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Birdair Canopies Accentuate the Positive at the New Palm Beach Outlets

Birdair Canopies Accentuate the Positive at the New Palm Beach Outlets

A new outlet shopping center is bound to attract attention.

Published: May 15, 2014

With access to high-end name brands, shoppers flock to these destinations looking for high-quality merchandise at a fraction of the cost. But, what happens when the outlet center’s design and aesthetic appeal are just as popular as the retail outlets themselves?  The answer:  You get record turnouts and rave reviews from residents, tourists and the media. 

According to the Value Retail News, outlet center sales across the United States increased around 12 percent in 2012 to about $25 billion. This popularity has led to the development of a number of new outlets across the United States.  New England Development, a leading retail developer based out of Newton, Mass., envisioned an outlet in Palm Beach that would benefit from being placed in the heart of one of the most affluent regions in the country.  The result: Palm Beach Outlets

Located directly off Interstate 95 on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Outlets opened in February 2014 and  features 460,000 square feet of outlet stores including Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, J.Crew | crewcuts Factory, Ann Taylor Factory Store, Banana Republic Factory Store, Kenneth Cole, Talbots, Under Armour Factory Store, and White House | Black Market.

When designing Palm Beach Outlets, the developer, New England Development, was seeking to create a shopping experience with a signature look that would attract not only residents, but also the millions of tourists who flock to South Florida every year. 

New England Development worked with the design architect, Elkus Manfredi Architects and with Dorksy + Yue International, the architect of record, to incorporate shade structures into the overall design of the center that would give the impression of lit, occupied tents conjuring the image of an oasis, and that could be seen from a distance. New England Development’s construction managers, EMJ Construction, then reached out to Birdair to help make this vision a reality.

The leading specialty contractor for custom tensile membrane structures around the world, Birdair, contributed to the beauty of the Palm Beach Outlets by designing, fabricating and installing approximately 41,000 square feet of its PTFE fiberglass membrane walkway canopies. PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene, is a Teflon®-coated woven fiberglass membrane that is extremely durable and weather resistant. These cone-shaped structures not only offer a signature look to the outlet center, but also provide patrons and employees with much needed protection from the sunny, hot and humid Palm Beach climate.

“A primary concern for anyone constructing an outdoor venue in South Florida is the weather,” said David Capezzuto, Director of Business Development, North America. “New England Development wanted to create an open-air outlet mall that would attract the residents and tourists alike, but needed adequate cover that would protect shoppers from the heat of the sun and almost daily precipitation that hits the region.” 

“The Birdair team added great value from start to finish,” said Jim Fischer, New England Development’s Vice President for Design and Construction. “First and foremost, the product’s performance and aesthetic benefits speak for themselves. Secondly, we appreciated Birdair’s ability  to integrate into the entire design and build team.”

Providing Much Needed Cover

Birdair’s PTFE fiberglass membranes can be installed in climates ranging from the frigid arctic to the scorching desert heat, to the hot and humid South Florida climate, with a project life in some cases exceeding 30 years. The fiber coating is chemically inert, capable of withstanding extreme temperatures. It is also completely immune to dangerous UV radiation. This unique combination of inertness, thermal stability and surface properties make Birdair’s PTFE-coated fabric membrane ideal for projects requiring superior weather and fire resistance.

Providing a Signature Look

Few products in the commercial building products industry can compare to the attractiveness of a tensioned fabric structure. Birdair’s solutions literally transform a typical shopping outlet into a first-class shopping destination that provides a dramatic and eye-catching appeal to visitors.

In addition to the daylighting and shading options it provides, the PTFE membrane serves as a canvass of light for evening shoppers. Utilizing 160 different LED lighting combinations, the developer created a vibrant atmosphere that mesmerizes patrons while creating an upbeat and positive atmosphere. 

Providing a Sustainable Solution

Fabric structures are not only visually appealing but also environmentally sensitive and economically competitive as well. Lightweight membrane provides a cost-effective solution because it requires less structural steel to support the roof or façade, enabling long spans of column-free space. In addition, membrane offers building owners reduced construction and maintenance costs compared to traditional building materials.

It also adds to energy cost savings as well.  PTFE fiberglass is Energy Star and Cool Roof Rating Council certified. During scientific tests of its solar properties, it was discovered that PTFE fiberglass membranes reflect as much as 73 percent of the sun’s energy while holding just seven percent on its exterior surface. Certain grades of PTFE fiberglass can absorb 14 percent of the sun’s energy while allowing 13 percent of natural daylight and seven percent of re-radiated energy (solar heat) to transmit through.

Providing a Long-Term Economic Anchor

Palm Beach Outlets are now the centerpiece of development in the region. With nearly 1.5 million residents and millions more tourists accessing this premier shopping destination, local officials expect it to be an economic boon for the region for years to come. 

Teflon® is a registered trademark of E. I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, Delaware.

Download PDF Version: PDF icon BIR_PalmBeachOutlets_ProjectOverview_FINAL (5-15-14).pdf

About Birdair: Birdair, Inc. is the leading specialty contractor of custom tensile structures throughout the world. 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, engineering, installation and maintenance. The company offers a selection of architectural fabric membranes, including PTFE fiberglass, ETFE film, PVC and Tensotherm™. Birdair, based in Buffalo, NY, is a member of the Taiyo Kogyo Group, with operations serving North and South America and other international locations. For more information about Birdair, like us on Facebook, call 1-800-622-2246 or visit www.birdair.com.