Concern stadium roof dew may reduce light

An irrigation system could be installed on the Forsyth Barr Stadium's roof if dew prevents sufficient light getting to the playing pitch, it was revealed yesterday.

Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry confirmed an on-site review suggested dew on the ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (EFTE) roof could affect winter light levels.

An irrigation system could wash the dew away before it became an issue - but the project development team had to be sure there was an issue before the system was installed.

"We have just become aware of it," Mr Farry said when contacted.

"We will monitor it to see whether there really is a problem and, if there is, whether it actually affects light.

"If it does, we'll then have to determine whether it is of sufficient impact for us to have to do anything about. It is fixable."

Dunedin City councillors will today discuss a progress report which says preliminary light level monitoring results show the amount of light getting through the EFTE roof corresponded well with what was expected.

However, a "simple design solution" was being developed after an on-site review found the dew forming on the roof might "have an impact on winter light levels as expected", the stadium precinct executive summary says.

An irrigation system was being discussed but nothing had "been firmly decided upon at this stage - either that it is necessary or how to deal with it if it is", Mr Farry said.

It was "early days".

He could not say how much an irrigation system would cost or how it might affect the stadium budget.

Monitoring would continue and more work needed to be done to see whether the dew formation levels were significant.

If it only happened occasionally, or was limited to certain conditions or certain times of year, it would not be considered a significant issue.

Possible variables, such as the dew being found on a half-finished stadium, would also have to be considered, Mr Farry said.

"We've become aware of it, and we are keeping an eye on it. If we find any problems, we will find solutions."

An EFTE rig was used to test light levels and grass growth in 2007.

Turf consultant Dr Richard Gibbs said dew could contribute to low light levels in winter, but that turf selection and management practices would help deal with low winter light levels.

stu.oldham@odt.co.nz

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