Location :

Auckland, New Zealand

Client :

Jacobs for Auckland Council

Year :


Sector :

Natural Turf | Synthetic Turf | Baseball | Cricket | Rugby | Soccer | Mutil-use sports

It is anticipated that a small area of Auckland’s northwest, on the Scott Point Peninsula will transform from open space and former small holdings into the new home for over 20,000 residents. Auckland Council identified the need for a new sports park to serve this growing community while also trying to retain some of the elements that contribute to its historical Maori heritage.

The entire park is large (16.4 Ha) and features numerous elements, including over 5 Ha of sports field space. The park is required to service the needs of the growing local community by providing fit for purpose, quality sports surfaces, amongst areas of informal recreation and ecological restoration but doing so in a manner considered ‘sustainable’.

Jacobs was appointed lead consultant on this project with SPORTENG providing Field of Play design services.


The client (Auckland Council) challenged the large design team to create a sustainable sports park, employing sustainability principles throughout the design process, construction and maintenance in order to achieve a ‘Leading’ rating from the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) rating tool.


Field of Play development projects are often prescriptive, following a known formula that is proven and one that Contractors can service at a cost that is acceptable and known. SPORTENG was challenged to consider alternative materials and approaches to the design, construction method, and material used in the Field of Play projects to contribute to the overall sustainability rating.


Water use and water management specifically, was a key focus area to limit the reliance on potable mains water and store and then re-use water on-site in an effective way.


With multiple sports surface types, situated on different platforms, SPORTENG reviewed research, various available technologies, and the realistic options available for delivering the fields of play such their utility was not compromised but that they contributed to the sustainability rating of the park.


The technologies and options we designed included the use of the Blue2Green system from SWDS Systems under the main No. 1 field. The 12,000m2 expanse of drainage cells features wicking elements to enable water in the cells to be drawn back up into the root zone and sub-irrigated the turf. The cell system features customised elements to integrate a conventional irrigation system without compromising pipe cover, an overflow system, an on-demand, valve-controlled drainage system, and a way to top up the system from other sources of water to capitalize on the efficiencies gained from sub-irrigating the turf.


Elsewhere on the park, SPORTENG employed:

  • The use of valve-under-head irrigation to permit targeted watering practices and ensure more efficient water-use.

  • The use of recycled aggregates and recycled glass sand to reduce the reliance on quarried products.

  • Water harvesting below the synthetic turf fields to capture rainwater draining through the profile. This was designed with a custom overflow system to prevent water from surcharging the turf surface in high rainfall events and a custom outlet system to feed the stored water into the irrigation system.


The project is currently at the end of the Detailed Design Phase (November 2019) and out to market for pricing. The technologies employed will be firsts in Australia and New Zealand and we’re sure there will be many lessons learned along the way that can be applied to future parks projects to provide workable solutions and outcomes that meet a client’s sustainability ambitions.


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