1. DESIGNING FOR THE FUTURE
Taking into account the perspective of systems during the design process, using the right materials, designing for durability and designing for extended future use.
An architect is responsible for the design of buildings and, by extension, the materials used during the construction of a building, its energy efficiency during the use phase and the potential for material recovery in case of demolition. An architect can therefore contribute to the circular economy by "designing for the future".
AN ECOLOGICAL CIRCULAR PROJECT
The POWERgrass hybrid turf system is developed on the principles of the circular economy for the construction of sports fields where play is intensive, as an alternative to fully synthetic fields. The synthetic fibres are thermally bonded according to LND/FIFA standards for synthetic turf to a special backing that allows the grass to breathe and resist trampling. The created pitch can be played with or without natural grass so that you don't miss a game, but to get all the advantages of natural grass you should rely on a competent groundsmen. The fibres are protected by the natural grass from exposure to UV rays from the sun, which causes premature ageing of the plastic. The hybrid turf comes with a 12-year warranty, 50% longer than an all-synthetic system. Its lifespan is estimated at over 20 years with simple maintenance with the strategic goal of promoting employment and the environment. POWERgrass is an innovative system and method for creating durable and environmentally friendly sports surfaces and four international patents prove it. The main advantages are:
- The system creates an ideal habitat for grass growth and the reduction of stress caused by intensive trampling by protecting the vital parts of the plant (the crown and the roots). This makes it easier to grow natural grass and the regenerative farming method has a positive environmental impact: a) it optimises photosynthesis, which sequesters more carbon dioxide (CO2), b) it produces oxygen and releases water vapour through transpiration, which helps to lower the temperature and reduce fine dust, c) it consolidates the infill, preventing erosion and filters rainwater with the roots firmly anchored to the reinforcing support.
- The system uses a small amount of natural resources and over a very long period of time as it is estimated to last for more than 20 years. The life cycle of the product is indefinitely renewable with no fixed end date for replacement of the system. In the event of replacement, the system is reusable for other similar purposes where reinforced turf is required (e.g. playgrounds, motorway embankments, environmental restoration of landfill banks).
- The drainage system is designed to prevent the surface flow of rainwater to make the pitch playable at all times while also preventing soil erosion. The water is filtered through the turf and follows its natural path through the ground. Drainage trenches facilitate the penetration of water into the ground by mitigating its constipation in the space between the drainage trenches. Excess water flows through the pipes and is collected in large capacity cisterns. The requirement for each irrigation cycle is around 24 m3 (about 3 mm) and a small tank must always be full because it needs automatic refilling to prepare it for the next irrigation cycle. A larger tank will be able to store water for several irrigation cycles, so water from the aqueduct can only be used during dry periods. If the climate in summer is characterised by heavy rainfall every 7 to 10 days, it is estimated that 100 to 200 m3 of tank capacity is sufficient to make the system self-sufficient with rainwater. By adding the benefits of rainwater on the vegetation and microbiota, the energy yield of photosynthesis can be maximised by reducing the input of synthetic fertilisers.