Artificial and Hybrid Surfaces
Agrostis have adapted to the rise in popularity of artificial sports surfaces by keeping abreast of the technology. We have done this via our extensive connections throughout the industry, in particular our membership of the technical services section of SAPCA. Designing and specifying the construction of many artificial sports surfaces has provided further insight.
Agrostis have also undertaken specific studies, for example into the form and construction of carpets (click here for more information) and the use of rubber crumb/chip in sports surfaces. For a review of the technicalities of sports carpet manufacture, click here (815Kb).The development of hybrid pitches, incorporating elements of artificial pitch construction into natural turf situations, has dovetailed neatly with Agrostis' expertise.
Agronomy services to sports grounds are tailored to each particular circumstance in order to meet our clients' requirements most precisely. With a comprehensive range of technical evaluation procedures to call upon (see Technical Services) sports pitch advisory work can be as simple or as detailed and substantial as required. Call to discuss how we can help.
Factors to Consider with Artificial Surfaces
If you are considering installing a new artificial playing surface (MUGA, AGP, etc), or replacing the surface of an existing facility, there are a number of important considerations to address at the outset. These may be summarised in a feasibility study which Agrostis would be pleased to undertake. In addition to the choice of surface, some factors addressed in such a study include:
This keeps balls in and unwanted users out. The sports involved, and the level of security required, determine the most appropriate form of fencing. The durability of the materials is particularly important. Planners often insist on particular colours being used. Social and aesthetic implications must also be considered.
A very important consideration in the planning process, as well as with regard to individual sports, light distribution and spillage greatly affect the impact of a particular facility and must be designed with all factors in mind. Very often this will be a major concern with planners and an analysis in the form of a Visual Impact Assessment may be required (all available through Agrostis). Also of concern is the stability of the subsoil to support the lighting columns. This is addressed through the carrying out of CBR tests (see Technical Services).
Sub base and mode of construction
The mode of construction beneath the surface is probably of greater importance than the nature of the surface itself. There is not much that can be done about this after installation should anything be amiss! A thorough appraisal of the soil type and geology of the site prior to design will therefore need to be carried out. This should comprise CBR tests (see Technical Services) to determine the capacity of the subsoil to support the construction.
Drainage and Attenuation
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) for artificial sports surfaces are intended to provide adequate drainage to ensure continuing playability in wet weather while minimising the risk of flooding. Appropriate drainage and attenuation is therefore at the heart of our designs for both natural and artificial surfaces. Key to the design of successful drainage and attenuation systems is the determination of the subsoil infiltration or percolation rate (see Technical Services).
Increasingly there is concern over the most sustainable method of disposing of the carpets used in artificial sports surfaces. Some materials are more ‘environmentally friendly’ than others. So appropriate selection of carpets at the design stage ensures that future difficulties and environmental hazards are avoided. We can also arrange for your existing carpet to be disposed of properly through the appropriate channels.