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A Note to Home Owners, Property Managers
Architects, Designers, Specifiers and Developers

Synthetic Grass and Artificial Turf Info

Commercial Uses --- CC&Rs --- Water Studies --- Prevailing Wages ---
HOA --- Water Districts --- Reclaimed Water --- CWA
Sewage Assessments
--- On Roofs --- Sanitation --- Grooming & Maintenance

 

USES:

The beauty and realistic look of the landscape grasses available today allow you to expand design outside the box. Lawn areas can be any shape; gently rolling, crowned, slopes. flat; if the base is built to suit the weight load and local water shed, synthetic grass areas can be used for any type of activity.

Our GALLERIES are full of commerical and residential examples of how artificial grass and synthetic turf have been installed in real-world projects - Visit artificial turf grass galleries and browse photos here

  • Any terraced surfaces (grass stadium seating, hill side projects)
  • Any entertainment venue (outdoor restaurant seating, weddings & events facilities, wineries)
  • Walkways and pathways—low impact
  • Park play, leisure sports and picnic areas
  • Daycare & Senior Centers (install can be ASTM & ADA Compliant)
  • RV Parks and leisure sports activity areas at campgrounds
  • Temporary surfaces for hardscape areas
  • Sloping areas that also need erosion/weed control
  • Over concrete and asphalt
  • On top of roofs and outdoor patios
  • Atriums—indoor and out
  • Sports exercise gyms and therapy spas
  • Medians and parking islands

CC&Rs and Development Design Guidelines:

There are no county, state or federal CC&Rs that are evident in the public record that restrict the use of synthetic grass and artificial turf, properly installed, on private or public land. Public works projects do have standard specifications to accommodate accessibility, drainage, etc. and some environmentally sensitive areas may have additional restrictions.

Two environmentally sensitive projects, completed years ago in Northern California, are the Tahoe City Marina, approx. 3500 SF of lawn area, 50 feet from Lake Tahoe (5 years old); and a all-purpose sports field (50,000 SF) that was purchased by the Squaw Valley Water District for the community and visitors, installed in the heart of a delicate estuary. Tight local environmental controls and stiff penalties would have been levied against the owners of these properties if that hadn't met or exceeded required standards. They are great examples of low-impact landscape applications.

Water Studies:

Water studies, commissioned on a private basis, have proven significant water savings by using synthetic turf for leisure sports and landscape uses. A study done in the Marin County Water District, demonstrated a 43% savings in water, for the site, after installation of the first play field in the area.

Prevailing Wages:

Public works contracts must be negotiated in California using prevailing wages set by local labor unions. Private works are exempt.

HOAs:

Home Owner Associations and other developer/builder design guidelines that restrict the use of artificial and synthetic products for residential use, may still allow for their use for common areas, leisure sports and public parks. Always check with the association to comply with their rules and policies.

Water Districts:

Water districts that manage our most precious resource are exposed to the benefits of synthetic grass because of the increase in the installation of sports fields. Many are now developing or have implemented rebate programs that reward property owners with reimbursement of expense if they replace natural lawn areas with artificial. Rebate Programs

Reclaimed Water:

Areas that have adopted reclaimed water systems require additional certification before a contractor can perform any work on a contract that includes irrigation work they perform. Work may require the filing of a plan to spec, inspections and/or fees. Plan for adequate time to get approvals.

Sewage Assessments:

Many city lots and environmentally sensitive areas are accessed for water and sewage fees based upon the amount of “lawn” that the property supports. In Northern California, some residential homes may pay $40 per month for their water and are assessed another $300 per month as a “waste water reclamation fee”. What and where are the hidden costs?

Optimize Use:

By its nature, synthetic grass can matt down in high traffic areas—plan for these thoroughfares to be landscaped with concrete, asphalt or pavers.

Grooming and Maintenance:

Maintenance and grooming surfaces are a must, though a fraction of the workload for a natural lawn area. Grooming information is detailed on the ASGi ONLiNE Pages.

Sanitation:

Claims of virulent viruses and septic sores. Granted, the turf solutions of the 60s and 70s could be a abrasive, however, even the Center for Disease Control helped mussel this recent attack. Penn State has published a wonderful report that states emphatically that outbreaks of illness between players that use synthetic turf fields has everything to do with their personal hygiene and locker room grooming practices and nothing to do with the turf materials or a properly groomed turf system.
Reports Available at ASGi ONLiNE.

With turf that is soiled, the owner can generally clean the area using most household cleaners; one that contains no alcohol, is biodegradable, easily rinsed through is the best choice. For challenging messes (feces and other body fluids), enzyme cleaners can remove threats from ecoli and other pathogens, when applied properly. To remove the threat of viruses, such as “parvo” virus in kennels, saturate surfaces with a solution of 10% bleach and water. Companies are available to test turf for pathogens: request contact information by emailing our offices. [ Testing Info Request ]

Installing it on ROOFs

Weight factors are one of several aspects of roof-top construction that can limit use of infilled artificial turf materials. [ Professionally installed, 3rd Generation synthetic turf products require infill to help maintain the turf's resiliency, weigh it down to keep it in place and for safety (reduces wrinkling significantly) and for UV protection of the backing and the base of the blade fibers].

Consider UV, Infill and Turf Weight when considering your artificial grass options!

Silica Sand and Crumb Rubber hold moisture and review should be made of local rainfall, roof drainage solutions, run-off path (any Clean-Water Act restricitions or environmental considerations) and the roof and building's structural integrity before selecting your turf solution.

Synthetic grass surface materials will reflect the contours and anomalies of the surface below it - overlapping roofing materials, creating raised seams, bumps or low spots will show (they may appear as if the seams are showing through the turf, creating a pattern, wrinkle or buckle). Smooth roof surfaces are optimal.

All roof areas should be grounded. Installation and use of synthetic grass might create static electricity - you can reduce this by treating the affected surfaces with fabric softener (conditioner). Conditioning the surfaces should eliminate static with only one treatment - saturating the surfaces with solution. Should it return - another treatment may be needed, however, one or two treatments are generally all the surfaces will require.

A Well Known "Roof" Top Project

One of the most well known "roof" top garden installations of artificial turf grasses was installed by California's First Lady, Ms. Maria Shriver for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's outdoor executive patio area.

This area is one of the only places where the Governor and his executive staff can find privacy, outside of his office. The tent provides much needed shade on hot, sunny California days and insures that Governor Schwarzenegger and his guests can have privacy from onlookers that might view them from the windows of the offices several floors above the light well.


Prior to the installation of the synthetic grass, the outdoor patio is an intense, dreary, drab, dusty, hot and uninviting space.


After the installation was complete, the area felt cooler,
it stays cleaner and is definitely more inviting.

 

 

 

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