“What was needed was an intermediate level of security for those sites where standard builder’s temporary fencing was insufficient and yet ultra-high security fencing was not required.” explains Head of Product Design, Tim Stewart, talking about the Blok ‘N’ Mesh Defender™ fencing system.
Around six years ago, the National Grid was looking for a temporary but secure fencing system as they embarked on a major upgrade of substations around the UK. In addition to wanting this product to be more secure than standard mesh fencing, they also specified that all the components, including the ballast, needed to be hand portable as many locations would not be accessible by a forklift.
“We had developed a very high security system called PolMil® for the 2012 Olympics and it had since been approved for use at all manner of sensitive locations such as airports, government facilities and licensed nuclear sites,” said Tim “but this was considered too much. We needed a new, intermediate product, giving optimum balance between security and portability.”
The National Grid’s engineers and security personnel twice visited Blok ‘N’ Mesh’s factory and test facility in Knowsley, Merseyside during development of this new system. This included physical attack testing by simulated mobs! Once the design was finalised, the customer approved 2.4 and 3m high versions with 200kg of ballast every 2.5m.
Since 200kg is far from being “hand portable”, the system used individual 50kg, plastic coated ballast blocks, which are a two-person lift. Four of these blocks stacked together provided the 200kg ballast required.
Contractors working for the National Grid were naturally early adopters of Defender™, indeed many are reusing the same components they bought five years ago, however customers working on a range of high profile or sensitive civil engineering projects are frequently drawn to the flexibility of the system combined with the extra stability and security it provides.
Starting from January 2023, the range has seen its first major update, with, among other improvements, a simplified range of fixings, redesigned posts, and more flexible stackable base units.
As Tim explains “This is simply a result of customer feedback. The changes will enable quicker and simpler installation.”
For further information about Defender™, go to https://www.bloknmesh.com/en-GB/categories/defender-paladin-fencing