As Green Building & Design has consistently documented, a mass transformation of standards and ethics in the realm of architecture has been in accelerating bloom. Remarkable strides have been made in conscientiously modifying our built environments in response to data disseminating from the scientific community. Birdair picks up where most others have left off, stepping outside the corral of the built structure and utilizing its singular brand at the service of outdoor excursionists and festive public assemblages. Birdair has earned a distinction as the paramount artisans for tensile roof structures that promote character in design and sustainability in constitution. From a bird’s eye view, Vincent Caruso surveys a few tensile developments and the advantages they impart to nature and humanity alike.
University of Louisville Soccer Stadium
The Estopinal Group
The number of fans Cardinal Track and Soccer Stadium holds
Square feet of tensile fabric that spans the grandstands of the stadium
The first LEED-certificed soccer stadium used exclusively by a Division 1 team
Putting in over a decade’s worth of time digging cleats into the Cardinal Track and Soccer Stadium, Louisville, Kentucky’s men’s and women’s soccer teams had quite comfortably settled into their nest. However, when the opportunity presented itself, the Cardinals thought wise to decamp and migrate to a new secure site to nestle into, the way the feathered creatures of which they’re named after tend to do. And the move was anything but a lateral one. The team now disporting within what is now the biggest collegiate soccer turf in the United States, the supremely state-of-the-art Dr. Mark & Cindy Lynn Stadium boasts a capacity that nears 6,000 onlookers’ seats.
As a general rule of thumb, the size of a built structure grows correlatively with its adverse environmental impact. However, in the case of the Mark & Cindy Lynn Stadium (taking its name from the revamp’s prime donors), careful measures were considered throughout each step of the construction process to ensure the contrary. Unlike the previous Cardinal coliseum, this Olympic habitat is gifted with the Birdair PTFE fiberglass canopy. Skyward the soccer fans’ heads, the 24,000-square-foot tensile fabric spans gracefully over the grandstands. The membrane, designed to reflect heat and glare, will dramatically minimize solar heat gain and thus the necessity of HV/AC energy consumption. Impressively, the Mark & Cindy Lynn Stadium is the first LEED-certified soccer stadium used exclusively by a Division 1 team.
MacDonald Island Park Nexen Stage
Home to the likes of the Suncor Community Leisure Centre and Miskanaw Golf & Country Club, amusements of immense proportions are no foreign notion to the tracts of MacDonald Island Park. As Canada’s single largest public social center, Shell Place routinely sees action of all sorts and sizes. It is natural then, that this corner of the expanse has warmly welcomed its latest colossal recreational extension, the Equipment Stadium Nexen Energy Stage. A newly constructed addition to the parklands, the Nexen Stage will host a variety of lively entertainment, including “international stars, national heroes, and local talent.”
The not-for-profit company that owns MacDonald Island Park, the Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo, will have the safeguarding Birdair canopy structure stretching over an exceptional 30,000 square feet, surmounting the Nexen Stage and neighboring Molson Outdoor Rink. The celestial visual beauty of the tensile canopy is a sight to behold, crafted carefully in the undulating image of Canada’s Northern Lights. The canopy’s functional capacity is likewise noteworthy, as the PTFE coating applied to the fiberglass grants the membrane a resistance to weather extremity across the spectrum and durability beyond compare.
The Domain Austin Mall
Square feet that the tensile fabric, and fiberglass membrane structure spans.
Percent of which the sun’s ire the PTFE membrane reflects and resists against.
In a culture as competitive as our own, it is commonplace to claim our socio-categorical identity through personalization of our wardrobe. Most often, this pastime is pursued at the leisurely retreat of the shopping mall. In a like fashion, with the help of Beck Architecture, Austin, Texas’ Domain Mall has been treated to new accoutrements tailored by Birdair’s specialized hand. Spanning 15,000 square feet, the tensile structure includes a fiberglass membrane that makes exemplary use of PTFE fiberglass, a material that has been certified by both Energy Star and the Cool Roof Rating Council. Beyond immunity to UV radiation, PTFE fiberglass is too marked for its resistance against extreme climates. Solar properties possessed by the domain’s PTFE membrane can reflect up to 73% of the sun’s ire. In addition, a multi-colored “mandolin” structure overlooks the mall’s outdoor area wherein “live music performances, festivals, markets and holiday activities” are among the events to inherit the luminance of the LED pattern.
Arkansas Music Pavilion
After a brief dip in the early aughts, music festivals in North America have, over the past several years, reclaimed—if not surged beyond—the popularity they once knew during their early ‘90s onset. Subsequently, this rebirth has bestowed new meaning and purpose to the scarcer body of ad hoc outdoor music venues. When Walton Arts Center
(WAC) purchased and migrated the Arkansas Music Pavilion to the Washington County Fairgrounds, they increased the amount of venue activity and diversified the content of live musical performances, leading to a 200% increase in ticket sales. Instead of allowing such a stunning success to satiate their business drive, they pondered how to maximize the potential of a venue comparatively limited due to its vulnerability to oftentimes-unpredictable weather conditions.
The answer was green in terms of both profitability and sustainability, commissioning the construction of a PTFE membrane roof to curtail delays and cancellations driven by nature’s whim. While the steel-supported tensile structure reflects the brutality of southern sunrays during the day, glowing lights planted on the tent-like stage roof reflects the excitement and radiant awe felt between eager faces within the audience. In addition to the sound emanating from the amplifiers of the musical acts that take the stage, the roof structure itself is a work of art to admire, from the three cone-like forms protruding upward to the curved breadth of the membrane surface. The roof project is also notably cost-effective, minimizing the need for steel columns, significantly reducing maintenance and construction expenditures.