Environmental Infrastructure Solutions

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Environmental Infrastructure Solutions
Court Construction
New Modular, Sustainable Court Base Provides Installation Flexibility

Want to put in a tennis court, but don't have the room you may need to install a concrete base? Or maybe you don't want the court to be permanent? Or maybe you're looking for a "green" alternative? A new product, SportBase by Connor Sport Court, may be worth considering for your court project.

"SportBase is a high-performance support base that can take the place of concrete,"says Lee Sponaugle, director of corporate accounts for Connor Sport Court International, which makes modular sports surfaces. (Sport Court, headquartered in Salt Lake City, is the "Official Modular Court" for the USTA and 10 and Under Tennis.)

"This is a breakthrough product that has revolutionized court building for those areas that want to be green, have hardscape restrictions, or want the option of moving the court at some point," Sponaugle says. "Nationally, the cost is similar to the pervious concrete, but the benefits of using SportBase go beyond what concrete can provide."

After the subsurface is leveled, then a compacted sub-base is added, the interlocking SportBase tiles are laid down, which provides the base of installing the Sport Court playing surface. The 18 x 18 x 2-inch, 6.4 pound SportBase squares snap together and have holes to promote drainage.

"With proper preparations of the sub-base, SportBase tiles will easily meet any requires drainage specification,"Sponaugle says. "Water drains directly through them, so there are no environmental runoff issues."

The tiles also are a "green" alternative to concrete, he adds. Facility owners and managers looking to build or rebuild courts may still be concerned about keeping costs down, but some consideration most likely will be given to the impact their project may have on the environment, and SportBase could be an alternative they may want to consider.

"The tiles are made of a 100 percent recycled materials,"Sponaugle says. "But as a "green" alternative, SportBase offers other advantages, too. For instance, it reduces the need for heavy equipment to come in, as you'd have with a concrete installation. We had SWCA Environmental Consultants, an independent lab, run tests comparing a SportBase installation to a typical concrete installation. These results show concrete installation. The results show that installing a SportBase sub-floor requires less energy and water, creates fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and requires fewer overall materials."

Another advantage some may find appealing: A full court using SportBase can be installed in matter of hours; there's no additional time needed for any mixing, curing or drying. The material also is suitable for freeze-thaw locations.

In addition, says Sponaugle, SportBase has excellent shock absorption propertied. "It not only provides outstanding ball-bounce, but it is also a very safe surface and helps protect players from injuries." he says.

Sponaugle also points to ease of maintenance. In areas with high sediment buildup, SportBase tiles can be independently removed for cleaning, then put back in place. Also, if erosion of other factors affect the sub-base, the tile can be easily removed then replaced once the sub-based is repaired.

Racquet Sports Industry May 2012