Construction of the new POWERgrass hybrid grass pitch at the Pro Rapid training centre in Bucharest.
Sport Centre PRO Rapid with POWERgrass hybrid pitch
The project provides for the realisation of the training area for the PRO Rapid Football Club with two artificial pitches and one hybrid grass pitch for the main team. The hybrid surface is designed for about 1000 hours of play per year on really reinforced natural grass with regular maintenance, allowing to play on a safer surface, equal to the pitch for the match. The hybrid system recovers rapidly and it is easy to rinnovate when the natural grass cultivation fails, thus "eliminating" the risk of costly extraordinary maintenance interventions to restore or replace the worn areas.
Hybrid grass systems are nothing new! For many years, attempts have been made to reinforce the root zone with fibres mixed or injected deep into the soil or hybrid carpets with a low amount of fibres. However, most hybrid systems sooner or later produce a hard surface to play, due to the deeply injected fibres or a hard and/or unevenly permeable backing that also, instead of reinforcing, subjects the grass cultivation to further problems and increases the maintenance budget. In some cases, the fibres are not high enough to form at least 35 mm of infill above the backing or are not resilient enough to protect the grass crowns, while in other cases the fibres are not even well bonded to the backing and the system loses its performance as soon as it needs to be renewed.
The risk of investing in an ineffective system, or even worse a system that may fail most of its objectives, is high and requires in-depth study. While there are many standards on the artificial turf industry promoted by FIFA and national federations, there is very little public knowledge on hybrid turf systems, with the exception of POWERgrass that offers free knowledge on its website.
Pro Rapid training hybrid pitch, October 10th, 2022
POWERgrass sets an new meaning of “hybrid grass systems” that defer from the "reinforced natural systems" we know so far. Hybrid grass systems must deliver a surface where the natural grass can thrive inside the system and resist for at least 20 hours of play per week during the growing season. At the same time, must provide enough fibres protruding on the surface to play also without grass, because in the winter the plant leaves may be damaged. This result is only possible with on site installation as natural or reinforced grass sods are simply laid down and cannot be sewn just as the hybrid carpet rolls. This type of installation make a huge difference for the lifespan of the hybrid grass system and the warranty itself.
Hybrid carpet systems can be also provided in big slabs but we cannot anymore consider this any more "hybrid field" but simply reiforced. For the sake of good understanding POWERgrass can deliver a hybrid pitch when it is installed directly on site or a reinforced natural pitch when the installation is made in slabs that include the hybrid carpet even if it is the same.
Hybrid grass systems are in fact an alternative to the synthetic pitch and not something in between as the “reinforced natural system” because the game activity never stop during the playing season.
Those who love to play on natural grass and wish to provide a high performing pitch that will reduce the maintenance and overall costs, select the POWERgrass system and contribute on the dissemination of new ecologic methods to operate based on the circular economy guide lines.
Uniform emergence inside the carpet
The hybrid pitch is capable of hosting numerous professional events with significant savings in maintenance costs compared to a natural grass course because, first and foremost, no divots are formed. The system is innovative because has fully integrated natural grass into a patented synthetic turf. This synthetic grass reinforces natural grass in a way that is invisible and imperceptible to the player. Natural grass grows better and uniform in the system because it finds a better water/air balance and its roots are protected against thermal stress (hot/cold). In a short time, natural grass becomes predominant occupying over 97% of the surface, offering sports performance designed for the most demanding professionals. At the same time, the hybrid system is easy to maintain and guarantees a field that is always playable.
The hybrid system provides a sand based background because it allows the grass to breathe, does not form mud and offers the possibility to play in the rain. The hybrid pitch is much more resistant to foot traffic, which is the main cause of compaction that suffocates the roots in fields made on agricultural land.
Soon after installation it is possible to play on the synthetic fibres but, to get the best comfort that only natural grass can provide, wait until 4-5 weeks for cool season grasses or 6-8 weeks for warm season grasses to establish. Cool season grasses grow ideally in the range of temperature 15-25°C meanwhile warm season grasses 24-32°C therefore, if possible, adjust the intensity of your training program during the day with those temperatures to provide more comfort to players and less damage to the grass. If the pitch is overused off the growing period, you may expect to loose part of the grass density until growth conditions are suitable for the type of grass selected, and new buds sprout from the crowns of the plants, thus, within a few weeks, the field is transformed back into natural grass in the same way as it is in nature.
In hybrid system POWERgrass is much easier to apply an ecologic maintenance with positive environmental impact, in line with Circular Economy principles:
Training goalkeepers in Derby County Academy
The hybrid system POWERgrass reduce the risk due to unexpected climate changes, costly extraordinary maintenance and has nearly no expiring date.
Unique features world wide
The POWERgrass hybrid carpet comprises 75600 strong and resilient synthetic monofilaments per square metre. The synthetic fibres are heat-bonded with force >30N, to a uniform mesh support with 320,000 three-dimensional and interconnected holes per square metre which guarantees gas exchange and acts as an anchorage element for the roots. The backing also includes a lightweight non-woven fabric that reduces water evaporation under the substrate and, in addition, offers an insulating effect to the underlying roots.
After installation, the synthetic fibres protrude 20-25 mm on the surface to protect the plant crowns from intensive play. During germination, the synthetic fibres shade the surface against the UV rays of the sun, thus preventing the sprouts from drying out. The roots penetrate the support from the first period of growth, find a balanced moisture content and are therefore protected against drying and temperature changes in summer and winter.
The design of the hybrid system gives a new meaning to the word "hybrid field" where it is necessary to use it immediately by playing on synthetic turf because the fibres all protrude to the surface or playing on reinforced natural grass that grows vigorously right between the fibres of the synthetic turf with numerous mutual benefits.
The design hybrid system combines the comfort of natural grass with the strength of synthetic turf, offering more play, more safety and a 12-year warranty.
Aerate often to relief the surface
During the lockdown for the Covid-19 we raised the quality bar of the POWERgrass hybrid grass system by integrating the HEALgreen maintenance method. A method that adheres to the Circular Economy with the strategic objective of promoting specialized employment for maintenance with a positive environmental impact. The method is based on the teachings of regenerative agriculture for turf care. The method brings considerable benefits because it involves the most appropriate use of mineral nutrients and biological bio-stimulants and the reduction of the use of pesticides, until their complete elimination. The growth of the turf for sports use, has as its main limit the intensive foot-traffic because it compresses the porosity by altering the physical properties of the soil, binding the gas exchange between the soil and the air. However, aerating the surface and releasing the soil regularly ensures the gaseous exchange (CO2 ⇄ O2) necessary for biological processes. In the well aerated, draining substrate, microorganisms proliferate and mineralise forms of nutrients inaccessible to plants, both among those present in the soil and those supplied with fertilizers. On sunny days, by frequently mowing the natural grass and letting the clippings settle on the soil, some of the nutrients are returned to the circle through biological activity.
From an environmental point of view, there are many reasons to use the HEALgreen method, which can be summarised as follows:
Only through soil regeneration can we have a positive environmental impact. The maintenance of all green spaces with regenerative agriculture is the only way to combat pollution in our cities. It is everyone's responsibility, and it pays off in health by offering a prestigious aesthetic appearance.
In the POWERgrass hybrid grass system it is easier to maintain natural grass in an environmentally friendly way by cooling the air temperature, purifying the air we breathe and filtering the water we drink.
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