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colour-sprayed with acrylic or polyurethane paint. The special paints used contain slip- reducing additives to provide the necessary grip, and can also have the benefit of prolonging the life of the asphalt surface by reducing the rate of degradation of the bitumen due to UV radiation from sunlight. While there are many advantages in using


porous asphalt for sports surfaces, there are also a number of inherent limitations due to the nature of the materials and processes involved, which should also be recognised. While modified asphalts are much less prone to softening, particularly after their first summer, all bitumen-bound surfaces may soften to some extent in hot weather, and play will need to be suspended if this occurs. The quarried aggregates used in asphalt mixtures are by their vary nature variable, and there may be the occasional appearance of weaker particles in a surface, or the presence of small amounts of mineral elements within the aggregate, that might cause a visual impact, especially on painted surfaces. When building a new court, careful


consideration should be given to a number of key aspects of the technical specification, including site levelling, weed-killing, foundations, court edgings, the playing surface, binders and colour coatings, drainage, surround fencing and the current (or future) need for floodlighting. Needless to say, there are some


important choices to be made that will determine the finished quality of the facility, and which will be reflected in the contract price. SAPCA’s Codes of Practice provide helpful


guidelines on the main issues of construction specifications, in order to help clients to make the right choices for their projects and to achieve good value for money. The documents are free-of-charge, and can be found on the association’s web site. The Codes of Practice also include certain


minimum standards of construction, (to which members of SAPCA are committed), but it should be understood that for any individual project,


variations in climate, soil conditions, topography and other site-specific conditions should be assessed, through a site investigation, to determine the appropriate specification for the work. Details of experienced court contractors and consultants can also be found on the SAPCA web site. Note: While the name macadam is still


commonly used, the term asphalt is the internationally accepted technical name for all surfaces that are composed of a mixture of bitumen and stone.


www.sapca.org.uk


SAPCA is the recognised trade association for the sports and play construction industry in the UK. Its role is to foster excellence, professionalism and continuous improvement throughout the industry, in


order to provide the high quality facilities needed at all levels of sport, physical activity, recreation and play. For details on the above stories and more visit www.sapca.org.uk


pactfacilities.co.uk 41


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