Published: June 12, 2007
Birdair’s Ti02 , titanium dioxide photocatalytic membrane, a popular choice with designers and architects in commercial roofing applications throughout Asia, is now available to the North American custom fabric roofing industry.
This coated tensile membrane, the latest in Birdair’s innovative lineup of lightweight and durable architectural materials, functions like the leaves of a tree, providing shade and comfort while actively neutralizing airborne pollutants and odors.
TiO2 is a revolutionary step for the North American green building market, improving the way roofing systems perform by featuring a unique self-cleaning process that extends the vibrancy of the non-toxic material.
The benefits of the new coating material were described by Jeffrey Carpenter, Birdair project engineer: “TiO2 is a photocatalyst. It uses the sun’s UV radiation, along with the oxygen and water vapor present in the air, to create active oxygen ions. The active oxygen ions, in turn, decompose the organic dirt into natural components by an oxidation-reduction reaction. When it rains, the resulting decomposed material simply gets washed off without leaving streaks.”
A supplier of the TiO2 fabric, says this reaction keeps the material in pristine condition.
“Photocatalytic TiO2 has the ability of taking organic materials and turning them into harmless gases,” the supplier says, “so anything that lands on the membrane is converted, leaving the membrane bright and clean.”
Carpenter says TiO2’s vast reduction of surface dirt buildup and water stains translates into long-term cost savings. “Using this material can lead to reduced lighting needs and maintenance costs for scrubbing or power washing,” he explains.
Birdair’s TiO2 tensile fabric membrane, first used on recreational and religious sites in Japan, consists of three selections, each graded according to their degree of natural light transmittance. These fabrics provide deodorizing and anti-bacterial properties and are ideal for urban or heavy traffic areas where non-industrial pollutants accumulate.
According to a recent study by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in Japan, airborne pollutants, such as those created by vehicle exhaust during bumper-to-bumper traffic, were diminished during TiO2’s photocatalytic process.
Using TiO2 fabric membrane, the nitrogen oxide and sulfurous oxide removed from air, per 1000 m2 of roof, is equivalent to the output of 2.6 cars or 1.7 trucks or buses. These figures are based on the nitrogen oxide emitted during an hour-long drive at anaverage speed of 22.7 km per hour.
TiO2, like Birdair’s other fabric products, is lightweight, durable and flexible. Combine these features with TiO2’s advancements in self-cleaning and heat reduction, and designers and architects in North America now have greater freedom than ever to create signature venues that are both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally responsible.
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About Birdair: Birdair, Inc. is the leading specialty contractor of custom tensile structures throughout the world. In addition to pre-construction services such as design assistance, budgeting, construction methodologies and project scheduling, Birdair provides design-build solutions in all aspects of project design, engineering, installation and maintenance. The company offers a selection of architectural fabric membranes, including PTFE fiberglass, ETFE film, PVC and Tensotherm™. 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, call 1-800-622-2246 or visit www.birdair.com.