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World Cup venue to feature Birdair’s PTFE membrane, ETFE film and Tensotherm™

News | June 1, 2015 | By:

Birdair was selected to provide the design, fabrication and supply of the membrane roofing system for the renovation of Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, which has been named a 2022 FIFA World Cup™ venue.

The Khalifa International Stadium was first constructed in 1976 as a 20,000-seat stadium. It hosted the Gulf Cup that year. It returned to hosting prominence in 1992, when it received an upgrade to again host the Gulf Cup. A third renovation took place in the early 2000s, and Birdair was awarded the design and supply of the PTFE membrane roof system for the stadium.

Three decades later, Qatar will have the honor of hosting the first ever FIFA World Cup™ in the Middle East, where Khalifa International Stadium is expected to play an important role by hosting many of the FIFA World Cup™ matches through to the quarterfinals. Prior to the World Cup, the stadium will be the host venue for the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championship.

With Projacs serving as the project manager and Dar Al-Handasah as the design consultant, the renovated stadium will have a unique, modern design and aesthetic, containing a combination of three products for the roof system: PTFE fiberglass membrane, single ETFE film and Tensotherm™, a translucent insulated tensioned membrane system. Birdair will provide the design, fabrication and supply of all three membranes.

The majority of the roof system will feature approximately 500,000 square feet of PTFE fiberglass membrane. An approximate 35,000 square foot portion of the south leading edge of the roof will utilize a single-layered ETFE film supported by a cable net. Lastly, another portion located on the lower edges near the compression ring will incorporate Birdair’s Tensotherm system to provide thermal performance. The installation of all three membrane systems will be performed by Birdair’s subsidiary, Taiyo Middle East, located in Dubai.

The renovated stadium will include seats for 40,000 spectators. The stadium will also host the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, to celebrate Qatar’s culture of sport and the global sports heritage represented by the Olympic Games.

To ensure that Qatar achieves its goal of hosting an environmentally friendly FIFA World Cup™, Khalifa International Stadium will seek Global Sustainability Assessment Systems (GSAS) certification.

Durable and weather resistant, PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) or Teflon®-coated fiberglass membrane can be installed in climates ranging from the frigid arctic to the scorching desert heat with a project life in some cases exceeding 30 years. The low-surface free energy of the material creates a surface that is readily cleaned by rainwater. It is also completely immune to UV radiation. This unique combination of thermal stability and surface properties make Birdair’s PTFE-coated fabric membrane ideal for projects requiring superior weather and fire resistance.

ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) film is durable, highly transparent and very lightweight in comparison to glass structures. The transparency of the ETFE membrane allows daylight to flow into the space below while providing cover for players and fans. The film is UV transparent, therefore 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.

Tensotherm is a composite system comprised of a PTFE fiberglass membrane exterior skin, a thin translucent insulation blanket embedded with aerogel, and a lighter liner. The system provides invaluable benefits including diffused glare-free natural daylight, enhanced temperature control and innovative sustainability.

Fabric membrane structures are not only visually appealing and durable but are also environmentally sensitive and economically competitive. The lightweight membrane provides a cost-effective solution requiring less structural steel to support the roof, enabling long spans of column-free space. In addition, membrane offers building owners reduced construction costs and maintenance costs compared to traditional building materials.

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