Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards: Residential Development
These facility winners at private homes are great examples of tennis-court construction.
In 2015, a panel of judges for the Tennis Industry/American Sports Builders Association picked out four residential courts as winners in the Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards. One, a private court on a hillside in Los Angeles, was singled out for “Outstanding” honors. That new, cushioned acrylic court — with a glass guardrail on the downhill side, resulting in an “infinity” court with no visual barriers to block a stunning view of the city — was honored with the other Outstanding award-winners in our February issue. The other three Distinguished award winners for 2015 include Silver and Bronze honors.
The new, private cushioned hard court at the Nelson Residence in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., is the 2015 Residential Silver Award winner. The owners wanted a court complete with lighting, a seating area and a music system they could use for entertaining — and they wanted it set in the middle of a well-known 18-hole golf course they had developed. As such, the court and surrounding area had to meet aesthetic requirements to match their home and the golf course design.
One challenge in constructing the court was the several feet of elevation changes at the site, which required stone retaining walls. The owners chose a natural stone to complement the golf course and their home. The retaining wall was kept several feet from the sides of the court to allow surface drainage from the court to seep into the stone base and into drain tiles. Drainage around the exterior of the court is through natural landscaped swales.
The ASBA’s Bronze Award winner is a new, private red-clay court in Miami Beach. The site is on a small, semi-private island with limited access over a small bridge, which made for tight access for court-building equipment. With the Intracoastal Waterway to the north and west of the court, the area has both a high water table and poor soil — coral rock was found while excavating the site. To help mitigate the soil conditions, shallow spread footers were engineered and installed for all fencing, light poles and net post footings. The court has both a subsurface irrigation system and a conventional six-head auxiliary system. Due to lighting restrictions imposed on the private community by the city, special lighting was designed with 10-foot mounting height, 3-foot arms and 750-watt cut-off fixtures, tilted at 35 degrees.
Receiving Distinguished Award honors is the Alsop Court at Haven Hill in Beverly Farms, Mass. The chosen site for the clay court not only was filled with ledge, but also had major elevation changes of 24 feet at one end and 15 feet diagonally. About 1,000 cubic yards of ledge was blasted out; some was used as backfill to balance the site, and some as rip-rap outside of the retaining walls on the low sides. There is a full perimeter retaining wall that accommodates the light poles, which on the high side extends more than 10 feet high. A silt fence was installed around the court on all low sides, and drainage around the exterior includes swales on the high side. The chain-link fence does not extend all the way around, so a divider net curtain on a cable was installed to close off the open sides during play.
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