Birdair, Inc. Completes Retrofit of Canada Place’s Iconic Sail Roof

Canadian Landmark Features Updated TiO2-coated PTFE Tensile Roofing
Canada Place
Canada Place
June 14, 2011 - PRLog -- After 25 years of exemplary service, the iconic fabric roof at Canada Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada was updated with a new tensile roofing system from Birdair, Inc., the leading specialty contractor of lightweight long-span roofing systems and tensile structures throughout the world.

Birdair also served as roofing subcontractor for the original Canada Place fabric sail installation in 1985. The structure’s current roof was retrofitted with 91,210 square feet of TiO2-coated PTFE fiberglass fabric membrane that matches the original five-sail design.

The fabric membrane specified for Canada Place is PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene, fiberglass coated with non-toxic and flame-resistant TiO2 (titanium dioxide) that requires less maintenance due to its self-cleaning capabilities. The material is also highly durable, weather and fire resistant, and has a projected life expectancy exceeding 20 years.

“We are pleased that the sail replacement was finished on time and within budget,” said Mike Shardlow, President & CEO of Canada Place Corporation. “The completed project, part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, will help ensure Canada Place remains a hub of social and economic activity for decades to come.”

“The final survey showed that the new sails, once tensioned, were nearly identical to the original,” said Thomas Wuerch, Senior Vice President of Birdair. “Birdair is proud to play a role in the revitalization of a building that has been a Canadian icon for 25 years and which will remain an icon for many years to come.”

At the end of the project, Birdair donated unused and slightly used construction materials, including access platforms, hoisting ballasts and temp brackets, to the British Columbia Institute of Technology for use in their skilled trade programs. To repurpose the old roof, Canada Place has partnered with Architecture For Humanity Vancouver to recycle the sails, which will be used for humanitarian purposes at home and abroad. The $21-million project was financed through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, a key component of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, which is aimed at creating jobs and supporting industry, while contributing to the economic health of the country.

A symbol of culture, tourism and economic activity, Canada Place hosts three million visitors per year and generates approximately $1 billion in economic impact annually for the local economy. Canada Place houses Port Metro Vancouver cruise ship terminal and corporate office, Vancouver Convention Centre East, Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver, World Trade Centre office tower and VINCI parkade.

Construction on the retrofit project began in July 2010 and was completed in March 2011. In addition to Birdair, the project team included general contractor Ledcor Construction of Vancouver, BC, Canada and engineer Geiger Engineers of Suffern, NY. Canada Place Corporation of Vancouver, BC, Canada is the facility owner.

As a full-service specialty contractor, Birdair offers complete design-build assistance and has completed more than 1,200 tensile architecture installations worldwide. Learn more at

High-resolution project photos can be downloaded at:

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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. The company offers a selection of architectural fabric membrane, including Tensotherm™ with Lumira™ aerogel®, the world’s translucent insulated tensile membrane roofing material. 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
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Tags:Birdair, Tensile Architecture, Tensile Roofing, Retrofit, Canada Place, Vancouver, Ptfe
Industry:Architecture, Construction, Tourism
Location:Buffalo - New York - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Jul 12, 2011
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