Pro Landscaper Africa May 2020

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Photograph by Jamie Thom

M AY 2 0 2 0 - S P O R T S & P L A Y I S S U E


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Welcome to the May issue of Pro Landscaper Africa

that highlight this theme as well as a fantastic inspiration section.


This is the second edition published under unusual circumstances for our country and for our design, build and maintenance sectors, but we are incredibly hopeful that what lies ahead is positive change , redefining the way we do business and the way we interact with our landscapes.

his is our annual sports and play issue and one that is jam packed with all the spaces and places that make up SA’s sports and play arena. We always have a great time putting this theme’s content together, considering South Africa has so many unique and brilliant sports stadiums, pitches and courses and being that we are a nation where sport is in our DNA.

Follow us on Instagram @prolandscaperafrica Swing by our Facebook Page @Pro Landscaper Africa Download our Pro Landscaper app

Check out the brilliant features in this edition including key elements that go into the maintenance of sporting stadiums, irrigation design, turf, and grounds maintenance and of course lighting. We also have some brilliant projects from around the country in both public and private sectors

Rest assured, we will continue to present a platform that highlights and encourages the profession through this time and offer all sectors the platform to engage and grow. Together is always better than alone and we are looking ahead to a new normal! Published by


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News Association news from SALI and ILASA

9 Agenda Business and the coronavirus


The Art of Golf Course Architecture A Perspective by Louis van der Walt, Golf Course Designer at the renowned Matkovich Group


What you put in is what you get out! Installation and maintenance of stadium turf, by Turf Specialist’s Ryan Wilson


The Evolution of sports lighting in South Africa By Maritz Electrical


Irrigation Design Considerations for Golf Courses By Turfmanzi Irrigation’s Andy Blake


Profiled Company: Water Dimensions International


Making playgrounds safer with PlaySafe




Planet Fitness Olympus by W Design Architecture Studio


A Township for Tomorrow by TurfTech


Fives Futbol by Synsport


Copenhill: Turning a power plant into the beckrock for social life


Pitch Perfect: Steyn City School’s newest edition by Africa United


Eyethu Hout Bay A catch up with Lawden Holmes, project architect on the Eyethu Hout Bay Skate Park initiative


The Importance of the Outdoors and Natural Play in Urban Context by Brogan Bradfield Professional Planner and Urban designer at dhk


10 Principles for Powerful Play By Dwain Esterhuizen,owner and playground designer at Squirrel & Co


Eco-Smart Landscaping by Talborne Urban Organics

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NEWS South African Sports and Play Industry

can benefit from joining SASPI

Jeremy Stewart, Chairman of SASPI on how your company

SASPI is a registered Non-Profit Organisation that was started in 2016 by 6 founding members and has a national network of members. SASPI’s mission and desire is to improve the standing of the sports and play surfaces industry focusing on the construction of artificial and natural pitches, athletics tracks, sports courts and playground surfaces in South Africa. We are concerned with quality, ethic’s and the setting of workmanship standards. This year we released the industry Code of Practice for the installation and maintenance of wet pour playgrounds largely based on accepted International industry standards. ASSOCIATED MEMBER - shall be open to individuals/companies, and includes, but is not limited to Consultants as well as National

Governing Bodies, Academic Institutions and Local Authorities amongst others. SELECTED SUPPLIER - Be the supplier of a service or product having the quality as specified in recognised Specifications, and meeting the approval of the Executive.


Opportunities to exhibit at Sports Facility Construction events


Regular “Updates for Members”, the Association’s exclusive information service for members


development of relevant Standards for the design, construction and performance of sports and play facilities


Enhanced status and recognition of the only South African trade association for the sports and play facility supply & construction


Use of the SASPI logo and Certificate of Membership


Increased exposure to potential customers through the marketing & promotion undertaken by SASPI


Inclusion on the SASPI website – an entry in the searchable database of members, with a dedicated Member Profile, a direct link to the member’s own website and the listing of products within the Trade Name Directory

Opportunities to contribute to the


Liaison through SASPI with key organisations including: the national and international sports governing bodies, sports facility funding agencies, the Sports Councils and other sports bodies and trade associations


Complimentary opportunities to submit company and project news to the “SASPI News” section on the website and to advertise in the SASPI Directory

10. Direct contact through SASPI with other members of the Association

Water Wise Landscapes T

he world and the way we do things has changed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, life continues, as do the water threats facing our country. Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality still has Level 1 water restrictions prohibiting the watering of gardens and landscapes between 06:00 and 18:00. Several other municipalities also still have water restrictions in place. There are six simple Water Wise ways that you can use to protect your landscapes against dry conditions, while also conserving water, making them more resilient, and making sure you stick to the local by-laws implemented by your municipality.


Organic mulch such as dry leaves, grass cuttings, bark chips, and compost will decompose over time, adding nutrients to the soil. Convincing clients to think differently and apply these principles goes a long way.

Collecting rainfall and re-using greywater

A 200m2 portion of hard surface collects ± 5 000 L from a single 25 mm storm event. Greywater is wastewater collected from hand basins, showers, baths, washing machines, and kitchen sinks but excludes toilet water. Many systems of harvesting and basic filtering are available e.g. constructed wetlands.

Berms and swales

Swales are shallow depressions in the ground, while berms are ridges that are slightly higher than the adjacent surface area. Position swales and berms to direct rainwater run-off to areas that need it.


Use only efficient methods and devices. Drip irrigation is the most water efficient system as it delivers water directly to the plant roots and prevents up to 95% of water loss by reducing spray on areas that don’t need water.


Compost improves the water-holding capacity of soil by preventing if from becoming compacted, and allowing water penetration into the soil. This can easily be made and used on-site, further reducing the carbon/energy footprint.


All landscapes should be hydrozoned. Dividing landscapes into high (10%), medium (30%), low (30%), and very low (30%) hydrozones can save between 30-38% of the site’s water use. and click on the Water Wise logo FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON WATER WISE, PLEASE CONTACT US ON: 0860 10 10 60


dhk’s response to the coronavirus From the outset, dhk has closely monitored the developments of COVID-19 as we are cognizant of the responsibility we have to our staff, our clients, our business and society at large. The principle we have adopted is that we want to ensure business continuity while safeguarding the health of our employees and behaving responsibly with respect to society as a whole.

"The principle we have adopted is that we want toensure business continuity while safeguarding the health of our employees and behaving responsibly with respect to society as a whole."

From 26 March 2020 and in accordance with South Africa’s nationwide lockdown, dhk’s Cape Town and Johannesburg offices closed with the necessary measures put in place to go digital. Across South Africa, dhk’s team members took to their desks and started working from home in an attempt to flatten the COVID-19 curve through social distancing and self-isolation. Measures put in place: • All team members have been set up with the necessary IT and regulatory procedures to complete their work in a manner akin to a typical day in the office. •

All essential external meetings have continued either via phone call or video conferencing.

Internally, various digital tools such as communication and collaboration platforms ensure that our team is continuously and seamlessly engaged.

We have mandatory working hours, similar to any day in the office, with core hours between 9am-4pm.

Strategic relief measures have been put in place that will be incrementally actioned post lockdown.

While the coronavirus pandemic has confronted many industries, in our case the construction industry, we feel that it is our responsibility to tackle these challenging times head-on to ensure business and industry continuity. The unprecedented exercise of going digital has been an immense test of tenacity and endurance but we are proud to say that dhk has utilised technologies and optimised our resources to minimise disruptions and continue

to provide a world-class service. Although these are strenuous and uncertain times, it has been humbling to see South Africa unite as a nation with the shared aim of curtailing the virus to protect our health. dhk is ceaselessly optimistic that we as a country, and a company, will ultimately prevail and emerge even stronger.



Design the Future Boogertman + Partners believes that the role of design is a key ingredient in assisting economies to reboot post COVID-19.

Design the Future – an imaginative end-to-end service to get business back to work Boogertman + Partners has launched an endto-end consulting offering into the market. The comprehensive offering provides insights and spatial solutions with the teams and expertise needed to implement solutions to get business back to work in these unusual times. Called Design the Future, the package combines 38 years of architectural and interior design experience within the group with new specialist business entities that have been under development for the last 24 months. Know your Asset, is a digital scanning and management tool to ensure businesses have all of their building assets online and accessible as needed for upgrades and maintenance. Boogertman Interiors Turnkey, is a dedicated interiors project management and implementation team, and FuturePart is a research and experimental design unit. There's also DOT, which is a graphics and digital studio focused on solutions in the built environment with extensive experience in wayfinding signage and branding concepts. The new service offers an initial consultation session with experienced architects and interior designers for businesses in any sector needing guidance on implementing social distancing in the most effective and spatially considered way. This ideas and insights sharing session, on site with a client, generates solutions which can either be implemented internally by the client or extended to using a blend of the specialist skillsets working within the Design the Future teams.


"Over and above moving into safe distancing parameters for businesses, there is the critical component of how to make people feel safe and productive when they are back at work," says Bob van Bebber, director of Boogertman + Partners. The solution in our own offices goes further than compliance and challenges the notion of 'distancing'. We want people to come back into the space to collaborate and need to devise tools for encouraging safe sharing. The floating 2x2m grid of balls shifts the idea of 'distance' to create a landmark system of sharing safely. Provided you are under a ball, and the person you wish to work with is as well – you can safely share. The festive grid of floating markers refreshes the workspace and changes the perspective of how the space is viewed with colour coding that provides wayfinding signals on which way to walk and where to find the hand sanitising stations. This solution is a demonstration of how imagination and design are critical components of providing solutions for 'business unusual' says Jean Grobler, director of Boogertman + Partners.

"Design the Future is a cohesive service and the opportunity to partner with our clients. We want to engage with them to find and provide solutions as swiftly as possible, not only to survive in 'business unusual' times, but to use design to connect with their staff and clients through differentiation."


It's Time to Support Local! Seamless Flooring Systems

The best way we as South African business owners can survive the effects of the coronavirus and the devastating effect on our economy is to – as far as possible – support local South African companies, and to buy local flooring products and raw materials. By supporting local businesses, companies and consumers contribute to the resilient supply chain of South Africa, creating more employment opportunities, and in turn, naturally stimulating the economy.

By supporting local businesses, companies and consumers contribute to the resilient supply chain of South Africa, creating more employment opportunities, and in turn, naturally stimulating the economy." Jeremy Stewart Managing Director of Seamless Flooring Systems and Chairman of South African Sports and Play Institute.

Supporting South African manufacturers inspires confidence in the entrepreneurial companies who are wanting to start new ranges of their own. Taking pride in our own companies, and not solely relying on importing products, puts more confidence in local products. This approach will also allow South African flooring companies to identify gaps and opportunities in the flooring market. At the most basic level, when you buy South African-made flooring materials, more money stays in the local economy. Research has shown that double the money stays within our borders when we buy locally. That means that those purchases are twice as efficient in terms of keeping the local economy alive. Buying local also enhances the “velocity” of money, or circulation speed, in our country. The crux of this concept is that if currency circulates more quickly, the money passes through more hands and more people benefit from it. As our country limps through this recession, many local flooring manufacturers and installation companies are hurting. By buying local, we can assist our South African economy to withstand the downturn. The flooring sector, the wider built environment and citizens need to remember that it’s not about how much money we have, but rather how long we can keep circulating without it leaking out our borders.



Been getting out much lately? Craig de Necker, managing director of The Friendly Plant (Pty) Ltd.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a complete lockdown, with people mostly being confined to their respective residential spaces. I can only imagine how tough that must be for those who do not have a garden or outdoor space to enjoy. Arguably, in times like these, even a multi-million rand apartment in the heart of the best suburb doesn’t have the same appeal as a simple townhouse with a little lawn area and perhaps a small plunge pool. Those people who do have gardens found themselves becoming intimately familiar with their outdoor spaces. On the same note, many people who are not fortunate enough to have a garden, now realise how much they would love to have one! Selling a property that has a garden should be easier than ever after this. When many people think of landscaping, they conjure up an image of an elderly gardener with a really big sun hat and a wicker basket strolling through the garden planting a little of this and a little of that. Landscaping is about far more than simply planting up a garden. It is about designing practical, beautiful outdoor spaces that suit the lifestyle and taste of the client, as well as blending in with or even accentuating the architecture of the house. One can think of landscaping doing for the outdoor areas what interior design does for the inside of the house. There is often an enormous emphasis placed on kitchens and bathrooms. People spend inordinate amounts of money on those rather tiny spaces, and quite often very little time is spent in either. Oftentimes, if the same amount was invested in the garden as was spent in the kitchen or


bathrooms, one could almost have a ‘no expense spared’ lifestyle garden! Gardens become more valuable over time, with the plants maturing, ultimately becoming irreplaceable. Compare that to a kitchen or a bathroom where they deteriorate through use and are ultimately re-modelled as trends change. Gardens, they are the element that both welcomes and says ‘goodbye’. It is therefore the first and last impression that you leave with every visitor, prospective buyer or tenant. In our almost fifteen years of designing gardens and outdoor spaces, we have designed residential gardens that include many features that one would not typically associate with a garden. We have designed home spa areas, outdoor dance floors, pubs and wine tasting areas, just to mention a few. Clearly these are not elements that would be suited to every garden, but they were included in our designs in order to properly adapt the outdoor areas to the clients’ lifestyles. Adapt your garden to your lifestyle and you will never want to leave your property. If you enjoy entertaining, would it not make sense to have an outdoor space that caters to that need? It would allow for you to fully utilise otherwise unused outdoor areas, and you could then take full advantage of the size of your property. Imagine inviting a few friends over on a Saturday for lunch around the pool. Before you can blink, the sun is setting and you are enjoying drinks and snacks around your fire pit. A moment later, you are enjoying a relaxing, peaceful late-night swim under the stars. What a way to spend a weekend!

Time is something that we are not able to buy – we are each issued with an unknown but finite amount. It follows that the importance of how you spend your leisure time cannot be under estimated. Imagine coming home every day after a day at work, to a garden that allows you to unwind and relax. Perhaps your garden has a small water feature that provides a soundtrack for you to listen to and to block out any ambient traffic or neighbor noise. Maybe a fire pit that adds atmosphere and a little heat to the space. Every evening and every weekend can essentially become a small vacation. How much did you spend on that last weekend away? Imagine you had added that to your landscaping fund. When it comes to adding monetary value to your property, an awesome garden is a nobrainer. Each element that you install adds value. With every passing year, your plants mature and become more costly to replace. Every built element becomes more costly to replace as time marches on. For example, in the case of a water feature, fire pit or entertainment area, the labour rates, delivery and building material costs increase on a regular basis, making them more costly to install with every passing year. All things being equal, the proper installation of a well designed garden not only adds curb appeal, it adds to the asking price when it comes time to sell or rent out. The question isn’t so much whether you can afford to install a garden, but rather can you really afford not to?


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THE ART OF GOLF COURSE Architecture Mont Choisy 11th low

By Louis van der Walt, Golf Course Designer, Matkovich Group


olf is not your ordinary Saturday afternoon sport. At some instances during a Saturday night live broadcast, it is not even worth watching or listening to. At times, golf can be as entertaining as watching grass grow, or paint dry… But, there is another side to the story. There is a part which is filled with absolute mayhem and madness – roaring crowds, chanting fans, bright lights, as well as private jets, luxury hotels and obscene amounts of money.

Mont Choisy 18th low

Compacted gravel from site used as “waste areas” around fairways to increase playability, but limit irrigated surfaces at Mont Choisy Le Golf, situated in Grand Bay, Mauritius. Treated effluent water and a stylised natural landscape in conjunction with Patrick Watson, further reduces irrigation demand, yet creates a stunning showcase course using indigenous grasses and landscaping.


The latter is, however, only reserved for the top elite of the sport, and not the reason why 99.9% of golfers all over the world took up this sport. The reason golf is played and loved by so many, is the fact that you are able to enjoy this game, from the age when you can walk, literally until the day you cannot walk anymore. It can be a great spectator sport, but at heart, is something meant to be played, not just viewed from the couch or by the big screen in the local pub, but rather being out there in the sun, or the rain, with fresh air and good company on a beautiful course surrounded by nature. The fact that golf has been invited back to the Olympics, would not change the lives of too many people, but the fact that millions all across the globe are able to play it and enjoy it every day, does. But as readers of this monthly landscaping trade magazine, I am sure you are not really here to read about all the glitz and glam of the golfing superheroes. That part of the game provides many opportunities for television broadcasts, sponsorships, charity events, as well as many inspirational stories – it is a billion-dollar industry, which provides employment to millions across the globe, directly and indirectly. But what I would like to highlight and point out in this article, is that golf is often overlooked when people think of "sport and nature" in the same breath. Sports like mountain biking, trail running or climbing comes to mind. But I believe golf also deserves some recognition here. It is not played on a standard or measured "field" or "track", but every course provides a different arena. Unique to the natural landscape of that part of the world. It is at the mercy of the elements and whatever nature dishes up in terms of weather for the day. Every golf course is different, unique, and set within a different environment.

"In short - golf courses need to enhance nature, conserve resources, and aim to provide multiple benefits to communities" - The European Institute for Golf Course Architects(EIGC).

Golf courses are so varied, from city-like parks, to natural bushveld, semi desert areas to tropical jungles, dunes along the beach to courses set in rocky mountainous terrain, and the list goes on. In this article, I would like to share a couple of thoughts on what makes this such a fascinating sport – in terms of the courses we play on, as well as a few bits and pieces of how one of the oldest games in the world is adapting, continuing to grow amid changing times. By the end of 2019, South Africa, and the Western Cape in particular, had just gone through one of the worst droughts in the last century. Golf courses and golf course design might have been considered a controversial topic. But looking at it with some fresh, and perhaps a different perspective, provided some very relevant and meaningful insight into the way forward – for both the profession of golf course design, and for the game of golf itself. As a designer, and a golfer, I know the value which golf and golf courses can and should add to the environment as well as our social well-being. I am passionate about that – and believe there is an opportunity for the golf industry to go back to its core values, to ensure it can stay relevant, going into the 21st century. Today, these core values will revolve around water and people. Going back to its roots To find some clues, as to how golf and golf course design can be relevant, and add value to both community and environment, we need to go back to its roots, where it all started more than 500 years ago. We need to understand how the game originated, and what we can take from that to keep the game relevant today. The way the original game of golf, and the first golf courses came about, can almost solely be credited to nature, with little interference by man (partly due to man’s limited ability to interfere and manipulate his surrounds a few hundred years ago). Golf as we know it today, originated from a sport, probably similar to croquet, or put-put, and was



Hermanus Golf Club – A renovation in the early 2000s turned an existing 18-hole course into a 27-hole development, with the course shaped around restored fynbos areas, and cut out of pine plantations and areas overrun with black wattle. Many ponds add to the constant effort to keep improving the quality of water and treated effluent which provides for irrigation water

Omeya Golf course, Namibia. Waste bunkers create additional playable surfaces, and limits water requirements of the course.

played in the streets, in between working hours. But as cities started growing, these “leisure activities” were pushed out of the streets, and onto the “links” – the sandy strips of land sandwiched between towns and the ocean. There where no buildings could be built. Here, the courses followed the natural lay of the land. Holes and hazards were defined and provided by nature, the weather and grazing sheep.

that a golf course should consist of 18 holes. Fast forward a couple of centuries, today a select number of course architects are again trying to create golf courses in a similar way as these original courses evolved – naturally. These courses react to the natural landscape to appear as if they have been a part of the landscape for centuries.

The original course at St. Andrews, which is considered the “home of golf”, started developing in the early 15th century. Golf was even banned at one stage, around 1457, by King James the Second. The reason being that the young men of the time were spending too much time on the links and not enough time practicing archery! That lasted for almost 50 years, and the ban was lifted in 1502 by James the Fourth (who became a golfer himself).

Courses where players or those walking along it, can find a connection to the outdoors, where they can unwind and recharge, and where they can appreciate nature again – for its diversity and contrast, for its uniqueness around every corner. For the outdoor space it creates, and on a golf course, for the way in which the surrounding environment defines it. A way in which nature is the ultimate star in the show. More of nature, and hopefully less of man’s desire to control nature. More green space, and less green desert…

At some point, the original course at St. Andrews consisted of 22 holes – there were no rules or standards back then which determined how many holes a course should have – but during the late 19th century, the starting and finishing holes were deemed too short and were changed by Old Tom Morris. He turned the layout into a course with 18 holes, and since then, the accepted standard having been adopted and accepted is

Sustainability The European Institute for Golf Course Architects (EIGCA) make a bold statement on their website: “Golf course sustainability, when applied to design, means thinking simultaneously about benefits to the environment, society, and the economy, so that we can continue to improve their positive value through future generations. In practical terms, this boils down to three key


aims: to enhance nature, to conserve resources, and to provide multiple benefits for communities.” These three simple goals applied through good golf course architecture, can result in courses which are more natural, with less negative impact, by restoring and creating more natural habitat. Such courses would require less intervention and man-made effort to maintain it. Golf and golf courses also need to contribute to society in a positive way – both economically and socially. Golf courses today, as well as the entire golf industry has got to strive and work towards these goals if it wants to keep growing and stay relevant. Environmentally, golf courses need to start conserving water. More courses need to start using recycled or treated effluent as an irrigation source. Courses need to embrace more natural areas, and reduce or limit unnecessary maintained turf avoiding green deserts, but rather creating courses set within natural and living landscapes. Socially, golf needs to address time and costs related to playing golf. Family life and individual time is under more pressure than ever before. If golf is to grow as a sport in the future, it needs to address this, as well as find ways to make the


Bonanza Golf Club: A new course situated a mere 10 minute drive from Lusaka’s international airport, has become the new place to meet in, or rather out, of a traffic congested capital. With a minimal footprint in a natural environment, the course offers two standard loops of nine holes, but each loop has an option of both three or six holes starting and finishing near the clubhouse.

game more inclusive and less intimidating for newcomers – both socially and financially. Fortunately, modern trends in the game are finding ways to do this. Golf is big enough to grow with modern times without losing its core values and appeal (which have drawn people to the sport for centuries). One of these core values is being able to spend active time outdoors with friends and family, surrounded by the natural environment. These trends include shortened versions of the game. This includes and varies from the “play it forward” campaign, (where players are encouraged to use forward tees, fitting to their age or ability), as well as six-hole events, such as the GolfSixes Tournament on the European Tour. At a couple of tournaments, organisers have created a “stadium” effect, building grand stands able to seat tens of thousands of people around a single hole, encouraging a carnival-like atmosphere, with less do’s and don’ts than on the rest of the course or perhaps other tournaments. All these are efforts to make it easier and more inviting to get into the game – for both newcomers, and those who haven’t always got the time for a “normal” round of 18 holes. At many courses, there is a monthly or fortnightly Friday afternoon par three competition. Instead of

playing a normal nine-holes, players can try a shortened course from very different tee positions. Afterwards, a braai and drinks are provided, allowing for a great time out with family and friends, all in under two hours. More opportunities such as a quick three-holes or six-holes before or after work, or with the kids should be encouraged by clubs. In cities or larger towns, even a shorter course, consisting of less than the standard 18 holes, will provide a welcome opportunity for getting out and active along with friends and family.

purest form of the game, but I believe there is room to provide a more relaxed and inclusive way to get people into the game, to make them realise how much fun it can be. This is where we need to show the critics that golf is not “the enemy” anymore, but that golf and golf courses can play a positive role in our environment and society. With greater collaboration between planning and design professionals, environmental authorities, and the community wherein any golf course exists, we can address and create courses (both old or new) which conserves our resources, enhances our environment, and improves local communities and economics.

Changes in the golf rules are also encouraging ways to speed up the pace of play – slow play has become an 'achilles heel' of the sport on all levels, and it is not doing anyone any favours. Everyone will benefit if a round of golf can be played in three and a half hours again. In the countries where golf originated, it is a part of life – it is not exclusive, elitist, or overly expensive. It doesn’t take an entire day to play, and courses are often integrated in the built form of towns. Golf does not need to lose any of the history, nor change into something not resembling the

Louis van der Walt



WHAT YOU PUT IN IS WHAT YOU GET OUT! INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE OF STADIUM TURF A perspective by Ryan Wilson, projects director at Turf Specialist Using two case studies worked on by Turf Specialist, the Francistown Stadium and the Fun Valley Natural soccer pitch, this article will explore what it takes to successfully install a pitch as well as the all-important maintenance that follows. The methodology of stadium turf construction has already been set out by FIFA, but obvious mitigating factors, dependent on the location at times, make it more difficult to adhere to these regulations. Starting with Francistown Stadium, Botswana, our team were contacted by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture from Botswana and asked to come out to the Francistown Stadium to conduct an evaluation on the current state of the pitch and write a detailed report outlining all aspects for improvement and shortcomings with recommendations for remedial actions. The report was so well received that its details were used as the construction specifications that were later published in the tender for



reconstruction of the pitch and athletics track. The team was also invited to bid against competitors for the same tender and was successful in pricing too. Francistown Stadium later won several SALI Gold Awards of Excellence in 2016 and 2017, under Ryan's leadership. This project was set for 12 months which included the installation of a FIFA type natural turf football pitch and an IAAF certified eightlane athletics track, including all track and field events. Materials were sourced from SA and from Botswana. The layer works and subbase materials were locally sourced but had to be screened and adjusted to suit the specifications needed for the layer works so that the compaction and porosity parameters could be met. This, along with the subsoil rock found in the underground soils, were the biggest challenges. The pitch works specifications were as follows 1. Excavate to 400mm depth in the athletics track and 600mm depth in the pitch area. 2.

Remove all materials to a local dumpsite.


Import all road-building subbase materials, shape, level and compacted.


Installation of 5m spaced herringbone drainage system.


Installation of an automated pop-up irrigation system.


100mm crusher stone drainage level.


300mm growing medium with porous ceramics as a soil amendment to further improve the structure of the growing medium (soil).


Planting of the kikuyu grass imported from South Africa – this was quite a task as the grass arrived just two and a half days after harvesting, and this took place in February, so we not only had the travel and border crossing times to contend with, but also the extreme heat.

The construction team consisted of 12 staff members, including the project and site manager, irrigation manager, operators and skilled workers. Equipment used 1. Earthworks equipment: 25 ton excavator, 4 x 25m3 tipper trucks, grader, 10 ton roller and 10,000 litre water truck, TLB. 2.


Specialised equipment, tractor drawn laser grading system to perfectly level out the base, stone and growing medium layer to the same mirrored contours from top to bottom. Maintenance equipment, Amazone scarifier, Rink topdressor and dragmat 3 x 36”, cylinder mowers, two vacuum-type mowers,

brush cutters, line marker and white marking paint. Fun Valley Natural Pitch: Installation process The first step before installation is inspecting the visible top surface to assess what currently exists on the open ground. With the Fun Valley project, we found the following: a multitude of grass species evident ranging from kikuyu, 'skaap plaas' cynodon and other invasive grasses and weeds; an infestation of harvester termites; the existing open ground to be very uneven and required a cut to fill earthworks exercise to take place in order to shape it; and there were also no existing overhead or underground services. After visual inspection, one also needs to test the soils before installation begins, in order to find out the pH balance of the soil and how this would

Why Kikuyu Grass? •

Kikuyu is the most widely used variety in the southern hemisphere, especially in warm arid areas.

It is a very vigorous grower and will establish faster (than Cynodon) after planting and recover faster after an event (match play) has taken place.

Good recovery from drought and will withstand a short water restriction or low rainfall season.

It will recover faster from the extreme winter experienced in Botswana and will make the field more aesthetically pleasing (greener) earlier in the spring season.

Kikuyu will also resist wear more than Cynodon in the dormant season period.

It is less susceptible to diseases and will “fight back” against invasive weeds and foreign grasses.

Kikuyu requires far less maintenance and will be more cost effective in the long-run.



Turf Specialist top on site equipment picks: With Francistown Stadium in Botswana, the following equipment is used to maintain the pitch as well as the stadium surrounds: affect the growth of seedlings. The Fun Valley stadium had good tilth, and by this we were able to deduce that it would be easy to cultivate. Identifying a source of water supply is also crucial and must come next – this can be borehole, stormwater, and irrigation methods. Once the bulk earthworks have been completed and soil amendments have been made – this could be adding fertiliser and peat moss for better quality – one then needs to install a drainage system and begin the irrigation installation. In Fun Valley, the irrigation system has been designed to perfectly suit the requirements of a premier sports field by means of calculating exact water placement and precipitation. The sprinklers will be Hunter I-25B adjustable, pop-up, gear-driven sprinklers that are built specifically for sports fields. After this has all taken place, one can now implement the final leveling. The final leveling is an exact mirror image sloping design provided by the architect. The reason for this mirror imaging is to ensure that the exact depths are maintained throughout the playing field in order to promote exact compaction, drainage and growth. One can now begin the installation of grass. In Fun Valley, we installed Kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum). The grass was harvested at our supplier and transported to the field. It was then planted by hand. The planting of instant grass sods will ensure quicker establishment.


Maintenance Dependent on the season the grass is planted, in summer we expect the field to reach full maturity in four months. During this time, a rigorous mowing, irrigation and fertiliser programme is followed. The fertiliser varieties and applications will vary from time to time, but will always benefit the plant by ensuring the correct nutrients are provided. Correct maintenance is vital for the successful completion of the construction process. Mowing The pitch will be mowed twice a week at a growing height of 30 - 32mm, and will be maintained at this height during off-seasons and non-week games. During playing season, the pitch will be cut to a playing height of 25 27mm to ensure quick and smooth ball roll and an even playing surface. Field preparation for matches Prior to each game, the pitch will be cut in both directions and the lines will be marked in order to be aesthetically pleasing for the spectators and players. Goal nets will be dropped and tensioned. Corner flags will be brought out and put in place. The pitch will then either be watered before warm-up or game start depending on player and coach feedback. Training of local staff Local staff will be included in the field construction process in order to understand the structure and functioning of the pitch and trained to solve problems that may

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Protea cylinder mowers Tandem push mowers Backlapping machine Stihl brushcutter Back pack spray rig Back pack blower Line marking machine Box general tools Line marking paint Marking line-wire and anchor pins Backlapping paste Walk-behind fertiliser spreader General hand tools, like spades, rakes, digging forks, wheelbarrows, etc.

Ad-Hoc equipment which can also be useful, include: • Landini tractor (fitted with turf tyres) • Amazone groundskeeper (for dethatching purposes) • Topdressor (for large-scale topdressing purposes) • 500litre sprayrig (for large scape soluble applications) • Aerator and/or agrivator (for alleviation of compacted playing surfaces)

arise. The staff will be taught about cutting, watering, marking and fertilising. The correct usage of equipment will be shown, as well as the requirements for the maintenance of the pitch. All these practices will enable them to produce and maintain a world class pitch. At Francistown Stadium, there are three staff members that work on site six days a week.






ith the focus on reducing our reliance on natural resources, accompanied by a demand for improved lighting for high definition television cameras and enhanced spectator experiences, sports field lighting has evolved significantly over the past decade. Maritz Electrical is at the forefront of a sports field lighting revolution having installed a number of industry firsts. With St. George’s Cricket Ground, Coetzenburg Athletics field and the Western Province Cricket Club’s main hockey field being three of the first fields of their kind to boast new Musco LED lighting systems, South Africa’s sport is firmly in the spotlight. St. George’s Park cricket ground The arrival of international Super League T20 Cricket in South Africa saw St. George’s Park Cricket revamping its stadium lighting, becoming the first LED-lit cricket stadium in the world using the Musco system, which included a theatrical lighting component. Maritz Electrical’s new CEO, Franco Botha adds that one of the stand-out features of the St. George’s Park lighting installation is the DMX controls solution that allows for individual light control and remote monitoring of the

entire system to ensure its operational integrity. The DMX system creates fan engagement opportunities that were not possible with metal halide technology, with the ability to link multiple media platforms such as audio, scoreboards and LED ribbon displays. DMX allows for the creation of bespoke choreographed light and music shows as well as special effects that are triggered when a boundary is hit or a wicket falls, thus adding to the overall atmosphere and excitement of the event. Musco TLC for LED solutions are currently used at stadiums across the globe, including Wembley Stadium, The San Siro, Twickenham, Somerset Cricket Ground and 14 Premier League Stadiums including Arsenal and Tottenham. The system offers significantly reduced maintenance and energy costs and an industry leading lighting performance guarantee of up to 10 years. The new system meets the ICC and CSA specified lighting level of 2500 lux (vertical) on the wicket and 1800 lux (vertical) in the outfield. Vertical lighting levels needed are specified for televised matches and especially for high definition television cameras. These levels are higher due to the small ball travelling at high speeds and super slow-motion television cameras used to show run-outs

and close-ups requiring higher lighting levels that also complements theatrics associated with super league cricket. Coetzenburg athletics stadium When it comes to athletics in South Africa, few of us dispute that Coetzenburg is a preferred stadium for athletes around the world, for off-season training and to compete as well. Maritz Electrical installed an LED Musco lighting system, as part of the stadiums upgrade, bringing a new dimension to stadium lighting at Coetzenburg, Stellenbosch University, and the first of its kind at an athletics stadium in South Africa. Installation of the masts takes precise planning from an advanced Musco computerised set-up to ensure that, once installed, all areas of the track and field are sufficiently lit to the required lux levels. The demand from athletes and broadcasters for cutting-edge tracks has resulted in stadium upgrades that include lighting at lux levels for high definition broadcasting, and to enhance spectator experience and athlete performance. The installation comprises five masts, with a predetermined number of lights, and lighting



along the main grandstand roof, each positioned precisely to produce lux levels suitable for HD cameras. Coetzenburg’s system offers sufficient lux levels • Lux levels: 850lx on the track, and 500lx on the field, sufficient for HD television cameras. •

128 Musco fixtures installed around the track; 107 Musco TLC LED 1150 (1150w) installed on five masts and 21 Musco TLC LED 600 (580w) roof mounts on grandstand.

Three masts accommodate Vodacom, MTN and Cell C antennae and equipment.

The system, controlled by Musco’s multi-watt function, allows for lighting to be dimmed or set to three different power levels – 30%, 50% and 100%.

A 10-year warrantee on the lights, vastly reducing maintenance costs.

Western province cricket club’s hockey field Following on the heels of St. George’s Park and Coetzenburg is WPCC’s hockey field, another first for SA; the first sporting club with a state-of-theart International Hockey Federation (FIH) standard LED lighting system bringing international standards to hockey at club level. The installation at WPPC hockey field includes 24 TLC LED 1200-1230w to 5700k fixtures, installed on existing poles, giving an average lux level of 500lux from an eight-pole system. LED is now a world standard across all sporting codes. The benefits are key drivers, the most important being a considerable reduction in energy demand, on top of flexibility that LED offers. Instant on and off features, together with various dimming settings, and if needed, theatrical options, allow for myriad options. Botha concludes: “It is exciting to see sports fields taking the step to enhance experiences for players and spectators. With lighting offering international standards, and placing less reliance on our energy resources, LED is a preferred choice for clubs across the world.” On top of these installations, Maritz Electrical has installed similar lighting systems at numerous community fields across the Western Cape bringing the benefits of LED and other lighting systems to community sports fields.


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

“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



he global water crisis is at the forefront of discussions by the government and measures of efficient ways to conserve water are paramount. Even a golf course which harvests its own water or reclaims it, the water is ultimately used for irrigation and is therefore under the spotlight of the government and conservationists. Professional golf course irrigation system design is the key factor to ensuring that these stringent requirements are met as outlined below. Considerations for golf course irrigation design and technology: •


Sprinklers need to be placed in strategic positions to cover only what requires watering, and nozzled specifically to provide an even distribution and matched precipitation rate of water during a cycle. Site determining factors of graphical position; climatic conditions; which types of top/sub-soils; types of turf species are prevalent, will all needed to be taken into consideration during the design phases.

Other site characteristics and important factors which need to be included are aspect to the sun; hill slopes; degrees of shade; wind exposed areas, etc.

The irrigation system design must be designed to match the peak demand within the client’s required watering window.

A high quality, in-line hydraulic self-cleaning screen filtration system is paramount to good water quality.

Improving pond water quality is also a good practice and can be enhanced with professional sub-surface or surface aerators.

Automation of the system via decoder control enables system monitoring, daily feedback reports to the central computer and advanced diagnostic testing. In addition, system expansion is simply done by connecting to existing control cable and programme.

Integrated central control software should be accessible via smart phones and/or iPad for ease of on-site maintenance management.

Surveyed and recorded as-built drawings of the system must be provided, this enables for ease of future maintenance and system addon or alterations.

All sprinklers should be totally top serviceable, eliminating the unnecessary need to excavate around sprinklers for maintenance purposes. All control zone valves should be pressure regulated to ensure that every zone is applying the same precipitation rate. Specifically, where they are operating on higher or lower elevations in relation to the water pumping source. Pumping systems should be controlled by variable speed drives to provide the correct pressure and flow as demanded by the irrigation system at any given time. This ensures that only the required amount of

energy is used depending on demand from the irrigation system.

F E AT U R E Common measures of system performance used in irrigation audits are as follows: •

Coefficient of Uniformity (CU). CU measures system performance by how widely a system varies in distribution. A CU of 100% means that a system is uniform. A CU of 84% or better is considered acceptable for high value products. Because the CU is calculated with the absolute value of the deviations, the score does not indicate whether the system is over or under-watering. In addition, the score does not indicate what section of the area tested is not performing. Distribution Uniformity of the Lowest Quartile (DULQ). The most commonly used calculation to determine uniformity of a sprinkler layout, DULQ is the ratio of the average measurements in the lowest 25% of samples to the overall average of all samples expressed as a percentage. For example, a DULQ of 60% means that the lowest 25% of the samples measured only received 60% of the average water applied. Some resources suggest that a DULQ of 65% or less is poor, 75% is good, and 85% or more is excellent. Scheduling Coefficient (SC): measures the average water applied to the driest, most critical areas of an area under test and compares to the average. An SC of 100% implies the distribution is uniform. An SC of 120% indicates that the average was 120% more water applied than the driest area. The SC is often used to adjust run times to ensure that the driest areas receive the required scheduled water replacement. The disadvantage of this method is that all other areas receive 20% too much water, increasing the risk of run-off and leaching.

Have a drought emergency plan on hand to balance critical golf course water demands when water recourses become minimal.

Avoid over-irrigating golf courses in spring. A continually saturated soil at the root zone prevents the development of a deep, fibrous root system, which will make it difficult for the turf to survive the summer heat without extra irrigation.

Automate your irrigation system via an integrated computerised management system. Incorporate a weather station to your system which will assist in daily irrigation replacement needs and also manage the system to minimise watering depending on climatic conditions – it will shut down system during rain, etc.

Internet link from the system to the course superintendent mobile or iPad ensures close management of the system even if not on the course.

Andy Blake, head of golf course irrigation design for the Turfmanzi Irrigation Company

The critical management practices for golf course irrigation: •

Avoid irrigating during the heat of the day and/or when it is very windy.

Regularly analyse and manage soil conditions around the course to ensure no hydrophobic circumstances are present.

Reduce irrigation in secondary rough areas and if possible, eliminate watering completely in non-play areas.

Apply water as consistently as possible depending on soil conditions and grass type.

Apply water only as quickly as the soil can accept it – use short duration cycles to avoid puddling and run-off.



COMPANY PROFILE: Water Dimensions International forms part of the WDI group of companies, based in South Africa. With more than 35 years' combined experience in the general water treatment industry, they operate nationally and internationally, providing turnkey solutions for both small and large-scale modular and packaged and custom build projects.


DI was established in 2015 after the founding members, Adam Kriel and Herman van der Mast found that there was a great need for this service and decided to create a niche company able to deal with the complexities of commercial swimming pools and aqua parks as well as for the production of effective water-treatment plants. Adam and Herman each still have other business interests that are aligned with WDI and their knowledge and sharing of skills enables them to take on challenging and complicated projects. Pro Landscaper profiles Water Dimensions International in this edition, to find out all about the company’s offerings to our industry and take a look at some of their iconic projects.


Q: How many companies fall under Water

Dimensions International and what do they each do?

A: There are three major companies that fall under this title, and they are:

Water Dimensions International: A company of water-treatment and filtration experts specialising in the design, manufacturing and installation of water-treatment, filtration and sanitisation plants for potable water, water to water, process to water and of course dealing with commercial swimming pools and aqua parks. BD Pool Services: It was founded in 2001 and essentially deals with the civils and building aspects of the swimming pools with over 30-years experience in the industry. Container Creations: It was established in 2017 and deals with in-house conversion of shipping containers for use as plant-rooms for our watertreatment plants and converted for use as school toilets for rural schools. Water Dimensions Zimbabwe, founded most recently, offers the

same service as WDI, but within Zimbabwe. This means we have partners in Zimbabwe with whom we operate.

Q: Would you describe your work as a turnkey service?

A: We are totally turnkey! From a full design

service with CAD drawings and integration with the architectural and engineering design of the facility, to the specification of the correct equipment, the sourcing of specialised finishes and the build and installation as necessary. We do it all.

Q: What is the main market you service? A: While we operate in both the water

purification sector as well as that of pools, we have had great success – off the back of our existing client base – in the commercial swimming pool market.

Q: How many members are there in your team and what are the various roles these team members take on in the company?

A: The company, as a group, employs a team

F E AT U R E of 50 full-time staff and we have specialised teams that attend to very specific aspects of each project, such as piping and filtration installation, manufacturing of the packaged-treatment plants, electrical, waterproofing, plaster, tiling and PVC-Membrane linings, for example. We have a contracts manager who oversees site-based projects, and a SHEQ manager that always ensures we stay compliant with the OSH Act, etc.

Q: As a part of our sports and play issue, what

are some interesting projects you’ve worked on that relate to play parks and watersports?

A: There are so many and we have been very fortunate to be involved in several prestigious projects. Some include:

Adil Water World in Maputo, where we did all of the pools and the lazy river. St David’s Marist College, where we did its FINA Spec Water polo pool. St Mary’s School for Girls, where we rebuilt and did the PVC-Membrane lining of their Olympic pool. Central Square, Sandown was a great project as the pool sits on the 20th floor of the building. River Lodge, Zambia, where the lodge pool is cantilevered over the Zambezi river with one endwall of the pool being a ±5m x 1,5m acrylic panel. De La Salle College, the pools for the Gavan Ryan Aquatic Centre – 25 x 25m main pool and a learnto-swim pool. Kings School West Rand, where we did the pools for their swimming pool complex – 25 x 16.5m main pool, plus a learn-to-swim pool. St Andrew’s School for Girls, where we constructed an indoor gala pool. Houghton Hotel, and all the pools for this 6-Star hotel development as well as the spa. Steyn City Aquatic Centre, where we were involved in all of the finishings (plaster and tiling) of this indoor aquatic centre King Edward VII School (KES), an on-the-go project comprising two indoor pools being a 28 x 25m water polo pool and a 25 x 15m warm-up pool.

Q: What makes a good pool in your opinion? A: Critical to a well-made and executed pool is

good planning and attention to detail, especially with regards to engineering principals. This offers a sound structure and effective, correctly designed and specified filtration and water-treatment to ensure bather comfort and cost-effective maintenance. A commercial pool is not as we have


F E AT U R E heard said, just simply a lot of domestic pools lumped together.

Q: What are some of your favourite

developments that you have been involved in over the past five years and why?

A: Like most companies, it’s always those

challenging projects that strike us as the most interesting and rewarding. The Houghton Hotel, as published in last month’s Pro Landscaper, was a great project because we had to find ways to make the architect’s vision a reality. The vision in a drawing can be deceiving as it is often perceived to be easier than in practice, at the end of the day, there is always a solution. Whenever and however you find it, it is very rewarding! This will always be one of our favourite projects. As far as schools go, they are all favourites as the joy we see, when the pool is handed over and 300 plus kids get to swim, is awesome.

Q: How is a project realised? A: The first question to ask is why? Why a

pool? Then, what is the primary use? This may sound a silly question but the design of the pool is dependent on the answer. There is a big difference between a pool designed just for swimming galas or recreational use, and one that is designed for water polo or a multi-purpose pool. And then the question as to whether the pool needs to be FINA Compliant or not. The second factor is the placing of the pool within the school grounds or premises, this is

normally an architectural requirement after careful spatial planning. This is the structural and hydraulic design leading to the plantroom design, layout-drawings and detailed specifications. The selection of the contract type and the carefully selected contractor is the next factor, and then, to ensure a well executed and completed project, the oversite and project management needs to be done. Developers and schools must ensure they have someone with knowledge of commercial pools overseeing the project to avoid the inevitable issues that may come with lack of experience.

Q: Is it true that all of the magic happens in the pump room?

A: A pool with a poorly designed hydraulic and

filtration system will be a problem pool, point blank. It is essential that the water is filtered and treated correctly within the DIN standards and parameters required for a commercial swimming pool. This point cannot be emphasised enough as poor design here will lead to higher operating cost and a lot of downtime of the pool when the water quality goes downhill – and it will. If designed and installed correctly the operator will have to spend less time in the pump room than he will actually cleaning the pool itself.

Q: What are most of your pools made from? A: Gunite is a method of pneumatically applying a sand and cement, usually seen in a residential setting. For a commercial pool however, it is preferable to build an off-shutter concrete

structure with the necessary waterproofing additives in the concrete-mix. All pools, no matter the type of finish, which could be ‘marblite’ (marble pool plaster), fibreglass, tiles or PVCMembrane lining, it must have a sound structure to start with. We offer and apply ‘marblite, fibreglass, a fully tiled pool or one that is PVCMembrane lined, all depending on the use of the pool and of course the client’s requirement.

Q: Who generally would commission WDI onto a project?

A: We generally do quite a bit of work with

the architects, landscape architect, structural engineer, wet-services engineer or the project manager. However, we have had schools that have commissioned us at the outset to be the design consultant, and then after seeing our workmanship, elected to negotiate for the design and supply.

Q: Future plans for the WDI team? A: We are expanding our footprint into Africa

with some projects under discussion in Botswana, Zambia and Angola at the moment which is very exciting. We've partnered with several suppliers to use specialised equipment, and we constantly strive to improve our offering and service levels. Adam and Herman are both members of the Institute of Swimming Pool Engineers based in the UK and we, and our staff, undergo regular product training to stay current. WDI is also a registered electrical contractor so we are able to do all our own internal electrical work and issue the requisite Certificate of Compliance. There are many exciting things on the go, and we look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.

C O N TA C T WAT E R D I M E N S I O N S I N T E R N AT I O N A L : Office: +27 11 672 1406 Adam Kriel: +27 83 448 8283 Herman van de Mast: +27 82 600 0385 Physical Address: 95-2A Erasmus Road, Raslouw, Centurion


For more information on our Products see: Brandon: 082 804 7983

Turf fertilisers are a key part of a feed programme - for Repair, Renovation & Grass Care. Need help choosing the right fertiliser? Our grass seeds and fertilizers make golf greens faster, sports pitches stronger and parks greener. Whatever the demands are, we have an answer. Kiki Trading offers value for money, quality products and expertise.

Water Purification & Commercial Pool Specialists Adam Kriel 083 448 8283 | Herman van der Mast 082 600 0385 |

MACSRUBBER is a matting company specializing in the manufacture and installation of safety rubber matting and the installation of artificial turf. There are many areas that would benefit from their innovative concepts although their work is predominantly seen in Municipal Play Parks where it reduces the risk of fatal injury in children during play.


Saxonwold Road, Klein Dassenberg 082 804 2241 |



s the effects of the coronavirus ravages across our country, it is important to reflect on the importance of safety in society and how child safety is now of paramount importance more than ever before. When we take our children to a playground to play on the play equipment, it is our responsibility as custodians to ensure that the equipment and the safety flooring is safe for our kids to play on in case of a fall.








Playsafe, a division of Seamless Flooring Systems is the leading playground safety flooring brand in South Africa. The Playsafe brand comprises of the most comprehensive range of local and imported playground safety flooring systems.

The biggest seller and most popular safety rubber flooring system for playgrounds are the Playsafe Impact Protection Slabs. The Playground Impact Protection Slabs allow children to play happily without the risk of injury. The impact protection DIY slabs are a cost effective option for playground surfaces and are simple to install, and can be done at home without professional assistance. They come with integrated connector pins which secure the slabs when installed in a T-joint configuration, thus protecting against accidental movement and theft. The rubber used in the impact protection slabs is completely traceable, right down to each individual slab, by using production codes.

Seamless Flooring Systems has been in existence since 2003 and is involved in product innovation, development, manufacture and distribution as well as applicator training, and is committed to ensuring that its products are correctly installed. Seamless Flooring Systems is not an installation company, but rather it trains and supplies the playground and landscaping industry and installers with its products.

Their safety compliance certificate is almost immediate when the impact protection slab is paired to the correct fall height of any playground. Impact Protection Slabs are available in a variety of thickness from 25mm to 90mm. Impact Protection Slabs allow children to play happily without the risk of injury, and give parents and educators peace of mind in terms of safety compliance. Playsafe wet pour is a flooring system that is mixed on site, combining specially developed resins with rubber. The rubber is hand-trowelled onto the surface, to a specified thickness, depending on the requirements of the project. The end result is a seamless surface that can incorporate patterns. Wet pour can be applied using either SBR or EPDM rubber or a combination of SBR for the cushion layer and EPDM for the wear layer. The system feels smooth and soft underfoot, cushioning the body joints, while also being incredibly durable. The latest innovation from Seamless Flooring Systems is the SPECTRA range of coloured


SBR granules. There are only a few companies worldwide that have the technology to colour SBR rubber and SFS is the only company in Africa with this colouring technology. SpectraRubberTM and SpectraInfillTM rubber granules are produced from fully recycled SBR rubber, which is processed, classified and graded for granulated and shred rubber. Using its licenced and patented colouring technique, each granule is fully encapsulated in a UV stable and colour-fast pigmented polyurethane. Seamless Flooring Systems distributes the Playsafe interlocking tiles, Playsafe playground accessories and games, Polyurethane primers and binders, recycled SBR rubber shred and crumb, SpectraRubber pre-coloured recycled SBR rubber shred and crumb, SpectraMulch coloured rubber mulch and EPDM coloured rubber direct to the public or to trained installers. Seamless Flooring Systems is on a “PLAYSAFE – STAYSAFE” drive in 2020 to grow the playground installer base throughout South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa. “There is a huge market for correctly specified and correctly installed playground flooring” says Jeremy Stewart, owner of Seamless Flooring and Chairman of SASPI (South African Sports and Play Industry). Please contact SFS directly should you wish to enrol for training at either the Cape Town or Johannesburg offices.

Making playgrounds safer... Playsafe safety playground flooring offers real shock absorption and significantly reduces the risk of fall-related injuries. • • • • • • • • • •

Excellent shock absorption with high elasticity Held together with integrated connector pins Smooth and soft playground flooring Critical Fall Height (CFH) legislation compliant Suitable for indoor or outdoor areas (UV stable) PlaySafe is available in standard and bright EPDM colours Ideal for children’s playgrounds, aquatic theme parks and landscaping Wide variety of peripheral rubber playground accessories available Quick and easy to install ( D.I.Y) Allows children to play without risk of injury PlaySafe is a brand of PlaySafe is a brand of

National Tel: 086 178 2789 E-mail:

Planet Fitness O LY M P U S



Size: 6,000m2 Date completed: February 2019 Cost: R50 million in total Location: Olympus, Pretoria East Client: Planet Fitness


ccording to Greek mythology, "Olympus" was the name of the home of the Twelve Olympian gods of the ancient Greek world. Olympus, in the east of Pretoria, was developed from agricultural land into a residential suburb in the early 2000s, now home to the training grounds for future Olympians. Over the past 20 years, this area has developed and densified with a mix of townhouse complexes, residential estates and freehold homes. This Planet Fitness project is viewed as part of the next phase of the development or ‘settling in’ of the suburb, where ancillary functions to the predominantly residential grain become viable – retail, offices, schools, and in this case, leisure. The conceptual idea and inspiration for the design of this project was to focus on the outside, the views, sunlight, shadows, time of day and the general context. Exercising outdoors may improve energy levels and decrease stress to a greater extent than working out inside, but if your habitat is more concrete jungle than open landscape, this fitness centre provides all the internal functional spaces and facilities, but directs awareness and connection to the world outside. A defining aspect of our city’s ‘new suburbs’ is the isolated and abandoned streetscapes. Most of the development is hidden behind a protective layer of solid boundary walls with controlled security access points. With this project, which represents one of the first ‘public’ buildings in the suburb, the entire building opens, visually, toward the street. The internal spaces allow engagement toward the sidewalk, the street and the world beyond, while also allowing public connection back into the constantly moving and active internal areas which now form part of the sidewalk, and by implication, the suburb.

“Streets and their sidewalks, the main public spaces of a city, are its most vital organs.” – Jane Jacobs

This building is completely outward focused in all its primary functions, but at the same time, it is a strong new presence in a growing suburb and if we measure the health of a community by the



vitality of its streets then this project has already contributed to the daily life of the residents – not only by enriching the visual character and atmosphere, but also by allowing pedestrian ‘life’ on a street where previously only cars were seen. “Chaos was the law of nature, Order was the dream of man.” – Henry Adams A view from the top The open rooftop running track and the expansive glazed north façade of the building allowed the opportunity to visually and emotionally connect the protected interior spaces to the world outside, allowing all visitors to the gym to have full awareness of where they are and have a ‘knowing’ of ideas like time of day, the weather, sunlight and all the subtle bits of information that binds us to our unique South African context. A large training facility such as a Planet Fitness Gym claims approximately 2,000 m² floor space on ground level, combined with vehicle parking facilities and various other ancillary services this

MEET THE TEAM Architects: W Design Architecture Studio Main architects: Johan Wentzel and Grete van As Main contractor: W.F. Kroon Projects Tenant installation architects: TC RPv Landscaper: Tree Traders and Intlé Garden Creation Photographer: Jamie Thom for W Design

buildings footprint fills a 6,000m² stand with very little room to spare. The building is positioned as close as possible to the street which enabled us to approach the planning as an ‘extension’ of the suburban sidewalk – on all levels of the structure via the large atrium space – adding life and activity to an otherwise abandoned streetscape. The fully transparent building spills out onto the public sidewalk and provides not only visual entertainment and life for the occupants, but a community presence and security for the immediate context. The Landscaping The landscaping was approached as a ‘refined’ version of the indigenous vegetation found in the area, rocky mounds covered with veldgrasses in combination with Aloe marlothii, Black Karee (Rhus lancea), Wild Olive (Olea Europaea Africana), Bushwillow (Combretum krausii) and Buddleja saligna trees. It is important to note that the landscaping not only serves this project

and building but serves to create an ‘island’ of greenery and life in an otherwise ‘abandoned’ street – behind a series of security boundary walls – hopefully setting the trend in motion for future development to include the public realm into their respective project. The roof space is conceptually seen as ‘replacing’ that which the building has removed from the natural open space – the full footprint of the structure is provided as an elevated, exterior, open landscape with artificial lawn and crumbed rubber surfaces – all framed with a series of sculptural lights which almost frames the space, like a theatre at night. An indoor running track is part of the standard Planet Fitness list of requirements and in this project it was possible to relocate the running track to the roof in combination with various other outdoor training functions – all perched on the edge of the Bronberg mountain with expansive views over the Eastern Suburbs and CBD of Pretoria.

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A Township




Completed: March 2020 Location: Khayelitsha, Western Cape Cost: R4.5 million Size: 7,056m2 Made possible by: Gary Kirsten Foundation and HomeChoice


he Gary Kirsten Foundation (GKF) recently opened a R4.5 million artificial turf in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, which will be part of a Centre of Cricket Excellence at Chris Hani Secondary School. Turftech were the appointed Sports Contractor who installed a Rhino-Turf synthetic cricket pitch at Chris Hani Secondary School in a bid to create a wonderful future for the community. “Five years ago I visited Khayelitsha on a factfinding mission and I was shocked not to find one sports field in the township. It became my mission to establish first class facilities that would give kids an equal chance at the game of cricket,” said Gary Kirsten. “In two years, I look forward to Chris Hani’s U19 team playing against a privileged school on this world-class field, then we have created equal opportunities,” said Kirsten. In partnership with the then-headmaster of Chris Hani Secondary School, Madoda Mahlutshana, the first nets were built in Khayelitsha. Five years on, under the auspices of the Gary Kirsten Foundation, 400 children play cricket regularly at five school locations under the guidance of eight employed GKF coaches, where outdoor nets have been installed. A strong women’s team is also emerging and some girls have reached provincial representation. Kirsten said the funds have been raised for the complete Centre of Cricket Excellence, and construction will start on the indoor centre shortly. “This will allow the Gary Kirsten Foundation to create a world-class hub for township cricket in the region and serve the surrounding community, there will be three indoor lanes, an office and communal spaces,” he added. The artificial cricket oval – which has been made possible by the generosity of sponsors HomeChoice – is the first of its kind in the country and is ready to host local matches, events and tournaments. “Many cricketers from Khayelitsha and other townships have been identified and given scholarships and bursaries to attend privileged schools, but they are displaced from their communities.



I have a vision for local cricketers to remain in their communities, and excel at the game with support and expertise,” added Kirsten. “This was such a rewarding installation that will truly benefit South Africa’s most deserving youngsters,” said Phillip Prinsloo, sales manager for Turftech. “Every child deserves the opportunity to develop and grow through sports, with the advantage of playing on a world-class surface. The Gary Kirsten Foundation and HomeChoice have ensured the children of Khayelitsha are given this opportunity." The installation, provides the youth with a full-size, synthetic cricket oval which will form part of the Centre of Cricket Excellence programme at Chris Hani Secondary School. The pitch allows for simultaneous practice sessions and multiple matches of mini-cricket if needed. Gary Kirsten said it was a 'no brainer’ to go with Turftech’s synthetic pitch when it was decided that the project would go ahead: “This was an expensive build but the scale of

Photograph by Simon Parker


cost over 10 years sees the overall cost drop dramatically when compared to a grass field. These days synthetic turf is so advanced. It’s a beautiful outfield – not too quick – and it’s also not a cement pitch. It’s gravel-based so there’s not too much bounce. It’s as replicative of a grass surface as possible. He described Turftech as "the best in the business in South Africa" and said the decision to go with them was based on their extensive project experience. “Their passion and energy for the project was very evident from the start.” The superior playing surface and enhanced aesthetics of the Turftech installation are accompanied by long-term cost savings, as mentioned by Kirsten. With no need for resurfacing or watering needed, schools are saving on maintenance, while also benefitting from property value-enhancement associated with the surface. Although the project was activated by the GKF, this is a community project and will be run as such. Alongside Chris Hani Secondary School,

four other schools in the area will benefit from use of the turf. These schools are all participating in the GKF project, funded by the National Department of Sports and Recreation. The overall size of the project was 84 x 84m and totalled 7,056m2. The building of the pitch took place over three months, from start to finish. After this, it only takes one staff member to maintain the site. Turftech used the RhinoTurf VT25 product for the Outfield, which can accommodate cricket, recreational hockey and soccer. They also used their MT10 product for the synthetic cricket wicket. Before implementation, the site needed to be cleared of debris as well as the topsoil layer. The Turftech team faced a lot of rain, delays and also a somewhat hostile attitude from the local community due to the location of the site, so it was difficult to get them to support the project. Interestingly, no irrigation or shockpads were used for the site, as the team wanted to keep it as low maintenance as possible and not leave room for vandalisation or theft.

Photograph by Simon Parker


Size: Four five-a-side pitches – each 40 x 20m, One seven-a-side pitch – 50 x 30m Location: Pinehurst, Cape Town Cost: R3.5 million Client: Garden Cities

Q: Who was the client? And how do you usually get sourced for this type of specialised work?


earthworks company to clear the land and level it to the correct height and falls. The ground below the facility has a high clay content and therefore the engineer on the project requested that a sand layer be installed on top of the clay rich ground prior to any other layerworks. Clay onsite is not ideal, as it expands and contracts when it becomes wet and then dries out again, this can be very damaging to structure build on top of this unstable ground and so, the sand layer helps mitigate this movement.

Q: How many team members does it take to

complete an installation of this size? Is there a specialised skill each worker needs to have for these types of installations?

A: The client for this particular project, with a site A: The team usually consists of six to eight people that boasts picturesque views of Table Mountain, was Garden Cities. Synsport has a well-known reputation for building these sorts of facilities and because of that, are often asked to provide quotations for these types of developments. Sometimes we are involved with the design of the facility from the outset and other times we are sent plans and requested to provide a quotation. This is a fairly niche industry with only a few companies who truly have proper experience in executing these works. In terms of this particular project, a construction drawing was presented by Garden Cities in order for Synsport to price. Five-a-side soccer or Futsal court sizes can vary quite a bit depending on the level of the game and available space on a particular site. At the Fives Futbol Pinehurst site, we were requested to build four five-aside pitches and one larger seven-a-side court. Typically, Futsal minimum and maximum field dimensions are 20 - 25m in width, and 38 - 42m in length.

The turf installed was the GreenFields® Slide Max 40 Football Turf." Installation should not be taken lightly and each site does possess its own difficulties in terms of access, ground conditions and existing levels on the ground. The direction of the sun and wind do not play a major factor in the set out of these courts but where the site allows it, one should take cognisance of these factors.

Q: What work needed to be done to the site

prior to the installation (such as excavation, etc)?

A: In this instance, Synsport was not the principal contractor and the client appointed another bulk

per site. Other contractors responsible for the bulk earthworks and building of the clubhouse were also a team of about 10. Machinery was used where possible to limit the need for manual labour. These teams are made up of two to three highlyskilled workers who manage another two or three semi-skilled workers and two or three labourers.

Let ’s Talk Turf!

The turf installed was the GreenFields® Slide Max 40 Football Turf. GreenFields® Slide Max XQ™ fibres have been designed in the shape of a diamond. With 365 microns, GreenFields® Slide Max XQ™ can withstand frequent use for many years. This system provides the ultimate combination of advanced performance and durability with a natural visual appeal. Many synthetic turf pitches – especially public and small playing surfaces – are exposed to constant wear and get little maintenance. Because of this, XQ™ technology, developed by TenCate, is a breakthrough in polymer processing. It provides turf fibres with unprecedented split resistance. Designed as diamondshaped fibres with a ribbed surface, GreenFields® Slide Max XQ™ is the most advanced, ultra-durable turf fibre with high resilience and increased comfort and safety. PLAYING CHARACTERISTICS • High comfort and safety • High resilience • Natural look (duotone) • Fibres especially developed to withstand frequent use


Fives Futbol court at Maynard Mall

Q: Once the field is in place, is there a specific company you work with that bring it up to safety code?

A: More often than not, an engineer will be

involved in these types of builds, ensuring the design meets the required safety specifications prior to construction and throughout the process. When it comes to balustrading and safety around the pitch, Synsport has their own inhouse steel department that manufactures and installs all of the fencing and the goals according to the specifications given to us by the engineer. Should Synsport be involved from the design phase, we work closely with our preferred engineers to ensure we are meeting the required safety standards.

Q: Are there considerations and codes set out by FIFA or the FIH for these specific fields?

A: Organisations like FIFA and the FIH do

offer guidelines for these types of facilities but considering they are mostly used for social sport, clients often build these facilities according to the available space and budget.

Q: What type of maintenance plan is in place on this site?

A: Maintenance on this type of a site is far

less than that of natural turf. The tenants (Fives Futbol) carry out regular cleaning of the surfaces and inspections for any damage. Synsport usually conducts around two maintenance runs per year, which include the brushing and rejuvenating of the yarn with specialised machinery, as well as any basic repairs that may be necessary.

Q: Equipment required for the build? A: The laying of the synthetic turf requires specific tools such as specialised knives, glue-spreading tools, turf stretchers and knee kickers. Synsport is lucky enough to own an SMG Sandmatic which dumps, levels and brushes in sand and rubber infill automatically, requiring very little labour and offering a consistent finish the by-hand installation cannot achieve. SMG are world leaders in synthetic turf installation equipment and is Synsport’s preferred brand for these sorts of tools. Overall, these types of project are fantastic to work on and in this instance, Synsport has offered the client a neat, well-made set of pitches with top quality turf technology to host some epic tournaments.

Fives Futbol court at the Grand Parade



Size: Waste-to-energy plant: 41,000m2 Ski slope: 9,000m2 Green roof: 10,000m2 Nature Park: 3,000m2 Completed: 2019 Name: Copenhill / Amager Bakke Location: Copenhagen, Denmark


he iconic waste-to-energy plant ‘Copenhill’ has officially opened to the public in Copenhagen, Denmark. Designed by BIG Bjarke Ingels Group and landscape architecture firm SLA, the project – also known as ‘Amager Bakke’ – is a waste-to-energy plant with an urban recreation centre comprising a lush nature park, ski slope, hiking trail, the world’s tallest climbing wall as well as an environmental education hub. Copenhill is a 41,000m2 waste-to-energy plant that turns social infrastructure into an architectural landmark with new nature activities and high biodiversity. BIG won the international competition in 2010, broke ground in 2013, and has been developed in collaboration with SLA, AKT, Dr. Lüchinger+Mayer, Man Made Land, MOE, Rambøll, Realities:United and Topotek 1. "We are very proud to have built the most energy efficient waste-to-energy plant in the world. At the same time the plant delivers the best environmental performance with hardly any environmental emissions enameling us to have neighbours only 200 metres away and to be located less than two kilometres from the Queen's residence. Last but not least, we have succeeded in building the safest waste-to-energy plant so that local citizens and guests from all over the world can ski on the roof," says Jacob Simonsen, managing director of ARC.

Photography by Rasmus Hjortshøj


Copenhill is conceived as a public infrastructure with intended social side-effects from day one. Replacing the adjacent 50-year-old Amager Ressourcecenter (ARC), Copenhill’s new waste incinerating facilities integrate the latest


Photography by Ehrhorn Hummerston

technologies in waste treatment and energy production. Due to its location on the industrial waterfront of Amager, where raw industrial facilities have become the site for extreme sports from wakeboarding to go-kart racing, the new power plant adds new nature activities such as skiing, hiking, rock climbing and a nature park. "Copenhill is a blatant architectural expression of something that would otherwise have remained invisible. It is the cleanest waste-to-energy power plant in the world. As a power plant, Copenhill is so clean that we have been able to turn its building mass into the bedrock of the social life of the city – its façade is climbable, its roof is hikeable and its slopes are skiable. It is a crystal clear example of hedonistic sustainability – a sustainable city is not only better for the environment, it is also more enjoyable for the lives of its citizens," explains Bjarke Ingels, founder and creative director of BIG.

The internal volumes of the waste-to-energy plant are determined by the precise positioning and organisation of its machinery in height order, creating an efficient, sloping rooftop fit for a 9,000 m2 ski terrain. At the top, experts can glide down the artificial ski slope with the same length as an Olympic half-pipe, test the freestyle park or try the timed slalom course, while beginners and kids practise on the lower slopes. Skiers ascend the park from the platter lifts, carpet lifts or glass elevator for a glimpse inside the 24-hour operations of a waste-to-energy-plant. "We wanted to do more than just create a beautiful skin around the factory. We wanted to add functionality. Instead of considering the Amager Ressourcecenter (ARC) as an isolated object, we mobilise the architecture and intensify the relationship between the building and the city, expanding the existing activities in the area by turning the roof of the new ARC into a

ski slope for the citizens of Copenhagen. By proposing a new breed of waste-to-energy plant that is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable, the facility becomes part of the city and redefines the relationship between production and recreation, energy infrastructure and social infrastructure, and factory and city," says David Zahle, partner for BIG. Recreation buffs and visitors reaching the summit of Copenhill will feel the novelty of a mountain in an otherwise flat country. Nonskiers can enjoy the roof bar, cross-fit area, climbing wall or highest viewing plateau in the city before descending the 490 metre treelined hiking and running trail within a lush, mountainous nature park and terrain, designed by Danish nature designers and landscape architects SLA. Meanwhile, the 10,000m2 green roof addresses the challenging micro-climate, the 80+ metre high roof park, rewilding a


INSPIRE biodiverse landscape while absorbing heat, removing air particles and minimising stormwater runoff.

Photography by Ehrhorn Hummerston

"Copenhill’s nature roof park and hiking trail invites locals and visitors to traverse a mountainous landscape of plants, rockscapes, 7,000 bushes and 300 pine and willow trees atop the world’s cleanest waste-to-energy plant. It also acts as a generous ‘green gift’ that will radically green-up the adjacent industrial area. Copenhill becomes the home for birds, bees, butterflies and flowers, creating a vibrant green pocket and forming a completely new urban ecosystem for the city of Copenhagen," says Rasmus Astrup, partner and design principal for SLA. Creating a nature-filled and green activity park on top of an 88 metre-tall waste-to-energy plant is something that has never been realised before. The (up to) 45 degrees steep slope of the roof poses great requirements for plant and landscape design, and the complicated wind and weather conditions create difficult living conditions for trees and plants. The heat from the large energy boilers under the roof has had to be handled to solve the many challenges of the project, so SLA has devised several nature-based design solutions and tested different types of vegetation and materials.

Illustration by SLA

The different types of habitat are specially selected to meet the nature park's challenging living conditions and to provide optimal microclimate and wind conditions for the visitors on the roof. The result is a wild, lush and hardy nature design that allows for the use of the roof park year-round, while creating a sensuousness and varied environment for all nature activities on the hill. Beneath the slopes and nature roof park, whirring furnaces, steam, and turbines convert 440,000 tons of waste annually into enough clean energy to deliver electricity and district heating for 100,000 homes. The necessities of the power plant to complete this task, from ventilation shafts to air intakes, help create the varied topography of a mountain; a man-made landscape created in the encounter between the needs from below and the desires from above. Ten floors of administrative space are occupied by the ARC team, including a 600m2 education centre for academic tours, workshops and sustainability conferences. Rather than consider ARC as an isolated architectural object, the building envelope is conceived as an opportunity for the local context while forming a destination and a reflection on the progressive vision of the company. Copenhill’s continuous façade comprises 1.2 metre-tall and 3.3 metre-wide aluminum bricks stacked like


Photography by Ehrhorn Hummerston


gigantic bricks overlapping with each other. Inbetween, glazed windows allow daylight to reach deep inside the facility, while larger openings on the southwest façade illuminate workstations on the administrative floors. On the longest vertical façade, an 85 metre climbing wall is installed to be the tallest artificial climbing wall in the world for new world records to be broken with views inside the factory.

we want to live in. My son turns one next month – he won’t ever remember that there was a time when you couldn’t ski on the roof of the power plant or climb its façades. He will take that for granted, and so will his entire generation. Clean energy and skiable power plants is going be the baseline of their imagination, the platform from which they will leap and propose new and wild ideas for their future.

"To me Copenhill is a perfect example of the world changing the power of architecture. We have the power to give form to the future that

"Standing at the peak of this humanmade mountain that we have spent the last decade creating makes me curious and excited to see


what ideas this summit may spark in the minds of future generations," explains Bjarke Ingels, founder and creative director of BIG. At the bottom of the ski slope, a 600m2 après-ski bar welcomes locals and visitors to wind down once the boots are off. Formerly a piece of infrastructure in an industrial zone, Copenhill becomes the new green destination for families, friends and celebration, one that is economically, environmentally and socially profitable. Photography by Laurian Ghinitoiu

Client: Amager Ressourcecenter (ARC) and Fonden Amager Bakke Area: 41,000m2 building and 3,000m2 nature park Architect: Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) Landscape architect: SLA Bjarke Ingels Group: Partners in charge: Bjarke Ingels, David Zahle, Jakob Lange and Brian Yang Project leaders: Jesper Boye Andersen, Nanna Gyldholm Møller and Claus Hermansen SLA: Partner in charge: Rasmus Astrup Project leader: Rasmus Grandelag



Pitch Perfect

Steyn City School Hockey Pitch

Pitch size: 5,917m2 Location: Steyn City, Johannesburg Timeline: 6 months, completed November 2019 Cost: R7.6 million Client: Steyn City School


teyn City School was established within the renowned Steyn City Development in 2017, and has a unique view in that sport is far more than merely an after-school activity. Aside from the new state of the art school premises, Steyn City School’s sports field is where many children learn about fair competition, self-management, self-discipline, and collaborating with others as a team, all the while honing fine and gross motor skills and developing physical strength. In addition, students are introduced to a variety of lifestyle sports that will remain with them once they enter the world of work. They take full advantage of the facilities in the Steyn City Parkland and this includes trail-running, mountain-biking, golf, and equestrian pursuits.


The school’s latest addition to their brilliant sports grounds and offerings, is an FIH standard Hockey Pitch recently designed and installed by Africa United. Here, we look at what goes into delivering a pitch of this magnitude. Steyn City School was looking into taking their sports facilities to the next level, and Africa United first came across this project when they were approached by Metrum. The project managers were appointed by Steyn City School to draw up a full specified bill of quantities for construction of a water-based astro hockey pitch. The specification in the bill of quantities stated that this project will be a turnkey, in-house full design and construction project. Africa United were ready for this task, and designed all aspects of the astro hockey pitch. After considerations, detailed designs were handed in to Metrum for approval by the client. Once all the designs were approved, Africa United had them signed

off and then manufacturing and fabrication could commence. The tunkey service included the following aspects: Turf; fencing options; fixed goals; fold-away practice goals; an automated pop-up irrigation system, as well as a full design of the hockey pitch.

Q: What preparation needed to be done to the site prior to the installation?

A: The main contractor WBHO did the bulk

earthworks on site, as they were appointed by the client to do so. Even though this meant we were supplied with a 'flat' surface, there was still a lot of work to do, as leveling on a hockey pitch is of very high importance – these levels need to be 100%. This is one of the key aspects to these builds. We did something called laser leveling on the field, making sure that the levels were 100%


Quick Facts about the Pitch

before we could start prepping the field for the e-layer.

Q: How many staff members does it take to

complete an installation of this size? Is there a specialized skill each worker needs to have for these types of installations?

A: Each staff member is trained to do a specific task and they are skilled in this job. In this case, we had 12 of our own staff members who had a variety of skill sets to make this build a success. We also reached out into the community and appointed five local labourers to join the team and to upskill. Our staff were sharing their skills with the local labourers, and we had extra help with the build, which benefitted all parties.

Q: What type of maintenance plan is in place on this site?

A: Steyn City School was supplied with a

triangular brush – made specifically for this pitch

– as well as a full maintenance manual to ensure that their in-house maintenance team is fully equipped for maintenance on this field.

This is a water-based hockey pitch.

Constructed with a 15mm e-layer – this layer is a rubberised shock pad, that is installed underneath the turf.

Turf used: Desso Sportilux Smart WB Synthetic Turf, imported from Germany.

Pile weight of > 2000g/m2 and FIH Lab Report.

Fully automated irrigation system installed with ST Hunter Pop-up sprinklers; including all piping and VSD pump system, also including all automation and control equipment with 20,000 litres of storage capacity, including tanks.

In-house manufacturing of fold-away practice goals, fixed goals, fencing and poles as well as netting installed around the pitch.

Installation of 12m high, foldable, light masts with 1500Mwh – fully installed with DB board and all necessary cabling.

Africa United’s maintenance team is also available to Steyn City, should they require assistance.

Q: Are there specific considerations set out by FIH for these specific fields?

A: The pitch needs to be built to FIH standards. This means that the base – before elastic layer was installed – had to be signed off by the turf supplier to make sure that we qualified within the FIH specification range. Once the base was signed off, we had to carefully install the elastic layer as well as the astro turf. The astro turf product we used, Desso, supplied the client with a certification stating that the turf is approved on an FIH specification.



Sporturf South Africa




Photograph by Stefan Jacobs


A Dream, Realised! We catch up with Lawden Holmes, architect and project co-ordinator on the Eyethu Hout Bay Skate Park, previously featured in our journal section of our June 2019 issue, to find out all about the implementation of this community project and the benefits of the project on the people of Hout Bay.


he Eyethu Hout Bay Skate Park is a 960m2 community-driven and community-designed skate park, situated at the gateway of Hout Bay and at the confluence point of various neighbourhoods, coming together for use of the social amenities. It is developed at the core of a larger public space that includes a multipurpose sport field, a community hall, and a future public family park. The project is unique as it is a privately developed public space on city-owned land driven by a grassroots initiative, which is one of the first of its kind in Cape Town. The skate park offers a unique opportunity for social integration to be fostered amongst its diverse user groups that spearheaded the project whilst an ever-growing skate community persisted. This guaranteed a success to the project at its inception, knowing that the delivery of a public space would have community buy-in and ownership from a social perspective. This skate park community and skate leaders come from three neighborhoods scattered across Hout Bay. The settlement named Imizamo Yethu is adjacent to the skate park, Hangberg is located across the bay, and the Valley is nestled at the centre of Hout Bay. Notably these three neighborhoods are unparalleled to one another, when considering their cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. However, the youth of these three neighbourhoods share a common interest for the love of skating and have fostered incredibly unprejudiced friendships over the years. The city applauded the initiative to take the youth off the streets and provide a much needed safe environment where the youth could not only practice their desired sport but also participate in a broader life-skills training opportunity facilitated by the after school programmes and the mentors. As such, the location of the skate park was equally important for the space to function well and safely. This became a negotiation with the city to provide us with land located near an already functioning 'community hub' that needed additional types of activity. This was to ensure the convivial nature of the public space would be used by all and survive. The design was done through a process of community participation workshops


Photograph by Tim Eccles


Photograph by Astrid Grosser

with the leading skaters. This approach ensured that there were no lines of collision amongst users, as well designing areas of opportunity for varying levels of skating progression. The design emphasises interactive spectatorship whereby the architect proposed wide, raised and flat platforms adjacent to the ramps, which allows the younger youth from the neighbouring communities to engage and learn from the more experienced skaters and spectators, thereby fostering new relationships and opportunities for mentoring. The key design element is a concrete skin draped over the compacted and shaped terrain, with expressed black steel edging on all corners. A simple, monochromatic canvas allows the vibrancy, colour and energy of the youth to be expressed within the space.

Q: From concept to delivery, do you feel that the site met your expectations?

A: Yes, the site was ideally located for diverse

community use, as well as from a safety perspective. The site (Hout Bay Sports Ground) has large user groups from soccer clubs, basketball teams, skateboarders and spectators. This provides amazing social interaction and community integration between the various user groups.

Q: Have you seen the park directly benefit the community in any aspect?

A: Yes, we have formal after-school programmes for about 30 kids from Imizamo Yethu and

Photograph by Tsevi Rosenthal

Hangberg, run by Indigo Youth Movement who set up support structures with mentors for at-risk youth. It's also seen a Hout Bay skate boarding community grow in size with a huge increase in friendships and informal mentoring. We also see frequent visitors from outside Hout Bay.

taxi-violence murder less than 15m away from the construction site. We had issues with water during the Cape Town Drought – a larger issue than would have been expected. Numerous breakings into our site office and a few run-ins with dodgy characters.

Q: Is the site fully complete? Are more changes

Q: Did you meet your project “budget”?

or additions being made?

The skate park is 100% complete and has been used extensively from June 2019. We have a landscaping plan ready to be implemented, however, we are waiting for the City Of Cape Town’s Family Park project to commence prior to implementing anything further.

Q: As a skate park, do you feel that the site meets more than just skating needs?

The skatepark and skateboarding is the tool, but the Eyethu Hout Bay skatepark set out to achieve community cohesion and integration of various neighborhoods in Hout Bay. Through the creation of large social platforms around the skatepark, we are seeing incredible social interactions between the skaters as well as spectators.

Q: Did you experience any issues during the implementation of the project?

A: We experienced numerous issues. The first

was that during our fundraising in 2017 there was a fire at Imizamo Yethu, which devastated a large part of it. A number of our children who attended our Saturday skate3 clinics were affected, and we temporarily became a disaster relief initiative to help our kids and their families. We also had a

A: No, the project ran over the stipulated

contract time and value, due to numerous unforeseeable circumstances. The project team and donors were very understanding and negotiated favorable solutions in the spirit of the project.

Q: Why do you think a skate park would

be the most beneficial public space for the community?

A: There were already numerous groups of

skateboarders from the various communities whom all needed a safe central space to enjoy their common passion. Our interest in community cohesion and safe recreational public space delivery, a skatepark was the most obvious choice.

Q: What’s the next initiative on the horizon? A: We have founded Eyethu Initiatives as a

non-profit company to consult on any future public space projects on the horizon. There are one or two projects in the pipeline which we are looking to assist with. We have experience in marketing, architecture, planning and urban design. We all have day jobs and work on Eyethu Initiatives in our spare time.



By Brogan Bradfield, planner and urban designer at dhk


e are living in an ever-growing and increasingly changing urban world. Our habitats are evolving fast, and our cities – which the majority of the world’s population live in – are transforming at a rapid rate. It is estimated that by 2050 around 70% of the world’s population will live in cities, and more of our children will be growing up in urban areas. As a result, the amount of time people, and importantly children, spend playing, moving around freely and connecting with nature become more important for their overall wellbeing. However, the freedom of natural play becomes a challenge when we consider the less desirable characteristics that urban environments possess, such as traffic, pollution, densely populated living conditions without any public spaces for respite, or contrarily, urban sprawl with little sense of place. Social implications from urban environments can further inhibit natural play because of unequal access to the city, crime and segregation, among many others. These characteristics all directly or indirectly can

discourage an individual’s interaction with the outdoors and reduce our ability for natural play to simply take place.

elements that we can experience all around, as we freely navigate our way across our urban contexts every day.

It is, therefore, understandable why our ability to connect with nature or to simply play within our urban environments become indicators for a city’s success. If cities fail to deliver well designed public spaces for play and social interaction, they risk cultural and economic impacts, as families and people move to more appealing townscapes.


In the South African urban context, with a history of segregation, it is important to transform our urban landscapes that promote social, spatial and economic integration. As such, the role of all professionals in the built environment becomes critical when championing public spaces that are well-designed and facilitate engagement with our surrounds. Our professions are an integral part of creating inclusive cities that function better for everyone. When our urban surrounds are thoughtfully designed for those who occupy the space, the environment can flourish both socially and economically. Crucially, our understanding of play should not be limited to the delivery of sports fields and playgrounds but should be incorporated in design

Unstructured and self-directed play is fun, it brings satisfaction and a sense of achievement, and is vital to our development. Play is an intrinsic and spontaneous human impulse that instinctively occurs in all of us. Children need little encouragement when it comes to playing but to solicit natural play in adults, a conducive environment and some prompting is needed. This prompting starts with a better understanding of how we use and interact with our urban contexts. Danish architect, Jan Gehl, is well known for his observations of people’s interactions in urban public spaces. Through his research, he simplified people’s outdoor activities into three distinguishable categories: necessary activities, optional activities and social activities. All three of these outdoor activities require varying degrees of urban interventions in the built environment to prompt natural play, make daily activities more enjoyable, and as a by-product, generate better urban spaces.




Necessary outdoor activities, Gehl describes as compulsory activities we generally accomplish in our daily lives. Examples include our daily commute, waiting at a bus stop or moving to school, work or shopping. A great majority of necessary activities include walking to and from destinations. Because the activity is deemed necessary, outdoor conditions rarely influence the activity from occurring. Importantly, however, urban interventions and natural play in these often ‘mundane commutes’ can still be inspired in all of us. This type of engagement or play can be a small-scale or temporary intervention that makes a daily activity more pleasant, engaging or unconventional and interesting. Whether these interventions are minor or short-lived, they effectively contribute to better environments and playful experiences. Tactical urbanism is a common design intervention that facilitates play with our surrounds. It is often an affordable solution to positively impact an urban area and is well suited in areas where necessary outdoor activities are found. Interventions can include kerbside parklets for a passer-by, playful pedestrian sidewalks and crossings, or market days and occasional events that promote cultural activity and community. Interactive wayfinding signage also contributes to an individual’s sense of place 1.


and identity, whilst public art installations can be effective for cultural expression, historical storytelling and engagement. These are a few examples that are tangible to implement, especially when budget constraints apply. Such interventions add a richness and texture to an urban context, making public spaces convivial, interesting and generally safer with more passive surveillance and foot traffic.


Optional outdoor activities are engagements that occur if the desire to participate exists and the outdoor conditions are favourable. Examples include walking outside for fresh air, sitting outdoors, or going to your local corner cafe. Greater levels of urban innovation and good urban environments are required for the nature of these activities to occur. If the surroundings are unpleasant or poor quality, spaces become bypass routes opposed to destinations and the potential for optional play is lost. When outdoor environments are well-considered, of high quality and inviting, then we often stay longer than initially intended, as the surroundings feel relational, comfortable, safe and encourage ‘lingering’, interaction and spontaneous play. Examples of interventions required for optional activities often start with inviting a mix of land uses and activities to coexist. This improves the public realm from underutilised spaces 2.

to vibrant social spaces that are attractive at different hours of the day and offer a variation of recreational activities for diverse user groups. Interactions that need to coexist well include vehicle and pedestrian movement, community and various business activities and importantly the infrastructure that is required to complement their necessary functions. If these interactions integrate well, the opportunity for desirable engagement and play is made easy and occurs more frequently.


Social outdoor activities depend on the presence of others in public spaces to spontaneously occur, as a direct consequence of people moving about and interacting in the same place. These social activities are therefore indirectly supported whenever necessary and optional outdoor activities are given better conditions in public spaces. Social activities vary according to urban scale and context too. At a neighbourhood scale, more interpersonal experiences between children playing, and neighbours engaging occurs, whilst in city centres, social activities are more visual and hearing connections take place at a more superficial level. Nevertheless, these social connections and various outdoor activities remain a vital part of our daily habits and are equally important for our urban environments to thrive, remain liveable, and to allow natural play to occur in all its forms. 3.


Sketch 1: Pedestrian Spine in a neighbourhood street with pocket parks Sketch 2: Public Piazza Square Sketch 3: Shared Streets - Public Realm between pedestrians and vehicles Sketch 4: Private Neighbourhood with Courtyard Spaces Sketch 5: Providing playful programme across large urban developments


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FOR POWERFUL PLAY By Dwain Esterhuizen, owner and playground designer at Squirrel & Co. Well designed outdoor spaces are critical to healthy communities... When done correctly, playgrounds act as community-building spaces, boosting local economies and providing opportunities to connect with others. Against a booming urban landscape, with the diminishing asset of space, they could not be more pertinent, and are by no means simply of benefit to children but to every member of society interacting with the space.

Learning Landscape Designs, Australia

Turtle Playground, St Louise


Far from being an “indulgence”, play is an activity that is essential to the health and wellbeing of every individual, with Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child recognising play as a human right, along with shelter and education. In November 2018, the Healthy Active Kids South Africa (HAKSA) 2018 report card was released. This report delivers the most recent and best available research evidence relating to the physical activity and nutrition of South African children and adolescents, ages 3-18 years old. Some concerning insights for carers of children and influencers of play in our community is the amount of time, or rather, lack of time, that our children are spending being active. According to this report, less than half of our children are achieving their required levels of physical activity, which should include at least one hour of vigorous play, in a day. In 2015, physical inactivity was underlined as a key contributor to the world’s epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) at a World Health Organisation conference: “The key behaviours that would reduce risk factors for NCDs are a healthy diet and participating in regular physical activity”. Research has shown that the more playful a space is, the greater its contribution to positive behaviour and social interactions (Scottish Government. 2013:4).

INSPIRE NOT JUST CHILD’S PLAY These findings are of course not limited to any specific age bracket, but rather transcend age, gender and physical abilities. Well designed playgrounds support the health and development of children and the community. The importance of outdoor play is not a question of if, but rather of how best do we go about creating these spaces. The principles guiding designers are no longer a game of hit-and-miss. Many developed nations have spent significant resources to understanding space, making their structures and the physical nature of play. In 2015, the London based nonprofit studio, Ludo, published a report titled The London Study of Playgrounds which presented data that had been collected from selected playgrounds in and around London over a sixmonth period. This data was compared with the data from the National Study of Neighbourhood Parks in America, which focused on cities with population densities similar to London; namely San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.

2. PLAY EVERYWHERE: Boulders, logs, plants and topographical manipulations are inexpensive but effective to generate fun activities. 3. THINK OUTSIDE THE CATALOGUE: All playgrounds should have the top five elements: grass, sand, climbing, swinging, and sliding. Water and loose parts are another plus. 4. PLAYGROUNDS ARE FOR PLAY: Fun should be prioritised over safety and maintenance. Everything on a playground should be open for play. Sculptures, gardens, benches and surfaces are all open for interpretation. 5. RISK IS A GOOD THING: The best playgrounds look dangerous but are completely safe, offering ways to play based on skill level, strength, and bravery.

7. THE SPACE MEETS COMMUNITY NEEDS: Every community has a very unique neighbourhood profile: micro economy, employment, crime, age profile, schools, entertainment facilities and outdoor hotspots. Playgrounds can provide an economic impact. 8. PROMOTES DIFFERENT AGES TO PLAY TOGETHER: Play is all about developing physical, social, emotional and cognitive skills, at all ages. Younger children learn complex concepts from older playground users and the younger user encourages caring, teaching qualities and role modelling in the older playground user. 9. ARE SUSTAINABLE AND APPROPRIATELY MAINTAINED: A well-maintained space communicates care and makes visitors feel safe. There is no such thing as maintenance-free.

The report highlights key space-making principles for successful play spaces:

Aileen Shackell, author of the internationallyrecognised book Design for Play: A Guide to Creating Successful Play Spaces adds the following five insights:

10. ALLOW FOR CHANGE AND EVOLUTION: Spaces that are designed to last while allowing evolving with the community.

1. DESIGN FOR ALL AGES AND ABILITIES: Both passive and active spaces are important, and the lines between play and park are blurred. Various types of swings and slides, boulders and tree stumps are fun for all. Consider inclusive design catering for otherwise abled individuals.

6. WELL LOCATED: Location is king. Consider topography, soil qualities, ground water, seepage, drainage of land, climate factors, modes of transport and ideal entry points with the local and broader community in mind.

Design is by default persuasive, meaning that it explores what motivates us as people, and what drives us toward action. These ten design principles provide a good foundation for a shared understanding of what works, and are therefore inherently persuasive in nature.

Regenstein Learning Campus, Chicago


INSPIRE Learning Landscape Designs, Australia

A next step would be looking at how these principles translate into play activities while considering the top play activities found in such spaces: •


CLIMBING AND BALANCING: All ages are attracted to climbing structures; boulders, mounds, walls, forts, swings, and slides. If it could possibly be climbed on, someone will try - this is a tool to be used. Everyone loves boulders, while a little topography supports a lot of play. Big hills are people magnets; great for active and passive play, comforting and great for naps. Play does not have to be manufactured and blurring the line between playground and park goes a long way. Kids crave wild edges and parents love perches. Walls and benches can be playful and fun, providing climbing and balancing opportunities, and traditional seating. A variety of places to sit allows for play to happen everywhere. SWINGING, ROCKING AND SPINNING: Swings are popular with all ages and can double as seats allowing for quiet or contemplative moments or for hanging out

on while socialising. Basket swings also promoted quiet moments or opportunity for larger groups, up to twelve, at one time. Teeter totters and various spinning opportunities do not need to be age specific. •

SLIDING: Slides double as climbing structures while able to support a dozen kids or more at a given time. They are great for two-way traffic, not only sliding down but climbing up. Slides can be great sculptural opportunities but don’t need to be elaborate to work. Don’t be afraid to use alternative materials as sliding surface like concrete or timber.

MANIPULATING: Turning, pushing, pulling and pumping. Think steering wheels on a post or a chain with a bucket to hoist and move sand.

FORTS, DENS AND TREE HOUSES: Treehouses offer opportunities for solitary, imaginative and active play. A den can launch a thousand adventures while being appropriate for adults too.

SENSORY ELEMENTS: Sound-making, reflective surfaces, colours and sculptures. These attract the attention of a wide range of audience and are well placed near or even in the midst of vigorous play areas, providing a welcome respite.

Designing for persuasion takes on a new lease on life when considering the extent and magnitude of the influence of play and public spaces. As society affirms the importance of play, not merely for play’s sake, but as a right for every person, and recognises the critical role of playgrounds, we may be well on our way towards attaining the ideal status of a healthy community".

The only representative body for, and the national voice of, the landscape industry Why become a member of SALI? • Landscaping Standards Manual • Marketing • Endorsement

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Our mission statement To improve the standing of the landscape industry and to promote the participation of all role-players in this industry in Southern African by encouraging training, higher standards, professionalism, ethical condust and social interaction through regular meetings, conferences, workshops and liaison with businesses, training and government institutions, statutory bodies, NGO’s, employer and employee organisations Members include: Landscape contractors, selected suppliers, associates, employees and students.

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ECO-SMART Landscaping “Go outside and play!!”

These four words are the underpinnings of an amazing childhood and a firm foundation upon which great sportsmen and women have honed their skills. As a youngster, having the opportunity to play outdoors in the garden with my siblings or going down to the local soccer club to kick a ball or swing a few golf clubs was absolute freedom and exhilaration to me. Outdoor spaces, such as parks and playgrounds, sports fields and golf courses fulfill an undeniable and crucial role in the development of young, impressionable minds and bodies – our future generations. And not to forget, providing peace and solitude to those of us who have all but forgotten what it feels like to sprint around an open field, emulating your favourite sporting hero or pulling moves only Clark Kent – wearing his underpants and grandmother's red table cloth – could ever achieve! In an age where actions from the past have negatively affected our natural environments,


the importance of having healthy, toxin-free sports facilities and play spaces has never been more pressing. Over the past 20 years, Talborne Organics has been formulating and producing a reputable range of internationally certified organic fertilisers that have nutrient values comparable to that of synthetic chemical fertilisers. The products are scientifically formulated to achieve the highest levels of balanced organic plant nutrition and contain four to five times the nutritional levels of compost or composted animal waste. The sports and leisure market is an area of Talborne’s business that has seen steady growth over the years. Public spaces such as parks and grounds, rugby and cricket fields (up to national level), golf courses, golf estates and eco estates have benefitted greatly from an organic approach to their maintenance and feeding programmes. Research the world over has shown that the use of synthetic chemical methods of growing

is no longer sustainable over the long term. These methods, together with the use of harsh and highly toxic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, contribute to the deterioration of our natural environment, and in turn, affect us and generations to come. It goes without saying that practices need to change in the way we install and maintain our sports facilities and outdoor play spaces. So let’s jump right in and start “Talking Talborne”! How does one use our products? And what makes them the smart choice? It all starts with the soil and having the correct balance of major, macro and minor nutrients to ensure healthy growth of all plants. South African soils are naturally deficient, weathered and ancient soils, and therefore benefit from supplemental feeding with organic fertilisers. Soil fertility and structure determines application rates. Our environmental and green credentials are confirmed by our international organic certification.


AUTUMN/ WINTER FEEDING AND PLANTING GUIDELINES FOR LANDSCAPERS The following products can be applied, per m², for both new lawns and established plantings of beds, flowering and non-flowering trees and shrubs: Organic fertiliser: 100g Vita Grow 2:3:2(16) Carbon soil conditioner: 250ml Fertilis Earthworm Castings (humus) or 3kg compost Mix into topsoil or growing medium before planting FOR ESTABLISHED LAWNS: Organic sertilizer: 40g (per m2) Vita Green 5:1:5(16) over established lawns to green leaves Carbon soil conditioner: 250ml Fertilis Earthworm Castings (humus)


They are a balanced and complete high nutrient plant food containing major, macro and minor nutrients.

Contain no synthetic chemical fertilisers or manures.

They provide a sustained nutrient release over four to six months (i.e. value for money as less applications are needed compared to synthetic fertilisers).

They do not burn, when applied correctly.

They are not water soluble, salt-based fertilisers, so do not leach and cause water pollution.

Autumn or winter feeding is encouraged as the fertiliser is released by microbial activity. The plants select the nutrients needed for their requirements. Nitrogen from synthetic fertiliser is forced into the plant through osmotic pressure (salts), thereby leading to soft leaf and tissue growth which is vulnerable to cold and frost damage in winter.

They do not kill earthworms and other beneficial soil life.

They don’t acidify the soil

The products are manufactured in a small pellet/granular form for increased ease of application

Grant Gove

At this time of lockdown, while we are faced with less opportunities to get outside and do the things that bring us joy and fulfilment, take the opportunity to consider the impact your actions have had on the world at large. Are they positive and long lasting? Talborne Urban Organics is committed to ‘Growing Health’ and leaving a legacy of healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy people and a healthy planet. Join us in ‘Plotting the Future’. To view our full Landscapers Green Guide, please visit our website and hit the download button: landscapers.html


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