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Birdair Honored by IFAI for Kuwait Stadium Roof System

Birdair Honored by IFAI for Kuwait Stadium Roof System

Published: January 08, 2008

Birdair, Inc. has earned the 2007 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) for its innovative tension cable and fabric membrane roofing system, recently installed on Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium in Safat, Kuwait.

The Birdair project competed in the 60th annual International Achievement Awards, garnering honors in the category of Tensile Structures, 30,000 square feet or larger. IFAI received a record 387 entries from 14 different countries, which were reviewed by a panel of industry experts, editors, architects, educators and design professionals.

Projects were submitted in 28 categories and evaluated for complexity, design, workmanship, uniqueness and functionality.

“The canopy structure on Jaber Al-Ahmad Stadium was a unique and complex undertaking, so we’re thrilled that IFAI has recognized Birdair’s work on this distinctive project,” explains Kevin Mayer, Vice President of Business Development, Marketing and Sales for Birdair. “The stadium owners were very pleased with the roof’s appearance, which has given Birdair an important foothold in the growing Kuwaiti building industry.”

Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium – also known as Kuwait Stadium – seats more than 64,000 spectators and is the largest soccer and Olympic-standard sports venue in the country.

Birdair designed, engineered and installed the canopy system for the stadium within one year, utilizing 147,637 square feet (45,000 sq. meters) of PTFE Teflon-coated fabric. Workers unfurled the single- layer membrane across a rigid framework of steel masts and cable in 282-foot spans (86 meters), venturing from the roof’s outer edge to an open inner ring measuring 348 feet (106 meters) in diameter. Using this system, the outside perimeter and cable ring are compressed together by force to hold the shape of the stadium’s roof. Even though the fabric is exerting pressure on the steel and cables, components pull against each other to maintain proper tension. 

Using a highly translucent woven fiberglass material, Birdair’s team of engineers and designers capitalized on the membrane’s daylight harvesting properties. Due to its inherent high translucency, light pours through the material to brighten the stadium’s interior space, reducing the need for supplemental electric lighting.

The bright white fabric also offers a strong defense against the extreme wind, dirt, sand and heat of Kuwait’s harsh desert climate. Additionally, the structure maintains a long lifespan and is resistant to staining and soiling.

Four-inch diameter radial cable was used throughout the structure’s design, weighing more than 385 tons and encompassing an area of 137,795 square feet (42,000 sq. meters). The inner ring, also constructed using compressed steel, weighs approximately 1,950 tons. Applying these components to the roofing system allowed engineers to suspend two 15-ton scoreboards from opposite ends of the canopy.

The intriguing fabric structure forms peaks that rise and fall like sand dunes, echoing the beauty of the surrounding desert terrain. The roof’s unique saddle-shaped design recalls the nomadic past of the Kuwaiti people, who traveled on camels across the region. Most importantly, it offers effective shading from the oppressive Arabian heat. According to Birdair Project Engineer Wesley R. Terry, P.E., who supervised the installation, temperatures regularly reached 130° (54° Celsius) or more during construction.

Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium is slated for completion in December 2007. 

Download PDF Version: PDF icon 2008-01-08_Kuwait_IFAI_Award.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.