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Home | DALLAS / FORT WORTH | Focus | Focus - Green Building - Synthetic grass is green, and not just in color

Focus - Green Building - Synthetic grass is green, and not just in color

image Marco Gortana, Vice President of Sales, Synthetic Grass Pros, Dallas, TX

DALLAS/FT WORTH - How would you describe the current state of the green building industry as it pertains to your business? Meeting with architects, construction specifiers, building product representatives and designers, the discussion of synthetic turf in the green building industry does come up with some of the complex and wide-ranging issues around the use of sustainable building materials, like synthetic turf, for healthier buildings


What are major changes in the indus-try in recent years relating to the type of work you do?
    Being in the industry of synthetic turf for over 12 years now, we have seen a huge movement toward the use in many different installation applications for synthetic turf. Nearly every new apartment being built has some sort of synthetic turf aspect to its design – amenities ranging from dog parks, putting greens, amenity decks poolside as well as courtyards, bocce courts and mini soccer fields. Another field where we see the increase of our business is schools; many of the ISD’s in the metroplex are converting their rubber mulch or wood mulch playgrounds into synthetic turf playgrounds with 1” or 2” pads to sustain the fall heights required by IPEMA. One other area we see the use of synthetic turf is upgrades to existing office buildings, apartments, doggie day cares, new hotels, hospital upgrades and private businesses.

What makes synthetic turf a more environmentally friendly choice for builders?
    The Environmental Protection Agency conducted studies and found that an hour of using a gas-powered lawn mower is the same as driving a car for over a hundred miles. Installing artificial grass cuts down on pollution and reduces your carbon footprint and not to mention the obvious reason, water consumption. As the water situation gets worse with water resources being low, it comes as no surprise as to why artificial grass would make the best choice.
    Not to mention that investing in manures and fertilizers are not only expensive, but it is also considered to be harmful to the environment. With a real lawn, there’s the need to use fertilizers and other chemicals regularly. When it rains, that leads to runoff that carries those chemicals into lakes and other bodies of water. It also allows those chemicals to seep deeper into the water table. Since there is no need to use fertilizers on an artificial lawn, it’s easier to protect the water supply for the future.

One of the acknowledged disadvan-tages of green building has been the additional cost. Is this statement still true?
    Obviously, the cost for synthetic turf is substantially higher than regular turf installation. The upfront cost is a tough pill to swallow but over the years the return on investment is much quicker than most people think. Also, the use of these areas dramatically increases as the synthetic turf can be utilized very soon after a rain with no side effects like standing water or mud. A prime example of this is when the Dallas Arboretum converted their wedding area lawn to synthetic turf for this reason. Since 2017, they can schedule many more wedding venues at a more consistent schedule hence capitalizing on an increase in revenue, and the same goes for dog parks and school parks.

    How are additional costs balanced against energy, water or material cost?
    Return on investment for the synthetic turf in new development is approximately three years for an area of 2,000sf. No added expense for an irrigation system or other costly maintenance materials are needed, ultimately saving the customer and the environment.

Is the green market becoming more competitive?
    The synthetic turf industry has become more competitive over the last five years, especially in the Texas commercial market. I hear the same thing every day from architects, general contractors and commercial landscapers about the need for synthetic turf in their projects.

What is on the horizon for your industry?
    The horizon looks very bright for the synthetic turf industry, with the scarcity of water being the main concern as well as maintenance concerns. I truly believe the industry will grow leaps and bounds. As far as the technology, we have seen a huge leap in the improvement of our products over the past three to five years with the introduction of “Cool Turfs” and, considering the future, we will see more improvements and positive changes in the technology of the turf.
    Synthetic Grass Pros of Dallas is a synthetic turf installation company. –mjm

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Author Info

Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net