Published: March 17, 2008
Achieving cool roof status is becoming more desirable in the roofing industry; it has been a trend for the last five years and is even required in numerous states in order to comply with energy codes. Until lately, however, it has been feasible for only those offering more traditional roofing options, such as metal and single-ply, to builders, architects, and owners. Now, fabric membrane roofing with cool roof status is available for longspan structures through Birdair, Inc.
Birdair is currently engineering, fabricating and erecting an architectural fabric membrane called Sheerfill® for many of their up and coming long-span projects. Sheerfill, produced by Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, is the first fabric membrane to achieve cool roof status, as established by the Cool Roof Rating Council and designed to net benefits for owners, occupants, utility operators and the environment. “We have the first translucent product on the market insofar as fabric membranes are concerned. We had to go through several rounds of testing, but we’ve met the criteria established and our product is ready for the market,” says Marcel Dery, Architectural Marketing Manager at Saint- Gobain.
The market is ready for the product, as well; Birdair, Inc. partners with Saint-Gobain to supply many of its PTFE fabric membranes for their building needs and is enthusiastic about this newest development. “Architects and building owners look for this when they’re generating their building and site design objectives. We now have a label that says we are able to offer them a product that meets their needs,” notes Birdair’s Director of Architectural Development Bill Barden.
Barden also notes that Birdair will benefit its clients by providing them with a membrane that will be more energy efficient. Solar reflectance and thermal emittance – the amount of light and energy emanating from the surface – are both criteria that are considered by the CRRC in order for a product to be awarded cool roof status. Both categories are evaluated for a product at its initial performance level and at an aged performance level over the course of three years. Exposure farms located in Florida, Arizona, and Ohio test the aged performance level of all products being considered for cool roof status in a variety of weather elements. Sheerfill’s initial solar reflection performance has a rating of 0.71 and the thermal emittance initial performance for the product has a rating of 0.89. Both aged performance ratings are still pending for Sheerfill.
Birdair anticipates that having partnered with a developer of a fabric with cool roof status will further cultivate new business relationships while benefiting the environment. “It gives us the opportunity to pursue projects that have cool roof requirements. The Sheerfill membrane has a tremendous performance history and provides natural daylight into the building; these inherent properties are highly desired by energy-conscious architects and owners,” says LEED-accredited Business Development Manager Matt Stephens, from Birdair, Inc.
Saint-Gobain agrees that cool roofing is becoming a trend. “Everyone wants to be green and everyone wants LEED points, and that’s why we’ve decided to pursue this,” says Dery. Partnering with Birdair to additionally promote Sheerfill as an eco-friendly, cost effective product will ensure that architects and developers are also pursuing the only cool roof status membrane on the market as the best product for their future projects.
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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.