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La Plata Stadium Features Tensile Fabric Roofing System From Birdair, Inc.

La Plata Stadium Features Tensile Fabric Roofing System From Birdair, Inc.

Argentina Venue is the First PTFE-Covered Stadium in South America

Published: March 29, 2011

Birdair, Inc., the leading specialty contractor of lightweight long-span roofing systems and tensile structures throughout the world, has completed the tensile roofing system for La Plata Stadium in La Plata, Argentina. Birdair engineered, fabricated and oversaw the installation of the cable structure and fabric roof for the South American stadium.

Birdair served as roofing subcontractor for the 53,000-seat capacity stadium, which features 312,545 square feet of tensile roof utilizing Birdair’s steel cable systems and PTFE, a Teflon®-coated woven fiberglass membrane. The fabric is capable of withstanding temperatures from minus 100 F to 450 F. It is also immune to UV rays, waterproof, and flame resistant. A frequent host to football and cultural events, La Plata Stadium is the first PTFE-covered stadium in South America.

In March, the work was completed ahead of schedule and La Plata Stadium celebrated its reopening with an inauguration ceremony. The stadium has already hosted its first football match and will host three concerts by Irish rock band U2 beginning this week.

“The PTFE fiberglass membrane provides both aesthetic and functional benefits for La Plata Stadium,” explains Michael Grant, project manager for Birdair. “The PTFE fiberglass membrane covers the seating area, providing patrons with shade and protection during events. The fabric membrane is also durable, long-lasting and needs minimal maintenance to retain its clean look.”

To accommodate the unconventional geometry of the stadium, the main roof structure was formed using tensioned steel cable hoops at three different levels, along with vertical columns, diagonal cables, and ridge cables. This prestressed tensegrity design features a figure-eight-shaped central opening that resists global distortion using tension. Consequently, the roof deck is extremely stiff, similar to the way a drum skin is stiffened by tensioning.

La Plata Stadium, which originally opened in 2003, was designed by architect Roberto Ferreira in conjunction with Weidlinger Associates and is one of the premier venues for football in South America.

The stadium will be one of the host venues for the 2011 Copa América, the main international football tournament for national teams in South America, which is one of the world's most highly-watched sporting events.

The roofing retrofit began in February 2010 and was completed in March 2011. In addition to Birdair, the project team consisted of engineer Weidlinger and Associates, New York, New York and general contractor Astillero Rio Santiago, Ensenada, Argentina.

To date, Birdair has completed work on 85 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. Learn more at www.birdair.com. 

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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.