The benefits of premium construction materials

With many factors contributing to the success or failure of a construction project, including weather, workforce, client demands and materials used on site, taking control of what you can is crucial. While you may not be able to regulate the weather with ease, you can invest in quality materials for your site to ensure a smoother job. 

Keeping your construction site running smoothly

Investing in premium products for your construction site brings a range of benefits – including reducing the risk of failure. On a site where product failure can halt a project and cause injury to the workforce or public, ensuring good quality materials are used is crucial. 

For example, trench covers ensure a site remains safe and accessible in pedestrian, domestic, residential, footpath and driveway applications. However, skimp on the trench cover and this fact no longer remains true. With cheaper, lower quality products reaching ultimate failure at as low as 483kg (compared to a minimum 800kg ultimate failure on the LowPro(R) 12/8 trench cover), there is no guarantee that the product will withstand heavy pressure on site – resulting in broken, unusable materials and a potential halt to work or injury to workforce.

Saving money with quality construction materials 

While premium products often come at a premium price, evidence shows they are more likely to save your business money in the long run. With quality materials proven to pass more safety regulations, last longer and not need replacing as often, they are often an investment worth making. 

Not only does the quality of the product save you money, but it’s performance on site can also ensure you’re not paying out for unexpected costs. Trench covers reaching ultimate failure and breaking mid-job can result in time and money spent on repair or legalities, while having to halt a job can mean that completion is delayed and additional payments must be made to your workforce or on materials that are required for a longer time period. 

Working in urban and residential environments

Construction often takes place in already populated environments, meaning the safety, wellbeing and convenience of residents and pedestrians must be taken into account. Many products designed to make a construction site safe and accessible aren’t made for consideration of the public. For example, steel plates used to cover uneven surfaces are often noisy, can be easily knocked out of place and are inconvenient for residents nearby. 

By using quality plastic road plates and trench covers instead, unnecessary noise is reduced, materials are more likely to stay in place and the site is less likely to receive complaints – and fines. 

Investing in quality materials brings a range of benefits to your site. If you’re not sure of the right product for you and want to ensure value for money, Oxford Plastics can help you find the ideal fit here. Alternatively, get in touch to discuss your site requirements and how we can help provide quality construction site materials.  

Introducing The Integrated Street Works Safety System

Robust plastic fencing & site monitoring system are 2 of the solutions in the new TfL lead Open Innovation programme: London RoadLab. The London RoadLab programme has been developed to enable the public sector to encourage innovation from companies of all sizes, including start-ups & SMEs. This year saw a number of up and coming companies develop solutions that enable safer, smarter and more inclusive ways of doing roadworks.

Oxford Plastics were selected to take part in the London RoadLab programme to create a fully integrated Street Works safety solution that works for the Utility companies, contractors & public.

As a result of the programme, Oxford Plastics have developed a new product to scale into the market, which highway agencies and utilities can purchase.

Steve Spencer, Thames Water’s chief operating officer, said: ‘This RoadLab challenge has been fantastic in introducing new ideas and we look forward to see them put into practice to benefit Londoners.’

Together, Oxford Plastics, Utility Partners and London Councils are taking large steps to eradicate deaths and serious injuries around Street Works & road works sites. The proposed solution from Oxford Plastics is the StrongFence & Oxford Asset Monitoring System, which aims to make public-facing worksites safer for both contractors & the public.

Michael Hurwitz, TfL’s Director of Transport Innovation, said: “London RoadLab is a completely new way of procuring for TfL and we’re delighted to see many new innovative solutions being produced from this programme, including the intelligent road barriers developed by Oxford Plastics designed to make roadworks safer.

“We’re working closely with partners across London to make the capital one of the world’s smartest cities and these projects all have the potential to make a real difference to the safety and efficiency of roadworks in London.”

The StrongFence barrier (anti-climb and non-conductive), Asset Monitoring system & EnduraSign constitute the integrated Street Works solution for temporary work sites in the capital.

StrongFence on a Cadent worksite trial

Frequently work site failures are due to barrier related issues; such as fallen barriers and perimeter fencing being moved. In response to this, Oxford’s solution consists of 3 parts: StrongFence & StrongGate which are an advanced Chapter 8 fencing solution. This fencing solution is engineered to stay upright and in-position, in order to minimise broken perimeters.

Fallen or insufficient signage has been shown to be a significant issue around UK Street Works, which can lead to harm to the public. To solve this issue, Oxford Plastics presented the EnduraSign Xtra: it is made of a sophisticated plastic material created by award-winning designers, and is lauded as the most durable road works sign available to the Street Works market.

The Oxford Asset Monitoring System consists of a worksite camera system, asset monitoring sensors & an interactive portal where contractors can monitor their sites from afar.

Oxford Asset Monitoring App

Designed to give peace of mind to contractors, the Oxford Asset Monitoring System allows workers to keep an eye on their site and to receive SMS alerts when a site becomes insecure. Sensors, attached to gates & perimeter fencing, send an SMS alert to the Project Manager if someone walks into the site or a barrier falls over. This new technology means that site issues can be responded to quickly to remove & fix sudden hazards.

For more information on Oxford Plastic’s London RoadLab solution visit: www.oxfordplastics.com/safety-barriers/strongfence-1000

For more information on London RoadLab visit: https://www.plexal.com/london-roadlab/