Published: February 05, 2010
The Aquarium of the Pacific – Southern California’s largest aquarium and the fourth largest in the nation – now benefits from a tensioned membrane canopy system designed, engineered and installed by Birdair, Inc., the leading specialty contractor of lightweight long-span roofing systems and tensile structures throughout the world.
As part of a 2008 expansion effort, the aquarium added a new classroom and outdoor exhibition area. Birdair served as roofing sub-contractor for the project, providing a cost-effective and energy saving canopy system that shades the outdoor exhibition space. Approximately 2,018 square feet of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fabric membrane forms the canopy, installed as a linked Quasar Modular Unit System. Birdair additionally provided pre-drilled electrical access and custom plates for attachment of solar panels to the membrane’s exterior.
“We were able to work with the project team throughout the design-build process, designing, engineering and installing the PVC canopy system,” explains Angel Ochoa, business development manager for Birdair. “We’re pleased to be a part of such an eco-friendly project.”
Birdair Modular Systems combine the visual appeal of a custom designed fabric structure with the economic advantages of a pre-engineered system. Designed to integrate harmoniously with natural environments and building composition, Modular Systems serve as an elegant and functional addition to the exterior building environment.
PVC flexible fabric is fire-resistant and reduces radiant heat gain. The thermoplastic material can be infused with UV light inhibitors and anti-soiling fungicides, extending the life of the fabric while reducing maintenance requirements.
The Aquarium of the Pacific has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification from the US Green Building Council – the highest level of LEED Certification.
The facility’s eco-friendly benefits include energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction and improved indoor environmental quality. By using less energy, the aquarium saves money, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and contributes to a healthier environment for employees and the community as a whole.
The aquarium is additionally involved in numerous conservation efforts, including sustainable seafood initiatives, watershed education, ocean literacy, community events, green business practices and more.
The Aquarium of the Pacific is celebrated as the first in the aquarium/museum industry to become a Climate Action Leader in 2007, as well as the first museum to register all of its green house gases with the Climate Action Registry.
In addition to Birdair, the project team included architect EHDD, San Francisco, CA, and TG Construction, El Segundo, CA, as general contractor.
Birdair designs can garner LEED credits in the categories of daylighting, insulation value, and reduced and recycled material usage. As a member of the USGBC, Birdair continues to develop and promote methods and technologies that result in sustainable building design.
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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.