Often called the “heart of the Gold Coast," Pompano Beach, Florida offers tourists the opportunity to relax on the beach, enjoy fine dining and experience terrific shopping. Soon, tourists and locals on the city’s eastern edge will see a new parking structure that will enhance the skyline thanks, in part, to Birdair’s PTFE membrane canopies.
The $19-million parking garage near the Pompano Fishing Pier will provide 609 parking spaces. The city has plans to develop the area into a retail center featuring restaurants, shops and a small hotel. The parking garage’s design will be evocative of its nautical surroundings—with 16 sail-shaped façade canopies by Birdair.
It takes a Crew
Architecture firm CSA, with engineering firm LEAP Associates, and Kaufman Lynn Construction will work to complete this project. However, they needed something special to make the parking garage attractive and unique. With this special need in mind, they turned to Birdair, the expert on custom tensile structures, to design and construct the PTFE canopies.
In addition to the 16 sail-shaped façade canopies, Birdair will also provide 15 identical rooftop fabric membrane units. All told, the total surface area of membrane will be more than 27,000 square feet. Birdair’s scope of work includes the design, fabrication, supply and installation of the PTFE membrane, structural steel, cables and clamping.
The parking garage’s beach-side location requires corrosive-resistant, durable building materials. Corrosive-resistant concrete, stainless steel hardware and high-quality glass will be used on the structure, in addition to Birdair’s PTFE membrane.
PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene, is known by the brand name Teflon® and coats a woven fiberglass to form a membrane that is extremely durable and weather resistant. PTFE fiberglass membranes can be installed in climates ranging from the frigid arctic to the scorching desert heat with a product life in some cases exceeding 30 years, so it’s perfect for the hot and humid Florida beach weather.
Raising the Sail
PTFE membrane can be used to construct roofs, façades, free-standing buildings, skylights, or accent enclosures. Completely different from other building materials both aesthetically and functionally, it is the combination of uncommon physical and geometric characteristics that often make tensile membrane structures iconic. In Pompano Beach, the parking garage’s dramatic, nautical look will create an inviting space that will easily trump the functional appearance of a typical parking garage.
“PTFE fiberglass membrane is a versatile product that we use to make structures that are both functional and visually unique,” said Thomas Connell, Business Development Manager, Birdair North America. “To be able to use our products and wrap a utilitarian structure—such as a parking garage—and make it an eye-catching attraction, really shows the versatility of tensile architectural membrane. It’s not only aesthetically pleasing, but it is energy efficient and highly durable. It was a great choice for this project.”