Published: September 27, 2012
La Plata Stadium in La Plata, Argentina, which features a tensile roofing system from Birdair, Inc., has received an Outstanding Structure Award from the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineers (IABSE). The award recognizes “remarkable, innovative, creative, or otherwise stimulating structures” and was presented to Buenos Aires Province, the stadium’s owner, at the 22nd Jornadas Argentinas de Ingeniería Estructural (Congress of Argentinean Structural Engineers) on September 5, 2012.
The IABSE Outstanding Structure Award was established in 1998 and is one of the most prominent distinctions awarded by the IABSE. Each year, the IABSE bestows the award on one structure and presents diplomas to the owner for distribution to parties involved in the planning, design and construction of the awarded structure. The winning structure is selected based on innovation, creativity, sustainability, and respect for the environment.
As the project’s roofing subcontractor, Birdair designed, fabricated and oversaw the installation of the cable structure and fabric roof for the South American stadium. The 53,000-seat capacitystadium features 312,545 square feet of tensile roof utilizing Birdair’s steel cable systems and PTFE, a Teflon®-coated woven fiberglass membrane. The fabric is capable of with standing temperatures from minus 100 F to 450 F. It is also immune to UV rays, waterproof, and flame resistant. A frequent host to football and cultural events, La Plata Stadium is the first PTFE covered stadium in South America
To accommodate the unconventional geometry of the stadium, the main roof structure was formed using tensioned steel cable hoops at three different levels, along with vertical columns, diagonal cables, and ridge cables. This prestressed tensegrity design features a figure-eightshaped central opening that resists global distortion using tension. Consequently, the roof deck is extremely stiff, similar to the way a drum skin is stiffened by tensioning.
“We are thrilled that the IABSE has acknowledged La Plata Stadium with the Outstanding Structure Award,” says Wes Terry, Senior Project Engineer for Birdair. “This is a prestigious and well-deserved honor from the international structural engineering community that recognizes the unique twin-peaked roof design. Birdair looks forward to continued success in implementing innovative and revolutionary designs in tensile architecture.”
Designed by architect Roberto Ferreira in conjunction with Weidlinger Associates, the stadium originally opened in 2003 without the completed twin-peaked fabric membrane roof featured in its initial design. Due to economic troubles, the stadium was not fully completed until after Argentina was selected to host the 2011 Copa América, the main international football tournament for national teams in South America. The roofing retrofit began in February 2010 and was completed in March 2011.
Founded in 1929 and based in Zurich, Switzerland, the IABSE is a scientific and technical association comprised of 4,000 members in 100 countries. Its mission is to exchange knowledge and to advance the practice of structural engineering worldwide in the service of the profession and society. For more information, visit: http://www.iabse.org/.
As a full-service specialty contractor, Birdair offers complete design assistance and solutions throughout the design-build process. To date, Birdair has completed work on 85 sports facilities globally, incorporating tensile architecture into a variety of single-sport and multi-purpose stadiums and arenas.
Teflon® is a registered trademark of E. I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, Delaware.
Download PDF Version: 2012-09-27_La_Plata_Award.pdf
Location: La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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.