Implement energy efficient systems that make the most of limited resources, such as power and water.
Building materials and design elements should be appropriate to context, cost efficient (considering whole of life cost), durable, and be made of parts that can be easily replaced if damaged. Design the park for ease of maintenance from the outset.
Where buildings are required, they should be multifunctional
Think carefully about whether or not a building is truly necessary. When determined necessary, design buildings that can be shared by a variety of groups and clubs. This will reduce construction and maintenance costs, and help build stronger communities by encouraging sports clubs and community groups to interact and work together.
Ensure that buildings:
- are multifunctional
- are adaptable to a range of uses
- are clustered together on the site, if more than one is required
- are renovated and re-purposed, where possible
- have sufficient and accessible storage areas for sports and maintenance equipment
- are integrated into the park and appropriately located adjacent to relevant facilities, but do not dominate the park or prevent other uses.
Designs should be innovative, sustainable and high amenity
Use innovative and sustainable design techniques to make parks more efficient and attractive, and to encourage closer integration with the surrounding environment. Use new, recycled and sustainable features to achieve cost savings, where possible.
Ensure the design:
- uses efficient water sources for irrigation (e.g. consider collecting, storing and using stormwater for irrigation)
- has efficient lighting systems (e.g. solar powered lights or a system that can dim and turn off to align with demand)
- includes appropriate planting to provide shade, provide visual interest and establish a link with the surrounding areas.
Design for minimal maintenance requirements
Maintenance should be a key consideration early in the design process to achieve parks that remain well-functioning and attractive in the long term. Materials, surfaces and furniture should be durable, easy to clean, easy to replace, and cost efficient. Rubbish and recycling bins should be clustered together in a few key locations which are easily accessed by maintenance trucks to reduce the amount of collection spots to be serviced.
Develop a maintenance plan which:
- considers the maintenance required for all surfaces, materials and structures, both short and long term
- aligns with the budget and resources available for maintenance
- incorporates robust ‘off the shelf’ furniture elements from local suppliers.
Incorporate robust playing surface choices
A huge number of playing surfaces exist, but many are only designed with one sport in mind. Good planning and design can maximise the function of playing fields, providing a venue fora variety of different sports year round. Designs should be robust, in order to maximise the number of playing hours offered by any sport surface.
When designing a sports surface, consider:
- the level of use and performance the surface will need to support, now and in the future
- how optimum field conditions can be maintained during winter and summer
- whether playing surfaces will recover quickly from rain events
- the use of surfaces which are more robust and less prone to closure
- the performance requirements, (e.g. roll and rebound, artificial surfaces appropriate for the intended mix of different sports)
- the whole of life cost benefit of the surface for the park.