In previous years, synthetic turf was predominantly used in areas for sports originally played on grass. Since the late 1990s, however, its uses have increasingly moved beyond those of golf courses and soccer fields to landscaping, recreational and residential applications as well.
Benefits of artificial turf
Even though initially synthetic turf is more expensive than natural grass, the long term benefits become clear within a mere two years of the investment. Thousands of sports fields, businesses, homes as well as tourist attractions have turned to artificial turf for the provision of an attractive and lush landscaping solution, requiring minimal maintenance and resources, saving millions of litres of water every year.
Here are some of the many benefits of artificial turf:
Artificial turf has the look and feel of natural grass.
Artificial turf is incredibly versatile and can be used for golf courses, soccer pitches and tennis courts. Residential applications include roof terraces, swimming pool surrounds, patios and lawns. Business applications include exhibition stands and modern office carpeting.
Made with resilient materials, synthetic grass used on sports fields is always ready to be played on. In terms of slip resistance, rotation and traction, surface abrasion as well as stability, it meets all the stringent requirements of official sports federations and sports leagues. Ever since 2003, no less than seventy FIFA and World Cup matches have already been played on artificial turf soccer fields.
Artificial turf requires little maintenance which means there are few costs involved. The grass does not need to be cut, the grass doesn’t need watering, is easy to clean and withstands all types of weather.
Artificial turf is hard-wearing, all-weather proof and can last up to 20 years. Sports fields with synthetic turf are much more durable than those with natural grass. The problem of rainy seasons, when a lot of games need to be cancelled, is eliminated. Rain can drain through it because the turf is permeable, preventing muddy and grassy areas.
Artificial turf does not fade in colour under harsh sunlight as it is UV stabilised to ensure it’s colour-fast. Manufacturers usually include guarantees against fading for a certain period of time. However, the greater the intensity of the sunlight, the shorter the lifespan of the artificial turf.
How does artificial turf impact the environment?
Synthetic turf has a measurable, positive impact on the environment. The estimated amount of artificial turf installed to date has already eliminated the need for millions of litres of harmful fertilisers and pesticides, resulting in significant environmental as well as health improvements. For instance, polluted storm water runoff after heavy rains is one of the main causes of water pollution with common examples such as excessive pesticide use and over-fertilising. Artificial turf also helps reduce noxious emissions; studies have shown that lawnmowers emit as much pollution in one hour as 11 cars.
How is artificial turf installed?
For applications on tennis courts, hockey and soccer pitches, putting greens and cricket wickets, a professional installation is necessary. For complex landscaping uses, a specialist such as a landscape architect and an engineer will need to be consulted. For leisure use such as in small gardens, installation is uncomplicated and can easily be done by the purchaser.