Error message

  • Warning: mysqli_connect(): php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known in include() (line 276 of /var/www/www.monocodebase.com/htdocs/sites/default/settings/www.constructionweekonline.com.settings.php).
  • Warning: mysqli_connect(): (HY000/2002): php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known in include() (line 276 of /var/www/www.monocodebase.com/htdocs/sites/default/settings/www.constructionweekonline.com.settings.php).
  • Warning: mysqli_close() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli, boolean given in include() (line 300 of /var/www/www.monocodebase.com/htdocs/sites/default/settings/www.constructionweekonline.com.settings.php).

Green people

Despite the popularity of natural grass, synthetic turf is a sustainable, low maintenance and viable alternative, says John Wisse, managing director of Green People.

ANALYSIS, Facilities Management

Despite the popularity of natural grass, synthetic turf is a sustainable, low maintenance and viable alternative, says John Wisse, managing director of Green People.

As the construction of outdoor projects in the region gathers pace, turf continues to be in high demand. Previously, demand focused on natural turf but its synthetic equivalent is now starting to be taken more seriously in the region. Commercial Outdoor Design finds out why from John Wisse of specialist artificial turf manufacturer and distributor Green People.

How long has Green People been operating in the region?

The company was established three and a half years ago. We are probably one of the oldest companies that manufacture and distribute synthetic grass. We provide lawns and grass for landscaping projects, sports fields, city beautification and private gardens. We have a range of grasses including Bermuda Grass, Arena Grass and our newest product, Emerald Lawn.

What work are you doing at the moment?

Some of our biggest projects recently have been in Al Ain. We did a roundabout for the municipality, and worked on a large underpass there. The authorities in Al Ain have a lot of problems getting water to the areas, which makes synthetic turf an obvious solution.

What is special about the artificial turfs you produce?

All our grasses are fourth-generation. The fourth-generation grass uses a machine that is only used for artificial grass. In the past, most people had third-generation grass, which is made using a carpet-tufting machine.

Where are you experiencing the most demand?

Schools are the first to go for synthetic turf because they know that natural turf is extremely hard to grow and it doesn't last long. The problem with natural grass is that the time when it grows is the time when they use it the most, i.e., during the day, and it doesn't get time to recover.

What turfs do you recommend for use in schools?

Everybody in the industry who works in the sporting field knows about the problems with the rubber infill fields [fields that mix black rubber pieces into the artificial grass to give the turf the same bounce as natural grass]. A lot of research has been done to create a different grass not using rubber infill. The advantage of this new generation grass is that it stays a lot cooler because there is no black rubber.

There is also less maintenance, as the grass just needs to be brushed to get the dust out. A little maintenance is still needed, but it is only about 10% compared to that required with rubber infill fields. We advise all schools to go for new generation grasses because of this.

How suited are artificial turfs for use in sporting surfaces?

This has always been a bone of contention in the UAE. In the past, some sports firms used very short fibres with rubber dust in some of the fields here in the UAE and the fields weren't maintained. That has given artificial sporting fields a very bad name.

What turfs do you recommend for sporting purposes?

We work with the biggest supplier of FIFA sporting fields in Europe. We now have FIFA 1-star turf that doesn't need infill. A lot of the soccer clubs here are starting to look at changing to synthetic fields. I recommend that people start with synthetic turf for the training facilities so they always have a good training facility.

How much do you expect demand for synthetic turf to increase in the UAE?

It is very hard to grow proper grass in this country and it costs a lot of money. If clubs in Europe put synthetic fields in where they have plenty of rain, why don't they do it here? I think it's only a matter of time before they start. I believe that by 2009 there will be one or two fields that would be rated FIFA 1- or 2-stars in this country.

Most popular

Awards

CW Oman Awards 2020: Meet the winners
A round of the thirteen winning names at the Construction Week Oman Awards 2020 that

Conferences

Leaders UAE 2020: Building a sustainable, 'resilient' infra
AESG’s Phillipa Grant, Burohappold’s Farah Naz, and Samana's Imran Farooq on a sustainable built environment
CW In Focus | Inside the Leaders in KSA Awards 2019 in Riyadh
Meet the winners in all 10 categories and learn more about Vision 2030 in this

Latest Issue

Construction Week - Issue 767
Sep 01, 2020