BENEFITS OF CABLE BARRIER SYSTEMS
Beyond their visual appeal, vehicular barrier cables are the lightest and most structurally effective vehicle restraint/guardrail system for parking garages. Properly designed, its cost per foot is typically less than precast or CIP concrete barriers and always cheaper than fabricated metal guard rails. Beyond the direct cost per square foot comparison, additional indirect initial investment costs and life cycle economies, the advantages of the Cable Barrier are:
• The Nearly weightless barrier system reduces the dead load resulting in cost savings throughout the structure from foundations to columns to beams.
• They Maximize use of natural daylight and reduce the energy use of the structure.
• It Allows for natural ventilation so the needs for forced ventilation systems are saved or greatly reduced.
• There is a saving on the fire-protection systems as open structures usually do not require a sprinkler system.
• They are the greenest type of barrier systems when accounting for all the usage in construction materials and energy for construction itself when compared to other systems.
BARRIER CABLES ARE ENGINEERED SYSTEMS
Vehicular Barrier Cables are designed to comply with the International Building Code (IBC) requirements for pedestrian guards and vehicular restraints. The most cost effective design is achieved when using all the building columns as the posts for the system and end anchoring. Although the pre-tensioning force is fairly low (2-7 Kips controlled by the anti-sag check), cables may reach loads in excess of 20 Kips upon impact which explains the absolute need for back-stressing to secure the anchors at the highest anticipated load. A design criterion often forgotten is the maximum deflection of the barrier when impacted. This design check will limit the size of the longest span or require the use of intermediate anchors.
In Steel buildings, the horizontal load cables imposed to the columns might not be allowable or may require specific strengthening and stiffening. This might result in Barrier Cable systems being removed at the design stage in favor of traditional steel or concrete barriers.
Vehicular barrier cables are engineered systems, although hardware and components may be the same, the system shall be analyzed and designed on a case by case basis to insure performance. Calculation notes and project specific shop drawings are a must for any project!
PEDESTRIAN FALL PROTECTION SOLUTIONS
Due to their extremely high structural efficiency and value, high strength cable systems can be used effectively for pedestrian fall protection by creating barriers through the combined used with Chain Link Fence or as a railing atop low concrete spandrels.
TEMPORARY VEHICLE RESTRAINT SYSTEMS
Sometimes, due to construction phasing of a garage project or the expansion of an existing garage it becomes necessary to provide temporary vehicle restraint systems while the permanent barriers need to be taken down for the work or while the next phase is being constructed. Here again, barrier cable systems are the lightest and most effective solution to achieve these goals.
When runs are too short, no structural member is available for end support or pedestrians need to pass through a vehicle restraint system, Steel Bollards spaced at 4’6” can be a suitable design strategy to complement a Vehicular Barrier Cable System. As a turnkey specialty contractor, BCSI also offers fabrication & installation of Galvanized Steel Bollards conceived to match the aspect and blend with the rest of the vehicle restraint barrier systems.
FENCE INFILL PANELS
In some Precast Parking Structures, when openings between panels do not exceed 4’6” and the precast panels act as the primary vehicle restraint system (resisting direct impact in the same manner Bollards would…), prefabricated chain link fence or mesh panels can be used in order to resolve the pedestrian fall protection code requirements. Barrier Cable Systems, Inc. manufactures and installs such panel based barriers completing its line of parking garage barrier systems.