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The opening of a new synthetic turf field is a big deal. After months or possibly years of planning, the anticipation is intense. Athletes, coaches, parents, school administrators and the community are all waiting to set foot on the new field, catch that first pass, and kick the first goal. New field owners are extremely happy with their fields on day one. What about the days to follow? Are they as happy two, three, or four years later, after the newness fades?
We can assure you that the next ten years will go very quickly, and while it’s not exactly all downhill from here, you’ll be talking about a replacement field before you know it. Though it’s not something to think about on day one, it is inevitable.
How you maintain your field will make all the difference in how many years you’ll get out of it. Proper maintenance can extend the life of your turf system by up to four years. It’s not uncommon for well-maintained Envirofill fields to last well over 12 years.
You have the power to drastically reduce the per year cost by deploying and sticking to a solid maintenance plan. To illustrate this further, let’s suppose your field costs $600,000. If you maintain it minimally, your field lasts 8 years. Dividing the initial cost by the number of years of use equals a cost of $75,000 per year. However, with a little effort in your maintenance protocol, your field could last 12 years, dropping its per year cost drastically to $50,000 per year. A BIG difference!
And what about performance? How will your new artificial turf field perform over the next decade? We recently set out to provide some answers to that question.
A recent study looked at three synthetic turf fields in Massachusetts that range from 2-4 years. The fields were at Beverly Middle School, Ipswich High School and Newburyport High School. We tapped Firefly Athletics/Sports Labs USA to run performance tests on these fields and talked with the owners to learn that these fields were all being maintained with virtually the same maintenance plans throughout the season.
While these fields are similar, they have some subtle differences around the turf height, turf brand, and pad type. Each of these fields is at a public school. Their maintenance routines center on grooming the fields every two weeks or forty hours of play.
As the scores affirm, Envirofill is unique in that it feels firm underfoot, yet delivers exceptional performance. This is because the round particle shape allows for a firm, fast and safe system with Gmax scores that stay consistent over the life of the field, while the pad provides the necessary shock absorption.
It’s worth noting that these fields were not groomed prior to the testing. In a non-groomed field, the turf fibers often are laid over, which can increase the rotational resistance scores. We’re confident that with grooming, each field would be less than the desired score of 50Nm. As a reminder, FIFA’s Rotational Resistance range is modeled after preferred natural turf field performance; it is not correlated with safety. So while it is just over the desired range, it’s not surprising and doesn’t cause us any alarm.
|PROJECT NAME||INSTALL DATE||INFILL||INFILL DEPTH||TURF||PAD|
|Beverly Middle School||Nov 2017||Envirofill 12-20||25mm||FieldTurf |
47mm | Dual Fiber | 46 oz
|Ipswich High School||Aug 2016||Envirofill 12-20||35mm||Shaw |
45mm | Dual Fiber | 55 oz
|Newburyport High School||Fall 2015||Envirofill 12-20||28mm||FieldTurf|
45mm | Dual Fiber | 46 oz
|PROJECT NAME||GMAX||CFH||ROTATIONAL RESISTANCE||FORCE REDUCTION||VERTICAL DEFORMATION||ENERGY RESTITUTION|
|Beverly Middle School||106||1.2||48||59%||7.2 mm||41%|
|Ipswich High School||101||1.5||51||59%||7.6 mm||38%|
|Newburyport High School||108||1.3||51||59%||7.4 mm||37%|
|Desired Range for On-Field Testing||<165|
|4-11 mm |
(World Rugby standard. WR also requires 60mm turf)
In sharing the performance results with the field owners, they are just as excited about choosing Envirofill for their synthetic turf fields today as the day they were installed. With the dedication to a maintenance routine, these fields will continue to perform well into the future.
For a more in-depth look at these tests, follow this link to a related article.
For full testing reports visit our portal.