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Guelph Turfgrass Institute Relocation

University of Guelph, Arboretum


University of Guelph, Arboretum


University of Guelph


2013-Phase 1: 2018, Phase 2: ongoing

Project Team

Grinham Architects
Matrix Solutions


Landscape Architecture
Contract Administration
Project Management

The University of Guelph is an institution dedicated to the belief that inventive, inspirational, high quality teaching and applied research is fundamental in the development of individuals, organizations and communities. This dedication is evident in their proactive pursuit related to the relocation of the Guelph Turfgrass Institute (GTI) – a world class turfgrass research facility.

In January 2013, the University of Guelph engaged The MBTW Group to lead a project facilitation process with key participants from the OAC, Arboretum, GTI and several University Departments. The purpose of the facilitation was to establish user needs (in the form of a Functional Program Matrix), develop conceptual design alternatives, make recommendations for a preferred design approach and develop an associate Conceptual Master Plan. The Master Plan was supported by a Vision Document and detailed Existing Facility Valuation and Proposed Facility Implementation cost estimates.

Based on common ideals and expectations, the MBTW vision and associated Conceptual Master Plan was grounded in the principles of Research, Education and Service – universal goals of the key participants, their public partners, and partners within associated professions, industries and the government. The vision document was prepared with the purpose of providing the University and the GTI with a tool that provided clear and consistent communication of the project character, quality and direction.

MBTW recently completed Phase 1 of this project, which focused on the construction of the facilities new Research Plots. The Research Plots are the most critical element of the Guelph Turfgrass Institute development as they are at the core of both research and education functions. Terraced into the existing topography of the site, the plots are sized and oriented based on the specific programming requirements of the Turfgrass Institute Researchers. While research activities associated with the plots vary greatly, they can generally be defined under either Greens Turf or Non-Greens Turf categories:

Greens Turf Areas:

• California Greens

• Native Greens

• Poa Annua Greens

• USGA Greens (designed with both calcareous and non-calcareous sand rootzones)


Non-Greens Turf Areas:

• Athletic Field and Sod Research Plots – including turf ranges designed to Category 1 through Category 5 as per Sports Turf Canada standards

• Weed Trial Areas

• Run-off Plots

• Water Use and Irrigation Research Plots.