In today’s health-conscious and eco-friendly world, the popularity of organic products is on the rise. This interest and concern has carried over to Athletic Facilities Planning. Gale recently completed a project for a school opting to use organic infill for two new synthetic turf fields. The school was focused on the fields’ proximity to wetlands, as well as the health of their students and the perceived concerns associated with SBR crumb rubber. The school was provided with a summary of alternative infill options and Geofill, a coconut/cork and sand mix, was selected.
The School District felt this decision was appropriate after weighing the pros and cons of the infill options and costs. Below are some considerations for organic alternate infills:
- Organic and environmentally friendly.
- Retain water, which provides an evaporative cooling effect as compared to fields with a crumb rubber infill. This can be an advantage, especially in warm climate locations.
- Provide athletes with a natural feel under foot.
- Shock pads provide a consistent G-max (acceptable impact level).
- The cost is higher compared to traditional crumb rubber field (40% increase for infill and shock pad).
- Can require more maintenance than crumb rubber.
- Requires replenishing every 2-3 years.
- The material is not recyclable for infill use, but can be used for landscaping beds.
- May require watering since it can become dusty during a dry summer.