Birdair To Retrofit McClain Athletic Facility with a High-Performance Tensotherm(TM) Roof

University of Wisconsin Facility to Reap Daylighting and Energy Saving Benefits
Pictured is the facility's original PTFE roof.
Pictured is the facility's original PTFE roof.
March 6, 2012 - PRLog -- The University of Wisconsin has begun construction on a new $76.8 million “Athletic Village” at and around Camp Randall stadium and part of the new work will soon feature a Tensotherm™ with Lumira™ aerogel insulated translucent membrane roof at the McClain Athletic Facility in Madison, WI.  This summer, the new 41,920-square-foot Tensotherm™ roofing system will replace the facility’s original non-insulated Birdair roof constructed from PTFE, a Teflon®-coated woven fiberglass membrane that was installed in 1988.  

Birdair, Inc. will serve as roofing contractor for the retrofit of the training facility for the Wisconsin Badgers, who won their first-ever Big Ten Championship game against Michigan State in 2011 and then went on to play at the Rose Bowl. Birdair will design-build an updated tensile membrane roof for the indoor sports training facility while the roof’s existing structural support steel will be cleaned for reuse.

Tensotherm™ with Lumira™ aerogel, formerly Nanogel® aerogel, is an insulated translucent membrane roofing system developed by Birdair, Cabot Corporation and Geiger Engineers. For this project, the material consists of three layers (25mm) of Lumira aerogel sandwiched between two layers of structural PTFE fabric, an insulated composite that is less than two inches thick (40mm), yet delivers an insulation value of R9. This innovative feather-light insulation layer traps air to prevent heat loss and solar heat gain. By maintaining translucency, Tensotherm™  provides glare-free daylighting and contributes to a high level of energy efficiency by reducing the need for artificial lighting. Additionally, the material offers high moisture control and superior acoustic attenuation capabilities.

“The new Tensotherm™ roof will maintain the current look of the building while offering translucency for the artificial turf field and other spaces at the practice facility,” explains David Capezzuto, Director of Business Development, Birdair. “The facility will also benefit from the thermal capabilities, remarkable acoustics, low maintenance requirements and long lifespan of the new roof.”

Other members of the project team include owner University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, architect VOA Associates, Chicago, IL, engineer Berners Schober Associates, Green Bay, WI and construction manager J.P. Cullen and Sons, Janesville, WI.

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

Tensotherm™ is a patent pending product of Birdair, Inc.

Teflon® is a registered trademark of E. I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, Delaware.

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Birdair, Inc. is the leading specialty contractor of 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 only 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, like us on Facebook at, call 1-800-622-2246 or visit
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