A Rugby Renovation Success Story
A leader in the turf construction and maintenance industry, Turftech holds a position of excellence in South Africa’s world-class realm of sports facilities. With a multitude of prestigious industry recognitions under the belt, such as SALI awards for involvement in projects like Jewel City, their expertise covers natural and synthetic specialised turfs across the nation. To find out exactly what it takes to build a legacy that is already leaving a vibrant footprint on some of the best fields in the land, we caught up with the Turftech Team during a major high point in their journey.
At the DHL Stadium in Cape Town’s gorgeous Green Point, our team met with Construction Manager Wayne Reed, Project Manager Ruan Van Zyl, and the man behind the Turftech name – Founder and Director Len Ludick, to get the lowdown on everything from their origins to their renovation of the turf at Cape Town’s favourite event arena.
With a reputation of excellence, your legacy has certainly been nurtured to become what it is today. How and when did the Turftech journey begin?
Turftech was founded in 2016, where we started with a few small construction projects. This quickly grew into something much bigger than what we could have imagined, to the point where Turftech is one of the preferred sports construction and maintenance companies in the country.
What other kinds of turfs do you install, and which provinces do you operate in?
Turftech has a national footprint, with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. We specialise in various turfs that cater for sectors such as Natural Grass and Artificial Turf rugby and soccer fields, as well as Athletics Tracks. In terms of courts, we cater to tennis and Padel, netball, basketball, and 5- and 7-a-side soccer, as well as multi-purpose courts. Our services also extend to Artificial Turf play areas, Hybrid Grass Turf for sports fields and play areas, and the maintenance of all these turfs.
You were appointed to renovate the turf at the DHL Stadium in Greenpoint, Cape Town – a huge and well-earned honour! Talk us through your installation process from start to finish for the Stadium.
The process began with stripping the old grass with the Koro Combinator and removing 200mm of the old growing medium. The layer that remained was laser levelled with our specialised CAT fitted with guidance equipment, and the irrigation was then upgraded before the new 200mm growing medium was imported. This was also lasered and compacted.
Next, the compost layer was imported and blended with the new growing medium, a mix we created ourselves, which again had to be levelled and compacted, followed by the seeding of 70% Rye & 30% Fescue that germinated over a 7-day period that was part of a 10-week grow-in period. The grass was grown in over a 4-week period from where the Hybrid Turf System installation started with two incredible international machines. The two machines started from the two sides of the field and worked their way towards the middle, stitching the hybrid turf system into the sand-based growing medium.
The Hybrid stitching helps to enhance stability of playing surface, and is stitched at 180mm down into the sand, with the rows 2cm apart. After the stitching was complete, the pitch grow-in period carried on for another two weeks, after which the pitch was presented back to the DHL Stadium Management.
What type of grass have you used at the Stadium and why?
A combination of rye and fescue grass was seeded, a special request by the client, not only for quality and reliability, but also for its dark, rich green colour.
What was most challenging about this project?
The main challenge was the tight project timeline for the re-construction, stitching, and grow-in to have the field ready for the rugby and soccer that kick off in October.
Besides the DHL Stadium, what are some of Turftech’s proudest accomplishments?
Turftech has constructed a wide collection of turfs that make us extremely proud, but there are a few accomplishments that really stand out for us. These include constructing the first World-Certified Artificial Rugby Field in South Africa at Curro Durbanville, the first Artificial Turf Cricket Oval for the Gary Kirsten Foundation, and firsts for Artificial Turf Bowling Green and Athletics Track in South Africa.