Posted by on 16 April 2021
The playground of this popular primary school in Blackburn was subject to frequent, heavy use and as a result, some of its grassed areas had become very worn. Moreover, in wet weather, the ground became muddy, creating a risk that pupils would bring dirt back into the school on their shoes after playtime breaks. The school therefore sought a new artificial grass solution that would be attractive, hardwearing and clean.
Technical staff from the Grass Factory initially visited to propose a solution for two main outdoor areas. However, during the visit, they discovered another worn area near to the entrance. They therefore offered to include a proposal for covering this third section as part of the overall project quotation.
In the event, the school agreed to have all three areas treated as part of a single project, thereby improving the external appearance of the playground while also benefiting from economies of scale.
The project itself entailed removing the existing turf and bare earth, levelling the surface and then laying a ground stabilising membrane over an 80mm layer of compacted aggregate (MOT Type 1). The membrane would inhibit any weed growth and stabilize the ground by preventing the aggregate from filtering through the soil subbase, thereby preventing any ground sinkage.
A layer of granite dust was then applied to create a level bed for the artificial grass itself. This was cut to size and laid into an area demarcated by timber edging. The artificial turf was fixed to the edging and glued at any joints. A silica sand dressing (2EW) was then brushed into the grass fibres at a rate of 8 to 10 kg /m2.
The sand acts as a ballast but also protects the turf itself; keeping the grass standing upright while also protecting the underlying backing fabric.
The new artificial grass turf was installed successfully, on time and on budget. The three areas looked immediately more attractive and would subsequently require far less regular maintenance. The 30mm synthetic grass requires no mowing or watering, and will not ‘die back’ if the ground becomes particularly dry or heavily compacted.