eBook: Creo Portfolio May 2024

Our newest portfolio showcases how schools transformed their underutilised spaces into vibrant and colourful playspaces through a collaborative process with Creo.

A new way of building playspaces and playgrounds

Imagine planning to build a playground. Traditionally, you’d start with an architect or landscape architect to nail down your concept.

However, this process is far from straightforward. It involves juggling multiple contractors, sourcing equipment from various vendors, and ensuring the surfacing meets stringent safety standards for fall zones. The complexity of this method, with its multiple stakeholders, escalating costs, and high risk of miscommunication, underscores the need for a more efficient approach.

Unfortunately, this complexity can lead to complications. If something goes wrong, the process can quickly become a maze of accountability, with people pointing fingers and solutions becoming elusive.

This not only threatens the smooth progress of your project but can also significantly extend its timeline.

The Traditional Method

Here’s how it typically goes down:

  1. Engage a landscape architect to draw up the initial design. They will work with you to bring your vision to the paper. Landscape architects are great at understanding master plans and will usually add the playground or playspace if requested.
  2. Find contractors to handle the civil works. Most of the time, when starting a project like this, you will have a project manager who will help you with it. However, there is plumbing, earth moving, electrical work, concrete layering, and so many other moving parts that this can be overwhelming even to the most experienced project manager. Building a playground or playspace is different, as you are dealing with young users, so everything needs to be perfect.
  3. Source playground equipment from specialised suppliers. With so many playground equipment options, you must choose the one you like, organise it with your landscape architect, and find contractors to install it if the company does not offer installation. In addition, you will need to manage the timeline in your project between surfacing and equipment installation to make it work in a timely manner.
  4. Hire a surfacing company to ensure safety compliance. Different types of equipment will require different fall zones and shock padding. Again, organising this and synchronising with equipment suppliers can be challenging.
  5. Organize the installation of all components. If you are only dealing with the supply of equipment and surfacing, you will need to find specialists to install your equipment and lay down the surfacing to make it compliant.
  6. Ensure compliance of equipment and surfaces at installation. Sometimes, the equipment and surface you choose will not match the compliance needs of your space. So, it is essential to

Challenges: This fragmented approach often leads to delays, increased costs, and a product that may not fully align with your original vision.

Coordinating multiple companies can lead to disjointed execution and accountability issues, complicating even the most straightforward projects.

The Design and Build Method

  • Enter the design and build approach, a streamlined alternative where a single entity, like Creo, manages the entire process from concept to completion.

    This method reduces friction and frees up time for more critical planning and decision-making, ensuring the project unfolds smoothly without constant back-and-forth.

    How It Works with Creo:

    • Initial Consultation: Our sales and design team listens to your needs and visits the site to understand your vision and requirements.
    • Wish List and Concept Design: We work with you to craft a design that fits your vision and budget, selecting the best equipment that maximises play value.

    Our design experience starts with an internationally experienced team that deeply understands the magic of play. Creo’s playground design engineer has many years of experience in equipment design and packing play value in play equipment, all of which will help create the design you want.

    • Detailed Design and Construction: We draw up construction plans and commence groundwork once the concept is approved.
    • Installation and Updates: Our installation team takes over and provides you with regular updates. They’re not just installers but knowledgeable consultants eager to discuss play space dynamics with you.
    • Final Assessment and Cleanup: We ensure everything is perfect, from equipment safety to site cleanliness, before handing over a fully realised playspace ready for its grand opening.
 
Custom design can be a great addition to your space.

Standout Benefits

  • Single Point of Contact: One company handles everything, reducing confusion and ensuring quality. We make sure that your vision is carried out throughout the whole process. Also, if there is an issue, we will manage it and organise our timeline accordingly.
  • Expert Design Insight: Our experienced team designs a space that’s not only functional but also innovative and tailored to specific needs. We understand how playgrounds and playspaces work, from the design point of view to the outcome users will get when interacting with the space.
  • Maximized Play Value: We focus on creating engaging, safe, and fun environments. Also, play value is not only the amount of play the equipment or the space provides its users but also how they interact with such elements in the playground, fostering learning and better development through play.
  • Enhanced Social Value: Our designs promote social interactions and community building. How will users interact with each other? How will families use the space? How will different age groups interact? How does the space promote social gathering? All these questions are answered when you engage with a company that understands your new space’s whole design and build.
  • Sense of Place: Each playspace is uniquely crafted to provide a sense of belonging and identity. With a design and build team, each space resonates with its location, history and people. This is essential for a successful space.
  • Multi-Purpose and Open-Ended Play: We design versatile spaces that cater to various activities and encourage creativity. Let the imagination flow with designs that create multi-use, as well as letting users manage their play, risks and challenges.

Conclusion

Choosing between the traditional multi-company approach and the design and build method depends on what you value most: flexibility and control over each detail, convenience, and coherence in the final product.

With a company like Creo, the latter is a promise and a delivered reality. They ensure that your playspace is built to your specifications and enriches the community it serves.

So, are you ready to see those smiles and hear the laughter? With Creo, it’s not just about building playgrounds; it’s about creating joyful communities.

We're here to help on your journey.

You don’t just get a guide. We collaborate with you to bring your project to life. 

With our design, surfacing and equipment expertise, we’ll help you have the playground you want and need.

If you’d like to know more and discuss your options, fill out this form.

Or call us on:

0800 000 334

eBook: Creo PlayShapes 2024 Catalogue

Creo PlayShapes are the ultimate rubber creations that you can add to your playspace project. Safe, durable and custom-made.

Wellington Botanic Garden

Wellington Botanic Garden

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A buzzing new destination playground!

Client:
Wellington District Council
Location:
Wellington Botanic Garden
Circa budget:
$275,000

The Wellington City Council, in collaboration with the Botanic Gardens, embarked on a significant project to revamp the existing playground within the Wellington Botanic Gardens.

It was spearheaded by council stakeholders Matthew Beres and David Sole. The initiative aimed to modernise the playground while incorporating the unique aspects of the surrounding botanical landscape and the crucial role of bees in the ecosystem.

The primary goal was to refresh the playground to serve the community and visitors to the botanic gardens better.

Through community consultation, there was a strong desire for a space to educate children about the importance of pollination and the role of bees in sustaining flora.

The feedback informed the creation of a playground that could both entertain and educate, aligning with the broader themes of the botanic gardens.

"It's one of those multigenerational playgrounds. It's one of those places where you'll make memories that will go on for generations."

Inclusivity and Education
A vital aspect of the project was ensuring the playground was accessible to children of all abilities, incorporating sensory panels to facilitate learning about the environment and pollination.

Outcome
The renovated Wellington Botanic Gardens Playground is a testament to innovative design, educational focus, and community engagement.

This project has not only revitalised a key community asset but also enhanced the botanic gardens’ educational offerings. It provides a space where children can learn about nature through play.

The playground’s design and features will be a valued community resource for years to come, embodying the garden’s themes of nature, education, and inclusivity.

Want to see more projects like this one?

Download our latest portfolio. Just fill the form and see how we design and build fun, inclusive and beautiful places for all.

We're here to help

If you’d like more information or to discuss a new project, get in touch today

Clendon Park School

Clendon Park School

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Creating an active space.

Client:
Clendon Park School
Location:
Auckland
Circa budget:
$275,000

In 2021, Clendon Park School worked with Numat REC to re-surface the netball courts at their school, updating the concrete surfaces with wet pour rubber.

Pour’n’Play Sport was used to create the new surfacing. The installation team was able to create crisp court markings using the yellow and blue school colours, adding a unique personal touch to the space.

The new rubber surface is comfortable, safe, and fun to play on. Absorbing shocks and minimising injuries out on the courts. 

Want to see more projects like this one?

Download our latest portfolio. Just fill the form and see how we design and build fun, inclusive and beautiful places for all.

We're here to help

If you’d like more information or to discuss a new project, get in touch today

What are balance balls and their benefits?

In playground design, the emphasis often falls on the big structures, such as slides, swings, and platforms. Yet, the smaller, often overlooked elements can significantly enhance a space’s play value. Among these, balance balls stand out as both versatile and challenging additions.

Manufactured from durable TPV wet-pour rubber, these spherical wonders offer a unique blend of aesthetics and functionality, suitable for every corner of your playground.

Let’s jump into the world of balance balls, exploring their varieties, costs, benefits, and how they can transform play areas into dynamic environments.

Balance Balls add a nice and unique aesthetic to your playspace.

What are Balance Balls?

Balance balls and innovative playground features are crafted in New Zealand using top-quality TPV rubber granules, ensuring longevity and safety.

Their design allows for a high degree of customization in colour, enabling seamless integration with your playground’s theme or colour palette.

Balance balls introduce a playful challenge to any space. By incorporating various sizes and styles, playground designers can create distinctive layouts, making these balls the centrepiece or a complementary feature that enhances the overall play value.

Types of Balance Balls

  • Fixed Balance Balls: Anchored securely to the ground, these balls offer a stable platform for balancing acts, enriching the play area with a touch of predictability amidst the challenges.
  • Moving Balance Balls: Equipped with a mechanism that allows for tilting and spinning, these balls introduce a dynamic challenge, encouraging children to engage with the play space innovatively.
  • Half Balls: Perfect for younger children, these semi-spherical elements serve as mini obstacles, adding depth and complexity to the playground landscape.
Custom design can be a great addition to your space.

How much do they cost?

At Creo, balance balls are available within a price range of $640 to $4,800, exclusive of installation.

It’s important to note that these figures are indicative, with actual costs influenced by the design of your playground and the specific installation requirements to meet safety standards.

Benefits of Balance Balls

Incorporating balance balls into your playground design offers numerous advantages. Their construction from wet pour rubber ensures durability and allows for placement near fall zones, optimising space usage.

These elements support the development of key skills such as balance and strength, fostering social interaction and presenting a managed risk that encourages children to explore their capabilities in a safe environment.

Options and Applications

Creo offers a variety of sizes for balance balls, ranging from 300mm to 700mm in diameter for both fixed and moving configurations, as well as half-ball options.

Customisation extends beyond size, with many colour choices and themes available, including celestial bodies and sports-themed designs, to make your playground unique.

 

Check our colour mixer and play with the colour options you can have

Conclusion

Balance balls are more than just playful additions; they are essential in creating engaging, dynamic, and inclusive play spaces.

Their ability to blend challenge with safety and extensive customisation options make them an invaluable asset in playground design.

Whether you want to add a new dimension to your play area or embark on a complete redesign, consider the versatile and vibrant world of balance balls.

Call us now to collaborate on your next Playground Design at 0800 000 334 or send an email to [email protected]

Reducing Lead Times on Your Playground Project

Lead times in playground projects can often stretch your timelines, pushing back those exciting grand openings. However, there’s good news: with strategic planning and smart decisions, you can significantly reduce these delays.

In this article, we’ll explore three effective strategies to keep your project on track and ensure your new playspace comes to life sooner than you might think.

Creo manufacturing warehouse
Local manufacturing is key to reduce your lead time.

Plan your Playground Project Ahead

The foundation of any successful playground project lies in meticulous planning. Start by setting a clear timeline, including key milestones from design approval to the installation phase.

Engaging with a design and build company early on can help identify potential bottlenecks and streamline the process. Remember, the earlier you start, the more room you have to maneuver around unexpected delays.

Be Clear About Your Budget

A well-defined budget does more than just keep your finances in check; it also accelerates decision-making.

When you’re clear about what you can spend, suppliers and contractors can offer solutions that match your financial constraints, reducing back-and-forth negotiations.

This clarity allows for a smoother, faster procurement process, ensuring materials and services

Opt for Local Playground Equipment Manufacturing

Choosing locally manufactured playground equipment can significantly cut down on lead times.

Not only does it reduce shipping times, but it also simplifies logistics, making it easier to manage delivery schedules and installation.

Supporting local manufacturers not only benefits your project timeline but also contributes to the local economy, creating a win-win situation.

Embrace the Benefits

By implementing these strategies, you’re not just reducing lead times; you’re also finalizing your project earlier, saving both time and money.

Moreover, opting for local manufacturing means you’re investing in your community, supporting local businesses, and fostering a sense of pride in the finished playspace.

These benefits extend far beyond the completion of the project, contributing to a stronger, more connected community.

Next Steps

Reducing lead times on your playground project is achievable with careful planning, clear budgeting, a preference for local manufacturing, and an understanding of the broader benefits.

These strategies ensure your playspace is completed efficiently and effectively, saving time and resources while supporting the local economy.

The next step? Start planning your project with these tips in mind, and consider partnering with a design and build company that understands the importance of keeping your project on schedule

. Together, you can create a vibrant, engaging playspace that your community will enjoy for years to come.

Call us now to collaborate on your next Playground Design on 0800 000 334 or send an email to [email protected]

 

Rethinking Urban Spaces: The Essential Role of Playspaces

Urban environments are rapidly transforming, and at the heart of this change is the integration of playspaces—areas designed not just for play but for community engagement and well-being. These spaces are crucial in urban settings, offering a breathing space from the concrete jungle and enhancing the quality of life for residents.

The design of these areas is paramount, focusing on inclusivity and accessibility to serve the diverse urban population effectively.

Creating pockets of fun in urban areas.

Integrating Playspaces into Urban Design

Core Design Principles

Principles of inclusivity, creativity, and sustainability guide the design of urban playspaces. These spaces aim to be accessible to all, fostering community among a diverse urban population.

The goal is to create engaging environments encouraging social interaction and physical activity.

Enhancing Urban Connectivity

Playspaces can significantly affect urban planning, connecting different city areas.

Their strategic placement can encourage exploration and movement, making the urban environment more cohesive and navigable.

Merging Play with Nature and Art

Incorporating natural elements and public art into playspaces can enrich the urban experience. These spaces offer a blend of aesthetics and functionality, providing immersive experiences that engage children and adults.

Future Trends in Playspace Design

Embracing Technology

The future of playspaces includes the integration of technology, offering interactive and educational experiences.

This approach aims to create spaces that are not only fun but also enriching, preparing children for a digital future.

Sustainability at the Forefront

Sustainable design is becoming a priority, with a focus on eco-friendly materials and practices. This trend reflects a growing awareness of environmental issues and a commitment to preserving the planet for future generations.

Community Involvement in Design

The involvement of local communities in the design process ensures that playspaces meet the needs and reflect the values of those who use them. This collaborative approach enhances the relevance and impact of these spaces.

Conclusion

Playspaces are integral to the vitality of urban environments, offering spaces for play, learning, and community engagement. As urban areas continue to evolve, the need for innovative and inclusive playspaces is clear.

Urban planners, designers, and communities must work together to prioritize these spaces, ensuring they remain a vibrant part of urban life.

If you are ready to make your community better, call us on 0800 000 334 or send an email to [email protected].

How an Inclusive Seesaw can Increase Play Value in Your Playspace

Inclusive design is not a trend but necessary for integrating people of all abilities. This playspace design fosters connections as children grow and learn through play.

One of the significant innovations is the Inclusive Seesaw supplied by Creo, which stands as a testament to thoughtful design, offering a play solution that ensures the integration of all users.

Why the Inclusive Seesaw Stands Out

The Inclusive Seesaw is designed with inclusivity at its core. It features two platforms that welcome children of all abilities.

Its dimensions of 255x106cm make it a versatile addition to any playground, providing a shared play experience without the need for extensive space.

Creo inclusive seesaw at Lorna Irene Reserve

Designed for Everyone

What sets this seesaw apart is its commitment to inclusivity. With features tailored for wheelchair accessibility, it guarantees a safe and enjoyable playtime for every child.

This focus on inclusive play is a step forward in creating playgrounds that cater to the needs of all children.

How Lorna Irene Created an unique, Inclusive Playspace

Safety Comes First

The Inclusive Seesaw’s design prioritises accessibility and safety. Its carefully crafted platform accommodates wheelchair users, ensuring that playtime is a safe, inclusive, and enjoyable experience for everyone.

The seesaw meets all compliance requirements with a safety zone of 556x406cm and a minimal free-fall height, emphasising the importance of a secure environment for all users.

The Benefits of Inclusive Play

Inclusion in play is more than a concept; it’s a practice that enriches the play experience for all children. The Inclusive Seesaw showcases this idea, offering benefits such as:

  • Universal Design: Allows children of varying abilities to play side by side, fostering a sense of belonging and equality.
  • Space Efficiency: Its compact design ensures it can be seamlessly added to any playground, making inclusivity possible even in limited spaces.
  • Customisation: With various colour options, the seesaw can be personalised to fit the aesthetic of any play area.
  • Safety and Accessibility: The anti-slip platform and accessible design ensure that all children can enjoy the seesaw safely.

A Step Toward Inclusive Playgrounds

The Inclusive Seesaw is more than just playground equipment; it’s a gateway to a more inclusive play world. Incorporating this seesaw into your playground enhances the play experience for all children and promotes inclusivity and community values.

To truly embrace inclusivity, consider the entire playground experience, including accessible paths that lead to and around the play equipment.

This ensures that every child can enjoy the Inclusive Seesaw and the broader playground environment regardless of ability.

If you are ready to make your playspace more inclusive, call us on 0800 000 334 or send an email to [email protected].

Wet Pour Rubber for School Playspace Design

Choosing the right surface material is crucial when designing a playspace for your school. Wet pour rubber is a standout option, offering a mix of safety, cost-effectiveness, and design versatility.

In this article, you’ll discover how wet-pour rubber can affect your school playspace project.

Wet pour rubber for you school and Safety

Keeping children safe is at the top of any school playspace list. The design of your playspace needs to offer users challenges so they can grow and have fun through challenges. That comes with the risk of injuries. Wet pour rubber shines here, providing a soft landing for those inevitable tumbles.  

It’s designed to cushion falls, significantly reducing injury risk. Plus, it meets the safety standards required for playground surfaces, giving peace of mind to both parents and educators.

When designing your playspace, the height of your equipment will dictate how much shock pad you will need under your wet-pour rubber layer. The higher you go, the more padding you will need, directly affecting the cost of your surfacing.

Aorangi School wet pour rubber surfacing includes sculptures.

Wet Pour Rubber Cost

Investing in wet-pour rubber requires an upfront cost higher than other options. On average, a 250m2 school playspace with will cost between $65,000 and $110,000.

However, its durability and low maintenance over time outweigh the initial expense.

It’s a case of spending more now to spend less later, as it avoids the frequent replacements or repairs other materials might need.

Design & Customisation

One of the fun parts of using wet-pour rubber is how creative you can get with it. This material allows for a wide range of colours and patterns, making it possible to customise the playspace to fit any theme or aesthetic.

Whether educational designs or fun patterns, wet-pour rubber can accommodate them, making your playspace as unique as your imagination.

For some customisations, you can integrate our local heritage and your school branding through colours or shapes. You can gamify the surface with different fun activities to keep users engaged.

School branding with safety surfacing.

Problems How to Fix

Like any material, wet-pour rubber isn’t without its issues. It can fade over time, wear down in high-traffic areas, or get hot without proper shading. However, these problems are manageable.

Firstly, opt for a better quality wet-pour rubber. Creo only uses Pour ‘n’ Play, a high-tech rubber surfacing that reduces fading and lasts longer.

The resin you choose to bind your surface is also essential. Opting for a low-quality resin will lower the UV protection, and your surface can get hard with time.

To avoid these potential problems, you should carry out regular maintenance, such as sealing and proper drainage, which can extend the playground’s life and keep it looking great and functioning safely.

Choosing better quality materials will pay off in the long run and will stand out.

Conclusion

Choosing wet-pour rubber for your school’s playspace design brings several benefits. Beyond safety and design flexibility, it’s environmentally friendly, made from recycled materials, and promotes inclusivity by being accessible to all children.

 With its blend of practicality and playfulness, wet-pour rubber is a smart choice for creating engaging, safe, and durable play areas that will serve school communities well into the future.

In summary, while the initial cost might be higher, the long-term benefits of safety, durability, and creative freedom make wet pour rubber an excellent investment for any school looking to build or upgrade its playspace.

If you are ready to transform your school, contact our team and discover the possibilities for your next project. Call us on 0800 000 334 or send an email to [email protected]