As the first stadium in the world to be built using a fiberglass-woven, PTFE membrane with a TiO2-topcoat, Cricket Stadium functions as a unique addition to Dubai Sports City – the world’s first purpose-built sports city.
The athletic venue’s roofing system was completed on budget and on time due largely to Birdair's range of capabilities as an experienced specialty contractor. Taiyo Middle East (TME) was awarded the roofing portion of the project in late 2006 and hired Birdair, whose essential project role consisted of membrane and supporting steel frame construction supervision.
Construction began in October 2007. Within a year, Birdair contractors completed 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 Ahmad Dalain, TME director of projects.
As construction supervisor, Birdair was able to overcome challenges frequently encountered in steel construction. For Cricket Stadium, this included an intricate steel geometric design consisting of several curved and long steel trusses. Adding to the project’s complex nature was first the structure had to be erected through the use of hydraulic cranes without any propping or temporary supports and secondly the large size of the trusses mandated on-the-job assembly prior to installation.
Contractors worked efficiently on a rigid schedule to finish the assembly in a prompt fashion, completing the erection of the structure's steel compression ring one month before the project’s expected completion date.
TiO2-coated fabric 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.”
Spectators at Cricket Stadium will also benefit from the TiO2-coated fabric’s high degree of translucency, which subtly shades yet allows natural light to filter through the fabric membrane structure while additionally offering protection from adverse weather conditions.
PTFE coated woven fiberglass membrane is extremely durable and weather resistant. It is capable of withstanding temperatures from -100°F to +450°F, immune to UV rays, waterproof, and flame resistant.
TiO2 is a non-toxic coating 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 coated membrane offers ample natural light transmittance and solar shading properties, making it an ideal choice for sporting venues.
In addition to Birdair and TME, the Cricket Stadium 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 slated for full completion in late 2008, with the entire Dubai Sports City development to be completed in 2010. Upon completion, the 25,000-seat stadium – expandable to 30,000 seats – will maintain 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 lightweight long-span roofing systems and tensile structures throughout the world, providing design-build solutions for architects and clients in all aspects of project design, engineering, installation and maintenance. Lightweight long-span roofing systems and cable structures can be attached to any building envelope and offer aesthetic and functional options to complement any exterior design. 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, call 1-800-622-2246 or visit www.birdair.com.