The launch of an innovative new environmental product, designed to ensure infill from synthetic pitches doesn’t escape into the surrounding areas, has earned TigerTurf the SAPCA Award 2021 for sustainability.
A revolutionary product, trekboards have been designed – and are manufactured – by TigerTurf in the UK as part of their tiger up! range of environmentally friendly products. Primarily designed for infill retention and to protect the surrounding environment from infill migration, trekboards also protect the artificial surface from ingress of surrounding vegetation.
Trekboards are made using 100 per cent recycled raw materials, which include end-of-life synthetic turf. Used as a substitute for timber kickboards, trekboards reduce the need to cut down trees for this use. With an estimated life span of more than 50 years, trekboards will also outlast treated timber, the material traditionally used for infill mitigation systems.
When used within a hockey system, trekboards reduce ball impact noise by 20%.
Utilising trekboards on one synthetic playing pitch is calculated to save 4,320kgs of CO2 emissions – meeting carbon neutral construction targets – through the use of 100 per cent, post-use, recycled raw materials. One full-size sports system installation can also recycle the equivalent of up to 600,000 plastic bags. What more, at the end of their life, trekboards can then be recycled again to make new ones, or reused to manufacture a range of other products from timber replacements, planters, water filtration and stabilising ground supports.
Putting into practice – Claines Lane
The world’s first 3G sports pitch using trekboards was constructed in 2020 at Claines Lane, Worcestershire. The Claines Lane project was completed in 2020 and marked the return of Worcester FC to the town after a seven-year absence.
The entire pitch construction was designed with the environment in mind and saw a range of traditionally used methods and materials being replaced with new innovations. One of these was a trekboards installation, which replaced the use of timber kickboards and provided the Worcestershire County FA with a sustainable solution.
Other environmentally-friendly solutions implemented at Claines Lane included an LED lighting system – installed by SAPCA member Halliday Lighting – which provides the facility with energy savings of around 65 per cent. In addition to TigerTurf and Halliday Lighting, the Claines Lane project featured two other SAPCA members – McArdle Sport Tec and B&L Fencing.
David Hook, sales director at TigerTurfUK, said: “The technology and processes behind trekboards are the result of our R&D work over the past 10 years and is just one of a range of innovative products being marketed under the tiger up! brand by TigerTurf.
“A key driving force behind the development of trekboards themselves has been the ever-increasing concern of polymeric infills in 3G pitches. The initial step of allaying those concerns is, of course, the mitigation of infill migration.
“Trekboards are a revolutionary new product that will change the way we protect our environment from unnecessary and sometimes unavoidable infill migration from artificial grass fields. And, as trekboards are manufactured from recycled 3G pitches, the product itself helps the environment by reducing the amount of problematical end of life turf entering the waste stream.
“There are also other benefits, such as cost and longevity. Composite plastic boards are becoming more common in the construction industry in general. When used correctly, they can certainly outperform timber in just about every way. So our main goal and challenge we face with trekboards was to achieve cost neutrality – compared to treated timber.
“TigerTurf has also worked alongside the key fencing suppliers to develop installation and fixing methodology which we believe will prove to be quicker and more cost effective than conventional mounting systems”.
“Trekboards are now available on the market via fencing suppliers across the UK and are an integral, environmentally friendly part of any new build artificial grass pitch facility.”