Trulawn were chosen to install artificial grass at Downside Primary School in Luton as part of a massive redevelopment of the school which started with the merging of both the infant and primary school in 2012. They chose to completely revitalise the grassed areas around the school as they had worn out due to the influx of pupils.
In total it took 5 weeks and 4 days to lay over 7500sqm of grass over an area that included play equipment and a sports field about the size of a football pitch. It has been Trulawn’s longest and largest ever project but all in all it ran smoothly, on time and even finished a day early.
The Trulawn Team Leader was Jonny Sim, a four and a half year veteran of the company, who oversaw the day-to-day running of the installation. “We approached it the same way you would a back garden really. All the same basic principles of installation are the same it’s just on a much larger scale.”
It took 50 grab lorries to muck out the entire area so that 300 tonnes of aggregate could be laid down for the draining system. The area was edged with 220m of timber edging, 100m of which required haunching. This process took some heavy duty machinery with 20 tonne diggers, 6 tonne dumpers and a bulldozer all used in order to get the materials on the area and distributed.
The important part of this was making sure that the area wasn’t flattened too much, as it can affect the appearance of the grass.
“One of the easiest ways of telling whether it’s fake or not is how flat the surface is. If it’s too flat it just looks fake, that’s why you should always try and keep as much of the original contouring so that it looks as natural as possible.”
The biggest challenge, was the sheer weight and length of the rolls of grass. Normal sized rolls for domestic use come in widths of 2 or 4 m with a typical length of 25m, these can be easily lifted or rolled by a team of men. On a project this large, Trulawn had longer rolls specifically manufactured so that there would not be so many individual pieces over the field.
The longest roll was 67m and weighed a tonne, so a forklift was needed any time a piece of grass was to be laid. This required some adaptation of the installation method when it came to fixing the grass together.
“Normally when seaming pieces together a man can manually pull the pieces together to join them, it’s just a process of overlapping and cutting. As the pieces were so long and heavy there was no way you could overlap them physically so every seam had to be cut in.”
The school chose Trulawn Luxury to update the grounds which is one of the highest quality grasses available on the market. It has a ten year guarantee against weather resistance, meaning that it will not fade against UV radiation or degrade under UK climactic conditions. Its durability is matched by the realism of its appearance with a true to life blend of olive, dark and lime green colours and tan thatch.
As the leading supplier of artificial grass to schools across the country, Trulawn regularly revitalises school playgrounds and play areas with fake turf. Downside Primary was one of the biggest projects Trulawn has undertaken, and a rare opportunity to show just how much difference artificial grass can make to an area.