Building site hoarding doesn’t have to be plain and uninspiring, so when we were asked to create hoarding boards for a United Utilities site in the Lake District, we came up with a unique alternative.
Our client brings water to 3.2 million homes and 200,000 businesses throughout Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Cumbria and Lancashire. The impact on the local communities is clear, with the company managing a vast network of pumping stations, water pipes and sewers, reservoirs and treatment works across the North West.
United Utilities is aware that they have a profound influence on the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the areas they serve, and they work hard to minimise any impact on the environment.
Our client needed to maintain the safety and security of its worksite near Ennerdale Water – a small glacial lake in Cumbria – while reducing the company’s visual impact on the surrounding landscape, of stunning natural beauty.
Rather than use a traditional hoarding design to keep people informed, we developed a series of mirror-like aluminium panels, giving hikers and cyclists a chance to enjoy the lake’s unspoiled scenery.
The optical effect helped disguise the machinery while work progressed, and to provide local residents with information about the engineering site, we combined traditional signage bearing the slogan Reflecting Ennerdale’s Natural Beauty with the mirrored panels to enhance the installation.
Adding an element of fun and audience interaction, we included the hashtag #Ennerdaleselfie in the design and encouraged individuals to take selfies in front of the aluminium panels. These two campaign elements provided our client with two extra benefits which could not have been achieved with a more standard hoarding design.
Not only were people engaging with United Utilities on social media, the campaign helped raise awareness about the company’s work in the area and highlighted its efforts to complete projects in an environmentally-conscious way.
Local response to the mirrored building site hoarding was overwhelmingly positive. As well as the public’s increased social media engagement with the panels, the company received encouraging feedback from local residents, hikers and cyclists. As a result, United Utilities decided to use the aluminium panels at a second site in Keswick to help the company conceal temporary structures.