Almost always, the first thing that needs to happen when considering sport facility projects, be they drainage installation, re-seeding or an entirely new development, is the carrying out of a site investigation. The data is presented, fully analysed and interpreted, in the form of a feasibility study report. The report identifies what the project will involve and explains why particular operations are appropriate. It will also give you a good idea of how much things are going to cost. This is particularly useful if you are applying for grant support.
Exactly what features of a site are assessed during a site investigation depends on the intentions of the project. Many of the aspects we consider are described in our Technical Services section and a 'Scope of Works' for a site investigation and later work may be downloaded from here.
Things we almost always need to know about a site include:
The size and shape of the area
The topography of the area. We can arrange for a 3D topographic survey to be conducted if necessary
The soil type and geology
Hydrological factors, in particular the greenfield runoff rates. This feeds into the later SuDS design
For existing sports pitches a very wide and more or less open-ended range of other factors may be assessed. Sport England and other sporting bodies have a series of tests (Performance Quality Standards - PQSs) which all of which we can undertake. These include:
Ground cover and sward composition. What kind and how much grass is present. What general condition the sward is in
Evenness and undulation
Details of the soil profile, the texture and structure of the topsoil and subsoil. Aspects of its chemistry such as pH and organic matter content
Site appraisals have been made considerably more effective through the use of our drone, which we are licensed to fly for commercial purposes such as this. The drone allows the preparation of detailed plans of the site which facilitates, for example, the accurate quantification of areas requiring particular treatments, for example over-seeding, fertiliser application or weed control. Plant health can also be mapped allowing the targeting of fertiliser and irrigation requirements.
The site investigation will also indicate if there are likely to be any other surveys necessary before you can go ahead. These might include one or more of the various wildlife surveys, bats, badgers, amphibians etc. The one that often crops up with projects involving a good deal of relevelling by cut and fill is an archaeology survey. You might also need to undertake a survey of buried services, gas, telecoms and electricity.
Subsoil Strength Testing (CBR),
Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) design and analysis