Home of Scottish rugby, the BT Murrayfield Stadium was in desperate need of a replacement pitch after the grass roots were infested and destroyed by a parasitic round worm known as nematodes.
The stadium management team took the decision to invest in a state-of-the-art Desso GrassMaster® hybrid pitch, which would withstand three times as much play as a traditional, natural turf-only playing surface. At a cost of £1.25million, it was the largest project of its kind in Scotland and rugby fans watched with anticipation as four months of intensive work got under way.
A hybrid playing surface consists of 97% natural grass with 3% artificial, containing millions of Desso artificial turf fibres which are sewn into place two centimetres apart across the entire playing field. Each artificial strand is implanted 20cm into the soil and then trimmed to blend in with the rest of the grass.
The BT Murrayfield pitch, which was moved one and a half metres towards the west stand during its redevelopment, was set to have 105,000km of polypropylene fibres woven into the playing field – enough yarn to reach twice around the world.
The four month time scale was tight, with the Desso team alone requiring two weeks of sewing time. Together the project consultant, Bill Gillespie (PSD Scotland), and contractor, J Mallinson (Ormskirk), specialists in sports field construction, were tasked with providing the very best in ground preparation works to aid the growth of the new pitch. A key part of this phase was the selection of a market-leading lower rootzone sand/upper rootzone combination which would not only enable rain water to drain but would also be suitable for use with the unique Desso GrassMaster® system.
In order to produce a playing surface of the highest quality, a special grade of sand would be required. Combining the properties of two readily available sand grades, this new material would tick the boxes for drainage and cost efficiency, whilst offering the exact particle size and type best suited to the application of the Desso GrassMaster® system.
The only issue was this type of sand didn’t exist in Scotland. That was until a team of experts at Aggregate Industries agreed to take on the task of bringing this material to market, specifically for the BT Murrayfield Stadium project. Combining product, quarrying and logistical expertise, Aggregate Industries not only developed the right material for the job, but also delivered it within an incredibly tight time frame.
3500 tonnes of Levenseat LV25 along with 1800 tonnes of Levenseat Sports Rootzone was used at the BT Murrayfield Stadium to provide the ideal substrate for the new pitch. The playing surface received glowing praise from players, managers and the media alike when it was put under the spotlight for the first time in July 2014, for football not rugby, as BT Murrayfield hosted Glasgow Celtic’s Champions League qualifier against KR Reykjavik which was played only 6 weeks after seeding.
BT Murrayfield Stadium
J Mallinson (Ormskirk) Ltd
Sports and leisure
- Specialist Sands play fundamental role in £1.25m pitch upgrade - 3500 tonnes of LV25 sand and 1800 tonnes of Levenseat Rootzone
- Bespoke blending combined with expert product knowledge produces unique material meeting clients specification
- Market-leading delivery/supply capability
The delivery service and attention provided by the Aggregate Industries team was second to none, with special mention the team’s liaison with the on-site construction team.
The willingness of Aggregate Industries to work with PSD to produce the quality of sand and rootzone we required to meet the exacting standards for such an installation was very much appreciated.