In discussion with Lee Collier, Technical Director

At STRI Group, research and development into natural turf playing surfaces has helped progress and advance elite level pitches across the globe for almost 100 years. The Group takes pride in being at the forefront of technological advancement and innovation, developing best practice and understanding for natural turf delivery.

When it comes to stadiums and built environments, microclimate and light are hugely important in managing natural turf. STRI’s Hemiview service provides the best advice for architects during stadium design, and supports the biggest stadiums, sporting bodies, and competitions around the world.


Hemiview technology was originally developed to understand the effect of the natural and built landscape in relation to light energy. The technology and process has been continuously developed over the last twenty years to understand the impact architectural obstructions may have on a natural grass turf pitch within a stadium environment specifically.

The technology provides factual information that can determine which materials would be best to use in roof construction, guiding architects’ decisions in relation to roof design configuration.  Hemiview, unlike many comparable technologies, embeds the ability to determine direct and diffused light energy and the impact of materials with variable translucency. Hemiview is flexible, it can be used on existing stadiums via a photo survey or on a developmental design via a real-world computer-generated 3D model of the stadium, rendered in specialist software.

Each stadium’s structure and geography are unique, and each has its own microclimate which impacts how a natural turf surface is delivered and managed. Light is a significant consideration and constraint, but it should not be examined in isolation. As part of our holistic Hemiview review, we consider the impact of local ambient temperatures, light levels, rainfall, humidity levels and airflow in the stadium collectively. That data is used to direct the turf management strategy and in turn inform the type of supplementary equipment required, and the number and placement of grow light rigs for the pitch.

STRI Group operates globally, and Hemiview is flexible enough to function in different locations, climates and hemispheres, each of which pose their own climate challenges. For example, stadium developments in the middle east will have different parameters to those in Europe, the Americas and Asia, as different turf management strategies will be utilised.

Countries in warmer climates pose a significant challenge as stadium development focus on spectator comfort, where fan experience is a prominent consideration in stadium design. Reducing bowl temperatures efficiently requires a high roof structure and limited oculus opening, this fundamentally contradicts the optimal configuration for healthy turf. Warm season turf requires significantly higher levels of light energy which further convolutes the delivery of high-quality natural turf.

Existing stadiums benefit hugely from Hemiview, as it provides guidance for grounds teams in relation to the optimal placement and duration of lighting rigs, providing an opportunity to build a more efficient turf management strategy.  That information can help make informed decisions on capital investment, and can also reduce energy consumption, making the stadium more sustainable and eco-efficient.

Our agronomic expertise allows our team to effectively implement a strategy based on data and science from Hemiview. It is systematically one of the core parts of design delivery on new and existing stadiums.

In my opinion, the advantage of the Group’s Hemiview process is the ability to look at different variables, as other processes may not be this flexible and could compromise resolution.  Knowing how to interpret data received, and deliver data-based agronomic advice, is so important in being able to deliver solutions on a project and seeing huge successes year on year.


If you are interested in finding out more about our services, please email