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Birdair, Inc. to Construct Glass Roof for Green Point Stadium

Birdair, Inc. to Construct Glass Roof for Green Point Stadium

Three 2010 FIFA World Cup Stadium Projects Awarded to Birdair

Published: December 08, 2008

Birdair, Inc., the leading specialty contractor of lightweight long-span roofing systems and tensile structures throughout the world, has been awarded contracts for three of the four primary 2010 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup Stadium projects, including Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

As an integral part of Green Point Stadium's design, engineering and construction, Birdair's project role consists of roofing sub-contractor for the 68,000-seat, six-level stadium, slated for completion in September 2009. In addition to constructing the roof, Birdair is also erecting 1,600 metric tonnes of perimeter compression ring steel on the facility.

“Birdair has a long history in the design and construction of some of the most structurally complex and technically challenging stadium roof structures in the world, and Green Point Stadium is no exception,” explains Thomas Wuerch, Birdair vice president of operations.

Green Point Stadium's abstract, linear design and flat roof shape will emulate the surrounding Cape Town landscape, complementing the mountainous terrain rather than detracting from it. A unique combination of steel, cables, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) mesh and glass will form the structure's sleek tensile roof, an essential aesthetic and functional component of the athletic facility. Shaped like a large undulating bicycle wheel, the roof will feature 340,000 square feet of translucent PVC mesh liner, creating a veil-like effect intended to parallel the surrounding mountains' misty atmosphere.

“For me, it is the incredible location of the stadium – built right between the famous Cape Town Tabletop and Lion’s Head Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean – that sets this project apart,” continues Wuerch. “It will no doubt be one of the most photographed stadiums in the world. It’s a great feeling to be part of such a memorable project.” 

To offset the PVC mesh liner, 365,000 square feet of glass will be installed, acting as a ballast to hold down the entire light-weight roof structure during the 40-50 mph winds that frequently sweep through the Cape Town area. The glass will additionally serve as a sound dampener to keep noise levels down. Studies indicate that the glass roof will better contain the noise inside the stadium while reducing the overall noise level by six decibels, as compared to the previous Green Point Stadium, which was demolished in 2007.

The 19th FIFA World Cup is scheduled for June 11 to July 11, 2010, in nine South African cities. This marks the first time that the tournament will be hosted by a nation in the Confederation of African Football.

In addition to Green Point Stadium, South Africa has commissioned the building of four additional stadia, as well as the renovation of five existing sports facilities.

Green Point Stadium’s unique qualities will not go unrecognized by FIFA or South Africa: the stadium will host six first-round matches, one second-round match, one quarterfinal match and one semifinal match – more matches than any other 2010 World Cup Stadium. Following the World Cup, the athletic facility will host soccer and rugby matches.

Construction on Green Point Stadium began in August 2008. Upon completion in September 2009, the stadium's roof design, which complies with FIFA World Cup guidelines to provide cover for spectators while meeting aesthetic, acoustic and environmental impact requirements, will be the first of its kind in the world.

For the construction of this landmark roof structure Birdair has formed a Joint Venture with specialty cable manufacturer Pfeifer Seil-und Hebetechnik of Memmingen, Germany. The project architect is von Gerkan, Marg und Partner (GMP Architects), Hamburg, Germany and the project engineer is Schlaich Bergermann and Partners, Stuttgart, Germany.

Along with Green Point Stadium, Birdair is also serving as roofing sub-contractor for two additional 2010 World Cup venues – Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and Durban Stadium. 

To date, Birdair has completed work on 65 sports facilities globally, incorporating tensile architecture into a variety of single-sport and multi-purpose stadiums and arenas. Birdair combines breakthrough technologies with unparalleled experience to create structures that meet both facility and patron requirements. 

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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.