Synthetic turf | AFL | Cricket | Cricket enclosures
With the northern suburbs of Melbourne continuing to grow, a new secondary college, Edgars Creek Secondary College, was constructed to provide secondary education to the region.
The City of Whittlesea (Council) and the Department of Education & Training (DET) entered into a Joint Use Agreement (JUA) for the development of an all-weather synthetic grass AFL/cricket oval.
Under the JUA the school will have access to the oval during school hours and the community will be able to access the oval and adjoining cricket nets outside of school hours.
The existing terrain posed a challenge to achieve a complaint surface of grade not steeper than 1%. There was a 3m fall across the existing site that need to be addressed to address the sport governing bodies requirements for the grade of the finished surface.
Additionally, the subgrade was less than ideal for the construction of a playing surface which is required to maintain the surface tolerances for the intended design life. The subgrade contained highly reactive clay and there was large volumes of rock identified in the geotechnical report.
With the oval to also be used for cricket, a dense, short pile height synthetic grass cricket wicket was required in the centre of the oval. The design for the wicket needs to readily enable transitioning between the short pile height product to a long pile height AFL approved system (including shockpad).
With this brand-new synthetic turf AFL oval, Edgars Creek Secondary College adds a real asset to its education facilities. It provides a safe place for students to be active while raising interests and attracting future students.
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As part of the overall development, SPORTENG undertook the detailed design and documentation for the proposed synthetic oval and provided construction phase support to the architect led team.
Almost 20,000m3 of engineered fill was required to be imported to achieve the complying playing surface grades. Because of the rock closely located at the surface, the design had to predominantly consist of filling rather than cut.
The imported material acted as a bridging layer over the existing reactive subgrade material.
The design for the centre cricket wicket was complex as there are several options to enable the integration of the shorter pile wicket, which can then be converted to a longer piled system.
Council were advised of the options including hydraulically lifting (cricket mode) and lowering (AFL mode with temporary overlay) the wicket to suit the sport in use, mechanical lifting/lowering, static or use of transition wedges.
The tender design for the centre wicket was for all options to be considered with stringent performance requirements.
In the end, Council adopted the use of transition wedges proposed by the successful tenderer.
The oval also has a free-draining aggregate base to remove the need for extensive amount of drainage cells beneath the synthetic grass system. The stormwater drainage network discharged into an adjacent detention basin.
Thanks to our design solution, the site was able to meet AFL and Cricket Australia certification and the project was also delivered within budget and six months ahead of schedule.
Not long after the initial opening the oval was used for the local NAB AFL Auskick program where the kids got the chance to explore the world of AFL, build their own football skills, in a fun and safe environment.
How cool is that?