The 9 000m² run off that surrounds the central soccer pitch at Durban’s iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium has been clad in Easi-Windsor, the premier artificial turf with a WW yarn and imported from Europe has only recently been added to the Easigrass South Africa product portfolio.
According to Louis Goncalves of Easigrass Durban, the kick off for this highly complex project was somewhat unexpected. The tender had been submitted last March and he was overjoyed to hear that Easigrass had been successful in mid-November 2018.
However, the real challenge was that they were given just three days to complete phase 1 of the highly complex installation as opposed to the original 1.5 weeks that had been allowed – and there was the looming Kaiser Chiefs vs Baroka F C match that formed part of the prestigious Nedbank Cup that was being hosted by the eThekwini Municipality at the time.
Looking out over the iconic multi-use stadium with its distinctive “arch of triumph” that was constructed for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, Goncalves is justifiably proud of the now completed run off which not only looks neat and natural but is probably one of the highest profile examples of how an artificial turf that was designed specifically for South African conditions is up to the task.
Dr Mehran Zarrebini, CEO of Van Dyck Floors, the South African distributor of Easigrass, described the installation at Moses Mabhida Stadium as impressive.
Although manufactured in Europe, Easi-Windsor was designed using four different shades of greens and browns to closely resemble the lawns found in South Africa. Extensive research and development coupled with the superior quality and workmanship associated with the multi-national Easigrass group, which is a world leader in artificial turf, has provided a product that is durable and low maintenance.
“Easi-Windsor has a 35mm pile height and is a beautiful lush grass that mimics natural-looking lawn. It is made from a unique WW yarn. The green part that forms the tuft is folded (ironed) into a double W shape. This WW design gives this turf a memory so that it immediately bounces back after a person walks across it. It retains an upright position better than turfs manufactured using old technology,” Dr Zarrebini explained.
Other plusses include excellent UV stabilisation that protects the grass from degrading induced by the harsh Durban sun as well as durability that withstands the high rainfall along South Africa’s East Coast.
Gonsalves said that the stadium management decided to replace the original artificial turn that has been installed when the stadium was first constructed, due to the wear and tear from a host of different sporting and entertainment events that are held at one of the busiest of the 2010 stadiums
He said it was eventually decided to split the process into two phases. Phase one comprised two days working 20-hour shifts plus a mammoth 37-hour shift at the end to put the Easi-Windsor in place. They then stopped for the much-anticipated soccer match and returned for a seven-day stint to finish the project.
“We are thrilled with the end result as is our client, the Moses Mabhida Stadium management. They admitted that they never realised just what a big job it was,” Goncalves noted proudly. “The pitch caretaker/manager stated Easigrass have created stadium history as it was the first time a team had practised on artificial grass instead of the actual soccer pitch prior to the match.”
Easi-Windsor comes in four-metre-wide rolls that needed to be cut and carefully joined to produce an oval shape for the runoff. The width of the area under Easigrass varies from 13 meters in some places to 17 metres and, at the widest, 28 metres. Overall, it is approximately 450 m long with a total area measuring 9 000m².
Careful planning, meticulous trimming and plenty of backing tape and imported glue formed part of the intricate joining and laying procedure. Specialised equipment was brought in from Johannesburg to complete the job.
“Easi-Windsor offers an eight-year guarantee but I am sure it will last 10 to 15 years here, “he said.
Asked how the Easi-Windsor grass would stand up to people standing on the grass for events such as concerts and even the risk of smokers dropping cigarette butts, Goncalves replied that the stadium management would be covering the surface for events like exhibitions and concerts.
“The Moses Mabhida Stadium Management has wisely ordered spare grass to keep if any repairs are required in the future due to possible mechanical damage,” he added.
Easi-Windsor forms part of Easigrass’
premier range. This includes a wide South African portfolio of products that
are suitable for residential, commercial and sport and leisure use. They are backed
by the well-established Van Dyck distribution system and quality guarantee as
well as Easigrass International. Easi-Windsor
is available exclusively through Easigrass.