters separated Sunset Boulevard from people walking and dining outside.
“In the last decade, these initiatives have breathed new life into the spaces within these cities,” stated Lou Blondin, TerraCast Products’ CMO. “In collaboration with these organizations, we are reimagining public spaces in a more pioneering and comprehensive way, and our products align with these concepts.”
TerraCast Products’ modern resin planters contribute to this new approach to city building that integrates the reinforcing benefits of vibrant public spaces with tactical urbanism. TerraCast Planters last longer than products made from other materials, and they are cost-effective for project budgets. Constructed to not require any maintenance, TerraCast planters can withstand a variety of weather, including intense heat and harsh winter climates. The lightweight planters can be moved and loaded by hand, which allow for easy shipping and transporting on the job site.
Community organizations and cities are invited to find more information about TerraCast Products at http://www.terracastproducts.com.
Company: TerraCast Products LLC
Transform your yard, patio, or outdoor cafe into majestic gathering places with these beautiful brick outdoor entertainment pieces
Transform your yard, patio, or outdoor cafe into majestic gathering places with these beautiful brick outdoor entertainment pieces. Crafted from quality and made to stand up to the elements, these distinctive furnishings are meant to be enjoyed season after season. Choose from a variety of rich-color tones and eye-catching textures for your uniquely manufactured outdoord living product.
Custom Laser Cut Signs
Company: Belden Brick Co.
Product: BrickScapes Outdoor Living Products
Signature line of uniquely reinforced aluminum posts, matching top rails, and inline handrails. All aluminum products are available in five color options: black, bronze, white, natural, and clay.
These uniquely designed aluminum posts and top rails offer an economical alternative to our stainless steel and premium wood frame options, without compromising architectural resilience. Designed specifically for cable railing applications, these products are reinforced to have greater strength and durability than standard aluminum posts. With two top rail options, a handrail that can double as support for a wood top rail, and five color options, this line offers the greatest number of options.
- Five powder-coat color options: black, bronze, natural, clay, and white
- Two top rail design options: rectangular or shaped
- Posts are available for 36”, 42”, and custom height systems and can be deck, fascia, or core mounted
- Posts are compatible with any of our assemblies and can be ordered pre-drilled. Grommets are recommended to keep the stainless steel cables from reacting with the aluminum.
- The aluminum handrail runs between posts for use in any system regardless of shape or slope. Can be used as a standalone, inline, or stair handrail.
- Handrail can also be used as inline support for a wood top rail.
Company: Stainless Cable & Railing Inc.
The architects of London’s remodeled West Croydon Bus Station were looking for a way to give the busy transport station a brighter and more aesthetically appealing look when it began its remodeling project two years ago. The introduction of Kalwall translucent sandwich panels for the station’s canopy helped achieve that goal. And, in the process, earned the project one of England’s highest honors in architectural design.
Transport for London (TfL)’s in-house design team was recently presented a 2017 RIBA Regional Award by the Royal Institute of British Architects and TfL architect Martin Eriksson won a 2017 RIBA London Project Architect of the Year Award.
RIBA Awards aim to “celebrate the best architecture in the UK and around the world.” London has over 12,000 RIBA members and 1,000 chartered practices. Regional winners are eligible for the RIBA National Award for architectural excellence.
In jury comments, the station is described as a “charming and creative building.” Kalwall panels not only provided an aesthetic beauty, but their lightweight properties factored into the design of the building. The ability to eliminate shadows, hotspots and glare made Kalwall preferable to traditional glazing. Additionally, the translucent panels create an ethereal glow at night, making it a beacon for travelers.
The ability to reduce maintenance expenditures also made Kalwall a great choice. Soil and detritus are less obvious on Kalwall panels than on glass, and cleaning is much simpler because access scaffolding is not required and maintenance staff can safely walk across its surface.
Company: Kalwall Corporation
Product: Wall Systems
European starlings cost growers as much as $800 million in the US annually. The loud, obnoxious, destructive birds steal grain, ravage crops and crowd out native bird species. The problem is that starlings move in vast numbers, which often descend on a field, orchard or grain area. A migrating flock of starlings can number 100,000 birds. Another problematic factor is that starlings now have fewer natural predators to keep their numbers in check.
Attacking Grain Fields
As highly aggressive omnivores, European starlings compete with native fauna for food. Open bill probing is most commonly used to feed on ground invertebrates, which is their preferred food. In new grain fields, starlings will pull up young plants and eat the seeds.
Extensive Fruit Damage
Starlings will typically assault a wide range of crops, including strawberries, blueberries, grapes, tomatoes, peaches, figs, apples and cherries. Fruit damage is often caused by younger birds, which have underdeveloped probing skills. It is not uncommon for a flock of 4,000 starlings to cause major loss of revenue in a large vineyard in a week’s time.
Problems Around Livestock & Poultry
Starlings create formidable problems for livestock and poultry facilities, congregating at feed troughs and diminishing supplies of livestock feed—1,000 birds can consume 100 pounds of grain a day. Starlings can contaminate food and water sources with their droppings, carrying parasites and diseases, including E coli, from farm to farm. These diseases are transmissible to livestock and people, including TGE (transmissible gastroenteritis—a swine disease), blastomycosis and salmonella. Starling droppings can also contain the fungus histoplasma capsulatum, the cause of histoplasmosis in humans.
Starling nests built into building cavities can pose a fire hazard. New nests are typically added to old, compounding this combustible materials hazard. When starlings enter buildings to roost and nest, they create sanitation problems; when they nest in farm equipment, they create fire hazards. Their droppings carry ticks and mites, and they are highly acidic, eating into paint and degrading the strength and structural integrity of many materials, including infrastructures and roof linings. The sheer amount of droppings together with their chemical action can damage and kill trees and any vegetation underneath.
Humane, Effective Starling Deterrents
Getting rid of flocking birds can pose a challenge, since many birds are protected by law and cannot be killed or injured. Growers and farmers have found that the only viable solution is to use humane, proven effective bird repellents. This is where the bird control pros at Bird B Gone can help.
Agrilaser® Lite for Farms, Fields, Warehouses
Employing advanced, patented optical laser-beam technology, the Agrilaser® Lite harmlessly repels flocking birds over great distances—up to 2,500 meters. Developed with the help of farmers and ornithologists, the Agrilaser® Lite is animal friendly and ideal for repelling a variety of birds. It is most effective during sunrise and sunset, and in overcast, rainy or foggy weather conditions. The Agrilaser® Lite comes with two rechargeable batteries and a power charger.
Heavy Duty Bird Netting
Ideal for sealing out birds from specific areas around a warehouse or storage facility, Bird B Gone’s Bird Net 2000 Heavy Duty Bird Netting is made of a tough UV-stabilized polyethylene mesh. This durable netting is rot proof, water proof and flame resistant. It’s also ISO 1806 and 9001 Protocol mesh tested, temperature stable (-250F to 270F), and non-conductive. It comes in stock sizes and custom cuts up to 200 ft. The ¾” mesh is ideal for blocking out small birds like starlings. The netting is backed by a 10-year guarantee and comes in black, stone or white to blend in with its background.
Solar Bird Chase Super Sonic
This weatherproof sound deterrent is recommended for deterring birds from large open spaces. It broadcasts pre-recorded distress and predator calls that intimidate as many as 22 species of birds. Ideal for deterring birds from lofty or hard to reach areas—like rooftops, trees and open fields, the device is programmable and comes with a built-in speaker that will cover up to an acre (additional speakers can be added to boost range). Because it’s solar powered, no AC access is needed, so it can be placed wherever pest birds gather most often.
Ask the Experts
If you’re unsure about which product would work best for your specific situation, Bird B Gone has over 100 years of combined experience in the field of bird control. We can help you with product selection, installation and cleanup. Just call us at (888) 570-0360 for a catalog, pricing, or product samples or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also work with a network of authorized installers, call today for a trained bird control professional in your area.
Company: Bird-B-Gone, Inc.
Product: Bird Netting
Of: Alex Kecskes
2017 Excellence in Hardscape Awards Recognizes County Materials' Concrete Pavers, Slabs and Retaining Walls
The innovation and beauty of County Materials’ hardscape products were recognized at the 2017 Wisconsin Masonry Alliance Excellence in Hardscape Awards. Five projects with concrete pavers, slabs and retaining walls manufactured by County Materials received awards at the 2017 gala, hosted at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI.
A panel of industry judges selected winners from an entry pool of many exceptional landscape projects located in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Landscape projects were judged on their overall excellence in design, creativity, functionality, selection and quality of hardscape materials, installation techniques, craftsmanship and finished appearance.
Three projects featuring County Materials’ pavers, slabs and retaining walls took top honors with Gold Awards in different categories.
In the category for Best Concrete Paver Commercial Application Over 2,500 sq ft, Gold went to the patio at the Church Mutual office in Mosinee, Wis. completed by CW Terramaster.
Lake Edge Apartments
Also earning the top Gold Award was the Madison, Wis. Lake Edge Apartments in the Best Structural Retaining Wall Commercial Application Over 2,500 sq ft completed by TMS Landscape Inc.
Finally, the Neenah, Wis. Menasha Corp earned the Best Permeable Paver Commercial Application category, completed by Miron Construction.
Smoke Tree Pass Residence
In the Best Driveway Application category, Wolfrath’s Nursery & Landscaping of Hortonville, Wis. earned the Silver Award for their Smoke Tree Pass residential driveway project in Appleton, Wis.
Shawano Lawn and Stone
The Bronze Award was given for Best Permeable Paver Residential Application to Shawano Lawn and Stone for their work on the lakeside Emile Court residence in Gillett, Wis.
County Materials is a leading supporter of the Wisconsin Masonry Alliance and the Excellence in Hardscape Award competition, and partner with professional landscape installers and designers. We congratulate each of the winners for their excellence in the industry.
Company: County Materials Corporation
Bobby Parks loves decks and the people who build them. So much so, Parks sold Peachtree Decks and Porches, his successful suburban Atlanta-based deck-building business two and a half years ago to "live the dream" of helping fellow contractors succeed in the business too. Today he does that with his consulting company, BP Consulting and Design LLC.
Parks knows the deck trade like few do. He delivered $30 million in deck construction prior to his Peachtree days and has delivered $10 million in composite decks, including a $350,000 commercial deck project. Today he travels the country observing what's working from region to region, then presenting that winning, field-tested insight to fellow contractors.
What does Parks say to contractors looking to grow their business? "A homeowner doesn't expect a contractor to be a super-smooth talker or an Einstein," Parks says. "I was never a salesperson but I sold over a million dollars a year in deck projects from the get-go. You've got to want to do better." Here are some of Bobby Parks' thoughts on the art of doing better:
"You can't just be a deck builder today. You've got to offer outdoor living areas. For us, it was offering some limited hardscapes. We did a lot of porches because I'm in the Southeast. Become more creative. Think about high value up-sells like outdoor kitchens, fire pits, and cable and aluminum railing systems like the ones Feeney makes."
"I used to spend $40,000 to $50,000 a year on marketing. Then I got smart and started spending just $2,500 a year and generating far more leads than I could run down. I even charged $75 just to set an appointment. What changed? My website. I can't overstate how important the photo quality of your deck projects are. If you want to be in the top 10 to 20 percent of your market, you have to look like you belong there. That starts with your website."
"I remember one of my first pro training trips. Some of the contractors said, ‘Well, I don't need a website. I work from referrals.' Maybe so. But I saw what they parked out front. I know they're not getting rich off referrals. Yes, referrals can be great. But sometimes you need work, so the temptation is to low-ball to get it. You end just turning dollars and not a profit. It comes back to your website. If your website is done right, a contractor can expect a lot more proposals at fatter margins and with a higher close rate. A good website is a huge difference-maker."
"Wood is always going to be a factor. But the wood today, especially southern yellow pine, isn't what it used to be. Ask any builder. You might have to go through 40 studs to find two or three you'd actually use. I think there's a gradual turn to capstock composites as the southern yellow pine issues sink in.
"Low-maintenance aluminum railings provide design versatility with a variety of in-fill options like tempered glass, vertical pickets, and vertical or horizontal cables. Aluminum top rails can also be customized with a wood or composite cap rail."
Company: Feeney, Inc
Tags: Landscape Design
The new Bike Sheds offer protection from the elements and versatility in their many applications. Whether you need covered bike parking or a place to sit and wait for the bus, these new sheds can be customized to complete your vision.
Bike Sheds are constructed of 2 X 2" steel leg tubing for the base, and a 16MM thick polycarbonate opal color top. The bike shed has many additional options available, including optional side panels and various bike parking combinations.
The Shadow™ Rack plays on the natural elements of its environment. The sculpted steel creates silhouettes on the pavement, while providing secure parking for your bike.
New! Pierce™ Rack is not your ordinary bike rack. This edgy art piece doubles as a functional and secure bike parking solution.
Whether you are seeking to transform your environment, promote your organization, or just express your creativity, our custom bicycle racks are your best resource. We will work with your idea, your sketch, or your blueprint to bring your vision to life.
Company: Madrax Bike Racks
Product: Bike Shelters
Need inspiration for a deck railing? Look no further than cable railing systems by Stainless Cable & Railing Inc. Available across a spectrum of material, shape, and color options, you're sure to find the right posts and top rail for the job. Even if you plan to supply your own frame, cable infill and fittings work with any architecture style or décor.
The images below provide a small sample of completed cable railing projects submitted by our customers, all of which include our marine grade stainless steel cable and cable end fittings. For more images organized by materials used, see our Photo Gallery. Think one of our railings will be perfect for your deck? Give Stainless Cable & Railing Inc. a call or fill out our Estimate Request Form to get started.
Contemporary Deck Railing Ideas
Traditional Deck Railing Ideas
Rustic Deck Railing Ideas
Tropical Deck Railing Ideas
CableView® railing systems are defined by the craftsmanship, value, and enjoyment they provide
We build quality products, using durable, low-maintenance materials, including marine grade 316L stainless steel. Our state of the art in-house fabrication ensures quality control and allows us to accommodate the specific needs of any project.
As both manufacturer and retailer, we skip the middleman entirely. This allows us to offer our customers economical, factory-direct prices for premium products. Our durable systems will stand the test of time, providing dependable safety.
Your deck, loft, staircase, or porch railing is an integral part of your home, providing safety, visual appeal, and a great view. Simply give us a call or fill out our estimate request form, and we'll handle the rest. The clean lines and versatility of cable railing emphasize your view.
Company: Stainless Cable & Railing Inc.
Coastal landscapes face additional pressures from things like high winds, floods, salty air and so forth. In order to overcome coastal landscape challenges, certain precautions must be taken during the installation process.
Super storms are bigger than ever before. Recent super storms have caused a shift of attention towards building structures near hazardous coastal environments that can actually withstand these challenges. Even on a good day, coastal properties face a variety of challenges from the salty air and intense sun. Add assaulting winds, hurricanes, floods, tropical storms and storm surges on top of daily wear and tear.
Failing to use the appropriate landscaping materials will result in quick degradation of landscaping and costly repairs and replacement. It’s so important for architects and landscape designers to pick the right types of plants and installation techniques in order to ensure the long-term survival of coastal landscaping.
#1. Use Native Coastal Plants
First and foremost, you want to select native coastal plants that are naturally capable of surviving harsh winds, salty air and all of the other extremes faced by coastal plants. Native vegetation lowers the cost of maintenance and irrigation, plus native plants are more likely to bounce back following a storm or even a hurricane. Utilizing native plants also encourages local wildlife to flourish.
An LAF Case Study Investigation included site analysis of several coastal properties in South Florida, all of which were found to incur big time benefits from native plants. One of the properties included in the study was 1100 Block Streetscape of Lincoln Road Mall. This property faced coastal issues as well as challenges associated with heavy urban environments. The redesign involved adding 30-40 foot native canopy trees that were transplanted directly on site. The trees provided immediate shade to the public plaza because they were full-grown at the time they were transplanted. The fact that they are a native species (live oaks and bald cypresses) continues to help ensure their survival no matter what Florida’s wild coastal weather throws their way.
Beach sand is not the most fertile soil and doesn’t retain moisture very well, making it rather undesirable for most plant types. The goal is to find plants with multiple tolerances. According to Meg Whitmer, CEO of Meg Whitmer Landscape Architecture located in Tampa, Florida, “I use hardy plants that can withstand high winds, salt spray (if applicable), flooding, drought, sandy alkaline soil and cold tolerant.” She adds, “Most of these plants are native, but several ornamentals are also hardy enough for coastal location if planted in the right place.”
Depending on where you are located, different plants do better than others. For instance, in the Pacific Northwest, succulents and grasses such as Miscanthus and Mexican Feather Grass do very well in coastal environments. While red mother of thyme makes a hardy ground covering. If you aren’t a huge fan of how hardy plants look, use them as a protective barrier surrounding more ornamental plants closer to the home or building.
#2. Be Familiar With Coastal Lighting Regulations
Coastal lighting is regulated in regards to the creatures we share the land with. Bright lights that shine all night can distract coastal marine animals and even jeopardize their survival. For instance, in the Hamptons local regulations against lighting prevent home owners and business owners from putting lights too far from their home or building, and never near the dunes. While in Florida, there are similar regulations in place, largely revolving around sea turtles.
Lighting fixtures should be strategically placed close to the structure to prevent interference with nature as much as possible.
#3. Use Hardy Hardscapes
If waves repeatedly crash down on your property, it will wash away your hardscapes within a relatively short amount of time. 2-inch gravel walkways are a great solution because they are not easily displaced. Plus, since they are not set into place it’s much easier to make repairs and replace as needed. Try using large stones with an aggregate to help hold everything together.
#4. Make The Switch To Resin-Based Materials
Avoid metals because they are quick to rust and corrode from the salty moist air. Our resin-based materials are incredibly durable and non-permeable, which means no salt or water is able to seep within materials and cause damage. Everything from planters to site furnishings to lampposts lasts a lot longer when made from our unique resin-based material.
Learn more about the benefits of our resin-based products: http://www.terracastproducts.com/why-resin/
#5. Invest In Structures That Can Survive High Powered Winds
One of the biggest challenges is creating structures capable of standing up to the dramatic winds that pick up during hurricanes and other large-scale storms. When winds can easily reach over 100 miles per hour, sheds, buildings and any other structures must be reinforced with a steel moment frame.
High forced winds come with high-flying debris capable of shattering windows and letting the storm inside. Windows should be equipped with easy to use storm shutters, or other approved measures, in order to protect against windborne debris. An impact-rated glazing may be suitable to windows that are less prone to damage, while motorized roll-down shutters are a great way to protect windows at greater risk for damage.
It’s important that all of your structures, site furnishings and landscaping materials are able to withstand getting pummeled by sand, chairs or anything else that gets caught up in the wind. The majority of commercial and residential lighting fixtures, planters and site furnishings are not capable of withstanding these types of forces. TerraCast Products are highly durable, making them ideal in some of the toughest environments.
#6. Work With The Breeze For Unexpected Benefits
While wind can be viewed as a negative factor, you can actually use it to your advantage. Incorporate plants that flow with the wind, such as long grasses and other loosely textured plants. As a result, your landscape will flow with the wind and create a lot of natural movement.
Should You Build On The Coast?
Some argue that homes and other buildings shouldn’t be built in risky coastal areas. Others argue the key is to position structures so that they respect the native landscape and ensure structural resilience and longevity.
TerraCast Products are built to withstand just about anything, including extreme coastal weather. Let us help you create winning coastal landscapes that last for many years to come, no matter how many storms blow onto shore.
Company: TerraCast Products LLC
From the first formal lectures held in medieval universities, to the online mobile classrooms of today, learning spaces are always growing to meet the needs of society; a study lounge can be a classroom; a cafeteria can become a library. Students can work from almost any location, on or off campus. Educational facilities strive to keep students engaged with their campus, and are embracing the notion of flexible learning environments. Single purpose spaces are becoming obsolete, and many facilities have moved closer to building comfortable and versatile environments that foster collaboration for their students.
An example of a school that has taken student requirements to heart is the University of Chicago. "They recognized the need to redesign their learning environments to meet the needs of today’s students by creating learning spaces outside the walls of the lecture hall, library cubicles, and classrooms."i The flexible and customizable products that Maglin Site Furniture provides have played a part in helping the University reach this goal. "We needed specially designed cluster seating for a project, and I just wasn’t finding what I wanted in the market, so I called (Maglin Sales Manager) Jill Roberts and we began working on the design," said Richard Bumstead, Associate Director for Campus Environment at the University of Chicago. "The final product ended up being a home run! It’s fun, innovative, and works so well in the location."
Maglin provided custom versions of their MLPT1100B-W cluster seating to "jazz up" a prominent location in the heart of the University of Chicago campus. "We did a twist on the standard model and literally twisted the frame and used HDPC (high density paper composite) to create circular table tops and seats," explains Jill Roberts. ADA compliance was also required, so a matching 3-seat cluster unit was created. When asked why he wanted to work with Maglin on this project, Bumstead said, "The Maglin team is great fun to work with — the entire group is engaged in the work they do and more than willing to take a look at all requests for special orders or customization of products."
"The Maglin team is great fun to work with"
With regard to working on school campuses, Roberts stated, "Maglin loves to be involved in education projects! They give us the opportunity to assist in the creation of spaces and overall environments. Campuses have changed over time. Students and learning facilities don’t just demand seating and trash collection anymore — they look for innovative spaces that promote collaboration, engagement, and community."
In order to keep up in today’s mobile world, learning spaces must be able to adapt quickly and easily. The flexibility of Maglin Site Furniture’s products, as well as their readiness to take on special projects, makes Maglin the right partner for your education plans.
Company: Maglin Site Furniture
Product: Tables and Seating
Of: Article originally written for and distributed by Maglin Site Furniture
The Monona bench is perfect for any relaxed outdoor space. It features top-notch materials and has a fully welded steel tubular frame. The Monona™ bench seating materials features Accoya, Ipe Wood, and Recycled Plastic profiles. The Steel frame can be finished with powder coat paint or hot dip galvanize.
The new Monona chair is perfect for any relaxed outdoor space. It features top-notch materials and has a fully welded steel tubular frame. The Monona™ chair seating materials features Accoya, Ipe Wood, and Recycled Plastic profiles. The Steel frame can be finished with powder coat paint or hot dip galvanize.
The Monona youth chair is perfect for any relaxed outdoor space. It features top-notch materials and has a fully welded steel tubular frame. The Monona™ youth chair seating materials features Accoya, Ipe Wood, and Recycled Plastic profiles. The Steel frame can be finished with powder coat paint or hot dip galvanize.
The Monona™ litter receptacles are durable with a fresh clean design. Relax and let Monona™ receptacles do your dirty work. Monona receptacles are constructed with the following materials; 1 X 6" wood profiles and a steel plate all welded frame.
Whether your area of expertise is residential, commercial, industrial, or landscape architecture or engineering, Thomas Steele products offer you creative, innovative, site furnishing solutions to meet your clients’ needs. Our six different family styles are the perfect complement to any setting. We can help you provide the best possible combinations to suit your and your clients’ requirements. Spending a few minutes on our web site can save you hours of research. Cut your specification time while getting site amenities that set the standard for craftsmanship, durability, and aesthetics. Partner with Thomas Steele for site furnishings that reflect your vision.
Company: Thomas Steele
Product: Monona Series
The new Waldorf bench is elegant with sensible function. It features top-notch materials and construction. The Waldorf™ bench frames are made of durable cast, and come with a wide variety of seating materials. The Waldorf™ bench seating materials feature 5/8” Diameter Steel Rod or ¼ x 1 ½” Steel Bar or 1 x 2 1/2 and 1 x 3 Board Profiles. The frame is constructed of 3 ½” Wide Cast. The benches are available in lengths of 2, 4, 5, 6, and 8 feet. The 8 foot bench has an optional center arm and leg. Seating material choices include Steel Rod, Horizontal Straps, Vertical Straps, Ipe Wood, and Recycled Plastic, with powder coat finish in a wide choice of colors.
Company: Thomas Steele
There are three main components to commercial lampposts: The actual post, the lighting fixture, and the light bulb. The post, the fixture and the light bulb can create a multitude of common issues that impact the functionality of your commercial lighting systems.
Common Problems With Light Bulbs
There are a number of problems that arise from using traditional incandescent bulbs as well as CFL bulbs. While LED bulbs can also have issues, they tend to be fewer and far between. LED bulbs are the most energy efficient, cost effective and long lasting option on the market. That’s why most businesses have already made the switch. According to Energy.gov, LED bulbs have the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the US. By the year 2027, it’s estimated that LEDs could save over $33 billion a year at today’s electrical costs.
Common Problems With CFL Bulbs
Problem: Bulb burns out without cause.
Some CFL bulbs are defective, in which case that could be your issue and you just need a replacement bulb. Higher quality bulbs are less likely to fail. You should also check the packaging to make sure the bulb works with your particular fixture. Some bulbs are only meant to be used indoors and/or not with dimmers.
Problem: The bulb burns out prematurely.
When your bulb goes out earlier than it should, it may have something to do with vibrations and impact, both of which CFL bulbs are sensitive to. These vibrations can come from something as seemingly simple as a door routinely slamming shut. If lights are frequently used, an LED bulb may offer a better solution.
Problem: The bulb is flickering or buzzing.
CFL bulbs rely on a ballast to spark voltage and provide light. If the ballast is not supplying sufficient electricity, the bulb may start buzzing and flickering. If the ballast is faulty or loose this issue may also occur. Try changing the bulb and if the problem persists the issue is likely the ballast. You will need to call an electrician for repairs.
Common Problems With Incandescent Bulbs
Problem: The bulb burns out faster than it should.
The bulb you are using might not have the correct wattage for the fixture. Double check the rating on your fixture and use a bulb that supplies the appropriate wattage. Using incorrectly matched bulbs and fixtures will result in the bulb overheating and burning out much sooner than it should.
Problem: The bulb is not turning on at all.
The bulb could be burned out, or if it’s new it could be faulty. It may also just be too loose in the socket to form a proper connection. If a new bulb or tighter connection doesn’t address the problem, the issue might be with the fixture, outlet, cord or the switch could be defective.
Problem: The bulb is flickering.
If the bulb is loose it may cause the light to flicker. If a ceiling fan is attached to the fixture, vibrations from the fan may cause the bulbs to jiggle loose and subsequently flicker. If the bulb or connection is corroded, this can also create flickering. Other issues might relate to the cord, fixture, outlet or a defective switch.
Common Problems With LED Bulbs
Problem: The bulb burns out too early.
LED bulbs should last much longer than any other bulbs. But there are cheap LED bulbs on the market that do not last as long as high quality LED bulbs. These cheaper bulbs are not able to disperse heat as quickly as they create it, which ultimately leads to an early demise.
Problem: The bulb will not work with a dimmer.
Not all LED bulbs work with a standard dimmer. That’s because the wattage is lower than what’s necessary for dimming features to work. Look for LED bulbs with a dimmable LED driver and use electronic dimmers as opposed to magnetic dimmers.
Common Problems With Light Posts
Your lampposts are just as important as the bulbs inside of them, without one the other isn’t going to do its job. Plus, lampposts create a style that reflects your business, which means you don’t want an unattractive fixture.
Problem: Lamppost is breaking down quicker than expected.
Our resin-based lampposts are far superior to traditional lampposts. In general, most light poles have seams and the inside of the base is neither powder coated nor enamel finished. As a result, it’s very easy for moisture and salt to get inside and create a world of problems. We manufacture our lampposts differently so that they are resistant to moisture, salt, corrosion, impact damage and so forth.
Problem: The post base is corroded or damaged.
The first place that traditional lampposts show wear and tear is at the bottom of the pole. That’s because this is where water has the greatest chance to penetrate through surfaces. It’s also where the most bumps occur from cars, pedestrians, golf carts and so forth. It only takes a bump or two to form tiny fractures in the surface that allow moisture to easily sneak inside and create further damage.
Our specially manufactured lampposts do not rust or corrode and are very resistant to impact damage. Yet, just because the bottom of your lamppost is looking less than its best, doesn’t mean you need to invest in replacing your entire lamppost. That’s why we created a lamppost base that can be attached to almost any standard sized pole. Our lamppost base adds years onto your lightpole by preventing additional corrosion and other issues from further damaging the post. Plus, it dramatically improves outward appearances. Our motto is: If you can’t replace, rebase! Learn more: Light Post Bases
Problem: Lampposts are not providing sufficient light.
Your property likely requires more than just lampposts to be considered sufficiently lit. Tree ring lights, in-ground lights and bullet lights are just some of your many lighting fixture options. Adding a variety of different lighting fixtures helps evenly disperse light throughout your property, shinning light on different heights and angles. Shop our full collection of long lasting landscape lighting: Landscape Lighting
Common Problems With Light Fixtures
Light Fixtures offer a multitude of design solutions for a wide array of lighting installations. Whether one is trying to achieve a particular theme feature by selecting a traditional or modern design or one is selecting a fixture that offers the correct light distribution for the application, there are fixtures to solve most challenges. Be sure to ask if the city or community participates in Dark-Sky initiatives or if it’s a coastal project, if there are Turtle-Friendly regulations to comply with. A TerraCast Lighting representative can help guide you through these challenges.
Company: TerraCast Products LLC
Product: Classic Lamps Posts
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