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John J. Dillon Field House Renovations Capped Off with Birdair

John J. Dillon Field House Renovations Capped Off with Birdair

28 year old facility up-graded with Tensotherm® membrane

Published: November 09, 2015

Mount St. Mary’s University’s John J. Dillon Field House is a 30,300 square foot multipurpose facility used for basketball, tennis, volleyball, track and other athletic activities at the school’s campus in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Since 1987, students and community members have relied on the field house for athletic practices and indoor recreation year-round.  With the 2015 school year underway, the facility has been re-opened after a summer-long renovation consisting of new LED lighting, HVAC equipment, flooring and capped off with a new Tensotherm™ insulated translucent membrane roofing system by Birdair.

Although at 28 years old, the facility had outlived its expectations, the University’s facilities department wanted to apply some upgrades to the field house, including the replacement of its silicon-coated fiberglass roofing system in an effort to improve its noise reduction and heat retention performance.

The facility is part of the University’s Knott Athletic Recreation Convocation Complex (ARCC), a 105,000 square foot fitness, recreation and event center that houses a swimming pool, full gym, spin studio, conference rooms and more.

The new roof, which was chosen to help the field house run more efficiently, is fortified by an eight millimeter aerogel insulation layer that is expected to save the university over $10,000 in energy costs annually. The facility re-opened on October 6, 2015 with a rededication ceremony, and the school’s Division I athletic teams, clubs and intramural programs are already enjoying the enhancements.

“Tensotherm is a great product for retrofitting and upgrading existing facilities.” said David Capezzuto, Director of Business Development for Birdair. “It will help enhance the thermal and acoustical performance of the John J. Dillon Field House.”

Birdair worked directly with university facilities staff to remove the existing roofing system and provide a complete design-build solution for the new roof. Birdair’s extensive in-house design, fabrication, installation and maintenance capabilities were imperative to the project’s success and timely completion.

Innovative Product

Tensotherm™ is the world’s first and only translucent and insulated fabric roofing material. Its many invaluable benefits include: diffused glare-free natural daylight; enhanced temperature

control, even in the most extreme environments; remarkable acoustics; and innovative sustainability. Numerous studies of daylighting document these benefits and show improved teaching and learning for schools, improved productivity for offices and manufacturing facilities, improved sales for shopping malls and improved healing rates in hospitals.

To create Tensotherm, a thin translucent blanket, embedded with aerogel, is placed between a PTFE fiberglass membrane exterior skin and a thinner and lighter acoustic or vapor barrier interior liner. The resulting composite material is a thin, flexible and highly translucent glazing system that provides extraordinary benefits.

Such benefits include superior thermal insulation and dampening of acoustics, which is a real benefit for multi-purpose venues. Tensotherm is also surprisingly lightweight. Comprised of 95 percent air, aerogel is the world's lightest solid material, making Cabot Corporation's aerogel a perfect fit for lightweight PTFE fiberglass fabric membrane. Together, this combination of materials delivers a composite system that is lighter than any other insulated roofing option, ideal for small/mid-size to long-span applications. Its decreased weight limits the need for heavy supporting structures, minimizing material usage and cost, and reducing energy consumption for shipping and installation.

Like traditional fabric architecture, which is installed in tension through principles of tensile architecture, Tensotherm’s light weight and freedom of form allows for unlimited design possibilities.

A Tensotherm roof and traditional single layer PTFE roof are very similar in appearance. In addition, PTFE is extremely durable and weather resistant in all climates with projects known to last in excess of 30 years.

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

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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.