Split-Rail Solution: Smarter Fencing Systems that Last [Griffith Park Case Study]
Griffith Park spans over 4,200 acres and receives over 10 million visitors a year. It is the largest municipal park with an urban wilderness area in the United States. Famous for the Hollywood sign, the park also includes attractions such as the Griffith Observatory, the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, Greek Theatre and LA Zoo. With over 17 miles of fencing in and around the park, when the existing fencing system needed to be replaced due to heavy wear-and-tear, a more durable system was the sought-after solution.
Project Date: 2018
Griffith Park is owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. Created in 1889, the Department of Parks was initially in charge of organizing several city-owned pieces of land that were believed suitable for park purposes. As the parks department continued to develop these pieces of land, a new vision was formed: to provide affordable recreational, physical and cultural opportunities of excellent value and quality. These programs are offered in safe, attractive and well-maintained facilities that reflect the public’s needs and interests.
Griffith Park is Los Angeles’ largest and most visited park in the city. With over 3 million visitors per year in the park alone, maintenance and upkeep are essential. Spanning over 4,000 acres of land, the park includes 17 miles of fencing in and around the park. The fencing system was breaking down due to cracking from temperature fluctuations, expansion and contraction and consistent moisture. Originally constructed out of concrete, the fencing needed to be replaced with a long-lasting solution.
Specific project requirements for the replacement fencing system included the same configuration as the original fence and a low-maintenance and durable building material solution to cut down on long-term maintenance cost and time. Another requirement was expansion and contraction of the material due to changing weather conditions, which could affect the project life-cycle over time. The new building material needed to outlast Mother Nature and everyday wear-and-tear.
Structural recycled plastic lumber was the right solution for the replacement fence. FiberForce® by Bedford Technology is a durable and environmentally-friendly building material, provided structural performance characteristics and met all project requirements. The project design included the original configuration, and using recycled plastic lumber allowed for a technologically-advanced fastening system that didn’t require fasteners. The split-rail design allowed for expansion and contraction of the material in different temperatures without disturbing the integrity of the material. Another benefit to using the split-rail configuration was that installation time and cost were reduced.
Griffith Park’s fencing system was completed in 2018 and can be found throughout the entire park. The earth-tone color adds a natural aesthetic and the split-rail configuration provides an elegant design. The fencing system can withstand impact without breaking, splintering or cracking, and doesn’t require constant maintenance like painting or staining because the color is manufactured throughout the plastic lumber. Bedford Technology’s recycled plastic lumber will be used to replace approximately 17 miles of fencing in and around Griffith Park. It has also been used for signposts in the area, and may be used for future projects.