Feature Article - October 2016
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One Surface, Many Uses

Finding the Right Multipurpose Sports & Fitness Surfaces

By Joe Bush


Sustainability Matters

Another way to show people a facility or organization cares is a commitment to sustainability. In materials and installation processes, a floor manufacturer can boost a building's LEED points.

The private school Moravian Academy in Bethlehem, Pa., built a fieldhouse facility that includes a competition basketball court, a multipurpose court, and a weight training and conditioning area. A Lancaster, Pa.-based sports flooring contractor was able to meet all the school's needs, providing a 13,570-square-foot maple court for competition, a 6,780-square-foot multipurpose floor, and a 2,415-square-foot interlocking tile rubber floor in the weight room. This was a LEED-certified project to which all of the surfaces contributed, said Joe Banks, marketing coordinator for the sports flooring contractor.

"Sustainable products and environmental stewardship are important factors we see in the industry today," Banks said.

Customization

Sustainable products and practices are relatively new to the recreational sports construction industry, and something else that's new is the ability to customize flooring, said Joel McCausland, sales director of a Salt Lake City, Utah-based leader in sport surfaces, including hardwood, synthetic and outdoor sport surfaces.

"Our modular flooring systems can be 'tuned' to the needs of the facility, by adjusting the levels of shock absorption and resilience," McCausland said. "A volleyball club may need more cushion in their floor, where a basketball team might choose more of a balance between resilience and ball response."

McCausland said that while there are some facilities to whom price is no object, that's not common.

"As in most consumer markets, customers are interested in getting the best value they can for their investment," he said. "Most of our customers are concerned about making the wise choice, given the demands of their facility and user base. They want safety for their athletes, with as much performance and playability as possible. They want to keep costs down—both in initial installation and maintenance—but need a durable and lasting solution for their facility.

"They want a floor that allows groups to play volleyball, basketball, pickleball, futsal, and then to host a community gathering, with no time-consuming changes to the setup—an attractive, tough, sports surface that can take hard use and still look great for meetings and other non-sports applications."

Oh, is that all?