Trampoline park gets much needed ‘bounce’ in design with guard rails.
Kids, trampolines and safety make a fun combination, especially when the trampolines are located in an indoor recreational setting like Sky Zone Trampoline Parks. Sky Zone facilities attract customers of all ages, including toddlers and kids who like it for special event parties, adults looking for fun fitness recreation, and serious gymnasts. When it comes to the welfare of its customers, however, park operators consider more than the jumping area when incorporating safety precautions.
The Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Newark, Del., which opened in 2014, the building and interior design are based on criteria from the corporate operation. The metal guardrails needed to be more than a decorative element reflecting corporate branding.
With interrelated trampolines incorporated within its 24,000 sq.-ft. building, The Newark Sky Zone has plenty of room for open jumping, group dodgeball and basketball high jumps and other activities. The facility needed guardrails to line the 650-ft. walkway and stairway system that leads to and around more than 125 interconnected trampolines and the mezzanine viewing area. The guardrail required roughly 135 infill panels that would be in equal parts a safety feature and a decorative element, said Eric Carr, franchise partner of the Newark park.
For access to the trampoline area, the park wanted a railing system that would be ornamental and sturdy. Just as important, the railings required infill panels with openings small enough to prevent kids from climbing them like ladders.
The franchises’ design guidelines allow two styles of railing. Carr and metal fabricator Dempsey’s Specialized Services of Newark gravitated to a wire mesh infill panel option as a matter of preference and the need to meet the local code requirement.
The assimilated walkway and stairway access system secured by the guardrails are among many Sky Zone safety features, including protective padding and structured supervision. The entire guardrail assembly, which includes aluminum pipe with mill finish color, presented common challenges when infill panels are required to follow the turns and angles of stairs and walkways. Because the trampolines and their sloped safety walls are built above the floor level, the infill panels create an extra level of protection to prevent falls, said Carr.
In cooperation with Nowland Assocs. of Newark, Del., the general contractor, and Matthew V. Piotrowski Architect of Warminster, Pa., the team chose an infill panel material by McNICHOLS. McNICHOLS material consists of 0.75-in. opening wire mesh with 1/8 in. plain raw steel wire delivered in 40 sheets in 4 × 10-ft. lengths, and 2000 ft. of McNICHOLS 11-gauge U Edging from McNICHOLS Quality Accessories Products. Custom fabricated by Dempsey’s Specialized Services, the wire mesh was powder coated at the shop in bright orange to match the corporate color template of orange and dark blue, a color combination prevalent throughout the park’s interior. Dempsey Specialized Services fabricated the guard railing with three horizontal runs of welded 1.5-in. schedule 40 and schedule 80 pipe, which are connected with Hollaender slip on fittings. Working with architectural drawings and without CAD access, Dempsey had a creative way to ensure consistency of the panel sizes and placements. “We installed the pipe (handrail) first, and then we cut the panels to size, based on the location,” said Owner Curt Dempsey, whose company also provided the steel structural work for the stairs and mezzanine. Most of the infill panels, which are framed in U edging, measure 29 × 42 in., with some cut and installed on a diagonal to match the slant of the stairs. “The goal was to make them uniformed,” said Dempsey, noting that the stairs have varying levels and turns.