Considering New Playground Equipment
31 March 2015 | Lewis
The lifetime cost of maintenance is often much higher than the original purchase price.
Once you have your playground equipment, tables and benches, you want to keep them looking good and safe to use for as long as possible?
What will exposure to the elements do to them?
How quickly will they loose their looks and reliability?
In times of tight funds and cutbacks this is a question occupying the minds of procurement professionals everywhere and not just in the education market.
Then their is the question of sustainability. ‘Sustainable development’, ‘eco-friendly’, ’zero carbon footprint’, are topics frequently part of any discussion with specifiers, facilities managers, architects and politicians of course.
By 2016 all refurbishment and new building projects in the UK will need to be carbon neutral.
Here at Kedel we manufacture products in 100% Recycled Plastic. Since 2010 when we began trading we've been riding the crest of a wave, and have experienced mushrooming interest in our recycled plastic outdoor play equipment, benching and fencing products (Housing Association Case study, Partington, Manchester).
Though we launched our business during a serious economic downturn our turnover has risen at a rate of 30% or more each year.
“We are finding there is a keen interest in recycled plastic because of its longevity - it will never rot, so it needs no maintenance,” says Dermot Walch, Kedel’s Managing Director.
“Schools in particular appreciate this, because they find it easier to raise funds for products that are a good long term investment, as well as eco-friendly. Buying recycled plastic is like buying a car that will never ever need a service.” (Case study at Belmont School near Bolton)
This allows the investment to pay for itself in as little as 2-5 years in reduced maintenance and replacement costs and the money saved can be used for other school projects.
According to a cost comparison study by WRAP (Waste Resources Action Programme), after 2 years treated wood products will start to need maintenance, and you’ll be looking to replace them after 7 years or less.
Recycled plastic will still look the same and perform as it it did when purchased in 20 years time and probably much longer.
Yet there is no more than 30-40% difference between wood and recycled plastic in the initial cost of installation.
You can't fail to come to the conclusion that educational funds are better spent on a long life product that saves money year after year, looks good throughout it's long life and is also good for the environment.