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Birdair, Inc. Teams Up with Middle Eastern Subsidiary to Construct Cricket Stadium On Budget and On Time

Birdair, Inc. Teams Up with Middle Eastern Subsidiary to Construct Cricket Stadium On Budget and On Time

New Dubai Stadium Features World’s First TiO2-Coated PTFE Roof

Published: July 03, 2008

Birdair, Inc, the leading specialty contractor of lightweight long-span roofing systems and tensile structures throughout the world, will complete construction on S3 Cricket Stadium, known casually as Cricket Stadium, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, this summer. The stadium is the first in the world to be built using a fiberglass-woven, PTFE membrane with a TiO2 topcoat.

The project will be completed on budget and on time due largely to Birdair’s ability to coordinate joint project efforts with its local subsidiary, Taiyo Middle East (TME). Birdair and TME have effectively managed to combine resources, forging a partnership that has allowed the project to progress smoothly and efficiently.

“Birdair’s ability to leverage resources from other Taiyo locations to meet client demands was a significant factor in the successful completion of this project,” says Mike Sparks, Birdair vice president of construction. “Other firms in the industry without this capability may have encountered delays and setbacks that we were able to eliminate by working so closely with our subsidiaries at TME.”

The project was awarded to TME in late 2006. Birdair crews began installation in October 2007. Within a year, Birdair contractors will complete the installation of the 600-ton structural steel truss system with 20,000 square meters of architectural fabric membrane tensioned over it.

“Birdair’s role of supervising the membrane construction on Cricket Stadium, in addition to directing the project through different stages, is due to their vast experience in stadium roof construction, which requires high performance levels and extraordinary commitment with respect to the quality of work involved,” says Ahmed Dalain, TME director of projects.

Despite the challenges that are frequently encountered in steel construction, Birdair contractors are working ahead of schedule, as they have been able to complete the erection of the steel compression ring one month before the expected date of completion for this aspect of the project. 

The steel construction of Cricket Stadium is challenging due to difficult steel geometry, as Cricket Stadium’s truss system contains several curved and long steel trusses. Transferring the two-dimensional renderings into a three-dimensional space with a very tight tolerance is a complicated process made even more complex by the fact that the structure was erected through the use of hydraulic cranes without any propping or temporary supports.

The large size of the trusses made it mandatory to assemble trusses on the job site prior to installation. Birdair contractors worked efficiently on a rigid work schedule to complete the assembly in a prompt fashion.

The TiO2-coated membrane was selected for Cricket Stadium because of the minimal maintenance required to keep the fabric looking new.

“The TiO2 coating adds the ability for the membrane to self-cleanse utilizing natural resources, such as sunlight and natural rain water,” continues Dalain. “This makes TiO2-coated PTFE the best choice for long life structures, as there is a minimum cleaning cost. Previously, the necessity to frequently clean fabric membranes as part of their maintenance was a shortcoming. However, now with TiO2, this is no longer a concern.”

PTFE is a Teflon®-coated woven fiberglass membrane that is extremely durable and weather resistant. It is capable of withstanding temperatures from -100°F to +450°F, immune to UV rays, and waterproof.

TiO2 is a non-toxic, flame-resistant coated tensile fabric that actively neutralizes airborne pollutants and odors; self-cleaning by breaking down organic materials. In addition to its low-maintenance requirements and design flexibility, TiO2 offers ample natural light transmittance and solar shading properties, making it an ideal choice for sporting venues.

The project team consists of Gerkan, Marg und Partner (GMP), Berlin, Aachen and Hamburg, Germany, project architect; SKM Consulting, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, engineer; and Alpine Bau Deautschland – Belbadi Contracting JV, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, general contractor. Dubai Sports City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is the facility owner.

Cricket Stadium is the first stadium in the world devoted specifically to the sport of cricket. Upon its completion in summer 2008, the 25,000 seat stadium – expandable to 30,000 seats – will have facilities to accommodate players, match officials, VIPs, spectators and the media. 

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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.