Artificial turf field-A new build case study

© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Artificial turf is widely used around the world and is used successfully for many sports and at many levels of performance requirement. Enhanced quality assurance systems set in place by sport governing bodies, such as World Rugby's Regulation 22 require inspection and certification of the installed system, and increasingly testing of the whole pitch build. Monitoring of play performance is then required at intervals to maintain certification for (high level) competition. However, very little published case study data exists that presents the build quality and monitoring data in a suitable form to share knowledge and best practice for the wide range of stakeholders, or for the maintenance provider. This paper presents a (unique) case study overview of the key activities undertaken and the measurement data and observations made during the construction of a full size elite level artificial (3rd generation) turf pitch, in autumn 2014 at Loughborough University. The research team monitored all the construction layers with a variety of specialist geotechnical devices, and additionally instrumented the pitch for drainage performance and thermal heat transfer. In addition play performance related properties and maintenance have been monitored during its first year of use. The test results give a unique insight into the surface system initial state and the early life changes that have occurred. The collective outcomes of the case study findings are considered useful to both academics and practitioners to further our understanding of appropriate methods of effective sports pitch monitoring for quality and performance and the expected early-life in service changes. The geotechnical measurements add to the current (global) debate on design verification and how to specify and monitor a pitch base build quality.