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International Security Expo Q&A

20 September 2019

Q&A with Jaz Vilkhu, managing director at Marshalls Landscape Protection

  1. Traditionally there has been tension between installing Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) measures in public spaces and attractive protective street furniture design, how does Marshalls Landscape Protection approach this issue and what sort of solutions do you deliver?

We’re seeing security consultants, designers, architects and specifiers from across the public and private sectors all ask the same question - how can we provide the right levels of protection for the public without making the risk visible? 

This is where our business comes in. We’re the only manufacturer of purpose-designed, decorative street furniture products that are crash-tested. Our RhinoGuard® range, which includes planters, benches, cycle stands and litter bins, are built to protect against terrorist vehicle attacks, accidental collisions and criminal ram raids.

The reasons behind our approach are simple. Traditional, utilitarian choices, such as concrete blocks and metal barricades, serve to make an area feel fortified that can have the potential to lead to a drop off in visitor numbers and therefore can have a detrimental impact on local businesses.

Take Edinburgh, for example, where plans are being made by the City Council to replace the metal barriers with permanent measures that are designed to keep the public safe, without the threat being apparent.

  1. Testing is critical to HVM, what standards are your products tested to and how do you get them tested?

A key point for any organisation procuring protective measures is that simply opting for street furniture will not deliver the right levels of protection you need to stop a vehicle.

Our RhinoGuard® products are tested to the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 68 and International Workshop Agreement (IWA) 14.1 - the industry specifications for measures used to assist in terrorism prevention. Accredited to the top level of these certifications, they are capable of stopping a 7.5 tonne vehicle travelling at 50mph.

But not all areas of risk require such a high level of protection. In lower risk environments where the aim is to mitigate accidental collisions or criminal intent, security products that are specifically designed to counter cars, vans and lorries travelling at lower speeds offer a more appropriate and cost-effective solution. A different standard, PAS170, offers a testing standard for vehicles up to 2.5 tonnes travelling up to 10mph or 20mph.

Testing for each of our products follows two methods. Firstly, our engineers use finite element analysis, which is a computer modelling technique that replicates the complex dynamics of the real world, to make sure we deliver an accurate view of how the product will perform when subjected to impact.

Each new product is then crash-tested at the Horiba Mira centre in Nuneaton, Warwickshire to ensure they stand up to the rigours of a range of possible impacts.

  1. What are the solutions to providing temporary HVM and what standards are these tested to?

We recently launched our RhinoGuard® Steel GateKeeper™, which is designed to protect places with temporary high footfall, such as Christmas markets, football grounds and events. Owing to its lightweight design, the system can be used as a temporary HVM measure as its elements can be quickly and easily removed allowing access for emergency services vehicles.

Similar to our permanent street furniture products, this is also certified to IWA14.1 standards and offers protection against vehicles weighing up to 2.5 tonnes travelling at 30mph without the intimidating knock-on effects that other measures provide.

  1. What is next on the horizon for landscape security?

The future’s bright, both for Marshalls Landscape Protection and the wider industry. It’s clear there has been a significant shift in recent years towards HVM products that fit seamlessly into, and quite often enhance, their surroundings. But continued innovation is key if the sector is to successfully meet client demands and tackle the evolving threat. 

One such example is our super-shallow mount foundation range. This offers buyers an aesthetic solution for town and city centre pavements where underground utilities and telecoms infrastructure located close to the surface had previously made excavation work costly and disruptive.

The range includes planters, seating, cycle shelters and bollards that require 100mm foundations – far less than the 150mm previously needed as a minimum. This ensures there’s now no longer an excuse to install products that have a detrimental impact to a busy area’s aesthetics.