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Three challenges of building a new subdivision playground (and how to overcome them)

Building a new subdivision playground can seem like an overwhelming task because there are so many challenges to overcome, but the payoff of bringing joy and activity to your development will make the journey worth it. This article will cover three big challenges of building a new subdivision playground and how to overcome them.


Challenge #1 – Council PushBack

If you work with a general landscape architect to design your playgrounds, then you may find that your designs get pushed back by the council. This normally means you have to create further iterations of the design which costs you more time and money.

This problem nearly always stems from the designer’s lack of knowledge and experience in playground design. The most common example we see of this is when general landscape architects place play equipment incorrectly and it has to be moved in the design to meet New Zealand playground safety standards.

The extra time and cost involved in adjusting the design and resubmitting it can be avoided if you use a landscape architect who is experienced in playground design and can create designs to meet the standards.

An experienced play landscape architect will know what appropriate equipment for the space is, how to place it, and how to achieve satisfactory safety surfacing for the various critical fall heights in the design.

Engaging an experienced play landscape architect ensures your designs are right the first time, which means you save time and money, and get your playgrounds in the ground sooner.


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Challenge #2 – Costs Overrun

Would you commission a playground design that was going to cost too much to build? Of course not. But that’s often what happens when developers engage general landscape architects who don’t specialize in playground design.

It’s not because they are bad designers, it’s just that they don’t have the necessary experience to design on a budget. For that, you need designers who are very familiar with playground equipment procurement and the associated costs.

Using expert playground designers your playgrounds will lead to designs that fit your budget, which means you’ll be able to see the costs upfront. This is great because it saves you time and money and allows you to allocate your budget more efficiently across your projects.


Challenge #3 – Compromised Value for Money

Have you ever reached the end of a playground build and felt disappointed that the playground didn’t deliver the play value and “wow factor” you were looking for?

If so, you were probably working with a playground designer who didn’t fully understand how to deliver optimal play for money.

Optimal play for money (or play value as we call it) is about matching the right equipment and playground features to the budget to ensure that the most children can have the most amount of play in the finished playspace.

An experienced playspace landscape architect can help you do this while also ensuring the overall design delivers an aesthetic “wow factor”. You may spend a little more on designers with experience, but the ‘bang for buck’ they can deliver makes it money well spent.


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