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Greentech at Beijing Olympic stadium

by Jay ?, San Diego, Tuesday, June 28, 2011, 09:27 @ Jay
edited by Jay, Friday, August 03, 2012, 07:04

But here's an article on the cost for the Beijing Olympic stadium, cost $1.5 million. Seems pretty cheap to me for a capital improvement. I'm sure the maintenance is more costly than Field Turf, but then again so is the current natural grass field. I wonder if the maintenance costs on the grid are expensive. Do they ever need to be fixed? Replaced?


GreenTech grass is as good as gold
Beijing's Olympic stadium latest famous venue to get modular field turf system
Sunday, Nov 18, 2007 - 12:06 AM Updated: 12:41 AM


Chris Scott is going for the gold again.

His company's GreenTech Inc. natural-grass sports field system will be installed at the Olympic stadium in Beijing for next summer's games at an estimated cost of $1.5 million.

The turf system that uses inter-locking trays also was put in the main Olympic stadium in Athens, Greece, three years ago.

"This is great notoriety for us," said Scott, the founder and director of GreenTech, which was started in Richmond more than a decade ago. Its administrative offices are now in suburban Atlanta but its only sales office remains in Richmond.

"This is the biggest athletic field project in four years in the world and we're doing it," he said. "When you are called on to do those types of projects, you can't do much better than that."

The GreenTech sod system also is used at Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium, Giants Stadium in New Jersey and a handful of other stadiums around the world.

The company also has a contract to install a GreenTech field at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow for next year's United European Football Association's soccer league final championship game.

Here's how the system works: Grass is grown initially inside 46-inch-square trays that are a foot deep. The trays -- GreenTech calls them modules -- are grown at an off-site location.

The modules are brought to a stadium and connected like tile floors. A project takes days to install.

Once the field is set up, sections of a stadium that receive a lot of wear and tear -- such as around the goal posts -- can be replaced or moved.

For the Beijing Olympics, the grass is being grown in trays at a location about 15 minutes away. The playing field at the Beijing National Stadium, nicknamed the Bird's Nest stadium because the steel girders are intertwined to look like a bird's nest, will be made up of about 6,500 modules. The field has about 80,000 square feet of grass.

By having moveable grass modules, the Olympic organizers can take away or shift the grass around as needed, Scott said.

That was important for the organizers. The grass won't be installed until after the opening ceremony is held Aug. 8 so the turf won't get damaged during the event.

The system provides flexibility, said Tom Gabbard, Virginia Tech's associate athletic director who oversees its facilities, including Lane Stadium.

Virginia Tech hasn't removed its modules since the system was installed in 2001, but Gabbard said he could see doing that at stadiums such as the one in Beijing.

"Moving the trays in and out or to change out certain parts after a week of competition can be advantageous," Gabbard said.

Gabbard said he thought it was great that a bit of Virginia ingenuity is being installed in China.

The organizers of the Beijing Olympics contacted GreenTech after seeing the sod system used at the Athens Olympics, Scott said. "They liked what they saw and the Greeks recommended they talk to me."

Having the Beijing organizers contact GreenTech was gratifying, Scott said.

"It is rewarding that people are searching us out rather than me having to knock on doors trying to convince someone to build their athletic fields this way," Scott said. "We have the type of reputation that allows us to get into these jobs."

The National Stadium Co. in China, which operates the Bird's Nest stadium, bought the system from GreenTech, he said. The China Sports Institute hired Scott as a consultant to build the field and to install it for the practice run in May and after the opening ceremonies in August.

Scott declined to say how much profit the privately-held GreenTech will make on the deal.

One key reason why the Beijing Olympic organizers went with the GreenTech system was because of plans for an elaborate opening ceremony and the desire to have natural turf, Scott said.

Details of the opening ceremonies are a secret, he said, but Hollywood director Steven Spielberg has a role as artistic consultant.

After those opening ceremonies, GreenTech's system will be installed and take centerstage. The gold medal soccer game should be the last sporting event to use the field.

The organizers of London's 2012 Olympics will be in Beijing -- and Scott hopes they will be looking closely at the field.

"I would hope to get a call from them," Scott said.

If that happens and GreenTech gets a contract, Scott said it would be like winning the gold again.



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