Artificial turf with an integrated subsurface water storage system could make sports courts cooler, safer to play on

Overview of the water retention system under the factitious turf discipline. Credit: Permavoid

For these dwelling in cities, house to play sports activities exterior generally is a shortage. Lately, pure grass in parks or public sports activities courts has typically been changed with extra sturdy synthetic turf to permit heavy consecutive use.

There are, nevertheless, downsides to this observe, each for individuals and for cities as an entire. Now, scientists within the Netherlands have got down to change that by integrating a subsurface water storage and capillary irrigation system below artificial turf sports activities fields.

“Here we show that including a subsurface water storage and capillary irrigation system in artificial turf fields can lead to significantly lower surface temperatures compared to conventional artificial turf fields,” stated Dr. Marjolein van Huijgevoort, a hydrologist at KWR Water Research Institute and first creator of an article printed in Frontiers in Sustainable Cities.

“With circular on-site water management below the field, a significant evaporative cooling effect is achieved.”

Cooler turf and air

The factitious turf and subbase system contains an open water storage layer immediately beneath the factitious turf and shockpad. On this water layer, rainwater is saved. This water retention system incorporates cylinders that transport the saved water again as much as the floor of the factitious turf, the place it evaporates.

“The method of evaporative cooling and capillary rise is managed by pure processes and weather conditions, so water solely evaporates when there’s demand for cooling,” van Huijgevoort defined.

Standard synthetic turf can attain floor temperatures of as much as 70°C on sunny days. These temperatures are excessive sufficient to trigger burn accidents and set off warmth associated sicknesses, starting from delicate rashes to doubtlessly life-threatening situations like warmth stroke.

Water stored under artificial turf could make cities cooler and safer to play in
Image of the sector website in Amsterdam with the 4 analysis plots. Credit: Joris Voeten

In a field experiment conducted in Amsterdam, the researchers discovered that when typical turf was changed with the self-cooling turf, temperatures dropped. They reported that on a very scorching day in June 2020, the cooled turf reached a floor temperature of 37°C—simply 1.7°C larger than pure grass—whereas floor temperatures of the standard synthetic turf reached 62.5°C.

Above the plots, temperatures additionally differed. “We found lower air temperatures 75cm above the cooled plots compared to conventional artificial turf fields, especially during the night,” stated van Huijgevoort. “This can be a first indication that the cooled plots contribute much less to the urban heat island effect.”

Synthetic with pure benefits

The cooling turf combines benefits of synthetic turf and pure grass: It’s sturdy, retains itself cool, and presents a wholesome atmosphere to play sports activities. It could additionally retailer nearly as a lot rainwater as pure grass. The sphere’s rainwater retention capability additionally reduces stormwater drainage, which helps mitigate city flooding. During times when it doesn’t rain sufficient, further water may be added immediately into the system. Alternatively, it might be watered like pure grass.

Set up prices, nevertheless, may be as much as twice as costly as for typical synthetic turf. The researchers stated {that a} full-scale cost-benefit evaluation needs to be undertaken to seek out out the true worth of the funding.

Additional analysis additionally wants to substantiate how cooling turf might affect the encircling space and cities as an entire. Studying extra about the advantages of the turf in several climates and utilizing totally different storage sizes, supplies, and infills can be mandatory to seek out the optimum mixture, the researchers identified.

Preliminary outcomes, nevertheless, are promising. “People in urban areas, especially children, have a growing need for sport and play facilities,” van Huijgevoort concluded. “With this work we show the benefits of the subsurface water storage and capillary irrigation system without negative effects of artificial turf fields.”

Extra data:
Local weather adaptive answer for synthetic turf in cities: built-in rainwater storage and evaporative cooling, Frontiers in Sustainable Cities (2024). DOI: 10.3389/frsc.2024.1399858

Synthetic turf with an built-in subsurface water storage system might make sports activities courts cooler, safer to play on (2024, July 9)
retrieved 9 July 2024

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