Project Description

Silkeborg Municipality and the Danish Football Association (DBU) will be setting new standards for the artificial turf pitches of the future

In November 2021, Silkeborg Municipality initiated an exciting construction project entailing the installation of two new, third-generation artificial turf pitches at the Søholt Sports Facility – next to an existing artificial turf pitch and the JYSK Park football stadium on Ansvej in Silkeborg.

Apart from intending to create the best possible conditions for local football clubs practicing and playing at Søholt, Silkeborg Municipality is – in cooperation with the DBU and through a test and development project – looking to show how to design, maintain and use artificial turf pitches in an environmentally friendly way.

The environmental impact of artificial turf pitches is currently being discussed in the EU, and one suggestion for an upper limit for the dispersal of microplastics from an artificial turf pitch to its surroundings is 7 g/m2/year.

The new facility at Søholt is designed according to the recommendations described in the new, joint European guide for the construction of artificial turf pitches – CEN report (DS/CEN/TR 17519 – ”Surfaces for sports areas – Synthetic turf sports facilities – Guidance on how to minimize infill dispersion into the environment”).

The purpose of the test and development project in Silkeborg is to verify whether the recommendations described in the CEN report are sufficient to keep the spreading of microplastics below a 7 g/m2/year limit. This corresponds to maximum 50 kg a year per 11-a-side football pitch. Another objective is that the project should build on experience from the test project finalised by Ecoloop in Kalmar, Sweden, in 2019.

In order to create the best possible conditions for test and development projects for pitches with rubber granulate, the Swedish consultancy company Ecoloop prepared an operational working document in the spring of 2021, gathering the most recent experience and knowledge from the test project in Kalmar. The test and development work now to be commenced will take its starting point in this working document.

Apart from the purely football-related aspect, the ambition behind the Søholt project is thus to install a football facility setting the standard for the environmentally friendly artificial turf pitches of the future – in Denmark as well as in the rest of Europe. We have thus created this website, where anyone interested can follow both the construction of, the use of as well as the maintenance and regularly analysed environmental impact of the facility.

Illustration of the test and development pitch

Download preliminary results