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Welcome to our May Sport & Play Issue of Pro Landscaper + Architect From pitches to play spaces and everything in between, we have got you covered for a knock-out issue. With features by some of SA’s most renowned professionals and firms in sports and turf management like FSG, Servest Landscaping, Maritz Electrical and Henk Buitendach exploring topics around irrigation and water management, lighting for sports, grasses, and maintenance programmes. We also look at some of SA’s new pitch builds by turnkey providers, Turftech and Trompie Group. For interior inspiration we take a look at Hubo Studio’s fantastical elements library at King David School, and then head off to a project by Local Studio at Salvazione School. We explore Square One Landscape Architect’s community project at St Joseph's and visit a stunning play space by local multidisciplinary creatives Onder die Invloed and Play Safe at Tokara estate. We also have loads of international inspiration for you in this issue. From developers to architects, landscape architects to contractors, we have something for everyone in this issue. @prolandscaperafrica
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08 – Irrigation and Water
Merino Park Stadium By Trompie Group
By Henk Buitendach, Thatchfield Golf
– Sports Lighting: Sol Plaatje University
Curro School’s Synthetic Hockey
Pitch By Turftech
By Foster + Partners
A Breath of Fresh Air: St. Joseph’s Home
A Case Study by Maritz Electrical
The Low Down on Sport & Turf Maintenance By Carl Kruger and Elton Fohren, FSG Landscaping Division
– Turf Irrigation Installation: A step-by-step guide
By Jacobus Freysen, Turf Manzi
By Square One Landscape
Architects and Afrilandscapes
By MAD Architects
Dive In: King Edward VII School
By Water Dimensions International
A State of Play: Salvazione School
By Local Studio
Welcome to Wonderland The Elements Library at King David
School By Hubo Studio
Tokara Play Space By Onder die Invloed and PLAYSAFE
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Irrigation and water management principles
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e have just come out of a season with a higher-than-normal rainfall in Gauteng. With 98% of South Africa’s dams at 100% or even 110% capacity, it showcases just how good the season has been. The near future is certainly looking great too. There is a universal trend that tends to happen when resources are plentiful, we seem to have the tendency of becoming complacent and we stop micromanaging our usage. I get it, we see no need to as the resources capacity is quite literally overflowing. But can I take you back to four years ago, when our continent seemed to skip spring altogether? It was as if we went straight from winter into summer. As the first of September approached, we were reaching temperatures that often exceeded 35 degrees Celsius each day, wondering just who decided to leave Hades’ door slightly ajar? It ended up being one of the hottest summers recorded in the history of South Africa. It was our sixth year going through the El Nino cycle – a documented period with above average temperatures – with an exceptionally dry season making most of the continent fare poorly and for those of us in the turf industry, faring even worse. So, why write an article regarding water conservation when our weather forecast is looking so great? Simply put, now is the time where we need to remain habitual with our behaviour of conserving water. Each drop does matter. We need to be aware of some basic water managing principles, regardless of whether you oversee maintenance on a golf course or you are merely watering your own garden at home. It's hugely beneficial, making yourself aware of what techniques can be instilled, so that you can begin and remain a conserver of water. Managing water usage: To start, let's break it up into sections. This will make it easier to explain, and since the sections are also largely interconnected, you can understand that one cannot go without the other: • • •
Tools/equipment/material Data recording Programmes and planning
Tools/equipment/material: Gone are the days that we water our gardens
making use of merely a sprinkler with the hosepipe connected to the tap, leaving it to stand on one spot for hours and forgetting about it while we watch the Saturday game. What makes tools and equipment so important? Simply put, you cannot have a good programme in place if you do not also have the ability to manage it correctly. Turf pitches and good landscape installations always start with a basic irrigation installation, one that is controlled by a computer. It could be as basic as a block system, controlled with solenoid valves opening four sprinklers at a time, or more advanced – using individual solenoid sprinklers that can be controlled individually. This is seen as a good starting point to manage water effectively. Golf courses usually like to make use of block systems on their fairways and tee boxes and when it comes to their greens, they will have individual solenoids controlling each sprinkler for a specific area that might need more water than the others. This enables them to micromanage their water output. In order to control the output or usage of water, you would need an irrigation installation with permanently placed and well positioned sprinklers. Satellite boxes with an average of 40 to 80 controllable stations (four sprinklers per station) help for effective time setting per station and enables golf courses or sport pitches to be watered at night when no-one is playing. This is obviously the most time efficient. Not only do satellite boxes give you the freedom of setting times and controlling sprinklers at a specific time of the day, but you can now also connect your satellite boxes (four or five per golf course) up to what they call a central control system. The central system enables you to run more effective watering programmes from your laptop in the office, and this data can be retrieved by your phone. The central control system also enables you to connect to a weather station, and moisture sensors that are spread out on your course. This links to your laptop for more accurate readings, which in turn allows you more control over activating or disabling run times as the moisture readings take place in your soil profile. If you can't afford one of these advanced systems and need stats to ensure that you have the right watering programme in place – one that is sufficient for plant uptake and spot
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checks – you could make use of a portable moisture sensor in the garden or on greens. Moisture readings, in conjunction with calculating evapotranspiration rates weekly, is essential to forecast and planning. The take home is that to manage water, we need tools and materials to make it possible. Data recording: I say that data recording is important because to plan you need stats, without stats we cannot do any predictions, and without predictions we cannot plan and have effective programmes in place. Water flow meters are probably one of the easiest installations to install that will give water usage reports per cycle. A simple way of monitoring total water usage is if you break up the watering into sections to establish how much certain sections use. For instance, if I need to know how much water I use on just the front lawn at an office block I manage, I can run a full watering cycle and take the reading. By doing this and breaking up the sections, you effectively increase your water management capabilities on the facility you maintain. Another simple way of tracking water flow is sourcing your sprinkler and nozzle product info book, which will give you flow ratios and
optimal working rate under bar pressure used. Quickly counting how many sprinklers you have with coloured nozzle sizes; you can then establish what your flow rate is per second. Do a quick calculation (sprinklers x flow rate x total time) and you now have your total use of water for the whole facility. Probably not as effective as having a central control system but this will still give you at least 95% accuracy. Programmes and planning: We now have a good irrigation system in place combined with the ability to record usage of water, so now what? How do I plan for how much water needs to be put down and when? Working out a programme does not have to be tricky when you have all the above in place.
Spot checks on leaks and if irrigation (pumps, sprinklers, satellites, solenoid valves) are functioning at optimal levels.
It is imperative to adjust your watering schedule daily, according to soil moisture readings and current heat/temperatures. Calculation example: Evapotranspiration = Evaporation rate x crop factor rate of specific plant. •
Kikuyu evapotranspiration average daily rate is 4.41 mm/day (J D Jansen van Vuuren Turf Grass research).
A good programme requires daily or weekly checks on:
Sprinkler x supplies with five bar pressure 13 mm/h with a blue colour nozzle (see sprinkler manual).
13 mm ÷ 60 min = 0.216 mm/min
Type of plant used, and water needed for optimal growth.
4.41 mm/day (ET) ÷ 0.216 mm/min = 20.41 min/water
Data of how much water you distribute in a specific timeframe.
Evapotranspiration rate (how many mm of moisture you lose per week via temperature).
This means that an average of 20 minutes of water needs to be put back into the soil for plant uptake. This figure could be much higher as leaching/loss of available water is almost guaranteed. Rate of moisture uptake by specific plants also needs to be considered, but this is a discussion topic for another article all on its own. Having the basic setup of a good irrigation installation is crucial to setting yourself up for a sufficient programme. Continual maintenance checks are also important. It is essential to ensure that the sprinklers are working, there are no leaks on the irrigation system, that the sprinkler settings are appropriate and that the arc circle is optimal. Weekly checklists, and educating employees on these matters, will determine a sustainable future with our water usage and conserve resources for the future. Saving a little today can mean a lot for tomorrow. By Henk Buitendach, general manager at Thatchfield Golf, Chairperson for the Turf Grass Manager's Association of Gauteng and SALI Gauteng regional judge.
SOL PLAATJE UNIVERSITY - A CASE STUDY
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Coetzenburg Athletics Stadium
ports lighting is going through a revolution right now, according to sports lighting specialists, Maritz Electrical. With HD television driving viewer experience, stadiums need to adapt to cater for high definition television cameras. Stronger lux levels are needed with more flexibility to improve spectator experience. On top of this, maintenance and cost savings are elements that stadium facilities managers look at keenly. LED lighting has eased the reliance on electrical supply resulting in affordability for stadium managers to install systems that reduce maintenance costs due to their longevity. And when it comes to developing our sporting talent, educational institutions play a huge role. To nurture talent, facilities are needed that go beyond the standard; they need fields to push the boundaries of skills and to drive talent to new heights of achievement, placing sports lighting directly in the spotlight. Field lighting has to go beyond player and spectator expectations. Sol Plaatje University, Northern Cape The Sol Plaatje University, a leading educational institution, has students enrolling in their numbers to be a part of a unique heritage with state-of-the-art facilities and top-class education.
By means of a strict bidding process, the Musco Lighting System was ultimately selected by the client – as a leader in the international sports lighting scene. With solutions at Tottenham Stadium, Wembley Stadium, Twickenham Rugby Stadium, Arsenal Emirates Stadium, numerous Grands Prix Tracks and St George’s Park Cricket Ground, the first in South Africa with interactive LED lights that draws spectators into the game’s excitement, Coetzenburg Athletics Stadium, the first South African LED-Lit athletics field and now Sol Plaatje University, the world’s attention is firmly on South Africa’s sports facilities. Maritz Electrical project manager, Diketso Kumalo, says the Northern Cape now brings superior quality, flexibility and reliability to this venue’s sports fields, which now boasts worldclass lighting, not to mention the quality it brings to our sports stars. The system offers dimming options for lower lighting levels during practice sessions, reducing the energy required during these periods. The main field, a multi-purpose cricket, soccer and rugby field, has a total of six masts, four of which are 45 metres high, with the remaining two being 40 metres in height with 104 individual light fittings. Additional light fittings have been catered for on the four corner masts for future expansion.
The volleyball courts have 20 lights, which are independently switched and dimmable for saving energy. Lighting for cricket nets will be installed after the erection of S019 clubhouse between the two fields. The Sol Plaatje University Stadium lighting system offers a unique solution with sufficient lux levels: •
Lux levels achieved: 750/500 Lux (Infield/ Outfield) on the Cricket Oval and 500 lux on the rugby/soccer pitches of the multipurpose sports field.
The installation was designed for 176 Musco fixtures for future Televised Lighting Levels, but currently only 104 Musco TLC LED 1500 (1430 watt) fittings are installed on six masts.
An additional assortment of 26 Musco TLC LED 900, 600 and 400 (890, 580 and 400 watt) are installed on 15 masts at the volleyball courts and cricket practice nets.
The lighting system has a multi-watt function, which allows for the lighting to be dimmed to three different levels 30%, 50% and 100%. This allows for practice sessions to continue with the use of the facilities extended into the evening, with the added benefit of a reduced energy bill to the university. prolandscaper.co.za
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The installation at Sol Plaatje University has a 10-year OEM warranty that reduces the facility's maintenance budget considerably given that all warranty claims do not carry any costs to the client.
Western Province Cricket Club Hockey Field
Kumalo says that the project was truly on a huge scale, with various contractors co-ordinating and working together to ensure the project’s success. This included the field construction, new lawn, access roads and other facilities as well as, all attention on health and safety. A delay by one contractor meant a delay for others. Project management was tested daily and it shows that working together to achieve a common goal can be a great success. The lighting system adds immense value to the university’s property. Sol Plaatje is a university that attracts top students due to its quality of education and now superior sports facilities. Students are provided with state-of-the-art facilities to enhance their student life and develop their sporting talent to international standards, a much needed facility for our country’s growing student demand. Kumalo says the new lighting system takes sport at South Africa’s educational institutions to a new level. Not only does this system lead campus sport, it conforms to international standards. This confirms the university’s status as one of the best in the world; a venue for all sporting stars that rivals international stadiums. Kumalo confirms that with international standard lighting now being rolled out at many schools, universities, stadiums and local and national roads, South Africa is well on its way to rival countries as a preferred venue for international sporting events and education. For more information on the Sol Plaatje University lighting system, contact: Maritz Electrical on 021 703 0867 or email email@example.com
ELECTRICAL an empowerment company
Sol Plaatje University
Think you know which one is LED?
They both are. This just shows the vast disparity in how different LED sports lighting performs. That’s Musco on your left. Our Total Light Control—TLC for LED® system directs more light onto the field and features patented technology that minimises glare and light spill in ways others simply can’t. This keeps players, fans, neighbours, and the night sky happy. And you won’t pay maintenance costs for a decade or more. Learn more about the superior light control of Musco’s LED solutions at musco.com/total-light-control
“We at Ashton have on three occasions used Musco for installation of floodlights and have been extremely impressed by the professional approach by their installation team. We have had zero comeback on their product and on the odd occasion of one of the lights defaulting they have assisted immediately with replacing. We highly recommend them on their service and the product.” – Joe Erasmus
We Make It Happen®
Managing Director, Ashton International College. Ballito. ©2020 Musco Sports Lighting, LLC · ADSA20-1
THE LOW DOWN ON SPORT TURF & MAINTENANCE
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ports fields are the unsung heroes of the game. Unless something is amiss or out of place, the sports field goes unnoticed, and rightly so. The sports field’s job is to facilitate the game, give optimal ball roll and minimise injuries. Achieving the perfect turf, whether you’re a golfer or a rugby player, is all about your lawn maintenance routine. It takes rigorous work and a well-thought-out maintenance schedule to keep the grass maintained. A sports field is similar to that of servicing a car – capital needs to be spent to ensure a healthy sports field is maintained. Even with the perfect plan, disaster can strike. Pests crawl in or the grass suffers in the heat, it fails to thrive, and one single oversight can ruin the season’s sports surface. This may affect a game or two, or it could affect your season’s revenue, impacting your reputation and your ability to attract more business. The types of turf selected for sports fields withstand the impact of running and walking, offer heat resilience and drought tolerance. Spring lawn maintenance and care When spring has sprung, it’s officially sports season. FSG loves this time of year, it’s our time to shine. Sports season means it’s time to relook
at the condition of your sports fields and reevaluate your care procedures. Caring for your sports field is an investment and will enhance what you offer because better sports terrains attract more sportsmen. The best turf varieties for low maintenance lawns and sports fields Lawn maintenance can provide you with better results if you’re wise about your care routines, grass types and your approach to care. FSG’s favourite grass varieties are straightforward – we choose these grass types because they give the best results: Artificial turf Artificial turf is gaining popularity, its maintenance is simpler than that of real grass. It requires no water, fertilisers and pesticides which provides enormous monthly overhead reductions. Artificial turf is versatile, easy to maintain, safe and the monthly costs to keep it in pitch-perfect shape is extremely low. Kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum) A popular lawn choice in South Africa, Kikuyu offers rapid growth to the point where some regions consider it an invasive species, but ideal for a lawn. It reaches a height of 70 to
150 millimetres, and it thrives in sandy soils. Its inexpensive qualities combined with its drought tolerance makes it hardy enough for dry regions and cost-effective to maintain. Kikuyu can be top-dressed to add smoothness to the lawn surface. Princess 77 (Cynodon dactylon) This deep rich green variety is medium to fine in texture creating thickness. Easy to please, it enjoys full sun, relatively humid conditions, and tolerates heat exceptionally well. A thin thatch layer gives you greener grass that requires less manpower in the form of aeration and tilling to keep it evergreen. This lawn type can be lightly top dressed for added smoothness. LM lawn (Dactyloctenium australe) Indigenous to South Africa, LM lawn offers superior shade tolerance. While it does withstand foot traffic, its true talent lies in its ability to thrive in hot and dry conditions and its super-fast growth. It grows in a variety of soils and remains green and lush throughout the seasons – even winter – and can be mowed at 6cm. It is important to establish smoothness at installation as this lawn cannot be top dressed.
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Troubleshooting and general lawn maintenance Once you have established the turf variety of your choice, you may run into some issues on your maintenance journey. The grass may show bare patches of earth, it may recede, it may turn brown, or cease to grow all together. The following services from FSG’s lawn care regimen will address the relevant problem and return the lawn to its state of former glory. Scarification – removing the middle layer of the grass for a greener and well-nourished lawn. Aeration – for looser soil around the roots to promote breathing and better water and nutrient uptake.
Topdressing – this practice addresses uneven terrain, it improves soil drainage, and repairs areas showing heat or chemical stress on specific grass types, as previously mentioned. Fertilising – to improve the nutrients in the soil and for a healthy green lawn. Carbon or organic based fertilisers should be used rather than chemical fertiliser.
Maintaining an evergreen and ever-ready turf that is waiting for sportsmen is a full-time job, and in our case, it is simply a matter of working smart to deliver fast results. Creating and maintaining turf for sports fields is one of our favourite services we offer. We use the latest technology in the industry offering our clients access to an image library of their premises. Our photo-reporting system gives you visual records of the state of your sports field. Enjoy a play-by-play of every improvement we’ve made, documented and stored for you. er By Carl Kruger and Elton Fohren of FSG Landscaping Division
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Turf irrigation installation:
A step-by-step guide
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eing in the turf irrigation industry for over 20 years, Jacobus Freysen shares with us his experience. Most of the time, such valuable experience was often learned the hard way, which no textbook or training facility could offer. We have also seen a number of changes to the turf irrigation industry, i.e. direct to market distribution channels, the demise of the turf irrigation consultant, changes to installation standards in general which is all driven by financial motivation. The most important and exciting change in the irrigation industry is the increased efficiency of irrigation products due to the latest advances in technology, therefore saving water. Which, as a responsible industry, should be our main focus, over and above our personal or commercial needs. It is time that we, as a turf irrigation industry, raise our moral standards and professional ethics! Our trade is a non-regulated industry with no operational licence required by contractors and no legislation enforcing efficient use and monitoring of turf irrigation systems, like that which is required by the plumbing and electrical trade. In this regard, South Africa can be seen to be trailing behind countries like Australia and the USA by decades. All business transactions are conducted at one’s own discretion based on client expectation, needs or budget. While short term sales are created to generate income, the main goal of efficient water distribution and water saving is seldom achieved. Education of all role players in key positions throughout the industry is required to ensure our environmental responsibilities are achieved. Integration between the irrigation industry and professionals such as landscape architects and wet services engineers is paramount. Endorsement of the best practices by local council and various government departments such as Department of Water and Sanitation and Department of Public Works and infrastructure is desperately needed. This article is to elaborate on the key aspect of the trade, who the role players are and how one can go about deciding on the best irrigation system – planning, design, implementation as well as monitoring and maintenance of these irrigation systems.
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1. PLANNING PHASE: •
The first priority is to determine a reliable non-potable water source, such as stormwater dams, boreholes, effluent connections or a combination of these sources. Potable water should not be considered unless it is an absolute last resort or required for a specific crop.
Do some research on basic irrigation products available. Determine what will be important for you when you buy an irrigation system: capital cost or maintenance cost, water saving, ease of use and maintenance, flexibility for future expansion or potential upgrades.
One needs to determine what your budget is for your irrigation project. This can be calculated on an average R/m² rate depending on your type of turf irrigation project.
2. DESIGN STAGE: •
Your design will have the single most impact on your budget, therefore it is imperative to decide on project capital vs project running cost – i.e. how much will my new irrigation system cost to implement vs how much will it cost to maintain.
Turf irrigation system with advanced monitoring, water-saving products and site specific needs can increase your budget, but the offset is reduced service intervals, lower labour cost and 20% to 30% saving on water and pumping cost.
Although entry level turf irrigation systems are easy on the budget, it uses more water and electricity, and more labour cost to monitor and do physical inspection, thus increasing your overall investment far above the allocated budgets.
There are also hybrid system options which can be customised, which involve more planning and a phased approach.
Based on my experience: 1.
Small residential/commercial properties vary between R90 and R150 per m2.
Larger residential estates or commercial properties vary between R50 and R80 per m2.
Sport fields such as rugby, cricket, soccer or golf courses vary between R30 and R50 per m2.
You will need to determine the entity responsible for your project based on the value and risk involved. This can include an irrigation consultant (design only) or a turnkey specialist contractor with inhouse resources. Both options have their respective pros and cons. The consultant's positives include dealing with only one person, making suggestions based on your requirement and budget, and knowing what you are paying for after inspection and signing off the installation. The specialist contractor offers a turnkey approach. This offers better understanding of implementation, required equipment and staff requirements and, importantly, one party takes full responsibility for the design, supply, implementation, after sales service and, importantly, warranties.
There is also a third option: a “free” design by an irrigation supplier. But as we all know, nothing is for free and you will end up paying for this fee built into material prices, your system being implemented without project supervision with increased maintenance or even replacement cost, and inefficient run times with extended watering windows.
The following minimum design fundamentals of irrigation design must be applied by your preferred turf irrigation designer: 1.
Site conditions i.e. soil and crop types, site accessibility or legislative requirement
Distribution uniformity (DU) to be applied
Watering window limitations
Water source management with smart controllers to enhance maximum water saving
Optional water saving add-ons
Each of these fundamentals have either budgetary or operational cost implications, and require professional input to ensure the correct choices are made. prolandscaper.co.za
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interpretation and documentation, project specifications and site requirements such as way leaves and security clearances.
3. IMPLEMENTATION STAGE: •
The importance and value of a qualified and experienced contractor cannot be stressed enough. This is the most important stage of your project as this is 90% of your planned capital expenditure and if done incorrectly, will increase operational and maintenance cost, or in some cases, total replacement cost.
Now that your system is installed as per expectation and budget, the final inspection, handover and training occur.
The contract closing and handover must be done as follows:
investment period. A successful and qualified end user or irrigation maintenance specialist must be able to have the following skill sets: 1.
Interpretation of the irrigation as built
Understanding the irrigation controller operations
Ability to operate the system as per product recommendation Use of any emergency shutdown or start-
As-built drawings – indicate any deviations and additions
Word of mouth (use Google to find reviewed and rated companies)
Site inspection to check quality, quantity and accuracy of information
Product manuals and warranties
Familiarity with water saving devices, such as smart controllers, weather stations, etc.
Do they have a minimum of five years’ experience?
Service manuals and/or plans
Basic troubleshooting requirements, for end users
What awards they have received
Signing off contract
Advance troubleshooting requirements, or irrigation maintenance specialists
Do they follow the Industry code of standards?
Do they use best implementation practices?
Apply best maintenance and monitoring practices determined by any seasonal adjustments
Will there be a professional contract between all parties?
Is there a payment or deposit requirement? Have references from last projects been completed?
Conduct annual irrigation audits to determine condition and efficiency of the irrigation system.
Staff compliments and experiences
Here are a few things to check or discuss when choosing your turf irrigation contractor: 1.
10. Quality of vehicles and tools required for this project 11. Insurances i.e. retention, public liability, professional indemnity (turnkey), tax compliancy, workers compensation
4. MAINTENANCE, MONITORING AND AUDITS: •
12. Warranties 13. Is there any after-sales support? 14. Maintenance capabilities •
A start-up meeting is always required, as this sets the tone for the duration of the contract, whereby all parties can discuss the timelines, identify possible issues or clarify uncertain items such as design
I have seen many top-quality designed turf irrigation systems implemented, just to be incorrectly managed which effected the operation cost, longevity of the system and even warranties. Professional and specialist irrigation installation contractors do not always make good irrigation maintenance companies, as two different skill sets are required, whereby the latter requires more technical and management skills and the former requires implementation by design. Sadly, incorrect management will lead to direct increased operational cost such as water and electricity cost, damages to property or landscaping and indirect costs such as infrastructure failure over the long term, which will shorten your return on
10. Advise on upgrades required e.g. overgrown areas and latest technology available 11. Have a drought emergency plan on hand to balance critical irrigation water demands when water recourses become minimal. •
Avoid all the hassle by opting to sign a service-level agreement (SLA) with your preferred service provider, in doing so, limiting your risk, protecting your investment, all while keeping within your operational budget as discounted rates can be negotiated.
By Jacobus Freysen, MD of Turfmanzi Irrigation
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ro Landscaper sits down with Louw Roos, owner of CircleWorx, a Krugersdorp landscape-based contracting firm, to find out more about their SALI award winning team and their involvement in the sport and play sector.
When was CircleWorx founded and out of a need for what? CircleWorx was founded by Louw Roos on 29 March 2012. After concluding his studies, he started working in the industry full time in 1998. In 2012, Louw felt it was time to move away from his old company/family business and start afresh. He had eight teams under his belt and quality workmanship was flying out of the door. For Louw, his reputation is everything. What would you describe as your team’s core values? CircleWorx works with committed, productive employees, agents, and suppliers to create good service and loyal and satisfied customers. All installations are done by trained staff and managed by supervisors specifically trained to execute efficiently. We recognise our obligations to act responsibly in all our dealings, including with staff, customers and the environment. Our business ethics contribute to our reputation for integrity
as key to secure the loyalty of our customers and becoming the business partner of choice. It will always be our policy to conduct business in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and in accordance with the highest standards. We have an untarnished reputation in the industry and will not sacrifice quantity for quality. We keep our promises and deliver what we commit to. We value our clients and welcome any type of communication to give assurance that projects are headed for the right outcome. What does CircleWorx specialise in? We are a specialist service provider dealing with sports field construction (turf, artificial and hard courts), natural turf, artificial turf, commercial landscaping, hard landscaping, civils and bulk earthworks. We also specialise in hydroseeding, water harvesting and irrigation, sports field treatments and specialised applications, and commercial maintenance. What type of sites (residential, sports, commercial, etc) do you prefer to work on? Sports fields and commercial landscaping are our favourite sites to be found on. However, we have done a few residential site installations where we implement our own designs or work from designs in partnership with architects, and these are also very rewarding projects.
What are some of you proudest achievements as a company? We are proud of many of our projects, including: Paterson Park sports facilities, UJ Soweto campus sports facilities, UJ rugby A & B field resurfacing, Kaizer Chiefs training facilities, Lilian Ngoyi Museum external works, Pilditch Stadium infield (built to FIFA specifications), Centurion Mall landscaping, Kalafong Fitness Park (which won us a SALI Silver award of excellence), George Thabe Stadium, Brixton multipurpose centre sports facilities and even our ongoing landscaping projects, just to name a few. Who are some developers and architects that you would like to work with? We would love to work with Renico Construction and Central Developments, and also admire the work of landscape architects like Uys and White and Insite Landscape Architects and would love to collaborate with them as well. How big is your current team? How do you see it expanding in the near future? We had to reduce our staff from 68 to 16 permanent core staff members and currently employ additional staff on a contract to contract base due to COVID-19. We will definitely expand in future once our industry and developments starts up again. prolandscaper.co.za
F E AT U R E
Rietvlei Zoo Farm Soccer Field
However, I don’t want to become a large corporate again and spend all my days in the office, I would rather spend time with our clients and build stronger relationships. What are some tools you and your team cannot live without? Definitely our tractors, laser levels and specialised implements that sets us apart from our competitors. This makes the task manageable and the application precise. As this is our sports and play issue – what are some key tips you can give our readers when it comes to taking care of their projects? Our biggest issue we find is that clients do not budget properly and can be a little “green” regarding material costs, labour costs and market related rates. Sometimes professionals aren’t firm enough when it comes to project expenditure, as we are the last discipline involved in the project, we have to struggle to make an exhausted budget work. As a top tip, we also always suggest to our clients that its worth spending the money and installing a proper automated permanent irrigation system. Also, appointing a reputable company that owns the specialised equipment, and have a basic understanding of how the process works. What projects are some of your biggest to date, and what can we expect to see you working on next? Pilditch Stadium infield, Paterson Park multipurpose centre and the UJ Soweto campus. We will be constructing a rugby field in Springs in June and an entire sports complex in the North West province starting in May. We have a lot on the go that we are excited to be involved in, and we just love these types of projects, so we are looking forward to the year ahead!
“The gateway to service, quality and commitment guaranteed. Every time.” Pilditch Stadium
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Exploring the new Elements Library at The King David School Location: King David School, Johannesburg. Size: TBC
“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” - Dr Seuss Inspired by the quote above, Hubo Studio designed the Elements Library in collaboration with an inspired client. Together they looked to reinvent reading through creating a wonderland full of dynamic spaces for the reader. A library is often a cathedral for books, a museum for stories where silence is law and the librarian rules. Hubo Studio looked to flip this idea on its head and create a kid-centric backdrop for exploring and imagining. A relevant space where the story can leave the book, be told and be experienced. As you sit under the canopies in a forest, on a puffy soft snake and gaze at the stars, you will learn about our galaxy, the planets as you see them up close. You will read under the sun, or experience reading up high in a cloud and feel the air between your toes! You will dive into the deep, deep ocean and see a real size baby Humpback whale floating beneath the waves! You can find Wally in the largest Where's Wally? in Africa, explore the continent and its map, you can play chess on the desk or scrabble on the wall. The Elements is an inclusive concept as the golden thread that can be found in every story and every book. Earth, air, fire and water, all surrounding the universe, relate to David Thornburg's Campfires, Caves and Watering Holes. The spatial exploration of each element allows a diversity of experience and multiple teaching and learning opportunities. Story time around the proverbial campfire, or a lesson on an iPad in the cloud, this is a future-proof space where every element is of the highest production standards and quality. The detail design is a lesson in engineering, construction and how things fit together. A magnetic scrabble board with CNC routered letters. Printed wallpapers, hanging pods that are actually bolted to the ground; marmoleum floors, planets created by incredible artists,
a baby-sized humpback whale and an air chamber- Ferrari cloth and machano steelwork. This project was only possible through the generosity and ingenuity of the donor as well as the incredible participation of subcontractors. The Elements Library becomes a set production for the young minds that will make use of it on a daily basis. Each trip to the library becomes an exciting, explorative and magical experience. AIR The air element was designed with “being in the clouds” as the main theme. Here a mostly white space featuring a mezzanine level emulates cloud-based learning, with the stairs doubling as seating, while a space for collaboration between teacher and student takes place in a calm and serene setting. EARTH Bright green tones were used alongside peapods for seating to mimic being in a lush forest. The wooden pods extend from the roof creating comfortable seating, where the reader
is almost cocooned. Puff snakes wrap around the columns, creating additional seating and reading space. WATER Water-like features such as PVC pipes create a wave formation and the life-size baby humpback whale suspended from the ceiling seems to be effortlessly swimming at your side. Seating in rotating clam-chairs adds to the feeling of floating in water. Here the scale and proportions are subtle reminders of the importance of maths and science and features the library’s non-fiction book section. FIRE This quadrant features the biggest Where’s Wally? in Africa, a giant scrabble board and tepees in which one can curl up and read while looking at flames dancing on the tipi’s roof. Housing the largest open floor section, the fire quadrant was created as a story-time space or for group discussions and interactions that are enabled by simply grabbing a pillow from the wall and finding a space to sit.
This child-focused project, while showcasing the ingenuity and immense creativity of the architect and design communities, has also delivered a new benchmark in youth spaces and their design.
SUPPLIERS: Marmoleum Flooring: FloorworX - 0860 346 679 Painter: Mark Sinoff - 082 8622699 Wallpaper: Resurface Graphics - 011 268 0597 Furniture: Dymenge - 083 444 4344 Joinery: Innovation Factory - 011 792 1831
iLand is a boutique landscape architecture & design firm with registered professionals that strive to leave a bespoke 'green' stamp on each project we take on. We offer design, drafting, 3D rendering and video solutions to landscape architects, landscape designers, contractors and design-build firms on a global scale. We also position ourselves as landscape contractors or sub-contractors with regards to provisional costings, sourcing of material & installation of developments situated within Africa.
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This fitness centre can take up to 10 users at a time, with 16 different activities. It is the perfect choice for any high use application where limited space is available. It features stainless tamper resistant hardware and a variety of super tough finishes making this product as close to a vandal and weather resistant as you can find. We also offer an unbeatable warranty of 25 years.
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A State of Play S A LVA Z I O N E S C H O O L
Completed: March 2020 Client: The Italtile and Ceramic Foundation Cost: USD 241,466 Size: 495m² Location: Mayfair West, Johannesburg
ounded in 1991, Salvazione is an outreach school in Mayfair West, Johannesburg, offering cost-effective, quality education to children from Slovo Park informal settlement and surrounding areas such as Brixton, Crosby, Langlaagte, Soweto and Roodepoort.
Early lessons took place in the Mayfair Baptist church hall until funds could be raised for a new building. Thanks to the generosity of corporate donors and many private individuals, a church building was bought in the latter part of 2008, and converted to house the school. The location of the building is ideal for the school as it is still within walking distance of the children’s homes in the Slovo Park Informal Settlement, and directly opposite a large municipal park with well-maintained facilities. Today, the school is a registered independent school that receives a small state subsidy, and school fees are collected from those families able to afford them. The learners pay R100 per month for school fees and learners who cannot afford the fees are able to apply for fee exemption. A very successful “Adopt A Learner” programme supports the large number of children who, through dire circumstances are not able to pay school fees.
MEET THE TEAM: Architects: Local Studio Structual Engineers: The Structural Workshop Civil engineers: The Earth Workshop Quantity Surveyor: Koor Dindar Mothei (KDM) General contractor: Zabicon Construction Photographers: Dave Southwood
Architects, Local Studio, explain that the specific project was financed by the Italtile and Ceramic Foundation. The 4,800 sq ft structure houses four classrooms and is situated down the road from Salvazione's main school, which previously housed pre-kindergarten through to grade seven. The new development accommodates the younger grades, allowing more space for the upper grades, which remain in the original building. The two classrooms on the top floor benefit from the spaciousness provided by the arched ceiling, making the most out of the school’s small footprint. The facade — a lattice of clear, glazed, and insulated yellow panels that tempers transparency with privacy — and its doublevaulted rolled-zinc roof lend the building a welcoming appearance. An exterior screen of wax-impregnated pine also functions as a subtle security barrier that allows ample natural light to enter the classrooms, all of which face the street. Behind the building is a slide leading from the second level to the playground, where children can ascend the facade via a narrow climbing wall. We caught up with Local Studio’s Thomas Chapman to find out more:
What was the brief given to Local Studio by the school? The brief was fairly open-ended: we had the practical requirement of four classrooms and the need for a playground area – as large as possible – on the small 495m2 site. We responded by placing the building as far towards the street as possible, and this constraint produced the façade treatment which is a sun-shading, privacy screen and security barrier in one. What were some tricky problems to overcome during the process? Despite our client providing an essential educational service to a very needy sector of the population of the area, we found a number of the surrounding neighbours unreceptive to the project initially. There were many objections to the rezoning of the site which presented a major obstacle. We also had budget constraints, although compared to other similar projects, this was fairly well-funded. What lead you to specific material, colour and design choices? The students that attend the Salvazione school are all from the nearby Slovo Park informal settlement, and live in shacks or similar, with very little service delivery. We wanted to provide the most hopeful and inspiring space
possible for these children who range from five to nine years old. This age group is at a critical juncture in the early childhood development period, and play and creativity are essential factors. The roof is both an important element which creates a friendly landmark visible from far away, as well as internally in the womb-like space. The patterns on the glass façade are generated mainly from a need for solar control. Interesting to note: A photovoltaic system will be put in place where solar panels will be installed by Solar 4 Life, sponsored by Waterbility. Another unique product that contributes to sustainability onsite is a large central gutter that fills three water tanks on the site. Additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project were a four-metre-high slide by Simplet Fiber Glass and a unique climbing wall with routes set by Nicholas Botha and Stephen Hoffe. SUPPLIERS: Exterior metal/glass curtain wall: Amlin Aluminium – 066 291 7257 Wood: Rhino wood – 084 580 6406 Cabinetwork, seating and custom woodwork: AE Joinery – 072 048 0674 Floor and wall tile: Italtile – 010 271 2272 Lighting: PPA Lightco – 011 447 0390 Plumbing: All sanitaryware donated by The Italtile and Ceramic Foundation Slide: Simplet Fibreglass – 011 395 3068 Solar Panels: Solar4Life – 011 594 7522
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Our family-owned business has been servicing the building, civils & landscaping industry since 1985 with the widest variety of soil & natural stone in the Western Cape. JKT Rocks does the construction of gabion & natural stone structures, hard landscaping, excavations & earthworks. (021) 854 4918 I SALES@JKTGROUP.CO.ZA I WWW.JKTROCKS.CO.ZA I BEE LEVEL 3
TOKARA Play Space
All images credited to: Charles Russell
Location: Tokara Wine Farm, Stellenbosch
he new Tokara playground was designed to integrate the lush treelined vistas with modern architecture and has been very successful in achieving its brief. We caught up with local designers Onder die Invloed and Jeremy Stewart, director and owner of PLAYSAFE and Chairman of the South African Sports and Play Industry (SASPI), to get the inside scoop on this new play space. What was the designer Onder die Invloed’s brief from Tokara? Tokara Owners, GT and Anne-Marie Ferreira's vision for Onder die Invloed was a playground inspired by the breathtaking surrounds of the Simonsberg Mountain and the Banhoek Valley. The brief was to complement the surroundings, be safe and engaging for children of all ages. Tell us a little more about the firm! Onder die Invloed is a design duo that consists of Leanie van der Vyver and Louis Christie. Leanie graduated cum laude, specialising in product design at the Gerrit Rietveld Art Academie in Amsterdam. Louis is a mechatronic engineer, graduating from Stellenbosch University. These two disciplines complement each other well, Leanie has a conceptual and more artistic approach where Louis works in the capacity of a design engineer dancing on the line of form and function. Together, there is no limit to what can be achieved and they flourish when working on wildly imaginative and challenging structural projects. This is why playground design is their perfect fit, their own imagination is their only limit as children prefer the most stimulating environments. What makes their work unique is designing playgrounds that are exciting to children yet aesthetically considered to also appeal to the adults who spend equal amounts of time at the playgrounds. Beyond that, they also manufacture playgrounds with great suppliers like Sebenza Steel, Hyrax for the woodwork, and PLAYSAFE for the safety rubber flooring to achieve their vision. How was this design concept achieved? Our research included spending lots of time on site, studying the surrounding structures and landscape design. We needed to blend in, prolandscaper.co.za
the design of the playground was achieved by aesthetically borrowing from the surrounding nature and the architecture of the Deli. The concept of "tree structure" and "mini versions of the Deli building" as tree houses was conceived. Four box-like treehouses are nestled in a cluster of tree-like structures made of steel and iroko wood. Bird species indigenous to the Tokara Estate were transformed into 50 bird sculptures and mounted on the branches of the tree-like sculptures. The rope and stainless steel cabling forming the interlinking rope tunnel bridges between the treehouses and other climbing nets are made of materials used within the nautical industry. What materials, colour schemes, and design aesthetics were adopted? For materials, again we looked at what was already there, we mimicked the use of wood and steel from the Deli structure and applied mostly natural colours from the surrounding nature on the outside of the structure. We went a little wild with colour on the play elements like the inside of the treehouses and where children were intended to play, like ladders and walkways – subliminally guiding them to use the structure accordingly. A brown steel tree stump is less attractive to climb than a turquoise ladder. Here, we always use UV stable, 100% non-toxic and environmentally friendly, rubber paint. Design-wise, we designed graphic versions of trees to act as the structure and for the houses, we mimicked the box-like architecture of the Deli building. Who was consulted for the design on the play equipment? And where was this equipment made? We were contacted to design the playground by Tokara after they saw the playground we designed for Bosjes Estate. As the design is unique, we manufacture and project manage the installation and fabrication of the equipment with our suppliers. Tell us a little about the PLAYSAFE flooring used onsite? The PLAYSAFE rubber floor was used to ensure further safety of the play area. Unlike tree bark and other natural ground cover options, PLAYSAFE has hardly any upkeep and will not
rot. They also have an array of colours to choose from to suit every project. The installation of the floor takes about two to three days and required sunny weather for proper curing. How successful was the implementation of this play space? We delivered it on time (in three months), within budget and Tokara was very pleased with the results. We also love going there for a coffee and watch how kids enjoy it. That's a great success in our opinion! SUPPLIERS: Steelwork and Civils: Sebenza Concepts - 082 4655600 Woodwork and Carpentry: Hyrax Fabrication - 082 6742287 Rubber Flooring: PLAYSAFE – 0861 782 789 Play Concept, Design and Manufacture: Onder die Invloed - 072 016 6195
CRITICAL FALL HEIGHT LEGISLATION: The South African standard (SANS 51177:2010) for critical fall height has the identical implementation and is a direct adoption of the international EN Standard 1177:2008. The SANS 51177:2010 standard is a minimum standard imposed by the “Duty of Care” application of the law. This law is applicable to all public playgrounds, schools, municipalities, entertainment centres, nursery schools etc; where a 3rd party is involved, regardless of whether there is supervision. Beneath all playground equipment with a free fall height of more than 60cm and/or equipment causing a forced movement on the body of the user (e.g. swings, slides, rocking equipment, cable ways and carousels), there must be impact protection surfacing over the impact area and to avoid building playspaces over asphalt, hard surfaces, concrete, paved surfaces and natural ground and soil. Please contact Jeremy Stewart (PLAYSAFE/SASPI) for guidance on the correct requirements and specification to meet legal requirements in the playground.
"Their own imagination is their only limit"
Location: De Aar, Northern Cape Completed: February 2021 Size: Soccer field: 6,300m² Netball courts: 2,592m² Building: 150m² Total size, excluding the 1.2km fence: 9,492m² Trompie Sport was involved with the design and build of this extraordinary stadium located in De Aar. This was a community project, using sport to uplift the local community. The economic injection this project had on the community was incredible. More than 30 jobs were created for De Aar, and materials used for the project were sourced from local companies. The scope of this project consisted of the following items: • 1,200m perimeter fencing • FIFA-approved artificial soccer field. • Four netball courts • Building of ablution and changing rooms Perimeter fence The project was kicked off with the installation of a 2.4m high perimeter fencing that stretched more than 1.2km, which was a crucial first step to ensure that the facility is secure. The Smart View boundary fence consisted of a high durability industrial see-through mesh. The galvanised fence was covered with a layer of
UV-treated PVC coating to better survive the harsh climates of the Northern Cape. FIFA-approved artificial soccer field The main attraction of this facility is the artificial soccer pitch. It was important to leave the community with an asset and that is why an artificial soccer field with minimal maintenance requirements was the preferred choice. Trompie Sport partnered with several leaders in the manufacturing of artificial grass and are the direct importers and exclusive wholesale distributors in Africa for various high-quality artificial turf brands. For this 105m x 60m pitch, Trompie used a 50mm pile FIFA-approved carpet to ensure that that the pitch complies with all the standards required to host local and even international tournaments. To ensure the safety of both the players and spectators, Trompie installed a 1.2m high modular galvanised fencing system with PVC coated mesh around the soccer field. This fencing system requires no welding on site which minimises rust. The pitch would not be complete without the spectator's stands – Trompie designed and built four spectators stands with a seating capacity of 200 people. Netball courts Netball is a popular sport in De Aar and the addition of four hard courts turned Merino Park
into a world-class, multi-sport facility. Trompie Sport used state-of-the-art laser technology to build the base for the netball courts according to specifications set out by the consulting engineers. A properly constructed asphalt base was used as the foundation for these courts. The acrylic layering of the courts is done on top of the asphalt base to create a playing surface that is durable and able to withstand the weather conditions of De Aar. The acrylic layers are ideal for courts because the non-slip properties of it is ideal for a sport like netball. The same modular fencing system was used to round off the courts. Trompie’s sports surfaces have been refined over 30 years of experience and offer players an optimum sports performance experience. Ablution and changing rooms A facility like this would be incomplete without proper ablution and changing room facilities. Trompie designed and constructed a 150m² ablution facility that can accommodate the players and spectators. With the soccer players and staff in mind Trompie designed separate changing rooms for the home team as well as the visiting team. Trompie also installed 24 steel lockers to ensure that the players have more than enough storage space for their kit and personal belongings. prolandscaper.co.za
More than 500 squares of paving were used to round off all the buildings and sports fields. Challenges with the project • The weather conditions in De Aar were one of the biggest challenges – the extreme temperature variations and high winds in De Aar made the installation process of both the soccer pitch and netball courts a difficult task. •
COVID-19 protocols – the project had strict deadlines, but thanks to good protocols implemented by Trompie there were no COVID-19 cases, and the project was completed in time.
About Trompie With certification from international sports associations like FIFA, FIH, IAAF, and ITF, anyone who considers investing in sports infrastructure in Africa, can contact Trompie Sport for a design and build solution. Trompie Sport is at the forefront of sport field construction. They have constructed over 2,000 multi-purpose courts, covered more than 15 million m² of natural grass sport fields. Trompie have also and constructed over 100 artificial sports fields for hockey and soccer and multi-purpose sports fields. Trompie is without a doubt the biggest name when it comes to sports field construction in Africa. Building a stadium is no small task and involves months of planning and coordination. Contact: 018 292 1202 or email@example.com MEET THE TEAM: Funding: Lonyuan Mulilo Solar and Wind Projects Beneficiaries: Local Football Association, De Aar Municipality, General Public of the surrounding Communities. Main Contractor: Trompie Sport Engineering Consultants: Integrate Engineering
Size: 5,747m² Location: Curro Midrand Independent School, Gauteng Completed: October 2020
urro schools turn to Turftech for quality pitch installations as school sports’ activity resumes. The lockdown measures over the past year put a halt to most sporting codes, but this break in play did give school administrators the time to improve facilities and complete planned installations. Curro Midrand Independent School, located in Gauteng’s Midrand area, was one such institution, taking the opportunity to install an FIH National Specification synthetic turf hockey pitch and associated works at the school. This is the second such installation at a Curro school in the past year, with Curro Helderwyk having installed a similar pitch at their Brakpan location at the start of 2020. Phillip Prinsloo, sales manager for Turftech, said schools looking to enhance their sports’ facilities had maximised the time of online learning to get ready for the resurgence of competitive sports. “Sport is such an important part of the holistic schooling offered in South Africa, and the competitive nature of our schools’ sports means that only the best surfaces are being sought,” explained Prinsloo. “This is why so many schools, like Curro Midrand, are opting for Turftech’s synthetic sports surfaces which are designed by our partners, Rhino-Turf. The surface allows pupils to practise for longer hours and, in terms of hockey, there is much more consistency in ball roll and play, thereby speeding up the game.”
GAME ON Curro School’s Synthetic Hockey Pitch
KLS Consulting Engineers (primary consulting engineers to Curro Holdings Ltd) received the design brief from Curro Holdings to design and implement the construction of the synthetic turf hockey field. The project was broken up in to two phases, the first of which was the bulk earthworks phase where the field platform was constructed, including the new pavilion and primary stormwater drainage system. The second phase consisted of the specialist construction of the synthetic turf hockey field and ancillary works where Turftech was brought in to construct the 5,747m² hockey pitch, surrounding walkways, fencing system and customised handrails for enhanced spectator safety.
The synthetic turf system installed by Turftech’s inhouse installer and operations manager, Wayne Reed, and consisted of Rhino-Turf HF18 synthetic sand-dressed turf on a 15mm Insitu E-layer, with the team also installing drainage kerbing, paving and fencing, as well as improving the hockey pitch surrounds with newly-planted grass, trees and flower beds.
certified hockey field that has many benefits, including: • A much smoother playing surface for enhanced ball control;
“The existing sport fields at Curro Midrand were developed for soccer and rugby and they weren’t large or level enough to cater to the specific needs of hockey,” explained Colston Veater, executive head of Curro Midrand. “With hockey a very popular sport in the area, we were looking to install a synthetic turf that could offer our pupils and visiting schools a more sophisticated game than can be played on grass.” He said that, with regulations now allowing for the resumption of sports’ codes, the pupils are excited to be practising on the quality pitch and are looking forward to more competitive games: “Having a synthetic turf better positions the school to attract well-rounded pupils, while improving the standard of our school facilities. With the latest installation, we’re now able to host events and tournaments so there’s no need for long-distance travel.” The Turftech installation is an FIH National Specification (International Hockey Federation)-
MEET THE TEAM: Client: Curro Holdings
A dedicated space for hockey practice, skills and games;
Turf installation: Turftech
The provision practice; and
Consulting Engineers: KLS Consulting Engineers
A fast-paced game on a quality playing surface.
In addition to the superior playing surface and enhanced aesthetics of the product, schools benefit from long-term cost-savings as well. Unlike traditional synthetic turf sports fields, the Turftech multi-sports’ facility does not have to be resurfaced every two to three years, with the surface only needing upgrading every 8 to 10 years. It also allows schools to accommodate multiple sporting codes while saving on space and enhancing property value. Prinsloo said that another reason schools are looking to invest in Turftech sports facilities is the environmental benefit, particularly against the backdrop of climate change: “The synthetic turf hockey pitch is the most water-wise option, which is particularly vital with water becoming such a scarce commodity. It will retain its vibrant aesthetic and condition with very little maintenance, even with the high-traffic of ongoing sports practices and games.”
ABOUT TURFTECH: Turftech is a leader in the construction, development and maintenance of natural and synthetic turf technology, with products successfully installed throughout South Africa. With access to full World Rugby, FIFA and FIH accreditations, synthetic surfaces are becoming a preferred choice across all professional, semi-professional, schools and social club levels. Visit www.turftech.co.za.
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Project: Revitalization of Park Walk Primary School Playground Location: London, UK Completed: November 2019 Size: 1,350m² Foster + Partners, in partnership with the Bryan Adams Foundation and playground designers Made From Scratch, has revitalised a tightly bound outdoor play area in West London. The aim of the project is to heighten the myriad benefits that outdoor free play gives kids, including the development of physical, emotional, social and cognitive skills. The L-shaped site, adjacent to the primary school building, has been divided into two parts – an active physical play area and the smaller portion dedicated to imaginative play. The former contains a multifunctional sports pitch that has been levelled and covered with needle punch sports carpeting with an impact absorbing subsurface. The markings are inlayed for football and netball, with additional new planters, trees, hardwood benches. Because of the playground’s small footprint, the central play structure consists of multiple levels. This enables a multitude of play opportunities on different heights as well as provides a beautiful centrepiece to the playground, with unique oak woven "pods" forming the mice nests. The area dedicated to imaginative play, situated next to the refurbished library, is designed as a woodland garden with a treehouse structure, seating stumps, a play kitchen and a sculptural living willow pod to create a calm natural sanctuary. The two main areas are connected by a parkour area that includes curved timber tracks and geometric banks up against the school wall to maximise the surface area for leaping, jumping and running. A new stage structure wraps around the existing swimming pool building and transforms into seating and a covered stage, creating a location to host events. To aid orientation, the routes to the various school buildings are clearly marked across the playground, tying the site together. MEET THE TEAM: Client: The Bryan Adams Foundation Architecture: Foster + Partners Main contractor: Made From Scratch Photographer: Aaron Hargreaves prolandscaper.co.za
of fresh Air ST. JOSEPH’S HOME
Location: Athlone, Western Cape Donations valued at: Over R200,000 Completed: March 2021 Size: 2,600m²
t. Joseph’s Home is an outstanding intermediate paediatric care facility. Faced with an expansive, exposed site and a limited budget, landscape architects, Square One's brief was to provide a diverse play environment as an enticing escape from the hospital wards for children of all ages and with substantial differences in the severity of their conditions. At the St. Joseph’s Home care facility for children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses, play is an essential part of facilitating healing and recovery. The design focuses on creating a safe and enticing environment to foster learning and healing through natural play experiences. These requirements and limited resources demand a coordinated response to playground design. So, let's have a look at just what exactly went into the project at St. Joseph’s Home. The team needed to: re-purpose the site sand for sandbag construction; upcycle broken and disused equipment and materials for new structures; turn rain gardens into habitat areas for exploration, learning, and play; enhance diverse social interactions with a variety of formal and informal play areas. The playground provides safe and stimulating spaces for all ages, from toddlers to teenagers with varying abilities and needs. The vast amount of sand on site is used to create sandbag structures that provide shelter from the wind and generate engaging topographies, MEET THE TEAM: Landscape architect and project manager: Square One Landscape Architects Landscape contractor: Afrilandscapes
supporting a diversity in play experiences. The design combines and arranges various natural, formal, and informal play features in the landscape to create a unified and dynamic space for exploration, learning, and play. The play equipment is designed by PARK, an outdoor furniture and gym equipment design company to maximise play opportunities within the budget. St. Joseph’s learning landscape allows the design to be spatially explored at various scales and viewpoints. Playful 3D visualisations reveal the various playground opportunities, helping the client to visualise the design and lobby their supporters for funding. In addition to the design of the playground equipment and landscape sketch plan, Square One carefully considered the material and planting design to create a safe space for children to play and learn amongst soft, naturalistic planting and wild play areas. What made this project truly unique is that almost all the consultants involved in this project donated – with donations ranging from paving and planting, skills, expertise and labour.
SUPPLIERS/DONATORS: Turf and play equipment: Synsport – 087 803 1023 Pavers: Corobrik – 021 888 2300 SmartStone – 011 310 1161 Gravel Fix Pro: BERA BV – 083 449 3954 Gravel: Afrimat – 021 917 8840 Nurseries: Habitat Nursery – 021 885 4400 Just Trees – 021 871 1595 Pink Geranium – 021 884 4313 Shadowlands – 021 903 0050 Compost: Reliance – 0861 888 784 Custom play equipment: PARK – 082 091 8040 Pole supports: The Pole Yard – 021 200 0425 Boulders: JKT Rocks – 021 854 4918
Inter generati onal Integration
Size: 9,275m² Completed: December 2019 Location: Beijing, China In 2017, MAD Architects was commissioned to design a kindergarten next to a senior citizens’ apartment in Beijing, reflecting the client’s "intergenerational integration" ethos that blends pre-school education and elder care. The subject site, covering an area of 9,275 square metres, consisted of an original 18th century Siheyuan courtyard, an adjacent replica courtyard built in the 1990s, and a four-story modern building. Following its completion at the end of 2019, the kindergarten now serves as a pre-school education space for 390 children aged from one-and-a-half to six years old. “When I looked back at my own kindergarten years, and even the ones I saw after I grew up, I always wondered what it is that kids long for the most,” said Ma Yansong. “Perhaps it is freedom and love. A kindergarten doesn’t always have to offer complex hardware or fixtures, but it must always make kids feel freedom and love – something that leads them to endless possibilities.” In shaping the project, MAD chose to remove the replica courtyard outside the historic 18th century original, and replace it with a new space that holds the Siheyuan courtyard “in the palm of its hand”. As it envelops the old courtyard, the new space adopts a low and gentle posture, with a flowing motion contrasting the strict, orderly layout of the historic structure. This tension, emerging from different dimensions in time, gives the building a renewed life. The new does not overshadow the old, while the past does not overtake the present. The new building forms a “floating roof” that connects a variety of independent spaces in unity, while making people feel as if they have entered a whole new realm. Apart from the red walls and yellow tiles of the Forbidden City, the architecture of Old Beijing is dominated by the blue bricks and grey tiles of hutongs and alleys. MAD’s kindergarten seeks to take people beyond this context, not just of Beijing but even of Earth; to see and imagine the long history in front of them from another time and space. The floating roof evokes a children’s proverb from Old Beijing: "If you go three days without being punished, the roof will cave in." The undulating “caving” topography of the roof
forms a Martian landscape of sorts, enticing children to run, play, and interact with it and each other. When combined with the ancient courtyard, old trees, and infinite sky, a surreal environment inspires children to think, reflect, and chase endless possibilities. At ground level, MAD designed three courtyards around several old trees on the original site. The new courtyards correspond to those of the old Siheyuan structures, providing the teaching spaces with light, ventilation, and an outdoor extension, while slides and stairs connect the courtyards to the rooftop landscape above. Reflecting further on the project, Ma Yansong says: "Old Beijing has many 'cracks' – tunnels, roofs, courtyards, etc. The courtyards, in particular, reflect an oriental view of nature. Here, nature becomes the main subject, and the architecture instead revolves around it. In the courtyard there is nature, the world, and human life, acting together to form the core of the architecture." As one enters the interior from above, the atmosphere feels warm and bright. Responding to the sensitive sense of scale and comfort experienced by children, the interior of the building is suspended from a single aluminum grille, which lowers the visual height of the scheme while instilling the interior with a family-like warmth. Meanwhile, floor-to-ceiling glass walls allow sunlight to stream through the interior, while forming a visual connection with the old courtyard house. Here, the threehundred-year linear history between the old and new buildings becomes three-dimensional. The transition space from the first floor to the sunken level on the east side of the lobby is cleverly designed as a theatre; the top of which is surrounded by a circular wall of bilingual cartoon books. The theatre stage doubles as the entrance to a two-level indoor playground, which serves not only as a space for children’s activities, but also a place for the whole kindergarten to hold arts and sports events. The west side of the lobby leads to a learning area, where a flowing spatial layout creates a free, communal atmosphere, and a unique density and scale. Within the learning area, the different mixed-age learning groups are not separated by closed walls, but by curved walls at regular intervals – originally a supporting structure for the building. The “borderless" learning space, ubiquitous reading environment, and curriculum focusing on
learning through exploratory play, not only enriches the interaction between children, but also allows teaching and learning to take place in an optimal atmosphere. The triple-entry courtyard house, connected to the new space via courtyards and corridors, serves as a place to host the children's extracurricular cultural, artistic, and creative activities, as well as an office for staff. The eaves and tiles of the courtyards, and the old trees contained within, are filled with a historical and natural atmosphere that is larger than the length of an individual life; a point of inspiration and reflection in the children's minds, and a chance to deepen their understanding of history. The YueCheng Courtyard Kindergarten shows how several seemingly disparate, even sometimes contradictory, elements of architecture from different historical periods can coexist harmoniously while maintaining their authenticity and individuality. What is more, they can work in unison to create a new openness and richness, giving children an objective and realistic perception of their environment. The result is an understanding of how nature and history can bring a sense of inclusiveness to a new place, shaping a community's unique consensus and values. MEET THE TEAM: Client: YueCheng Group Chief architect: MAD Architects Executive architect: China Academy of Building Research Interior design: MAD Architects, Supercloud Studio Landscape architect: MAD Architects, ECOLAND Planning and Design Corporation Lighting design: Lumia Lighting Design Ceiling R&D: Shanghai Siyou Metallic Materials Co., Ltd.
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Prolandscaper May 2021.pdf 1 2021/05/04 12:48:16
Marcus Govender 071 609 7337 | firstname.lastname@example.org
KING EDWARD VII SCHOOL
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Location: Houghton Estate, Johannesburg Size: 3,258m² Completed: December 2020 On approaching the iconic new indoor Mark Stevens Aquatic Centre at King Edward VII School (KES) in Houghton Estate, casual observers will be forgiven for stopping in their tracks and for thinking: Did that building just tip its hat to me? Once inside, however, they will soon find that it is neither a hat set at a jaunty angle nor a roof, for that matter, but that it is, in fact, a permanent light show! Not-so-casual observers, such as construction workers or builders, will be awe-struck by the interplay of light, shadows, movement and reflections making up the ambience of this building, whose architect, Andrew Hodgkinson (from Shed Architecture + Design), clearly subscribes to Winston Churchill’s wise words: “We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us.” Memory, as you know, is a strange animal. When I saw the finished space for the first time, I was instantly transported back in time to one of those school trips to an art gallery, so dreaded by the boys lacking the slightest artistic leanings. But, being of Dutch extraction, my interest was piqued when the tour guide lingered in front of yet another of Johannes Vermeer’s rather non-descript paintings of cows in a field. Our tour guide then related how Vermeer countered with blistering sarcasm when a prospective buyer complained about all the cows in his paintings. He was quoted as pointing out that he NEVER paints cows in a field, but that he paints the LIGHT that falls on cows in a field! I have a sneaky suspicion that our esteemed architect replicated this trick: he set out, not to design an indoor swimming centre, but a lightbox, incidentally housing swimming pools! But be that as it may, building pools that would shimmer like jewels in this inspired, light-filled setting followed on almost effortlessly. I say “almost”, however, because like with all large-scale projects, this one was not without its fair share of teething problems. Weighing in on all matters and challenges pool related, and overseeing the successful design and supply completion, was Water Dimensions International Pty Ltd (WDI), with Herman van der Mast, and Adam Kriel at the helm.
Following, a breakdown of what the project entailed: Initially, WDI was commissioned as the specialist swimming pool consultant to complement the professional team tasked with designing the new polo/swimming pools. The instruction was to prepare a complete swimming pool design package for tender purposes. This was followed by several extensive design consultation meetings, during which the designs of both the polo/swimming pools were finalised in accordance with the school’s requirements. Thanks to WDI’s extensive design capabilities and invaluable professional input at the early stages of the project design, KES and the professional team were made aware of the scope and the complexities around the construction of these polo/swimming pools from the outset. A subsequent decision was then made to negotiate WDI’s appointment on a “design, supply and installation” basis to complete the polo/swimming pools, instead of putting the project out to tender. WDI was appointed accordingly as part of the professional team in May 2019, as well as the swimming pool specialist contractor on the project. Next, a breakdown of what the new facility entails: A main swimming pool, 25m x 28m, with surface area of 700m2, at a 2.2m water-depth holding capacity of approximately 1,540m3, catering for both school water-polo requirements and 10m x 2.5m swimming lanes for swimming competitions, designed in compliance with FINA specifications and heated to between 25°C and 27°C, to allow for extended summer swimming (eight months of the year). The filtration system is designed to operate at 385m3/h, providing a filtration turnover rate of four hours, based on dual-media filtration design concept for heated commercial swimming pools. In addition, a train-to-swim pool facility, adhering to the following specifications: 25m x 15m, with surface area of 375m2, at a 2.2m water-depth holding capacity of approximately 825m3, catering for both water-polo training requirements and 5m x 2.4m swimming lanes for swimming training, as well as a double safety lane full-depth tensioned safety net separated 3m learn-to-swim swimming lane that starts at 0.4m depth on the one end, with 0.7m depth in the middle and 1.0m at the other end of the swimming pool, designed in compliance with FINA specifications and heated to between
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25°C and 27°C, to allow for year-round swimming (12 months of the year). The filtration system is designed to operate at 206m3/h, providing a filtration turnover rate of four hours, based on dual-media filtration design concept for heated commercial swimming pools. The design, supply and installation of the polo/swimming pool project involved complete mechanical and electrical hydraulic design, consisting of the circulation/filtration, automated chemical monitoring/control treatment, heating and swimming pool finishes and related swimming and cleaning equipment. Despite the extraordinary challenges posed by COVID-19 and the lockdown, WDI proved its ability and staying power throughout a sustained period of logistical challenges, and provided solutions demonstrating competence and experience in the field of commercial swimming pool design and supply. WDI’s invaluable input contributed to an exceptional project outcome, in no small way
made possible by its unfailing willingness to remain flexible regarding the project programme and to maintain a general spirit of co-operation, thus setting the benchmark for similar sports development projects. What remains now that the cement dust has settled and the last steel-capped boot print has been wiped from the paving is, of course, the luxury of being immersed in water: that whole-body, liquid experience! The ecstasy of plunging into another element and entering another dimension – the mysterious aquatic world – where even natural laws seem to be suspended, where everything slows down, where every movement becomes languid, where weightlessness and deep-felt joy are the somatic sum. Where you return to your original flow state and where the universe literally has a you-shaped hole in it. Where no one is surprised when you come up from the depths and through the filtered shafts of sunlight, gasping, telling tall tales of having seen the shimmer of a mermaid’s tail, disappearing in a burst of bubbles. For children, whose memory
of their watery beginnings are especially fresh, it feels nothing short of a home-coming. Such is the magic of a swimming pool. Add to that the benefits of whole-body exercise and whole-brain connectedness, and swimming quickly acquires life-skill status, on a par with the ability to read, write and do arithmetic.
What an honour and a privilege to afford children this luxury, this kind of magic!
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Site Visit: Watercombe Farm
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a massive project that we were proud to have been a part of.
Gilfillan Park Image supplied by: Graham Young
Another was Marula project, Namibia; this cross-border project was completed with landscape architects, GREENinc. Other projects we're proud of include Petra Diamonds, a rehabilitation project based in Kimberley; Future Nations Schools in Fleurhof; Tighy Park in Westdene; Gilfillan Park in Jeppe; Brakpan Cemetery; Randburg Trading Market; and Lions Rock, a big cat sanctuary in Bethlehem. What is your process of maintaining plants into winter onsite?
oin us as we take you through our pages on a site visit to Watercombe Farm, Indigenous Tree Nursery, located in Chartwell, near Johannesburg. Pro Landscaper chats to Watercombe's owner, Dirk Stoffberg to find out more about this wholesaler. Why and when was Watercombe established? Watercombe Farm was initially a horse farm providing trails, a dressage arena, a lunge ring, grazing camps and stables. The Watercombe Tree Nursery was established in 2006. It started out as a small business interest due to the space and 2 existing boreholes, with a bit of entrepreneurial spirit, and learning on the go, I gratefully developed a passion for trees, which has grown ever since. How big is your farm in terms of hectares and staff, and which types of professionals can visit the farm? The Watercombe farm is situated in Chartwell West which is about 10km from Fourways and is around 3 hectares in total. Our staff consists of a compliment of 10 people comprising both skilled and semi-skilled employees. We are a wholesale nursery that caters to the industry including: exporters; civil contractors; landscape architects; developers; plant brokers; turf management companies; schools; mines; residential estates; golf courses; landscape contractors; nurseries and to the general public.
What areas do you service across SA? We service the whole of South Africa and export cross border. Our trees can be bought via telephone, email or even online on our website. What do you grow/specialise in? At any given stage how many different species of plants are on site at one stage? We specialise in indigenous trees and shrubs all within our local biodiversity, particularly for the Highveld region. Many of our species are home to Gauteng and we grow around 40+ different species of trees. We grow trees from 100 litres up to 1000 litres. One can download our available tree list from our website. We are known for the quality of our trees, excellent after sales service and our green footprint. We offer assistance on all landscaping projects, providing placement of trees, full delivery, planting and compost services for all projects.
Watercombe Farms trees are known to be hardy, as we grow them completely exposed to the elements – this includes: frost/wind/full sun, everything you can find in the Gauteng region. Some of the smaller frost-sensitive trees are kept in grow tunnels during winter until their size allows them to withstand a harsher environment. How do you foresee Watercombe growing in the near future? The vision of Watercombe Farm is one where we understand the changing landscape of our economy and endeavour to build relationships within the industry and collaborate where possible in order to meet the needs of all our clients. We hope to become a leading tree supplier for most highveld projects and beyond.
“He that plants trees loves others beside himself.” – Thomas Fuller
What are some key projects that you have proudly supplied and been associated with that we might recognise? Some of the key projects we have been involved in or sub-contracted to include the following: JPC Joburg Property company – Soweto beautification, we supplied 360 x 400lt trees for the area, which covered from Orlando stadium, including Vilakazi Street (past Nelson Mandela's house), extending along Chris Hani Rd and throughout parts of Soweto. This was
The South African Wood Preservers Association (SAWPA)
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Pro Landscaper sits down with SAWPA to find out more about the association. When was SAWPA founded and out of what need? SAWPA was founded in 1980 primarily to promote preservative treatment of timber and the use of treated timber products. Who is SAWPA for? The South African Wood Preservers Association is a voluntary association formed by the primary wood preservation industry, consisting of mainly sawmills and pole processing plants that pressure treat timber and poles. What are the fundamentals and core ideals of SAWPA? To represent the best interest of the preservative treated timber industry through promoting, representing, and creating an awareness of the industry, and to act as a source of information and knowledge transfer to all users and specifiers of preservative treated timber. How does one join SAWPA/become a SAWPA member? SAWPA has various membership options with class 1 membership, our key focus group, being for manufacturers (treaters) of treated timber, and the chemical preservative suppliers to the treatment plants. Class 2 membership is given to any other person or company with an interest in wood preservation and mainly consist of merchants, suppliers of hardware, e.g. antisplit plates, and also surface protective coating suppliers. In addition, affiliate membership is given to academic institutions, quality insurance bodies and other associations related to the forestry and timber sector by invitation. What should our industry look for to know they are using a SAWPA accredited product or professional? All our class 1 members are certified by SANAS accredited certification bodies to the applicable SANS standards and approved by the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications. As such SAWPA do not accredit, but we do endorse and promote the use of SAWPA member products. For a list of SAWPA members in your area, go to: www.sawpa.co.za. What role does SAWPA play within the industry? As a voluntary association formed by the industry, SAWPA plays a representative, promotional,
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awareness creation and educational role. SAWPA does not play the role of a regulator or overseer to its members. What makes a SAWPA approved product greener and longer lasting? Treated timber if correctly treated and applied will last for many years or decades and the fact that the material, i.e., wood is a natural, renewable material, and it can be sustainably grown, makes it the greenest building material available to mankind. How many members does SAWPA currently have and how does SAWPA plan to expand in the future? SAWPA at present represent all the chemical preservative suppliers and 64% of the timber treatment processing plants in South Africa. We hope to continue expanding the membership to the processors that are not currently affiliated with SAWPA. What type of wood does SAWPA work with? The timber treated by SAWPA members consist of either SA pine or eucalyptus sourced from
local commercial plantations of which a large percentage is managed on the principles and rules of international forest certification standards, e.g. FSC and PEFC schemes. Many companies are virtually integrated, meaning that they have their own plantations and processing facilities. Those who do not have plantations source their timber from private or state-owned forestry companies. Can one still stain or apply a surface coating (sealer) to wood after preservation? Most primary wood preservatives protect the wood against decay fungi and/or wood destroying insects, and not against weathering. Its therefore important to apply and maintain a surface coating to protect against weathering factors, unless a weathered surface appearance over time is required, but this will also impact on the service life of the preservative treated timber. Whether coatings can be applied will also depend on the class of preservative, i.e. water, solvent or oil-borne preservatives. In the case of water or solvent-borne preservatives the surface of the timber can be treated once the timber has dried sufficiently, or the solvent
has evaporated. Oil-borne preservatives (e.g. creosote) can only be successfully surface coated once the surface creosote has washed or weathered off, and then only bituminous based paint should be used. What are the 5 hazard levels (H classes) of treatment? South Africa only applies five hazard or exposure levels that range from H2 (dry internal above ground), H3 (external exposed above ground), H4 (in ground contact), H5 (in fresh water of heavy wet soil contact), and H6 (in contact with marine waters).
The bee’s knees -
pollinator gardens are in
Pollinators are essential for providing food on which humans, birds, insects, and animals rely. The latest environmental positive trend in landscaping is ‘pollinator gardens’ planting a garden that is attractive to a variety of pollinators including birds, wasps, bees, and butterflies. This action supports biodiversity and protects our environment.
1. Choose plants that are attractive to pollinators. 2. Group your pollinator-friendly plants together. 3. Choose plants with a long flowering cycle. 4. Allow your plants to flower. 5. Indigenous flowering plants are great for attracting local biodiversity. 6. Don’t use chemicals in your garden. 7. Provide a ‘bee-friendly’ water source. 8. Include plants that support caterpillars. 9. Colourful and/or scented flowers are usually great for pollinators. 10. Examples of indigenous pollinatorfriendly plants include vygies, sweet thorn, agapanthus, aloes, clivias, ribbon bush, cape honeysuckle, bush willow, and gazanias.
www.randwater.co.za and click on the Water Wise logo FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON WATER WISE, PLEASE CONTACT US ON: 0860 10 10 60
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TAKES THE SWEAT OUT OF AUTUMN TIDYING
With autumn comes the hassle of fallen leaves to be cleared in addition to other landscaping tasks. But thanks to STIHL, there’s no more hassle! Cleaning effectively and fast is easy when armed with one of STIHL’s powerful yet comfortable-to-use blowers. There’s a choice of low emission petrol-powered models and quiet, zero fuel, battery-powered models, all offering STIHL performance and robust design, and able to cope with the demands of professional use. The BR range of backpack blowers is an excellent choice when there are large spaces to deal with. These models are super effective, cleaning much faster than rakes and brooms to gather leaves and grass clippings into manageable piles. Ergonomic and comfortable to operate for long periods, these machines have userfriendly features such as low emission levels, an anti-vibration system, wide shoulder straps and a hip belt for optimal weight distribution. The BR 800 is the most powerful STIHL backpack
blower, a revolutionary 80cc model featuring a redesigned system and side-start technology so that operators don’t have to remove it to restart. When noise is an issue, STIHL offers the specially designed BGA battery-powered models that use lithium-ion technology to ensure extended operating time and total mobility with no cables or exhaust emissions. These machines are so quiet that you don’t even need ear protection. The fully adjustable blower tube can be easily altered to suit the height of different users and maintain a steady blowing force. These models are well suited to working in areas where noise would be a distraction for sportsmen and scholars or an irritation to residents, hospital patients, and office workers. Handheld blowers are ideal for cleaning smaller areas such as paths, around pots and steps, and between the seats of a stadium. The BG petrolpowered models are highly manoeuvrable, easy
to operate and start at a touch, thanks to the ErgoStart system. It makes good business sense to have a variety of blower models to use, depending on the surface, what needs to be cleared and where, to work efficiently throughout the various seasons of the year. Dry autumn leaves are easier to blow and don’t require as much power to move, while small twigs and pine needles need more blowing power. It is also important to consider the surface you’ll be working on. Debris slides easily on hard surfaces while coarse, porous surfaces such as brick and concrete require more blowing power. Blowing work on grass is even more challenging. STIHL offers professionals a wide range of quality, high-performance blowers to make cleaning and clearing easy. Backed by the support of a nationwide network of expert dealers for after-sales service and advice. Visit www.stihl.co.za for details.
Leader in Natural & Synthetic Turf Technology
TENNIS AND BASKETBALL HARD COURT
ARTIFICIAL TURF PLAY AREA Tech Times Issue 00 Month Year
ARTIFICIAL SAND DRESSES HOCKEY
Telephone No: 087 087 4168 Email Address: Phillip@turftech.co.za Turftech (Pty) Ltd is a specialist in the construction, development and maintenance of sport facilities including fields that have natural and artificial turf such as football and hockey fields, hard courts for tennis, basketball and netball, we also do athletic tracks.
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