Published: June 14, 2016
As part of its current expansion, Galerias Mérida Shopping Center in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico, will soon feature a new PTFE fiberglass membrane roofing system from Birdair, the world’s leading specialty contractor for tensile membrane structures. The mall, which currently features more than 80 shops in addition to a movie theater, a casino and an ice skating rink, is a primary shopping destination in Mérida, the capital and largest city in the Mexican state of Yucatán. The mall’s owner, Liverpool, has chosen Birdair to manage the design, fabrication, supply and installation of the PTFE membrane, cables, clamping and structural supporting steel. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2016.
As the mall prepares for its expansion, Liverpool needed a roofing solution that would help keep shoppers comfortable while still allowing ample natural light into the space. The new polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) fiberglass membrane roofing system, conical in structure with a flying mast design suspended by cables, will function as a skylight made from approximately 19,000 square feet of the fabric. The resulting interior space will demonstrate the functional and aesthetic possibilities of custom tensile fabric and steel cable architecture, providing relief from the elements and an iconic look for the shopping center.
A Repeat Shopper
Birdair has an established working relationship with the owner, Liverpool. Liverpool will serve as the architect, engineer and general contractor for the expansion project. Liverpool currently operates the largest chain of department stores in Mexico, including 17 shopping malls. Previously, Birdair has completed similar PTFE roofing projects for Liverpool, including Galleria Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Galerias Cuernavaca in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
PTFE: A Versatile Material
Extremely durable and weather resistant, PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) or Teflon®-coated fiberglass membrane can be installed in climates ranging from the frigid arctic to the warm, humid Mexican climate, with a project life in some cases exceeding 30 years. The low surface energy of the material creates a surface which is readily cleaned by rainwater. It is also completely immune to UV radiation. This unique combination of thermal stability and surface properties make Birdair’s PTFE-coated fabric membrane ideal for projects requiring superior weather and fire resistance.
PTFE fiberglass is also Energy Star and Cool Roof Rating Council certified. During scientific tests of its solar properties, it was discovered that PTFE fiberglass membranes reflect as much as 73 percent of the sun’s energy while holding just seven percent on its exterior surface. Certain grades of PTFE fiberglass can absorb 14 percent of the sun’s energy while allowing 13 percent of natural daylight and seven percent of re-radiated energy (solar heat) to transmit through.
“Large retail spaces in warm climates are ideal applications for tensile architecture due to its ability to provide a comfortable shopping experience while also providing protection from sunlight,” said David Capezzuto, Director of Business Development for Birdair. “We’re excited to work with Liverpool once again and anticipate another successful project.”
For retail facilities, Birdair tensile membrane structures are not only visually appealing and durable but are also environmentally sensitive and economically competitive, providing comfort and convenience to shoppers. The lightweight membrane provides a cost-effective solution requiring less structural steel to support the roof or façade, enabling long spans of column-free space. In addition, membrane offers facility owners reduced construction costs and maintenance costs compared to traditional building materials.
Download PDF Version: BDA – Galerias_Merida_News Release_Final 160614.pdf
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.