McArdle Sport Tec are in the starting blocks at the University of Birmingham

8-Lane Athletics Track Installation

After submitting a detailed design and tender for the installation of a new athletics track at University of Birmingham, McArdle Sport Tec Ltd were thrilled to have been awarded the project contract. The large scale project for the University of Birmingham at Edgbaston Park Road is sure to attract many users from the university and King Edward’s School which is situated opposite the University site. The new facility includes an 8-lane athletics track with a natural turf infield and a state-of-the-art LED floodlighting system, as well as field areas for steeple chase, high jump, long jump, javelin, hammer and discus.

After an initial site clearance, the major works are expected to start imminently with the IAAF accredited track surface and associated facilities to be completed in the summer. The extensive project involves the removal and re-use of a vast expanse of top soil,  design and installation of complex drainage systems, the installation of a stone sub-base and a macadam base, installation of the polymeric running surface, line marking in accordance with UK athletics, timber crib wall construction, planting and much more.

The synthetic track surfacing will be a ‘sandwich’ system, formed of a base layer of resin bound black SBR rubber crumb and a top layer of solid red polyurethane resin with partially embedded red EPDM rubber crumb forming the surface texture. Paved areas are to be erected for judges stands on the inside and outside of the track circuit, at the finish line on the main straight.

Athletics track installation specialists McArdle Sport Tec have previously installed athletics tracks and facilities throughout the UK including, but not limited to, The Manchester Commonwealth Games stadium track, The Aberdeen Sports Village, Stowe School, King George V Playing Fields in Swansea, Tavistock College, and are currently mid-way though the construction of a new track  at the National Indoor Athletics Centre located at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

athletics track installation

Athletics Track Construction – Types of Track

Porous vs Sandwich Systems

We are proud to be specialists when it comes to athletics track construction. We have installed many tracks, from the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games track to numerous tracks in schools and colleges which range in size, track system, colour and budget. The most commonly installed types of athletics track systems installed in the UK are porous and sandwich. A question we are frequently asked is, “What is the difference?”

Porous tracks are designed to allow water to filter through the track, essentially, they consist of a rubber binder base mat and a top layer.
The base layer consists of SBR (styrene-butadiene rubber) granules which are mixed with a binder and laid in-situ. The top layer consists of smaller EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber granules, which are mixed on-site with a PU resin binder. This is sprayed on top of the base mat layer.

Porous systems are:
• Designed to allow water to drain through the track, therefore no additional track drainage system is required.

• Tend to be the most cost effective track system to install; an ideal choice for athletics clubs, universities, colleges and schools.
• Can be made in a variety of colours; a sealing layer may be required to stop colour fade.

Sandwich track systems are essentially designed to stop the water draining through. Like a porous system, sandwich tracks have a rubber base mat layer at the bottom and top layer. In-between these is the “sandwich layer” made from a polyurethane compound which is non-porous, it creates a barrier to stop water from seeping from the top layer to the base layer.

Sandwich systems:
• Offer improved shock-absorption performance to the porous system.
• Offer a greater lifespan than porous systems as the EPDM cast be retextured numerous times.
• Can also be made in a variety of colours.
• Are more suited for national and regional athletic competitions.

Cardiff Met Uni Continue to Work with Sports Surface Specialists McArdle Sport Tec

After the successful installation of a FIFA accredited pitch at Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Cyncoed Campus in 2014, McArdle Sport Tec have been chosen to work with Cardiff Met Uni once again.

The latest project at the Cyncoed Campus involves the construction of a 400 metre, six-lane athletics track with a 3G rugby pitch in the middle and an athletics development facility. The team began on site in October and will be working through to June 2017.

The polymeric track will be built to meet IAAF standards and the athletics development facility will include designated areas for javelin, shot put, discus, pole vault and long jump.

To meet the specification required for FIFA and World Rugby Pitches, McArdle’s will be installing TigerTurf’s innovative “Rugby 360” surface system upon an in-site shockpad. This brand-new artificial turf product is a quality rugby-specific surface, perfect for rugby union and rugby league itches. The third-generation surface is made using durable XWR yarn and will meet the newly revised requirements of World Rugby Regulation 22 and FIFA performance standards.