Playground Certification

Contributor: Mike Williams

Date: 12 July 2011
playground Aireys have been involved in the Structural Design and Safety Certification of playgrounds for over 15 years. Aireys have undertaken designs for public playgrounds for many clients, both manufacturers and individuals, with playgrounds installed throughout NZ in areas including private residences, public parks, Schools and Early Childhood Centres.

Mike Williams (CPEng) from the Pukekohe office has for the last 5 years been involved with auditing the extensive public playgrounds and structures located within Manukau Parks, and Papakura Parks, now part of the Greater Auckland City control.

Safety certification of playgrounds falls within the scope of NZS 5828, which provides design guidance for such things as fall Zones, and design guidance to avoid bodily entrapments and injuries.

Compliance with NZS 5828 aims to improve the safety of playgrounds for children, whilst allowing playgrounds to remain challenging for the kids that use them.
Play forms an important part of children’s growth and development as kids need to be challenged so they find their physical limits as well as their mental limits. Certification to NZS 5828 can only be undertaken by a Chartered Professional Engineer, or a Registered Testing Labotatory, as spelt out in standard.

The Standards have ben voluntarily adopted by the playground manufacturers and are not mandatory as they are not cited within the Building Act or Building Code. Building Consent Authorities have accepted NZS 5828 as providing a means of satisfying them on the structural and safety design of playgrounds when assessing Building Consents.

Recent legislative changes to the Building Act have relaxed the Building Consent requirements for the construction of playgrounds by removing the need to obtain a Building Consent for the construction and installation of Playground equipment designed by a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) installed in a public place for a government department, Crown entity (including a school), licensed early childhood centre or a local authority.

This means that any playground installed within a public area does not require Building Consent as long as it is designed and supervised by a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng).

Aireys are well positioned to undertake Structural Design and Safety Certification for playgrounds throughout NZ, removing the requirement to obtain Building Consents for Playgrounds installed in a public place for a Government Department, Crown Entity, Licensed Early Childhood Centre, or Local Authority.
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