Our estimating team is central to the company and we are known for our fast and accurate turnaround. Lead estimator, Elliott, joined Russell Play 3 years ago. In that time, he started as a Landscaper Designer, but has since transitioned to a much more focused area. Elliott now works closely with our contracting team to produce cost-effective solutions that are designed with the customer in mind. We asked Elliott a few questions about how he works, designs, and solves problems.
What’s the most difficult project you have worked on and how did you provide the customer with solutions?
We worked on a rooftop installation for some small timber trail items in the Elephant and Castle area. This was a particularly tricky project as there were very strict weight limits and we couldn’t bolt down to the podium. We eventually settled on a combination of polystyrene void filler, floating concrete foundations and steel l-brackets to secure the equipment. I don’t think people realise how much work goes into even the simplest projects, but it’s always satisfying seeing it installed.
What extra considerations do you have when designing/costing podium or rooftop schemes?
Fixing methods are always important to consider. Ideally, we like to be able to bolt down directly to the podium as this lets us work with almost any build-up depth. Using floating foundations or upstands is more complicated because we must consider the added weight and reinforcement. It is helpful to contact us as early as you can to ensure our requirements are factored in from the outset.
What advice would you give a customer considering rooftop installations?
Choice of equipment is very important. The Berliner and Silhouette ranges are specially designed for bolt-down installation and are very versatile and look great in urban settings. Spielart equipment is another range that is great on rooftops, but you have to consider additional plates and transportation to the build area as it arrives mostly assembled. Silhouette really compliments the feel of modern architecture. It can fit perfectly at the top of a modern cladded or in an old Victorian high-street. The Urban Design range from Berliner is versatile, offers a selection of great looking pieces, and comes with numerous fixing methods.
Would you design a city location differently to a more rural scheme? How and why?
Our goal is always to provide a design that fits the needs of the customer. Typically, with a rural scheme, we will be given a budget, a list of must-haves and a location. It is then up to us to design and cost within those parameters. The project is usually tendered and you only get one shot to win the job. With architects, we will work with them through the entire process: planning, design, and construction stages. We offer advice on layouts, standards, and equipment. We are available to support our clients, and are always at the end of the phone or email to answer any questions they may have.
As people develop and maximise their space upwards, do you think underground playgrounds could be a future possibility?
It’s definitely going to be something that people will start looking at as available space gets harder to find. I’m sure we will have a call one day from an architect asking if it’s possible. We would love to be involved.
What are your favourite products to work with and why?
Personally, I really like the HodgePodge and Urban Design ranges from Berliner, and their towers look great. The range of colours and modern style looks amazing. Spielart’s tower range is another great selection and you really need to see their pieces in person to get a real understanding of the scale.