Birdair was selected as the specialty contractor for the roof pillow system and facade solution for the new Atlanta stadium. The new state-of-the-art facility, opened in 2017, is the home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and MLS Atlanta, and hosts concerts, conventions and other marquee sports and entertainment events.
The stadium’s retractable roof, designed by HOK and TVSDesign, and supported by Birdair, consists of three layered ETFE roof pillows on eight petals that retract, similar to a camera lens. Additionally, the façade will feature a single ETFE skin supported by a cable net system. The design requires approximately 135,000 square feet of triple-layered ETFE pillows and air inflation system and approximately 165,000 square feet of vertical single-layered ETFE film and cable net. The roof creates an outdoor feel, allowing in natural sunlight when the weather is pleasant, and will protect players and fans during inclement weather.
The next-generation roofing material, ETFE Film (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene), was chosen for a variety of reasons including aesthetics, performance and sustainability. One of the most lightweight and transparent cladding materials available, ETFE is a perfect application for roofing and façade construction. The transparency of the ETFE membrane allows daylight to flow into the space below while also providing cover. The film is UV transparent so exposure to UV won’t discolor or structurally weaken the film. In addition, due to the inert nature of its surface, it resists adhesion of airborne pollutants, dust, dirt and chemicals.
The project team, led by HOK, engineering firm Buro Happold and general contractor Holder – Hunt – Russell - Moody Joint Venture , selected Birdair for this project because of the company’s tensile architecture expertise, construction skill and unique ETFE film.
Since 1975, Birdair has installed fabric retractable roof systems for ten NFL stadiums. University of Phoenix Stadium, recent host of Super Bowl XLIX and home to the Arizona Cardinals features a retractable Birdair PTFE fiberglass membrane roof.