Conducting commission testing, or performance validation, is simply field testing of new installations. Commission testing for athletic courts and artificial turfs is common within Europe, and it is common on new infilled artificial turf systems within North America.
Having the performance of your new facility validated will ensure that your sport surface delivers the performance that was promised to you during the sale. Commission testing for athletic courts and artificial turfs is appropriate for basketball, volleyball, aerobics, multi-purpose and multi-sport facilities. Remember, suitability testing is only an indication of the performance that your floor will deliver. Actual performance can be affected by a wide variety of factors.
Facilities that frequently host high level competitions, such as professional and collegiate facilities, should consider having all performance criteria validated or commissioned. The performance of sports surfaces in these facilities may affect the health and comfort of athletes. In these installations the health and comfort of even a single athlete can have large financial impacts on a sports franchise or institution.
High-school and recreational centers should consider having two or more performance criteria commissioned or validated. These facilities typically impact a vast number of people over the life of the surface. As an example, a sports floor or gymnasium at a mid-sized high-school may conservatively impact the lives of 30,000 people during a usable life of 50 years.
Any project that has included performance levels within their project specification should, at a minimum, allow for the option of commission testing. Allowing for the option gives facilities flexibility while still helping to ensure that installers follow the necessary steps to provide the promised performance.
Today, most architects fail to even consider performance validation of indoor court surfaces. The simple truth is that the industry has not explained that suitability testing does little, if anything, to ensure that proper performance is delivered to individual installations. This leads many architects to assume that specifying suitability, or preliminary performance ensures that the floor will actually perform to those levels. Sadly, there are installers within the industry who have figured this out and learned that they can cut corners during their installations.
When proper attention is not given to the installation details, the actual performance will fail to meet preliminary levels. With the structure of current project specifications, the only ones who suffer any consequences are the athletes and users of the surfaces and the reputation of the facility or institution. Combining commission testing results with compensation clauses within your project specification will allow you to transfer some of the consequences for poor performance back to the installer, and to help ensure proper attention to the details.
Compensation clauses and performance deviations can be developed to achieve a variety of goals. ASET would be glad to discuss your goals for commission testing for athletic courts and artificial turfs and help you establish appropriate performance deviation and compensation levels. Simply contact us for more information and with any questions you may have.