Skate parks have much to offer to the cities that are willing to accept them. In fact, according to a number of researchers, these places can help reduce crime levels and childhood obesity in their surrounding areas. They can also give skateboarders a space where they can develop a more creative mindset.
These are benefits that the City of Burnaby would take advantage of in 2004. That was the year they planned to construct what is now one of the most popular skate parks in British Columbia: Metro Skate Park.
With the help of a renowned skate park specialist Spectrum Skateparks, this park would provide a complex concrete marvel to skateboarders and non-skateboarders alike. For skateboarders, there would be three distinct zones, so each skateboarding style would have a place. With that in mind, street-style skateboarders would enjoy an urban plaza zone. Skateboarders wanting more momentum would have the bowl-shaped areas along with a full pipe. Then, last but not least, beginner skateboarders would have a zone all to themselves. Meanwhile, non-skateboarders would have their own three areas. For those interested in watching skateboarding, they would get an observation area at the top of the full pipe. Nearby would be the community art wall, where different designs would be displayed on each side of it for everyone in Burnaby to appreciate. On the other side of the wall, further from the skateboarding zone, would be the children’s play area, where families with kids could spend some time enjoying the area.
In short, it would be an expansive and inclusive area. However, before it could be fully realized, the City of Burnaby needed around 530 m3 of concrete. It couldn’t just be any type either. The city was determined to ensure it was as environmentally friendly as possible and delivered the complex shapes, clean lines, and long-lasting quality surface a skate park needed.
Luckily, the city’s project manager and the structural engineer knew exactly what was needed to create the highest quality concrete: the integral hardening admixture Hard-Cem. They knew it would make the city’s concrete mix highly durable with the quality to form a clean-looking skate park that would last for years to come.
Of course, the mix itself also needed to be environmentally friendly. With that in mind, the city’s chosen ready-mix supplier added Hard-Cem to a local concrete mix known as Eco-Smart Concrete. This mix would use up a high volume of fly ash, ensuring this waste product would not be sent off to fill up landfill sites. In turn, it would reduce the mix’s need for Portland cement, which would allow it to release less carbon dioxide when curing.
Combining this mix with Hard-Cem, the ready-mix supplier provided concrete with a creamy texture that made it easy for the concrete placers to give it a high-quality smooth finish.
The end results were so impressive that the consultants and construction crew hired by the city felt that Hard-Cem had contributed to a higher quality and more durable concrete. The City of Burnaby felt no differently either, giving the admixture credit on their website for making a highly workable, strong, and quality concrete.
Many others were quick to notice this quality from the city’s new skate park as well. In fact, Metro Skate Park went on to win several awards, such as the 2011 bronze award from the International Olympic Committee and the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities. Other awards include the 2007 Award of Excellence for Innovation from the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association, the 2007 Special Applications: Artistic Merit Award for Excellence in Concrete Construction from Concrete BC, and the 2006 Award for Facility Excellence from the British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association.
Admixture for Abrasion and Erosion Resistance Unlike post-applied surface treatments that delaminate over time, or high-strength concrete that’s prone to curling and cracking, Hard-Cem integral admixture significantly reduces replacement and repair requirements and more than doubles the concrete’s wear life — lowering its embodied carbon footprint over its lifetime.