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There are many aspects to the cost of an artificial turf sports field. Field performance and longevity are important components in the decision-making of your artificial turf sports field. Discover 10 sports turf field cost tips to guide you through the decision process.
So you’re planning for your new field. You’ve established a committee, surveyed the stakeholders, and started raising money for it. How much should you raise? How much should you budget? That depends on how far ahead you’re willing to look because lifecycle costs can be very different from the initial cost.
You’re making a long-term commitment that your site will be an artificial turf field for a long time as it’s very rare that any synthetic turf sports field is converted back to natural. How you approach this project will establish the amount of money future generations (or you if you’re in your role long enough) will need to raise each time the turf needs replacing.
Ensure you know exactly what is covered in each product warranty, as all contracts are not created equal. Each system component has a different warranty and life expectancy, which may be confusing. While most turf warranties last eight years, the turf on your field usually lasts ten years if well maintained. Other system components such as infills and pads may last much longer if the right ones are selected, installed properly, and maintained.
The gravel base and drainage network should last upwards of 50 years and usually only require minimal work when the field is replaced. Don’t skimp here! A contractor’s warranty should cover the base and drainage for a period of at least 8 years.
At Motz, we believe that shock pads provide the safest, highest-performing artificial turf sports field, and the leading products on the market have warranties for upwards of 25 years – and could last well beyond that because it is protected from the UV of sunlight.
So that leaves one more product in your system: infill. The most common infill on the market, crumb rubber made from discarded car tires, has no warranty. Infills made specifically for turf typically have warranties of eight years to match the turf warranty. Motz’s Envirofill has the longest warranty of any infill on the market at 16 years and has been extensively tested and reused in subsequent turf lifecycles. Read on to learn how this can benefit your project years from now.
We highly recommend using a well-qualified sports field builder from the American Sports Builders Association’s Certified Field Builder list. These builders must meet standards set forth by ASBA and pass a comprehensive examination. Search for a Certified Field Builder here.
We would highly recommend you select a field designer to help assess your existing field and plan for the replacement. Their expertise can help you avoid pitfalls during the planning, bidding, and building phases. Technologies may have changed since you last installed an artificial turf sports field and a designer can provide an unbiased overview of these new products and which one is best for your situation. Your designer will also make sure your base (shock pad) and drainage system were built correctly or resolve any drainage issues you may have.
Replacing your synthetic turf sports field begins with your contractor taking special care when removing the turf and infill not to damage the pad beneath. Hire companies that use specific equipment designed to remove the turf without damaging the pad below. Supervision during this phase of the project is recommended to ensure the contractor is approaching the demolition phase methodically and with care. Otherwise, this could end up costing you!
Assuming the base and pad are in good shape and will remain, the focus of your replacement project should be on the turf and infill portion of the synthetic turf sports field system. By weight, the infill represents about 90% of the surface and will significantly impact the disposal fees, unless you have an infill that can be reclaimed and reused in the new turf or one that can be composted.
Selecting the right infill upfront can reduce your disposal costs by 90%! In some parts of the country, disposal costs can run as high as $100,000 which could be a significant portion of your replacement project! No donor wants to contribute money toward this portion of your replacement project. Because the infill is such a significant portion of the project, the goal should be to select an infill that avoids the landfill when the synthetic turf sports field is replaced.
Now envision a scenario where the infill can be reclaimed entirely, set aside, and installed into the new turf saving significant dollars and avoiding 500,000+ pounds of material going into the landfill. Doesn’t that sound like an ideal scenario? That option exists when you select Envirofill as your infill of choice for your synthetic turf sports field.
Envirofill is unique in that it is installed 100%. All other infills combine a mixture of raw sand and the performance infill. In those cases, if the product could last two lifecycles, the mix would not allow for reclaim, reuse, and predictable performance of the system.
There are many ways to lower the cost of your artificial sports turf field. The best way to lower costs is to think long-term. This may include a higher cost upfront, but save you money throughout the life of your field. Motz infill products, Envirofill and Safeshell, are high-end products that focus on the long game costs, maintenance, longevity, and consistency of the surface of your synthetic turf sports field. Yes, there is an upfront premium to choosing Envirofill or Safeshell, but the costs are within 10-15% over two lifecycles. Once inflation is taken into account, the best decision is to select products that confidently provide more than one lifecycle of value and use. Lifecycle costs can also include the pad and labor costs.
At Motz, we offer reusable pads that typically have multiple lifecycles, as well as, Motz annual deep clean & field testing services to protect and improve the surface of your synthetic turf sports field. Motz annual deep clean & field testing services is an annual 5-step program engineered to functionally, hygienically, and aesthetically improve the surface of your synthetic turf sports field, maximize its lifespan, and address hazards to ensure the continued safety of your athletes, and create a championship field. When you think long-term it gives you the structure and the products you need to plan, budget, and estimate the care time needed to create a cost-effective artificial turf sports field. The benefits of a lifecycle cost mindset will provide you with a winning strategy and the right products to create a high-performance sports field that will last the long game.
Do you have questions about costs related to synthetic turf sports field replacement? Connect with a Motz specialist to get your questions answered.