Synthetic Turf Specialist

TenCate’s Ecocept uses recycled products to create high performance sports bases

By admin on April 11, 2016

TigerTurf recently published a blog on their UK website featuring an interview with the head of TigerTurf R&D about Ecocept (a TenCate shock pad and drainage base product) and the benefits of this system.  This product is exclusive to TigerTurf worldwide and to Greenfields (TigerTurf’s sister company).

With the first generation of artificial grass pitches coming to the end of their life cycle, the issue of sustainability in sports construction has never been so prominent, and with this in mind, TigerTurf’s Head of Research and Development, Robbie Craven explains why the revolutionary new TenCate Ecocept could be just the answer the industry has been looking for.

As Craven puts it, “Essentially, Ecocept is a replacement base layer that acts as a substitute for the many separate elements of traditional sports pitch base construction, such as crushed rock, drainage, tarmac and shock pads. The system can provide a closed loop solution to the accumulation of end-of-life pitches, and has been designed to enhance sports performance, improve water management and save on costs traditionally associated with base construction.”

 

Regarding the issue of the waste accumulated by end-of-life pitches, Craven says, “All artificial grass pitches (AGPs) have a life cycle, and funding bodies estimate that around 5,000,000 sq. m of synthetic turf, or roughly 120 pitches a year, will soon need to be uplifted and replaced. The recycling of this material presents us with a significant problem. While the rubber infill material can be separated, cleaned and reused, the reprocessing of the grass itself is a mix of plastics, latex and so on, and is extremely difficult to recycle via traditional means. We wanted to find a way to take materials from end-of-life turf, along with other recycled plastics that would normally go for incineration and landfill, and turn them into a useful, functional base layer for artificial grass pitches.

“Traditional base constructions require a lot of quarrying, landfill and vehicle movement, so to get maximum value from an investment, it was necessary to find ways of getting the same results as traditional base construction without the associated costs. Equally important was the need to find sustainable ways of minimising impact on the environment. By designing a thinner base layer with superior shock absorption and drainage properties, we were able to reduce the scale of work required at the construction stage – giving AGPs a smaller carbon footprint and lower installation costs.”

 

Craven went on to explain that Ecocept’s properties can be manipulated, either for individual sports or, perhaps most excitingly for investors, to accommodate the widest range of sports possible, and that those manufacturing synthetic turf consider what will happen to the material they produce once it has come to the end of its natural life.

The Ecocept system means that older pitches which have had their day can now go toward the construction of new facilities. That said, innovation and sustainability must be economically viable to be successful: Ecocept combines all three of these factors.

For further information on TigerTurf and Ecocept please visit the website at http://www.tigerturf.com.nz

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