Sustainability Drives Use of Modular Barricades

Bob Putnam, president, Boston Barricade Co., Vero Beach, Fla.,

Mall barricade systems have evolved greatly in recent years, in terms of both the way they are engineered to their graphic applications. Perhaps the biggest change has been the transition from drywall barricades to modular ones. Chain Store Age spoke with Bob Putnam, president of Boston Barricade Co., Vero Beach, Fla., about the latest trends in barricades. 

How have mall barricades evolved over the years?

Today’s barricade systems are engineered using structural aluminum framing with panel faces specifically designed to enhance full-wrap graphic applications. Double doors have been replaced with invisible swing panels, allowing the graphic to flow across the face of the barricade uninterrupted while maintaining access for fixture delivery and storefront construction.

How much waste is eliminated by using modular barricades?

The total potential waste stream from barricades is about 12,000 tons annually. Currently, modular use represents 75%, or about 9,000 tons of solid waste, eliminated annually. The bad news is there is still 5,000 tons of solid waste going to landfills every year.

Are developers requiring the use of modular barricades?

All developers recognize the problem with drywall barricades. Sustainability initiatives have driven most developers to require modular barricade use.

Are retailers embracing this requirement?

Sustainability is important to all of us, including the retailer’s customers. We actually find more and more retailers specifying modular barricades in their plans.

Is there a benefit to the contractor?

Although sustainability is important to contractors, making a profit takes precedence. The benefit to the contractor comes when the retailer works directly with the barricade provider and takes the process and the responsibility out of his scope.

Why would the contractor prefer not to be responsible for the barricade?

The line-item profit, if any, doesn’t come close to covering the hours spent dealing with the mall, the barricade provider and the graphic installer.

If the retailer is handling the barricade, how does it benefit them?

A retailer that uses a managed barricade and graphic program can save a substantial amount of time and money. On average, a retail project manager will field 20 to 50 emails regarding a single barricade installation. 

Explain how Boston Barricade’s managed barricade and graphic program work.

We start by using our extensive database of mall specifications (developed over the past 25 years) with the store plans, to create a virtual 3D as-built of the barricade before it is built. This allows us to accurately print the graphic in advance to ensure the barricade and the graphic are installed at the same time.

In addition, we secure approval from mall operations and marketing, coordinate with the GC and take full responsibility from start to finish with a single point of contact.

How does Boston Barricade differ from other modular barricade providers?

Boston Barricade is the largest full-service provider of modular barricades and graphics in North America. We are the only full-service barricade provider with a national footprint. Boston Barricade is the required barricade provider for all Simon properties nationwide and the only national preferred provider at GGP. Our wall system is required by more developers in North America than all the other wall systems combined.

How does the wall system from Boston Barricade differ from other systems available?

We manufacture our modular wall system to be used exclusively in our full-service program. This system is designed and engineered to a higher structural and service standard than any other modular wall system available.

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