As we enter the dog days of summer, it’s easy to see the obvious choices for installing synthetic ground coverings like NewGrass® instead of natural turf: lawns and play areas that are withering under droughts and water restrictions; hard-to-maintain areas that are tough to irrigate in the first place; shaded areas that are challenging to keep green in the best of conditions and impossible now.
But there are other areas where artificial turf can play a big role and provide a great advantage year-round, in any climate and under any weather conditions: balconies, rooftops, terraces and other architectural nooks and crannies that could benefit from a splash of green.
“The argument against improving these living areas by installing grass hasn’t been about design or not wanting a more natural setting to enjoy,” says NewGrass President Gregory Goehner. “The case against using grass on balconies, rooftops and other small areas has been that architecturally, they often can’t handle the weight of turf grass and the drainage that sod requires.”
Those days are gone. Long gone.
First, changes in small-space landscaping have been forged by the use of synthetic lawns like NewGrass. They obviously don’t require heavy dirt or weighted border materials for installation. They also don’t hold water, like sod grass does. Water drains through NewGrass, for example, at a rate of 30 inches per hour. Even wet, NewGrass is safe for standard commercial and residential construction weight-bearing loads construction.
Artificial grass also obviously eliminates concerns about having dirt tracked where you don’t want it.
But perhaps more importantly — and more recently — green landscaping for small and urban spaces has benefitted from the growing partnership between NewGrass and AirField Systems, a company that makes a draining system designed specifically for installing artificial grass on hard or non-porous surfaces.
“We started suggesting the use of Airfield Systems’ AirDrain to our customers a couple of years ago, simply because we felt it was the absolute best choice when you want to install NewGrass on hard or interior surfaces,” Goehner says.
“The fact that water drains easily through NewGrass is a plus for terraces and patios because of their weight restrictions,” Goehner says. “The fact that we can recommend an outstanding drain system makes our product even more practical.”
AirDrain is an innovative, ecologically sound solution for porous paving, drainage and erosion control on surfaces like concrete.
“It’s super-strong, highly versatile, lightweight and easily installed drainage system made from an environmentally friendly combination of polypropylene and polyethylene,” Goehner says.
The respect apparently is mutual: AirField systems has recently begun specifying the use of NewGrass on drawings it prepares for clients.
“We’re incredibly excited and proud that AirField has this level of respect for NewGrass,” Goehner says.
According to AirField Systems, AirDrain:
- Creates and helps maintain a constant Gmax for NewGrass
- Provides shock absorption to reduce the strain when used to cover play or exercise areas
- Can help qualify for LEED and other green-building credits
- Leaves a smaller carbon and development footprint, with reduced site disturbance
- Makes water harvesting and reuse more feasible
- Qualifies as a “No Break” plastic because it’s made from 100-percent recycled copolymer with the impact modifier metallocene