Written by Lisa Simek
Predominantly recognized for its use on athletic fields and sports facilities, artificial grass has been revealing its benefits for decades. Not only does artificial grass reduce maintenance costs and increase the frequency of games held on a particular field, but it also enhances the look of professional, college, and recreationally used fields everywhere with minimal upkeep. Even so the advantages of artificial grass do not have to end with a big game— the possibilities are limitless as its use is a wise choice for applications big and small.
Adding Space and Value
Artificial grass is a smart option for those who want to increase the usable space of any sized property while saving on maintenance costs. Perfect for a picnic or putting green around the pool, homeowners enjoy the appearance and function of lush, natural grass with a no-maintenance backyard. No yard? Artificial grass is perfect for balconies, rooftops and courtyards. Artificial grass is water-permeable and can be easily installed in places grass cannot grow or where low-maintenance is preferred, allowing homeowners to spend that saved time and money on their families.
Artificial grass is also an excellent choice for larger, commercial properties. The beautification of industrial parks, airports, large office complexes and other landscaped areas is a growing segment of the commercial market. Installing artificial grass on areas traditionally covered with landscaping not only creates a beautiful, vibrant atmosphere but also a maintenance-free, positive impact on a company’s bottom line.
Much to the satisfaction of residents and taxpayers, municipalities are also installing artificial grass on school grounds, daycares, batting cages and dog runs across the country. It creates a fun, fresh, clean and mud-free environment for families and pets and does not contain any allergens, harbor insects, or discolor from pet urine. Another benefit is the ability of artifical grass to deter Canadian geese. Research proves that the geese prefer natural grass areas over artificial grass, demonstrating that switching certain areas to artificial grass can be an effective tool in reducing their property damaging (and airport hazardous) impact.
Artificial Grass is GREEN
Working towards USGBC LEED certification for your next project? Artificial grass is recognized as a green material that contributes to sustainable building. Housing and commercial developers appreciate the role artificial grass plays in obtaining USGBC LEED certification for their project, resulting in a variety of tax benefits. Using GardenMark products can help builders meet USGBC LEED criteria under several categories (SS61, SS62, WE1, MR4, and MR6.1) in addition to providing an attractive, cost effective way to create a sustainable project.
The environmental benefits continue well after a project has completed. The use of non-toxic, non-absorbent “synthetic soil” that is pet and environmentally-friendly prevents bacteria growth, is cooler than black crumb rubber and more sanitary than silica. It is also a simple one-time application, keeping costs down.
The “greenest” aspect of artificial grass is in the basic upkeep. There are no harmful fertilizers, weed killers or pesticides leaching into the ground. No mowing means no noxious emissions from gas powered equipment and no grass clippings, which the EPA states are the third largest component of municipal solid waste in landfills.
Water conservation is vital in most areas of the country. Federal and local regulations regarding water use and reduction have become increasingly strict. The Synthetic Turf Council estimates that the use of artificial grass has resulted in the conservation of between three to six billion gallons of water in 2010. In addition to saving money on water bills, some cities offer rebates or credits for residents who install artificial grass as a water-saving landscaping alternative. This is good news for the environment and the artificial grass industry as it will continue to meet demands with green solutions.
Artificial Grass is Growing Employment
According to The Synthetic Turf Council, “synthetic grass for landscape, golf and other recreation applications is the fastest growing segment of the synthetic turf market.” In 2014, 40-45 million square feet of synthetic grass for landscape and recreation was installed. Artificial turf and grass installations are expected to increase significantly as residential, commercial and municipal construction markets continue to seek ways to reduce costs, save on maintenance, and reduce environmental impacts. In order to fill this growing demand, the market needs Certified Artificial Grass Installers. The base prep is almost identical to that of a paver base, with installers simply requiring additional training for seaming and project design before adding this as an additional service to clients.
Meeting New Demand
Many of the latest developments and innovations in the industry include the use of shock pads that not only answer the market demand of schools and daycares, but that are also compliant with the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards for gmax (measurement of shock absorption) and meet ADA federal standards for mobility devices. Shock pads can also be environmentally friendly when made of recycled material. Artificial grass products vary in their composition so that an infill is unnecessary which saves time and money during the installat,ion process.
New developments and advanced technologies allow for a superior product that offers upwards of a fifteen year warranty for artificial grass products.
GardenMark LLC is a one-stop supplier of artificial grass headquartered in Hoboken, New Jersey. All artificial grass products are always in stock, including all accessories needed for a quality installation. Timely delivery to the tri-state area and the entire eastern seaboard is available. GardenMark also offers free training and certification to contractors and landscapers.