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Beach Volleyball on 13 courts in Munich

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Beach Volleyball on 13 courts in Munich

For the first time in the history of beach volleyball, the student world championships 2018 will be held at the Technical University of Munich. A new beach sport infrastructure with 13 beach volleyball pits was recently completed for this 9th world championship tournament series. The new site was designed by Büro Freiraum in Freising, Germany and, after a public tender, built by the sport facilities construction company Kutter based in Memmingen, Germany.

With a concept of sustainability and short distances, the regional capital city came out top in the advertising campaign. Previously, the Munich college sport scene had no courts for beach volleyball. This means that the newly built beach sport centre will fulfil its purpose even after championships. Other sports such as beach badminton or beach soccer are also possible in this sand sport centre.

 

Short distances

As location for the beach sport centre, a now unusable golf course and three abandoned tennis courts near the earlier Olympic village were made use of while the remaining tennis courts belonging to the central college sport centre (Zentralen Hochschulsports, ZHS) are still in use. The completely enclosed beach and tennis centre lies across from the Olympic hall in the north-eastern sector of the central college sports field. Athletes and spectators alike can profit from the concept of short distances. For athletes, the short distances to the campus, the sport and health science faculty and the centre for college sport are a big advantage.

Even before the German couple of Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst won Olympic gold in Rio 2016, an increasing number of spectators have become enthusiastic about beach volleyball. In 2016, 36,500 spectators attended the German Beach Volleyball Championships in Timmendorfer Strand – nearly twice as many as 20 years ago. In Munich, the fans can reach the beach-sport centre easily using local public transport. Parking space is available at the "Olympiaharfe" or in surrounding multi-story car parks and city parking lots. Pedestrian bridges and the efficient network of footpaths in the Olympic park ensure that the beach-sport centre can be reached in five minutes or less by foot or wheelchair from any of the stations or carparks. The bus stop for the Munich city tour bus, very popular with tourists, is also only two minutes away on foot.

 

Sand for a professional playing feeling

The sand in the beach sports centre fulfils two decisive tasks: As sports surface, it defines the sport functionality in a way similar to that of the hall flooring in a sports hall and it provides a beach-feeling for both spectators and players. As a landscape architect and construction company building sports facilities, Kutter has long-years of experience using various types of sand. In the last years, Kutter-building manager Ulrich Lampert has built an average of five beach volleyball courts each season. So far these have mostly single and three-court centres as last year in Starnberg and Bad Tölz among others. The large-scale centre at the TU Munich is his largest beach-volleyball project so far: "Building this kind of facility in a world-famous environment is really something special. A really special moment for sports facility construction", he says.

It was already determined that the sand used would be quartz sand with a 0.3 - 1 millimetre grain size. Kutter chose a special grade of beach sand which, having been washed several times and hydro-classified, is especially pure. Its light beige colour creates a pure beach feeling and awakens memories of sun, azure blue water and the sound of surf. After elaborate treatment, this calcium and dust-free sand does not become compounded and water drains quickly away. At the same time it provides good resistance for vertical jumps and rapid changes in direction. Just less than 4800 tons of this round-grained sand was brought in by Kutter using 175 articulated trucks.

Beforehand, in November 2016, the building area had been prepared with a ground level of minus 50 centimetres. As one of the leading sports facility construction companies in Southern Germany, Kutter made efficient use of its construction experience for the installation of the water and electricity supply, drainage and an irrigation plant with eight retractable underground water sprinklers. Following the architect's plans, the complete facility was grounded and given comprehensive protection against lightening striking. Grading of the substrate and ground levelling was carried out using laser-controlled machines. Besides the courts, Kutter also constructed the new green areas and paths and equipped the beach sport sector with the necessary sporting equipment and nets.

 

Functional and varied

The dimensions of the courts, 28 x 18 metres, correspond to international competition standards; a single court measures 16 x 8 metres. The courts are surrounded at each end and at the sides by a five-metre-wide space. They can be accessed via a three-metre-wide wooden path which is raised 30 centimetres above the surface of the sand. At the northern side this wooden path widens into a break area with outdoor showers and equipment storage. Other outdoor showers and equipment storage areas are located along the path to the south. With the division into a series of double and triple courts, the sand sport area can also be used in future for beach soccer, handball and badminton competitions.

 

Care of the facilities

Sand sport facilities are easy to maintain as long as no organic dirt can be introduced. To prevent animals dirtying the sand the whole court area is surrounded and protected by a four-metre-high small-mesh wire fence. The sand is also a sufficient distance away from the next trees in order to keep pollution from falling flowers and leaves to a minimum. A 50-centimeter high concrete border with an elastic cover to prevent injury surrounds the whole sand area. In addition, a 90-centimetre-high fence prevents sand from being transferred off the court.
Maintenance tasks needing to be carried out regularly include raking the surface of the sand to keep it smooth and to prevent "sand dunes and pits" building up, and mechanical cleaning of the sand. More complex cleaning systems are required if cigarette stubs, shards of glass or too much organic material dirties the sand in order to prevent an increased risk of injury and to keep the sand suitable for its intended purpose.

The best student teams from international college sport will be playing in the World University Championship (WUC) to win the title of WUC World Champion. This tournament in 2018 is intended to be the highlight of the 150-year-anniversary of the university as explained by Michael Hahn, head of the Munich college sport association. As first test run for the competition at these facilities, the German school beach volleyball championship will be held here from July 10 – 12, 2017.

 

FACTS

Location: Munich, Olympic Park

Building owner: The Free State of Bavaria, represented by the city building authorities

Operator: Zentraler Hochschulsport München (ZHS)

Landscape architect: Johann Berger, Büro Freiraum, Freising

Construction: Hermann Kutter GmbH & Co. KG, Memmingen

Order size: 712.000 €

Kutter building manager: Dipl.-Ing.(FH) Ulrich Lampert

Sand: nearly 4800 tons of quartz sand P0307FK

Completion date: May 2017

 

Work phases

  • Renaturation of the tennis courts and golf course
  • Levelling of the substrate at minus 50 cm
  • Laying of pipe lines for electricity and water supply
  • Installation of irrigation system
  • Rough subgrade work
  • Installation of a gravel drainage layer as per E DIN 18034-4:2007 05
  • Lightening protection and grounding of the whole facility
  • Installation of sleeve foundations and fences or concrete borders
  • Gravel layer as frost protection
  • Installation of fencing, laying paths as external borders
  • Geo-textile material laid as separating layer between gravel and sand
  • Construction of the raised wooden paths
  • Filling with sand and levelling
  • Installation of the volley-ball equipment

 

 

Photo: Hermann Kutter GmbH & Co.KG

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