26 Oct 2012
A sturdy high security perimeter protection system co-developed by a Shropshire precast concrete company proved so successful at this summer’s Olympics that it is now set to be rolled out internationally.
Telford-based Elite Precast Concrete supplied almost 20,000 of its interlocking precast concrete blocks to act as robust counterweights to hold in place 30km of perimeter and security fencing at more than 60 of the Games’ venues, from the Olympic Park and Stadium in East London, through to the sailing venue in Weymouth and numerous football stadia, including Old Trafford, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, and Glasgow’s Hampden Park.
The security solution, which saw Elite Precast Concrete team up with Merseyside temporary fencing specialist Blok ‘N’ Mesh UK Ltd, proved a huge hit with visiting dignitaries, so much so that the system is now being promoted as both nationally and internationally as the quickest, best value, and most secure perimeter protection solution.
“Each of our Lego and V interlocking blocks weighs between 375kg and 1.6 tonnes, so they are an ideal form of kentledge, which is a secure counterweight to hold fencing or hoardings in place,” Owen Batham, Sales and Marketing Director of Elite Precast Concrete, explained. “Previously, to achieve such high levels of security and wind resistance it was necessary to construct traditional concrete foundations. Our interlocking blocks offer the same high levels of stability without the need for expensive, disruptive excavations and pouring of ready-mix concrete. They are even suitable in coastal locations such as Weymouth which have to withstand extremely windy conditions.
Being called upon to provide perimeter fencing kentledge on such a large scale inevitably threw up a whole host of logistical challenges to ensure the system was safely installed on time.
Owen commented ‘we developed a system with Blok ‘N’ Mesh where the perimeter fencing was altered to match our standard range of blocks, rather than us having to manufacture bespoke sizes, which obviously allowed us a much quicker turnaround time. Even so, our production team was still working seven days a week for many months in the lead up to the Games to meet strict deadlines.
“And it took an effort worthy of an Olympic medal from Richard Pryce and the team at hauliers HW Pryce and Son Ltd too, often transporting 30 lorry loads of blocks a day across the UK. With some of the venues and landmarks in London especially, we were given very small windows to install the system so as to minimise disruption for residents, so night-time and weekend deliveries were common.”
In addition to the firm’s Olympic success, as the UK’s largest supplier of concrete kentledge, Elite Precast Concrete’s interlocking blocks are also used as counterweights on high-profile projects such as continuing construction of the Crossrail railway network.