Designing sporting facilities to international standards.

Henderson, Auckland

The Project

Babbage was engaged to design and supervise construction of an artificial hockey turf at Henderson High School. The hockey turf combines a wet/dry surface for play and a fully drained dry surface for practice. The West Auckland pitch is used by the school during school hours and by the local hockey community in the evenings.

The facility consists of a hockey pitch developed to full international standards, which can be played wet and dry, together with flood lighting for evening games and practice and a sophisticated water re-usage system combining retreatment to a high quality standard for irrigation. 

The Design

The surface is graded to 0.3 per cent (1 to 333) only, an unusually flat gradient for hockey fields, provided to minimise surface water discharge from the pitch and therefore reduce water usage. 

The construction of such a flat gradient together with the weak subgrade provided design challenges for the civil engineers with the cut and fill required to achieve a stable base for the field. 

Water is drained from the pitch, stored and then treated for reuse on the field to minimise overall water consumption. During dry periods a connection to the public water main can be utilised to top up the water storage tanks. Water cannons located on the field perimeter spray water onto the pitch prior to a game when it is to be operated in a wet condition.

Careful design of the flood-lighting avoids light spill onto the adjacent urban roads and residential properties. The floodlight is designed for two levels of lighting, for practice and for competitive games. This is controlled by a programmable timer, but can also be switched on and off manually. Security lighting to protect the surface from unwanted vandalism is also incorporated. 

Key details


Artificial hockey turf
Waitakere Regional Hockey Turf Trust
Henderson, Auckland
March 2011
Sport and Recreation

Project team

N.S 'Paddy' Luxford
Malcolm Stapleton
Jan Czyganowsky
Kevin Meikle
Fiona Keir
Mike Doherty
Dr. Bruce McCabe
Richard Elliott
Charlotte Rose
Craig Cooper
Matthew Foskin