University of Birmingham 3G Pitches
What is a 3G Pitch?
3G pitches are the most significant and successful development in synthetic surface technology designed for football and rugby at both competitive and recreational levels. In 3G turf, the pile (artificial grass ‘blades’) is supported by a thin base layer of sand, and by an infill of rubber crumb. The pile height ranges from 40mm to 65mm depending on which primary sport is to be played on the surface.
In construction, the 3G sports turf can be laid onto various bases from the ‘Dynamic System’ of stone base with or without a shockpad, to the top specification ‘Engineered System’ of stone base, porous tarmac layer, and shockpad.
- Playing Surface
- Third Generation surfaces have been developed to replicate natural turf, with outstanding performance, reduced ball bounce, and low resistance to turning and sliding – offering greater safety to players, more realistic conditions, and greater durability. Blakedown offer a choice of fibrillated or monofilament yarns with Low Slide Resistance technology. The 3G turf is supported by an infill of sand and rubber crumb helping to support the turf pile, keeping it upright, while minimizing ball bounce.
- A shockpad is installed beneath the playing surface to cushion the player upon impact with the ground. This is especially important for the shorter pile turfs designed to speed up football play and allow for hockey play, as the protective capabilty of the turf is less substantial in shorter pile lengths.
- Engineered layer
- The 3G sports turf can be laid straight onto a stone base with or without the use of a shockpad. This is called a Dynamic system. The optimum construction build-up for 3G pitches is to use a single or double layer of porous macadam to offer a much greater degree of stability. This is called an Engineered system.
- Stone layer, Textile Membrane, and Soil Formation
- The base construction of a 3G pitch is comprised of free-draining stone layer and textile membrane on top of prepared soil formation.
Case Study | Goals Soccer Centres
3G artificial turf is the only sports surface capable of taking the pounding received by every 5-a-side football pitch at Goals Soccer Centres’ fifty plus facilities nationwide. Natural grass would rapidly wear away, and no other synthetic surface meets the criteria for realism, durability, ball bounce, ball roll, and non-abrasiveness.
Client: Goals Soccer Centres
Contract Type: JCT 1998
Contract Value: £400,000 – £1,500,000 per site
Build Time: 14 – 22 weeks per site
Blakedown Sport & Play were chosen as the official and exclusive construction contractor for all Goals Soccer Centre’s 3G facilities, and we are extremely proud of our on-going relationship with this fantastic company.
Choice of 3G surface
The two main variables in 3G systems are pile height and yarn type. The standard pile heights of 3G turf are 40mm, 50mm, 60mm, and 65mm. The 65mm length pile would be suitable for rugby, the 40mm suitable for hockey.
The two main yarn types are monofilament and fibrillated: a monofilament yarn is manufactured as a single fibre string which is nominally preferred for higher specification football and rugby pitches (FIFA 1*, for example). Fibrillated yarn is manufactured as a fibrillating fibre tape, nominally offering greater durability against frequent and intensive use (a 5-a-side facility, for example).