Birdair to provide ETFE film for new Atlanta stadium

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Birdair has been selected as the specialty contractor for the roof pillow system and façade solution for the new Atlanta stadium. The new state-of-the-art facility, set to open in 2017, will be home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and MLS Atlanta, and will host concerts, conventions and other marquee sports and entertainment events.

The stadium’s retractable roof consists of triple-layered ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) roof pillows on eight petals that retract, similar to a camera lens. Additionally, the façade will feature a single ETFE skin supported by a cable net system. The design requires approximately 135,000ft² of triple-layered ETFE pillows and air inflation system and approximately 165,000ft² of vertical single-layered ETFE film and cable net. The roof will create an outdoor feel, allowing natural sunlight in when the weather is pleasant, and protecting players and fans during inclement weather.

The project team selected Birdair because of the company’s tensile architecture expertise, construction skill and unique ETFE film.

ETFE film was chosen for a variety of reasons including aesthetics, performance and sustainability. One of the most lightweight and transparent cladding materials available, it is a perfect application for roofing and façade construction as the transparency of the ETFE membrane allows daylight to flow into the space below while also providing cover. The film is UV transparent so exposure to UV won’t discolor or structurally weaken the film. In addition, due to the inert nature of its surface, it resists the adhesion of airborne pollutants, dust, dirt and chemicals.

ETFE can be used in either single or multiple-layered applications. The new Atlanta stadium project utilizes a three-layer application, known as a cushion system, where a pneumatic system maintains air between the layers of film that are attached in aluminum extrusions. The stadium also makes use of a single-layer application reinforced with a cable net for the façade.

Since 1975, Birdair has installed fabric retractable roof systems for ten NFL stadiums. The University of Phoenix Stadium, the recent host of Super Bowl XLIX and home to the Arizona Cardinals, features a retractable Birdair PTFE fiberglass membrane roof.

In addition to pre-construction services such as design assistance, budgeting, construction methodologies and project scheduling, Birdair provides design-build solutions in all aspects of project design, fabrication, installation and maintenance. The company offers a selection of architectural fabric membranes, including PTFE fiberglass, ETFE film, PVC and Tensotherm – an insulated tensioned membrane system. Birdair, based in Buffalo, New York, is a member of the Taiyo Kogyo Group, with operations serving North and South America and other international locations.

July 23, 2015

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