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SAPCA - Technical Bulletin

16 October 2020

Here is the latest edition of SAPCA's Technical Bulletin.

Padel Court
Code of Practice Working Group

Padel PlaySAPCA, working in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and Lee West of Sports Facility Planning and Design, have convened a working group to develop a new Code of Practice for the design and construction of padel tennis courts. Alongside the existing "Code of Practice for the Construction and Maintenance of Tennis Courts", which is supported by the LTA, this new document will provide valuable guidance to support the LTA's padel court initiative and will strengthen the link between the two associations.

The new Code of Practice is expected to be completed and available for use by the end of the year.

Inspection Programme Update

SAPCA Quality System

An important part of the Association's Quality System is the annual Inspection Programme, through which we monitor the quality of projects delivered by member contractors and provide valuable feedback to the individual companies involved. This year's Programme is now underway with SAPCA Project Manager Colin Corline focussing on members of the Pitch Division, in order to complete the current three-year cycle of technical inspections that will have included all members of the Division. The most recent three-year Programme for the Tennis Court Division was completed last year, and with the disruption caused by Covid-19 we chose not to inspect tennis court projects this year in order to bring the cycles for both Divisions together.

From now until the end of the year Colin will be working closely with those pitch contractors involved to undertake the on-site inspections and office-based assessments to complete the rolling three-year programme. Members will, as usual, receive their own individual reports but there will also be a session at the annual Technical Meeting (to be held online in December) when overall feedback from the Programme will be presented, in order to continue to share best practice.

We are currently working on a proposal to enhance and expand the Inspection Programme for 2021, with the aim of broadening the initiative to include all members of the Principal Contractors Group.

Save the Dates!

SAPCA Technical Meeting 2020: 8-10 December
With the continuing restriction on face-to-face events, this year's SAPCA Technical Meeting will be moving online. A series of informative presentations, workshops and discussions will be held over three days, from Tuesday 8 to Thursday 10 December - slightly later in the year than normal in order to allow as many members as possible to participate. All SAPCA members will be invited to register as Delegates, free of charge.

BS and EN Standards Update: 12 November
This autumn will see a series of meetings of the various BSI and CEN Technical Committees and Working Groups taking place, and in order to keep SAPCA members fully up-to-date with the latest progress in the development of British and European Standards, and informed about the implications for the UK market, we will present a special webinar on the subject at 3.30 pm on Thursday 12 November. Our guest speaker will be Alastair Cox, the Chairman of BSI Technical Committee PRI/57, and the webinar will include an open forum when members can discus any aspects of the latest standardisation work.

Indoor Sports Floors: 3 November
All members involved or interested in the development of indoor sports facilities are invited to attend a special Open Forum, to be held online at 2.00 pm on Tuesday 3 November. The first in a series of sessions with a focus on indoor facilities, this meeting will examine a number of key aspects of the specification and selection of indoor sports floors, including the latest standards and guidance that is available from various sports bodies.

Further information on all of these events, including details of how to register, will be circulated next week, but please add the dates to your diaries.

Designing your Pitch
to Mitigate Infill Loss

Image of Infill Mitigation documentFollowing on from the publication of CEN Technical Report 17519: Guidance on how to minimise infill dispersion into the environment, SAPCA has drafted a guidance document to aid the design of 3G pitches. The guide outlines a series of options to improve the design, construction and maintenance of facilities to prevent infill migrating into the surrounding environment to the pitch. The document can be found on the SAPCA website here and includes the following:

  • Advice on improved facility designs to prevent the infill leaving the field.
  • Advice on the types of pitch system (carpet pile, shockpad etc.) that will lessen infill movement.
  • Advice on construction site management of the infill materials.
  • Advice on maintenance methods to prevent infill loss.

SAPCA is also in the process of updating a number of our Codes of Practice to include both the principles of the guidance and the specifics of the different design criteria. We are also aware that a number of bodies such as the Football Foundation, GAA, RFU and Rugby League have also adopted the criteria into their design guidance, as have FIFA and World Rugby at an international level.

ECHA Proposed Restriction on
Intentionally Added Microplastics

European Chemicals Agency LogoAs many of you will have seen from our webinar delivered in August, the work of the European Chemicals Agency on their 'Proposed restriction on intentionally added microplastics' has been moving forwards this year. Following a delay earlier in the year, the Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) and the Socio-Economic Assessment Committee (SEAC) produced their reports for consideration.

The RAC recommended a complete ban of microplastic infills for synthetic turf after a transition period of six years. In doing this they rejected the option of infill containment which SAPCA and the wider industry have proposed in response the proposed restriction throughout the consultation period which began in 2019.

The SEAC noted that the implementation of infill containment designs, arising from the CEN Technical Report, while costing less than an outright ban would not be as effective in preventing the release of microplastics into the environment. On this evidence they have stated that they have not finalised a preference for either option at this stage.

The final recommendation to the European Commission will be available by the end of 2020 and their aim is that implementation of the decision will follow by the end of 2021. While the decision will not become law in the UK at this stage SAPCA will be working with our partners (including the Sports Councils and NGBs) to understand the implications for the industry.

Construction Products Regulations

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local GovernmentPlease be aware that Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has issued guidance on Construction Products Regulations. View the guidance here.

Businesses must prepare for the end of recognition of the CE mark in GB and affix the UK marking using a UK-recognised 'approved body' by 1 January 2022. Businesses are being encouraged now to be ready for the full implementation of the new UK regime, as soon as possible after 1 January 2021. Businesses will be able to use the UK mark from 1 January 2021.

To allow businesses time to adjust, some CE marked goods, that meet EU requirements, may continue to be placed on the UK market.

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