Visitors to the Staten Island Children's Museum in Staten Island, NY can now learn about renewable energy from a new 3,000 square-foot Birdair freestanding tensile structure featuring a translucent, photovoltaic fabric roof that collects solar energy to power low-voltage lighting.
The museum's latest addition is called the Meadow Structure and features a tensile roof featuring Birdair's steel cable systems and PTFE, a Teflon®-coated woven fiberglass membrane combined with thin-film photovoltaic panels.
Birdair fabricated and supplied the roof system that supports the photovoltaic panels and allows the individual panels to be removed without disturbing the roof fabric and also provided technical supervision during installation. "This is a breakthrough project in the world of tensile architecture and the first tensile structure to feature thin-film photovoltaic panels and Teflon-coated fabric membrane," says Brian Dentinger of Birdair, Inc. "The photovoltaic panels are integrated into the PTFE and provide a seamless look for the Meadow Structure."
"The Meadow Structure, with its playful design and its innovative solar technology, strengthens the Children's Museum's identity as a place that is fun and educational at the same time. It helps the museum achieve the goal of more fully utilizing our wonderful outdoor space," says Dina Rosenthal, executive director, Staten Island Children's Museum.
The Meadow Structure will be used year-round as a flexible, weather-protected outdoor gathering and program space. The Staten Island Children's Museum is New York's only indoor-outdoor interactive museum. Since 1976, the museum has provided interactive exhibits and creative workshops for children of all ages to explore the arts, sciences and humanities.