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An informative IAKS seminar in Göttingen, Germany


Over the last years, synthetic turf pitches and surfaces have undergone an important technological development phase. Constructors and planners of sports facilities and recreation parks for outdoor activities are aware of the advantages offered by modern surface materials, but are faced with a continuously growing range of varied products.

Synthetic turf of the 3rd generation will play a decisive role in the future of football. The German football association (Deutsche Fußball-Bund, DFB) has sent a clear signal to this effect with construction of 1000 mini-playing pitches equipped with synthetic surfaces.

Field athletics and outdoor playing fields with synthetic surfaces allow not only new sprint records to be achieved, as at the world athletic championships 2009 in Berlin, but also enable extremely flexible utilisation of sports facilities for many established and new sporting activities.

Fall protection surfaces made of plastic provide a maximum number of safe outdoor facilities promoting exercise and sport.

The two-day IAKS seminar held on December 9 and 10, in Göttingen addressed planners and constructors from communities and sports clubs. It provide helpful information for decision-making in the conception and implementation of sport facility and playground projects including answers to the following questions: Which building methods are suitable for which uses? Which quality standards exist? How are fibres, plastics and granulate manufactured and what is their effect on the use? What must be taken into consideration during tendering and allocation of orders? What is the situation with environmental compatibility?


Michael Pülm, Ingenieurbüro Richter GmbH, spoke in a relaxed and very realistic way about the topic “Plastic and synthetic turf surfaces for sport and recreation facilities”. Among other things he provided a detailed cost overview and dealt with the question of what clubs can do to reduce costs.

Heiko Koch (BSW) made a presentation on the topic of “Synthetic surfaces for playing fields and recreation facilities”. Their manufacture, technical requirements, tendering and allocation of orders, construction costs and maintenance measures

Dipl.-Ing. Ulf Kix (Strabag Sportstättenbau GmbH) dealt with the care and cleaning of synthetic turf pitches and synthetic sports surfaces.

Dr. Susanna Lieber, Melos GmbH, made a presentation concerned with the topic of “Chemical and environmental properties of synthetic turf and surfaces” and came to the conclusion, with regard to standards and testing, that the standards currently in used in Germany for synthetic pitches and running tracks are very meaningful. Standards dealing with fall protection could be extended. Studies of the human and environmental toxicity of synthetic turf pitches show that that no risks exist. Controlled quality levels and above all, use of quality certified material, provide a guarantee that correct materials are used.

“Recycling of synthetic turf pitches” by Dr.-Ing. Stefan Bosewitz provided an example of a worst case calculation for planners in the case that disposal is necessary!

Dr. Stefan Eckl from the Institute for cooperative planning and sport development (ikps) spoke on the topic of future outdoor sports facilities and came to the conclusion that outdoor sports facilities in the future will be varied and enable users to participate in different sport and exercise activities. They will provide all age groups with the possibility of participating in sport and exercise, will make use of the existing urban room (cities as sports fields), will be simple and in some cases will have even lower levels of comfort than is the case today. They will not adhere strictly to the known DIN guidelines, will be mixed with covered facilities (protection from the weather), will be inexpensive and variable in order to adapt more quickly to changing requirements.

Conclusion: A informative and good networking opportunity.

Photos: IAKS

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